Recapping Easter Mass

My Dad, the father of five kids, used to call Sunday “Dread Sunday,” referring to the Herculean efforts required to get all those bodies out of bed and to mass. I’m beginning to understand why. With four young kids of my own (ages 4, 3, and 10-month-old twins), I’m becoming quite familiar with the expression. This past Sunday was Easter, and though the Church views this as the most important occasion of the year, my kids still see it as another opportunity to test the limits of my faith.

In the middle of the most recent mass, Char got up to take Grace to the restroom to change her diaper. (As a side note, we had both families in town for the holiday, so Easter was spent a little like Christmas: we left our house at 9a and got home 12 hours and nearly 100 miles later. This is important, because you have to understand that when we left the house we had to prepare for the invasion of Normandy. In all of that confusion, we left the baby wipes behind.) So, with Char in the restroom fighting a squirmy baby without wipes, things got a little hectic back in the narthex. (We have learned a few things; we’ve yet to return to the inside of church after “the incident”. But that’s a different story.)

By the time Char returned, she had missed both readings and some of the homily. I looked at her at one point and asked, “I thought going to mass was supposed to lower your blood pressure?”

Following mass, we loaded everyone into the car and headed for my sister’s house. While enroute, Char asked what the homily was about, so I briefly recapped the story the priest shared about a young handicapped child. She then asked me to summarize the readings.

“Oh, the readings?” I asked. “They were: Jack, sit down! Lily, get off the floor! Both of you, be quiet! Get back here! Put that down! Shhhh! Quit kicking the pew! Stop that!”

Char laughed and said, “So they were the same as last week?”

She thinks she’s lost a step since staying home with the kids, but I attest that she’s as quick as ever.

Yahoo! Netrospective

On the occasion of their 10th birthday, Internet icon Yahoo! has created a celebration of the “history” of the web. First, some things you should know: This history only covers 10 years, which really only represents the public awakening of the Internet. The origin of the Internet, a military network called ArpaNet, started back in the 1960’s. Second, we should bear in mind the overwhelming success of
Yahoo! to make sense out of chaos. When first conceived, it was another entry in the growing list of tools to help make sense and order out of the rapidly growing World Wide Web. (In fact, the name “Yahoo!” is an acronym representing “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”) But they’ve done some things extremely well in the past ten years, and are now, according to founders David Filo and Jerry Yang, “touching the lives of more than 300 million people every month.” So I think they’re to be forgiven for inserting themselves so brazenly into the history.

For inspiration, Yahoo! looked to the work of information artist Jonathan Harris. Harris’s best-known work is his 10×10 project, which automatically gathers the top 100 words and pictures in the world every hour, based on what’s happening in the news, and then displays these words and pictures in an interactive 10×10 grid. Harris calls 10×10 “an often moving, sometimes shocking,
occasionally frivolous, but always fitting snapshot of our world.”

It works by collecting 100 most relevant words and photos, based on usage by a group of leading international news sources. It then compiles words and photos into an interactive 10×10 grid that allows the user to further explore each topic. The collection runs with complete autonomy, providing no commentary or bias (other than the obvious bias of the subject being topical), so it provides a distinctly unique snapshot of our world – and the events shaping it – every hour.

Yahoo! took the approach from 10×10 and created their own snapshot of the past ten years, as opposed to the last hour. They call their work the “Yahoo! Netrospective: 10 Years“, and it
attempts chronicle the leading events in Internet development over the past ten years. Events highlighted include some of the biggest names around: the incorporation of Yahoo!, the Netscape rise to fame, the birth of eBay, and the death (or at least the temporary demise) of Napster. It also includes some major trends, like day trading, open source development, and fantasy sports.

And, of course, no Internet retrospective would be complete without covering such infamous topics like the rise and fall of Howard Dean; the short life, hype, and death of; and the strangely persistent Naked News.

For most of us, this trip down memory lane is filled with moments of “Ah, I remember that…”, some of which are followed immediately by, “I sure wish I could forget it.” The Netrospective, and its inspiration 10×10, are both fun to use, beautiful, and captivating.