Sunday, February 19, 2006


Who uses it: Biologists, especially entomologists and herpetologists
What it means: Shedding an old skin or shell.
How you can use it: When throwing off the old coverings.

The word "ecdysis" gave rise to "ecdysiast," a fancy word for a stripper coined by H.L. Mencken.

It seems appropriate to the season. Although temperatures are in the teens here, the sun rose at 6:35, and spring is undeniably on its way.

This morning's church bulletin had an announcement from the Bishop of Portland about St. Patrick's Day, which falls on a Friday. Sometimes bishops give dispensations from the Lenten fasting and abstinence, when St. Patrick's Day falls on Friday; Bishop Malone is not willing to go that far.

"In order to permit the usual celebrations associated with St. Patrick's Day, Bishop Malone is permitting any individual who so desires to transfer the obligation to abstain from meat from Friday, March 17 to Wednesday, March 15. He is not dispensing from the obligation."

If you can't understand why these lines summarize everything I love about Catholicism, I will never be able to explain it to you. But since my own St. Patrick's Day celebrations are more likely to include grain and fruit products than meats, I think I'll be okay either way.

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