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Disney News update

It is now official Disney has bought a huge chunk of FOX. It gets everything but Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. It will be adding the FX Networks and National Geographic as well. This sounds like great news for all around especially for Disney who will be developing not one but two streaming services Disney will now have majority control of Hulu so that might change in some way. The biggest add for Disney is the older content from a whole lot of shows, Modern Family, The Simpsons and a whole bunch of other shows as well. Most fanboys are excited as FOX owned the other half of the Marvel (Fantastic Four and X-Men) will be able to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe although it seems likely that only Fantastic Four might join. They would have to work out a new movie for them and make it a decent one and if it can be not about their origin that would be wonderful.  Then in a handful of years perhaps the X-Men would join them in the MCU somehow, yet this might happen sooner as I heard/read rumors of Hugh Jackman wanting to be Wolverine in an Avengers movie. So who knows the merger won’t happen until like 2019 at the earliest with the Department of Justice looking into any Antitrust thing in the merger.

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Space Policy

So, we knew that Trump would have some sort of space policy and yesterday he revealed it. Space Policy Directive 1 according to Trump “marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.” This sound sort of like Newt Gingrich’s idea from back in 2012 to build a colony on the Moon.  It sort of is a tweak to Obama’s plans as we will no longer be going to an asteroid. Now NASA and science haven’t been at the forefront of the Trump Presidency with facts taking a seat behind feelings, sure the race back to the moon seems to be a common Republican goal but it would be great if they could “make NASA great again”. (#MNASAGA, anyone?)  Previous attempts to make it back to the moon from the past Republican Presidents have failed to pick up steam. It’s nice that there are some guidelines being set out but it would be a whole lot better if NASA had an Administrator and one who knows that Climate Change is a thing.

However, I doubt anything will be coming of this unless Congress approves some more funding for NASA, in the 2012 Neil deGrasse Tyson told the Senate Science Committee that “Right now, NASA’s annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th-century birthright to dream of tomorrow.” For just a penny basically the same budget that NASA got in the 70s-90s a lot could be done and I doubt that we’d get anywhere to the 3- 4% of the Federal Budget that it got building the Apollo program. Let alone that fact that it won’t be until 2019 that the first test flight of the new Orion Spacecraft will be launched and that most likely will be unmanned and it won’t be until 2021 that we will see a manned mission. Will this policy include that new cis-lunar space station built with Roscosmos, the second International Space Station or perhaps an American space station or something else? It just want to set America as a leader in Space once again so it seem doubtful. Yet, the good news is that in 2018 the US can finally send people back up to space from its own soil with the Commercial Crew systems by SpaceX and Boeing. I guess we will have to wait and see what all happens.

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The Visitation

The second Joyful mystery is the Visitation. This is when Mary goes and visits her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. It is found in Luke’s Gospel 1:39-56. After hearing that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant Mary went to visit her. Now Elizabeth lived a little some speculate it was south of Jerusalem, in Hebron or even in Ein Karem, wherever it was Mary traveled from Nazareth to visit about a 150 mile journey which would take a couple of days to get there. When Mary arrived Elizabeth was about six months pregnant and Mary stayed until she had given birth to John. The feast day is on 31 May for the Western Church and 30 March in the Eastern Church.

The feast was first celebrated by the Franciscans and by 1263 it was spreading around to other churches in the Franciscan Breviary. Pope Urban VI hoping to end the Western Schism in 1389 added it to the Roman calendar, the official list of feast days of the church. It wasn’t until 1969 when the feast was moved to May so that it would be between the Annunciation (25 March) and the Nativity of John the Baptist (24 June) to better align with the Gospels.

The fruit of this mystery is love of neighbor. As we approach the Christmas season we will expect to look out toward our neighbors and celebrate with them this great feast however how often is it that we care more about ourselves or what’s on the screens in front of us than those living next door. Let us all try to go out and meet our neighbors since we all live in a community and they are it.

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC pack 2

At the Game Awards, yesterday, Nintendo announced that the second DLC pack for Breath of the Wild will be out tonight. I expect after the Game Awards are over. So I will be off playing that so don’t expect the regular content, Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Go read any of the previous post I’ve made on this topic last year I looked at the Papal Bull that dogmatically defined this,

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Time Person of the Year 2017

Time magazine has named The Silence Breakers, the whole #MeToo movement the person of the year. This is a huge thing and talks about more than just the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey of the matter but out into the whole world this is a world wide problem. Now this is all going on while we have Roy Moore trying to be elected in Alabama, while John Conyers (D-MI 13th District) has resigned from Congress and it seems like Al Franken (D-Minn) might also resign because of improprieties.

So I was amazed that The Motion Picture Academy, the folks who give out the Oscars has gone out and set a standards of conduct for all the members. This should make a huge impact in Hollywood which seemed to be run still with a casting couch. Hopefully this movement will promote female directors, producers, writers and actors as equals in Hollywood. I expect to see some more female nominated in this upcoming Oscar slate as I am sure they don’t want to see a hashtag about Oscars being to male. It is nice to see some advances taking place but it’s a shame that it took this long for some of these things to come out, but it is great that we have progressed as a society to talk about these things and listen to the accusers and believe them.

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Disney news

It seems like Disney is back in the drivers seat for acquiring Fox’s film and television properties. Now this would be a huge addition as the MCU would have all the Marvel brands back together and so forth. This is a logical move for Disney who is building their own streaming service and Fox has a lot of television content that they could add to a streaming, with Fox they could have shows like The Simpsons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Futuama, Family Guy, American Dad, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, and Bob’s Burgers along with the ABC content and everything else that Disney has produced from those Mickey Mouse cartoons to the whole Disney catalogue of animated films. It will have content for years.

Sure this would make a huge media monopoly but it could still run like two studios with kid friendly films coming from Disney and Fox doing more adult pictures. It’s a bit confusing about who owns what and all since both are wide ranging companies. I mean Disney already has bought Marvel and Lucasfilms and no one really complained about that. Also I’m sure that most everyone will be getting whatever the Disney streaming thing is going to be called especially if you have kids, with Netflix looking to self producing content and comedy specials rather than dealing with buying the rights to broadcast someone else’s shows. Within the next decade or so I bet that Netflix will be bought by like CBS or NBC for their own streaming service since Hulu will be majority owned by Disney if they get Fox. However this is just speculation and anything could happen.

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Japanese Abdication in 2019

We already knew this was going to happen at some point as the Diet passed a one time bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate in June, but the Imperial Household Council has met and picked a date for the transition. Some time last week it was announced that Emperor Akihito will be stepping down and his son Naruhito will be become the new Emperor of Japan. Thus a new era will begin for the Chrysanthemum Throne. The Heisei period will end on 30 April 2019 and on 1 May 2019 the new period will begin. Akihito will be the first Emperor to abdicate since the Emperor Kokaku in 1817, Akihito will be known as Jōkō which is short for Daijō-tennō or retired Emperor. It will be interesting since it would be the first new Emperor that I will actually remember and perhaps with all the 24 hour news channels out now we should be able to watch it. Sure, Akihito’s enthronement was televised in 1990 but I was five and it would see like something that would be a must see event I mean they’ve televised several Papal events JPII’s funeral and both Inaugurations (Ben XVI and Francis) so it seems like this is something they will be going all out in covering. It will be an interesting period.

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The Annunciation

The first Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation, the event when Mary was visited by an angel of the Lord, Gabriel, who told Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. It is found in Luke’s Gospel 1:26-38. There is another shorter annunciation to Joseph that happens in Matthew’s Gospel 1:18-23. We can also find it mentioned in the Quran in various places of an Angel coming to Mary. The feast day of the Annunciation is March 25 and is one of the 12 great feasts in the Orthodox church as well.

The fruit of the mystery is humility. This is a great virtue to ponder as we enter into the season of Advent since Christ himself humbled himself to be born on earth. Mary also willingly said yes, Let it be done unto me according to your will. We need to try to become individuals who are willing to say yes and in this day and age it would be wonderful if humility became the in vogue thing, so everyone wouldn’t be talking about what they’ve done and how important they are in the world. Sure we can look to the saints like Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa are two of the easiest examples, but most saints are great examples of living a humble life. If you want to turn to the living Pope Francis is noted for his humility and sure we can talk about some of those big names Warren Buffett as well as several big named celebrities, but everyone should show some ounce of humility.

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Gregorian Chant in Nebraska

This was an interesting story on PBS Newshour about a seminary in Nebraska, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska near Lincoln. This is a seminary for the Fraternity of St. Peter, they are a group of priests who like the traditional elements of Church and aren’t fans of the Second Vatican Council, but they have reconciled with Rome. They were formed when they splintered from the Society of Saint Pius X. The Story is about how they recently released an album of Gregorian Chant and it’s been a hit.

I find that it is interesting that every couple of years it seems like Gregorian Chant pops up again and makes an impact but then we forget about it after the album is too old. It’s wonderful music and a shame that the church doesn’t sort of jump this and try to bring back chant in some form.

 

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Advent 2017

Next Sunday, December 3, we will begin the new Liturgical Year as we have reached the First Sunday of Advent. This is the time of year when we move to a new selection of readings as the Lectionary rotates in a three year cycle through most of the bible. This upcoming year is Year B where we read the Gospel of Mark and chapter 6 of the Gospel of John. While many people spent this past weekend getting Christmas trees and setting them up as well as decorating for the festive holiday we should all remember that this is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. Advent is sort of like the season of Lent were we can deepen our faith by exploring it. It’s like the Parable of the 10 bridesmaids where five had brought extra oil and the other five didn’t while they were waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. We await the arrival of Christ Jesus at Christmas, but also at his second coming whenever that may be. This is a season of waiting, so let us wait, in society today with everything at our fingertips we’ve forgotten how to wait. Let us all try to be more patient as we wait in the darkness lighting another candle each week so the bridegroom can see where to go.

I will be returning to the Rosary in Advent starting with the Joyful Mysteries, next Friday, December 8 is the feast of the Immaculate Conception a Holy Day of Obligation. This year I think I will post the O Anthiphons over the last seven days of Advent. This year is a short Advent as the fourth week last all of a day, Christmas Eve. I hope that as the liturgical season changes we all can turn our eyes towards faith.