28 August 2011

Liturgy of the Hours

Finally - finally - ordered these books.  For so many years there just wasn't the money for that kind of thing.  Now that there is, I continued to dither about my identification.  Finally got the push I needed - separate story - and went ahead and ordered the set.

I got the ones in large type, and they're beautiful.  I had used Christian Prayer before, and have the Universalis app, so wasn't too lost in my first attempts. 

I like the structure of the Office, the immersion in Scripture, and the Office of Readings.  How fortunate we are to have such resources!

"White Collar" was really dumb tonight

The Spouse and I watch a few of the USA Network shows with great enjoyment, including White Collar.  However, tonight the premise was that a computer break-in had taken place at a bank.  The writers clearly were either very old, or young people who had no clue how to get any information.  The terminology was wrong, the idea impossible, and they even had one of the agents put a USB stick received from the bad guy into a networked FBI computer, with predictable results.  It was just stupid, all the way through.  They're usually not anywhere near that clueless... in fact, I wouldn't expect any show these days to not at least try to put together a plausible situation.  Makes one wonder if there was no one to vet the script, or if those writers - who all use computers, one can hope - are really that ignorant of how they work.

10 August 2011

Service dogs in the courtroom

This story has been making the rounds lately.  (I'm linking to the Hot Air mention.)  The comments are interesting:  many in favor of the dog, few against.  One clueless individual suggested keeping the dog in another room during testimony.  Yeah, that'll help.

One of the objections is that the dog in question is a Golden Retriever, generally recognized as a non-threatening, cuddly breed.  I can see how people might think it prejudicial to have a dog associated with kindness and sweetness on the stand.  Someone suggested using a pit bull.  However, I would suggest a German Shepherd Dog, or a Belgian Sheepdog.

We are talking appearance and reputation here, not fact.  The fact is, there are Goldens that will scare the bejeezus out of intruders.  Another fact is that, to the family they serve, the big shepherd dogs should always be genial and cozy companions.  But to the outside world - in the context of court, where one is testifying - if you are looking for a less warm-and-fuzzy effect, a big, well-trained German Shepherd dog will fit the bill nicely.  Few in the jury box will perceive the dog to be "cuddly."  The witness needing support and comfort will have it (most German Shepherd Dogs are fond of leaning against their trusted human companions in a confidential, friendly way), along with the confidence that the accused would have to go literally through the dog to touch her.  For extra effect, put a bullet-proof vest on the dog.  There.  No more warm and fuzzies, except for the witness, who may be able to articulate what she could not otherwise.

One commenter in the link above did note that a dog is far better than a human supporter on the witness stand, because a dog cannot influence the witness to say one thing or another.

If it is a situation where you need the witness to feel safe enough to speak without human interference, if the dog will enable the testimony, then allow the dog.