Monday, December 31, 2007



Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic and all you other Christians at sea. "The eyes of faith" says the Catechism, "can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin." The eyes, in our head, however, often need help just seeing our own hands in front of our own faces. No wonder then that the U. S. Department of Labor estimates that there are over 33,000 active optometrists in the United States alone. There are, however, more people fooling around in the eyewear business than just the pros and they can be, well, a little weird. And that's just the kind of stories The Newsreel is here to bring you. Now off to press.


"Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing." claims the Catechism. If this is true, then all of you single ladies out there in need of eyewear may want to switch from glasses to contacts. The AP newswire reports that Dr. Thomas Friberg of The University of Pittsburgh's Eye and Ear Institute has found that intense sexual activity can lead to a spike in blood pressure, possibly causing a hemorrhage in the eye. “This is really rare, considering the amount of sexual activity that goes on" says Dr. Friberg, "but I would assume there are other patients out there who just don’t report it." If this is indeed the case, might we one day see the need for glasses replacing the smoking of cigarettes as a sure sign of, shall we say, moral laxity amongst young unmarried women? The thicker the lens the bigger the hussy? Not quite the message you were hoping to send with those designer frames you just dropped 200 bucks on is it ladies?


Speaking of designer frames, BMEzine (That's BM as in body modification, not the other BM the doctor sometimes asks about) brings us the story of James Sooy. It seems this avid body piercer has invented a pair of templeless spectacles in which the lenses instead hang from a small barbell inserted through the loose flesh at the bridge of the nose. "They feel exactly like a regular pair of glasses" Mr. Sooy says, "I put the nose pads on to keep them from swinging around, so all the pressure is placed there." As for downsides, Mr. Sooy admits, "Taking them on and off is a bit of a hassle, as it involves taking a tiny screwdriver and unscrewing them while they’re on my face." "Lord grant me a steady hand and watchful eye" goes the motorists prayer, but it seems appropriate here also. In case of sneezing during removal, however, we recommend Saint Lucy as a backup.


Oddly enough, those aren't the silliest pair of glasses our intrepid Newsreel reporters ran across this week. National Geographic News passes along the tale of German manufacturer Micreon who has invented a pair of tiny fly-sized spectacles in order to showcase their high precision laser micro-machining process. The photo at the top of this post "shows a fly sporting a set of "designer" lenses crafted and set in place with a cutting-edge laser technique. The glasses fit snuggly on the fly's 0.08-inch-wide (2-millimeter-wide) head." The fly, who already possessed compound eye lenses and 360 degree vision, could not be reached for comment. However, with an expected life span of only 10 to 25 days, we think it's safe to assume he's not too happy over being held captive and having a useless hunk of sub-micronic metal strapped to his face. Still, the ability to work on this diminutive scale should inspire humility as we contemplate our own tiny place in the vastness of creation. Quoting St. Augustine, the Catechism exclaims, "You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is without measure. And man, so small a part of your creation, wants to praise you." Amen.

And we can't think of a better note to end the final post of 2007 on than that, so we bid everyone a Happy New Year and we'll see you in a few days for the start of our John Carpenter film fest. Quoting, as always, the great Les Nessman, good evening, and may the good news be yours.

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