Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two Quilts for Two Brothers

Let me remind you about this quilt, which I recently gave to a young dude named Will.  I wrote about it a couple of months ago:
Another one of my recent little kid quilts has left the house.  Again, the little kid in question was improbably enthusiastic.  He sorted carefully through the goods on offer, then picked this one. 
Then he jumped up and down, clutching the quilt with adorable enthusiasm.  Since he was doing this on a hardwood floor, he soon managed to overbalance backwards while the quilt slid forwards, bringing him down hard on his butt and the back of his head.  Brave tears ensued, but -- and this is key -- he turned for comfort to his new quilt.  You know, the one that had just betrayed him.

Since then, two interesting things have emerged.  One is that I pulled up the image of a quilt that I gave to Will's big brother Max a couple of years ago.  Here's what it looks like:

So that's pretty interesting, I thought.  Given a pile of six assorted quilts, Will made a beeline with no fuss or comment, but also no hesitation, to the one that looked like his big brother's.  Cute.

But then a couple of days later, I got a call from a concerned mom.  First of all, she wanted to tell me how much the boys loved their quilts, yadda yadda yadda, which I have no reason to doubt (although what's she going to say?  "The boys are completely indifferent to their quilts!"?).  That was nice to hear, but there was a concerned note in her voice, too.  After a little hemming and hawing, she reminded me that the quilt I made for Max had been personalized:

Seems that she had come down the stairs to find Will hovering hesitantly over his own new quilt, a Sharpie in one hand.  When she asked him what was up, he said he wanted his name on his quilt too.  So she suggested that rather than using permanent marker, they could ask me if I could do a little something in thread.

So there you have it: a cute kiddo story, and my mission for the upcoming start of quilt/college football season this Saturday.  Oregon hosts Arkansas State at 7:30, and Oregon State hosts something called "Nicholls State" at noon.  [[Update: Oregon State's game has been cancelled due to growing concerns over whether Nicholls State actually exists.]]  It seems way too early for it to be autumn, but there you go.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Wednesday Post

Greetings from Georg Baselitz
A philatelic farewell.

Baselitz became the seventh artist to exit the Tournament when he was beaten by Pompeo Batoni in the left bracket.  His appearance in the competition was only one of many honors that have been granted this influential working and academic artist.  A 1995 retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York City looks awfully good on his resume, and he has also been featured in major shows at big-name museums in L.A., D.C., London, Istanbul, and many other cities.

And, in 1994, he was one of the artists selected for a series of French stamps celebrating "Contemporary Art in Europe."

I haven't been able to determine whether the stamp featured an existing work, or if he created an original custom-designed painting, or if he maybe just gave them a completed piece he had lying around.  I like it as a stamp, though.  It's jaunty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Round Two: Batoni v. Bazille!

Pompeo Batoni
1708 - 1787

Lost to Jacopo Bassano in Round 1.
Decisively defeated Georg Baselitz in Left Bracket Round 1 Elimination.


Frederic Bazille
1841 - 1870

Defeated Willi Baumeister in Round 1.
Lost to Max Beckmann in Round 2 by mere two votes -- YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!


Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting, but likely much longer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Renaissance Man: The Debrief

Back in 2009, I started a blog -- a fourth blog at the time -- called Renaissance Man.  The plan was that I was going to read all of Shakespeare and talk about it in excruciating detail.  It never really took, despite having a pretty good title, and I finally pulled the plug on it a few months ago.  The only remnant is the "Michael5000 v. Shakespeare" feature here on IAT, which has proven to be a real conversation-stopper.

Still, I've upped my Shakespeare intake over the last three years, and so I thought it would be interesting to revisit a list of preconceptions that I made when I started Renaissance Man, and see if I've learned anything in the meantime.  Probably more interesting to me than to you, of course, but then that's often the I'm case on Monday morning.  I'm curious about what Shakespearean conceptions other people have on tap, if anybody feels like jumping in, but there are limits to how far I'll ask you to indulge me.

A Midsummer Night's Dream -- The cute one. I know the plot in outline, and could name many of the characters and themes. There was a movie version about 10 years ago that I saw.  Update: I've read it and watched an older movie version within the last few months, and could reconstruct it in outline if all extant copies were somehow destroyed. 

All's Well That Ends Well -- This one falls into the category of Comedy Difficult to Distinguish From Other Comedies (CDDFOC).* I might have seen a performance of this one, or maybe it was one of those other ones.  The CDDFOCs remain problematic.  I'm not sure I've learned anything about this one.

Antony and Cleopatra -- I know almost nothing about this play beyond the basic plot, yet have a preconception that it is kind of frou-frou and lite.  I think I've heard that this play is unusual for having a million scenes.  But, I haven't learned anything much new about it.

As You Like It -- A CDDFOC.  A CDDFOC.

The Comedy of Errors -- CDDFOC.  A CDDFOC.  It is about mistaken identities, but aren't they all?  It features estranged twins, and I have seen it performed in the park, but I think it was quite some time ago.

Coriolanus -- I really have no idea.  I have an idea now: it's the one about the conflicted Roman general.  I learned this more from looking at art and from writing a quiz question back when we did quizzes then from directly Shakespeare experience, though.  There's a recent movie version that I'm going to watch soon.

Cymbeline -- I have read this one, and read a certain amount about it, and have good reason to try to keep it fresh in my head. Yet I have trouble keeping track of it. There are two reasons for this, I think; that it has relatively little cultural footprint, and that its plot is so odd as to make you doubt that you are remembering it correctly.  I have read and seen a live performance of Cymbeline in the last year, and have a pretty good sense of its plot.  I also kind of like it; it's a quirky beast.

Hamlet -- Hamlet, on the other hand, has a whopping big cultural footprint. I've read it, read about it, and seen five or six cinema adaptations. I've also read and seen a film version of Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead, an important riff on Hamlet. I've never seen a live performance, though.  I've seen a live performance now!

Julius Caesar -- I read this one in college.  No particular change here.  I haven't done much with it because I don't have the sense that it is very interesting, outside of the well known speeches, which can stand on their own.

King Lear -- I must have seen a movie version of this; I have a recollection of, if you will, eye-popping special effects. I have deep prejudices against Lear, which I -- wait! it's coming back! William Hurt as the Fool, yes? -- anyway, deep prejudices, because it has about the saddest and most depressing plot possible. Bums me out.  No particular change here.  I haven't done much with it because of the deep prejudices.

Love's Labour's Lost -- CDDFOC!  This is the Four Brides for Four Dudes of the Navarrean Ruling Class one, with the goofy oath of chastity and the masque and what-not.  I saw the truly weird Ken Branaugh adaptation.

Macbeth -- OK, everybody knows Macbeth. This is the one we read in high school.  No particular change here.  I haven't done much with it because, oddly perhaps, I don't have the sense that it is very interesting.

Measure for Measure -- Another CDDFOC! Heavens, I didn't realize I had quite so many in this category. This is the one about whether or not you ought to sleep with the Assistant Duke when he threatens to kill your brother if you won't, and about how if you are the Duke it is interesting to leave your country's administration in the hands of an unreliable assistant, just for the hell of it.  It needs work.

The Merchant of Venice -- I saw a performance of this one in college, but I feel like I know it quite well. Maybe I saw a film adaptation at some point or something?  No particular change here.  I haven't done much with it because, despite my sense that it is very interesting.

The Merry Wives of Windsor -- I know nothing about this one, not even enough to throw it on the CDDFOC heap.  I haven't read or seen this play, but I have assimilated the information that it features Falstaff of Henry IV fame, except in a different context.  And century.

Much Ado About Nothing -- This one, however, goes on the CDDFOC heap.  I have seen this one live and in two adaptations -- it's the one with Beatrice and Benedick (Hector Berlioz called his opera version Beatrice and Benedick, which was a real titling coup) that is really funny in the first half and kind of grim and distasteful in the second. 

Othello -- I saw a film version about 10 years ago, but know little except the bare outline.  I saw a ballet (!) version of this one.  It turns out it's about people dancing.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre -- We saw a Shakespeare-in-the-Park version of Pericles.  It turns out that it's a comic farce that has nothing to do with, like, Pericles, and is all about shipwrecks and mistaken identities and  ludicrous coincidences.  Deserves to be a CDDFOC, and probably would be if it had a vaguer title, and didn't sound like an educational play about a Greek statesman and political theorist.

Romeo and Juliet -- Well, duh. I know this one pretty well, of course.  I even think it's pretty good.

The Taming of the Shrew -- I know the basic plot outline here.  No particular change here.  I haven't done much with it because, despite my sense that it is very interesting.

The Tempest -- I've read this one, and twice watched Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books in the mistaken notion that something on which so much care and expense has been lavished must have some kind of redeeming value. I like it a lot; along with Hamlet and Titus it makes up my Shakespeare "Big Three" going into the project.  I read this one recently, and have watched two film adaptations,including the new one that nobody likes except me.  It turns out that there's a lot more ambiguity in there than I thought there was in The Tempest, which makes it more interesting but perhaps a little less fun.

Timon of Athens -- [stares blankly]  I've read it.  There's a good reason it's not a greatest hit.

Titus Andronicus -- I have read, seen a live performance of, and twice watched the movie adaptation of Shakespeare's allegedly worst play. If that oft-cited critical consensus turns out to be true, this is going to be one awesome project.  I haven't revisited it, because it's probably the play I knew best coming in.

Troilus and Cressida -- Haven't a clue.  I've watched an adaptation.  It was every bit as good as Timon of Athens.

Twelfth Night or What You Will -- This would be a CDDFOC, except I've had a few conversations lately to remind me that this is the one about the cross-dressing girl, and the brother who turns out to have survived the shipwreck, and if music is the food of love, play on! I've seen a couple of filmed versions. It's a good'un.  Saw a live performance last summer.   It was full of comic hijinx.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona -- No idea.  Still no idea.

The Two Noble Kinsmen -- Also, no idea.  Still no idea.

The Winter's Tale -- I saw a staging of this one the year before last. It is rather marred by an excess of arbitrary occurances, methought.  In retrospect, complaining about arbitrary occurances at the theater seems a bit dim of me.  I haven't revisited Winter's Tale, though.

King John -- Oh right, there's a "King John"! For some reason, I know that in Victorian times this one was popular as an excuse to throw a patriotic Magna Carta pageant in the middle. And isn't it traditional to put it on when the British monarchy rotates over, or rather wasn't it so before Elizabeth the Immortal took the throne? Anyway.  Still no idea.

Richard II / Henry IV, part 1/ Henry IV, part 2/ Henry V -- Two of these are an old Kenneth Brannaugh movie!  I've had the opportunity to see IV-1 and IV-2 live, and found that their most remarkable feature is that they are essentially the same play twice.  It's a pretty good play.  In the same way that Promethius is pretty good if you want to see Aliens again, but different, IV-2 is good if you want to see IV-1 again, but different..

Henry VI, part 1/Henry VI, part 2/Henry VI, part 3/Richard III -- I've seen Richard III both live and in an excellent film version!  No progress here.

Henry VIII -- Oh right, there's a "Henry VIII"!  I got to see Henry VIII in performance, too.  It's a bit of a mess.

So, this is sobering: I'd say I'm quite familiar with three plays, somewhat familiar with an additional four, know the basics of ten more, and let my jaw hang open like the rustic yokel I am when confronted with the remaining fourteen (six of which are CDDFOCs). I actually thought I was considerably further along than all that.  It looks like I've more than doubled the "Quite Familiar" category, to seven; vastly improved the "Somewhat Familiar" category, from four to eleven; have the basics of nine; and only gape at eleven.  The reason that there are six more Shakespeare plays than there used to be is that I'm counting the four-parters individually this time, which seems like a good sign.

In summary, it looks like you really can learn more about the plays of Shakespeare simply by applying yourself, neglecting your household duties, and foregoing more obvious entertainment options!  I only wonder where I'd be today if I had been able to avoid "Angry Birds."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Infinite Art Tournament: Clemente v. Clouet!

Francesco Clemente
born 1952
Italian; works in the United States


François Clouet
c.1522 - 1572


Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Wedding Quilt for 2010

Two friends whom I will call "Joey" and "Daisy," although these are not their real names -- they are, in fact, the names of their cats -- got married about two years ago.  After they got engaged, I had a meeting with them to discuss possible quilt designs, showing them various quilt images and asking them to tell me what they liked or did not like about a wide range of different possibilities.  I took notes.

Then, I pretty much stopped quilting for a year or so.

And then I picked up my project list last fall for the first time in ages and was all like "OMG!  I forgot about Joey and Daisy's wedding quilt!"  

This Tuesday, I completed the final finish work, roughly two years after the wedding.  This will be the second time I present it to them; They had it for a few months, bound with safety pins, after I had done everything but the hand-finishing.  This time, though, it's "done-done."

The primary design considerations were:
  1. That it wanted to be "symmetrical-but-not-too-symmetrical."
  2. That it wanted to consist of a short series of values in a single color.
  3. That it be big -- and it is, I think, my biggest quilt to date.
  4. That it be "built for speed" -- I was already way behind deadline, and needed to be able to cut, piece, and quilt a lot of blanket in a little time.

I think it came out rather well.

Houseplant sold separately.

The Specs

Serial Number: 61

Dimensions: 73" x 97"

Batting: Commercial batting.
Backing: Dark purple flannel.

Begun: 2011, after conceptual work in 2010.
Finished: August, 2012

Intended Use/Display: Wedding Gift.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Play-In Artist SubTournament: Phase 1, Flight 2

Phase One Rules:
  1. You may cast votes for up to four artists.  
    • One vote per artist per person.
  2. Since play-in artists were nominated by your peers in the IAT community, including myself, courteous and affirmative voting is in order
    • Which is to say, no baggin' on the aesthetic sensibilities of the nominators.
  3. Full rules, procedures, and anticipated timeline for the Play-In SubTournament are available on the Play-In SubTournament page.

Additional Play-In artists may still be nominated on this post, on the Play-In SubTournament page, by email to InfiniteArtTournament at gmail, or by postcard.  With some ongoing flux in the list, there is still space remaining for around a dozen more artists.

Phase 1, Flight 1 will be open for voting through Sunday, September 23.

Brian Froud
1947 -

Olafur Eliasson
b. 1967
Danish; works in Germany

Agnes Martin
1912 - 2004
Canadian; worked in United States

Zeng Fanzhi
b. 1964

Adolphe William Bouguereau
1805 - 1905

17th Century
Rajasthani / Indian

b. 1974

Louise Nevelson
1899 - 1988

Vote for up to fours artists! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. This poll will be open for approximately two months past posting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Element of the Month: Bohrium!

August's Element of the Month:


Atomic Mass: 262 or so amu
Melting Point: Unknown (!)
Boiling Point: Unknown (!)

Bohrium is one of the fakey elements, so fakey in fact that it was not synthesized until 1981 (or possibly 1976) and not officially given its bona fides by the Fakey Element Referees (the "IUPAC/IUPAP Transfermium Working Group") until 1992. Its name was not officially agreed upon until 1997. Until then, "Bohrium" was in contention against "Nielsbohrium" for Element 107, and "Bohrium" was also in the ring with "Dubnium," which eventually won out, for Element 105. References from your school days might well have called Bohrium "Unnilseptium" (IUPAC/IUPAP Tranfermium Working Group argot for "Unnamed Element 107") or, if your school days were quite a ways back, "eka-rhenium," or perhaps they would have acted, quite correctly, as if no such thing existed.

Does such a thing exist? Occasionally, kind of. Possibly right now, in quantities that could very generously be described as "trace." The most stable isotope of Bohrium has a half-life of 61 seconds. Let's review the concept of "half-life": if you had a pound of Bohrium on your kitchen table, 61 seconds later half of it would be gone. Well, it wouldn't be absent, but it would have "decayed," which is to say shed one or more of its artificially added-on protons and transformed into another, marginally less fakey element. After 122 seconds, you'd only have a quarter pound of Bohrium left, as well as a number of other problems that would be beginning to demand your attention.

If this relentless erosion of your Bohrium stash seems unfair, keep in mind that other Bohrium isotopes have half-lives of, say, 8 milliseconds. If your pound of Bohrium was composed of that isotope, after a single second you would be down to 1/42,535,296,000,000,008,192,304,928,032,936,392,744 of a pound, which is to say 1/2,658,456,000,000,000,512,144,808,752,496,712,984 of an ounce, of Bohrium. At that point you would have (mostly) a pound of Dubnium that was itself rapidly shedding protons on its way back down to a lesser state of fakiness.

Lest this little thought experiment cause confusion, I should clarify that all of the Transfermium Working Groups in all the physics labs in the world, put together, have never produced anything even remotely resembling a meaningful fraction of a pound of Bohrium.

The Centerfold!

And by the way, it's not like Bohrium, Element 107, is the fakiest of the elements. They've synthesized them all the way up to Element 118, and indeed one of the ways than Bohrium has manifested itself is as part of the stepping-down process from even fakier Elements such as Meitnerium (#109) and Darmstadtium (#110). (And even more by the way: if you are used to #112, Copernicium, being the highest-numbered named element, then you missed the party this May when Flerovium (#114) and Livermorium (#116) were given their wings by the IUPAC/IUPAP boys.)

By modeling and extrapolating from real elements, it is both possible and diverting to predict what chemical properties a fakey element would have, if it existed, and what chemical reactions it could undergo. In this enterprising spirit, at least one team has brewed up a batch of Bohrium and then exposed it to chlorous acid. I picture guys in white coats muttering "come on Come On COME ON!!!" as they pour the acid onto the Bohrium, knowing that the Bohrium is decaying into not-Bohrium like sand slipping through their fingers. But they brought their chemicals together in time, and were able to create and detect a compound: bohrium oxychloride, which was apparently a lot like rhenium oxychloride, only much, much, much more expensive. It's interesting, don't you think, that even when pushed into fairly contrived configurations, the stuff of matter seems to still play according to a relatively succinct rulebook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Infinite Art Tournament, Round Three: Botticelli v. Boyd!

Sandro Botticelli
1445 - 1510

Beat Colombian Fernando Botero in an amazing come-from-behind victory in Round 1
Made short work of 18th century France's François Boucher in Round 2.

Arthur Boyd
1920 - 1999

Defeated 15th Century Netherlandish master Dieric Bouts in Round 1.
Snuck by spider-woman Louise Bourgeois by a single vote in Round 2. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Jazz Thing, Round One: John Coltrane v. Warren Vache and Bill Charlap

The Jazz Thing, Round 1 (40 Word/Album Limit)

#1 John Coltrane – "A Love Supreme."  (1964)  v.  #113 Warren Vaché/Bill Charlap  – "2gether." (2000)

Well the Vache & Charlap is a very pleasant record of what I’ve seen called “chamber jazz” – a piano and muted trumpet making music that is maybe more about invoking a mood than about commanding one’s full attention. Quite likeable.


What did you think? I’d toss out the legendary A Love Supreme in the first round? Nah. What the Coltrane lacks in immediate accessibility, it clearly makes up for in musical depth and rigor. Love the last track/movement!

A Love Supreme defeats 2gether.

This completes the first round for the first (out of sixteen) set of eight.  Contest "A1" is going to be a collision of great magnitude, but it will be a long time before we have to worry about that.

Stay cool, jazzcats.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round 1: Claesz v. Claude Lorraine

Pieter Claesz
1590 - 1661


Claude Lorraine
1600 - 1682
French; worked in Rome


Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Saint of the Month: Saint Stephen of Hungary!

St. Stephen of Hungary

AKA: Istvan, Vaik (birthname)
Feast Day: There seems to be a consensus on August 16; however, the Catholic Encyclopedia says September 2 except in Hungary, where it’s August 20. *

Really Existed? Definitely.
Timeframe: c. 975 - 1038.
Place: Hungary.

Credentials: Canonized by Gregory VII in 1083.
Martyrdom: None.

Patron Saint of: Hungary.
Symbolism: “In art,” says one source, “Saint Stephen is dressed in royal regalia with a sword and banner of the cross. He may also be shown (1) offering the regalia to the Virgin; (2) on horseback; (3) with his son, Saint Emeric; (4) holding a church in his hand; or (5) holding a standard with the figure of the Blessed Virgin on it.” Since all of these except the unhelpful point (3) are very common saintly postures, however, they are unlikely to be of much help in identification.

Everybody who knows the first thing about Hungarian history, which is to say Hungarians, knows that the Magyar peoples coalesced into a more or less unified polity in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. Originally from the eastern part of the modern Russian heartland, they became the dominant power in the Carpathian Basin under Árpád, a leader sometimes referred to as a “Duke” in the English-language literature. A few Dukes later came Géza, a Christian convert who actively sought ties with Rome and Western Europe. When Géza died, control of Hungary was contested between his non-Christian brother Koppány and his Christian son Stephen. Stephen won, consolidated royal power and the emerging Hungarian state, and introduced a feudal system of government, frowned on today but reasonably progressive 1000 years ago.

I have mentioned before that much internet hagiography is taken more or less verbatim from nineteenth century lives of the saints. Sometimes that results in coverage that is extremely learned but fairly turgid to wade through. Other times, it’s not very learned at all, and indeed can at times seem absurdly naïve. Here’s a case in point:
When he was fifteen years old, his father gave him the commandment of his armies, seeing his virtue and Christian ardor. Already Stephen was beginning to root out idolatry and transform the pagan customs still existing among the people. At twenty years of age, he succeeded his good father, who died in 997. He suppressed a rebellion of his pagan subjects, and founded monasteries and churches all over the land. He sent to Pope Sylvester, begging him to appoint bishops to the eleven sees he had endowed, and to bestow on him, for the greater success of his work, the title of king. The Pope granted his requests, and sent him a cross to be borne before him, saying that he regarded him as the true apostle of his people.
Now, I’m happy to report that most of the major saint sites are a little more nuanced in their take on all this. There is clearly some discomfort that such a high-profile saint – for all his importance, apparent sincerity of belief, and personal piety – isn't a little more compatible with our contemporary notions of basic human rights. After all, “rooting out idolatry” and “suppressing a rebellion of pagan subjects” are two ways of saying “killing people who don’t agree with you.” And probably the reason they don’t agree with you is because you are “transforming the pagan customs still existing among the people,” which is to say subjecting them to the humiliation of having to say and do things they find objectionable out of fear for their lives and property.  Inviting in foreign missionaries to speed up the conversion may not have played too well in the villages either.

Having established a pretty good public cash flow, Stephen was indeed able to endow those religious institutions, at least one of which is still in good working order. The above account is at pains to claim that Stephen didn't only supervise the ecclesiastical division of his kingdom, but begged Pope Sylvester II to choose the bishops. Later in the account, we’re told that
When Saint Stephen was about to die, he summoned the bishops and nobles, and told them to choose his successor. He urged them to nurture and cherish the Catholic Church, which was still a tender plant in Hungary, to follow justice, humility, and charity, to be obedient to the laws, and to show at all times a reverent submission to the Holy See.
From the perspective of Rome, then, Stephen was a profoundly Good secular ruler – not only did he advocate Church control of the appointment of bishops, but even brought the bishops in on selection of a new king! But you don’t have to be especially cynical to note a bit of quid pro quo going on behind his “reverent submission to the Holy See.” It was the Holy See, after all, that credentialed his elevation to kingship, thus hugely enhancing his personal and political credibility within Europe and essentially granting Hungary independence from the Holy Roman Empire. For this kind of endorsement, letting someone else pick your bishops would have been a small price to pay.

Well, that’s life in the Middle Ages for you. Hungarians traditionally admire Saint Stephen as one of the fathers of their nation, and indeed who’s to say that aggregate human happiness wasn’t, in balance, greatly increased by this capable, effective, and by all extant accounts well-intended statesman. “His incorrupt right hand,” says the Catholic Encylopedia, with that venerable work’s trademark straight-faced delivery, “is treasured as the most sacred relic in Hungary.”

* This apparently has to do with a reorganization of the Calendar of the Saints after Vatican II.  I'm going to need to learn more about that if I'm going to grow as an amateur hagiographer.