Beautiful tour of the Sistine Chapel (VR)

The Last Judgement - Behind the Altar in the Sistine Chapel - Michaelangelo - The Vatican

In some ways, viewing this VR image (zoom in to see incredible detail) is better than visiting in person, because you don't have to listen to constant shushing and be packed in a small space with more than a hundred other people!

The picture above was adjusted in Photoshop after a screen grab, and shows Michaelangelo's famous The Last Judgement.

The best part? It also works on the iPad. Check it out here: Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

More Christian Allegory in The Dark Knight Rises: Peter Foley and Sampietrini

There was a thought-provoking article by Catholic Veritas titled The Dark Knight Rises: Sacred Art. Most of the main characters, locations, and themes were related to similar Christian names, places, and themes, but one character left unexplored was Peter Foley, the deputy police commissioner who had a rather large role in the film, considering the number of other leading cast members.

I noticed, in watching the movie a second time, a certain scene where police are martyred by the main protagonist (to the words of "Shoot them. Shoot them all."), and the camera moves to a closeup of one of the police officers (Peter Foley), laying murdered in the street, in his dress attire.

Sampietrini Officer killed in the Dark Knight Rises

An observant person would notice a few things about this scene:

Pope Benedict XVI joins Twitter as @pontifex

While Pope Benedict has indirectly used Twitter and other forms of online media to promote the faith in the past, he has never had an account on any social network to which he (the royal he—the Papacy) has been personally connected.

Pope Benedict XVI signature on Twitter background

That's going to change as of December 12 (the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe), when he tweets from the new @pontifex account (available there and in other languages at @pontifex_[language code]). The announcement made Twitter's own blog, and is detailed a bit more in this post:

“In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated – as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.”

#CNMC11 Keynote: Seán Patrick Lovett

Sean Patrick Lovett

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:

Marconi & Vatican Radio

  • Nobel prize winner contacted by the Pope (Pius XI) to help with Vatican communications.
  • He was the inventor/innovator (Steve J.) of the early 1900s.
  • He helped Pius XI set up Vatican Radio (more than 80 years old).
    • VR broadcasts in 40 different languages.
  • VR continues because:
    • Courage and flexibility, no matter what!
    • Only radio station in the world that was denouncing the Nazi regime.
    • Shortwave, to medium wave, to satellite radio, to podcast, etc.
    • Collaborates with Vatican Television ( Live information, integration, etc.

Iconic Images

  • BXVI using iPad to send the first Papal Tweet.
  • JPII sending the first Apostolic Letter via a laptop.
  • "If the Pope can do it, so can we."

Rome from St. Peter's Dome (Cupola)

Rome from Copula of St. Peters Basilica

This is a panorama shot from the top of St. Peters Basilica in Rome (the Cupola is the Dome).

The image is 9611x2937, and if you view the original, you can see details down to some of the furthest buildings—such as the two small domes of St. Maria Maggiore, the dome of the Pantheon, the 'Wedding Cake' (Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II), and more! If you zoom in, you can also see the cars driving to and from St. Peter's Square.

I shot this image series on a stormy day in March with my Nikon D7000. I stitched the images together with Adobe Photoshop CS5.