Today's comic stems, believe it or not, from watching the Olympic balance beam competition. It's such an odd sport that I began wondering about its origins, so I turned to Google whereupon I discovered its use in physical education stems from about the mid-1800s when they used real tree trunks suspended off the ground, or even over rivers. By the 1930s it had more or less been civilized into the shape we're now familiar with. Simple as that.
Then Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci came along in the 1970s and the balance beam went high-tech with improved surfaces and passive suspensions. The better not to break their gymnastic little backs with.
As usual, Google refused to release my curious little mind. So once the balance beam mystery was solved I got to thinking about where the rite of baptism originated. Unfortunately, details for that was a bit more murky but I discovered that there are four distinct types of baptisms:
(1) Aspersion, which is the sprinkling of water on the head. (And, yes, I should have had our Pope-ish Pup wheedling on the guy's head but even I have my limits.)
(2) Affusion, which is the act of pouring of water over the head.
(3) Immersion, in which part or all of the body is immersed in water. This can be also accompanied by affusion.
(4) Submersion, which means the entire body is doused.
I was delighted to know about this because in the process I also learned that the many and varied Christian sects don't all employ the same method of baptism, meaning that most denominations are spinning their sacramental wheels. The practical upshot of which is that many of our pious brethren are going to arrive at the Pearly Gates expecting to graduate to the next level, only to discover they arrived short a required elective.
Saint Peter: "What do you mean he 'sprinkled' you? I specifically instructed that you must go in up to your knees!"
Hmm, I wonder which creed it is? Guess we'll just never know.