Yes, it's my birthday; it's still not too late to send gifts.
Not the best birthday ever, as I seem to have gotten my turn with the same virus that took down Mrs. WWR and Fiona a couple of weeks ago. It started yesterday lunchtime and by mid-afternoon I felt like a railyard water tower, but without the locomotives passing below me. Twenty-hours of bedrest later and I'm back in the office workin' away.
Also, my car is now making a "shing-shing-shing" sound in time with the engine... that can't be good. Loose belt? It goes away once the car's been running at highway speed. Anyone got any ideas?
Anyway, yeah, it's my birthday - I think I'll spend tonight at home on the sofa, convalescing.
You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
(h/t Aerial Bard)
Hey, if anyone knows of a radio station streaming the Alabama game online today, please let me know. I can't seem to find any and this makes me very sad, so very sad indeed.
Though the Bible does not give a detailed physical description of Jesus Christ, some people believe they're seeing an image of the Son of God on a silver maple tree in upstate New York.You'd also not only be wrong, but completely off-your-ass bonkers.
(h/t to Tainted Bill)
George Takei, better known as Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek series, has come out of the closet.
This, of course, is about as surprising as discovering he wasn't actually traveling among the stars.
He does make a good point about how far acceptance of homosexuality has come:
"The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay," he said. "The issue of gay marriage is now a political issue. That would have been unthinkable when I was young."It's still unthinkable to some, but I figure those folks are going to be on the losing side when the history of this period is written.
Update: OK, looks like the Romulans have replaced Laurence Simon with a defective clone. What else could explain him saying something like this?
Folks, I have one word of advice: be yourself. If you look in the mirror and don't see yourself, fix that.Folks, if you suddenly see me praising Jesus with a joyful heart on this blog, shoot me, because I too have been replaced. Be warned: they walk among us.
If enough people are themselves, maybe those who are most uncomfortable with you as yourself will finally have the courage to stop displacing their discomfort with who they really are upon you.
* You're probably aware that James Doohan, "Scotty," was not Scottish, but did you know that Nichelle Nichols, who played "Uhura," was actually a white man? Or that Leonard Nimoy had his foreskin removed and recycled to create his pointy Vulcan ears? You can't make this stuff up, you know.
OK, technically, this was a comment, but Movabletype e-mails me all the comments, so there you go. In response to this post:
This is Leslie. I happen to be the daughter of Sylvia*. I am just suprised that you people would waste your time arguing and degrading people. Maybe after what my mother told you, you will find God and realize that what she has told you is the truth. I don't know what this world is coming to. When I was in school you had the freedom to believe what you wanted to. Know they are making students do reports on evolution(which is false). The worst part is if they don't do it they fail. The Rapture is coming very soon. I mean look at the things that are happening in the world right now. All the hurricanes and earthquakes and the crazy weather. All these things are happening because the Rapture is very close. God is coming for his people very soon. Do you know where you are going? One more thing, I also believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything on this Earth. Maybe when you find God you too will reallize that. You really need to grow up and learn some respect. GOD BLESS!!In addition to a desperate need for a few lessons in formatting one's writing for clarity, I think Leslie is - well - just kind of nuts**.
P.S. Leslie, I don't think Jesus would approve of your e-mail address "firstname.lastname@example.org." Do you?
* Sylvia, Leslie's mother, previously posted a god-shaped run-on sentence for our edification.
** The apple, as they say, doesn't fall far from the tree.
Governments around the world expressed shock and scorn Thursday at the Iranian president's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map," and several summoned Tehran's envoys in their capitals for a reprimand.I could be wrong, so very mistaken, but I seem to remember a speech someone gave a few years back describing Iran as part of an "axis of evil." I wonder where he got that nutty idea.
I'm sure the Iranian leadership is quaking in fear at the knowledge that the UN might wag a reproachful finger their way, possibly even adding a "tsk tsk" and a "tut tut" to the digital disapproval.
I imagine they'll offer some kind of "well, what we really meant is..." excuse, the UN General Assembly will breathe a sigh of relief at not having to do anything meaningful in response, and the Iranians can get back to their "peaceful" nuclear ambitions (alas, they think peace will come when Israel is wiped off the map, preferably in a mushroom cloud).
Oh, I'm sorry, was there a World Series going on or something?
This show has all the excitement of wondering if your souffle will collapse.
Vodkapundit draws them out from their dark caves of intellectual vacuity. As an extra-super bonus, you even get one cutting and pasting directly from his Creationist Talking Points memo, claiming that evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
I often wonder how people can be so damnably ignorant, but then I realize a lot of them find Pascal's Wager pretty convincing too.
God help us.*
Update: Bill Quick chimes in as well.
* Figure of speech. Don't be stupid.
If you find yourself with a few minutes of free time, why not click on over to this map and let the universe of WWR readers* know where you're from? Use the "add yourself" link to the right of the map to put a pushpin on it... as well as a link to your own site, or perhaps some words of undying praise for me. Up to you.
I promise to use the map only for good, not for evil. I will not use it to target my religious readers during the coming revolution (hell, we haven't even gotten around to building the wall to put you up against - sleep easy).
(found via PZ Myers)
* All 7-10 of you regular folks.
I suspect Aubrey de Grey is rather overly-optimistic, but a thousand cheers (one for each year of life) if he's on to something.
The 42-year-old English biogerontologist has made his name by claiming that some people alive right now could live for 1,000 years or longer. Maybe much longer. Growing old is not, in his view, an inevitable consequence of the human condition; rather, it is the result of accumulated damage at the cellular and molecular levels that medical advances will soon be able to prevent — or even reverse — allowing people to go on living pretty much indefinitely. We'll still have to worry about angry bears and falling pianos, but aging, the biggest killer of all, will cease to be a threat. Death, as we know it, will die.When this topic comes up in the blogosphere, there always seems to be a group of people who ask questions such as "Who wants to live that long?"
The answer: "I do."
I can't even begin to understand generally healthy and happy people who look at their four-score lifespan and think "It can't be over soon enough!" Hey, if you want to slip into your dirt and worm jimmy-jams and go gentle into that good night, be my guest, but don't ruin the party for those of us who feel differently.
I'll take a thousand and a thousand more.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe the rest of the world lives in a Bizarro Dimension right out of the Superfriends.
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey -- A Turkish court has fined 20 people for using the letters Q and W on placards at a Kurdish new year celebration, under a law that bans use of characters not in the Turkish alphabet, rights campaigners said.Why, that eliminates a full 18 points from Scrabble, which makes the Turkish version a lot less interesting.
Obligatory Mocking of the French Blast from the Past: Silly defenders of the French language! Don't get me wrong. French is ok, if you like that sort of thing.
It's certainly better than Portuguese.*.
In the comments to the post linked above, I suggested that RWS check out David Maine's books The Preservationist and Fallen, each of which take Biblical stories and bring them to life. I said that, unlike the mythical stories of the Bible, they made the characters human, with their own tragic flaws and shining moments.
Maybe they aren't "mythical" because neither are the ones you mentioned. They [the Bible stories] tell a story, relay a lesson. Tell us who we are.Tell a story. Relay a lesson. Tell us who we are.
Uh, darlin', that's the definition of myth.
Looks like I'm adding the concept of myth to the list of things that right-wing Christians don't understand (alongside "evolution" and "anything non-missionary position").
Somebody get this guy a blog! ASAP!
OK, this will affect a lot more of you than the "definately" and "lose/loose" episodes, but work with me....
Don't you hate it when people say something like "I'm going to try and (insert verb indicating that which they will attempt)?"
You don't try and do something. Well, I suppose you could, if the sentence prior to that one indicated some action of which you were unsure. However, we all know that's not what you meant.
No, no, good people, you try to do something.
Incorrect: I'm going to try and use better grammar.
Correct: I'm going to try to use better grammar.
Keep it up and I'll definately loose my patients!
Wow, Dr. Behe, that's some science you've got there. By conducting a simulation that limited evolutionary pathways of development, it was inferred that a specific change could occur in only 20,000 years (and with a limited population at that).
If this is the "science" that is going to topple evolution, I don't think we have much to worry about. Well, ok, we might, because most Americans are rabidly ignorant of the topic (hell, a third of them believe astrology actually might have something to it).
However, let's be optimistic.
Alabama takes down the Tennessee Volunteers with a score of 6-3 with a last minute field goal.
Just so you know.
Disgusting, the lot of them (well, except for Senator Tom Coburn).
I wonder... do you think Katie's uterus will twitch when the Thetan slips in?
So, so pretty - and so, so dumb.
It would appear that evil, secular atheists have taken over the editorial board at The Christian Science Monitor:
But the Dover school board's argument that intelligent design is science, not religion, is found wanting. The statement for students seems to fault evolution for being a "theory." Yet a theory involves considerable evidence toward an accepted principle. As an explanation for biological life, evolution is gathering ever more evidence. Intelligent design is still a hypothesis, and vulnerable by its lack of evidence.And, also, because religion is just kind of silly.
And one has to wonder how far removed creationism is from the Dover case. The recommended book on intelligent design had references to creationism replaced before publication. Initially, the board discussed teaching creationism. And while intelligent design itself doesn't credit God as the designer, a key defense witness did.
Let's remind ourselves why such a whiff of religion, even an unnamed cosmic designer, is best left out of public schools. A school board with power to teach one person's religion also has power to deny it, and teach someone else's.
Anyone else using Last.FM for their music-listening pleasure?
If not, why not? It's quite cool. With the AudioScrobbler plugin for WinAmp (and other players I guess), it tells them what MP3 files you listen to and builds a profile of your tastes (or you can stream their stations and rate songs, building a profile that way). Based on that info, it creates a "neighborhood" of people who listen to similar stuff, so perhaps you can dig through their charts and find new songs.
All of that is free.
If you want to pay a few bucks per month, it'll take all of the above and create personal stations for you to tune into on the net - and from what I can hear, the quality is pretty damn good. I think I'll be subscribing.
You can see my charts here.
A new survey finds that many Americans are superstitious, ignorant, or a terrible combination of the two:
In the poll, 53 percent of adults say "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it." Another 31 percent believe humans "evolved over millions of years from other forms of life and God guided" the process. Twelve percent say humans "have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life, but God has no part."I'm actually surprised by the 12% that believe in naturalistic evolution. I expected it to be lower, so maybe there's hope for us yet. Maybe.
The ID-ass-kissing article continues:
"Nobody starts out as a Darwinian evolutionist," said William Dembski, professor of science and theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and the author of "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design.""Nobody starts out as an Einsteinian physicist," said William Dembski, professor of nonsense and stupidity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
"You start out with a wonder of creation, thinking that there's something beyond it. And then it has to be explained to you why there really is no wonder behind it."
Creationists and ID folks, tell me, honestly: do such meaningless soundbites actually seem convincing to you? Is your thinking that shallow?
Reflecting the argument Paul makes in Romans 1, Dembski said the "beauty" and the "extravagance" of creation -- the "beautiful sunsets, flowers and butterflies" -- points to the existence of a creator.I wonder what the existence of famine and pestilence points to? Or, say, microencephaly... flesh-eating disease... teratocarcinoma... fetus in fetu... all the brutal horrors of the universe that indicate that, if there is a designer, he's one mean dude, more deserving of the middle finger than mindless praise.
"Unless you're really indoctrinated into an atheistic mindset, I think [the beauty of creation] is going to keep tugging at our hearts and minds," he said.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called the Gallup poll findings "incredible" and said they should be "encouraging" to conservative Christians.Yes, in much the same way that reading the typical internet message board makes high school English teachers depressed.
"Virtually every American adult has had high school biology, and in high school biology they were taught as a fact that human beings evolved from simple life forms according to the Darwinian theory of evolution," Land said on his radio program, “Richard Land Live!” Oct. 15. "This [poll] must make high school biology teachers really depressed."
Americans, Dembski said, often try to take a middle road by believing God guided evolution. Nevertheless, he said, the poll numbers are promising for Intelligent Design proponents who are making their case in the public square.Indeed, rather than in the scientific community, where they know their idiocy doesn't stand a chance.
Being popular in the public square doesn't mean ID is a valid concept any more than Family Matters and Full House being on the air for so long means they were good television shows.
When the term "creationism" got slapped down by the Courts, its proponents quickly updated their "text book" Of Pandas and People, replacing each instance of "creationism" with the words "intelligent design." This, of course, shows them as the dishonest theo-hacks they are, and makes the same of every rube who dares to claim that the two are somehow different.
Well, it looks like if they get their evolution-designed rears handed to them in Dover, they'll be updating again:
The folks who brought us "Of Pandas and People," a volume of intelligent design creationism gospel, are busy at work on Pandas 3.0.I certainly won't.
And by busy at work, I mean they dusted off the old "find and replace" function of their word processing program....
And now the newest edition, to be titled "The Design of Life," a draft of which was previewed Wednesday during Day 12 of the Dover Panda Trial, includes this sentence: "Sudden appearance means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact — fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, and mammals with fur and mammary glands, etc."
Now, you could conclude that the good folks who brought us "Of Pandas and People" made the adjustment to reflect exciting new developments in the area of mammary glands. Or maybe the intelligent-design movement has reached an age where it has just discovered mammary glands. It's hard to say.
And besides, who's going to object to mammary glands?
But, seriously, "sudden appearance?" It won't be long before they have to admit that their nonsense is no better than Last Thursdayism.
I wish people would stop writing "loose" when they mean "lose."
You don't "loose" your virginity. However, if you do, keep it away from me, as I'm quite happy having given up mine years and years ago.
You don't "loose" your way, unless I'm not privy to some secret meaning of "way." Is that what you kids today call your pee-pee?
In normal situations (and/or polite society), you would "lose" both of the above.
So, let's recap, shall we?
Got it? Good. Now stop making yourself look silly.
Note the first: You can find the first installment here.
Note the second: I really should call this "You're attention, please."
OK, everyone, we're all home now. The doctors think the baby freaking out was due to the virus (either due to the stress it put on Mrs. WWR or perhaps it was one of those that can cross the placental barrier), but it all seems to have passed now. Mrs. WWR's body had been gearing up to get the wee one out of there, but they were able to halt that as well.
So, we seem to be ok for the time being, although we have a laundry list of things to look for between now and delivery day.
Thanks again for all of your kind words and support. I know some people think I'm an asshole - and, well, I certainly can be - but believe me when I say it meant a lot to us.
That out of the way, let's go pick on some dumb people.
Well, the situation with the unborn one is a bit ... vague... at the moment. On a happy note, the baby has turned and is no longer breech. On a not so happy note, the doctor is concerned about the variability of the heart rate and is consulting with the high-risk pregnancy unit right now. It could be nothing; it could be the baby grabbing onto the umbilical cord; or it could be as serious as the cord being around the baby's neck. Not the kind of thing an expectant father wants to hear.
At a minimum, they say Mrs. WWR will be in hospital for another night of observation. It could be a few days if they feel the need. Or it could be a c-section earlier than planned, and my child will enter the world at 34 weeks of development.
I'm a bit nervous at the moment, quite unsure what to do or think or how to react. I just want my wife and child to be ok.
And now I'm going to go have a beer.
Update: OK, fine, so it was more than "a beer."
But I'm back, having made a couple of visits to the hospital, gone to dinner with wee Fiona, and have just put her to bed for the night. They're keeping Mrs. WWR overnight to observe the baby. They want to, from what I can understand, find out why they are getting funky (honestly, that's a medical term) readings every now and then on the baby's heartrate.
Since they haven't rushed into surgery to extract the new wee one, I'm assuming it's not a cord around the neck, so that's good news (you know, if I'm right).
I'm going to have an early night, retire to bed with a book, and see you good folks in the morning. A million thanks for your thoughts, well-wishes, and even your prayers (because, hey, you mean well).
Update 2: Well, I thought we were getting discharged today, but apparently not. The baby did fine through the night but had one more abnormal heartrate this morning, so they still want to get to the bottom of what is causing it (leading theory right now seems to be the baby is playing with the umbilical cord). Having seen and cut an umbilical cord, I can tell you it's really not something you'd want to make a toy from.
Also, Mrs. WWR is still having minor contractions, something they're calling uterine irritation, so they want to make sure that doesn't grow into pre-term labor while we're home.
Looks like it'll be another night at the hospital for her and the unborn wee one. Yay fun.
I'm off to get my first shower since Monday 5am.
More RINO sightings for your reading pleasure. Clicky clicky.
Could there possibly be a more enjoyable way to spend a night than with your wife... in the hospital... because she got the same stomach bug the wee Fiona had on Saturday... and got dehydrated... and started having contractions... so you had to go to Labor & Delivery at 2:30am so they could put a stop to things... and now it's 8:40am, and you're sitting on a sofa with your laptop while the wife is drifting in and out of consciousness from the anti-nausea meds?
Yes, I'm quite sure there is.
Update: Well, I had hoped we'd be getting out of here by an hour or so ago, but no such luck. Mrs. WWR is doing much better, but they want to monitor the baby's hearbeat some more. I'm not a doctor, but from some quick Googling, it seems that the combination of the virus and the contractions might have slowed down bloodflow to the baby, depressing the heart rate.
I've no idea if that's serious or if they are just being safe. They've got Mrs. WWR on oxygen to help the future tyke out. Wish us well.
Behe, whose work includes a 1996 best-seller called "Darwin's Black Box," said students should be taught evolution because it's widely used in science and that "any well-educated student should understand it."When it was pointed out to him that his entire base of argumentation was little more than personal incredulity and a poorly-constructed argument from first causes that resolves absolutely nothing, he reportedly said "Well, yeah, but I've got faith. Duh!"
Behe, however, argues that evolution cannot fully explain the biological complexities of life, suggesting the work of an intelligent force.
The intelligent design theory does not name the designer, although Behe, a Roman Catholic, testified he personally believes it to be God.When asked if this might color the way he conducts his research, he replied: "Hey, science is about evidence, and whenever I find evidence that fits with what I think, I just add one more piece to my tiny little puzzle. If it doesn't fit, it obviously belongs to a different puzzle, so what do I care? Science, man."
"I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors," he said.
Behe contributed to "Of Pandas and People," writing a section about blood-clotting. He told a federal judge Monday that in the book, he made a scientific argument that blood-clotting "is poorly explained by Darwinian processes but well explained by design."When asked to explain hemophilia, a disease in which blood fails to clot, he reportedly said, "Hey, no one said the intelligent designer was perfect."
When it was then pointed out that he believes the designer to be the perfect God of Christianity, Behe replied "Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways."
Behe, a victim of his own twisted incoherence and vacuous cranium, imploded and collapsed into a percolating heap of jiggling goo.
Stephen Colbert, he of The Daily Show correspondent fame, is getting his own show on Comedy Central:
Now his No-Fact Zone has expanded into a half-hour spinoff, "The Colbert Report." It will air Mondays through Thursdays at 11:30 p.m. EDT, right after "The Daily Show," starting Monday.That's good news (assuming they can parlay amusing skits into amusing half-hours), but I also enjoyed this quote from the article:
"My character is self-important, poorly informed, well-intentioned but an idiot," Colbert explains. "So we said, 'Let's give him a promotion.' "
"In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant," marvels Colbert. "One of our mottoes on the show is, 'Keep your facts -- I'm going with the truth.' "Colbert's character would make a fine creationist, no? Perhaps the Discovery Institute will sponsor the show.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you're driving down the road, taking in the change of seasons - the gold and orange and crimson leaves, the snow-capped mountains majestic in the distance - , with just the right music playing on the stereo and you breathe in and realize yes, yes, life is good!?
Well, trust me, and don't get too attached to the feeling. It'll go away as soon as you get back to the office.
* I also think the world might be a better place if guitar-maker Epiphone pronounced their name this way.
No, more like "emptying out the toddler from both ends."
It's been a long evening here at WWR Global HQ, as the wee Fiona has picked up a bug of some sort with less than pleasant effects. On the bright side, I got to steam clean the family room carpet. Twice. It's ok, though; it needed it.
I'd love to blog more for you, but with Mrs. WWR almost 8 mos. preggers, she's out of the running as sicky-time caregiver tonight. So, back to the poopypuke trenches for me.
Leave exorcism to the experts, warns ChurchSounds to me more like possession by your typical high school student.
A far cry from sorcerers, satanists and other practitioners whom he dismisses as "charlatans," Italian exorcist Andrea Gemma fights the devil only with the strength of his prayers and advises Catholics: 'Don't do this at home".
Asked about his method of discerning real cases of possession from other psychological illnesses, the priest revealed his "secret weapon":
"If I speak Latin, the demon responds to me in Latin. He has a horror of that language."
Related, but unreported, Shirley Maclaine has asked that we leave harmonization of chakras and integration of past life memories to the hucksters of her religion.
Is Intelligent Design just creationism with a new moniker?
Has anyone else noticed that taking NyQuil before going to bed, perhaps especially after a beer or glass of wine or what have you, leads to some truly weird dreams? I've noticed that it seems to make my dreams both more intense and also increases my lucidity within the dream - and I remember them more vividly when morning comes.
This just came to mind, as - with the approach of NaNoWriMo - I've been sifting story ideas in my head, and a prominent one comes from a NyQuil-induced dream, one I had months ago, but that was "real" enough to stick with me clearly to this day. I suppose blood and guts and evil will do that.
So, uh, yeah - NyQuil. Anyone else notice that?
Anyone want to experiment and get back to me on it?
Hard to believe (for me anyway), but I had never heard of one particular act of domestic sabotage: fifty years ago next month, United Flight 629 was brought down near Longmont, Colorado by a timer-based bomb.
And yet the next one will still surprise some of us.
I am large. I contain multitudes.
I'm not sure what else can explain the two CDs I got from the library today:
Give us a hug now.
Even if they can't cook, because, hey, I'm kind of kick ass at that.
Quantum physics... not so much (well, I'm quite the layman, so to speak).
Karmic Balance Update: I also dig women who tend bar.
If you're ever in a bar, surfing without a wire, and - when you try to reach your own blog - you get a message telling you it is blocked (courtesy of whatever dumb net nanny program the bar is running, for whatever dumb reason a bar would run one), then let Google Secure Access be your light in a world of censory-deprivation.
So, uh, any of you folks going to do National Novel Writing Month this year?
I'm considering it, as is the effervescent and leptodactylous Zombyboy. I've had a go at it (NaNo, not Zomby) in the past and came up with a few thousand words that never went anywhere, so that's something I guess (if we're judging on the Dennis Kucinich Presidential Campaign Scale).
Maybe this year will be different. And better. And more gooder too.
Zomby and I are probably going to resurrect the Blovel site and, I suspect, that would mean inviting Trackback pings from other blog-o-rific-o-rama participants and participles, dangling or otherwise.
Additionally, we'd like to get some of you local writer-types to join us at one of our watering holes for weekly piss-up-and-prose gatherings. A lot of NaNo folks seem to think that coffee is the ideal fuel for writing; we think they're probably not 21**.
So, what say you?
* Post title taken from Kiwi Tony's now-defunct blog, which he really needs to start up again, which was a play on some Batman thing, in case you couldn't tell.
** Or really lame, because everyone knows that drinking makes you cool. Especially when it comes to dancing. Or picking up chicks.
We're back home, some 12 hours after beginning our journey (a drive to Atlanta, a delayed flight, 30 minutes of Fiona screaming, then the drive home from DIA).
Extra-special superdy-duperdy thanks to the guest bloggers for keeping things rolling along here at the WWR.
I'm off to bed. See you tomorrow.
I could not have chosen a better game to attend. It was incredible. Cal outranked UCLA and both teams were 4-0. The Bruins pulled it off, 47-40. Incredible interception by UCLA with four minutes or so left in the game. They were down by 14 and came back to win it. The fans were crazy. They made for some very interesting people watching and I was sort of amazed at how perfect strangers would high-five and hug each other. When the game was over guys who didn't know each other were doing that hand shake then pull to the chest, but our arms are preventing us from really hugging thing. (There was one guy who my brother described as a "dork." He was generous. I was thinking more along the lines of "total f*****g idiot.")
So, yeah, I had a great time. And a SoCal team beating a NorCal team made it all the sweeter.
Today I will do two things I have never done before. Attend a college football game and tailgating.
It might seem odd that a guy with nine brothers, five of whom received athletic scholarships, has never been to a major college football game. I’ve just never been into sports. I’m an anomaly in my family. Even my sisters participated in sports and still enjoy watching them. There are two of us, actually. My little brother and I never got into sports in high school.
Anyway, my father called me at work on Thursday and said they were all going to the UCLA v. Cal game at the Rose Bowl and would I like to go? For Dad? Sure. Anything for Dad. (Well, almost anything.) Apparently my sister got hold of 20 tickets to the game so we could all go.
This should be an interesting day. Wish me luck.
The Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland have issued a document regarding the purpose of Sacred Scripture. Hint: It’s not intended to teach scientific truth.
“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.
They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.
The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”
Intended to teach spiritual truth, not intended to be a science text book or be the basis of a constitution for a state.
They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.
“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”
The Fundamentalist mentality has infiltrated some parts of the Catholic Church in America. I wish our bishops would quit quibbling about gender neutral language in hymns and other such nonsense and say something like this.
And something the evolutionist types among us will find heartening. (More after the jump.)
Gimme gimme more more more »
As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.
How all of this squares with Dei Verbum, which was written forty years ago during the Second Vatican Council, I’m not completely sure. In a quick re-reading of the document these two paragraphs stand out.
However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.
To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another.
« That's plenty, thanks!
For reasons inexplicable, my mother enjoys watching The Oprah Winfrey Show.
I have, much to my dismay, been required to sit in the same room while it is on. You see, my parents have dial-up internet and I have an inherent aversion to things from the technological stone age; however, two of their neighbors have a wireless broadband connection (both wide open with no security settings - not even a change to the admin password!). The downside is that I can only pick up the signals when I'm in the same room as the television.
So, yeah... Oprah.
Here's what I've learned:
I have overcome my irrational fear of stinkin' rich people, and I owe it all to Oprah! Thanks!
I wept to learn about how hard Uma had to work to keep her family afloat, wondering day to day just how long her millions upon millions of dollars would enable them to avoid the homeless shelter and a life of canned dog food.
I think if every single mother would just get to work on becoming a world-famous actress, their lives would be much easier. Thanks, Oprah!
Maybe the world is getting more secular after all. Over the pond in England, we find this story:
A CHRISTIAN charity is sending a film on the Christmas story to all 26,000 primary schools in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph named their baby after a swear word.
The Breakout Trust raised pound stg. 200,000 ($482,000) to make the 30-minute animated film It's a Boy, with the voices of Joe Pasquale, Cannon and Ball, and Steven Berkoff, and music from Sir Cliff Richard.
Now, not being super-familiar with British law, I'm left wondering if this could be somehow construed as a violation of church and state. Oh, wait, doesn't England have an official religion? I don't remember. It's too early for remembering.
The charity also has plans for a sequel video to be sent out next year, entitled "Jesus Was Not a Mexican."
I overhear a lot of stuff sitting in my cubicle (and you better believe I listen to every bit of it). This afternoon, taking a cue from Zombyboy, I post this little bit of conversation.
Public Works Guy 1 – You look good, man.
Public Works Guy 2 – Thanks.
Public Works Guy 1 – Not that I’m checking you out…
I have a confession to make.
I don't like Gwen Stefani. She bugs me
Ultimately, Moreno then used his good leg to speed away.
Police are seeking the public's help in locating Moreno. He is described as Latino, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds with salt-and pepper hair and a thick black mustache.
Oh, and he has one leg...
Everyone's favorite activist judge, Alabaman Roy Moore, has announced his campaign for governor. You may recall Moore' most recent flirtation with celebrity when he defied federal orders to remove a controversial Ten Commandments that he had installed in the rotunda of a public judicial building, and he was promptly removed from office.
Unfortunately, I'm not shocked by the news, because it's "Alabama" and the "Ten Commandments", two things that go together like "red" and "necks". Or "God" and "is not real". Or even "The Retropolitan" and "is being really mean to the South this morning."
I hate to try to predict the future or anything, but I can imagine a horrible downward trend in Alabaman politics if he gets his governorship. Mostly on account of this:
Moore, 58, said that if elected, he has no plans to relocate the Ten Commandments monument from its new home at a church in Gadsden.
"But I'll tell you what I will do. I will defend the right of every citizen of this state -- including judges, coaches, teachers, city, county and state officials -- to acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law, liberty and government," he said.
I love the first amendment, but since he's already made his real agenda clear by unconstitutionally installing religious monuments in public buildings and then refusing to remove them, I don't buy his main platform. Maybe he forgets that it's already legal to believe whatever you want, and that that means that not everyone wants to believe what he does. Even in Alabama.
Oh, wait, he's also campaigning to end annual tax reappraisals on property! Count me in, Mr. Moore!
Now let us pray.
If you thought Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were bad, just take a look at Typhoon Longwang.
BEIJING — Emergency workers found 50 bodies and were searching for dozens of people missing after Typhoon Longwang slammed into southeastern China and unleashed raging floods, state media reported Tuesday.Why, yes, I am turning 11 this year - why do you ask?
I'm still on vacation and have managed to achieve two of my unstated goals: eating a mess of BBQ and finding a good country-fried steak, washing both down with sweet tea. You gotta have goals, people... aspirations.
I've also learned that beer followed by shots of schnapps, mezcal, whisky, and four fingers of gin will make a man puke. Thankfully, that man wasn't me. I'm smarter than that.
OK, the blog doesn't look too messy and the liquor cabinet is still locked, so all appears well.
Get back to it.
Michael J. Totten has moved to Lebanon for the next eight months or so and he's posted a few great photos of some of the reconstruction that has taken place in Beirut. Also, go here and read the comments and see the political discussions going on among the Lebanese people who have begun reading his blog. It's all very interesting.
For instance, one comment reads: Some Lebanese think it's beneath them to use Arabic words. I, like Michael, would love to learn about the psychology behind that.
Free will is the modus operandi of destiny.
C.S. Lewis - Of Other Worlds: Essays, and Stories, "On Stories."
You didn't think Andy gave the keys to this place to just one person, did you? I'll also be helping tend the blog (as a departure from Tales to Astonish), making sure that all coverage of world events here is fair and balanced, inasmuch that I'm a left-leaning atheist.
Here are some other things that creationists hate:
-stubbing their toes
-the 'Seinfeld' finale
-when people walk slowly in the absolute center of the sidewalk
-burning their tongues on hot pizza
-forgetting to check the expiry date on milk while at the store, then getting home and realizing that they've only got a few days left to use the whole gallon
See? They're not so very much unlike the rest of us. Except that they're glowingly irrational.
If you could chose your “dream government” who would be on the list? BBC readers have chosen their top eleven. (Why they decided to list the “top eleven” rather than ten is beyond me.)
These are the people chosen to lead a fantasy world government. Brace yourself.
1 - Nelson Mandela
2 - Bill Clinton
3 - Dalai Lama
4 - Noam Chomsky (pictured)
5 - Alan Greenspan
6 - Bill Gates
7 - Steve Jobs
8 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
9 - Richard Branson
10 - George Soros
11 - Kofi Annan
I find it interesting that it’s a “world government” their talking about. My response to them would have been, “None of the above. I vote for no world government.”
This Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Story, Schools' chief vows to keep "intelligent design" out of California, has caused me to go somewhere I had hoped to avoid while guest blogging.
LOS ANGELES - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell vowed Wednesday to keep "intelligent design" out of California's classrooms, which he believes are not a place for religious beliefs.Agreed.
I am a Christian, but I oppose the teaching of “Creationism” in public schools for the same reasons I oppose prayer in public schools; even “a moment of quiet reflection” before class begins. I oppose them partly because of how I read the Establishment Clause. However, I also oppose “Creationist” instruction and prayer in public schools because I do not trust Fundamentalists to respect boundaries. I do not trust them to resist the temptation to indoctrinate children with their particular brand of Christianity. Things like a “moment of silence” before school and a “brief introduction into ‘other’ beliefs about the origins of the natural world” might work on paper, but my experience has taught me that it will not end there and there will be teachers who cross the line.
Just a quick check-in after watching the Crimson Tide spank the pants off of Florida. That was a great game, at least until Prothro's ankle went the floppy way of broken limbs and bones. Although, I must say that his strength of character was impressive, as was Brody Croyle's leadership for both his fallen teammate and his remaining players.
It's another day to be proud of the University of Alabama.
I'm on vacation. And beer, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, is still quite yummy.
That is all. God bless.