Thursday, December 29, 2005

Most Outrageous Statements of 2005

from Utne Web Watch:

The news in 2005 often resembled the Theater of the Absurd, and Media Matters was there to monitor the misinformation. To recap the year, the accuracy watchdog harvested the finest blustering from the likes of Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter. Among the pronouncements is this gem from Rush Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." [the story]

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

unweaving the rainbow




This book is on the top of my bookstack today. I got it for Christmas from my sister, who found it on my Amazon.com wishlist.


It continually intrigues me that people from all walks of life have something like spirituality, and yet someone who is proclaimed atheist refuses to identify with that term. There is a sense of wonder at the world (and universe) that goes across any philosophical boundaries.


I'm just in the middle of the first chapter, but the author starts right from the beginning describing this wonder with a very spiritual flair.


Perhaps there is a need for some sort of translation glossary of philosophical terms that, when used, could help with philosophical discussions?

It makes me think of the prologue from this book. In it, there is a description of spiritual leaders from all world religions shuffling to a common goal, and yet they are all afraid of each other.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

events of today

  1. went to an all-day soccer tournament; our son was part of the winningest team - yay! (of course they're ALL exhausted now, but the games sure were exciting)
  2. it's my grandfather's birthday; if he were alive, he'd be 98; here's to you, Grandpa: XOXOXO

summa theologica

This is the title of St. Thomas Aquinas' main publication, and the foundation of modern Roman Catholic thought. It was written in the 1200s.

How I ended up here:
Metanexus / Counterbalance / Science and the Spritual Quest / Theology of Providence / Thomism / Summa Theologica / Wikipedia / Summa Theologiae

I am curious at the basic tenents of Roman Catholicism, because Catholicism is the foundation of thought for the mainline Protestant denominations.

Where I would still like to go: go back to Science and the Spritual Quest, Theology of Providence, Just War and look at other links from those pages.

I'm pretty interested in Theology of Providence, because it seems to me to be highly related to the Holy Spirit, chi, soul, etc. The Science and the Spritual Quest link, I believe, provides more food for thought on the linkages between Science and Religion. Just War is intriguing to me because I am either an absolute pacifist or a near-absolute pacifist.

Monday, December 26, 2005

science vs religion: they don't have to be at odds

The article on page one of this newsletter provides one person's thoughts at how science and religion can be considered complementary to each other, and that it is fundamentalists on both sides who continue to embrace a schism.

How I got here: SciTech daily / Closer To The Truth / Resources / Metanexus / Newsletters

boogie better

My son took ballroom dance lessons this fall, with all of his classmates plus the next grade up and lots of students from other schools. They all got dressed up in suits (boys) and nice dresses and white gloves (girls). They learned etiquette of asking someone to dance, leading and following, how to sit, etc. He liked the dancing part, but hated the "dance with girls" part (he's still of the opinion, "girls - yuck!"). He and his friends found a loophole for touching the girls' backs where they would hover their hand somewhere behind their partners' backs. At one point my husband and I were even teasing him a little about how it may be hard to have them stay connected now, during 5th grade, but we'll have to pry them apart in 2-3 years. He didn't think it was very funny (gosh, I wonder why!).

Here's an article I just ran across, from SciTech daily, that I'm certain will not be too convincing to my son today, but may be when we're getting the crowbars out:

John Travolta knew what he was doing -- if you boogie better, you're more likely to be a babe magnet [the story]

Sunday, December 25, 2005

fido's first cell phone

from Wired:

A bone-shaped, slobber-proof cell phone for dogs will hit the market next year. Has the world gone barking mad? You'd be surprised by the bone-fide applications. [the story]

careful where you put that tree

from Wired:

Think you're doing the Earth a favor by planting a tree? Not so fast -- new research shows forest locations could make or break efforts to combat global warming. [the story]

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Alice in Wonderland?

gosh . . .

"Liking the story suggests femininity in a man; disliking it suggests masculinity in a woman." [the story]

Happiness Leads to Success

from Career Pro Weekly:

Which comes first: happiness or success? A new study suggests that a successful career doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Instead, researchers say that happy people are more likely to be successful in their careers. [the story]

Christmas poems

from Religion & Ethics Newsletter:

Some famous Christmas poems sound the paradoxical themes of light and darkness, sound and silence, innocence and experience, birth and death. Read the full story

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

dogma nightmare

Dogma is something that many people agree is not an acceptable form of spirituality. I've generally subscribed to that sentiment, but I had no idea to what extremes dogma could go. Here's an article that shows just how terrifying dogma can get.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas under siege?

Beliefnet.com posted a set of correspondances between a FoxNews guy and a "separation of church and state" guy. First of all, the posting seems biased because they posted the following:
  • long letter from FoxNews guy
  • long letter of response from "separation of church and state" guy
  • long letter from FoxNews guy, apparently being given the last word

On the related discussion board, I posted the following:

The idea that Christmas is "under siege" has less to do with religion than with politics.

It is about what lengths should be taken to ensure the separation of church and state.

More and more groups have become vocal over the last few decades, including, on one end of the holiday spectrum, "religious right", and, on the other end of the holiday spectrum, "atheists".

Note that these are the most vocal because they are at the extreme opposite points of view of the article. We don't hear so much about the moderate, quieter, viewpoints that are those of the vast majority of citizens.

demographics maps

the Census Bureau now has maps that will show census demographic data mapped out on a street map.
real estate companies also have maps that show additional statistics on schools, weather, and other community information.

old posts of mine on maps

Friday, December 16, 2005

nya nya

wikipedia is as accurate as britannca!

the nature of God

In an earlier post, I repeated the old phrase, "God is." There's a prophet in the Bible, maybe Moses, who asks God who He/It is. And God says, "Be still and know that I am."

That's a statement that I think about a lot, when considering my beliefs. When I get down to the most basic, fundamental thoughts of things, where a father-figure God does not fit, I think about all things we know, thanks to science. And I get to thinking, it's all just God. It's redefining what God is. It's redefining what Is is. All that is, is God. No sentimentality attached. The Bible even states such stuff as little nuggets of hard-to-think-about wisdom here and there.

So, anyway, I looked on Yahoo for "God is". One article I came upon that I started reading, but am not yet finished with is this. Very often I find that, if I dig a littler deeper into serious Catholic theology, it also has good nuggets of wisdom that I can gleen. Not that I subscribe to all of it, and would not even hint that I am actually a Catholic, but they are so rich in research, it would behoove any serious thinker to look into what they've found.

early brits

I think that science thought that "early humans" didn't live in the British Isles. Here's a story that ends that thought. Apparently, way back when, they weren't islands, and that's how animals (& early humans) got there. It was a bit far north, but it seems that they moved during a "warm period" in earth's history.


from SciTech Daily:

Early humans were living in Britain around 200,000 years earlier than thought [the story]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

evolution vs design

This article features an interview between a Beliefnet.com staff writer and Richard Dawkins, leading evolutionary biologist and atheist. In addition to the article, there is an open discussion board next to it.

I have participated in the Beliefnet.com discussions in the past, but don't think I will on this one. What I've found is that a few very vocal yet not very enlightened people dominate the discussion. It is not the best forum for thoughtful discussion.

But anyway, I find the interview interesting, and also want to check out some of the links that have been placed here and there along it.

As for me, I believe in evolution. As for God, God just Is.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

philosophy & quantum mechanics

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Albert Einstein saw more deeply into quantum mechanics than many of its ardent defenders. His interest was philosophical, to be sure, but it was not senseless... more»

Newton’s laws can be derived from general relativity. So why not derive classical mechanics from quantum mechanics?... more»

Friday, December 09, 2005

smacked

I got smacked. Gosh, it's good I'm not looking to them for validation ;-)

Einstein's God

from :

Einstein's God [Web Site Listen Online]

With physicists Freeman Dyson and Paul Davies, and through the words of Albert Einstein himself, we explore Einstein’s way of thinking about mystery, eternity, and the mind of God. [the story]

use case whitepaper

from Methods & Tools:

Use Cases as a Requirements Management Technique

The body of knowledge surrounding use cases is so large that it can be intimidating to the uninitiated. One of the barriers to successful adoptionof use cases is navigating this abundance of information. Learn about the benefits of use cases as well as two best practices for deploying use cases as a requirements management technique. Download your copy of the white paper:"Use Cases: Background, Best Practices and Benefits"

Why do we nod our heads for "yes" and shake them for "no"?

from The Straight Dope:

Dear Cecil:
Why do we nod our heads for "yes" and shake them for "no," instead of the other way around? Are there any peoples who reverse the gestures? --Have to Know, Chicago

Cecil replies:
Believe it or not, H., some people think this is a silly question. Little do they know. No less a personage than Charles Darwin looked into it and wrote up his findings in a book called The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Darwin was interested in finding out whether there were universal gestures and expressions, so he sent out a questionnaire to missionaries and whatnot that, among other things, asked what gesticulations the locals used to convey "yes" and "no." Nodding and head-shaking turned out to be pretty common, but there were some striking exceptions. [the rest of the story]

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I'll get to that later . . .

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Procrastination cure: you put on workshops for sufferers. Trouble is, some who sign up miss the first session, or don’t show at all... more»

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

God plus war

from Arts & Letters Daily:

We underestimate how much random processes can create order: we think order was made where no maker exists. Thus do we believe in God... more»

Buddhist monks, throats slit, Christian girls beheaded, Muslim dissenters blown to bits. It’s Southeast Asia’s newest war... more»

Saturday, December 03, 2005

software procedures and guides

from software-engineer.org:

Risk Management Guide
Posted by Steven J. Lucks
This is the first edition of the Risk Management Guide. This guide was based on a combination of research into existing risk documentation and gathering of information from prior efforts. The purpose of this document is to serve as a reference guide to understand the fundamental concepts of the risk management process.
File Name: RiskManagementGuide.zip Size: 76.9KB Date: 2001-03-23


Change Control Board Procedures Document
Posted by Gregory Parker
Change Control Board Procedures Document
File Name: Change_Control_Procedure.doc Size: 51 kb Date: 2000-07-05


Recommended Approach to Software Engineering
Posted by Abdul Jaleel
This document is a recommented approach to Software Engineering by NASA.
File Name: Software Engineerin.pdf Size: 1.02MB Date: 2002-12-14


Software Process Improvement
Posted by Richard
Software Process Improvement
File Name: roi-of-spi.pdf Size: 1091KB Date: 2003-07-22

Friday, December 02, 2005

math or verbal?

I got a Computer Science degree instead of a Music degree way back when because I wanted to be employed. With a good income. Maybe there's hope for future career-planning youths with the following article from CareerProNews:

Demand for Arts Grads Grows
You might think that studying philosophy or English will put you on a path to nowhere when it comes to employment possibilities. In fact, the demand for arts grads is growing these days.
[the story]

Of course my son is struggling with the idea that he is both good with his math skills and his verbal skills. How to keep him interested in both? He is an avid reader, but frowns when I tell him he's good in English (and his grades prove it). He is great at math, but finds his math and science classes boring because he catches on so quickly. Maybe acting on this will help:

A New Approach to Math and Science Class
Having a little fun in math and science class can improve a student's learning experience. Educators say "inquiry-based learning" can help students gain a better understanding of math and science concepts because they’re actively involved in what they're learning. [the story]

Moving at the Pace of Guidance

Unity Monthly Feature Article

peace and quiet

from Straight Dope:

Not necessarily Lost: Are there actual cases of castaways who have been rescued? [the story]

Thursday, December 01, 2005

30's politics & inferences towards today

from KNAPPSTER:

..."A lot of of people (even libertarians, unless they notice one brief reference to it in something by Ayn Rand) don't know that FDR attempted to introduce labor conscription under the rubric of the National Recovery Act, and was only stopped from doing so by the Supreme Court. Few remember that today's Planned Parenthood was founded on the "eugenics" vision of Margaret Sanger, who was awarded a medal by Hitler for her contribution to the theories underlying his monstrous racial programs."... [the story]

NGO Bashing

from Utne web watch:

Governments around the globe are perplexed as to "who unleashed ... civil society?" in the form of powerful nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Many countries' top leaders aren't happy about the burst of strength NGOs have experienced over the past decade and a half, including Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, and the Czech Republic's President Vaclav Klaus, not to mention a few members of the Bush Administration. Some leaders have gone so far as to overtly limit some groups' activities. -- Rose Miller
[the story]

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

UUinfo

resources at CLF.org

soundclips

from Yahoo!Picks:

SoundTransit
This collaborative hub dedicated to field recording and phonography features a huge collection of far-out sounds. Clicking around the catalog at random, we found percussive chants from a Hindu ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, lively strumming from street buskers in Berlin, some deeply unsettling bomb concussions from the invasion of Baghdad, and the gentle lowing of angus cattle on the Isle of Amrum. With the transit map, you can sample sounds by geography, and there's even a nifty travel feature that encourages you to book "sonic journeys" from one country to another. And if you're new to the whole field recording genre (guilty!), the artists' page features links to a number of informative individual resources. So tune in and turn on. (in Computers & Internet)

Monday, November 28, 2005

to turn off or leave on: that is the question

My husband and I frequently have the argument, either silent or live, about whether or not to leave computers on or to turn them off. Here is a perspective.

weirdism novelists

from Yahoo! Picks:

The Modern Word
Lovers of literature that opens new vistas, creates fresh modes of communication, and screws with your head 'til its ready to come off, take note. This site tackles surrealism, magical realism, modernism, postmodernism, and plain-old-weirdism (our term) with a "network of literary sites dedicated to exploring twentieth century writers who have pushed the envelope of traditional narrative and structure." Heavyweights such as Beckett, García Márquez, Kafka, and Pynchon receive the full treatment, with reviews, essays, and some surprises thrown into the mix. Other features include reviews of like-minded authors such as David Foster Wallace or Philip K. Dick, a section on small presses, and an index of experimental writers. After indulging in the worlds of these lunatic-geniuses, good luck in distinguishing up from down. (in Literature > News and Media)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

what's on my iPod

rock, classical, showtunes, blues, pop, jazz:

yahoo! music songs with classic rock and modern rock as a focal point (Simon & Garfunkel, 10cc, Phil Collins, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Cray, Foreigner, Jimi Hendrix, The Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Miller Band, Gary Wright, Leadbelly, Meat Loaf, Kansas, The Police, America, Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Sublime, Collective Soul, Nirvana, U2, Green Day, Live, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead)

albums:
19 th Century Guitar Favourites
Herbie Hancock: A Jazz Collection
Smash Mouth: Astro Lounge
Caliban Quartet: BasOOnatics!
The Beatles: 1967-1970
Bread: The Best of Bread
Supertramp: Breakfast in America
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Creedence Gold
Southern Culture On The Skids: Dirt Track Date
Barbara Streisdand in Funny Girl
C&C Music Factory: Gonna Make You Sweat
Harry Connick, Jr: Harry Connick, Jr
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters
George Martin: In My Life
Janis Joplin: Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
Jesus Christ Superstar
Nat King Cole: Love Songs
Robert Plant: Manic Nirvana
Mississippi John Hurt: Revisited
Judge Roughneck: Rude One's Moneymaking Scheme (demos)
Russian Piano Collection
Shrek
Judge Roughneck: Skankin' Naked (demos)
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Soul to Soul
The Buddhahood (demos)
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Heinz Holliger: The Oboe (vinyl; couldn't find on Amazon)
Joe Walsh: The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get
Judge Roughneck: True (demos and full-length songs)

no more pet dogs?

from SciTech Daily:

Between fangs and faeces, barking and biting, it's about time we considered getting rid of dogs as domestic pets [the story]

----------
As a person who is owned by two tiny dogs (and two cats), I would not subscribe to this proposal, but it is intriguing after suffering through a meal attended by a couple of whining K-9s.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

noise <> heart

from SciTech Daily:

Wear your earmuffs -- loud noise is bad for the heart [the story]

Wave of moral support lifts youths at anti-violence rally

from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Some young people look to gangs for moral support, jobs, a feeling of community, a little bit of everything, says Joseph Joyner, youth pastor at Jesus Christ the Chief Cornerstone church.

"We want them to come to us," said Joyner, one of the religious leaders who organized an anti-violence rally and prayer vigil that drew about 400 young people to the Diplomat Banquet Center Tuesday night.

The rally, along with efforts to get more youth involved in positive activities, comes after an especially violent year for Rochester teenagers. Six youth between ages 12 and 17 have been killed this year, five in shootings and one in a stabbing. "

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

from ICUJP.com:

All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.

The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election. [the story] [the sermon]

computer research

from SciTech Daily:

The computer research agenda is as big as ever before [the story]

Monday, November 21, 2005

huh?

from SciTech daily:

When intellectuals East or West exalt local truth systems over the universality of science, there is nothing left to prevent society's slide into tribalism, religious sectarianism and nationalist passion [the story]

information vending machines

from SciTech daily:

Grassroots projects use comics and information vending machines to narrow the digital divide [the story]

Sunday, November 20, 2005

how to roll your r's

from Yahoo! Picks:

How do I replace the starter in my 1998 Tacoma? How do I properly care for my bonsai tools? What is corpsepaint, and how do I apply it? These are just a few of the questions answered at wikiHow, a collection of user-submitted manuals that currently offers over three thousand articles. In case you're wondering, a wiki is a web site that anyone can write or edit. As a result, popular wikis tend to gather a lot of information very quickly. Granted, some of these how-tos are more helpful than others ("How to Animate Clay" features the helpful instruction, "Begin animating your figure."), but it's a nifty idea that's quickly gaining traction. And even if you don't really want to know how to roll your r's or give a small dog a bath, wikiHows can make fun leisure reading. (in Reference)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Linguists Go High-Tech

from CareerProNews:

High-tech companies are eager to hire linguists to help make computers understand human language. There's lots of opportunity for these language specialists. [the story]

Defiant Episcopal church may be closed

from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

In a move that could cost them their church, parishioners at All Saints Episcopal in Irondequoit are withholding money from the Episcopal diocese because of a disagreement [about "gay bishop"].

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pope to Darwin: yo!

from Arts & Letters Daily:

“Fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim.” That is why the new Pope is backing Darwin... more»

Anglican Communion strife

Our diocese and congregation are "liberal Episcopalians", which would not be in the same group as the "conservative Episcopalians" that are mentioned in this article. Ever since Aug'03, when Gene Robinson (aka "the gay bishop") was made bishop, churches in Africa have threatened to leave the Anglican Communican if the Episcopal Church (the US Anglican Church) did not. I'm guessing that the conservative Episcopalians have been discussing how awful the liberal Episcopalians have been . . .

From Religions & Ethics Newsweekly:

News Feature: Anglican Communion Network Meeting

This week, the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes is hosting a special conference in Pittsburgh that brings together conservative Episcopalians from the U.S. Church and primates from Africa, South America and Asia.

The conference, entitled "Hope and a Future," represents an historical effort to forge an alliance between American evangelical mainstream and the Anglican Churches of the Global South in response to the current crisis faced by the Church over the issue of homosexuality. Relationships in the 77-million-member global Communion have been severely strained since the Episcopal Church USA consecrated an openly gay bishop -- Gene Robinson of New Hampshire -- and permitted the blessing of same-sex unions. Leaders of more conservative Anglican churches in Africa, Asia, and South America called these actions a violation of Scripture and Church teaching, and many American conservatives expressed their desire to no longer be a part of the U.S. Church. In February 2005, the primates formally rebuked the Episcopal Church USA for consecrating Robinson and allowing the blessing of same sex unions.

Kim Lawton reports from Pittsburgh on the conference and how this gathering could impact the future direction of the Anglican Communion.
Read the full story

Friday, November 11, 2005

science class

from Bridges.com

Center for Science Education

Improving the quality of science education is the goal of the National Center for Science Education. Educators will find this site a useful resource to learn more about new trends in science education and advice on how to incorporate new teaching methodologies into their school's science programs.

Visit the site: http://cse.edc.org/
____________________

My son thinks science class is boring, yet he gets 100+ grades on his tests! I wonder what his teacher might think of this site.

software forensics

from Bridges.com:

Cyber Crimes Increase Demand for Software Forensics Experts

With computer crime on the rise, opportunities are expected to bebooming for computer forensics investigators in the next severalyears. [the story]

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

maps R cool

I can't get enough of Google satellite maps. I mentioned an article about it back in October. Here's our neck of the woods:

more gifted youth sites

last month I researched some gifted youth sites. Here are some more:

Monday, November 07, 2005

low-down on riots in France

from BBC News:

Urban crisis
France's response to riots exposes depth of society's wounds [the story]

poli-sci

from Arts & Letters Daily:

George Bush may be the most powerful man on earth, but he will never change the nature of politics. It’s time for the U.S. to get real... more»

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Unity church

I played hookey from our Episcopal church today and went to an online Unity church instead. The Episcopal Church is the most liberal of the mainline protestant denominations, but still I feel too liberal for it. So I very frequently don't go. Instead I do some reading, or visit another live church, or visit an online church broadcast.

The speaker for the sermon today was very motivational. I recommend his message to anyone, secular or religious.

Friday, November 04, 2005

soccer mom (& dad!) politics

It is very sad that parents of super kid-athletes get angry at each other over volunteer positions. I don't know what happened between some parents in our kids' team, but all of a sudden we got a note from the coach telling us to chill out. I am clueless as to what might've happened, but my curiosity is eating me up (kinda like wondering why everyone is slowing down so much when passing a car accident). My husband and I are like, "wtf, mate?" [WARNING: R-rated language]

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

dance lessons

When my husband and I were about to be married, we took some ballroom dancing lessons. Initially, we took them so that my soon-to-be husband would feel at least a little comfortable doing the occasional slow dance that would happen during the wedding reception (occasional as opposed to frequent in that he would only be willing to dance occasionally). By the time the first set of lessons were through, though, we'd signed up with the instructor to choreograph a "first dance" for us - that is, the first dance we would dance as husband and wife.

We really enjoyed ballroom dancing, and intended to continue our practice after the wedding & honeymoon, then after our busy schedules let up, then after having children, then after the business of buying a second home (when the only child was four), then after . . .

So we never did re-enlist in ballroom dance lessons. But every once and a while I'll see something that looks interesting. Like the following:
These days our son is in ballroom dancing lessons. He is 11 next week, and is very uncomfortable dancing with a girl. He even found a loophole in the "put your hand on the girl's back" rule. Apparently he holds his hand close to the girl's back but doesn't touch it (cheater!). His Dad and I noted that not touching the girl makes it difficult to lead. Maybe by the end of the lessons (this year or next?) he'll have gotten the point. Hopefully he won't understand *too* much yet, but alas . . . (my little boy :-} )

Monday, October 31, 2005

d'oh!

from Yahoo! Picks:

Wikipedia's List of Neologisms on The Simpsons
Without a doubt, Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape. Even Homer's exasperated "D'oh!" has wrangled its way into the "Oxford English Dictionary." Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Wikipedia's dedicated editors, there's an entire list of words and phrases coined by Springfield's most famous residents. From Bart Simpson's fictitious Scrabble entry "Kwyjibo" ("a big, dumb, balding North American ape... with no chin") to Apu's celebrated Kwik-E-Mart offering, the "Squishee," readers can revel in this ever-growing list of Simpson-ian creativity and inventiveness. Worst. Pick. Ever? That's unpossible. (in Television)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

myth

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Mythology is an art form. In their attempt to counter the sterility and cruelty of modernity, writers have turned to myth. They show us how to look into our hearts... more»

religion gone bad

from Arts & Letters Daily:

They were medical students, fathers, or businessmen who became suicide bombers in Iraq. Now you can read their obituaries on the Web... more»

Friday, October 28, 2005

good writing

from Career Pro News Weekly:

Writing Ability Offers Clues to Worker's Skill Levels

A recent survey suggests that workers who can write well are a rare commodity in the workplace. Workplace experts say a worker’s written communication is an important part of their workplace image, and that poor grammar can influence an employer’s impression of their overall skills.

Read more from the CourierPostOnline

current books

What's I'm reading these days:
  • Kite Runner - set in Afghanistan, 1974-1994
  • Alaska - set from the time of the "land bridge" between Asia and the Americas, to "present day" (20 years ago? I'm still 10s of thousands of years ago at the moment; the settling of the Aleutians)
  • Developing Mathematical Talent - written by the guy who founded CTY
  • Heart of Christianity - because the author will be speaking at our church in a couple weeks; an interesting description of religious liberalism
  • World Religions in America - just what the title says; a history and breakdown of how America is a religious melting-pot as well as ethnic (or are they interrelated concepts? hmmm)
  • What Neitzsche Really Said - I'm intrigued by his "heaven on earth" viewpoints

The most recent novel I have read is The 5 People You Meet in Heaven. I really liked it. It was thought-provoking, a quick read.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm a spiritualist

duh. But when I noticed on someone's blog that they were 60% spiritualist and 60% rationalist I had to look. Here are my results:

You fit in with: Spiritualism

Your ideals are mostly spiritual, but in an individualistic way. While spirituality is very important in your life, organized religion itself may not be for you. It is best for you to seek these things on your own terms.


80% spiritual.
40% reason-oriented.


Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

I like lip syncing

this little video is great - thank goodness for home movies! (thanks, sis :-) )

neo-neocon

from Utne Web Watch:

THE NEOCON WHO ISN'T
By Robert S. Boynton, American Prospect Online
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama, famous for penning The End of History, has leapt back aboard the timeline with his sharp criticism of the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's foreign policy. His political detour has confounded fellow neoconservatives and incited debates about American politics within conservative circles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

pet dog site

housepetmagazine.com - something to look into. The small dog playgroup that I take my dog, Gertie, to sometimes got featured on this site.

Dalai Lama on science

from SciTech Daily:

Science and Buddhism, according to the Dalai Lama, share a strong empirical basis and are surprisingly compatible [the story]

a quote:
"Just because a current theory or philosophy of science fails to account for a phenomenon does not mean that science itself should be abandoned."

The author has described "a God of gaps", where the religious may fill in any gaps in scientific theory with a religious concept. He doesn't like it. I, however, see its merits. Why not label something that does not have a scientic theory as religious? Of course, there are depths to scientific theory that the layperson cannot even fathom. At this point it seems to me that much of a layperson's belief in the unknown, either scientific or religious, is all religious.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

imagine no religion, too . . .

from Arts & Letters Daily:

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love,” said Jonathan Swift. God forbid we should hate religion – and law should forbid it too... more»

Sunday, October 23, 2005

got the time?

from Arts & Letters Daily:

In God’s atemporal view, the act of creation is simultaneous with the moment of your reading this. God doesn’t look back to creation, nor forward to your clicking on... more»

vocabulary words

I always hated vocabulary words, and now my son does too. But today, he's coming to me with every vocabulary word he has to write a sentence for, and I'm going bonkers!

Friday, October 21, 2005

homework assignment

http://ac5thgraderocks.blogspot.com/

This is a blog started by my friend, Anita. I'm looking forward to seeing what the kids have to say.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

funny penguins



thanks to http://pigsnblanket.blogspot.com/ for bringing this to my attention!
midnight, 10/21: still makes me giggle :-}

my hero . . .

My Inner Hero - Wizard!

I'm a Wizard!
There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.

How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

we love drug companies

from Utne:

Panexa. Ask Your Doctor for a Reason to Take It
By Staff, Stay Free!This parody drug ad with its excessive small print and sales-pitch drivel shoves a sharp peccadillo in the side of the big pharma bull. The panacean poison Panexa has side effects that include "really geeky laughs," "shiny, valuable feces," and "susceptibility to wedgies." -- Archie Ingersoll
http://www.panexa.com/

mapstuff

from Utne:

CARTOGRAPHY REMIXED
By Rose Miller, Utne.com
Online mapping technologies like Google Maps, Google Earth, and MSN Virtual Earth have created new ways of visualizing the world. Software programmers are following suit, charting new terrain by customizing interactive online maps to bring users interesting and useful place-based information.

and coming up next, martians from outer space

from SciTech daily:

New zombie worms found devouring dead whales [the story]

talented youth

sites I've run across while seeking to learn more about talented youth programs

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

mimicing is friendly

from What's New at IEEE in Computing:

STUDY SHOWS MIMICRY BY COMPUTER CAN BE AS PERSUASIVE AS A PERSON
When computer-generated artificial intelligence replicates positive human behavior and emotions, people respond similarly to how they would when reacting to a real human, according to a new study published in Psychological Science. The researchers conducted an experiment where participants listened to an argument from an artificial agent that either copied the listener's head movements or those of another participant. Those who were mimicked saw their agents as more persuasive and likeable than those who were not. Read more

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

sketchee

lots of downloadable sheet music on this site: http://music.sketchee.com/

safe stuff plus cool website

from SciTech daily:

Check out this inspiring and ultimately uplifting catalog of human ingenuity [the story] [the cool website]

Monday, October 17, 2005

my favorite is the snowman murder scene

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Calvin and Hobbes was such an exuberant, strange, and metaphysical realm you wonder how it ever got shoveled into a comic strip... more»

song dance revolution max 2

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Every child in every society creates song and dance: it’s a fundamental activity of Homo sapiens. Why and when did music evolve?... more»

Sunday, October 16, 2005

peace pic

talented youth

Our son has done really well on the standardized tests that the kids take each spring. So this year he has been invited to do some more testing, to further "categorize" him (so he can "be all that he can be").

During the information night at the school, the teacher was really discouraging the parents from accelerating their studies in a particular area (like math), because they would eventually "run out of" topics that could be tought at the school. I didn't like that answer, because if the kid is so excited by the topic that he/she needs to study more and more, he/she should not be discouraged from doing it. Especially in the area of math, where topics of study in college and grad school are not even fathomable in grade school.

So, I've bought a book (suprise!). One of the first things it says, in the section meant to "dispell myths", is that one of the myths is that the child will "run out of curriculum" before they graduate high school. This hits the nail right on the head, and really makes me hesitant to trust the opinions of this teacher whom my son is likely to have in a couple of years. Man . . .

I guess one of the big points of this learning exercise I've been going through is that any child who is not of the mainstream learning capability needs extra attention from his/her parents in order to be nurtured properly. But, I wonder, does any child really fit "the mainstream"?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

more war thoughts

war on terror - goal: eradicate terror so that the world may live in peace and not fear

Does anyone really believe that the US war against Iraq can ultimately end in there being no more terrorism in the world?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Houses that Swim

from Utne Web Watch:


Dutch Answer to Flooding: Build Houses that Swim

Translated from the German by Gareth Davies, Spiegel Online
The Netherlands' first amphibious houses sit floating and bobbing on the Maas dyke. Moored by steel posts driven into solid ground, 37 new homes with watertight cellars can move up and down as water levels fluctuate. The company that built these ship-shape domiciles touts them as a housing solution for delta regions prone to flooding. -- Archie Ingersoll
http://tinyurl.com/arrzs

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Narnia, Etc.

from ChristianityToday's Books & Culture:

Narnia Etc.
A chronicle of reading.


I've lost track of how many Narnia-related books have arrived in the office in recent weeks. (I stopped counting at a dozen.) Easily the standout so far is The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis (HarperSanFrancisco), by Wheaton College's Alan Jacobs. You may have seen some of Jacobs' essays and reviews in B&C, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere (last week he had a superb piece on James Agee in the Ideas section of the Boston Globe) or heard him on the Mars Hill audio series. If so, you won't have to be persuaded to check out his new book, his finest to date, which takes the Narnia series as a point of departure for a penetrating study of Lewis' imagination.

| more |

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Old Fort Niagara

http://www.oldfortniagara.org/

This is where we went this weekend. It's 7pm the next day and I still feel hungover (we got there at 1pm yesterday and left at 11am this morning). We slept on the wooden bunks that the solders from the late 18th century slept on, minus the "tick sacks" (mattresses that happen to have loads of ticks in them - they're the original bed bugs).

Friday, October 07, 2005

Elevator to Space

from Utne:

Have you ever dreamed of riding an elevator into space? Well, now you are just that much closer, as recent tests of a new technology enabled a climbing robot to scale a ribbon 1000 feet into the air. The LiftPort Group that executed the test hopes to build a working space elevator by the year 2018. -- Rose Miller [the story]

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gospel of Buddha

as seen in the mystic bourgeoisie blog:

The Gospel of Buddha -- "Compiled from ancient records by Paul Carus, 1894" says the full-text online version -- has sold over three million copies in its long life. And who knows how many times it's been downloaded. [the rest of this entry]

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reader's mind-map

I just found this link on the joystory site (an Aug'05 entry). Seems like a good "quick reference card" for book discussion groups (of which I'm in 2).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lesson of a Lifetime

from SciTech Daily:

Teacher Jane Elliott's unorthodox exercise to instruct her third-graders in the consequences of racism still divides people nearly 40 years later [the story]

Sunday, September 25, 2005

world religions in America

I'm taking a class on world religions in America, and one of the texts is entitled just that [the book]. So far I have read the intro and some of the Native American chapter. In the intro the editor has written, he makes a point to remark at how diverse America is, and that more religions are represented in the US than in any other country in the world. Americans in general are more welcoming/tolerant of diversity than any other nationality. It is a good reminder.

Monday, September 19, 2005

oughtta be a law . . .

from AlterNet:

A new U.N. declaration grants the world community the right to intervene and prevent governments from committing massive crimes against their own citizens. [the story]


Just makes me sad that such a thing is necessary . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Brothers Karamazov

Well, I finished it (old blog entry 1, old blog entry 2). I really enjoyed it, but it had a lame ending. It ended up having the following features:
  • several opposing dissertations on the meaning of life; quite interesting
  • a murder mystery; intriguing but frustrating - I'm still not sure whodunnit
  • information from a Russian Orthodox perspective, and those "evil" Catholics

Altogether it was a fine read. There are various things that I want to look into as a result of reading this (and other things I've read):

  • the impact of world leaders on the spread of large factions of Christianity (i.e., Constantine, Henry VIII)
  • more Russian literature; I've read some Tolstoy, but would like to read more authors
  • more indepth thought regarding The Brothers Karamazov (classic literature) and The Brothers K (I suspect this book won't stay around for 150 years, as Dostoyevsky's book did, but it took it's title from the other). Now that I've read both, the way The Brothers K is influenced by The Brothers Karamazov is very interesting to me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

book-club overload

Hope I haven't done it again. Last year, in late winter, I had to stop all extra activities because I'd gotten too stressed. Well, I've just signed up for not one, but three book-review groups. They're all related to the same sorts of books (Theology/Spirituality), so maybe that will help. Also, two of them are within walking distance from my home (of course most of the volunteer activities I'd been in were within walking distance from my home, too . . .). Fortunately I can just stop going if I can't handle it all. No one is counting on me for anything.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

helping hurricane victims

from Alternet. The political messages will bother some people, but the suggestions to help are good food for thought.

10 GREAT WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Don Hazen, AlterNet
Americans: Let's not let our clumsy, uncaring government undermine our capacity to help those in need. Here are 10 outstanding endeavors that deserve your support.
http://www.alternet.org/story/25177/

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

anglicans

From Powells.com Review-a-Day:

The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580, Second Edition by Eamon Duffy
Another World, A review by Benjamin Schwarz
The winners define the past. For 400 years the British popular and scholarly minds, possessed by Protestant and Whiggish triumphalism, believed that superstition, a disengaged laity, a corrupt priesthood, and pagan accretions had enervated the late-medieval English Church-- and thus ripened it for reformation, a process embraced by the people. . . . [the review]

Back-to-School Blues

from CareerPro news:

Not every student eagerly looks forward to the first day of school. Experts say that the return to school is a time of transition and change that can cause some students to feel anxious. Here is some advice for parents and students of all ages on how to cope with the back-to-school blues.
Read more from the Globe and Mail

Monday, September 05, 2005

screenplay writing

from Yahoo!picks:

JohnAugust.com
If you're writing a screenplay (and let's face it, who isn't?), get thee to this blog. Subtitled "a ton of useful information about screenwriting," the site shares, well, a ton of useful information about screenwriting. John August, whose credits include "Big Fish," "Go," and "Charlie's Angels," walks us through the trials and tribulations of wielding the pen in Hollywood. Along the way, he addresses such topics as...
How he got his agent
What format you should send your script in
Moving to Hollywood
Is film school necessary? (Answer: No) Even if you don't indulge in fantasies of writing your own screenplay but just love movies (and let's face it, who doesn't?), you'll enjoy this glimpse into the inner workings of La-La Land. (in Communications & Writing)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

shopgoodwill.com

So I was reacting to my sticker shock at going to this site for clothes, home deco, etc., and typed "shop goodwill" in the Yahoo! Search bar. I found that there is actually a site where people can go to bid on the goodwill items. I found myself at odds with whether or not to buy. On the one hand, I couldn't see myself buying something on Goodwill that is beautiful, yet $110. But on the other hand, I struggled to justify paying shipping for something that cost $1. I will probably return at some point, after recovering from this particular bit of inner turmoil . . . ;-)

Monday, August 29, 2005

yes, we have no bananas

from SciTech Daily:

The banana is on a crash course toward extinction, and yes, we may have no bananas [the story]

Sunday, August 28, 2005

scout camping

We went to Gravel Ponds overnight last night. We set up our tents in the grass, the boys swam and fished and had fun.

I'd have to say it was more like setting up a tent in the backyard (which has its merits) than what some folks might call "real" camping. We didn't have to make sure all the food was in airtight locations to keep the bears out, for instance.

It made me a bit more interested to take my son out for some more remote camping. Hiking along the Appalachian Trail (official site, volunteer group) would be something he'd really enjoy.

Friday, August 26, 2005

how to get peace?

from Alternet:

"Doing what's necessary for a lasting peace in Iraq won't be easy -- and it doesn't include bringing the troops home now." [the story]

I'm just starting to read the article. I don't know yet if I will be in firm alignment with the opinions expressed, but it is intriguing.

prayer to live with grace

from Beliefnet.com:

May we discover through pain and torment,
the strength to live with grace and humor.

May we discover through doubt and anguish,
the strength to live with dignity and holiness.

May we discover through suffering and fear,
the strength to move toward healing.

May it come to pass that we be restored to health and to vigor.
May Life grant us wellness of body, spirit, and mind.

And if this cannot be so, may we find in this transformation and passage
moments of meaning, opportunities for love
and the deep and gracious calm that comes when we allow ourselves to move on.

- Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

impractical, immoral

from Daily Dig:

Violence as a way of achieving justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
Martin Luther King, Jr, Nobel address, Oslo, December 11, 1964

An army careerist mulls over the "global war on terror."

Monday, August 22, 2005

look into my eyes

from world-science.net:

Your eye movements may betray your culture: Chinese and Americans literally look at the world differently, a study has found. [the story]

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The American Dream Vs. the European Dream

from The Globalist:

A view of America from a European perspective:
"Which dream will ensure a better future for all the world's people?"

[the story]

Friday, August 19, 2005

Unintelligent Design

from the UUTheology mailing list:

an excerpt:
"23 different elephantlike species, including woolly mammoths, have arisen and died out during the past 5 million years, victims of an inability to adapt to changing conditions. Only Asian and African elephants remain. If an all-knowing designer was responsible for that work, [biologist Kenneth] Miller said to applause, 'it's distinctly substandard, because nearly every one became extinct. If you want to accept intelligent design, you'd damn well better account for' the numerous examples of failed species." [the story]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

no more FAT

from IEEE:

WEB BROWSERS COULD REPLACE SOFTWARE IN DESKTOP PLATFORMS
The latest features utilized in Web browser software could transform the Web into the next desktop platform, according to an article from ZDNet Australia. Lars Rasmussen, head engineer of Goggle Maps, helped design Maps using browser-based Extensible Stylesheet and Microsoft's Vector Markup languages. The jump from programs designed with regular software-based languages like C++ to browser-based languages gives programs like Google Maps rapid deployment capabilities and other advanced features. Read more

mind-mend

from SciTech Daily:

Steven Rose takes a look at explaining, mending and manipulating the mind [the story]

magic vs science

from SciTech Daily:

Magic is a recessive trait, in the Harry Potter world at least, and therein lies a chance to educate [the story]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

comic book math

from SciTech Daily:

Taking maths out of the textbook and into the novel, the comic, the best-seller [the story]

support America: kill animals

from powells.com:

As the Los Angeles Times wrote with approval last summer, Californians who enjoy decimating flocks of doves "simply park the pickup or SUV next to a field, unfold a chair, pop the ice chest and let it rip." Then there's baiting bears and shooting them at close range, frequently in the back, a custom that the citizens of Maine recently voted to preserve. It is obvious that the real attraction of these "sports" is the thrill of the kill, and the more honest devotees come right out and say so. ("An excitement just rushes through your body," a high school homecoming queen in Louisiana told a reporter last year, "when you see a squirrel and you say, 'I've got to shoot it.'") If one adds the many fans of circuses, rodeos, cockfights, dogfights, and other American spectacles in which animals are tormented or killed, the total would probably fill Spain itself. Judging from the T-shirts and postcards sold at highway rest stops, some of us are even tickled by the sight of wildlife hit by cars. (For a while there, Kraft was selling "road kill" candy animals, complete with tread marks.) Anyone who thinks this is all just redneck culture should look around the bleachers the next time Ringling Brothers drags its miserable menagerie into New York City.
[the rest of the story]

Friday, August 12, 2005

truths

This is from the UUCF-L (Unitarian Christian Fellowship) list. I found the quotes in the article referenced to say undenyable truths. As I mentioned to the friend who brought it to our attention, it was like one more marble in the marble jar of wisdom.

Here are the words I found so inspiring (note that the friend who brought these words to our email list said the term "universalist" should be replaced with "unitarian"):

"1) Man is an evolutionary creature, literally lifting himself out of the dust of an animal past toward fulfillment as a mature and rational being.
2) Man is not a "fallen" sinner needing to be saved by miraculous saviours; he is a struggling being striving to remove the attributes of a brutish past. His "salvation" will be accomplished by his own good works and as he comes to realize that wholeness is achieved through love, charity, justice and freedom.
3) We view Jesus as a teacher of such ideals, a remarkable human being esteemed along with Gandhi, Buddha, Lincoln and others.
4) The universe is viewed as one natural process, always in flux, dynamic and growing. Man is a part of this natural process, a co-partner in its evolution.
5) The Bible is seen as one traditional point of view, not always accurate or inspirational. The Universalist selects from its pages what appears to him to be of worth and adds it to other writings, the large and ever-growing accumulation of which is his "sacred" literature.
6) Certain questions are recognized as unanswerable: the existence of after-life-realms, the nature of "God, " and so forth. Universalism does not dogmatize on that which it cannot know. Such beliefs are left to each individual to reason out for himself.
7) One life-at-a-time, however. Universalists are engaged in creating in this life, on this earth that thing which men have variously called "the Beloved Community, " "the Kingdom of God, " "the Commonwealth of Man. "

peekaboom

from SciTech daily:

The Peekaboom online game harnesses the brain power of players to train a set of powerful vision recognition algorithms. [the story]

Thursday, August 11, 2005

evite

A friend invited my son to a birthday party using Evite. It's cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Peter Jennings and faithful journalism

from Beliefnet.com:

A Faithful Journalist
Peter Jennings pushed hard for better press coverage of religion—and stood by Beliefnet when few others would.

People of faith—and those interested in faith—lost a great friend with Peter Jennings’ death. We at Beliefnet have had the honor of working with Peter for five years, helping him and ABC with religion coverage, a partnership launched entirely out of his personal interest and conviction that faith was one of the most important facets of human life.
Read more...

on the closet door-knobs

this is a follow-on to an earlier article (mentioned in misccubed).

from Alternet:

READERS WRITE: THE RELIGIOUS LEFT FIGHTS BACK
Jackie Mauro, AlterNet
Van Jones' essay about Rabbi Michael Lerner's 'Spiritual Activism' conference provoked a multi-faceted debate among AlterNet readers. [the story]

sooo boring . . . or is it?

from SciTech daily:

To a philosopher, boredom is not boring at all, and to the reader of this new work on boredom, it is surprisingly fascinating [the story]

It's a book review. The book being reviewed is a study of boredom from a philosophical history perspective.

It's funny, but this article could have been a little less boring if the author had actually had a point to make other than noticing, significantly, that the book that was being reviewed never mentioned Sartre, who was the king of boredom.

There are some intriguing thoughts on the Meaning of Life, however, that would be worthy of further study.

Monday, August 08, 2005

cow stress

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Farm animals are distressed by things people do not notice: hissing sounds, flapping clothes on a line, a moving piece of plastic... more»

Thursday, August 04, 2005

deism

an interesting site

man boobies

from Scitech daily:

Break the ice at parties by telling folk that you know why men have nipples [the story]

tree pollution

from Scitech daily:

Ronald Reagan once said that trees cause more pollution than cars. So are trees a force for good or evil in urban air quality? [the story]

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

necessary evil

One thing that is called a necessary evil:
--the war in Iraq

Are there really necessary evils? As Tolstoy remarked in his "The Kingdom of God is Within You", where do you draw the line on killing someone? It has been said that it's been a necessary evil to wage war on Iraq in order to bring the citizens to freedom and a better government. It has been said that it is a necessary evil for civilians in various countries to be killed in order for the better good for the survivors.

Tolstoy talked about drawing the line on who you would kill. So you're a solder and you're commanded to kill the stranger for the better good. What if that other person were one of your own "peeps"? If that were your relative would you do it? (brings to mind the nightmares of the Civil War, when brother fought brother, but that's another whole set of thoughts to get into).

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Brothers Karamazov - searchable

I'm nearly to the end of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. It is turning into my favorite book of all time. I'll write an essay about it in a later post, but here is a link to a searchable version of the book, along with study guides.

Friday, July 29, 2005

is math true?

a discourse on formal language vs natural language, from SciTech Daily:

Gödel and the nature of mathematical truth [the story]


If you're a mathematics layperson, as I am, you'll need to wind your way through the trade talk. The following quote gave me a good introduction to the article:
"
Now, let me turn to the Edge 162 of June 8, 2005 headed by a synopsis of the story Rebecca Goldstein is telling:
"Gödel mistrusted our ability to communicate. Natural language, he thought, was imprecise, and we usually don't understand each other. Gödel wanted to prove a mathematical theorem that would have all the precision of mathematics — the only language with any claims to precision — but with the sweep of philosophy. He wanted a mathematical theorem that would speak to the issues of meta-mathematics. And two extraordinary things happened. One is that he actually did produce such a theorem. The other is that it was interpreted by the jazzier parts of the intellectual culture as saying philosophically exactly the opposite of what he had been intending to say with it."
This may sound interesting, but, disregarding history and context, it is misleading a potentially receptive audience. Ms Goldstein's claim to knowledge of Gödel's personal motivations is presumptuous.

"

pinball wizard

from SciTech Daily:

Brice Mellen is a whiz kid at video games, despite being blind [the story]

Thursday, July 28, 2005

philosophy comix

the link
here's my favorite:

music you can see

from Andante.com:

Trying to Catch Sight of Sound - Considering the Exhibition 'Visual Music'

Washington Post - 23 June 2005 Read Article

rock meets classical (again)

from Andante.com:

Pink Floyd Member Roger Waters Set to Debut His First Opera
Associated Press - 13 July 2005 Read Article

progressives out of the closet

poignant.

from Alternet:

The last time U.S. progressives won, people of faith were at the center of the movement -- not stuck in its closet. [the story]

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

is my red your red?

at world-science.net

I was looking at this with my son, who is very color-blind. He did seem to agree with the color labels of our culture, which I found interesting.

who you calling Hitler?!

the article is not the only interesting part - the discussion down at the bottom is interesting as well.

from Alternet:
For more than 40 years, comparing an administration'senemies to Hitler has been a reliable way to convince apliant media and unquestioning public to go to war. [the article]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

sound overload

Turn Up the Quiet

Is your world getting noisier? Pealing cell phones, blaring personal stereos, constant chatter -- sometimes it can be difficult to endure the relentless drone of modern life. But beneath the racket, there's still a creative and natural soundscape all around you -- the music of nature, the laughter of friends and neighbors, even the sound of your own inner voice. Perhaps listening to what really matters will soothe your soul. -- Utne magazine, July/August 2005

Judges are apt to be naif, simple-minded

Bartleby.com's quote of the day:


Judges are apt to be naif, simple-minded men, and they need something of Mephistopheles. We too need education in the obvious—to learn to transcend our own convictions and to leave room for much that we hold dear to be done away with short of revolution by the orderly change of law.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Invisible Library

from Yahoo!Picks:

Want to read Jo March's "The Curse of the Coventrys" or Eccentrica Gallumbits' "The Big Bang Theory, A Personal View"? Sorry, you can't. They're fictional. Not books of fiction, but fictional books. These and all the other books listed in The Invisible Library are imaginary titles dreamed up by authors and referenced in actual works of fiction. Librarian Brian Quinette, with help from friends also obsessed with fictional fiction, has carefully cataloged hundreds of non-existent titles. Browse the names of real authors and titles to find the pseudo versions. From the "books" written by Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's novels, to the "Misery" series created by the fictional hero of Stephen King's "Misery," to the mysterious "Necronomicon" by H.P. Lovecraft's Abdul Alhazred, this library boasts lists of potentially rich reading material -- if only they existed. (in Arts & Humanities > Literature)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

some live online church sites

do not know this tradition yet
The Palace, palace goto.infinitechurch.com : 9998
Sundays, 8pm
have not attended yet



Episcopal
Trinity Church, Manhattan, NY
Sundays, 11:15am
they also have some nice Vespers services and other concerts archived
have not attended yet



Pentecostal
Norwich Tabernacle, Norwich, CT
Sundays, 10am, 6pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:30pm
7/24: has good messages about living with Jesus, but overly concerned with getting "poisoned" by differing opinions



Unitarian
First Unitarian Society, Madison, WI
Sundays, 9am & 11am (Central)
have not attended yet



Unity/New Age
Renaissance Unity, Warren, MI
Sundays, 9am & 11am (Eastern)
11/6: looks like one of those megachurches, but it's not Fundamentalist, Billy Graham stuff. It's somewhere between the earthy/humanist Unitarian services and Episcopal services. The person who did the sermon today was GREAT.