Thursday, December 29, 2005
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
|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. |
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
- 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)
- it's my grandfather's birthday; if he were alive, he'd be 98; here's to you, Grandpa: XOXOXO
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
How I got here: SciTech daily / Closer To The Truth / Resources / Metanexus / Newsletters
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
Saturday, December 24, 2005
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]
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
- 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.
Friday, December 16, 2005
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.
from SciTech Daily:
Early humans were living in Britain around 200,000 years earlier than thought [the story]
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
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
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
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 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," instead of the other way around? Are there any peoples who reverse the gestures? --Have to Know, Chicago
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
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
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
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
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]
Thursday, December 01, 2005
..."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]
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
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
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]
Monday, November 21, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Sunday, November 06, 2005
The speaker for the sermon today was very motivational. I recommend his message to anyone, secular or religious.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
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:
- tango article in Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Monday, October 31, 2005
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
Friday, October 28, 2005
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
- 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
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.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
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
Science and Buddhism, according to the Dalai Lama, share a strong empirical basis and are surprisingly compatible [the story]
"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
“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»
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.
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
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.
sites I've run across while seeking to learn more about talented youth programs
- wikipedia - talks about the history and culture of the Center for Talented Youth
- K-12 Gifted Youth in the Yahoo! Directory
- alternate site for the Center for Talented Youth - provides additional links on the bottom left
- gifted links at education consulting service - lists most, if not all, of the talented youth institutions
- Prufrock Press - books 'n stuff
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
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
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
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
Thursday, October 13, 2005
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
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A chronicle of reading.
By John Wilson
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
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
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
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]
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
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
- 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
Thursday, September 08, 2005
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.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
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]
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
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
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
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
"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.
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
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.
An army careerist mulls over the "global war on terror."
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
"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
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
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
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
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. "
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
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.
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]
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.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
--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
Friday, July 29, 2005
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.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
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
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 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
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
The Palace, palace goto.infinitechurch.com : 9998
have not attended yet
Trinity Church, Manhattan, NY
they also have some nice Vespers services and other concerts archived
have not attended yet
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
First Unitarian Society, Madison, WI
Sundays, 9am & 11am (Central)
have not attended yet
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.