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 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? 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 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 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


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


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: 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


..."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]