Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Hill has published their fifth annual list of the 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill. Because outward beauty is what's most truly important in Washington.
At some point in our lives, my wife, one of my sisters, and I worked at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, OH. I realize that many hospitals want to be "cutting-edge" in some respect, but I didn't know that Grandview is taking it to a whole new level. The hospital is utilizing something called "'Wiihabilitation,' the latest trend in rehabilitation therapy that uses the interactive mobility of the Nintendo Wii video game system to help patients improve strength, flexibility, balance and endurance."
We've come so far from the days of that old tennis game on the Atari 2600.
The Cute One is obsessed with this dude. I'm wondering if I should chalk it up as a harmless crush, or be worried.
I'm a straight man who enjoys watching Project Runway, so I have to announce this: the show's breakout star, Tim Gunn, wasn't paid a dime for his work on the first season. He only received $2500 an episode for the second season (which remains my favorite). This is surprising, given how necessary he is to the show's ability to work. He probably didn't agree to a paycheck because (1) he's a genuinely nice guy and (2) he had no idea the show would prove to be such a hit.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
What does progress in your struggle with pornography look like? In all
typical human struggles (like anger, anxiety, escapism), winning doesn’t mean
achieving perfection. It means having a new goal and a new direction. Your
direction in life determines your final destination. Where are you headed? Are
you going in the right direction? Going in the right direction in your struggle
with pornography means learning to fight your temptation to sin, to handle your
guilt when you fail, and to understand and avoid the circumstances in which you
Making progress in these three areas does not mean you will
suddenly get teleported from the mire in which you now live to the mountaintop
of freedom from all temptation. Change in these areas means taking many small,
incremental steps in the right direction. For example:
- A decrease in the frequency of a sin is progress. It’s not good that you are still indulging in pornography, but if you are doing it less, you are going in the right direction.
- A change in the actual nature of the sin is progress. If you are no longer having an affair or premarital sex, and now you are battling pornographic fantasy, it’s good that your struggle has changed from your actions to your imagination.
- A change in the battleground is progress. When your battle has moved from purchasing materials or going onto explicit internet sites to battling the old fantasy tapes that are still in your mind, that’s movement in the right direction.
- An increase in honesty and accountability is progress. You are moving forward when you are willing to be truly candid and accountable to a trusted friend, spouse, or pastor and say, “Here’s where I’m struggling.” An appropriate openness to others is a very significant step towards change.
- Not always responding to difficult circumstances by indulging in sin is progress. When your life gets hard, if instead of going straight to your fantasy life, you pray for help and ask others to pray for you, then God is at work.
- Repenting more quickly is progress. Learning to go more quickly to the Lord of life, instead of wallowing for days, weeks, and months in the gloom of “I failed again,” is a sign that God is at work in your life.
- Learning to love and consider the interest of real people is progress. Your immoral fantasies use other people in an imaginary world. Caring for others, even in small ways, means that Jesus is changing you.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?Who can, indeed. Batman Begins examined the nature of the heart, especially in regards to justice and redemption. You will remember that Henri Ducard (revealed to actually be Ra's al Ghul) and his League of Shadows came to Gotham seeking to destroy it because, as Ra's Al Ghul's decoy told Bruce Wayne, "Gotham's time has come... it is beyond saving and must be allowed to die." Gotham has housed too many criminals over the years, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrha. Ducard saw himself as God without the hassle of having to haggle with Abraham over how many good souls were left in the city. Everyone, good and bad, would pay.
Speaking of Two-Face, whom we see in all his glory in the film's final act, I was struck by how different his story is from that of the character in 1995's Batman Forever. In that film, Tommy Lee Jones plays a good man who becomes an insane criminal after acid is thrown on his face. Actually, we only see his transformation in an extremely brief flashback - at the start of Forever, Dent is already a Two-Face who desires to kill Batman. The Two-Face of Dark Knight, following a horrific experience, essentially chooses to become a vigilante. Both characters share the same idea that the random toss is the only true form of justice, but they are different in a fundamental and important way.
I think it's fantastic that Gary Oldman is playing more noble characters these days. It's almost as if he has had enough of playing evil people like vampires (Bram Stoker's Dracula) and terrorists (Air Force One). He plays the bad guy effectively - I especially like him in this film - but I think his "good" characters like James Gordon and Sirius Black of the Harry Potter films are even more compelling.
I don't think a movie based on comic book (or graphic novel, if you prefer) characters has addressed so many important issues as The Dark Knight. This is nervy and penetrating stuff that keeps you thinking after you've left the darkness of the theater. White knights versus dark knights. Order versus chaos. Redemption versus destruction. Justice versus revenge. Truth versus lies.
The kind of issues that cut us straight to the heart. If only we could know it better.
For more on the film and the issues it raises, visit some of these links:
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The nonreligious conclusion I came to as the result of lasting (lifelong) regret of an abortion is that if an embryo or fetus is regarded as disposable, then you are, too. I guess it's a version of what Mother Theresa was saying. An individual either is unique and uniquely valuable or isn't. All are or none are. If your existence had happened at the wrong time (I won't use the demeaning word "inconvenient" because sometimes it's little more than that, but sometimes it's a lot worse), you could have been disposed of. Your existence is accidental and contingent.For me, this is where the whole argument for abortion hinges upon - how you view humanity. Is humanity unique and special in this universe, made by an allmighty Creator? Or, is humanity merely the subject of evolutionary forces without any sense of an omnipotent being, and we're in a real sense "lucky" to be around and not be eaten by velociraptors?
People with prolife positions believe that an abortion is equal to a murder. People with pro-choice positions don't. It seems to me that it's just a matter of location, then. If you're four months in your mother's womb and the doctor performs a dilation and evacuation, that isn't murdering you. If you're bashed in the head five seconds after you've been born, you've been murdered. For the pro-choice person, location - in the mother's body or out of the mother's body - is the only thing that matters.
RELATED: Read Dan Phillips' essay about abortion here.
I highly doubt Chapman considered every study on this issue - he apparently missed at least one. More on that particular study can be found here.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had a medical procedure Monday to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee. Colts president Bill Polian announced the procedure, described as routine, on Monday night. Polian said the team’s medical staff expects Manning to have “a full and complete return to action” in four to six weeks. Colts training camp begins July 25.
Hopefully Peyton will make a full recovery. The Colts team isn't as formidable without him.
What are bursa? Read here.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Read the Associated Press review about how it "nearly lives up to the hype."
Read the Rolling Stone review about how the film is "a potent provocation decked out as a comic-book movie."
Read the Hollywood Reporter review about how it is "pure adrenaline."
Read about the possibility of Batman - or someone like him - actually existing.
Read the Time review about how Nolan "wants viewers to stick their hands down the rat hole of evil and see if they get bitten."
Read the Variety review about how the film has " a robust physicality and a commitment to taking violence seriously."
Read how the Entertainment Weekly review calls it a "ride for the gut and the brain."
Of course, there's this book, too.
And this one, about his last year in the White House.
This game could go on and on...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The creator of a calendar that featured shirtless Mormon missionaries was excommunicated Sunday after a disciplinary meeting with local church leaders in Las Vegas.Exactly what kind of truth, beyond "I like making money and I think this is a way to do that," were you speaking? Please, don't give the tired I want people to know what they're really like line.
Chad Hardy said he bears no ill will toward the council of elders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I felt like I spoke my truth," the 31-year-old entertainment entrepreneur said. "Bottom-line, they still felt the calendar is inappropriate and not the image that the church wants to have."
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
"You kidnapped me for my bone marrow?!?"
What's one you've heard?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
This has worked very well, and I've seen that many other companies, not just those in the health field, have taken this approach. I'm quite certain it will be implemented in some form if a national healthcare program becomes reality.
Monday, July 7, 2008
ONE fixture of college life is rapidly disappearing. Yearbooks, those beloved annual publications recording the events and people of the academic year, are suffering from plummeting print-runs, or are even being dropped altogether, in colleges across the country.
The phenomenon is due in part to the price of the hard-bound volumes, typically as high as $75. For cash-strapped students facing ever-rising tuition and living costs they are a luxury that many can’t afford. But the main cause is not the cost so much as the replacement of print with electronic media by and for the Facebook and MySpace generation. With social networks linking hundreds of friends and offering digital photographs and videos the traditional yearbook looks like a bit of a dinosaur.
After more than a hundred years of publication Purdue University, in Indiana, has published its last yearbook, as has nearby DePauw University. Even where colleges have tried to adapt to the new media by, for instance, including DVDs summing up the year along with the print version, yearbooks are attracting few students, readers or editors.
Yearbooks were figured in under the mysterious "room and board" heading, so we didn't really think about how much they cost. Sites like Facebook and MySpace are being partially blamed. Once again, new technology replacing the written page. But those social sites won't be around forever, and the books will last a long, long time.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The world's number two, Rafael Nadal, beat the world's number one in a five-setter for the ages. 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. Perhaps the greatest men's final ever.
Nadal now has five championships under his belt: four wins at Roland Garros, and one at Wimbledon. Federer remains at twelve championships: five Wimbledon, four U.S. Open, and three Australian Open.
Friday, July 4, 2008
He wrote the following in a letter to his wife Abigail, on July 3, 1776:
The second day of July, 1776, will be memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
Happy birthday, America. And, happy birthday to me, too.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Fantastic! Just in time for the Fourth!
(HT: Entertainment Weekly)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Of course, I have no plans to test this theory. If you ever try it, please drop me a line and let me know what you thought.
Her instructions, specified in a two-page “mission statement,” are that the entire trust, valued at $5 billion to $8 billion and amounting to virtually all her estate, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, according to two people who have seen the document and who described it on condition of anonymity.
It is by no means clear, however, that all the money will go to dogs. Another provision of the mission statement says Mrs. Helmsley’s trustees may use their discretion in distributing the money, and some lawyers say the statement may not mean much anyway, given that its directions were not incorporated into Mrs. Helmsley’s will or the trust documents.
Helmsley had originally planned for some of the money to "help indigent people," but she changed her mind and decided to give them nothing. Only dogs - no other animals, no plant life, and certainly no human beings - were worthy of her money.
For the theists who visit this blog: Does this story in any way upset or bother you? Why or why not? Are human beings worth more than animals, are animals worth more than human beings, or are animals and human beings of equal value? What makes human beings so special?
For the atheists/agnostics who visit this blog: Does this story in any way upset or bother you? If you think the money should be given to help people, how did you determine that they are more worthy of the money than dogs?
UPDATE: More reviews by the following ---