Monday, March 30, 2009

"It is really like the space flight without the weightlessness and the danger to our lives."

Sealing yourself off from the world -literally.
On Tuesday, six people will be voluntarily locked into a cloister of cramped, hermetically sealed tubes woven inside a Moscow research facility the size of a high school gymnasium. They will eat dehydrated food, breathe recycled air and be denied conversation with practically everyone else but one another.

And they must stay inside for 105 days.

In a small step in the direction of Mars, the international crew is embarking on a simulated flight to the planet to test the limits of human tolerance for the isolation and monotony of interplanetary travel.
Don't they already have something like this on television? Isn't it called Big Brother?

I guess he isn't going trick-or-treating

Four years old...

... this blog is. Here's my very first post. I may be posting more sporadically these days, but I don't want to give it up just yet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dorothy as economic theorist

A new way of looking at The Wizard of Oz.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of the world's best-loved fairytales. As Judy Garland's famous film nears its 70th birthday, how much do its followers know about the story's use as an economic parable?

Dorothy in Kansas conjures up nostalgic thoughts of childhood Christmases hiding behind the sofa from the Wicked Witch of the West. Or those flying monkeys.

It's unlikely its young fans will have been thinking about deflation and monetary policy.

But the story has underlying economic and political references that make it a popular tool for teaching university and high school students - mainly in the United States but also in the UK - about the economic depression of the late 19th Century.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trail of Death 1838

Trail of Death 1838
Originally uploaded by Good Brownie

The plaque on the marker reads:

"In 1838 the northern Potawatami tribes and many Indians from other tribes were forcibly located to Eastern Kansas. The first point of encampment in Illinois on the march westward was the North Fork River in Danville. This monument is to commemerate the hardships, death, and humiliation these people suffered during their forced passage. We salute their courage. It is in their memory we make this dedication. May 13, 1990."

Happy Pi Day

It's today, you know. Feel free to celebrate however you'd like. Working geometry problems. Eating slices of pie in all different varieties. Naming all the other Greek letters. Whatever strikes your fancy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sexy People

Yep, they have their own website. Chock full of pictures. You'll obtain much pleasure by looking at them. Women are there. Men are there, too. Even children. You'll want to tell your friends all about it.

Now, don't be alarmed. It's not that kind of site. Do you really think I'd lead you there? No, no, no, no....

What are you waiting for? Just go!

"Raiders" story conference

Once in a while, you come upon a post on some blog that really makes your afternoon. This one did it today for me. A real treat, especially for Raiders fans.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Will the Church be the Church for all Christians?

Even the gay ones?

"The Coming Evangelical Collapse"

Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, has recently had an essay published in the current Christian Science Monitor - "The coming evangelical collapse." If the title grabbed your attention, just wait until you read the article itself.
I believe that we are on the verge- within 10 years- of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity; a collapse that will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and that will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. I believe this evangelical collapse will happen with astonishing statistical speed; that within two generations of where we are now evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its current occupants, leaving in its wake nothing that can revitalize evangelicals to their former “glory.”
There has been much discussion about this essay, as expected, and from a variety of sources. It's rather fun to jump around and see who has been talking about it, what points they emphasize and/or criticize, and where the discussion goes. I mean, iMonk has everybody talking! See?

I honestly don't think you could find two more different blogs out there than Ingrid's and PZ's, and they're both talking about the same thing.

And, yes, iMonk does have something to say about the ARIS study.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Christian Hipster

Are you one?
Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities—Christian or not. They love books like Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider, God’s Politics by Jim Wallis, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. They tend to be fans of any number of the following authors: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, Soren Kierkegaard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Annie Dillard, Marilynne Robison, Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important.

Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like “Thanks be to God” or “Peace of Christ be with you.” They enjoy Eastern Orthodox churches and mysterious iconography, and they love the elaborate cathedrals of Europe (even if they are too museum-like for hipster tastes). Christian hipsters also love taking communion with real Port, and they don’t mind common cups. They love poetry readings, worshipping with candles, and smoking pipes while talking about God. Some of them like smoking a lot of different things.

Don't forget the piercings. Or the tats. Or the T-shirts with skulls on them.