Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have you been to one of the top 100 highest grossing independent restaurants?

I have dined at two on the list: #45 St. Elmo Steak House and #51 Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn. I last visited St. Elmo's a couple years ago. My parents took me to Frankenmuth on one of our annual summer vacations; I was somewhere in the teen years.

Don't think that being near the top is all that great. You may be #2, but you'll still end up in bankruptcy.

I'll be heading to Baltimore in a few weeks, so maybe I'll check out #52.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ricky Martin "officially" came out

Add this to the things we already knew file. I believe that the present is always the best time to be honest about yourself, but this seems like a ploy to me. Ricky Martin is no longer a part of our lives as he once had been. Well, twice that I remember - once as a member of the group Menudo, which I remember from my Saturday mornings, and then as a solo artist who sang about how a woman bangs. And now he has a found a way to enter our lives a third time: as a "fortunate homosexual man."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Do the Butler Bulldogs compare to the "Hoosiers" team?

Butler University Police Chief Benjamin Hunter described the increasing interest in the Northside campus via Twitter this morning: "Looking forward to a busy week at Butler. Never seen so much media on campus. Go Dawgs!"

Why is Butler a darling of the press? The small private school is making its first appearance in the Final Four and is the first school since UCLA in 1972 to be playing in the Final Four in its hometown.

But there's more: the players are bracing themselves for a week full of "Hoosiers" references. They are piling up.

See the comparisons?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Have you noticed the declining state of males?

Wagner College has and is doing something about it.

A gathering of academicians drawn from a range of disciplines will meet on April 7, 2010, at Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, to examine the declining state of the male, stemming from cataclysmic changes in today’s culture, environment and global economy. The live teleconferenced colloquium will be chaired by Lionel Tiger, PhD, Rutgers University Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology. It will encompass a broad range of topics relevant to the study of boys and men in contemporary society ranging from their roles in the family and workforce, as well as their physical and emotional health, to the growing problem of misandry—the hatred of males, an unacknowledged but underlying socio-cultural, economic, political and legal phenomenon endangering the well-being of both genders.

The goal of the April colloquium is to consider the nature and structure of male studies programs designed for institutions of higher education. It follows on the current experience of the On Step Institute (OSI), which supports graduate fellowships at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Culture and Human Development. It will seek to generate a cross-disciplinary community of scholars in male studies and establish a series of networks enabling scholars to become acquainted with each other’s work. The Chair of OSI, Edward Stephens, MD, who has organized the consortium, finds that while a handful of schools now sporadically offer courses dealing with males in traditionally unrelated departments – for example, literature, history, anthropology, psychology and sociology – the courses are unequal to providing effective insight into the immense problems confronting males in the 21st century which requires an integrated approach incorporating a multiplicity of academic disciplines.

Don't you feel better about a gathering of academicians drawn from a range of disciplines coming together to save the males? Man, I sure do.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why the church should accept evolution

UPDATE: Doug Wilson offers a response.

Was Stupak stupid?

Congressman Bart Stupak initially refused to vote in favor of the healthcare bill, but agreed to do so because President Obama said he would sign an executive order to not allow federal funds for abortions. Just as he said he would, Obama signed the executive order. Whether this executive order means anything in the long run is unclear, but neither the pro-choice camp nor the pro-life camp think it does.

So if the executive order is essentially meaningless, was Stupak stupid to give his vote for it? It would appear so, as he's not getting the love he seemed destined to get.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Dad, the unfinished business is done."

I'm linking to this story because I'm intrigued by items people leave at gravesites. What is the point in leaving something? When someone leaves flowers at the tombstone of a loved one, what are they hoping to accomplish? Obviously, the dead person is incapable of watching flowers transform from liveliness to decay. Only those who visit the graveyard will see the flowers, and the vast majority will not give them a second glance, no matter how elaborate and lovely they are.

When a son leaves a note - to tell his deceased father about what has transpired in the world since he expired, or whatever - no one would seriously suggest that the corpse could rise to read it. The son leaves the note for others to see. Would the son have left the note if the father was buried in some obscure place, instead of one of the most visited graveyards in the world?

India has a fiery new weapon

The chili grenade:
After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday.

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India's northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.

It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.

"The chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defense laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defense Research and Development Organization," Col. R. Kalia, a defense spokesman in the northeastern state of Assam, told The Associated Press.

"This is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs," R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.

Could your chili be classified as a lethal weapon?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"The real winner is the American people."

It looks like the Dems will get their votes for the healthcare overhaul.
Passage of the legislation seemed assured when Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan announced that he will vote in favor of the health care overhaul, citing confidence that an executive order signed by the president will prevent federal funds from being used for abortion coverage.

Here is Obama's executive order that assured the votes of the pro-life Democrats.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Georgetown out!

I know I should be ashamed to have picked Georgetown over Ohio University since I'm a native son of the Buckeye state, but honestly, who would have thought it? I'm not alone.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's with the Huffington Post featuring this picture of Obama and Pelosi?

This is the picture at the top of HuffPo's main screen right now, with the words "END GAME" looming large and blood-red:

It looks as if the President of the United States is about to take a bite out of the forehead of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I think we can safely presume that most of the HuffPo articles lean towards the left. Is this the image they want to present?

Top 100 Church Blogs, with bonuses

From the Church Relevance site:

There are hundreds of great church blogs and ministry blogs to read, but do you ever wonder which church blogs everyone else is reading?

I do, which is why I have compiled a list of the world’s top church blogs.

Some focus exclusively on ministry, while others are more like theology blogs. Regardless of how you label them, these are the world’s most popular church blogs written by many of today’s most influential church leaders, theologians, and Christ followers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

President Obama sent me a letter!

Well, an email actually. But hey! It's mail just the same, right? And he addressed it to "Matthew," which is how my family members call me. Barack and I are family!
I wanted to take a moment to thank you directly for the outstanding work you've been doing as part of Organizing for America's Final March for Reform.
Why, thank you! It's nice to be noticed. Although I don't remember doing anything to directly help you with this. But still, the notice is nice. And this is the Final March for Reform? We won't be having anymore, ever?
I can tell you that your voice is heard in Washington every day.
Really? Who all is hearing my voice? Besides you, that is?
I see how your efforts are moving us toward victory.
I haven't been to Washington since December 2004. You weren't even in the Senate yet. How could you have seen me?
Raise your voice today.
Would it help if I stepped outside before I started raising my voice? To improve the hearing of my voice?
We must all speak out together to finish the job.
Wait just a minute here, Barack. You're writing a personal letter to me, and now you're talking about how we must all speak together...? Who is this we? Umm... Are you sending email to other people, too?

Oh. I guess you are. I'm not so special after all.

Win the Best Actress Oscar, divorce your husband

It certainly seems to be a trend, with this news about the most recent Oscar winner.

a history of CCEF

David Powlison and Tim Lane of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation have posted an article about the identity and history of CCEF.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's a good day to wear green if you're going to celebrate the most recognized Irish saint. Or you could opt to wear orange.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"You know we're talking 'bout the doctor! Doctor!"

"Dr." Tony Bourdain provided a healthy guest appearence on Yo Gabba Gabba!

Good night, Mr. Phelps

Peter Graves, most famous for his roles on the television show Mission: Impossible and the movie Airplane!, died earlier today.

Graves died of an apparent heart attack outside his Los Angeles home, publicist Sandy Brokaw said. He would have been 84 this week.

I was a sophomore in college in February 1991, and a part of the college concert chorale, which toured for four days every year. On that particular year we sang in a few churches around Washington, D.C. We were fortunate enough to savour a few Saturday morning hours by wandering around the Mall. After walking by the Lincoln Memorial towards the Korean War Veterans Memorial, I passed by a particularly gloomy group. They were led by Peter Graves, whom I immediately recognized. I was feeling rather plucky, so I approached him and asked, "Sir, are you who I think you are?" He responded with a whispery, "I suppose so," and walked on. A woman, whom I could only assume was his wife, gave me the dirtiest of looks. I didn't care. I had spoken to Captain Clarence Oveur, and he spoke to me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google vs. Bing

I guess this is a bit narcissistic, but I've noticed I'm the top result in a Google search but the seventh in a Bing search. I wonder what this means? How can I get Bing to notice me more?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Michael Spencer

I was very sad to read this news from Denise, the wife of Michael Spencer, whose blog I regularly read.

It is with a heavy heart that I bring my latest update on Michael. We have learned that his cancer is too advanced and too aggressive to expect any sort of remission. Our oncologist estimates that with continued treatment Michael most likely has somewhere between six months and a year to live. This is not really a surprise to us, though it is certainly horrible news. From the very beginning, both of us have suspected that this would prove to be an extremely bad situation. I don’t know why; perhaps God was preparing us for the worst all along by giving us that intuition.

The combination of the cancer and the chemotherapy is keeping Michael in a very weakened state. He is in bed all day, getting up once or twice only to eat a “meal.” His meals consist mostly of Ensure, with occasional mugs of soup, dishes of ice cream and milkshakes. He’s still taking fluids well, currently preferring Sprite and ginger ale. His tastes do change slightly from time to time, and I try to be ready to jump in whatever direction they seem to be moving. He is in no pain at all, for which I am unspeakably grateful.

Michael went through a period of depression, as I’m sure you would expect. He seems to have come through that now, for the most part. He knows he is dying, and he says he is at peace. Though he will still say with unashamed honesty, “I don’t want it to all be over at age 53!” he has the confidence of knowing that he has run the race God set out for him. He believes he has done the work our Lord intended for him to do, and if the last task God has for him in this life is dying, then he will do that to the best of his ability.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"By the way, what the heck is he doing in the congressional gym? He goes there to intimidate members of Congress."

There are buck naked politics, and then there are shower naked politics. Former congressman Eric Massa (D-NY) claims Rahm Emanuel accosted him in the congressional shower room last year. While both were wearing not one stitch of clothing. "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? ... It's ridiculous."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

82nd Academy Awards

Usually I see only one or two Oscar-nominated movies before the awards are handed out, but this year is an exception. Thanks to the makers of DVD's and DVD players for making this possible.

  • District 9 (Picture, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay)

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Cinematography)

  • The Hurt Locker (Picture, Director, Actor, Cinematography, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay)

  • Inglorious Basterds (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay)

  • Julie & Julia (Actress)

  • The Princess and The Frog (Animated Picture, Original Song)

  • Star Trek (Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects)

  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Sound Mixing)

  • Up (Picture, Animated Picture, Original Score, Sound Editing, Original Screenplay)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We're all going to age faster

The Chile earthquake may have shortened our days:

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds).

Monday, March 1, 2010

to sleep, perchance to dream of the white bear

Jonah Lehrer can't sleep because he can't get his insomnia out of his mind.
My insomnia always begins with me falling asleep. I’ve been reading the same paragraph for the last five minutes — the text is suddenly impossibly dense — and I can feel the book getting heavier and heavier in my hands. Gravity is tugging on my eyelids.

And then, just as my mind turns itself off, I twitch awake. I’m filled with disappointment. I was so close to a night of sweet nothingness, but now I’m back, eyes wide open in the dark. I dread the hours of boredom; I’m already worried about the tiredness of tomorrow.

You can find more from Jonah at his blog The Frontal Cortex.

"That investigation is now concluded and no criminality has been found."

The Brooklyn ACORN has been cleared of charges of advising prostitutes.
Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source.

I wonder what Rush and Hannity will say about this.

Happy March!

I am so very thankful whenever March gets here, because Spring is three weeks away!

And, of course, there's this: