Friday, June 29, 2001

Wondering what Drew Brees will look like in Charger blue & gold instead of Boilermaker black & gold? Surf on over to Beckett's site and then scroll down approximately 4 clicks.

Here's a glimpse of Purdue's first men's basketball commitment for the 2002-03 season, Matt Kiefer from Evansville Mater Dei. There are also a few words about other major recruiting targets for the 2002-03 class.

George Will takes a peek at some of the faith-based initiatives being proposed and enacted by Philadelphia mayor, John Street. There are some promising ideas here that aren't necessarily ingenius, they simply unencumber faith based organizations to work in schools, prisons, and the like -- therein lies their merit.

Will, a master with the pen, makes a succint and profound statement in this column that is right on target:

Much urban poverty is resistant to economic growth because it is rooted not in material deficits but in intangible deficits--of the habits, mores, values and dispositions necessary for thriving in an urban society.

Thursday, June 28, 2001

Russ linked to an article that reports on research that suggests that enjoying and appreciating classical music may take more brain power than enjoying and appreciating pop music. I'm not going to give you the details, go read it if you're interested.

One paragraph in the article did particularly interest me, though:

Dr Susan Hallam of London's Institute of Education - which has extensively researched the connection between music and children's attention span - gave a cautious welcome to the idea.

I'd be very interested in seeing a report on the research of Dr. Hallam. I'd love to be working to increase the attention span of my own children, not to mention the urban kids and teens with whom I work, who often have a shorter attention span than my 16 month old. I might have to bring some classical music to the 'hood. Or as one of the former addicts in our rehabilitation program said when he heard me listening to some classical music (Prokofiev), "Mmmm...Mmmm I like that music you're listenin' to brother Chris, we used to call that shopliftin' music.

You've heard of Safety First, right? Check out this new "smart saw" that stops within 5 milliseconds upon contact with human skin.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

As the reviews of David McCullough's new biography of Adams continue to come in, I'm becoming more and more tempted to pick up a copy and read it. Interesting side note, John Adams married a woman named Abigail. Her maiden name was Abigail Smith and she was the daughter of a minister. Our firstborn is named Abigail Smith and I am, at this point, an aspiring minister. Whether she will marry a president and give birth to another remains to be seen.

I don't like having to commute 20-30 minutes to work (though I know that's nothing compared to what many people have). But while I'm in the car, I try to make the most of my time and do some quality listening. If NPR doesn't have anything good on, I pop in a tape. Sometimes I do an audiobook, though that's difficult to do in 20-30 minutes segments, audiobooks are better for long trips. Lately, I've been working my way through the Mars Hill Audio Journal tapes. Covenant Theological Seminary's library has the entire run of tapes, including some of the longer Mars Hill conversations. There are always interesting topics and interviews, the only problem is that it is only making my "books to read" list longer as I'm introduced to new authors and titles via Mars Hill.

Do you recognize this acrostic - AMIA? Bill Murchison suggests that in the near future you just might. AMIA stands for Anglican Mission in America, it is a new mission launched by Anglicans originating outside of the United States -- seeking the conversion of America. Four bishops were consecrated in Denver, by bishops from Rwanda & Southeast Asia, to oversee the efforts. America has become a mission field worthy of strategic endeavor from non-Western Christians. Murchison suggests that the foreign missionaries may very well get a hearing and a following from Americans fed-up with liberal mainline denominations. Likewise, I think that they'll get a hearing from people fed-up with empty unchristian American values that have become inextricably bound up with American Christianity.

Monday, June 25, 2001

Mona Charen has an excellent column on the question of reparations to blacks for the injustices done to them by the institution of slavery. In the article she points out that:

...the truth is that family structure is a far better predictor of success in America today than race, or the condition of servitude of one's ancestors. Black intact families enjoy incomes and standards of living indistinguishable from whites. But only 30 percent of black children are born to married couples today.

She then goes on to quote a startling statistic from Walter Williams:

Is this family disintegration itself a legacy of slavery? Doubtful. As economist Walter Williams writes, "In 1880, in Philadelphia, two-parent family structure was: black, 75.2 percent; Irish, 82.2 percent; German, 84.5 percent; native white American, 73.1 percent.

This represents a very rapid decline in the state of the black family. How sad. Sadder still and quite sobering is the way that the welfare state has been undercutting the black family for decades and has no doubt contributed to this rapid decline. I'm not releasing anyone from personal responsibility for abandoning a spouse or a family, but simply pointing out that the good intentions of many who have advocated liberal social policy in dealing with the poor have actually ended up doing more damage.

For a good account of how liberal social policy continues to be exalted even in the face of mounting evidence that display it's failures, check the link to The Burden of Bad Ideas under Currently Reading to your left.

I'm sorry I tried to resist, but I just couldn't...another link to an article about dodgeball. I almost held out, but John Leo's last paragraph compelled me to make you all aware of this valuable article.

Friday, June 22, 2001

I've got a new plan for my life...I'm going to sit around eat whatever I want in huge qualities & not exercise at all. Then I'll eat at Subway twice a day everyday for about two years and take up walking. After that you can pencil me in for radio & TV appearances, throwing out the first pitch at some Major League Baseball games, becoming a Subway spokesman, and hiring an agent to handle all of my other celebrity appearances and bookings. Finally I'll change my name to Jared.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

That's right -- "one of the more formidable sack tandems in the nation"!! Thanks to All-SVC linebacker and HUGE Purdue Boilermaker fan, Chris Berni, for the link.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

It's hip to be square.

Saturday, June 16, 2001

St. Louis' own Frederick Danker, collaborator on the standard A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, wants to change Jews to Judeans at many places in the gospel stories claiming that the Greek word more properly refers to a geographically specific group of Jews, as opposed to Jews as the larger ethnic/religious group dispersed throughout the Mediterranean region.

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Wisdom from G. K.:

If Americans can be divorced for "incompatibility," then I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable.

G.K. Chesterton

Monday, June 11, 2001

Don't fret if you can't make it to the Precious Moments museum in Carthage, Missouri, it may be coming your way!!

Sunday, June 10, 2001

Another good column from Roberto Rivera. This one is on the importance and power of narrative.

Thursday, June 07, 2001

Just yesterday I posted a couple links about a fascinating kidney transplant. Did any of you find the idea of transplanting a kidney repulsive, immoral, or unnatural? Did any of you even pause at the now routine reporting of an organ transplant? Honestly, it never even showed up on my ethical radar screen. Should it have shown up there?

Consider this...Frederica Mathewes-Green writes about Frankenmonkey, an experiment conducted by Robert White. In the experiment, White transplanted the head of one monkey onto the decapitated body of another monkey....and the monkey lived for several days! White reportedly came up with the experiment out of a desire to help quadriplegics regain the use of a healthy body (albeit someone else's). Does this kind of a "transplant" seem immoral, unnatural, or repulsive? Is it just because we aren't used to "transplants" of this kind? Mathewes-Green suggests that there are other reasons that we find the idea of Frankenmonkey unsettling. Even aside from ethical considerations, I'm sure that this kind of a transplant couldn't be performed on humans with any degree of reliability for years, if ever. It does raise a number of interesting questions, however. What makes a liver or kidney transplant different from a head transplant? Is one right and the other wrong, both right, both wrong? What constitutes the individual person -- a whole body, one's own God-given head & body, what about one's whole body, but with spare parts belonging to other people? I'll admit to not having given a lot of thought to many of the questions surrounding transplants, so I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

By the way, I first saw both the kidney transplant link and the Frankenmonkey link at Chuck Colson's Breakpoint website, which I highly recommend for at least weekly visits.

So, I'm sittin' here on my duff, and I follow Jon's link to this article, which tells me basically that my extra pounds are a SERIOUS health risk. Here's the "skinny" -- I've picked up about 45 lbs. since I graduated from high school (1986). Conclusion...I better shed some pounds or look forward to an increased risk of chronic illness in the days ahead.

In view of that, and in view of the fact that I'm sick and tired of being way out of shape, I hereby declare war on the fat which has taken up residence on my person.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Nineteen years ago, when she was three months pregnant, doctors advised her to abort her baby because the baby was drawing much needed resources for her ailing kidneys. She, willing to endanger herself for the sake of her child, refused to abort, and six months later gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Earlier this week, her unaborted son, now nineteen, gave no thought to endangering himself as he gave her one of his kidneys, and in doing so gave his mother a shot at life, just as she had done years ago.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Back on May 16th I posted a link to a story about a man who choked to death on a 5 inch perch...a stunt for his friends. My post said simply Hey guys watch this!

I just happened to catch a piece of Car Talk this weekend and Click & Clack were reading something like, "The Top 10 Ways to tell if you're a Hillbilly" or something equally tasteless. Anyway, one of the top 10 was, You know you're a hillbilly if...any of your relatives' last words were, "Hey guys watch this!" I'll have to admit there were a few others that got chuckle out of me:

You know you're a hillbilly if...

- you've been married three times and your in-laws haven't changed.
- you think "loading the dishwasher" means getting your wife drunk.

Like I said, tasteless, but a couple made me chuckle.

I'm rejoining the Quality Paperback Club for one access to the Oxford English Dictionary online. Yes, I'll get 4 books for a buck a piece plus shipping & handling, and, no, there's no further commitment to buy anything, but the access to the online OED is a $550 value (that's what their flier said, at least). I can see the OED coming in handy from time to time!

Monday, June 04, 2001

Commenting on his life's work of 34 movies, Woody Allen said:

I don't care if they're flushed down the toilet when I die. I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.

Sunday, June 03, 2001

Finally...Mackey Arena will have a REAL student section.

Friday, June 01, 2001

A couple of summers ago, I devoured Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, along with the rest of America. Since then I've kept an eye out for stories about Everest and mountain climbing in general. Here's a story about Erik Weihenmayer who, last week, became the first blind climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He wasn't the only one breaking records, however. Sherman Bull, on the same day, became the oldest person ever to climb Everest.

OK, I'll admit it. I'm a geek. While I was packing my suitcase in Phoenix yesterday, I had ESPN on because they were broadcasting...the National Spelling Bee. I won the spelling bee at James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School (that's right, home of the POETS) when I was in sixth grade. I went on to the county and then the state bees, but I did not advance to the National Bee...I'm still suffering from the sting of that awful elimination, not unlike a poor youngster might experience during a dodgeball game;-)

I still enjoy words and word games like Scrabble & Boggle. So I was trying to "spell along at home" while I watched, which was okay on words like: shibboleth, hyssop, atticism, phrygian and even inesculent. However, there were a number of words that I wouldn't have had a shot at including the winning word which was

Sorry for the absence...not only has blogspot been down for over a week, but I've been in Phoenix for a week at a convention for the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, and did not have access to the web or to a computer. I'll try and do some posting today if I get a chance.

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