Saturday, October 29, 2005

More asinine insults

Well, he’s at it again. Ward Churchill, about whom I’ve blogged before, is back in the news with his uncensored, ignorant comments of his. As he continually hearkens back to the Holocaust to incessantly insult people, he lastly allegedly said during a lecture to college students “that Hitler should have exterminated ‘your American grandparents instead of the Jews.’" Not knowing when to keep his "theories" to himself—if he in fact said something of the sort—he continues in his narcissistic denial with an additional insult that “’It's not something I said," Churchill told about 80 students. They're "not the brightest bulbs in the world and not the most honest.’”

Thankfully, the topic on which my last post is based, Churchill “is being investigated by CU for plagiarism and academic dishonesty after he wrote an essay likening 9/11 victims to a Nazi.” Despite all of his dishonesty and deceitfulness based on what he has said and written and even claimed to be (hardly Native American, though he is head of Native American studies at CU), he is still teaching and spreading his offensive and insulting opinions with hardly a blink. I think CU is finally getting a clue, because Churchill is on a “sabbatical” while they are apparently investigating him.

Most recently, a college was asked to take off a doctored photograph where they had removed the AK-47 rifle Churchill was holding because “Obviously, we cannot support guns, so it was taken out.” They are complying with a request to find another photo to publicize his lecture at their school. Perhaps we’ll find out if they regretted asking him to speak, depending on what asinine parallel he will draw next.

Another popular popemobile

It appears that pope’s cars are very popular amongst collectors. As I had blogged before, Pope Benedict’s former VW Golf sold on German eBay for nearly $250,000. However, this time the auction (not through eBay) was of Pope John Paul II’s old 1975 Ford Escort GL, which sold for $690,000 to a Houston multimillionaire and car collector. It was sold by an impoverished restaurant owner who had bought it previously for $102,000, but finally sold it because of his financial hardship. As the buyer said about his purchase:

“To me, it’s a piece of history,” said John O’Quinn, 62, a Baptist who said he has a collection of about 600 vehicles. “What a great human being Pope John Paul was…The car will never be driven,” said O’Quinn, who said that at least temporarily it will be warehoused with his other cars. “But hopefully, in my life, I’ll be able to go back and touch this car and feel the pope’s spirit.”

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Analysis on the Miers Nomination

Here are some of my thoughts on the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court as the process continued, which has now ended with Miers' withdrawal of her nomination:

The Shifting Supreme Court
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 2
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 3
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 4
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 5
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 6
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 7
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 8 (b)
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 9
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 10
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 11
The Shifting Supreme Court, Pt. 12

A change of scenery for Anne Rice

Interestingly, Newsweek has written about the recent change in the works of Anne Rice. She has changed from her usual vampire-ish genre to writing about Christ. Her newest book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, is about Jesus’ childhood in Egypt and coming back to Nazareth, as narrated in the first person. After a couple of near-death experiences, losing her husband, and then having property in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Rice returned to her Roman Catholic roots and decided to change her topic approach.

“I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord."…Rice knows "Out of Egypt" and its projected sequels—three, she thinks—could alienate her following; as she writes in the afterword, "I was ready to do violence to my career." But she sees a continuity with her old books, whose compulsive, conscience-stricken evildoers reflect her long spiritual unease. "I mean, I was in despair." In that afterword she calls Christ "the ultimate supernatural hero ... the ultimate immortal of them all."... Rice already has much of the next volume written. ("Of course I've been advised not to talk about it.") But what's she going to do with herself once her hero ascends to Heaven? "If I really complete the life of Christ the way I want to do it," she says, "then I might go on and write a new type of fiction. It won't be like the other. It'll be in a world that includes redemption."

It’s nice to see that Rice has had a change of heart, so to speak. I hope that it’s genuine and I am interested to see how she handles her first volume regarding Jesus’ life.

Click here to hear an audio sample from her book. Click here to read an exerpt from the book. Click here to order the book.

Read some additional articles:
Anne Rice's Rebirth - Discusses in further depth about her conversion, and about her use of apocryphal and gnostic accounts of Jesus' childhood for her book.
A Boy tells of Angels, Bethlehem, and Family - A NY Times article that discusses more about the book.
Interview with a Penitent - How Anne Rice moved from fascination with vampires to renewed faith in Christ.

God beats evolution in new poll

A new CBS poll conducted found that the majority believe God had something to do with the creation of man, rather than evolution alone.

According to the survey, "51 percent say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved."
AOL also conducted a similar, unscientific poll, which found out that “With 105,000 respondents, 70 percent said yes, while 30 percent said no” in response to the question "Is it possible to believe in both God and evolution?"

Even though the majority acknowledge God in the role of creation, it seems that several want to be equal opportunity and not choose one way or the other, so they include belief in God and in evolution (which I assume to be macroevolution, the changing of one species to another) rather than take a definite stand. Still it seems encouraging that fewer people than expected buy into evolution alone, apparently realizing that there are some difficulties with the theory.

Even so, it seemed that there were some differences of opinion on the AOL message board. As a couple of comments show some differing views:

"How can anyone disagree with evolution with so much evidence out there?" asked one AOL user in an associated messageboard. "I don't see any evidence of how God got here."

"Did God create liberals?" asks another. "No. Liberals clearly evolved, by accident, from apes. Dumb apes. The average American liberal shows no hint of intelligent design. No wonder liberals are pro-Darwin."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What some people will do to improvise...

According to this report, a man in Tijuana, Mexico drove around town on his motorcycle with a helmeted corpse seated behind him. He apparently missed a curve and crashed, but fled the scene leaving his victim behind. The police thought that he had been killed in the accident, but saw that he had other injuries (knife wound to the forehead, strangulation marks) and determine he had died from other suspicious causes at least 6 hours earlier. Castro [the Baja, CA police spokesman] said that “the dead man had wraps of methamphetamine in his pocket and an unkempt appearance, which led investigators to believe the killing was drug related. ‘We think the killer was trying to take the body to a more deserted area to dispose of it,’ he said.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Wrath of Wilma...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

New Theatrical Narnia Trailer!

A fantastic new version of the trailer for "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" has been released. Click here to watch.

(The first version is playable in the margin of this blog under "Multimedia.")

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Romanian inmate sues God

According to this article, a Romanian prisoner is suing God because he didn't feel that he was kept safe from the devil by God. Among his statement:
"I, the undersigned Pavel M, currently jailed at Timisoara Penitentiary serving a 20 years sentence for murder, request legal action against God, resident in Heaven, and represented here by the Romanian Orthodox Church, for committing the following crimes: cheating, concealment, abuse against people's interest, taking bribe and traffic of influence...God even claimed and received from me various goods and prayers in exchange for forgiveness and the promise that I would be rid of problems and have a better life....But on the contrary I was left in the Devil's hands."

Ironic that a convicted murderer would charge God with crimes that appear to be more as a result of his own behavior rather than God's. As would be expected, his case will likely go nowhere, since God can't be subpoenaed in court.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Chewbacca is a US Citizen

Well, Chewbacca took the leap and read the oath to become a United States Citizen. Mostly because his alter ego, Peter Mayhew, married a Texan and decided to gain dual citizenship with his native Great Britain. Some of his thoughts on the process:

"I got married to a Texan lady. That more or less decided it," said Mayhew, who has been married to his wife, Angelique, for six years. "I've always been interested in the cowboys and the history of the West and the history of America, so it wasn't so bad," Mayhew said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I am feeling very happy about it," Mayhew said. "Whatever people say about America, it is still one of the most wonderful countries in the world, despite the politics, religion and everything else that goes on."

My picture from seeing "Men Behind the Mask" in July 1996.
Clockwise, from L-R:
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), 6'2"
Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), 7'3"
David Prowse (Darth Vader), 6'7"
Kenny Baker (R2D2), 3'8"

China: The birthplace of the noodle

Like many discoveries of ancient artifacts, archeologists have found evidence of 4000 year old noodes in China, buried uneaten in an overturned, sealed bowl.

A bowl of Neolithic noodles has revealed that China was the most likely birthplace of this popular food...Now a sealed earthenware bowl of beautifully preserved, thin yellow noodles about 4,000 years old has been found by Dr Houyuan Lu, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with colleagues in Beijing and Louisiana....The meal has probably left untouched because of an ancient disaster: the site harbours a settlement that was probably destroyed about 4,000 years ago by a major earthquake and flood.

Apparently, this has excited the researchers because this seems to settle the question as to who invented the noodle: the Chinese, the Arabs, or the Italians. Score one for China.

An interesting gift from Salvador Dali

Here is an interesting gift that this article reports Salvador Dali gave to a friar who supposedly performed an exorcism on him.

Armando Ginesi found the piece, measuring 60cm by 30cm, among the personal belongings of Gabriele Maria Berardi, a friar who died in 1984, in a storeroom in Rome....According to Ginesi, Berardi told friends and relatives he exorcised Dali of a demon in 1947 during a spell in France. ...The reported exorcism took place during a period in which Dali had broken away from surrealism and started producing more realistic works, often with religious imagery. Dali's sculpture of Christ on the Cross is a symbol of "piety filtered by a sense of the paradoxical," Ginesi explained.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another wall apparition...

Much like the Virgin Mary apparition/stain on a Chicago underpass, people in a church in Chile think they are seeing an image of their dead priest holding a child on the wall:

Visitors from all over the country are flocking to see the figures at the Christo Rey de Tome Church in Santiago, reports Las Ultimas Noticias. They believe it is the figure of Father Hurtado, who looked after needy kids when he was alive and who's due to be canonised at the end of the month by the Pope. According to local priests, the figures started to appear five weeks ago. Priest Hernan Henriquez said: “We don’t know what’s happening, we can’t be 100% sure but it appeared out of nowhere.”

Monday, October 10, 2005

Welcome to our newest addition!

Here is Prisma, our new betta. He has a great personality (for a fish) and is wonderfully colored. So far, Gigi is tolerating him just fine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cultural differences...

Apparently, King Mswati III, of Swaziland, chose his thirteenth wife from a ceremony performed before him in August. She is only 17, one year younger than his oldest daughter, who is 18. His other recent wives have also been young. She will be taken out of school in order to prepare to be a king's wife, but will not wed him until she becomes pregnant. Interestingly, he announced his engagement weeks after he lifted a ban on girls having sex before 18, as a purported means to curb the spread of HIV, although he had already broken that law with another then 17-year-old wife and fined himself a cow for it. Even though his polygamy seems strange to our culture, which is generally opposed in this and other countries, apparently his own subjects are dissatisfied with his lifestyle. Maybe we all aren't so different after all...