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1.25.2005USATODAY.com - Oscar bids reflect industry's discomfort with religion: "The Oscar nominations announced Tuesday illustrate Hollywood's profound, almost pathological discomfort with the traditional religiosity embraced by most of its mass audience. At the same time, the odd choices for major awards suggest the enormous distance the entertainment industry has traveled from its own populist past."
So this means either there's great hope for seeker.TV... or no hope at all.
About Google Video / Looks like Google jumped on the concept that ATI has had for awhile with their "TV Magazine", which will compile screen captures and the closed-caption text of television programs you record. I thought it was ultra-cool, but I have to admit I rarely use that feature on my ATI All-In-Wonder card. Anyway, point being, video is getting more and more integrated into what has become "common" editing and searching and indexing.
1.22.2005Death of a petty criminal sparks new controversy in the Netherlands / I came across this story while reading up on a report that "Most Dutch see Muslims as a threat". But it seems that the biggest threat to the Dutch are purse snatchers and, more importantly, the prosecutors who press charges of manslaughter against victims who defend themselves.
1.21.2005CNN.com - Biology meets microchips to make tiny robots - Jan 18, 2005 / We're one step closer to the Borg -- or something out the the Matrix. I've always thought of more benign animal/technology integration (attach a camera to a Canada Goose to see what they do, etc.) but this is leaping a few steps beyond that (in its infant stages, of course).
1.20.2005Yahoo! News - Professor's Saturn Experiment Forgotten / Okay, so it's not like human error causing human beings to die or anything, but this is still really sad.
1.18.2005Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism || kuro5hin.org: "Nevertheless, everyone familiar with Wikipedia can now see the power of the basic Wikipedia idea and the crying need to get more experts on board and a publicly credible review process in place (so that there is a subset of 'approved' articles--not a heavy-handed, complicated process, of course). The only way Wikipedia can achieve these things is to jettison its anti-elitism and to moderate its openness to trolls and fools; but it will almost certainly not do these things. Consequently, as Wikipedia increases in popularity and strength, I do not see how there can not be a more academic fork of the project in the future."
Here's another perspective on the Wiki concept (and how it ought to be implemented)...
St. Paul Pioneer Press | 01/18/2005 | Tuning in to regional 'podcasts' This is the third reference to "podcasting" I've come across (or been given) in 24 hours, so something is up with this technology!
1.12.2005LightScribe / Looks like interesting technology, but the fact that it requires special media (which is expensive and very hard to find at the moment) might kill it.
Even the DiscT@2 never took off, and that didn't require any special media!
1.11.2005EFF: Press Room: "EFF is defending the publishers against these subpoenas, arguing that the anonymity of bloggers' sources is protected by the same laws that protect sources providing information to journalists. 'Bloggers break the news, just like journalists do. They must be able to promise confidentiality in order to maintain the free flow of information.'"
My knowledge of confidential sources is limited to coaching a debate team on the topic a few years ago -- "Resolved: A journalist's right to shield confidential sources ought to be protected by the First Amendment", if memory serves. So, this raises an interesting question about who a "journalist" might be... but what I'm more interested in at the moment is the "laws that protect sources"... since I think that a journalist's privilege is an asserted right (like "fair use" in copyright law) and isn't a legally affirmed one?
emlarson.com Infrared Photos / They're back! Yay! I dug around in the old archive CDs boxed up in my office since the move, and got these hosted with the rest of my site, so they shouldn't disappear anymore!
(For what it's worth, BTW, my entire emlarson.com site -- which isn't at all optimized for small file sizes -- is still under 15MB, which I think is pretty good.)
Since almost everyone I know is on broadband now, you can load up these Infrared pages lickety-split (technical term). Enjoy!
1.10.2005The Simpsons Archive: The Bart File / Which is worse: A cartoon character depicted as actually mooning authority figures, or a game player pretending to moon obscenity-hurling game fans during a notorious "border battle" of a simple football game?
One, FOX celebrates. The other, FOX reviles. Can you tell which is which?
I would have more respect for the FOX network and their commentators' "outrage" at Randy Moss' conduct if it weren't for the fact that FOX has made mooning a familiar event in this country's entertainment programming -- and has profited nicely from it.
If FOX's play-by-play commentators are so offended at that kind of behavior, I assume they'll turn in their resignations now that I've pointed out the secret that such "offensive behavior" is FOX's bread and butter?
I'm glad to see that the NFL has finally confirmed what I've said for years: What used to be a genuine sport has sunk to the level of professional wrestling, now complete with a new Gene Okerlund (several Genes, actually) to tell the fans when they should feel "outraged".
(Besides, it's not like Randy Moss was doing this in a conservative, professional setting... say, the United Nations, where he would have to engage in the far more mature conduct of wearing a sidearm or banging his shoe on the table.)
1.09.2005Do It Yourself: DIY People / This is so cool! The photos don't really go justice to the art -- with the glass streams dripping out of antique faucets. Of course, Ruth caught his quote and pointed out that "glass is anything but organic", but we both knew he wasn't talking chemistry.
1.07.2005Forbes.com: Apple Bites The Fans That Feed It / You always sue the ones you love, right? My official prediction (because I like to exercise my cynical side once in awhile) is that Apple is upset because this rumor is false, not becuase it's true, and we're not going to see a $500 headless Mac at MWSF.
My secondary prediction is that Apple stock will tank becuase folks will start down-rating it when "Apple can't come through".
I'm less confident about the stock prediction becuase Apple stock values make no sense at all.
1.06.2005Socrates Cafe participants gather to debate: "'Doubt is a dirty word in religious circles,' said Steve Roecklein, 59, a social worker who lives in northeast Minneapolis."
This is a fascinating article; maybe I only think that because of that philosophy major. But, anyway, I think that "doubt" is a subtantial component of my faith, not a challenge to it.
The reason I'm so ardently pro-life is because I have no idea if a fetus is a "human person" or not; it seems to have pretty good indications that it is, and when in doubt, we shouldn't intentionally kill things that are human. The reason that I'm an evangelical Christian is because Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). Maybe he was misunderstood or crazy or evil, but we have pretty good indications that he wasn't any of those things, and if he was right then we'd better listen to what he says and follow him!
So, in my experience, "religion" doesn't seek to remove all doubt but to encourage us toward wisdom, and wisdom which challenges us apply reason to doubt and act accordingly.
85-year-old man says cop brutalized him: "Lee last made headlines in 2001 after he shot and killed Charles Craighead, a house painter struggling with a carjacker."
That quote says it all. Out of respect to the millions of competent and ethical police officers in the world, I think Lee ought to resign. It's bad enough that, if he finds you struggling with an armed carjacker, he'll kill you. This incident doesn't make things look any better for him, regardless of which details you believe. (But I'll grant that spraying this 85-year-old with pepper spray was better than gunning him down with a shotgun.)
St. Paul Pioneer Press | 01/06/2005 | State school ratings deceiving: "Some critics say that as scores on nationally benchmarked tests start to come out, states with a small number of schools labeled underperforming 'will be embarrassed into creating a higher bar,' said Monty Neill, co-executive director of Fairtest, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit group that seeks improved standardized testing. 'Whether they do that remains to be seen. But once they do, they'll have more schools on (the list).'"
This is insane. Let me get this straight. People are going to look at the fact that "A full 24 percent of Minnesota's public schools are not meeting the state's standards for adequate yearly progress", and say, "Wow! What great educational standards Minnesota has! They're so great, they're bad! Not like those other states, that are so bad, they look good!"
NCLB is the dumbest law ever. At least the DMCA had a strong lobby pushing it and it benefits someone (at the expense of others). NCLB benefits nobody, at the expense of everybody, and it seems designed to give a free pass to schools that need work and punish schools that don't.
Dumb, dumb, dumb!
1.05.2005Diver / Speaking of collaborative, iterative video editing... this is getting somewhere! Fascinating! Think of what you could do by combining this with a lecture or teaching tape. Think of the implications for churches!
St. Paul Pioneer Press | 01/05/2005 | Mom grieves lost son: "Angela Scheller called the driver 'incompetent' and said she wants to hear 'what he has to say for himself. He killed my child.'"
I still don't know how I'd react to this one. Angela seems restrained.
1.04.2005DDN Articles - BitTorrent: Making Bulky Video Files Easier to Share / Amen! It's technology like this that will make collaborative, iterative video editing a reality. I hope!
The old terraform.org site is an interesting read... especially considering that the currentterraform site claims that "The Silo Project was founded in 1998 for the purpose of converting a Intercontinental Balistic Missile Base into an exclusive Feature Film Preservation Facility."
BTW, the "R. Scott Lazar" mentioned is none other than Bob Lazar. I'll leave it to you to Google "Bob Lazar". Have fun!
St. Paul Pioneer Press | 01/04/2005 | Boy dies as school bus hits minivan: "'The loss of a child is unbelievably sad,' Superintendent John Regan said. 'Everyone in our district shares the sadness and expresses profound sympathy to the boy's parents and family. We know that they are living a family's worst nightmare.'"
I have to admit, as a parent, I don't know how well I'd handle losing Candela in something like this...
1.03.2005Altovis; Does Altovis Really Work? Altovis prices; Pharmacist reviews Altovis / Despite the slick production values of their commercial (which I could reproduce with a couple hundred bucks of stock video clips, but that's another story) I think I'll hold off on hyping myself up on a bunch of herbs at a couple bucks a day... especially since the most notable ingredient is 100mg of caffeine). But the commercial sure was pretty!
Star-Telegram | 10/12/2003 | THE RISE OF DAYSTAR / An interesting (to me, at least!) and well-written article about the challenges of running a Christian TV network.
1.01.2005The Aquin Online / I've been pondering an article that appears in the center spread of the November 19th Aquin. In a discussion of Mel Gibson's "The Passion", Ian Connel quotes a theology professor (Kin Vrudny) and ends up making an interesting assertion:
"Although each of the four gospels has an underlying theme, Vrudny said, the theme of Gibson’s interpretation of the passion was unclear. Gibson presents a precritical fundamentalist perspective, perhaps ignoring some of the modern scholarship that constitutes today’s interpretation. Jesus is portrayed as a superhero when, according to scripture, he was tried, flogged only with a cane and crucified no differently than any other common criminal." (emphasis mine)
First of all, that's an interesting way of writing that presents one individual's assertion as fact. But let's ignore that.
Can anyone quote to me the "scripture" that says Jesus was "flogged only with a cane"? I can't find it. I know He was flogged by the Romans, and I know that Roman flogging wasn't a whack or two with a cane. Basic history tells you that. But let's leave that aside for the moment...
And I assume every criminal brought before Roman authorities was given a robe, crown of thorns, and a sign prolaiming him"King of the Jews"?
You can say you don't beleive that any of that was done for Jesus. I disagree with you, but at least you're acknowledging the reality of the claims and then choosing to reject them. But to say that scripture doesn't even claim that Jesus' crucifiction was something out of the ordinary is incredible!
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