Thursday, May 30, 2002
I actually bought a Team USA soccer jersey for the World Cup yesterday (it wasn't easy to find, either!). Despite all evidence, I remain convinced that we've got a shot at winning it all. I considered getting an England jersey, but I decided that it would be mildly traitorous. I'll still root for England so long as they're not playing America, but I can't wear England apparel. Such is my life.
Now, on to the land of sprouts and waffles!
Monday, May 27, 2002
Okay, enough whining and moaning. England's not that bad. A little bit more warmth, some better nutrition, and I think everything would be hunky-dory (I can't believe I just said that).
Oh, and I think I can still name every single alcoholic beverage I've ever had and when I had it.
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Oh, and in an interesting turn of events, I was doing some reading yesterday and oddly enough, the voice that I sometimes hear reading along with me in my head was different. Usually, it's like I'm talking to myself as I read, and my voice is recognizable. Yesterday, it was British. Actually, I don't know if it was British. It was some odd mix of English, Scottish, and Irish, but at least it was constant and consistent. I tried speaking with the accent that I heard, but wasn't entirely successful. I've also started saying "chube" instead of "tube" and a few other British-isms. Won't be long now bayfore I lak dags (Jew lak dags? Dags? Yeh, dags. Oh, dogs, yeah, I like dags) or staht tollking loik Ollyvah Twist, eh guv'nah?
In case the link above doesn't work (I was having some trouble with it earlier), I was sad to read that Mark Butterworth has left the Roman Catholic Church (well, perhaps it left him, but that's semantics). I was baptized Episcopalian, and while I disagree with many of the policies of the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, I've never really left them. Of all traditional church services, I still feel most comfortable with the Anglican Rite (in case you're wondering, the Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion, a confederation of Anglican Rite churches begun by the Church of England (hence "Anglican")). Even when I attended services at Methodist churches (Methodism is an offshoot of Anglicanism), I still considered my self both Episcopalian and Methodist. Probably the main reason I stayed Episcopalian is because while I disagreed with the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, I knew that many, even most, of the Anglican Communion was different.
Where am I going with this? I'm not entirely sure. It used to be that I was Protestant because it seemed the most American way, and thus most natural to me. I couldn't understand why anyone would be Catholic (either Roman or Orthodox) except that their parents had also been Catholic, and thus they were just doing as they were told. After all, I was and am familiar with Catholic views on morality, and when I saw people claiming to be Catholic constantly violating those views, I thought that this was further proof. Now, they certainly weren't the only ones, but then, other people I knew who did the same things didn't claim to follow a religion which opposed such things. I wasn't completely right, but I did have it partially. Many people are "historically" Catholic rather than practicing Catholic (all religions have this, by the way). They do as their parents tell them regarding their religion, and they like the community and "status" of being Catholic. However, this certainly isn't all Catholics. Through reading and talking with people like Mark Butterworth, Louder Fenn, and Chris Burgwald, I came to understand the Catholic viewpoint, and while there are portions I don't agree with, I think we have an honest disagreement. Furthermore, the things separating Protestants and Catholics aren't, at least from my perspective, things that are make-or-break. My view on the issues I disagree with is that they were instituted with good in mind, but gradually people forgot that certain things were symbolic rather than literal. I think that this can confuse people and may lead them to abandon the Truth when they see an apparent contradiction. I'm sure Protestantism has similar minefields that I'm blind to as well (if I had to say, I would guess that it Protestant churches don't encourage enough respect, while Catholic churches don't explain their position well enough and may cause people to tend towards idolatry).
Again, I'm not entirely sure what to say. Part of me wants to encourage the Roman Catholics to stick with your church, since "this too shall pass." I know there's a lot of evil in the clergy right now, but it's not in the majority. Furthermore, Catholic strength is in the laity (I consider monks, nuns, and friars to be lay as well). On the other hand, risking having your or your family's souls being corrupted is not an acceptable price to pay. I'm thankful that I'm not in a position where I have to decide, and I offer my sympathy to the Roman Catholics out there in such a trying time.
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Today, I went to the British Natural History museum, which I didn't really like. I've found that I'm starting to not like a lot of big museums (the Smithsonian, etc.), and I think the problem is that it's geared more towards foreign tourists and school groups. Almost everything at the BNH museum was stuff I'd already learned, and I get bored when I'm not learning. I will say that I enjoyed the gemstone collection, but then, I would always enjoy the gemstone collection at any museum. After that, I rode the Eye of London (the world's largest Ferris wheel) and braved the steak for dinner. It was actually excellent, and the fries (chips) were top-notch. Corona had come highly recommended to me (despite the stories of Mexicans urinating in it), and it proved to live up to the hype (not the peeing part) (I hope).
London itself is an interesting town. It's very flat, while DC and Alexandria are rolling and hilly. I'm starting to learn how to be a pedestrian here without getting killed, and even managed to walk all the way over to Buckingham Palace from my place in Kensington this morning to see the changing of the guard (which I didn't see because the first changing is apparently at 11:30). People aren't exactly standoffish, but privacy is highly valued. Given that London is so compact, I guess I can understand that, though I do miss the friendliness of Virginia. I've decided that what I need to do is go to a sports pub during a World Cup match. I'm one of the few Americans I know who likes to watch soccer (football here), and so I doubt I'll be bored. I've also noticed in myself and in other people in my group that we're starting to pick up British-isms. I'm already saying "pardon" instead of "'scuse me," and the only music I seem to be in my head is Handel's Water Music, U2, the Trainspotting soundtrack, and, unrelatedly, Rocky Top, which I've never even heard in its entirety. Such is life here. I'm definitely behind on my reading of other blogs, though I do try to cycle through every few days. It's past midnight now, so I'm off to bed. G'night Yanks!
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Monday, May 20, 2002
Okay, let me start by saying that I haven't had real sleep since Friday night. The first of those nights was entirely my fault, but the second one was because not going to sleep immediately is supposed to help with the jet lag. We've been standing and walking through airport terminals and Kensington almost non-stop since noon on Sunday. Anyway, after a short hop to Philadelphia (the City of Clogged Arteries), we headed off on USAir for London-Gatwick. Contrary to my expectations, the flight was fine. The food was pretty good, we were fed snacks quite often, and most importantly, we each had our own free television set in the back of the seat in front of us, where we could watch movies, TV shows, listen to music, whatever. I watched Bandits and part of K-PAX, which were both very good (it's apparent to me however that Kevin Spacey only knows how to play one kind of character, though I'll admit he does it well). I was also offered wine with my meal, which I tried. It was a Sutter Home red, and was pretty bitter and generally awful. Thus, I watered it down to about 1/4 red wine and it was tolerable. Anyway, we eventually landed and went through Customs. Have you ever seen Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch? Remember the hilarious sarcastic Cockneys? Well, one of them was my Customs person, and believe you me that irritating Cockneys suck when you actually have to deal with them. In any case, we ended up waiting for about three hours for another flight carrying the rest of our group to arrive, and then finally reached the place we're to stay for the next four weeks (eleven weeks in my case). Um...yeah. I had no clue they could possibly make bathrooms that small. I know economy of size is important, but this is ridiculous. After a multi-hour walking tour of Kensington (without any sleep yet), we had a little bit of time to ourselves, where my roommate and I went to the grocery store and stocked up on provisions. To any paranoiacs out there, let me assure you that American supermarket technology is light-years ahead of Britain's. It's just amazing how certain things just either aren't available or are barely so. After this, we all went to a pub called the Anglesea Arms, which was very good. I had some light-colored beer I can't remember the name of (Hoengaard? Something like that?) and steak and kidney pie. However, the thing that most amused me was that the first thing that I noticed when I walked into the pub was that the bartender had a shirt that said "AA" on it. Irony at its finest. After that, we returned to our pad, where I went down to the computer lab and typed this.
In conclusion, I rule. And I'm very tired.
Sunday, May 19, 2002
How to make a ska band:
Take one punk band, remove lead singer.
Replace punk singer with lead singer from swing band.
Add one trumpet and one trombone (may double and/or also add a bari sax player)
Emphasize beats two and four
Saturday, May 18, 2002
Friday, May 17, 2002
Please stop using PowerPoint in dark rooms! Actually, quit using it at all! If you've got pictures, use a slide projector. Your students all know how to take notes, and you insult our intelligence and put us to sleep (seriously) when you read exactly what's on the board. We don't like it. We don't learn. Multiple-choice tests are also a bad idea, though not as bad as PowerPoint. Honestly, your students want to learn, but when we can just download your notes from the web, it doesn't exactly encourage us to pay attention in or even attend class. Keep in mind that we'll be the people educating your kids and grandkids, so you might want to teach us well.
Archaeopteryx is often touted as evidence that dinosaurs' scales eventually became modified to become feathers, and thus that evolution from reptiles to birds is a feasible idea. However, there are a few questions about this that I'd like to have answered before accepting this idea.
There were two groups of dinosaurs: saurischia (lizard-like, and including things like Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and pretty much all the dinosaurs that walked on four feet) and ornithischia (bird-like, and including Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus rex, and most of the dinosaurs that walked on two legs). Now, the idea behind Archaeopteryx is that a member of ornithischia modified over time and eventually became a bird. There's a problem, however. Ornithischia doesn't have the right anatomy to give rise to birds. Saurischia does (or at least has a closer one). Archaeopteryx is definitely an ornithischid, and lacks a sternal keel for anchoring the bulky muscles necessary for flight. It also doesn't have the wishbone-shaped pelvis common to birds (which saurischia does possess). Even more important, it doesn't appear that archaeopteryx was anywhere close to flying or even gliding. Its back feet were best suited for running along the ground, not perching in trees as would be necessary. Now, saurischia does appear to have many of the anatomical features to possibly give rise to birds. However, we haven't seen any saurischids remotely resembling birds, casting doubt on the possibility that they did in fact do so. I also wonder why no reptiles since have developed feathers, if the variation was common enough back then to allow a new class to develop. This is certainly not conclusive proof against macroevolution, but I do think that these questions are worth being answered before accepting theory as fact.
Thursday, May 16, 2002
UPDATE: Yes, as you can see from my comments section, [jerks] replaces another word I used. I apologize to all who may have been offended.
Okay, my rating system is as follows: if I like it, I give it a star. If not, I don't. I give Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones a star. It wasn't incredible. I wasn't blown away. It's not the best of the Star Wars movies. Still, it was entertaining. Samuel L. Jackson is Shaft-tacular. Yoda's lost the sideburns and does some serious whoopin'. There are plenty of pretty special effects, and we get to meet Boba Fett for the first time. Jar-Jar is minimized. The courting goes on a bit too long without a fight, but it's not like it's Pearl Harbor or anything. Now, many people seriously dig Natalie Portman. I'll admit, she's cute. However, that's it. Anakin is, well, kind of like how you'd expect a petulant teenager to act. Kind of smooth, kind of not. Ewan McGregor is, of course, outstanding. I liked the fight scene with Darth Maul from Episode I better than the fight with Count Dooku, but it wasn't bad, either. Star Wars addicts are going to consider this movie further proof of God's existence, mild fans such as HokiePundit are going to think it was pretty good, and your average movie-goer will think it was an entertaining way of spending $7.50.
1. Angels are often referred to as morning stars. Lucifer is the light-bringer (the Hebrew makes it clear that this light is the color of "shining brass," and thus yellowish). Did the Hebrews identify Satan with the sun (the star Sol which the planet Earth orbits), and other angels with other stars they saw? Is it conceivable that this may even be true (my understanding is that angels have at least some physical form)?
2. As all the angels are immortal spirits, would it be the case that Satan and his followers are not redeemable since they made their own choice as to disobeying God, while Man after Adam and Eve is given a chance for salvation because we were born with original sin and thus have to work with the corruption we've been given? I'm not sure if this would mean that Adam and Eve could be saved, but I think it would depend if they were really tricked or if some malice on their own part caused them to disobey God.
3. Satan's followers are described as fallen, and man is also often described as fallen. This may just be a metaphor, but is it possible that God, in his mercy, is allowing these angels who followed Satan to have a chance at redemption? This would mean that all humans are really the angels who fell from God and must use this life to attempt to regain a state of Grace.
I don't know the answers to these, I have a lot more thinking to do.
UPDATE: A further thought: Satan continued to have access to God in the Old Testament, and slandered Man (see the Book of Job). After Jesus rose, however, war arose and Satan and his followers were cast out. Now, why should it be at this moment that the war occurs? It seems to me that the purpose of God coming as a man was to show that the flesh doesn't require a person to sin (if it did, then God, who is all-good, couldn't have successfully been a man without changing the flesh into something not-man). With Satan thus proved wrong, his trial was concluded and his punishment was to be banished from God's company (which is what Hell is considered to be).
UPDATE: Or I might just go to sleep when I get back, since I've had a bit of a headache all day long, in which case you'll have to wait until tomorrow. However, I might pray to St. Tylenol and tough it out for the sake of those unable to get opening night tickets (I would snicker, but it's not like I camped outside or anything for them, I just went online at the right time).
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
"There is a dream that is life
Ethereal and ephemeral
It's not my dream, I don't want it
I created the dream, but I refuse to share it
It's unwanted, misshapen, and it's my choice
I murder my dream"
Yeah, it's depressing, I know, but that's okay. Can't keep a contact high all day, now can I?
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
In other news, HokiePundit recently discovered that you get a lot more hits if you link to yourself in the body of your posts. It's cheap, but amusing.
HokiePundit: When you absolutely, positively need rants about the good old days from a teetotalling 19-year old virgin.
Monday, May 13, 2002
The central thing Mark takes issue with is my thought that Jesus is Son of God in a way different from how regular people may be. I do think that the Word had a major part (at least) in Jesus Christ, but let's consider what at least seems like a viable scenario. There's a school of thought (I can't remember what it's called, unfortunately) that says Jesus was just an ordinary guy (well...a haploid guy [sorry, science joke]) until his baptism by John the Baptist, where the Holy Spirit came down and "fused" with him. This theory contends that at this point, Jesus bar-Joseph became Jesus Christ and was in fact part of God. Now, it's pretty impressive to have God Incarnate speaking to you, but how much difference is there between God doing something personally and God inspiring someone else to do it (this also applies to miracles, with the "poof!" kind no more special than the simple ones like a hopelessly evil man turning his life around)? I have to say that I've always had trouble understanding the traditional view of Jesus' sacrifice. Yes, Jesus died on the cross unjustly. Other people were crucified for things they weren't guilty of as well (though I'm aware that they were still guilty of things with which they weren't charged). I mean, I see the whole "dying for your beliefs" angle, but I don't really understand the significance of the rest of it. Yes, we killed God (he rose, just in case there are any smug atheists reading this), but didn't we do essentially the same thing when we first disobeyed God, and every time we sin? To me, the crucifixion is worse than other things we've done, but still within the same scale. What I'm left with isn't a definitive statement that Jesus wasn't the same as normally portrayed, but a defensible position that this was the absolute least he could possibly of been. In John 1:1, we hear that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." However, if we were originally part of God, then couldn't it be said that all men are the Word? Angels (including Satan) would also seem to fit this description. A common contention about what Jesus said and who he was is that he was either a liar, a fool, or correct. However, what if there's a disagreement over the meaning of what was said? Imagine if Jesus had said that he was a New Yorker. Scholars might say that as such, he was likely raised watching Yankees or Mets games, riding the subway, and was accustomed to seeing the Statue of Liberty. However, wouldn't it also be possible that he was from Albany, rather than Brooklyn? What I'm basically saying is that with my knowledge at present, I don't know that the traditional view can be fully supported.
I think Mark misinterprets my comments on the virginity of Mary and the sexuality of Jesus dividing Catholics and Protestants. There's no serious debate among the two that Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin (though I do think that there are some valid criticisms of this that ought to be addressed) or that Jesus also remained a virgin, but that wasn't what I meant. The Roman Catholic Church considers Mary co-redemptrix, says that she always remained a virgin, and that she was sinless, else she couldn't have given birth to Jesus. To a Protestant (-ish) like me, there are some problems with this. If Joseph never consumated his marriage to Mary, were they really married? If not, then a lot of Bible genealogy is pointless since Jesus wouldn't have been heir to Joseph. Since Jesus is regularly considered Joseph's son, then it seems to me that he must've had a consummated marriage with Mary. Also, if it takes someone sinless to make another sinless person, then we need to assume that both of Mary's parents were also sinless. Ultimately, we could trace it back to at least Adam and Eve, who we know sinned. Thus, it seems more plausible to me that God forgave Mary's sinful nature and allowed her to bear Jesus. If details about Mary are rendered moot, then it doesn't matter who she was, and we can concentrate on God's Word.
Mark also points out that not by following laws will we be saved. I have to disagree. God told us to love Him and to love each other. That's a law. What Christians are freed from is relying on a far larger body of laws to tell them what's allowable. Many things that come up today aren't covered by Jewish law, and thus I suppose they'd be considered okay. However, Christianity tells us to consider ideas and practices in light of their relation to God. Everything must be judged by God's simple love-law.
I also didn't mean to imply that our souls would be destroyed rather than suffer eternal torment. The idea is that such destruction would be the only way we could escape at that point.
Lastly, we get to the uniqueness of Christianity. I assert that it's possible to achieve salvation without ever hearing a word about Jesus Christ (otherwise, a lot of people are screwed). As I said, though, it's a lot harder, which is why missionary work is so important. Such people may encounter Jesus after they die and recieve what correction is necessary, but it's not required in this life. The idea that some people have an easier road than others sounds unfair, but we have to remember that none of us even deserve a chance to be saved, and so arguing about who is helped more is ungrateful.
Again, I don't mean to disprove anything said by Mark or Louder (I assume Louder Fenn isn't his real name, but I haven't a clue what it is, so Louder he shall be). My Christianity as a theory is a chassis on which I add parts that fit until I've got something that works better than it did before. If I'm following the blueprint wrong, I'm happy and grateful to fix my mistake.
Now, I want what most people want. I want a wife, kids, friends, a house, a good job that I love, and probably some hobbies and maybe a small garden in my backyard. I want honeysuckles growing on my back fence and daffodils in my front border by my porch. I want a car with hydraulics, too, but that's not important right now. I want to gradually rise in a natural progression to a respected position in my field, and die knowing that I did right and that everyone loves me. I like sleeping in a warm bed with nice sheets, being complimented on my looks or brains, and advising people when they need help. So far as I can tell, this is pretty much the American Dream, and is shared by everyone (well, some people want to shoot a president to impress Jodie Foster, which I do find somewhat hard to argue with, but moving on...).
Unfortunately, that's not what this rebellious part of me wants. That part is telling me to give up my nice clothes, give all my money to charity, and live an ascetic life. It tells me that marriage, while noble for some people, isn't my destiny and would hurt me in my attempts to achieve salvation. It's telling me to drop out of school and go work with my hands and preach the gospel (with words, if necessary, to quote St. Francis of Assisi). I've got many gifts, and I should use them to help the most needy.
I'm desperately trying to find the best way to be altruistic while doing the most good. It seems to me that with at least a bachelor's degree, and possibly a master's or doctorate, I could do a lot more. I don't really have a skill in trade right now, though I could learn one without too much trouble by joining the military or volunteering. I'm not entirely sure what I should do next, but until I do, I think I should keep on my current path. C'est la vie, non?
"Hokie, hokie, hokie hi, Tech, Tech, VPI
Sola-rex, sola-rah Polytech, Virginia
Rae, ri, VPI!"
Basically, "Hokie" means roughly the same thing as "Yay," "Whoo," or (shudder...) "Wahoo."
Anyway, that's only semi-important right now. When most bloggers say "hokie" to describe something country and backwards, they really mean "hokey." Homonyms, you see. Thus, the dance you learned as a kid was the Hokey-Pokey. Meanwhile, the dance that the Marching Virginians do at halftime, eliciting cheers and childlike wonder is the Hokie-Pokie. Similar, yet subtly different. And that's what it's all about.
Sunday, May 12, 2002
"Oh, you look so handsome! Is there a girlfriend? Oh really?!? Well, why not?"
No, I'm not gay. I'm just shy like nobody's business. Dense, too, but being dense hasn't stopped other people...
Saturday, May 11, 2002
I've always been receptive to the idea that Christianity as an establishment (rather than a means) isn't the only True Way. Before I go any further, I'd better do some heavy clarification. I believe that there is one God, and that this God created us and everything in the universe. I believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life (after his baptism, at the absolute, no-questions-possible, latest). I believe that Christ's teachings on love and attaining the Kingdom of God were correct. However, I don't know (in the same sense as above) that he was the one and only Son of God in a way distinct from what every person potentially is. I'm not sure how important that part is, either. If what he said is true, it could've come from a Ouija board and still be as correct. Having the proponent of an idea also be a follower lends some credence to it (I suspect that atheists/agnostics reading this will disagree and demand an explanation, and while I'll do so if asked, I also think it's self-evident if you stop and think for a bit). Thus, move from concentrating on the man to concentrating on the message.
Looking at the message rather than the messenger is helpful in that it removes outside influences. It's true that you can learn a lot about a book by its cover, but many false ideas have charismatic proponents (just as truths may be espoused by either the attractive or the lowly). It also means that squabbles over the virginity of Mary or the possible sexuality of Jesus are nullified, and so a stumbling block between Catholics and Protestants is removed. When looking at any claim, we want independent attestation. Absence of proof is not proof of absence, but having several witnesses improves the reliability of a claim. The major philosophies of life currently existing are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Stoicism and Confucianism also tend to influence these belief systems, but rarely act on their own. I think that the persistence and size of these schools of thought lends them some credibility. I don't say that the bigger a following something has, the truer it is. However, if something has survived hundreds or thousands of years of questions and still has a sizeable following, the likelihood that it has some hold on the truth is far higher than if it is extinct or only has a few followers. If we are to assume that all major religions have at least some part of the truth, the best thing to do is to compare similarities, as these are probably true. What comes to light first is a sense of order and duty. The creator is above the created. Goodness is portrayed as sky and air and evil is the ground and underworld, a physical representation of good over evil. We also find that we've separated from our former union with God and fallen (a physical representation, again). Our goal is to reunite with God (or as Buddhism portrays it, an eternal energy; I'll refer to this as God for my purposes here) by following certain laws and codes of conduct. By achieving harmony with God, we are able to join him (her, it, whatever).
There are two primary manifestations of this duty and order that we see. The first is the responsibility to know one's place. If one having authority is over you, you are to obey them. This may be God, a king, a governor, a parent, etc. For those under your own authority, you are to discipline them when they fall out of line in order that they may learn their place. However, the other side is that of love. We are always encouraged to treat others as we ourselves would be treated. A master may order an underling to do something, but he should not order them to do something that is wrong. If someone needs our help, we should give it. This also applies to oneself. We're to abstain from certain practices because they're ultimately hurtful to ourselves or others, not because they violate some abstract rule. If our ultimate goal is to achieve union with God, then sins are those things which delay or prevent that from occurring.
Now, there are some parts that need more explanation. A reasonable question at this point would be to point out that Hinduism and Buddhism believe in reincarnation, and to say that a just, loving God wouldn't damn us (in other words, prevent us from joining him) and so we'll all eventually achieve union. If there is infinite reincarnation and we're destined to eventually become one with God, then why should we do anything? Eventually, we'll just stumble upon the right answer or God will get fed up with our absence or figure that, in the words of Sgt. Hartman, "if God wanted you up there, he woulda miracled your [donkey] up there by now, wouldn't he?" I think this is a very risky way of thinking. There is also a claim that we only get one shot. In the absence of full information, it's safer to assume that we need to try and save ourselves in this life, and then be pleasantly surprised if we're proven wrong by being reincarnated (sort of like Pascal's Wager). As for being miracled up to heaven, this is essentially stating the Problem of Evil. I don't have a full explanation, but it seems to me that if this were a viable option, it would've occurred by now. Since it hasn't, it's reasonable to assume that it won't happen, even though we don't know why (just like how scientists know the universe exists, but can't prove why).
In order to be reunited with God, we must fit in. Jesus said rightly that no one mends shrunk clothes with an unshrunk patch (unless they're ignorant, of course), since they'll tear after being washed. As such, to be successfully reincorporated, we must match God. Life is our chance to change our soul's composition. If we let life by and don't use our chance to change ourselves, we may never again get the chance. Thus, we'll endure the hell after we die of knowing that we're separate from God but not having the opportunity to change. We would only be able to hope that God could put us out of our misery by causing us to cease to be.
That is what Christianity is. It's a clarification of Judaism. When Jesus says that he is the only way to God, he means that only through love and duty can we change ourselves to be in God's image. Hindus who walk in love and duty will also be saved. The difference is that Christianity is the simplest of the ways to achieve this. Any belief that has part of the truth can lead to all of it, but the more extraneous material there is, the more opportunites there are for straying from the True Path.
Friday, May 10, 2002
It sounds like he also got busted by his superiors (a lot of officers really have nothing better to do than yell at NCOs). I'm not sure if this only applies to officers, but I know that soldiers (sailors, airmen, etc.) aren't supposed to officially criticize their chain of command, such as the President. Even bumper stickers are often prohibited. Sarge had mentioned, over time, his service branch, approximate rank, specialty, current assignment, at least one former assignment, and family status. I can understand the importance of the policy, but it's not like he was posting under his real name. A shame, but at least we've still got Beers Across America.
"Heh heh, good ol' rock, nothing beats rock..."
"Rock is dead, long live paper and scissors!"
-my friend Leslie's button
wah, wah, finals
wah, wah, more finals
wah, wah, paper
wah, wah, heading home
wah, wah, home
wah, wah, stupid laptop
Thanks to everyone who's been patient with me; I'll try to have my real computer set up today.
Anyway, I'm writing this because I recently got Hit Parade by Audio Adrenaline. This is the first Christian album I've bought that wasn't Christian ska (O.C. Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, Insyderz), and I wasn't sure how I'd like it. I really like the late 80s-early 90s sound (Gin Blossoms, for example), so this turned out very well for me. They sound like some fusion of U2, Jesus Jones (not a Christian group, FYI), and Fountains of Wayne (with some Butthole Surfers on Some Kind of Zombie[thanks to the Ole Miss Conservative for this one]). If you're into the Limp Bizkit sound, skip this one. However, the thing about it is that Audio Adrenaline is the first good Christian rock band I've heard. Again, I'm told that Relient K and the Newsboys aren't bad either. However, I think we've hit the turning point. Radio stations will play what's good and sells. They never mentioned the Christian aspects of Lifehouse, Creed, U2, MxPx, or P.O.D., but they had no trouble playing them into the ground. Christian ska is already just as good as regular Ska, and finally Christian rock has at least a few entries just as good as regular Rock.
Thursday, May 09, 2002
At some point, someone noticed that a lot of languages had peculiar similarities. The words for a lot of things were eerily similar for the same thing. For instance, the word for "no" in most languages in India, Persia, and Europe begins with the letter N. The word for "mother" usually sounds like some variation of "mahter." This person got the bright idea that perhaps some of these languages might be more related than the Romanic/Germanic/Slavic/etc. designations usually used. From this, the theory that all Indo-European languages (except Basque) were derived from a common ancestor.
I still don't think I've really made my point, but it's late, and typing on a laptop keyboard is taking its toll on my patience. I'll try and develop this later (if you know what I mean, please post something more clear than what I've said).
Monday, May 06, 2002
Top 57 movies (so I'm inspired by ketchup; sue me):
Best in Show
Black Hawk Down
Blast from the Past
The Blues Brothers
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
Empire of the Sun
The Fellowship of the Ring
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Lawrence of Arabia
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
The Longest Day
The Magnificent Seven
A Man for All Seasons
Man of La Mancha
The Man who Shot Liberty Valance
The Mask of Zorro
Meet the Parents
The Mouse that Roared
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Razor's Edge (1946)
The Razor's Edge (1984)
Rules of Engagement
The Seven Samurai
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shoes of the Fisherman
South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Toy Story 2
The Truman Show
The Way of the Gun
UPDATE: I would've included Shrek and The Langoliers, but there's nothing nifty about the number fifty-nine. Perhaps if I can think of ten other good movies, I can offend some people!
Saturday, May 04, 2002
I don't drink coffee or tea, but I sure get my caffeine!
Prove that the colors of the American flag are red, white, and blue. You must do this in a way that cannot also be done for religion. Discuss amongst yourselves (I'm all verklempt...).