Category Archives: Religion

Toddler Tramples Tibetan Tantric

A security video caught a small toddler in Kansas City wandering over to a sand mandala created by eight Tibetan monks, destroying in seconds what took two days to create. The monks were not upset by the setback and simply started over.

Check out the raw security video of this kid. Probably the best part was the intro on the local news tonight, when the talking bobble head called the monks Tibeetians.

Did Hell Just Freeze Over?

So now suddenly Pat Robertson is sidling up to the godless environmentalists and liberals in his acceptance of global warming? Is this some sort of joke? Not two weeks ago he ran an interview with Senator James Inhofe, implying that environmentalists were in league with Al Queda and sacrificed babies to Satan, to say nothing of conclusively proving that the Lord Almighty did not see fit to cause global warming. Guess that’s a 360° in world view, or maybe a change of heart. Anyway, welcome aboard Pat, though I don’t know how assassinating Hugo Chavez will reduce global warming, your welcome to try.

More Random Links

Got a few more odds ‘n ends to mention.

  • Game making software – The software is free, but buy the book. And go forth and make a side-scrolling wonder my children.
  • The Book of Sand Hypertext/Puzzle – Yes, the Book of Sand.
  • The Interplanetary Bike Ride – It’s actually in Peoria, but it does promise to visit all the planets.
  • Searching for Sufis – Interesting essay on Sufism.
  • Watching Beirut Die – Chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain was in Beirut when the war started. He was filming a special on Beirut’s resurgence and the promise of peace. Oops.
  • Andrei Sakharov’s Prescience – Looks like Sakharov foresaw the internet and blogs by almost two decades.

    Far in the future, more than 50 years from now, I foresee a universal information system (UIS), which will give everyone access at any given moment to the contents of any book that has ever been published or any magazine or any fact. The UIS will have individual miniature-computer terminals, central control points for the flood of information, and communication channels incorporating thousands of artificial communications from satellites, cables, and laser lines. Even the partial realization of the UIS will profoundly affect every person, his leisure activities, and his intellectual and artistic development. Unlike television… the UIS will give each person maximum freedom of choice and will require individual activity. But the true historic role of the UIS will be to break down the barriers to the exchange of information among countries and people.

    This was written in 1974.

  • Imad Moustapha – Speaking of blogs, the Syrian ambassador to the US has a blog.
  • Why I Am Not A Christian – Classic essay by Bertrand Russell, his arguments against religion and God.

Random Links

Time for a flurry of random, unrelated links to marginally interesting stuff. Behold the power of the internets!

  • Mapping Medieval Townscapes – An atlas of the towns founded by Edward I between 1277 and 1303. That’s Edward Longshanks, the evil king from Braveheart. Make no mistake, these villages were founded in Wales for the exact purpose that Israel plopped down all those settlements in the West Bank.
  • Nazi aircraft carrier located – A Polish oil exploration outfit has found the wreck of Nazi Germany’s only aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin. The ship never saw action in World War II, and there is some speculation about how it was sunk.
  • Book of Psalms found in Irish bog – A thousand year old copy of the Book of Psalms was discovered by a construction in a peat bog.
  • Virtue Desktops – If you own a Mac, this is worth it’s weight in gold. This gives you four different virtual desktops to play with, just like any other Unix/Linux system. VirtueDesktops is the bee’s knees. I can’t sing it’s praises enough.
  • 86400 Moments – An interesting photo exhibit, documenting a day in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Apple Support Specifications – Can’t get enough information about current and older Macs? Check out Apple’s support pages with details about every Powerbook, iMac, iBook, iPod, eMac, PowerMac, AirPort, MacBook, Mac Mini or display Apple’s ever made.
  • Mechanical Turk – Looking to make a few bucks doing a mindless job for Amazon? Turns out it is a lot easier for them to pay scads of people a bit of money to identify stuff (pink shoes, jazz records, tabby cats) than to write software to do the same thing. Get in on the action and earn a couple bucks today.
  • Underground Russia – Morlocks
  • Rachel Ray and the food snobs – Just digging through the long tail here folks. I think she looks cute, though maybe a little too perky.
  • Underground Japan – More Morlock technology.
  • Camera phones are ‘obstruction of justice’ – This guy was arrested for taking a picture of cops in a drug bust on his street.
  • Pat Robertson and Senator James Inhofe on the threat of environmentalism – Whoa. That just creeps me out.
  • The Eco-Bubble – Speaking of the environment, maybe it is starting to look like the tech bubble of the nineties. But that ain’t exactly a bad thing.

Ramblings

  1. I won a free tank of gas today! How cool is that? Thanks Hit Radio 100 and 76 gas stations. Saved me $45 this afternoon. I only wish I’d filled it up with the super unleaded.
  2. This is good for a chuckle or two; Yeti@Home. I especially like the bit about “Download Version 1.00 of YETI@Home for: Windows, BeOs, OS2, Linux, Amiga Workbench, Atari ST, Altair, TRS-80, Vectrex, Babbage’s Difference Engine, Palm Pilot, Sega Genesis and Timex Indiglo (sorry, not available for Macintosh).”
  3. I went to see Clerks II yesterday. It was crude, pretty stupid, and gut busting funny. Here’s a review from James Dobson’s Focus on the Family website. It makes me pine for the good old days and the wonderfully succinct movie reviews in the Catholic newspaper we received, Pink Panther – MORTAL SIN, Star Wars – CONDEMNED, The Exorcist – oh yeah, CONDEMNED.
  4. As far as condemned movies go, I watched Corpse Bride a couple nights ago. It was quite enjoyable. Tim Burton is a twisted genius who needs to make more puppet movies.
  5. What is this, a real life Da Vinci Code? The body of one of a powerful member of Opus Dei movement has been found under a bridge in Italy, mutilated and badly beaten. Gianmario Roveraro disappeared two weeks ago after a meeting of his local branch of Opus Dei and was reportedly being held for a €1 million ransom.
  6. Saturday’s paddle was a real Marlin Perkins kind of morning. We paddled north past Two Lover’s and met a pod of dolphins off Tanguisson. They played and swam with us for a half hour as we worked our way northward, and it was magical.
  7. Speaking of the ocean, the large swells made me think again about using all that wave energy to generate electricity. Jeff McIntire-Strasburg over at Sustainablog is thinking along those same lines. Using the ocean to generate power is a tempting idea, but it will require lots more research before anything viable is attempted. The power in those swells though, if we could harness that for our needs.

Spirituality Or Religion

I read a very good interview with Karen Armstrong in Salon last week. Armstrong is a noted author on religion and spirituality. She is promoting her latest book The Great Transformation, an exploration of the “Axial Period,” the era when many great sages appeared on the face of the earth, thinkers like the Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, the prophets of Israel, and the mystics of the Upanishads. It’s a fascinating interview, and well worth reading. Her general gist is that these thinkers were not interested in dogma; they focused on doing good works for the sick and poor, not bickering on theological debates about the nature of the Trinity.

And while I’m at it, let me offer up a link to an interesting interview with Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith. The gist of it is again that spirituality is good, but religion is dangerous because if foments an ‘the chosen us vs. heretical, damned them’ mindset.

Scattershot Links

Time for a random smattering of links as I clear some tabs off of Camino:

  1. Scientists penetrate fossil magma chamber beneath ocean crust – drilling more than a mile through the ocean floor, geologists drilled through volcanic rock to reach an ancient magma chamber beneath the ocean’s surface. Remember that movie The Core? I wonder if it was like that?
  2. A survey of open source applications for Mac OS XFink and DarwinPorts, more software than you can shake a stick at. And it’s all free.
  3. Vibramfivefingers – A bootie with toes, it’s supposed to fit the foot like a glove. Looks freaky deaky to me.
  4. US Navy obsolete in War on Terror – Another example of that old aphorism that the military always prepares to fight the last war. The world’s most powerful navy has nobody to fight.
  5. More evidence for Nemesis? – That’s Nemesis, the undiscovered companion star of our Sun. The chief proponent of this theory says that newly discovered Sedna orbits in resonance with previously published orbital data for this undiscovered star.
  6. Nile explorers relate their adventures – Rousing adventure tale on the National Geographic website. Wonder how long before it is featured on the National Geographic Channel?
  7. Citizen Cope – Been listening to this guy a lot lately. Once I get my iBook back from Marianas Electronics I think I’ll pay a visit to the iTunes Music Store.
  8. Itchy ‘N Scratchy – Yeah, I got jafjaf. That reminds me, I need to go take my prescription for this.
  9. Odd man out in a cut-throat world – Now there’s a bookstore I wouldn’t mind working in for a few years.
  10. Kryptos confounds sleuths – because of a typo – The mysterious sculpture Kryptos adorns an atrium on the grounds of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. For sixteen years it has stymied cryptographers attempting to decipher the code encrypted across the undulating surface. Turns out there’s a good reason why: the artist made a typo.
  11. Surprise! Bugs at airport blamed on Yingling – Boy, I didn’t see that coming from a mile off.
  12. Warcraft III – Been thinking about actually buying a video game. Of course, it’s three or four years old, but it still looks cool. And it’s cheap…
  13. Nepalis celebrate – Looks like the king caved in and recalled parliament after several years. Hopefully this calms the situation in Nepal.
  14. The English laugh at our low gasoline prices – They pay $8 a gallon in merry old England for petrol.
  15. CNMI mentioned in Alternet – a look at Jack Abramoff’s dealings with the Northern Marianas and guest workers.
  16. Gas prices spurring ‘moped madness’ – I must admit, I’ve been thinking about buying a motorcycle. The incredible mileage is hard to beat, but frankly it would suck to ride a bike on Guam in August.
  17. Apocalysts now – Finally, how about a screed against George W. Bush’s religious overtones? Nothing like scaring the atheists and riling up the devout.

Buddhist Figurine Spurs Hindu Devotion

A votive figurine launched from Burma in mid December was propelled across the Indian Ocean unharmed, before being found by Indian fisherman from Tamil Nadu a month later.

The figurine, one of thousands launched every rainy season by Burmese Buddhists, was credited with saving the lives of all 980 inhabitants of the small village of Meyurkuppam. It was found afloat upon a bamboo raft with devotional candles and a few coins.

The ‘Buddha Swami’ was happily accepted into the Hindu village, and is enshrined beneath a large banyan tree.

Godless Calculus

It’s funny, but frighteningly true: Ridiculopathy.com: Calculus, Quadratic Equations Split Pennsylvania Town

Two weeks ago parent volunteer Holly R. Thanthow took a break from passing out Jack Chick tracts in the school’s courtyard to visit her son’s fourth period class taught by newcomer John Scopes. What she saw there shocked her to the core.

“He asked them to find the area under a curve- without using cubits at all. I raised religious objections since the lesson completely goes against Genesis 7:20, but he said my son had to do the work anyway. When I asked Mr. Scopes to refrain from teaching from his so-called ‘math textbook’ he flat out refused. I know, I couldn’t believe it myself.”