From martyduren.com: A one year free subscription to WIRED magazine will be given to person who leaves the 25th comment on this thread. Repeat entries are allowed.
I will contact you for mailing information. Did I mention it’s free?
From martyduren.com: A one year free subscription to WIRED magazine will be given to person who leaves the 25th comment on this thread. Repeat entries are allowed.
I will contact you for mailing information. Did I mention it’s free?
If you have seen the Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg film, Minority Report, you may have been forced into thinking about the extent of government intrusion that may take place in a country at any given time. Libertarians and constitutionalists warned that The Patriot Act opened the door to a regular abuse of civil liberties under the guise of fighting a “war of terror,” to use Borat’s jumbled description.
If you remember Haley Joel Osment’s haunting turn as the literally haunted Cole “I see dead people” Sear in The Sixth Sense, then you know his “sixth sense” was his ability to see and communicate with the dead, ultimately with the challenge to help them in slightly more serious ways than Ricky Gervais similar effort in Ghost Town as he was also able to communicate and help the dead through a sixth sense developed during his own near death experience.
Several months ago, MIT prof, Pattie Maes, gave a lecture at TED regarding a new sixth sense available to humans. Not exactly communicating with the dead, this gizmo, developed by her student, Prinav Mistry, gives the user the ability to access the information of the internet instantly to assist with decision making and has the capacity to replace clock, watch, camera and your subscription to Consumer Reports. Imagine going to a car lot, new or used, and asking the salesman for information and, while hearing a skewed sales pitch, having the accurate info beamed right onto the hood of the car (or in a future iteration the inside of your sunglasses). Think of meeting a new coworker who sees emblazoned on your white blouse:
Ordered room service for two at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta last night; husband ordered room service for one at the Holiday Inn, San Francisco airport.
Watch the video and see what you think; leave a comment if you desire. Is this “Big Brother” or are we big brothering ourselves? Is this government intrusion or Google instrusion? Can she be serious when she talks about a “sixth sense chip” being implanted in one’s brain? Would you get one?
(HT: Brett Compton)
A lot of times when you’re commenting on games, it’s a source of entertainment. And a lot of times, people may take offense. But the viewers need to understand that it’s entertainment, and people are entitled to their opinion. I stand by Ralph and Mike because they’re great guys and they only want to support and help everybody in the league.
The full exhange, lasting some 40 seconds, was published on the L.A. Times website. From late in the game:
Smith: “Look who’s in.”According to both the AP and L.A. Times, the complaint was due to Lawler’s pronunciation as “Eye-ranian” and the suspension was the result of a single viewer’s email. Haddadi, a one year veteran from Ahvaz, Iran, may or may not resemble Sasha Baron Cohen or his alter-ego, Borat (judge for yourself), but is currently playing like him: 0.7 points per game and 1 rebound per game for the 7′ 2″ center.
Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”
Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)
Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.
Smith: “He’s the only one.”
Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”
Smith: “I guess so.”
Lawler: “That Iran?”
Lawler: “The real Iran?”
Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi – that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”
Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”
Smith: “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”
Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”
Smith: “Especially the post players.
Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”
One person made one complaint about the way an announcer pronounced a country and two people were suspended from their jobs. FOX Sports has lost its collective mind. The statement from the network said:
We regret the remarks made by Clippers announcers Michael Smith and Ralph Lawler during Wednesday’s telecast. While we believe that Michael and Ralph did not intend their exchange to be offensive, the comments were inappropriate.
I once heard Barkley say to Ernie Johnson, Jr., on an NBA game broadcast (not the studio program):
Ernie, I bet your parents didn’t even let you play with the black kids growing up, did they?
Sir Charles didn’t get suspended. The late Skip Caray, of Atlanta Braves broadcast fame, once called Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt, “Mike Sh-t.” It was a slip, but he said it nonetheless. There is a place in sports commentary for entertainment, humor and silly observations and, as Caray proved, the occasional blunder of the live broadcast. Not all announcers are funny, many of them are not even good, but the ones who are either or both bring added enjoyment to the broadcast. FOX Sports’ decision was idiotic, moronic and vapid.
Maybe you’d like to share your thoughts: Contact FOX Sports.
With no explanation given, the earth has been reduced to a fire-prone, earthquake producing disaster area. All animals are gone, food is the most valuable commodity (as evidenced in one scene by a cash box still containing money, all of which is trodden on) and survival is a goal second only to remaining “good.” Director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) takes us to places most would rather not go as it, in the best tradition of the medium, causes us to consider what we would do in those same situations: Would we learn to eat bugs? Would be stoop to eating humans? Would we share with those in need if we knew our own resources were limited? Would be use our last bullet to kill our child if the only alternative was him being taken by cannibals? Would we disappear into the elements so the remaining supplies would last longer for the ones who remain?There is, without doubt, a not so subtle message here regarding the environment. Whatever the apocalypse, the world has been rendered drab and lifeless, devoid of its remarkable beauty. Things everywhere are blanketed with ash or covered by ashen clouds. When looking at a closely guarded map, The Boy traces his finger across the ocean and asks, “Is it blue?” The man replies, “It used to be.” A final arrival at the coast finds only gray, sediment filled waters bounded by a trash covered, thief trolled beach. While many conservatives scoff at such a notion, a statement by Tony Campolo bears considering: “Ecological destruction interferes with and silences the worship of God.” If the heavens declare the glory and God and the skies proclaim His marvelous craftsmanship, what would happen if that declaration and proclamation were muted by calamity? The Road does an excellent job of giving a visual representation of a creation that is “groaning and travailing” until now (Romans 8).
Themes in The Road are far and wide and one that intrigues is how people will respond to other people in times of utter hopelessness and futility. Will Christians “love their neighbor” who is starving all the while knowing where a store of food is located? Will people become tribal, closing ranks with those who think like, look like and act like them to the opposition of everyone else? Would thievery become acceptable in the eyes of God, since no one would despise a man who stole bread to satisfy his soul when he was starving (Proverbs 6:30)?
Early on, The Man tells The Boy,
There are not many good guys left, that is all. We have to watch out for the bad guys. And we have to talk. Always. We have to just, you know, keep carrying the fire.
“Carrying the fire” is an image that hits home with The Boy as we see him remain all that we ourselves would hope to be, while watching The Man struggle with all that we would likely become.
Followers of Christ need to be aware, this is a dark and sometimes disturbing film. As our host, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary said, “This isn’t Fireproof. It’s No Country for Kirk Cameron.” It is a tale that uses the most base elements of fallen humanity and the ultimate corruption of a fallen creation to teach the value of hope, love, purity and sacrifice.
The Road is rated R for violence, language, nude rumps and thematic elements including murder, torture and cannibalism. It also stars Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Momento), Michael Kenneth Williams (Gone Baby Gone, Law and Order) and Robert Duvall (oh, just start naming films).
On Friday morning, November 6, I received a prayer chain call from church. While the requests can run a wide berth of concerns, this one caught my attention in a way that almost stopped my heart. Prayer was being requested for a church member whose 18 year old grandson, a young man I knew, had been found dead that morning. I really could not believe that I had heard it right, so I listened again and the message was indeed what was initially thought.
I placed a couple of quick calls seeking information before finally touching base with his grandfather who confirmed the story as true. The initial concern was that he had overdosed on prescription medication; a concern that eventually was determined to be correct.
Over the weekend, this young man’s Dad sent an email to family and friends, an email which is published below with his permission. It has been edited slightly for clarity and privacy. The words “my son” have been substituted for the young man’s name.
Dear Business partners and Friends,
Words cannot begin to express the overwhelming support felt by all of my family this past weekend. Thank you so much for the food, prayers, thoughts, hugs, and words of encouragement. I would like to share with you my son’s story in hope that no one else ever has to experience the tragedy of burying a child:
On Friday morning of last week, my worst nightmare came true, I received a call from my younger son, 15, that his brother, 18, was unconscious and I needed to get over to their house quick. When I arrived, my son’s mom and the paramedics told me that they had nothing to work with-he had obviously been gone for a few hours. Within 15 minutes the outpouring of love, support, and prayers began-God showed up and placed his arms of comfort and peace around everyone. Family, friends, pastors, co-workers, students and neighbors began to show up and offer any assistance they could. I was amazed.
Like most people, I live in a fast paced life. I am not sure where I thought I was going all the time, but I was always doing something quickly-sometimes doing things right –sometimes not. The death of my son has made me take some time and think about what is really important. Our children are important. If you’re receiving this email and you are a parent that feels like everything moves to quickly, please slow down and take time to find out what is going on in your child’s life. Spend time with them each day, talk to their friends, their teachers, coaches, and anyone else they are involved in. Check their cell phones-you will be amazed. Check there email, Facebook, etc. You’re their parent-you have the right!
Just 2 years ago, my son was a typical teenager- interested in girls and cars-the usual things for boys. Two years later- he is gone. Where did it go wrong, where did the tide turn, what were the signs? If you have a child in school, chances are they have been asked or know someone that has been asked to participate in the taking of “prescribed” medicines. They take pain killers, anti-inflammatory, anxiety, depression, sleeping pills and any other meds they can find to “alter” their state of mind. They do not take it as prescribed. They think if one is good-two is better- and three is “killer”! What they don’t understand is it can kill them- it killed my son!
Some of the signs to look for are: sudden changes in mood, appetite, irritability, sleeping to much or not enough…they will take something to give them energy and then take something to bring them down. It’s hard to tell- but the signs are there. Keep all your medicines in a safe place that only you know about. These kids will have their friends steal meds from you while they steal meds from those friends’ parents (they don’t feel as bad this way). Do whatever you have to do to try and keep them safe.
While his death is a tragedy-it is also a success story. Just three weeks ago, my son spoke to Pastor Robbie at Hopewell Baptist church and Robbie asked my son if he knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior- he said “yes”. They prayed and my son was so excited. He called me and told me that he was changing his life and gonna quit doing the things that had gotten him in trouble. I was so excited that he had seen the light and wanted to change, but the devil wasn’t finished. As the days went by, my son began to be tested – he gave way to temptation- he lost that battle—but in the end he won the war. Because of his decision to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he is in heaven and at his funeral over 10 people accepted Jesus and will spend eternity in heaven when they leave this world. I don’t think I could be any prouder of my son.
I hope that my son’s story will cause us to make changes in our lives for the good- I hope that his story will bring families closer, that people will get back to the basics in life and realize that we are only here temporarily-that there is a place in eternity with God if we want it.
If your family is dealing with an addiction or abuse situation, please seek help so that lives may be saved. A great starting point is Celebrate Recovery, a Jesus Christ centered ministry for those struggling with addictive behavior, hurts, habits or hangups. Search “celebrate recovery” and the name of your town to find a local ministry.
The Scarecrow was Michael Connelly’s first release of 2009, being followed by the recently released 9 Dragons. Two major hardback releases in a single year is unusual for many writers (a notable exception is James Patterson) and Connelly, if not suffering from a lack of productivity seems to be suffering from a lack of creativity.
Scarecrow features one of Connelly’s four main protagonists, L.A. Times reporter Jack McEvoy (the others being LAPD detective Harry Bosch, FBI agent Terry McCaleb and attorney Mickey Haller ) and begins with McEvoy’s investigation into the arrest of a young man, Alonzo Winslow, who is found driving around with a body in the trunk of his stolen car. A call from the accused’s grandmother/mother gives the soon-to-be unemployed (due to corporate downsizing) reporter a final big story, which he hopes to turn into a Pulitzer as a means of payback to the paper which no longer needs him. The “big story” is that Winslow has been wrongfully charged for the crime; a charge from which McEvoy’s investigative skills will extricate him.
At this point of the narrative I had high hopes. The book is quite thick, so I was prepared for many chapters of L. A. culture, racial apprehension and tension, legal maneuvering and a bang up finish.
Maybe next time.
Instead, the story takes a turn into serial killer land and only returns to its start as Alonzo is paraded out unceremoniously for a TV appearance. McEvoy ultimately is teamed with a recurring Connelly character, FBI agent Rachel Walling, who is also a former love-interest of McEvoy’s (and Bosch’s) hearkening back to Connelly’s earlier effort, The Poet. Other than background information on the ease by which one’s entire life can be pieced together via public information on the Internet, this book simply does not work. There is too little character development, the action is predictable and the ending unsatisfying. Rather than being a story that draws one into a vortex, it ends up more as a sermon about the dangers of the Internet.
Having read virtually all of Connelly’s novels, McEvoy has always seemed his weakest character and The Scarecrow does nothing to dissuade me of that thinking. If Bosch was not to appear this time around, I was hoping to see another full length Haller story since Connelly’s turn at the legal genre was quite satisfying. (Haller does return in 9 Dragons along with Bosch.)
The Scarecrow will, quite likely, please some, perhaps many, die-hard Connelly fans, but new readers wanting to absorb his finest work should look earlier to Trunk Music or The Concrete Blonde or later to The Lincoln Lawyer, each of which may be purchased below.
Hello Hurricane is the most recent release from Switchfoot, a group whose music spans genres and whose fans span generations. Those fans will not be disappointed. Little new ground is broken here, but the ground covered is covered very well. ‘Hello Hurricane,’ also featured on the recent Blackberry Storm 2 television commercial, is one of the few unapologetically Christian bands to have successfully broken into the mainstream music scene and seen critical success there.
The first into give a window into the project’s composition: melodic, strong rock with lyrics have come to know and expect from Switchfoot. “Needle and Haystack Life” explores the theme of living life as the person you were created to be while “Mess of Me” acknowledges the damages that we’ve done to ourselves in trying to live life our own way, ie, apart from God, but includes the plea “I want to live the rest of my life alive.” This idea returns in “Free” a song that should receive continuous airplay if the music industry is paying any attention at all. The messages present in Switchfoot’s music echoes in all hearts. They are meaningful and true songs, that will reach all listeners. Whether you are young or old, with perfect or impaired hearing (www.miracle-ear.com) you will resound with the strength of the songs. “Your Love is a Song” explores love in musical terms: “Your love is a symphony/all around me/running through me/your love is a melody/underneath me/running to me/your love is a song.”
“The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)” returns to a thought that plays often in Switchfoot history: the condition of the country. As with “Not My American Dream” (Oh, Gravity) and “Politicans” (Nothing is Sound) the residence of Christians in this country is subjugated, as it should be, to our higher calling as citizens of the kingdom of God. If all of those churches hosting “Love Out Loud” campaigns are looking for a theme song, this is it.
With all 12 songs written or co-written by the prolific Jon Foreman (ten feature help from brother Tim) Hello Hurricane is another worthy release from Switchfoot and good addition to any collection.
The contest is open to anyone (18 years of age and over) who follows the correct entry directions; each entrant may be entered up to seven (7) times. The contest is now open and will end at 11:59 pm (Eastern), Friday, December 11, 2009.
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Thanks for stopping by and checking things out. This is not going to be the normal website…if I can help it. A big announcement is coming just after 6:00 EDT today, November 9, and I hope everyone will participate.
As you can see, content is just now being entered. Some will be moved over from previous writings and then new content will be added along the way. This site is monetized (ie, contains ads with the hopes of making mooloah), so check out any links that interest you. The ad base will grow with the site and, hopefully, you will be able to see things that interest you.
Be sure and subscribe by using either e-mail or RSS, both located in the top left portion of the page. By doing that you can keep up with new material without having to check back all the time.
The Prodigal God, is the latest book by New York Times best selling author and New York pastor Timothy Keller. Keller, of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, has been called a “C. S. Lewis for the 21st century” as his books are for thinking people, Christian and irreligious alike. Keller’s previous book, The Reason for God, was named book of the year by World magazine.
Exploring the familiar New Testament story of the son who asks for his inheritance and then proceeds to squander it on wine, women and song (well, mostly wine and women), The Prodigal God uses historical and cultural realities to bring out nuances in the story that the modern reader might easily overlook.
Moving the emphasis of the story from the rebellious younger son to the “obedient” elder brother, Keller demonstrates that the true focus of the parable is not on the “prodigal” at all, but that both brothers had, in their own way, rejected the love of the father. And it is the love of the father toward each brother, offering each the redemption that they need, that reveals the true Father of the story, God. The lostness of both sons relates to the people who were in and around Jesus’ ministry. The younger, rebellious son with the drunkards, prostitutes and thieves that were entering the kingdom of God, and the prideful, older son with the Pharisees and religious hypocrites who refused to enter God’s kingdom and who made up the actual audience for the parable in Luke 15.
After exploring the family dynamic in its cultural sense and it’s relation to the kingdom of God, the story turns to a person who is missing from the narrative, but would have been expected to be there if the story was fully joyful: a true older brother–an older brother who would have left home to find his life-wasting sibling and spared no expense to return him to his father. This true older brother, who was absent from the story, is present for every believer. He is Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ message, which is ‘the gospel,’ is a completely different spirituality. The gospel of Jesus is not religion or irreligion, morality or immorality, moralism or relativism, conservatism or liberalism. Nor is it something halfway along a spectrum between two poles–it is something else altogether.
It is Jesus’ saving work available to the younger and the elder, pictured by the Father’s lavish party, that is the ultimate focus of the story and of the book. The Prodigal God is an amazing, thought provoking, illuminating work that demands beneficial self examination from the reader.
You can purchase The Prodigal God directly from Amazon.com by clicking on the image or link below.