Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Check this out - in a stunning display of genius marketing, a new sex-offender tracking app for the iPhone features Antoine Dodson, the star of the "Bed Intruder Song" as its pitchman.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The term Christian film has become synonymous with substandard production values, stilted dialogue and childish plots.
Even with successes (Bella, Facing the Giants), we are on the outside looking in. You can have the huge budget, skilled and experienced technical crew and a firmly executed marketing plan, but if you film a pedantic script with summer-stock-reject actors, your better-looking product is simply lipstick on a pig. Throw in Christian film’s inherently agenda-driven plots and dialogue and you have lipstick on a preachy pig.
Rather than developing organically, the average Christian film is more pushy and sanctimonious than the global-warming agenda movies. Violence is almost non-existent, salty language never happens, unmarried people never struggle with lust and evil is never very bad, because showing various forms of sin is not allowed. By movie’s end, everyone is converted with no residual issues. Life is reduced to an after-school special with prayer thrown in for good measure.
If a film claims to be Christian, it was supposedly done for the glory of God, but we do not glorify God by making lousy movies.
We need great films.
I've often wondered why "Christian films" have to be so bad. Even successes such as "Left Behind," "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof" come off as stilted and, well, just not real or relatable.
I maintain, just as in life, that sometimes the best way to deliver a message is not to come out and say it. Let the viewer realize the message on his own. Christian filmmakers simply don't have the self-restraint not to deliver a sermon in the story.
It seems to me that what Christian filmmakers need to do is to make the kind of films that Hollywood made fifty or sixty years ago. They had a message, usually wholesome, and are beloved even by audiences today. I think the people are hungry for more quality entertainment like that.
"A new rumor has pegged Apple and its $51 billion in cash and investments as a potential buyer of Sony..."
Quote me on this: bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Not a chance.
Microsoft would be a much better fit. They've always been a software company whose hardware is lacking. Buying Sony would automatically upgrade their hardware capabilities. And there's some good synergy in such an acquisition. Both companies are behemoth bureaucracies that were once seemingly unstoppable about 15 years ago but which have shot themselves in the foot so many times that they're having trouble finding a leg to stand on.
Might be a good way to put both companies out of their misery at the same time, come to think of it.
Kayci looked up and without missing a beat said, "yeah, a cydork..."
I'm so proud of that girl.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sony stopped Japanese production of the portable music player in April and sales will end once the last batch disappears from stores, company spokeswoman Hiroko Nakamura said Monday.
Sony has sold 220 million cassette Walkman players globally since the product's July 1979 debut that changed lifestyles by popularizing music on the go.
Demand for cassette players in Japan is now largely limited to elderly users.
Yeah. Screw the elderly.
But Sony will continue production of the cassette Walkman in China to accommodate users abroad, including in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries, Nakamura said.
I honestly thought that the Walkman had already been discontinued. It's been years since I've used a tape player. Heck, it's been years since I've even seen a tape player. I remember in the early '00s using a tape player to listen to music while I worked out. There was no such thing as an iPod yet, the mp3 players at the time held a ridiculously small amount of songs and I didn't want to deal with all the skipping (and bulk) of CD player. Even then, I got a lot of strange looks. I might as well have been lugging around a boom box on my shoulder.
I wonder what one costs these days.
Friday, October 22, 2010
3:00 - Item investigating reports of shots fired at SHSU; campus on lockdown; officers massed around Avenue I.
3:40 - All clear at SHSU. More info to come.
4:00 - Police say SHSU reports due to Nerf game on campus.
It's a sad, sad day when an entire campus goes on lockdown because of a game of Nerf ball. For one, Nerf guns look nothing like real guns. And did whoever reported that there was a gun on campus not see the bright orange missiles or balls sticking off the front? It's not as is if they were running around with pellet guns that might actually be mistaken for, you know... real guns. What's next? Will the town of Huntsville be put on high alert the next time some kids decide to run around with Super-Soakers?
What a sad commentary on the freak-out society we live in. Still, so glad that no one was seriously hurt by a stray Nerf ball.
Mad Man [sic] fans have long been championing star Jon Hamm to star as Clark Kent in a new Superman film. We were originally told by director Zack Snyder that the movie will probably feature the character’s early days, and reports claimed that David Goyer‘s script follows Clark Kent, a journalist traveling the world “trying to decide if he should, in fact, even become Superman.” We assumed this meant that Superman would likely be played by a young actor, but recently Armie Hammer slipped that they’re looking for a middle-aged actor for the role. And yes, Snyder directed Hamm in his last film, Suckerpunch. Hamm has said that he’d love to discuss the possibility “if the powers that be are thinking” of casting an older Clark Kent.
Hell, yeah. Now that's some Superman casting I could get behind!
"Show them their world in innovative ways, and let them interact with it like never before. In our experience, users really respond to polish, both in functionality and user interface. Go the extra mile. Give them more than they expect. And take them places where they have never been before."
Damn, that's powerful.
The Obama administration is crediting its anti-recession stimulus plan with creating up to 50,000 jobs on dozens of wind farms, even though many of those wind farms were built before the stimulus money began to flow or even before President Barack Obama was inaugurated.
Out of 70 major wind farms that received the $4.4 billion in federal energy grants through the stimulus program, public records show that 11, which received a total of $600 million, erected their wind towers during the Bush administration. And a total of 19 wind farms, which received $1.3 billion, were built before any of the stimulus money was distributed.
Yet all the jobs at these wind farms are counted in the administration's figures for jobs created by the stimulus.
I'm not sure why anyone is really surprised. Democrats have been counting votes this way for years.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Although baseball has long lost its claim to being the national pastime last night's events essentially stomped it into the ground. That the Tennessee-Jacksonville Monday Night Football game drew better TV ratings than the Yankees-Rangers ALCS game is astonishing, and makes you wonder if a good college football game could whip the best that MLB has to offer.
I've long maintained that football is America's pastime. Case closed.
Lauren Parker asked me today why they call it a graphic novel. "Aren't they giving it more importance that it deserves?" she asked.
Having read many, many graphic novels in my time, I know that a graphic novel is just like a comic book, but often on better paper, with better color, a self-contained storyline (usually) and usually quite a bit longer than your average comic book. And the characters often get to curse in a graphic novel.
I explained that it's called a graphic novel because it's made up of graphics in book form (not that it's more graphic in nature than an ordinary comic book, as is a common misconception). It didn't occur to me until I was almost home that she was taking issue with the use of the word "novel."
But what I find interesting is that for her, the word "novel" denotes a higher level of quality than just an average paperback book. A novel has substance. Tom Sawyer is a novel. Of Mice and Men is a novel. I doubt that she would consider a harlequin romance book to be a novel. And to call a lowly comic book a "novel" seems to be some kind of an insult.
But I think that the word "novel" in graphic novel really just refers to its length. If a short story is analogous to a comic book, then a novel would be akin to a graphic novel. Originally graphic novels were quite a bit longer. Think Elfquest. But over time they have gotten shorter. There are some really horrible "novels" out there and I've read some genuinely crummy graphic novels, as well.
So, Lauren, rest assured that we harbor no illusions that just because we're going to see a movie based on a graphic novel that it speaks to its substance at all. We known that in all reality, will probably suck. What we're really after is the kids pack at then theater with popcorn, drink AND candy without having to share with any grubby, stinking kids.
Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.
There's a huge difference. I don't think O'Donnell is advocating that the government establish a religion.
The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.
First of all, O'Donnell is correct. Nowhere in the Constitution do the words "separation of Church and State" appear. That concept actually came from a letter... actually, no. I'll let Wikipedia explain:
The concept of separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion on the one hand and the nation state on the other. The term is an off-shoot of the original phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. Jefferson was responding to a letter that the Association had written him. In that letter, they expressed their concerns about the Constitution not reaching the State level. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not yet exist, thus leaving the States vulnerable to federal legislation. In Jefferson's letter, he was reassuring the Baptists of Danbury that their religious freedom would remain protected - a promise that no possible religious majority would be able to force out a state's official church. The original text reads: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." The phrase was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. The phrase appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution.
The "Church and State" phrase and concept has been bastardized by opponents of religion as a way of trying to squelch any religious reference at all in the public arena. The very idea that you shouldn't be able to learn about the different religions of the world - and what they believe - is ludicrous.
What's especially ironic is that the people who scream about "church and state" are the very same people who keep telling us that we have to celebrate our diversity and be tolerant of others opinions and viewpoints. Except that when it comes to religion - check that - Christianity, you'd better shut up or else.
Monday, October 18, 2010
"They're fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election, they are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across the country."
But upon re-reading it, I found something quite disturbing. You automatically assume that Obama is talking about Republicans or conservatives. But now read it with the word "Democrats" in the place of "they." It rings much more true, and he might as well be broadcasting the Democrats' standard playbook. The Empire is the Democrats.`
President Obama, with a coarse voice, warned a crowd in Ohio: "They're fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election, they are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across the country."
Is it conservatives that want to subjugate people by legislating them into compliance? No.
Is it conservatives who will say one thing and do the exact opposite to get their agenda passed because they know the American public would never willingly go down their rabbit hole otherwise? No.
Is it conservatives who insist on shoving legislation down our throats that would change - and take control - of entire sectors of the economy and private business without so much as reading what's in it? No.
Is it conservatives who constantly legislate against the will of the American people as if they were some sort of aristocratic oligarchy? No.
Is it conservatives who are squandering our prosperity and spending billions and billions of dollars on a flawed space station around the forest planet of Endor that can be blown up by a single X-wing fighter? No.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
He looked nothing like Chuck Norris, but I still wouldn't want to get into a fight with him.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I don't know if not passing this on will disappoint God but some of the thoughts in this email are good.
She knows damn well that I don't do chain e-mails and that I don't pass things on (except here on my blog). So by sending me this, she's pretty much setting me up to potentially piss off God. I'm sure she just got it from someone else and sent it on, but still... who the hell writes these crap e-mail and sends them out?
Thanks for the eternal damnation, Grandma.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Health care reform... check.
Sander's community health centers... check.
Financial regulation reform... check.
Stimulus including progressive-esque investments in infrastructure, rail, green intitiatives, health IT, education, science... check.
student loan reform... check.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act... check.
new regulation of the credit card industry... check.
new regulation of the tobacco industry... check.
a national service bill... check
expanded stem-cell research... check.
a nuclear arms deal with Russia ... check.
a new global nonproliferation initiative ... check.
the Hate Crimes Prevention Act ... check.
a sweeping land-protection act, the most sweeping in well over a decade... check.
draw down of troops in Iraq... check.
expanded benefits to veterans... check
And almost all of it I disagree wholeheartedly with. Interesting to see what his supporters list as achievements while they're ripping at the very fabric of our Constitution and nation in general...
Saturday, October 9, 2010
They were everywhere - on the students, on mothers, on fathers, on little kids running around. And because we were at a high school game, I thought about flip flops when I was in school.
When I graduated in 1993, no one wore flip flops. It was the age of Gap and Nike. People wore flip flops to the pool and around the house, maybe. Only slobs wore them out in public. But now, here they are everywhere. It's not that flip flops are bad. I was just thinking about how their acceptance has changed in almost 20 years.
And believe me - times have changed.
Friday, October 8, 2010
A federal judge in Detroit today upheld key provisions of President Barack Obama’s landmark health reform law.
In a 20-page decision, U.S. District Judge George Steeh refused to issue an injunction to halt preparations for putting federal health reforms into full effect in 2014, a law known as the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March. Steeh also dismissed the major points of the suit — requiring Americans to buy health insurance and penalizing those who don’t starting in 2014.
So it's official: it's now critical that Democrats be voted out of office next month so that this humongous turd can be flushed by the new Congress before it has time to grow legs and run rampant in the streets raping our mothers and sisters (and brothers, too.)
First, from the Washington Post:
President Obama stepped into a growing political furor over the nation's troubled foreclosure system Thursday by vetoing a little-known bill that critics say would have made it easier to evict homeowners who missed their payments.
Critics first. Always critics first. But what does the bill actually purport to to? What does the author of the bill say its intent was?
The decision to block the measure, which Congress passed without debate, came as members of the president's own party have urged the administration and federal regulators to more actively address the crisis over flawed foreclosures.
But Democrats were trying to figure out Thursday how they allowed a bill to pass that critics say would introduce more fraud into the system, a Pelosi staff member said. It was sponsored by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.), the first measure he sponsored that passed.
Even he was surprised that it passed, his spokesman said.
"There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between [the bill] and the recent foreclosure documentation problems," Aderholt said in a statement.
The vetoed bill, which is two pages, would have required local courts to accept notarizations, including those made electronically, from across state lines. Its sponsors said it was intended to promote interstate commerce. Lawmakers saw no problems when the House approved it in April by a voice vote, which leaves no record of votes. The Senate passed the bill unanimously last week.
That's it? That's all the author of the bill had to say? Meanwhile, there's another citation from "critics," this time from a Nancy Pelosi staffer? Jesus, help me. My head...
Let's look in the New York Post:
President Barack Obama will veto a bill that could have helped banks continue to kick mortgage holders from their homes even if notaries public were thousands of miles away from the executives signing off on foreclosure documents -- and clearly unable to see if those legal documents were fake.
The bill had proceeded stealthily through Congress, being passed by the House in April and by the Senate, without debate, on Sept. 27.
Nice language; "kick mortgage holders from their homes" and "the bill stealthily proceeded through Congress."
I'm not sure which is worse - that Congress is making a habit of passing bills - and apparently bills even just two pages long - without reading them and then act surprised when they pass unanimously or that the coverage of even such a mundane issue as this is full of bias?
So who's the biggest ass-clowns: Congress or newspaper writers? The Answer is yes.
But then there's this, from the Chicago Sun-Times, of all places:
The White House announced Thursday that President Obama is sending a newly passed bill back to Congress for revisions because of concerns that it would make ongoing foreclosure-document problems worse. The bill would have loosened requirements for providing a notary's seal on foreclosure documents.
Mounting evidence has surfaced that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers. State and federal officials have been ramping up pressure on the mortgage industry over concerns about potential legal violations.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama wants Congress to fix the bill because the current version has "unintended consequences on consumer protections." The bill would loosen the process for providing a notary's seal to documents and allow them to be done electronically.
Obama will not sign a bill that would allow foreclosure and other documents to be accepted among multiple states. Consumer advocates and state officials had argued the legislation would make it difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure documents prepared in other states.
Ah, like a breath of fresh air a perfectly concise, well written and bullshit-free story parts through the crowd. This is journalism. It's informative. It's concise and it actually informs you what the bill actually does, and in the first paragraph, no less. So congratulations to Sandra Guy at the Sun-Times. You pass where all the rest of your seething propagandist colleagues FAIL.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
A Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice.
Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God.
Mohler said he objects to "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine."
"That's just not Christianity," Mohler told The Associated Press.
Mohler said feedback has come through e-mail and comments on blogs and other websites since he wrote an essay to address questions about yoga he has heard for years.
"I'm really surprised by the depth of the commitment to yoga found on the part of many who identify as Christians," Mohler said.
Yoga fans say their numbers have been growing in the U.S. A 2008 study by the Yoga Journal put the number at 15.8 million, or nearly 7 percent of adults. About 6.7 percent of American adults are Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life.
It's guys like this that give all Christians a bad name. I've taken yoga classes as part of the strengthening and stretching process to heal my back. Now, granted, I've got very limited experience with it and I've only had one yoga teacher, but I've watched some yoga DVDs and have sat in on a couple of other classes when Kristi used to take yoga at the Downtown Houston YMCA. I guess the yoga classes I've ever been to are much more mainstream than the hard-core yoga mysticism that is out there. I was skeptical of yoga, too, for a long time because I thought it was all a bunch of eastern religious hokum. But actually attending yoga classes showed me that it can be about self-control and stretching, strengthening of the body and being a good steward of the amazing gift that God has given us. The yoga teacher here in Brenham even brought a Christian message into it from time to time.
I liked my yoga experience because:
1. I got to pretend I was Batman in training.
2. It helped stretch my body and made me stronger at a time when my body couldn't handle weight training.
3. It had a very calming effect on my mind - at least for the hour during the class.
4. It helped me learn to block out a lot of external stuff and really focus on the moment at hand.
5. It gave me and Kristi a shared activity that we could do together that brought us together even more.
6. It really complimented my weight training and improved my flexibility once I was able to start lifting again.
7. It helped me realize that there is a lot that I thought I couldn't do (or couldn't do anymore) that can be done, with practice.
Man is a spiritual creature, and yoga can be a very spiritual experience in itself. It can help one get inside one's own head and hear God's voice in way that we're often used to tuning out. By turning into one's self, it's not tuning out God, as this guy seems to think. It's a way of being in tune with one's self, which is a natural way of being in communication with God. It's almost like a prayer - a very silent, personal experience that has tremendous meaning and emotional attachment inside one's head. When one is in that place, whether it be in prayer or in the forest or in a yoga class, one can very easily be in communion with God. It's not a pathway to God, but a way of communication. And how can communication with God on a spiritual level not be Christian?
Albert Mohler would do well to take some yoga classes so he could learn to concentrate on how big of a misinformed dick he sounds like.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Indecision 2010 - Democratic Campaign Woes|
Thanks to Matt.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
I entered one of my favorite things to cook in the HEB Grill Master Challenge: Grilled herb salmon with spinach and mushrooms.
I'll make you a deal- if you log in and vote for my recipe and I win, I'll have a huge party (with you invited, of course) with the winnings and to show off the amazing grill they're giving away. And then it'll be salmon for everyone!
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.
Can you imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if George Bush had tried to pull this crap? Yet, silence...