Friday, December 31, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
Santa is big business in Finland, where you can visit Santa's village. That's right. The fat man has his own village and it's situated right on the Arctic Circle in Lapland. That's kind of funny, considering that kids sit on his lap ... get it? ... Lapland ... lap ... oh, never mind. He loves children and has the patience of a saint (sorry, I couldn't resist that one), but even Santa can slip and have a bad day. That is the source of a complaint from a British family complaining that they spent a fortune to visit the aforementioned village, only to receive the brushoff from Mr. Claus. The St. Nicholas Center, dedicated to "discovering the truth about Santa Claus" -- offers this St. Nicholas Timeline. The site also offers information about the origin of Santa, the various symbols related to St. Nicholas [what is the deal with the three golden balls, anyway?], and a comparison between Santa and St. Nicholas [very interesting]. There is a subset of Christians who eschew the trappings of Christmas because of the pagan leanings of its most treasured rituals. Other folks may not realize how the syncretic Christian religion has coopted pieces of other folk's traditions. You can start with Wikipedia's Santa Claus entry and then surf on over to see what ReligiousTolerance.org has to say on the subject. There is some general information on this page, and most of it can be backed up with a little research. And for an interesting read, you can check out How Odin Became Santa Claus (Yes, I am linking it even though their URL spells "magic" by adding a "k"). I also highly recommend two books: 4000 Years of Christmas and The Magical Year.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Now, to the matter at hand.
Long before the obligatory exchange of parcels and packages came to pass, people knew how to observe the closing of the year. When the darkness of winter lay heavy upon the land, no crops grew, but the people drank, sang, loved and fought in their great halls. Their communal celebrations were a mighty affirmation of light against dark, life against death. This was the time of the Winter Solstice. Winter solstice celebrations such as Yule predate Christianity by at least two millennium (see "4000 Years of Christmas" by Earl W. Count and Alice Count). Though there are numerous references to Yule in the Icelandic sagas, there are few accounts of how Yule was actually celebrated, beyond the fact that it was a time for feasting. Many of these festive traditions survived up through the Middle Ages, but were then frowned upon when the Reformation arrived. Many of the symbols associated with the modern holiday of Christmas (such as the Yule log, Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, the eating of ham, etc.) are apparently derived from traditional northern European Yule celebrations. When the first missionaries began converting the Germanic peoples to Christianity, they found it easier to simply provide a Christian reinterpretation for popular feasts such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, rather than trying to suppress them. The Scandinavian tradition of slaughtering a pig at Christmas (see Christmas ham), and not in the autumn, is probably the most salient evidence for this. The tradition derives from the sacrifice to the god Freyr at the Yule celebrations.
Now how did this "Christian" holy day become so entrenched with pagan symbolism and ritual? In 274 A.D., the Romans designated December 25 as the birthday of the unconquered sun, being the time when the sun begins noticeably to show an increase in light, resulting in longer daylight hours. By 336 A.D., the church in Rome was adapting this festival, spiritualizing its significance as a reference to Jesus Christ and calling it the ‘Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness.’ At first, it was kept separate from the Pagan observances -- sort of a you-do-your-thing-and-we'll-do-ours. Church officials may not have wanted new converts to be pulled back into their previous beliefs.
Attempting to Christianize and incorporate the pagan traditions of antiquity, the church in Rome adopted this midwinter holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god as one of its own observances, somewhat changing its significance, but retaining many customs of the pagan festival. So those same Church officials who had at first simply insisted on a separation of Christians and Pagans, now wanted to remove all activities that were not sanctioned as Christian or venerating Christ. And they did so by trying to change veneration of the SUN to adoration of the SON (of God). As the Roman church spread its influence religiously and militarily, this holiday of December 25 became the most popular date in Christendom to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. A special mass was established for Christ, hence, the name, ‘Christmass,’ abbreviated ‘Christmas.’
But after having written all of that, I implore you: Let's not get bogged down with the specifics of one religion over another. This season is for revelry, mirth and spiritual asylum. Become the love that is the gift of the season. Express that love to your family, friends, and -- yes -- even strangers on the street. There is room in this world for a multitude of ideas and beliefs. There is no room in this world, however, for hate, intolerance, and "holier-than-thou-ism." Let's get it together this Chrismahanukwanzakah, and get together ... in Peace.
Recommended listening: "The Christians and the Pagans" by Dar Williams.
I am of the opinion that the late, great writer William S. Burroughs needs no introduction. But if you are not familiar with him or his works, this Wikipedia entry should suffice. Otherwise, Google his name. What does William S. Burroughs have to do with Christmas, you ask? Well, one of his fictional works based on his own heroin addiction is the short story The Junky's Christmas, from which I have quoted as the lead for this entry. And I have just learned that an animated adaptation of this story was made back in 1993; with Francis Ford Coppola in the producer's seat, no less! The basic story is: Danny the Carwiper, a heroin addict, gets released from the holding cell on a mid-1950s Christmas morning, and spends the day trying to score. When he finally does and settles down in his cheap hotel, something unusual happens. Ah, yes ... a treasure for the entire family. Er, well, OK. It's really only for family members who are 18 or older, of course. Here is a nice little review of the special, which the writer describes as "probably the least-shown animated seasonal special in history." And, if you care to do so, you can read the full text of the story.
IT WAS Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat. This beat benny wouldn't pawn for a deuce, he thought...
[from The Junky's Christmas; by William S. Burroughs]
Friday, December 17, 2004
The Modulator has a compilation of pet posts from other bloggers.
Here is the complete list of Milo & Otis' appearances on Prophet or Madman: M and O Archives
The Modulator has a compilation of pet posts from other bloggers.
Here is the complete list of Milo & Otis' appearances on Prophet or Madman: M and O Archives
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
|Sign directing visitors to the Tomb of Christ in Shingo, Japan. (via japanvisitor.blogspot.com)|
Christ escaped the clutches of the Romans, fled across land carrying his brother's severed ear and a lock of hair from the Virgin Mary and settled down to life in exile in the snowy isolation of Northern Japan. Here he married a woman called Miyuko, fathered three daughters and died at the age of 106. Two wooden crosses outside the village mark the graves of the brothers from Galilee and a museum makes the case that the man we call Jesus Christ the carpenter was known around these parts as garlic farmer Daitenku Taro Jurai.
|From MOBY Garden's Blog entry for Planting Garlic|
So, is Jesus big (and dead) in Japan? We may never know for sure. The locals won't let researchers dig up the Tomb of Christ because, according to villager Yoshiteru Ogasawara, "It is considered a bad thing to do." Color me fascinated.
Update 2/29/2012: The Independent moved the story to this link and Religion News Blog has archived the full text of the story here.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
"I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused," he wrote. "The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question -- how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. "A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans [followers of Islam] tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. . . . "There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not."
Although Lewis' subject was divorce, you can see how this same logic can be applied to today's discourse on same-sex marriages. Religious marriage, you see, is a sacrament and government has no business poking its nose into it. Raspberry expands this thought:
But marriage isn't only sacrament. It is also the basis on which we decide who may inherit in the absence of a will, who may make life-or-death decisions for loved ones, or who is eligible for the advantages of joint tax returns. And because it has these secular implications, the state has a legitimate role in determining who is married and who isn't.
The church has no interest in joint filings, and the state no interest in declarations of love or religious affiliation. To the one, marriage is a sacred rite; to the other, it is the sanctioning of a contractual relationship. The church may care whether he is a philanderer or she a gold-digger, or whether there's too great a gap in their ages. The state's interests run to the validity of the contract.
And what has any of this to do with same-sex marriage? Maybe if we can get past such churchly considerations as God's will as expressed in Leviticus, we can make peace with the bifurcation Lewis urged in his 1952 book: [Emphasis mine] Let the church handle the sacrament, the state the contract.
Perfect. Beautiful. And I don't see how the Republicans (mentioned only because it is their party that is so driven for banning same-sex unions) cannot embrace this as policy. Are they not the party who embraced laissez faire? Well, how hard can it be to move from "the government of business is not the business of government" to "the government of marriage is not the business of government"?
Yeah, I know. Probably too far to stretch.
And what of C.S. Lewis? What would he make of the stretch that William Raspberry has applied to his work? Well, Raspberry admits:
I don't know where Lewis might have stood on gay marriage. For all I know, the cleric might have opposed any marriage except between one man and one woman. He might have urged such a view on his church. But he wouldn't have urged it on the state. His fear of government intrusion into matters of faith would have kept him from doing so.
I encourage you to read the column. Here is the full URL (may require a free login): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60180-2004Dec12.html
Sunday, December 12, 2004
This site was mainly intended for science fiction authors who wanted a little scientific accuracy. But anybody who is interested can play with the toys contained within, designing their own Planet Rangers Rocketships. It is assumed that the reader has enough knowledge to know the difference between a star and a planet, and enough skill to use a pocket calculator. Computer spreadsheet and computer programming skills are a plus, spreadsheets in particular will make your life much easier.This guy has made a fascinating site that covers such topics as Atomic Rockets, believable aliens, anti-gravity, life support, sidarms ... He has 30 pages of material and it is probalby growing. In the Preliminary Notes, he does make the following disclaimer: I am not a rocket scientist, merely an amateur that has read a lot of books. Any and all of the information on these pages may be incorrect or inaccurate. And he has read quite a few books. And all of that reading has fueled his research, of which he must have done quite a bit. His site is filled with great tips, relevant links, and cool illustrations. http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/index.html
Friday, December 10, 2004
That's a quote from John Charlton, an engineer in Detroit who has combined his love of the Newton handheld with his love of photography. Charlton is devoted to this project almost to the point of mania: has taken shots of Newtons all around the world -- from Disney World in Florida to Newton, a small town in South Wales. You can see some of his work in a special virtual gallery of Newton photos: the Newtons Around the World gallery at the Newted Community website. Personally, I love the Newton Grave, St. Dogbert of the Cross, and Newton in Hell photos. Full Story: Wired News -- The Picture of Devotion
You can really tell that Milo is the more patient of the two. His expression seems to be one of, "Yeah, I'm behind bars right now, but just you wait...Oh? You think you're tough? We'll see who's tough when you try to come upstairs."
Otis' expression is one of someone who knows that the slightest thing will break his tough-guy facade. He is letting Milo do all the talking.
The Modulator has a compilation of pet posts from other bloggers.
Here is the complete list of Milo & Otis' appearances on Prophet or Madman: M and O Archives
Thursday, December 09, 2004
- Want to be a dad? Stop bouncing a laptop on your knee The Age (subscription)
- Technology; Hot laptops could cook men's fertility Keralanext
- Chestnuts roasting on an open FireWire VNUNet.com
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
- like punk music?
- have an affinity for the mosh pit?
- feel the love for jolly ol' St. Nick?
Well, then SANTAMOSH is for you!
[Requires Flash and speakers or headphones]
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
What do a flight attendant in Texas, a temporary employee in Washington and a web designer in Utah have in common? They were all fired for posting content on their blogs that their companies disapproved of.The rise of blogging over the past few years has, inevitably, given way to another phenomenon, as companies are forced to confront employees' easy access to ranting and raving about work in public online forums like Blogger and LiveJournal. [Read Story]Who's Recycling Techno Trash?
No current figures exist for how much e-junk is recycled, but industry experts believe it's a sliver of the total. People don't know where to take their used electronics, and toxic components are a mounting problem.[Read Story]
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Login
While many online newspaper readers are used to the idea of registering to read free content online, some news buffs are supporting and creating sites that help them beat the system with fake or shared login information that helps keep their personal information under wraps. [Read Story]Spyware on My Machine? So What?
Not all web surfers think spyware is a problem. Some say the snoopy software is a fair trade-off for free applications, even with the intrusion into their computers and lives. "Typically the assumption has been that spyware sneaks onto computers, or users are unaware of what they have agreed to install," said Gregg Mastoras, a senior security analyst at antivirus vendor Sophos. "But some people actually do knowingly install adware because they want to use a particular application that comes bundled with it. Some just aren't particularly concerned by adware's presence on their computers."[Read Story]
That last story bugs me. How can people not care about spyware? I must have half a dozen different apps that I use just for scrubbing cookies and detecting/deleting spyware. I know, I know ... there are folks who feel that the only people who are doing something shady need to worry about spyware and privacy. Well, if you don't think spyware is a problem, then you should check out Marketscore, which is mentioned in the article and is a program that "routes all of a user's web traffic through Marketscore's own servers, where it is then analyzed to 'create research reports on internet trends and e-commerce activities.'"
Yeah, that means logins and passwords, are routed through Marketscore's servers, too. Real nice.
- Running the light board for the Friday and Saturday evening performances of Thumbs (new play by Rupert Holmes) over in Souderton.
- A full day of class on Saturday: 9am to 4:30pm.
- Taking advantage of the unexpectedly warm Sunday (70 degrees!). I pruned the tree in my front yard, and then labored to install my new fence sections in my backyard.
- Spending any down time with my lovely wife.
Number 3 on this list -- and not number 4, folks (shame of you for thinking that!) -- was the killer.
Some of you may have already learned this lesson, but home improvement projects are never quite as simple as I hope or even estimate ... both in effort expended and time consumed. Oh, and I really should never assume I can replace/modify/repair just half (or some other portion) of something. In this case, I thought I could tear down the decaying and broken fence sections, but re-use the existing fence posts with little or no trouble.
Little .... or no ... trouble. Sigh.
A previous homeowner -- I don't know if this would be the one just prior to me, or one a bit further back -- had established what I will call a two-tone fence that stretched approximately 500 feet from the end of my house to a shorter wire fence that finishes off the property line. I say this was a two-tone fence because about half of it was privacy fencing of the stockade variety, about 6 feet tall, and the rest was a lattice style fence that was about 5 feet in height. The lattice fencing was in a terrible state after this last winter: the wind had actually blown some of it apart, forcing me to brace those sections haphazardly with scrap wood. Serviceable, but not attractive. And on the stockade fencing, well, some stockades were in better shape than others.
Bear in mind that my ultimate fencing goal is to have the entire backyard fenced in so that I can eventually get a racing greyhound. But I can't afford that right now because I had to replace the front concrete steps and sidewalk -- they were just melting away and could no longer be patched. So I got the bright idea that I could drop one or two hundred on fence panels and install them myself -- right on those aforementioned fence posts that were already in place. However, I quickly learned that the posts were not spaced for standard fence sections. Both the stockade and lattice fencing that the previous homeowner had installed were custom jobs. The distance between posts was not in any way set for a standard "off-the-shelf" fence section.
No problem, I thought, I can simply trim any section that is too long. I can even save trimmed stockades for later replacement of broken ones. (Note: Much easier said than done).
Oh, and then there was the "starter" beam which was secured to my house. It had been notched so that the crossbeams of the old stockade fence would fit right in flush with the beam. Well, guess what: The cross beams on my new sections would not fit those nice, custom cutouts. And on top of that, but those posts I wanted to re-use ... I didn't really notice it until I actually had to attach the new sections, but they kind of zig-zag!
I love old houses, but I do have one constant complaint: nothing is square.
Well, for all my grunting and complaining, I now have three out of the five sections installed. What with trimming, digging (for leveling purposes), and drilling, what I thought would take about two hours took several and the job lasted right up to dusk. I gave up when it was just too dark to continue.
I will admit that the new fence is looking good (at least from my side), but it might have been better to just suck it up and pay for a professional installation. (Actually, I think I just needed better planning -- including time to dig new fence posts at the proper intervals). Anyway, that's why I didn't post over the weekend. And I was too busy on Monday to post as well.
Friday, December 03, 2004
Missouri's most violent criminals can no longer play video games that simulate murders, carjackings and the killing of police officers, a decision reached after prison officials were told about the content. "We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence." [USA Today]I have a question ... Why the heck were they even playing video games in the first place?! Now, maybe I'm just slow, but didn't they forfeit the right to participate in leisure activities like this once they were incarcerated for their crime(s)? Mind you, I'm not saying I would happily go to prison if I knew I would have access to an X-Box -- I don't even play video games -- but this just seems like it would be a no-brainer. Hey, I'd like to submit an idea to the Jefferson City Correctional staff: How about crochet as a recreational activity for your inmates? It worked in Demolition Man (OK, that was just a lousy movie, so there is no proof that crochet would actually work, but it was funny). At the very least, those folks should be doing yoga or something to keep them calm and in shape. The rationale for the clam part is fairly evident; the reason for keeping them fit: well, you don't want a bunch of video-game addicted fatties on the state dole, right? http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-12-02-mizzou-prison-games_x.htm
It's almost as bad as encountering one on the way to the bathroom:
Are they not the cutest demons ever?
I mentioned in my previous post (about Tootsie & Snuggles) that The Modulator has a compilation of pet posts from other bloggers. And here is the updated list of Prophet or Madman's previous Pet Blog posts for more Milo & Otis:
Go ahead and click the pic for a larger view. This is a rare inaction shot. Tootsie (short for Tootsie Rool) is the smaller pup sitting in the background. Snugglepuppy -- or just Snuggles, for short -- is standing in the foreground. They are both from the same litter. Tootsie actually belongs to my sister and her daughter, who came up with the names, but she gets to visit her brother on a regular basis. In fact, Snuggles goes through a form of withdrawal when he doesn't see his little sister on a regular basis!
Don't forget to check The Modulator for today's compilation of pet posts from other bloggers (as well as links to archived compilations).
And to all those Milo & Otis fans out there -- don't worry! I have more pics of the boys and I will have them up later today (at least, I hope I have them up later today).
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Now that the holiday season is in full throttle - and panic has set in among those who fret over finding the right gifts for family members, friends and perhaps even co-workers - it's worth considering a not particularly festive question: Just how efficient is gift giving? And what do the recipients of consumer purchases actually think about the gifts they get? Joel Waldfogel, professor of business and public policy at Wharton, sheds some light on this question in a new paper titled, "Does Consumer Irrationality Trump Consumer Sovereignty?"Read the full article: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/1088.cfm
"Americans are convinced that democracy lies just under the weight of a dictatorship, ready to open up and flower when the boulder of oppression is rolled away. But the reality is that when you overthrow a dictatorship, not democracy but anarchy lies at the ready."Benjamin Barber, author of Jihad vs. McWorld, as quoted in Mo (September 2004)
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
About Sonia Shah:
Friday, November 26, 2004
And then ... Otis!
I'm guessing that Otis is looking to jump right on Milo's head. Wouldn't be the first time.
Don't forget to check The Modulator for today's compilation of pet posts from other bloggers (as well as links to archived compilations). And you can check Prophet or Madman's previous Pet Blog posts for more Milo & Otis:
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Associated Press European Union justice and interior ministers agreed Friday that new immigrants to the 25-nation bloc should be required to learn local languages and adhere to general “European values” that will guide them toward better integration. Dutch immigration minister Rita Verdonk, who presided over the meeting, said all countries agreed to make integrating newcomers a priority, considering the growing ethnic tensions as EU nations struggle to absorb a steady stream of poor, mostly Muslim immigrants. [Full Story]EU' s Immigration Policy Toughens
Recurring tension throughout the continent following the murdering of Dutch moviemaker Theo Van Gogh has led the European Union (EU) to consider tough preventive measures. A similar policy to the highly criticized tight immigration policy implemented by US administration after the September 11th may also be implemented in Europe. Europe, which criticized the US for taking "anti-democratic preventive measures against terror" after the September 11th, has been gradually shifting to a similar line. [Full Story]Integration Debate Heats up in Germany
Leading German politicians have said Muslims will have to integrate themselves better if they wish to remain in the country. This coincides with conservatives' calls to emphasize patriotism and Christian values. [Full Story]
"If a person is coming in with a strong hidden agenda, they're thinking about it. They're focusing on it. I could get a ... strong sense (of that)."Geez. Where were his services when we needed to find those weapons of mass destruction? Why didn't he offer to help find hostages taken by insurgents in Iraq? Or, better yet, could he help train screeners at the airports?
Friday, November 19, 2004
Buddhism, Aikido, art, books, music, and other stuff that gets stuck in your head. "There is one kind of person in the world: the kind that divides the world into two kinds of people, and the kind that does not."I also recommend that you glance at the disclaimer.
To give credit where it is due, all these images come from NASA, which allows free reproduction for non-profit enterprises. Further credit goes to the many astronauts who actually framed and photographed many of these amazing images. Some were taken remotely, others by automatic cameras mounted on the Shuttle or the International Space Station. Nearly all are true color images, only a few have infrared coloring (green foliage looks reddish-pink).Do yourself a favor today. Take some time and pore over these images. Let them truly seep into your soul. You will see that they display a profound truth: Political boundaries are merely a product of the human mind, which is the source of all boundaries and limitations. Bookmark 300 Miles High and return to it whenever you need a reminder of the beauty in the world that is the world. When you need a reminder that you are a part of something much larger and wondrous. When you need hope.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
"I once said to a friend of mine about three days before the election... 'You know, am I the only person in the entire United States of America who likes both George W. Bush and John Kerry, who believes they're both good people, who believes they both love our country and they just see the world differently?"Could Bubba be the person to cross that divide? I would like to believe he could. He is an accomplished politician, and he has a burning desire to leave a positive legacy. Perhaps, as some folks have whispered, Bush should make Clinton the Special Envoy to the Middle East. There is no shortage of love for Clinton overseas. And his ego would ensure that he would keep working at the peace process until he got it right. What better way to shift his legacy from a blue dress? [Added 11:34PM] -- By the way, Michael Smerconish, a Philadelphia-based talk radio host and author of Flying Blind, mentioned this very idea on his show this morning as well as in his Daily News column -- you might need a free registration to read it. I just read it in my local paper. Check it out! (I am referring to his column, not my paper).
Full AP story over at Yahoo.
In the growing debate about when people first appeared on this continent, a leading archaeologist said Wednesday hehas discovered what could be sooty evidence of human occupation in North America tens of thousands of years earlier than is commonly believed. University of South Carolina archaeologist Al Goodyear said he has uncovered a layer of charcoal from a possible hearth or fire pit at a site near the Savannah River. Samples from the layer have been laboratory-dated to more than 50,000 years old. Yet Goodyear stopped short of declaring it proof of the continent's earliest human occupation.
The pity is not that Powell has resigned as secretary of state. The pity is that he did not do so quickly.He comes to this conclusion because Powell, who did disagree frequently with his colleagues in Bush's administration -- and with President Bush himself -- did nothing significant about it. I can agree with him to a point. I am disappointed in Powell's performance in the State Department (but such disappointment is less than that which I feel for the Bush administration as a whole). I'm afraid now that a potentially great moderate voice will fade into history.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
"No one would ever put a hook through a dog's or cat's mouth. Once people start to understand that fish, although they come in different packaging, are just as intelligent, they'll stop eating them."Uh, yeah. Be certain to check the comments and extra links Jazz posted at Running Scared. And I highly suggest you read the story of how Jazz was attacked by PETA.
On Nov. 19 and 20 at the Philadelphia Airport Ramada Inn, Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions, Ltd. will sell part one of the lifetime toy and train collection of legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball. A spectacular and unique collection known to enthusiasts throughout the world, the Kimball trains and toys are unmatched in their synergy of quality, quantity and diversity – so much so that it will take two separate events of approximately 800 lots each to auction them all. The second sale will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, 2005.If you are looking for a Christmas gift for me, or you just want to see some cool old toys, direct your browser to Toyzine.
"President Bush has been accused of pursuing divisive policies. But let's face it, promoting crude stereotypes of slightly more than half the electorate is not exactly the way to promote understanding."And...
"Democracy is great; but in a divided culture democracy means that roughly half the people will live under a government they did not elect. That's one good reason to limit the federal government's intervention in our lives and to give more of the decision-making power to local governments, private institutions, and individuals."You can read more of Cathy Young's work at Reason Online. And I encourage you to do so.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
I pore over Beatles albums with the same obsessive and forensic scrutiny that I’d applied to Rodgers and Hammerstein, only now I have a guitar. I have an instrument that can reproduce the practical magic of the chord structures and the network of riffs that their songs are built on. And what songs, one after the other, album after album. I learn to play them all, confident that if I persevere, what I can’t play immediately will yield its secret eventually. I will reapply the needle of the record player again and again to the bars of music that seem beyond my analysis, like a safecracker picking a lock, until the prize is mine. No school subject ever occupies as much of my time or energy. I’m not claiming that any kind of prescience about the future is at work here, but there is something in the driven and compulsive nature of this obsession that is unusual, something in the unconscious saying, This is how you escape. This is how you escape.Read the rest of the excerpt at http://www.odemagazine.com/article.php?aID=3953 [Note: I added the the needle and record player links to help our younger readers.]