Friday, November 30, 2007
if you're REALLY brave, post your results in the comments section.
here's ANOTHER way to get better the fast and easy way!
unfortunately, there is NOT a "buy it now" option, and
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Q: Dear Dr. Science,
Is god just fattening us up to eat us later?
--from Jack Clarke of Kingston, TX
A: It always amazes me how much a person's questions say about himself. You couldn't have painted a better picture of yourself had you been Vermeer himself. I can see you on your father's knee as he reads Hansel and Gretel, while you squirm in discomfort. The old woman keeps offering the lost children candy and cake, but she has an ulterior motive. Kindly old woman in a house made of cookies, vengeful God in heaven - both have a lot in common for a neurotic wrestling with paranoid delusions. Emotional maturity is hard to come by, but the alternative is even more difficult. I'm surprised you even sleep at night. You do sleep, don't you?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
As experienced readers of this space (both of you) know, I am not a fan of the Republican Presidential candidates.
I like the Libertarian, Ron Paul, but he'd drive me crazy as President. I admire John McCain but he's in love with the war. It goes down from there---to Rudy Giuliani, who is Dick Cheney without the charm.
But I don't understand why some people, and more than a few, think Mitt Romney is unqualified because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A Mormon.
There seems to be this feeling that Mormonism is more cult than religion and a kooky cult at that. To that I say, let's put it to the test:
Do Mormons drink sacramental wine and pretend they're drinking the blood of their founder? No, Mormons don't drink at all, actually.
Do Mormons, as a matter of ritual, hire a non-medical person to mutilate their baby sons' penises when they're eight days old? I don't believe so.
Do Mormons rush into crowded buildings and blow themselves up in expectation that God will reward them with eternal life in a heaven equipped with 32 virgins per martyr? Never heard of it happening.
All of those things happen in other religions.
What about polygamy? Well, what about it? The Mormon Church withdrew its sanction of polygamy in 1890---117 years ago. If you're expecting Mitt Romney to take two or three more wives any time soon you're going to be sadly disappointed. Actually, of the four major Republican candidates, he's the only one who's had only one wife.
My point is this: Looked at from the outside, all religions seem more than passing strange and, at their extremes, downright crazy. That is because they are not rational; they are systems of belief. Attempts to justify religious beliefs rationally are always a little absurd (see "scientific creationism"). Belief and the feeling of well-being it engenders need no further justification.
I'm fine with that. It's a free country; believe what you want (except for the bombing, of course).
I'm sure Mormons practice things that seem odd to the rest of us. So what? Looked at objectively, from a distance, they are an admirable people---clean-living, industrious, generous and civic-minded.
If you don't want to vote for Mitt Romney, I can think of a number of very good reasons not to do so. Being a Mormon isn't one of them.
I suppose you now imagine that I think the Democratic candidates are the cat's pajamas, a bunch of would-be philosopher-kings vying to lead us out of the wilderness.
Not even close. I think they tend to be professional politicians who have spent their political lives walking around with a tin cup, begging money from rich contributors. They have sold out so many times to so many people that they can hardly remember who owns them anymore. They just know it's not the American people.
Not that I blame them. That's our system. If you don't do it you don't get to be a serious candidate for President. You get to be Dennis Kucinich.
Still, there's something about each of the Democrats that I can like. It's an extremely intelligent, articulate group, for the most part very knowledgeable about the problems that beset this country.
What's missing, I think, is a sense of boldness in addressing those problems, a message that some solutions require sacrifice, not merely by the very rich but by all of us.
I'd like a candidate to tell Iowa that corn-based ethanol is a fraud and that the state is setting itself up for disaster by depending on it for so much of its economic prosperity. I'd like him or her to tell the American voter that the problem with gasoline isn't that it's too expensive, but that it's too cheap.
It's not enough to talk truth to power; you have to talk it to voters too.
I'm not holding my breath.
Don Kaul is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-losing Washington correspondent who, by his own account, is right more than he's wrong. Email: email@example.com -- A photo of Donald Kaul is available CLICK HERE
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dave has been working on his sprint lately, and might want to consider adding the 5000 metre pursuit to his track resume. the gauntlet has been thrown down, the bar has been raised.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
One night, just as Jack was drifting off sleep, he was awakened suddenly by a rough shake of the shoulder and a hand clamped across his mouth. His eyes opened wide and Jack could see the shadowy shape of Sister Kim in the moonlight filtering through the stairs. Sister Kim motioned for Jack to be quiet and follow him up the stairs and through the back door to the yard outside.
“You must listen carefully, Jack,” said sister Kim in a coarse whisper. “Time is short and you are no longer safe here at the orphanage. You must leave tonight and ride your bicycle to get as far away as you can. You won’t need lights on your bike. Go by the light of the moon and don’t let anyone see you. Take these beans with you and search out Kelby in the great mountains to the west.”
Jack stared at the beans Sister Kim had placed in his hand and was silent for a moment, surrounded by quiet Volkswagens resting under tarps like oversized tombstones in the moonlight. Then he said, “That’s cool. I was thinking of taking off and starting a restaurant or something anyway, maybe go to Europe and see Jason, I don’t know.”
Within moments, Jack was on his own, on his bike, pedaling through deserted city streets and through the cool night air, followed only by the gentle clicking of his bike’s chain on its cogs.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
"Meanwhile, one powerful name is playing Santa Claus to his loyal colleagues. CBS "Late Show" host Daveid Letterman has quietly announced to his staff that he would pay them out of his own pocket over the holidays if the strike continues."
but wait, one of these guys has snow on his head, while the other...
Thursday, November 22, 2007
the dixie square mall, in harvey, illinois, to be precise.
plenty of parking, just 20 miles south of chicago: it's a lovely place to go if you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the usual black friday throngs. to me, it says "christmas, american style, 21st century." didn't really buy anything, but that's okay by me. i might go back again really soon. there's something tranquil about the place. must be the post-neo-nihilist gap thing near the atrium, which is unusually large.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. While it’s technically not a religious holiday, it can be a difficult one for atheists for grammatical reasons. “Thank” is a transitive verb, meaning that it requires a direct object. One cannot simply thank. One must thank someone or something. For the vast majority of Americans, that someone or something is god. So, as atheists, who are we thanking? Well, we could thank each other for showing up for dinner. We could thank the poultry farmers for providing the main course. We could thank the football players for working on a holiday. However, none of these seem to be very good reasons to take a couple of days off and have a feast.
Despite the cognitive dissonance caused by its name, I support the spirit of Thanksgiving. I think that taking time once a year to reflect on the positive aspects of one’s life is a good idea. In a world that often seems like it has gone mad, it’s easy for the good things to slip through the mental cracks. After watching the devastation of a monster hurricane or seeing the rising death toll of an unpopular war, we forget to appreciate the roofs over our heads and the people who love us. The news is full of poverty and forced labor, but most of us have the money to buy computers and the free time to visit blogs. There are only 850 million telephone lines in this world of 6.5 billion people, but most of us have broadband, cell phones and on-demand movies. Billions of people are enslaved by religion, but we are free.
I can thank the people responsible for some of that. My family will be there, so I can thank them. If you happen to run into a veteran tomorrow, you might want to thank him, also. If you happen to know Tim Berners-Lee, maybe send him an email. However, most of the people responsible for this incredible quality of life I enjoy are anonymous, dead or both. So, while we are celebrating Thanksgiving, lets also celebrate the simpler holiday of Gladhaving, because that encourages you to appreciate all the good in your life, including the parts for which there is no one to thank but yourself. If you do this, I guarantee you’ll awaken from your Turkey-induced coma on Friday morning with a much rosier picture of the world. It may only last until you turn on the news or try to find a parking space at the mall, but it’s better than nothing.
P.S. In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to thank all of you for reading, commenters and lurkers alike. I’d also like to thank the few good electronic friends I’ve made because of this blog. You know who you are. If you’re not sure whether I’m including you, assume that I am. That way, everyone’s happy.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
a legitimate candidate for the presidency used the words "bicycle" and "energy policy" in the same sentence, and in a very positive light. yes, the bicycle is actually viewed by at least one candidate for president as actual "transportation," and not just a means of recreation. biden spoke of his confrontations in the past with representatives of the transportation industry [read "truckers"] and construction industry [read "highway lobby"] in which he reminded them that their money flows from the transportation department, and that the portion of those highway funds allocated to construction of trails, bike lanes, light- and high-speed rail systems are ALSO integral parts of the national transportation system.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
instead, it got a little weird at times...
i tried to remain cool, and succeeded for the most part,
but doing so took quite a toll on me.
but it was nothing that a little binge & purge couldn't cure!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
"Chechu once told us that he had the best fans in the world," a spokesperson for the site said on Sunday in an open letter to the cycling community. "The team which hires Chechu Rubiera in 2008 will gain not only a dedicated professional and gifted athlete, but an extraordinary group of fans around the world. From Australia, South America, Africa, Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Hungary. And in the US, from California, Texas, Missouri, Massachusetts, Washington, Arizona and Kansas. Not forgetting his aficionados, Spaniards who have supported him since his first win twenty years ago."--from cyclingnews.com
chechu–if you DON’T score a team, all9yards.com racing team has a spot available for you. we are in central iowa, very near the hometown of former teammate jason mccartney.
lots of folks have asked,
well sure he does; he's just awfully busy lately, much too busy to answer each and every letter he gets. but just as santa has "helpers" to read all the letters the big jolly one gets, the kids at the orphanage will answer your letters to donny.
do you want to tell donny "punk on!"?
wanna tell bart he's an old fart?
wanna leave a snappy response to donny's latest post?
leave it here, in the comments section.
we'll see that donny reads it,
and we'll get an answer right away!
and here are the fugazis performing "bulldog front" also in 1988.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
and while you're completing the food survey, give a listen to the allman brothers covering van morrison's "and it stoned me" from this year's run at the beacon theatre, complete with horns.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
seems donny has taken sitting in to new heights. view this special sneak video for more team tactics. today's sermonette will keep you posted with latest details as they become known.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
amen. --the mostly reverend
Monday, November 05, 2007
Tuesday mornings ~7-ish at Zanzibars
Because we miss each other this time of year.