Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finally


Jon Foreman has released third installments in what I'm calling The Seasons. Its called "The Spring Ep" and its wonderful. Check it out here.

Too much to handle



With thanks to XKCD.com

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How it works



With thanks to XRCD.com

The Look at Me Generation


I was reading an article in Newsweek today, called Here's Looking at You, Kids by Jennie Yabroff about the generation of young people that has been and is being defined by a lifestyle of overexposure, due to social networking on the internet, cell phones, and 'reality' tv. This is interesting:


"You might call them the 'Look at Me Generation'. Thanks to "The Real World," "Laguna Beach" and the like, they've been documented like no group before them, most especially by themselves: on their blogs, their MySpace, Facebook and Flickr pages, and on YouTube.
Sociologists have begun to question the effect of all this exhibitionism on young people. Can they form durable identities off-camera, or are they so used to producing their images for outside consumption that images have replaced their essences? Will a generation for whom all secrets are fair game and every private moment can become public trust each other and form intimate relationships?"

I def. see that in my world as a Young Life leader, and wonder what this exposure is doing to these kids psychologically. It seems to me, as Ms. Yabroff states, that with all of the work that High Schoolers put into fitting a mold, and promoting themselves as how they want to be perceived, is only serving to confine their true selves. And that constant confinement will someday force a social eruption that we have never seen before.

Friday, March 21, 2008


My brother took this.

Live Blogging the President's Iraq War 5 Year Anniversary Address

I don't mean to sound cynical, if that's how this comes off. I watched/liveblogged the address on CNN yesterday, and I was rather impressed by it. I think "the Boss" genuinely has a heart to see this thing through, for "freedom's" sake. More on that later:

10:00a "Boss" steps up to the mic, after a run-of-the-mill butt kissing by some deputy something or other, looking fabulous as always.
10:00a Not so funny joke, and SERIOUS TIME.
10:01a We know the invasion was successful, that's not the issue at hand. Though, during said invasion, troops did uncover and disband children's prisons and torture chambers (not named Mahmudiyah, Haditha, Abu Gharib, etc.) So, that was good.
10:06a "The Surge 2" coming to Theatres December 2008. Well, just one theatre.
10:07a Horras = Horrors if you don't speak "Boss."
10:07a This speech is littered with forced, yet delayed applause from an audience that doesn't seem to know what's going on. And, apparently, "Coast-men" is what we're calling members of the Coast Gaurd now.
10:09a Propagandily speaking; It's a good thing that Saddam's troops were so ruthless and bad-guy like. Although, their using women and children as human shields doesn't change the fact that it was still our bullets that killed those women and children.
10:11a I miss having a tangible enemy. I think Stephen Colbert said it best, talking to Sen. George McGovern, former US Presidential candidate and WWII vet, "You guys were so lucky to have World War II - It had Nazis in it. It was so obviously the right war."
10:12a Today's catch phrase; "because we acted." Or, better yet; McCain/Rumsfeld 2008 "Because We Acted"
10:12a I wonder if a year ago, he actually admitted that the war effort was faltering, as he just did. I would guess not.
10:14a He referenced the 90,000 concerned local citizens protecting their communities. We call them insurgents out here, George.
10:15a Mossle is also known as Mosul
10:15a Inevitability really is a hard word, its okay. Sound it out.
10:17a "Osama bin Laden once said 'When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature; they will take the strong horse.' By defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq, we will show the world that Al-Qaeda is the weak horse." (pause... applause)Aww shoot, son. He straight told those fools. You just some weak-horse bustas, Al-Qaeda. Neigh, neigh, b*thces!
10:21a Hogeminy?
10:23a First 9/11 reference at 23 minutes.
10:25a Guarantee a movie will be made about Sgt. William "Spanky" Gibson.
10:25a "The Iraqis are where we were 232 years ago as a nation. Now they are starting a new nation." 232 years ago, we were rebelling against an imperialistic superpower that was imposing their laws and their government on us...
10:27a He throws the word "freedom" around a bit too liberally, pun intended. Don't terrorists terrorize us because they love their version of "freedom"? It seems presumptuous to rely on such a subjective, vague concept as "freedom" to justify something as crucial as a war. Maybe I'm too picky.

Conclusion:
That was extremely Democrat-like of me. Wow. My apologies. But, "The Boss" made some important concessions, and showed enough humility for me to listen and appreciate his beliefs. But, we've been hearing all about what's been going right in Iraq since we charged triumphantly in 5 years ago. So, its all kind of thin, I would say. Either way, good talk, Boss.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Booms

This kind of blew my mind:



Its surreal to see something so massive just disappear like that. It has the feel of a natural-disaster movie or something. WebUrbanist put up a collection of videos of building demolitions, including this one, that're def. worth checking out. Holla

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Combatants for Peace

I recently came accross a website for a group called Combatants for Peace. The group is composed of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants, who have decided that the conflict in which their countries are involved cannot be resolved by violence. They are commited to dialouge and non-violent resolution of the very real and valid struggle between the two sides. The website has some great stories from members, along with video of some of their meetings, etc. Its so easy for us as Americans to write off the Palestinian side as irrational terrorists, but the existence of this group, and the beliefs of its Israeli members, calls for a bit of objectivity on the subject. I reccomend checking it out. Video by Journeyman Pictures here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

News Notes (w/ unrelated duck photo)


With my new day schedule, most of the outlets I use to keep myself occupied have been withdrawn from me. I'm basically left with wikipedia and the live news streams that I have access to on my computer. News gets old after a while, but I've begun to take notes on what I see. Here's the first week's worth:

1. Keith Olbermann just called John McCain the "Hey you kids, get off my lawn Candidate."

2. Regarding the Roger Clemens congressional waste of time, Chris Mattews said it best when he asked, "Why is this something our taxes are paying for?"

3. Judging by his prescription reading glasses, Tim Russert's eyesight is horrendous.

4. Fox News Channel's commercial lineup;
a. TheLadder.com; a site for those searching for jobs of $100k or more.
b. The Villages; Florida's most distinguished retirement homes.
c. ActivOn; arthritis relief.
d. Binder and Binder; "America's most successful social security disability advocates."
and,
e. Honey Nut Cheerios; whole grain cereal to lower cholesterol
Conclusion: Old people watch the Fox News Channel

5. I've heard Eliot Spitzer's name 134 times in 4 hours of news.

6. President Bush; "Freedom can transform society, freedom can transform enemies into allies, and someday if the United States is steadfast and optimistic, a president will be able to say, 'Amazing thing happen, I sat down at the table with the leader of Muslims nations all aiming to keep the peace, to spread freedom and to keep America secure." So, according to the Boss, this war will be won by steadfastness and sheer optimism alone.

This Job...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Those of you who knew me in 2003 prob. remember this.

Lessons from Creed Barrett pt. 2


Since moving in to my new place in August, I have had the pleasure of spending much of my freetime in close proximity to the Barret family that lives upstairs. This means that I have been able to get to know their two year old son, Creed. I am continually amazed by how much I learn about myself by witnessing life in such a pure form. This is the second installment in what will be a regular report on what I'm coming to understand about life and adulthood through the life and infancy of Creed Barrett.

I think that I would like to be Creed Barrett. His grandparents, Amber's parents, came in town for the weekend, and have been watching Creed while John and Amber enjoy some time "off." Each time I have gone upstairs, they have been sitting at the kitchen table, lounging in the living room or sitting on the back porch, focused in on everything that little Creed says. He is the center of their world right now. Anything he says is interesting. Anything he does is impressive. Any question he asks is met with incredible consideration and is carefully and clearly answered. He's rolling in his grandparents' attention and love. At two years old, Creed is obsessed with attention. He yells for it, fights for it, jumps off of chairs for it. He craves it. And this weekend, he is having his greatest desire filled.
I often catch myself fighting to suppress my own desire for attention. I know that part of being an adult is the understanding that I am not the most important thing in the world. But, that doesn't keep me from being the most important thing to myself. I often notice the tendencies I have of approaching my world with the goal of achieving what is most comfortable, most exciting, most attention-getting for me. I hate this about myself. I fight and fight to seem humble to anyone who asks. I pride myself on humility, even. It's the residue of rejection of God's standard of fulfillment and righteousness in my life, by searching for validation by my own means. And when I try to achieve that fulfillment outside of Him, its simple vanity. I am that two year old Creed throwing things at guests so they will acknowledge him, or screaming at the top of my lungs, so someone will come over and hold me. But the Lord is working in me, to bring me out of my narcism and into the perfection he has destined me for. But this weekend, Creed still gets his indulgence, as I am learning to ignore mine in the light of God's grace.

Ok Go

While this is wholly unoriginal (30 million+ views to date), its a lot of fun:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

For Starbucks Fans

Next time you hit up your local Starbucks, pick up a 13shot Venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocaha and caramel. At 13.95, its just about the most expensive cup of coffee in the world.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Google is the New Google


This might be old news for some of us, but I just discovered Google Books, a new(?) sevice offered by Google. It allows the reader to read through interactive copies of the books it has on file. I just got finished reading the first chapter of Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism by Fredrick Jameson. That college degree just got a little bit closer.