Daily Archives: 28 Feb 2010

I Just Don’t Understand You Aussies…

About 5,200 naked people have embraced each other on the steps of Sydney’s iconic Opera House for a photo shoot by Spencer Tunick. Tunick, who is known for his nude group photos in public spaces, posed participants for more than an hour in a variety of positions Monday.

Um, why???

“It was difficult to get the straight participants to embrace the gay participants and vice versa,” Tunick said. “So I was very happy that that last set up finally got done and everyone came together (in a) united, friendly kiss, a loving kiss in front of this great structure.”

Blah. What’s wrong with you guys? Is it the heat? The beer? The genetics? What makes you lot so crazy?  And why was Mark Stevens there along with Ben Myers and Roland Boer????   Oh the horror…

Overall, Well Done, NBC

I for one enjoyed NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. I know there have been some dissatisfied customers but overall the Games were well covered and the filler pieces with their touching stories were really nicely done. And I’m no person given to sentimentality.

So two thumbs up from me to you. NBC. You did good.

A Noteworthy Discovery in Egypt, At Luxor

Archaeologists have unearthed a massive red granite head of one Egypt’s most famous pharaohs who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced Sunday. The head of Amenhotep III, which alone is about the height of a person, was dug out of the ruins of the pharaoh’s mortuary temple in the southern city of Luxor. The leader of the expedition that discovered the head described it as the best preserved sculpture of Amenhotep III’s face found to date.

Read the rest. Cool stuff (but no photos).

The Ugliness of Age-ism

An 85-year-old New Jersey woman who spent decades manning a beer stand at Mets games cried foul when her employer, Aramark, booted her from her profitable stand during the last season at Shea Stadium and replaced her with a younger woman. A judge tossed Mildred Block’s lawsuit yesterday, however, on the grounds that her replacement – 75-year-old Gloria Smith – indicated the concession company did not discriminate against Block based on her age.

That’s just mean. Who could fire an 85 year old woman?? Heartless Aramark, really heartless. Via Bob (who has more details and some observations of his own).

The Death Toll In Chile

Has now surpassed 700, according to CNN. Please pray for the people of Chile as they begin the arduous task of recovery. They are a resilient people and have endured worse. But they still need the aid which only God can offer. And for which you should ask on their behalf.

Biblical Archaeology? Or, The Archaeology of the Biblical Period?

Via Jack Sasson word of a lecture at the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 3rd at 19:30. Lecture III: New Directions in Biblical Archaeology? Biblical Archaeology or The Archaeology of the Biblical Period? Prof. Amihai Mazar, Hebrew Univ., In Hebrew. The series is examining new approaches in the research of Biblical Archeology, presented by leading archaeologists and scholars. Lecturers: Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Dr. Nili Wazana, Prof. Amihai Mazar, Prof. Israel Finkelstein, Prof. Avraham Faust on his research with Prof. Shlomo Bunimovich.

That would be one fine series to sit in on.

Distracted Drivers Kill People, and Are Themselves Killed

Don’t ever text while driving.  Ever.  There’s no text so important that it can’t wait.  And if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the Government‘s site on the topic.

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

* Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
* Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)
* 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some type of distraction. (Source: Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)
* Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)
* The worst offenders are the youngest and least-experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age. (NHTSA)
* Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Amica Exegesis

id est: expositio eucharistiae negocii ad Martinum Lutherum, by Huldrych Zwingli, was published on the 28th of February, 1527.  It was the last time there was any semblance of friendliness between the two.  The breach was insurmountable, in spite of later efforts to overcome the gulf.

You can read the whole book here.  In it, Zwingli shows the proper understanding of the Lord’s Supper in opposition to the magical view of the Catholics and the ridiculous view of the Lutherans.

Zwingli’s closing salvo is fantastic- writing in conclusion to Luther that the Supper is ‘sign’, and absolving him (for his sinful misrepresentation of the supper!).

Hoc est externums signum, quod mentem certam reddit, non carmen: “Ego te absolvo”.

Luther’s reaction was – naturally – quite negative and downright hostile.  Apparently he didn’t want to be forgiven his error.

Murder in Dubai

An op-ed in The Age explains

Israel has lost friends thanks to the sordid affair in Dubai concerning fake passports and murder, and the stink will hang in the air a good while yet.  Australia has made a calculated switch away from backing Israel’s complaints about bias in the United Nations system. Don’t be fooled. There are plenty of gripes about how Israel is unfairly targeted in the UN, but Tel Aviv takes these votes very seriously and lobbies hard to win countries to its side.  Now Israel has lost key supporters. In New York on Friday night, Australia abstained from a resolution calling for further investigation of the 2009 Gaza conflict and war crimes allegations. Not so long ago Australia was one of 17 countries to join Israel to vote against a similar resolution. The message is clear.

Sending hit squads to kill people in this digital age when every move is on camera somewhere may not be very wise.  Perhaps Israel needs to reconsider its methodology.  Or international reaction may take a form a bit more stiff than raised eyebrows and mere verbal complaints.

Britain and Wi-Fi

An upcoming piece of major legislation in the UK, called the Digital Economy Bill, would essentially force all public wi-fi points offline by requiring impossibly high levels of copyright protection by libraries and small businesses. The bill, which bears some similarity to the controversial DMCA here in the US, is ostensibly aimed at providing copyright holders the means of controlling their content online.

Well isn’t that bizarre?  Makes me glad I don’t rely on free wi-fi in Britain.