Writing The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Bob Cargill NatGeo Special is Re-airing

On December 11th.  Check your local listings for the time and station.  If you missed it the first time, be sure to take a look.  And if you watched it and want to do it again, do.  It’s very much worth the time.

For decades, theories and controversies have swirled around the question of the true origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls — one of the greatest archaeological finds in history. We’ll go beyond enclosed glass displays to examine actual scroll fragments up close and explore the caves where they were found. Then, we’ll examine a new clue to the identity of the scrolls’ writers — a 2,000-year-old cup inscribed with a secret text. Could analysis of this finding unravel the mystery?

See if it does.  Via Ros Cargill on FB.

More Political Dirtbaggery

Tom DeLay (famed Congress dude and wretched singer) has been convicted of money laundering.

Well duh.  Every congressman (and woman) launders money: they take it from taxpayers, line their own pockets, and distribute the rest in pork projects.  American politicians, like American politics, are totally without ethics.

Go Ahead Tea People and Repubs, Vote For Palin in 2012…

Kim Jong-il

Palin's pal

She thinks that North Korea is our ally.  No, I’m not making it up, she really is that stupid.

Sarah Palin’s choosing sides in the conflict between North and South Korea–and picking Kim Jong Il?  Couldn’t be. But there she is on Glenn Beck’s radio show saying just that: “This speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policy. But obviously we’ve gotta stand with our North Korean allies.”  The host helpfully corrects her, “South Korean allies.”

So go ahead, choose her as your candidate.  It will absolutely ensure that the Republican party loses massively.  (With thanks to M.E. on FB for the heads up).

Bloggers are Gearing Up For Thanksgiving…

And they’re calling the Butterball Turkey hotline to find answers to their most pressing questions!

Joel Watts– *Is it okay to thaw my turkey in the bathtub while bathing my kids?
Mark Goodacre– *Can I brine my turkey in the washing machine?
James Crossley– *Can I use my oven’s self-cleaning cycle to speed up the cooking process?
Chris Tilling– *If I cut my turkey with a chainsaw will the oil affect the taste?
James McGrath– *Can I take my frozen turkey into my sauna to thaw it faster?

Oh bloggers…  via.  With Happy Thanksgiving wishes to one and all.

They Only Graduate 22% of their Students, But at Least They’re ‘Accredited’

If you have a 78% failure rate and still have the hubris to boast about your institution of ‘higher education’ and you can still persuade the ‘accrediting’ agencies to give you their ‘seal of approval’ (which means nothing but that you’ve been willing to pay their fee), you thereby simply show the lunacy and ridiculousness of the entire process.

For-profit colleges graduated an average of 22 percent of their students in 2008, according to a new report from Education Trust. That average palls in comparison to bachelor’s-seeking graduation rates at public and private non-profit colleges and universities for the same year, which averaged 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively. The report, titled “Supbrime Opportunity” (PDF) also reveals that for-profit colleges increased their enrollment by 236 percent from 1998 to 2009.  The median debt of for-profit college graduates — $31,190 — far outpaces that of private non-profit college graduates, which stands at $17,040, and is more than triple the median debt for those from public colleges, which is $7,960.

So thanks, for profits, for being such an excellent example of my point that accreditation is modern and meaningless.  Of course none of those facts will stop the defenders of the problem- they’re benefiting from it so they have no reason to oppose it.  Only persons of sense see the problem.

Christmas Gift Ideas For Those You Hate…

dvd burner operating with cover removed

The BAR mass email just arrived announcing the availability of a DVD produced by none other than Simcha ‘The Not Naked Not Archaeologist’  Jacobovici-

WHO WROTE THE BIBLE? New free video from “The Naked Archaeologist,” filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici

Well the price is right. And if you really, really hate someone and want them to suffer misrepresentations of the bible, this is the ideal Christmas gift! So get it for the ones you despise. They’ll return the favor forever.

The Latest Iteration of RockMelt

Image representing RockMelt as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Is much faster, loads quicker, offers cleaner and more seamless transition between websites, and is generally even better than before.  The FB and RSS functions are also quicker with less lag time and fewer glitches.

If you’ve not tried RockMelt yet, you ought to.  It’s really the best browser to come out in a good while.

In Memoriam Johannes Oecolampadius

On the 24th of November, 1531, Johannes Oecolampadius succumbed to the plague in Basel.  A friend of Huldrych Zwingli and co-reformer he was probably the most intellectual of the Reformers till Calvin arrived on the scene.  A tremendously gifted exegete and a remarkably talented theologian, Oecolampadius was able to persuade his city to adopt the Reform which Zwingli was championing.

Zwingli had died just over a month before, on October 11, 1531.  The pair were the most important theologian/Pastors in Switzerland’s history (with Bullinger coming in third)(Calvin, you’ll recall, was never officially a Pastor in Geneva).

Oecolampadius' statue in Basel (my photo)

Many of Oecolampadius’s works are available here.  Avail yourself of them today.  You’ll learn a great deal.

Lest we forget…

An Inspiring Story For Your Thanksgiving

In case you don’t know already how much you have to be thankful for:

Joe Ginem was 15 and a budding violinist when pain in his arm and shoulder prompted a shocking diagnosis: Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The teen underwent a year of treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, ABC News reports, but nothing seemed as dire to him as losing the ability to play his instrument. Doctors gave Ginem a choice:

“My surgeon gave me the option of being able to make daily tasks easier or being able to play the violin better and I chose the musician route.”

His cancer is in remission and he’s been able to return to his passion for playing music once again:


Total Depravity: The Politician’s Toady Edition

Robert Decheine, chief of staff to Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), has been fired following his arrest last week for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor, the lawmaker’s office announced Tuesday. “Congressman Rothman immediately consulted appropriate House counsel and terminated Mr. Decheine’s employment, effective November 19, 2010, due to the very serious nature of this charge,” Rothman spokesman Aaron Keyak said in a statement. “Congressman Rothman considers this alleged criminal act to be shocking, appalling and indefensible. As a parent, he understands the vital importance of protecting our children from predators.”

Of course he was immediately fired. Only politicians get to keep their jobs when they do depraved things.

He’s Just Doing What David Did, Right?

David slept with Bathsheba, she became pregnant, and David saw to it that Uriah, her husband, would die in battle (for all intents and purposes, putting out a hit order on him).  So when John Fiala, a Priest in Texas, hired a hit man to kill the boy who accused him of sexual assault, he was just following in David’s footsteps… killing to cover up a sex crime.

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested on charges that he solicited a hit man to kill a teenager who had accused him of sexual abuse. Authorities said John Fiala first offered the job to a neighbor, who blew the whistle and helped police arrange a sting. They said Fiala got as far as negotiating a $5,000 price for the slaying before investigators moved in. The 52-year-old clergyman was arrested Nov. 18 at his suburban Dallas home and jailed on $700,000 bond. In April, he was named in a lawsuit filed by the boy’s family, who accused Fiala of molesting the youth, including twice forcing him to have sex at gunpoint.

Murder to cover up a crime? It’s as old as the hills. Funny thing is, David, the vaunted King of Israel and apple of God’s eye, actually saw to it while this depraved priest didn’t manage it. Which, then, is more totally depraved?

I wonder why there’s not much discussion of David’s wickedness, cruelty, and heartlessness? Even God himself declared David a ‘man of blood’ and forbade him to construct a Temple. Who wants a monument built to them by a thug?  We have such a tendency to lionize biblical characters who hardly deserve it.

[PS- Tommy Verenna noted the story about the Priest over on FB].