Apply to Test Drive a New Chrome OS Laptop

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Google is producing a new laptop with a new operating system and until December 21 is allowing folk who might want to try it out to apply for one.  Here.

The Cr-48 is the test notebook we designed for the Pilot program. It’s the first of its kind.  It’s ready when you are, booting in about 10 seconds and resuming from sleep instantly. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and 3G, so you can stay connected everywhere, and a webcam for video chat. The vibrant 12-inch LCD display, full-size keyboard and oversized touchpad let you enjoy the web comfortably. And at just 3.8 pounds with over eight hours of active usage and a week of standby time, it’s easy to take along for the ride.  What did we leave out? Spinning disks, caps-lock key, function keys, and lap burns.  The Cr-48 is available exclusively to participants in the Pilot program. Learn more

If that sounds like something that might interest you, why not apply.  Who knows, you might be one of the lucky few.

Book of the Week

Beginning this week a new regular Saturday feature titled ‘book of the week‘.  These will be books old and new and recent and forthcoming that I’ll make mention of because they are particularly worthy and personally meaningful.  These won’t be reviews or even introductions.  They’ll just be notices.

So without further ado, here’s the Book of the Week

Peter Voth Added to the Blogroll

Under the Theo-Blog category, I’ve added a link to a very nicely done theo-blog by a German fellow named Peter Voth.  I’ve got a couple of non-English blogs on the roll and this one is a particularly worthy addition.  Take a look, I think you’ll appreciate it too.

He and Ron Kubsch are very similar in outlook and together they seem to be covering all the good German posts and news (along, of course, with Reformed News).

I’ve Finished My Christmas Shopping…

And here’s what some of you are getting!  (I know, it’s wrong to spoil the surprise… but I can’t help it).

Noooooooo!!!!!!!

TNT says its hit drama “The Closer” will be closing up shop next year.  The network announced Friday that the detective series will conclude its run after a seventh season. Production of those final 15 episodes is scheduled to begin next spring.

Why do they always let the good shows go off (like The Closer and Cold Case) and leave the garbage on???? WHY?????  Bad Kyra, BAD!

Merry Christmas, Lobbyists- From Your Friends in Congress and the Taxpayers They Rob

Christmas gifts

To: Lobbyists From: Taxpayers

In the spirit of the holiday season, President Barack Obama’s tax-cut deal with Republicans is becoming a Christmas tree tinseled with gifts for lobbyists and lawmakers. But that hardly stopped the squabbling on Friday, with Bill Clinton even back at the White House pleading the president’s case.  While Republicans sat back quietly, mostly pleased, Democrats and other liberals were going at each other ever so publicly. As Clinton lectured on Obama’s behalf, Vermont independent Bernie Sanders castigated the agreement for the TV cameras in the mostly empty Senate chamber.  The tax deal, reached behind the scenes and still informal, now includes ethanol subsidies for rural folks, commuter tax breaks for their cousins in the cities and suburbs and wind and solar grants for the environmentalists – all aimed at winning votes, particularly from reluctant Democrats.

So Merry Christmas!  We love you… the American Taxpayers (whose money you are stealing for your own use and distribution).

There’s No Such Thing as ‘Private Sin’

Bernard Madoff's mugshot

Because the effects of sin extend beyond the sinner and effect the lives of every single person around them.  Hence, Bernie Madoff’s greed didn’t just ruin his life and the lives of his victims, it also has claimed the ultimate prize in the tragic suicide of his own son.

One of Bernard Madoff’s sons was found dead of an apparent suicide Saturday on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest, according to a law enforcement official.  Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanged in his apartment in Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo section, according to the official. A family member notified police around 7:30 a.m.  The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.  Mark Madoff and his brother, Andrew, were under investigation but hadn’t faced any criminal charges in the massive Ponzi scheme that led to their father’s jailing.

Bernie sinned and his son’s teeth were set on edge.    The next time someone utters the fool’s words ‘it’s my business what I do with my life’ call them a liar and tell them what they do effects every single person within their ‘circle of life’.

Breaking News: An Unbroken, Sealed Jar Discovered at Qumran (in 2004) and Word is Just Now Out?

This could be huge– or it could be like Al Capone’s Vault and be nothing at all.

An intact, sealed, jar has been discovered at Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in nearby caves.   A multinational team of scientists have been analyzing the jar and their findings are set to be published in the journalArchaeometry. If you have a subscription (or access to a library with one) you can already see the article on the publication’s website.  “The finding of an intact and sealed storage jar is an extremely rare event,” the researchers write. The discovery “provides a unique possibility to analyse its last contents.”  Altogether nine scientists are credited in the paper. Kaare Lund Rasmussen, of the University of Southern Denmark, is listed at the lead author.

The jar itself was excavated in 2004. It was found about 50 meters south of Qumran in an uninhabited area that may have been used for agriculture. Animal bones and pottery shards were unearthed nearby. The group that found it was led by Randall Price of Liberty University and Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.   Pictures of the jar are published in the journal article. The rights to them appear to be held by the excavation group and a request to have them republished on this website was not granted as of press time.

That’s a long time to be looking at an object… and only now publishing the findings.

The scientists used a wide variety of analytical techniques to determine what is inside the jar. One of the techniques uses x-rays to search for crystalline material – the test succeeded in identifying a substance. “Based on this analysis, it is evident that the only significant crystalline phase in the deposit is gypsum,” the scientists write.  Also found in the jar was a small amount of charcoal. They were able to radiocarbon date it, determining that the coal was used sometime between 100 BC and AD 15, a period when Qumran would have been inhabited.  After determining that there were no other materials in the jar the scientists focussed their work around a new question – why would the inhabitants of Qumran seal gypsum inside a pottery vessel?

Why would the archaeologists and scientists responsible just now be getting around to talking about it?

More Professorial Misconduct: Boozing Profs

Some typical alcoholic beverages.

Atheism's favorite food group

The Chronicle of Higher Ed wants to give some helpful advice to besotted boozing profs in what appears to be an attempt to keep the poor drunks out of trouble during the holidays.  And it’s written by none other than Jacques Berlinerblau… who describes himself as a biblical scholar and whose points conclude with this little gem of depravity-

Do drink at conferences! Drinking at an annual conference is good, clean fun. Although it might not be widely known, biblical scholarsof which I am oneare extraordinary skilled in the arts of public intoxication. One of my fondest professional memories occurred  in Nashville some years back. An immense cohort of exegetes had somehow ended up drinking en masse. We found ourselves all together, far from our rooms, in the wee hours of the morning. There too we may all have found more diversity than we were bargaining for. I recall, with sovereign reverence, how scholars who had previously assaulted one another in print drank together amiably, as did scholars who had previously assaulted one another. When the evening was over the whole group engaged on a Drunken Fool’s March through that odd Biosphere called Opryland. Arm in arm we staggered; Evangelicals and atheists, Catholics and Lutherans, Postmodernists and source critics, Biblical archaeologists and . . . (actually they staggered alone), Postcolonialists and defenders of Empire. If alcohol may offer any redemption it is thisthe leveling of distinctions, the possibility of reconciliation, the reminder that we are all creatures of folly.

Actually the only thing it reminds us all of is that drunks are fools.  Perhaps it’s alcohol that fuels so much of the folly called scholarship these days.  One would certainly not be far from the facts if one adopted that position.

Anyway, boozing goofballs, please keep off the roads.  Just because you want to kill yourselves slowly through liver disease or swiftly in an auto accident doesn’t mean others want to be dragged along with you.

Parents Are the Problem…

"Teacher Appreciation" featured phot...

When kids do poorly at school.  And most adults are smart enough to realize it.

Blaming teachers for low test scores, poor graduation rates and the other ills of American schools has been popular lately, but a new survey wags a finger closer to home.  An Associated Press-Stanford University Poll on education found that 68 percent of adults believe parents deserve heavy blame for what’s wrong with the U.S. education system — more than teachers, school administrators, the government or teachers unions.  Only 35 percent of those surveyed agreed that teachers deserve a great deal or a lot of the blame. Moms were more likely than dads — 72 percent versus 61 percent — to say parents are at fault. Conservatives were more likely than moderates or liberals to blame parents.  Those who said parents are to blame were more likely to cite a lack of student discipline and low expectations for students as serious problems in schools. They were also more likely to see fighting and low test scores as big problems.

Kids do poorly in school for one primary reason- parents don’t stress in their own homes the value and importance of a good education.  When mom and dad are stoned or drunk half the time and live off the government (which means off the taxpayer) then the kids learn to mimic that lifestyle.  When mom and dad read, learn, visit museums, appreciate art, and are involved in expanding their horizons, kids learn to mimic that lifestyle.

Poor education can be laid squarely on the shoulders of ignorant parents.