Daily Archives: 1 May 2011

Another Reason Not to be a Drunk…

English Channel

It makes you do really foolish things-  like this

Three drunk revellers who set to sea in a small dinghy with only one paddle were rescued yesterday after drifting in the English Channel for 11 hours thinking they had sailed to France. Equipped only with a bottle of wine and wearing shorts and t-shirts, the men launched their seven-foot inflatable from the beach at Littlehampton, West Sussex, at 9pm on Saturday. They were spotted at 8am the next morning by a birdwatcher who saw them waving for help two miles out to sea. According to onlookers, the mariners thought they had reached the French coast and greeted their coastguard rescuers with: “Bonjour.”

Speaking of crazy drinkers, has anyone seen Chris Tilling lately?

An English Version of the IAA Press Release Concerning Silly Simcha’s ‘Jesus Nails’ Mockumentary

Via Joseph Lauer

Essentially (and forgive me for any errors in my rough translation) the release states that

Dr. Zvi Greenhut of the IAA revealed that the nails from the anthropology laboratory of Tel Aviv University’s medical school are not the nails missing from the Caiaphas cave. The two nails displayed in the video of director Simcha Jacobovici had until the late 70s been in the laboratory of Prof. Nico Haas at the medical school in Jerusalem and their original site is unknown.

Dr. Greenhut rejected Jacobovici’s claims made at the April 13 press conference that he found the nails that had been used in Jesus’ crucifixion in an ossuary in a burial cave in Jerusalem. Dr. Greenhut explained that following the severe injuries suffered by Prof. Haas in a traffic accident in 1975, Mr. Joe Zias, the then-curator of the national treasures and IAA’s head of physical anthropology, was requested to transfer them at the end of the 70s from Dr. Haas’s laboratory to the State treasures under the responsibility of the Department of Antiquities and Museums in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem.

These nails were under the supervision, responsibility and custody of this collection for 15 years, until they were transferred at the beginning of the 90s, in accordance with the orders of the then-director of the IAA, to the anthropology department of Tel Aviv University, where they were till now.

The fact that the nails in the video are without any registration or identification sign, in contrast to the initial report describing the excavation of the site, reinforces the fact that the nails were not from an organized excavation. Therefore, the argument presented in the video, that the source of the nails found in the Tel Aviv University anthropology laboratory was the Caiaphas cave discovered in the Peace Forest in 1990 has no support or factual basis, and the data show exactly when and from where they came to the laboratory.

The release ends by noting that for details one may contact the Acting IAA Spokesperson Itzhak Rabihiya ravtikshoret@gmail.com at 054-7999209. As usual, Hebrew readers should read the original!

So, again, the rubbish notions of Jacobovici and his supporters are proven without merit. How long will this guy be given a platform from which to spew his misinformation?

Evil Granny

She’s 91 and she’s selling suicide kits online from her home…

A La Mesa, California grandmother has recently been making headlines for her unconventional and deadly business.  Sharlotte Hydorn, a 91-year-old grandmother, has apparently been selling $60 suicide kits online, stirring much debate about the legality of the practice. Just four months ago a 29-year-old man was found dead by his brother after using one of the do-it-yourself kits, according to the Daily Beast.  How the grandmother-turned-suicide-facilitator began selling the kits, which are available for purchase under the name of the The Gladd company, is a story of personal anguish. According to the Daily Beast, Hydorn’s own husband died a painful death from colon cancer almost 30 years ago.

She’s as much a murderer as Jack Kevorkian.  She needs to be arrested and imprisoned.  Helping distressed and mentally unbalanced people kill themselves is both immoral and unethical.  And her age shouldn’t gain her any sympathy.  In fact, quite the opposite.  She should know better.   She isn’t helping people.  She’s killing them (even if indirectly).   The when of life’s end doesn’t belong in human hands.

Living Together Before Marriage May be Common, But It’s Also Tragic

Stephen cites an excellent article which describes the why, so I want simply to offer a snippet from it in hopes that you’ll go read the whole thing:

Did you ever notice that there is a different tone and feel to a wedding and the celebration that follows when a couple has been living together prior to taking their vows?  Something is missing.  Oh, it’s not the guests, the music, the cake, or the decorations. There is always plenty of that to go around.  But something is lacking.  I will go so far as to say that there is a special look that is absent in the way a co-habitating bride and groom even look at each other.  There is no anticipation and no excitement of a new ‘beginning.’  Cohabitation makes a mockery of a sacred vow and sacrament, and leaves the bride and groom without that tangible sense of the life-long vocation and commitment that they are entering into.

Go read the rest.  I happen to agree.  Sure, cohabitation is common, even among ‘nominal Christians’ (Christians in name only) but that doesn’t make it right.  In fact, it just makes it more tragic.

Without Naming any Names, I Think There’s a Devil Among the Bloggers…

Here’s why:  from time to time I help various persons with editorial tasks.  You know, a second set of eyes looking over manuscripts can be quite useful and I’m really glad to do it because, first, my cohorts are great writers and second, I get to see what’s coming out long before it comes out.  So for me, it’s all good.

Or at least it has been.  Today I was working on a chapter sent along by a friend and I was shocked and dismayed to notice the word-count of the piece…

There aren’t just exactly 666 words in the chapter, there are 6000 more!  6,666 words… that can’t be accidental or unintentional.  So, without naming any names, I think there’s a devil among the bloggers… and the end may be near!

The Taliban Strap a Bomb to a Child and Use it as a Weapon

If ever there were a reason for moderate Muslims to cry out in outrage and demand the end of the violent madness, if this doesn’t provoke it, nothing ever will and the idea of moderation in Islam should be abandoned as a falsehood.

On the first day of its promised spring offensive, the Taliban used a 12-year-old boy as a suicide bomber in an attack Sunday that killed four civilians, President Hamid Karzai said, calling the child’s recruitment inhumane and un-Islamic.  It was one of several attacks across the country that killed seven people, government officials said.  The insurgent movement announced in a statement Saturday that it would step up operations against military bases, convoys and Afghan officials, including members of the peace council working to reconcile with top insurgent leaders. The offensive begins each year after a winter lull in fighting.  “The use of children and youths who don’t know the difference between right and wrong in terrorist attacks is inhumane and against all Islamic principles,” the president said.

Ok this is your chance, moderates of the Muslim world, let’s hear you!  Don’t let it pass you by.  Seize it, Imams, and decry such things to your assembled congregations next Thursday.  Do it.

And Muslims, if your leaders don’t speak out, you must- and then find leaders who will.

Rachel’s Wheels

Rachel picked up a bike this week and I thought I’d snap a few photos since the bike and the car are the same color!

Quote of the Day: Eugene Peterson’s Abomination

Eugene Peterson’s ‘The Message’ is a complete abomination of the entire concept of ‘scripture.’  It should never be read in a classroom or public worship setting. Ever.  — Robert Cargill

Cargill is absolutely correct.

How Washington Power Politics Work

1- Convince voters that their representatives and senators are on their side.

2- Vote regularly and strategically for large corporate interests.

3- Persuade the voters that you’ve just betrayed that you represent their moral values and ethical concerns.

That’s how simple it is to dupe American voters.  That’s how Washington has been doing it since Carter.

We Don’t Need the IAA to tell us the Simcha Nails are Rubbish…

All we need is a little common sense. But if you’re the sort that isn’t persuaded by common sense, the IAA has a press release calling the whole Jesus Nails farce what it is. Via Jack Sasson

Here is a news release, in Hebrew, that disputes a recent documentary alleging the recovery of nails used in the crucifixion of Jesus.

If it’s Simcha, it’s silliness. The folk at the Discovery Channel are doing viewers a disservice by airing his programs. He’s Canadian, let the Canadians be subjected to them.

Seth Meyers at the White House Correspondents Dinner


A Few Questions for our Catholic Friends

1- What biblical or theological justification is there to pray for the dead?

2- What biblical or theological justification is there for believing that the dead pray for us?

3- How is ‘praying to a saint’ different from idolatry?

4- Isn’t it idolatrous to place your faith in any for salvation other than Christ?

5- Isn’t the entire notion of the invocation of the saints idolatrous and blasphemous?

I ask because with the beatification of John Paul II there is much discussion in the media about saints and their mystical magical powers to affect peoples lives and I find it all, quite frankly, more than a little disturbing and just downright pagan.  It’s almost as though the Roman Church has simply replaced the Greek pantheon with saints and that the old paganism of Rome is still alive and well in the Vatican and its outlying stations.

[NB- please don’t take this to mean I have problems with Catholics.  My problem is with this aspect of Catholic theology / Mariolatry].

What? A New Novel About Mozart???

Ok my birthday is coming up.  I think you know what to do…

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus.

What does the one have to do with the other?

Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and 2006, I saw some terrible things, experienced some frightful emotions, and internalized shocking facts about the world around me. It would’ve been easy to become depressed or to descend further into the post-traumatic stress disorder that nipped at my mind quite frequently.  Mozart saved me from that. I used to listen to his music in my armored car as I drove through the dangerous roads of the West Bank or on my iPod as I huddled in my Gaza hotel after a day dodging through refugee camps where Palestinians and Israelis were fighting it out. The Maestro’s great works soothed me, enabled me to achieve an emotional calm, when all around me was horror and chaos.

Oh this sounds fantastic.  There’s even a YouTube-

Another Fun Photo from the ‘Royal Wedding’ That You Didn’t See…

From David Meadows’ FB page…

She's not a Spartan!