Daily Archives: 11 Feb 2012

The End of a Talented But Troubled Life: Whitney Houston, 48, Has Died

Via the twitter-

 Publicist Kristen Foster says singer Whitney Houston has died at age 48.

May she rest, finally, in peace.

The Queen of Sheba’s Gold

The Guardian says

A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba derived her fabled treasures.

Almost 3,000 years ago, the ruler of Sheba, which spanned modern-day Ethiopia and Yemen, arrived in Jerusalem with vast quantities of gold to give to King Solomon. Now an enormous ancient goldmine, together with the ruins of a temple and the site of a battlefield, have been discovered in her former territory.

Louise Schofield, an archaeologist and former British Museum curator, who headed the excavation on the high Gheralta plateau in northern Ethiopia, said: “One of the things I’ve always loved about archaeology is the way it can tie up with legends and myths. The fact that we might have the Queen of Sheba’s mines is extraordinary.”

An initial clue lay in a 20ft stone stele (or slab) carved with a sun and crescent moon, the “calling card of the land of Sheba”, Schofield said. “I crawled beneath the stone – wary of a 9ft cobra I was warned lives here – and came face to face with an inscription in Sabaean, the language that the Queen of Sheba would have spoken.”

On a mound nearby she found parts of columns and finely carved stone channels from a buried temple that appears to be dedicated to the moon god, the main deity of Sheba, an 8th century BC civilisation that lasted 1,000 years. It revealed a victory in a battle nearby, where Schofield excavated ancient bones.

Read the rest over at the Guardian. It’s nicely written.

Don’t Let Joel Watts Babysit Your Children…

Here’s how he does it!

It’s Not Good to Live in Iran

The AP says

An Iranian news agency reports that more than 30 million people in the country have lost access to foreign email services such as Gmail, Yahoo mail and Hotmail.  The Saturday report by the semiofficial Mehr agency says that the authorities in the national telecommunications company declined to comment on the outage that began Thursday, saying that it had no connection to them.

The government there must be afraid of heir own citizens communicating with the rest of the world.

Edit, People, Edit…

Via Allen Bevere on the FB-

It Just Won’t Stop….

Line after line of snowshowers have plagued us today with the devil’s dandruff. Satan must be shaking his head quite violently. Probably in an up and down motion as Mark Driscoll puts the finishing touches on his pseudo-sermon, to be delivered to his unfortunate flock tomorrow.

This is Why I Despise The New Montanism (Pentebabbleism)

God isn’t a dog on a leash and your ‘faith’ doesn’t order him around. He is the sovereign Lord of the Universe and aside from his love and attention, mercy and grace, you and I are a blob of foul nothingness. ‘Preachers’ like this woman really, really should be silent in the Church. I very much imagine that this is exactly the sort of lunacy Paul combated in that most messed up of all Churches, the one at Corinth; or the Fanatics so lamented by Luther. [Video via Michael Acidri on the FB].

Mozart Makes Any Day Better

Dickinson State University: It’s Accredited!

Facing pressure to bring in more students as North Dakota’s booming oil industry made it tougher to coax new high school graduates into college, Dickinson State University began looking overseas to boost its enrollment.  China, which sends more students to U.S. universities than any other nation, became one of the school’s more reliable suppliers of young people.

But as an audit made public Friday revealed, lax recordkeeping and oversight resulted in hundreds of degrees being awarded to students who didn’t finish their course work. Others enrolled who couldn’t speak English or hadn’t achieved the “C” average normally required for admission.

But of course.  That’s because loads of schools are simply interested in money.  They’re all about the money- and they’re ‘accredited’ (but you see, don’t you, that the whole accreditation myth is here debunked.  Accreditation is meaningless, as several recent stories make clear).

The report depicts Dickinson State as a diploma mill for foreign students, most of whom were Chinese. Of 410 foreign students who have received four-year degrees since 2003 — most of them in the past four years — 400 did not fulfill all the graduation requirements, it said.

I’m sure this school isn’t alone.  In fact, I would suspect that every large University with a big time sports team graduated kids every year who simply haven’t done the coursework (or had tutors do it for them).  We all know it happens.  It’s American academia’s filthy little secret.

The report raises questions about whether public universities, strapped for cash at a time of sharply declining state support for higher education, are cutting corners to attract foreign students who typically pay full out-of-state tuition. It also comes amid an unprecedented boom in the number of Chinese students studying at U.S. universities.

Of course they are.  No one with an ounce of common sense could think otherwise.  Still, thank God for the good schools where academics matter.  And education is the primary thing.  They do exist.

Maybe This is How We Should All Wage the War on Drugs- And Drug Dealers

An Oregon community sick of unwanted drug dealers in a home on their street took matters into their own hands – by advertising the problem.  With the drug problem and a lack of police action, neighbours on the 3900 block of North Massachusetts Avenue distributed ‘heroin for sale’ fliers that listed the names and addresses of the alleged drug dealers.  Portland police said they had been watching the home for close to a year, after getting numerous complaints from neighbours.

Brilliant.  But isn’t it interesting that the cops did nothing until the fliers appeared.  Even though they had watched the house for a year…

It’s not the police who will fight crime- it’s citizens fed up with crime.

One of My Favorite (Geeky) Sites

It’s a weather site called CoCoRaHS.  On this site you can check out rain and snow reports from CoCoRaHS weather spotters (yup, I do it too).  Here’s a map of Tennessee (but of course you can find your own state map there too).


This is what deluged us overnight-

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