Friday, December 11, 2009

Hither and thither 12/11/09

This week's storehouse of variegated goodness is bursting at the seams, so let's dive in:
  • Starting on a seasonal note, my dear wife Valerie notes the Zogby poll of top Christmas songs.  Heading the list is O Holy Night (yay); then eight songs that have nothing whatever to do with Jesus.
  • ...which, just to remind you, is what Christmas is really all about.
  • Ah, our reader Julie's town had a performance of Messiah. I would love to have been there. Now, that is Christmas music... and Easter music!
  • From the sublime to the deep blue sea. It could happen!

Okay; really not.
  •  Oh my, this resonates on too many levels (click to enlarge):

  • I hate when that happens. Guy's just trying to worship his (rampaging) elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh...and it tramples him to death. False religion kills. (Thanks to reader Laura Kelleher for the tip.)
  • Today's Headline of the Week certainly comes as a relief to all:


  • On Nom Nom alert! Deep-fried what? Deep-fried everything! Including soda, Cadbury eggs, Snickers bars, cheese cake... lobster, artichoke, cheeseburger... tarantula, crickets, snakes... pickles... jelly beans... chicken feet, starfish, scorpions... and...brr-r-r-r-r!...asparagus!

  • Lego fans: here's a trailer for a Harry Potter Lego game.
  • Good Hobbit news: turns out the first part should be due in 2011 after all.  Same site also brings up the subject of LOTR on Blu-ray... but doesn't say much. Only set-in-stone casting is Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf.
  • Write him some good words, lay out some good action for him, and Will Smith is a very capable, effective, disciplined actor. But my oh my, like most actors — let him open his mouth and release what's buzzing between his own two ears? Barack Obama is an "evolutionary flash point for humanity"? Yikes.
  • Reader Paula directed me to an article which unveils the "real inconvenient truth": there's just too darned many hooman beans! We should all be like China, and enact a "planetary law" limiting every couple to one child each (says the writer, who herself has two children)! The best part about the article isn't the article, though; it's the Reader Discussion section. Here are a few good ones: "my own privately funded scientific studies have proven conclusively that the gene mutation for dense, gullible and shrill females will disappear from the population within the next 50 years"; "And how many limos and private jets went to Copenhagen while those hypocrits, [sic] tell us how to live our lives while they contribute to global warming by their hot air"; "The obvious solution to this problem is for all those who think it's a problem to remove themselves from the planet immediately and leave everyone else to go about their own business"; "Which three of my children would you have forced my wife to abort?" The flood of common sense propelled the authorette to storm into the meta herself and sniff, "the wacko responses to this sensible column idea is evidence as to why population control must be on the national agenda." Ah, so that's it: all dissenters must die. Got it!
  • Do you enjoy Norman Rockwell paintings? I do. Interesting to find that he based his paintings on photographs that he had carefully posed and framed. See some discussion and examples here and here. as well as a reflection by Marvin Olasky from 2001.

  • Want to see what an idiot bully who's run out of arguments looks like? Really? Click here. Psh. Not even a good arm. Maybe it's because of the head it's connected to.
  • Phil Johnson has been so excited about his coming new-and-improved Mac — wonder whether his Christmas card will look anything like this?
  • Hm... good question:  

  • So you're sitting in the jet, ready to take off... and they tell you to turn off your cell phone and your iPod. Now, I theoretically "get" turning off cell phones, but never have gotten why people need to turn off iPods. They don't broadcast anything, as far as I know. In fact, last time I flew, the little lady next to me did not turn off her iPod. No boom! Now comes this article in Gizmodo, asking Can My iPod Make This Airplane Explode?  (Their answer is "No.")
  • Roger Ebert (film critic) says we're all going to die. (Should I have put up a Breaking News alert?) His authority is a chain-smoking expert. That's right: a guy who inhales carcinogens as a fish does water tells us we're all killing ourselves.
  • So... it's come to this.

  • Good heavens. Is nobody responsible for anything? I truly am sorry for the death of Jennifer Smith's mother in a traffic accident. But when she filed a lawsuit against Cellular providers, because the young man who hit and killed her mother claims to have been "distracted" on his cell phone... mercy. Companies have to make special warnings, so that people who are smart enough to operate (A) cars and (B) cell phones will only then make the connection that they should concentrate? So, drivers should keep their mind on their driving? Well, why not sue the state, for failing to ask, on the test, "I should pay attention to my driving (A) all of the time, (B) some of the time, (C) none of the time"? What's next? Lawsuits against the fast-food industry because people get into accidents while juggling their Big Macs or their Thirsty-Two Ouncers? Probably already happened.
  • Among the things we actually do need is penalties for filers of frivolous lawsuits. In legal terms, there is no such thing as a frivolous lawsuit. Anyone can take anyone to court for anything. Thousands of dollars lost, hundreds of hours of life lost, no penalty for the idiot who filed. That's wrong. Only a lawyer could defend such insanity.
  • Actually, I once made a suggestion for ending frivolous lawsuits.
  • Unclear On The Concept alert:

  • How long does it take "quickly [to] become the best group blog in evangelicalism"? According to Justin Taylor back in October, two days. Justin was speaking of a blog called Evangel (of which he himself is a contributor.) Two days earlier, Justin had announced its creation by the site's Roman Catholic owners. This moved Phil Johnson to comment, "Wow. That WAS quick." (You may recall that Johnson himself is involved in a group blog which, over the course of its nearly four years of ministry, week after week has gone extensively into the Gospel, Christian living, theology, preaching, church life, heresy, false prophets, marriage, holy living, pastoral ministry, culture, PostModernism, emerg***ism, and all sorts of Biblical studies both doctrinal and practical.)
  • So here's my question, not two full months later: do any of you ever go to Evangel? Except to read Frank Turk, I mean?
  • Here are some Christmas tree ornaments you won't see me buying.

  • You know what might happen if you get and make one of these?

You might get a visit from SWAT. How could that possibly make any sen...? Oh, wait. It was Canada (otherwise known as "America plus five-really-bad-years").
  • Canada is also a place where you can have the state tie you up in litigation for seven years, under accusation of a hate crime for publicly saying that a given deplorable perversion is a deplorable perversion that shouldn't be part of school curriculum. It has a semi-happy ending, though. "Happy" in that the pastor was acquitted. "Semi" in that the legislation hasn't been repealed, and the authors of said legislation haven't been publicly caned.
  • (By the bye, in no way do I expect my beloved Canadian readers to take any of that lying down. You have an open mike, eh?)
  • So I've been wondering how to get better pictures out of my iPhone. Then I hit on the solution!

 (Honey! Where's the duct tape?)
  • ATT gets a break from its own constant public caning, in a study that confirms their claim to the fastest 3G network — for the areas covered.
  • Possibly the funniest Christmas decoration, ever. Be sure to read the story

  • You will probably want to send this to someone, but you probably shouldn't: Eight Tips to Know if You're Boring. One might fantasize a list for bloggers... but what would you say? (I offered many thoughts in the first writing of this item, but decided to delete them all.)
  • To all of which, I suppose, one can only say....




        Fred Butler said...

        I'd be all over those Trek ornaments. I bet their like worth a lot of money.

        DJP said...

        Their what?


        Fred Butler said...

        Actually, I have a buddy who has all the Hallmark ornaments of the star ships. All the Enterprises, Voyager, the Reliant from DS9, and a number of the enemy ships as well. Now I bet those have got to be lots of money.

        NoLongerBlind said...


        Wasn't planning on commenting, but,

        my word verification is


        and, I'm at work, so, I shouldn't be reading this at the moment.



        DJP said...

        No no no, scientific studies have proven that even a little HT on a Friday can improve productvity by 17%.

        Rita Martinez said...

        lol that ipod lens looks like something a dominican would do :P

        NoLongerBlind said...

        Got a source document for those studies?

        (Hope it's not the same science used to support the Global Warming kool-aid-movement.)

        Brad Williams said...

        Okay, I hope that Frank does not come over here and read that article you wrote about the meaning of Christmas. If he reads that part about Santa, his head will probably explode.

        As for the shark pictures, that is how they will look in the millenium, or post-millenium, or whenever it is that lions will be eating grass like an ox.

        The "Collapse" thing...I'm buying a farm and getting some cows. And goats. And a pond full of catfish. I should be fine.

        My iPod can crash a plane. Do you not have the cool new EMP app? I use it at my house all the time when my son ignores my warnings to get off the Wii.

        As for the Evangel thing...I have been twice. But I confess to obsessive compulsive checking of JT's blog. He has such cool stuff.

        chrish said...

        I wrote about the Pastor from Alberta, and he was kind enough to leave a message himself in the comments. He seems to be a kind man who is unwilling to compromise the Gospel. I'm glad justice was done (but fearful that it could only have been done in much-more-conservative Alberta).

        DJP said...

        Absolutely, Brad. Justin's own blog is still a regular stop for me.

        Anonymous said...

        The "the problem with the earth is there are too many people on it" theory was preached on the BBC by David Attenborough this week.
        However, after acknowledging the fact that a child restriction policy has only been put into place in a Totalitarian state (China) and led to riots in India he felt this wasn't a good idea. The best way to slow down the birth rate is to educate women.

        Mark said...

        I might be going out on a limb here, but I think Canadians will have the biggest problem not with what you said outright but with what you insinuated: that they all say "eh".

        (Or is it "ay"?)

        DJP said...

        Well, not all. Just all the ones I've ever heard.

        DJP said...


        Sir Aaron said...

        I have an artificial tree. I miss the smell, but I appreciate the savings. I don't know why, since I easily spend much more every year to decorate the yard...which my wife says looks like a reindeer threw up on the lawn. The neighbors like it though. They were tempted to simply put a sign pointing to my yard that says "ditto."

        I also have at least two Star Trek ornaments. One is a transporter with Kirk, Bones, and Spock. It really works too. The other is one of the Enterprises.

        Dan, you can totally see a law requiring the no diving sticker on the toilet, especially where you live.

        I believe the earth is overpopulated... with liberals. As soon as they want to spare the rest of us, I'm all for it. [/s]

        Speaking of children, having one at the hospital must be insanely expensive. Three days and more doctors and nursers than I can count. I was pretty good though.

        DJP said...


        Rabbit said...

        The sharks are the evolving members of the "fish are friends, not food" club in Finding Nemo.

        Set up an (elephant-)god of your own making, and then it stomps you into a pulp. Romans 1?

        In the Canadian idiot's population-control article's comments, I most like the one which asked the author what lengths she would be willing to go to, herself, to assure compliance. Should I make Sophie's Choice? Go nextdoor and kill my neighbor's second (and third and fourth) born? There's that Romans 1 thing again.

        I go to Gospel Coalition to read Ray Ortlund and Kevin DeYoung once in a while.

        We have a fake tree. Live trees in our climate last about a week before turning into dessicated incendiary devices. :(

        Peter Eddy said...

        Hi Dan,

        Great HT this week.

        I like that cartoon with the media controlling the country. I was surprised it had France's flag in the background instead of that of the Soviet Union. Obviously it remains true today, but it distinctly reminded me of the KGB using the media back in the day.

        It is "eh," and yet, I think that many don't really say it. Only a few who become the stereotypes of us all. And it's only in English. In French we have a bunch of others. (We have two official languages, despite the many attempts by the Brits to remedy that in the past, or the French separatists relatively recently.)

        Rita Martinez said...

        But we've never had a real tree for Christmas..does that mean I've never really truly celebrated Christmas??

        Fred Butler said...

        On the environmental suicidists who want everyone to just kill themselves, anyone here read Clancy's "Rainbow 6" and Crichton's "State of Fear" that deals with these scenarios? They were quite uncanny and prophetic for the time and subject matter, particularly Clancy's novel.

        GrammaMack said...

        For years our middle son would spend hours putting many, many (white) lights on our real tree, first up the centre and then up and down each branch. It was a radiant twinkly thing of beauty. Now that he is married and lives down in the U.S. of A, we got ourselves one of those fake ones with the lights already on it. Much as I would prefer a real tree, I just don't have the patience.

        "Speaking of children, having one at the hospital must be insanely expensive."

        Not if you're a Canadian, eh. (Sorry, I couldn't resist. No nasty rejoinders, please!)

        SolaMommy said...

        When my 2yo wakes up from his nap, he's going to love that video with the construction truck. "Whee! Dig dig! Water!" LOL

        Funny outsourcing article :-)

        Are they really talking about population control at the climate conference? Also, do they realize how freezing cold it is here?!

        Good Tiger/Obama article.

        The fried tarantulas make me want to crawl out of my skin...Yick!

        Rhology said...

        Loved "Rainbow Six", and cherished the part where the badguys get to be one with nature.

        Angie B. said...

        Oops--somebody forgot to proof the Palin tomato-throwing article.

        Can you spot the problems?

        "Jeremy Olson, 33, allegedly threw two tomatoes from the second balcony, however did not come close to hitting Palin."

        "Bloomington Police report that Bloomington Commander Mark Stehlik was struck in the face with one of the tomatoes and may face charges for assaulting a police officer."

        TrueHope said...

        Whether Canada is actually worse than America is really up to debate. Canada is a nation of liberals with liberal laws run by evangelical Christians in a conservative minority government. America is a nation of evangelicals/moderates/liberals with a conservative constitution run by radical liberals in a liberal majority government. Take your pick.

        Andy Dollahite said...


        I was curious if you could point me to an extended discussion of Isaiah's use of "virgin." I've been in discussions with folks who believe in the virgin birth, but argue Isaiah meant simply "young woman." Any suggestions? Thanks.

        Herding Grasshoppers said...

        You've been busy, Dan!

        I am slack-jawed in horrified disbelief that Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer made Zogby's list. Good heavens, just where did they get their sample? People in trailer parks with two first names?

        Though, at the risk of including myself in that group, I have to confess a guilty curiosity in the array of deep-fried foods that were pictured. Just how does one deep fry soda? And why did they include donuts? Haven't they always been deep fried? But the real winner was the deep fried bacon. Does it come with a home-angioplasty kit?

        Love the Christmas decoration ;-) And the SWAT team story... good grief. Next they'll be raiding my boys' closet.

        BTW, thank you for another homeschooling moment. I've now explained "outsourcing" to the boys, who thought it was a fine idea!

        Lastly, stand firm, there's nothing like a real tree!

        Great H&T,


        Sir Aaron said...

        Thanks, Dan! Mrs. Sir Aaron and baby Amelia were let out of the hospital one day early. So more work for me...

        Fred: I read both books. Both are excellent.

        Peter Eddy said...


        The Septuagint was translated before Christ, at least a century before. Though the Hebrew word is uncertain, the word translated in the Septuagint was specifically referring to a virgin. So this understanding of the text was either passed down by tradition, or this was the natural reading of the text, despite the ambiguity of the word.

        The latter wouldn't be too surprising given that a young woman probably wouldn't be married, and thus would be a virgin.


        Peter Eddy said...

        Did I say wouldn't be a virgin? I meant probably would be a virgin.

        Andy Dollahite said...


        Thanks. I follow and agree. I'm just looking out of curiosity for any sources with more developed discussion of the text.

        Andy Dollahite said...

        Dan, regarding the iPod turn off imperative, I always thought it had to do with keeping passengers from being distracted so flight attendants can deliver instructions to passengers during take-off and landing.

        Fred Butler said...

        I was curious if you could point me to an extended discussion of Isaiah's use of "virgin." I've been in discussions with folks who believe in the virgin birth, but argue Isaiah meant simply "young woman." Any suggestions? Thanks.

        Andy, J. Gresham Machen has one of the best treatments on the subject. I want to say his book is simply titled, "The Virgin Birth of Christ" For a modern treatment, Robert Reymond's outstanding work, "Jesus: Divine Messiah."

        DJP said...

        My DAOD notes that the flag on the picture is not of France, because France is "bleu, blanc, rouge," and not the reverse.

        Maybe it's not a flag; maybe it's just meant to be red, white and blue.

        greglong said...

        Andy, did you read the article?

        Morris Brooks said...

        Evangel who?

        bugblaster said...

        Sago Truehope! That is a good comparison. Salut.

        ~Mark said...

        Maybe when I finally get married and father kids I'll get into the "find and chop" a real tree tradition, 'til then, I wuv my fake twee!

        Andy Dollahite said...


        What article? If you're talking about Dan's link, then yes.

        threegirldad said...

        I've been to Evangel other than "to read Frank" exactly three times -- and I visited the third time only because I figured I couldn't fairly declare it "out" without it having three strikes.

        Morris Brooks: "Evangel who?"


        Dan B. said...

        Here in the grand ol' state of Virginia, judges actually hand out sanctions to attorneys and their clients if the frivolous lawsuit rises to a certain level. My firm recently requested sanctions against someone who kept filing frivolous motions during a case we were conducting and the judge imposed the sanctions. So it does happen--often because the person does it continuously (bringing the same case over and over) and wastes everyone's time, not to mention the resources of everyone involved.

        Anonymous said...

        Hi DJP, I would have to say as a Canadian that while there is room for improvement in our law enforcement, America is actually the one who is 5 years ahead on the road to a brave new world in this regard. I have to think that its the mixed model of some areas where the police are confused with the military rather then simply being the police. I believe that this is why we need good Christian men in an ACCOUNTABLE Law enforcement position.

        Please see the links that I have provided.

        God Bless, Joshua

        Anonymous said...

        But just to mention a weird police situation that happened in my area... I live in a fairly rural area and I guess the police thought that someone was raising marijuana in the corn fields next to us and in the area around us. So we had a Police helecopter flying overhead and about a dozen police with SWAT uniforms, body armor, Assault Rifles the whole nine yards. It really freaked us out until we asked them what they were doing. They didn't find anything in their searches.