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I didn’t see that one coming.
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Google vs. the Yellow Pages

Turned on the TV this morning with the notion to re-watch last night’s Battlestar Galactica episode. No picture. Perhaps one of the kids had left the video input selector set to the Wii. That wasn’t it. Blinking red LED. The owner’s manual said that this meant that the projector lamp was burned out. Well, the lamp was a little over three years old. Best Buy doesn’t carry them. Google turned up a large number of sites where it could be ordered online. But this is Super Bowl weekend and I didn’t want to wait for Monday delivery (at the earliest). What Google didn’t find was places were I might obtain one locally. Well, it did find one; but their number had been disconnected.

Fortunately, the Yellow Pages turned up a shop that wasn’t too far away, was open, and could get a bulb from their supplier. They said I would need to come down and pay for the part before they would go get it. I pulled the lamp assembly from the TV, hopped in the car, and went to the shop. I stopped at a nearby Bank of America ATM, but it was out of service. With an almost empty gas tank I detoured to a nearby BofA branch. Arrived at the store, paid for the new bulb, was told to come back in an hour and a half. Walked to a nearby comic book shop to start killing time. While there, I got a call on my cell. Turns out they had one bulb in the back so I didn’t have to wait too long. They were kind enough to replace the bulb in the assembly housing. Filled up the tank, went home, and reassembled the TV.

A shout out to Electronics Master in Mall Corners in Duluth, GA. The lamp was a bit pricey compared to online, but they were willing to drive to their supplier to get it, they replaced the bulb in the assembly, and I didn’t have to wait. The TV picture is much more vivid now, too.
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Amazing Video

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Love & Po-Mos

In 2006, SlashDot ran an article Love Under a Microscope which asked the question “what is love”? I posted the following:

The Greeks had four words for love: agape, phileo, eros, and storge. We English speakers seem to conflate everything around eros and thereby miss the point. Love is the act of the will whereby another individual is placed ahead of yourself. That's why Christians are commanded to "love their enemies" and why the Apostle Paul wrote that the greatest act of love was when God gave His Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world.

No naturalistic scientist could ever write:

    Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
    or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
    it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
    It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends.

What I found interesting was this comment by a reader:

Wonderful post. I love the idea that "love is an act of the will." We mostly think that love is ultimately fulfilled only by the acts we undertake between the sheets. That love can be a deliberate act of the will is shocking to most of us "post moderns."

If the post moderns don’t know this, perhaps it’s because the Church has forgotten Paul’s words to the Christians at Corinth: “And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
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Shiny Secular Utopias

I am a fan of the Vox Day blog. Several recent topics have discussed the fantasy of secularism producing a “shiny sexy utopia” (notably here, but also here, here, here and here).

I have almost finished the book
Etidorhpa, or The End of the Earth by John Uri Lloyd, first published in 1895. While I am reading it because of a possible tie-in to my grandmother, it also sounds the same alarm as Vox Day. This excerpt is taken from chapter 51, “Beware of Biology, The Science of the Life of Man”:

“Bah,” he said; “does not another searcher in that same science field tell the mother that there is no personal hereafter, that she will never see her babe again? One man of science steals the body, another man of science takes away the soul, the third annihilates heaven; they go like pestilence and famine, hand in hand, subsisting on all that craving humanity considers sacred, and offering no tangible return beyond a materialistic present. This same science that seems to be doing so much for humanity will continue to elevate so-called material civilization until, as the yeast ferment is smothered in its own excretion, so will science-thought create conditions to blot itself from existence, and destroy the civilization it creates. Science is heartless, notwithstanding the personal purity of the majority of her helpless votaries. She is a thief, not of ordinary riches, but of treasures that cannot be replaced. Before science provings the love of a mother perishes, the hope of immortality is annihilated. Beware of materialism, the end of the science of man. Beware of the beginning of biological inquiry, for he who commences, cannot foresee the termination. I say to you in candor, no man ever engaged in the part of science lore that questions the life essence, realizing the possible end of his investigations. The insidious servant becomes a tyrannical master; the housebreaker is innocent, the horse thief guiltless in comparison. Science thought begins in the brain of man; science provings end all things with the end of the material brain of man. Beware of your own brain.”

Over 100 years between Lloyd and Vox Day sounding the same warning. Not being a historian, I am not quickly able to state who, how long, or how often this warning is given. But Vox is more of a polymath than I am:

Everyone, of every creed or lack thereof, needs to get this basic fact through their college-thickened skulls. The shiny, sexy, secular science-fiction society of progressive fantasies is not going to happen. The demographic realities have already killed that dream, the corpse just hasn't finished twitching yet. The material choice is not Christian tradition vs post-Christian utopia, it is Christian tradition vs PRE-Christian dystopia. And if you don't understand what that entails, then I suggest you get caught up on your ancient history, starting with Caesar and Tacitus.


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Bring back the stocks

My oldest son attended Lagrange College for two years before transferring to the Art Institute of Atlanta. The drive to Lagrange gave me ample opportunity to experience vehicular idiocy. My pet peeve: slow traffic driving in the left lanes and being completely oblivious to having car after car pass them on the right. Stupid people should not be allowed behind a wheel and I often day dreamed of having a web site where bad drivers could be subject to public humiliation. Not that it would make a difference; most people are clueless about their cluelessness.

But today I’m going to take a small step in that direction. The domains “thestocks.com” and “hallofshame.com” are already registered, so I’ll just post this here.

The exit from I-85 N at the Mall of Georgia merges onto I-20. Traffic on I-20 heading toward the Mall was bumper to bumper. The car behind me graciously let me merge, but the car in front of me was another story. A SUV was trying to merge in and was slowly creeping leftward but the aforementioned car wasn’t about to let it in. A game of chicken ensued, which the SUV won. But the driver of the car in front of me wasn’t at all happy about it. She gestured with the middle finger several times. While I saw it, I’m not sure the driver she was mad at did. She sported a Brenau University sticker on her rear window; her license plate was AGE-xxxx GA. She also had a “Save the Manatees” bumper sticker. She obviously cares more about aquatic mammals than her own species.

[Note: I edited this post at 21:00pm. I decided the remove the digits of the license plate.]
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That's my girl!

I’m teaching my daughter computer programming. She’s having a bit of trouble with the syntax for a particular construct. I asked her what “syntax” was and she answered, “the way things are properly put together.” I equivocated and said, “no, it’s what you have to pay when you’ve been bad.”

Without missing a beat she retorted, “I thought that was bail!”

That’s my girl, all right!
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Light posting...

The absence of posting here lately is not indicative of a lessening of my output. There are three main topics that I want to undertake: “Faith and Reason”, “Good and Evil”, and “Evidence for God”. I’ve already started “Good and Evil” (part 1 and part 1a). To write the articles, I like to participate in debates with “the other side”, as it were, to see how my ideas stack up under hostile attack, and to see what approaches to the material might work. For example, elements of “Good and Evil” are here. “Evidence for God” is here, here, and here.
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Me, Shaving, Age 8

No comment.

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