Wednesday, November 15, 2006

 

More uses for non-embryonic stem cells:



Growing new heart valves for babies with heart defects, before they're even born. Read the article.

I also saw an article the other day about a treatment in which stem cells from the hip of a person having a heart attack could be used to prevent long term damage to the heart after the attack. Here it is.

And scientists can create liver tissue from non-embryonic stem cells, too. Learn more here.

Anyway, there are something like 70 uses and treatments for non-embronic stem cells either currently available or soon-to-be available. How many of those do you hear about in the news everyday? Probably none. And embryonic stem cells, proclaimed to be the Savior of the Human Race, have next to no current uses. They have "great potential," their advocates say. But all they're good for now is killing very, very young people and angering pro-lifers.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

 

YouTube discovery

Yeah, he is a hero. And sure, he was "larger than life." But I still never expected to see this video in the tribute to this man.

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

I couldn't resist

I know I haven't posted in awhile, and probably won't post again soon, but I had to show someone this story: German Scholars Unveil "Politically Correct" Bible.

Sample: "According to the AFP news agency, the new version of the Sacred Scriptures was presented at a book fair in Frankfurt. Entitled, The Bible in a More Just Language, the translation has Jesus no longer referring to God as 'Father,' but as 'our Mother and Father who are in heaven.' Likewise, Jesus is no longer referred to as the 'Son' but rather as the 'child' of God. The title 'Lord' is replaced with 'God' or 'the Eternal One.' The devil, however, is still referred to with masculine pronouns."

Of course! The Devil is a man, Jesus is a hemaphrodite, and the First Person of the Trinity has a split personality. This is really one of those "Why didn't I think of that first!" head-smacking moments, isn't it?

Good job, "scholars." Way to replace all those offensive words, like "son." Also, who cares if scholars did it? Seems like a simple "find/replace" tool, like Microsoft Word has, would have done the job pretty well. Actually, that gives me a good idea. I think I'll make my own version of the Bible, but take out any references to houses, seeing, hearing, and walking. Because you know how I'm always saying the Bible is offensive to the homeless, the blind, the deaf, and people in wheelchairs.

Oh also, in my Bible, Jesus/Jesusina will reassure people by telling them that since people are equal to sparrows, God will provide for them. After all, it's obvious that the old, white men who transcribed the Bible were speciesist.

And the parable about the "Pearl of Great Price" will be changed to the "Pearl, or Diamond, or Whatever Pretty Rock You Feel Best Reminds You of Your Oneness with Mother Earth and All Her Creatures."

The "Loaves and Fishes"? Nope. The "Gentle, Easily Digestible Food Products," now. The twelve apostles? Not anymore. The five gay friends with their partners, four women with their stay-at-home husbands, and three cross dressers is what the Bible should say. I mean, we want to be inclusive, no matter what the costs, right?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

 

Killer Raccoons

Apparently in Olympia, Washington there is a pack of cat-killing raccoons prowling the neighborhood. So far they've killed at least ten cats, attacked a dog, and bit a person. Apparently the raccoons are so common and so daring that they have even worn a path through some backyards, where they travel every night while out on the prowl. Residents are afraid to go outside. What's a quiet, suburban neighborhood to do?

So far there have been three main suggestions: 1) store pet food inside; 2) feed pets inside; 3) hire a trapper to catch the 'coons. So far none have been too successful. The trapper has only caught one in the six weeks he's been trying. How can these animals be stopped?

I can think of several ways. Allow me to list just a few:

1) 100-grain, four-blade broadhead
2) 12 gauge
3) .22 long rifle
4) .38 special
5) javelin

Etc., etc., etc. Seriously, why has no one considered this? The raccoons are a nuisance. One larger-than-average raccoon is thought to cause most of the damage. Humane traps have failed to catch them. THEY TRAVEL THROUGH THE SAME YARD AT THE SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT. If someone foots the bill for my trip, I can be out there, kill the raccoons, and be back in time for me to head to Italy on August 29th. Plus: free coonskin caps for everyone.

Now, I love "the environment." I spend lots of time there. My favorite foods are born, grow up, and die there. But can an entire town not have one single person willing to fix this problem?

DO NOT READ IF EASILY OFFENDED -- Note: That neighborhood is full of weirdos anyway, it seems. Evidence: "'I see Kim sit by [her cat's] grave in their front yard every day ... talking or just being with her kitty,' Keeton said."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

 

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I made this for my Mom for Mothers' Day. It's an "antique bronze" statue of a hand holding a Double Gulp cup from 7-11. It doubles as a vase. Lest you worry, my mom loves Diet Cokes from 7-11, so that's why I did it. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

 

Book Meme

I was tagged by Alex at Catholicae Testudines:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 161.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
"I'm under no obligations to you at all."

Nice. That's from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Every Christmas the company I'm working for, MeadWestvaco, does a special printing of some selected book, and that was Christmas 2005. Bam.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

 

The Quicker Vicar

This priest sprinted to the bride's mother's house to get the rings. Four minutes before the wedding started. And he made it back in time.

 

Minimum Wage

I think $9.37 is too high a minimum wage already.

So that I don't have to write anything, people please rant about minimum wages in the comment box.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

 

This guy must be related to Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer...

Read this article: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1588971.html?menu=news.quirkies.strangecrime

What a stud, right? He's the DeMatha of police officers. I especially like the part, "The thieves were already handcuffed and unconscious by the time Selendev's colleagues rushed in from the next room."

 

Disturbing

I was in Books-a-Million the other day and I saw something that caught my attention. On a table of games there was a pair of dice. One of them had the name of a body part on each side; the other had a verb (hug, kiss, tickle, etc.). You can imagine the combinations that could result (but you probably shouldn't). Anyway, the thing that really caught my eye was this: on the bottom, in small print, was the phrase "Not intended for children under the age of 3."

Of course they meant that small children could choke on the parts, but still. It's a little disturbing, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

 

UMD: Basketball Champs

I feel like I really should write a post congratulating the UMD women's basketball team on their national championship. I was only able to see part of the game (luckily the last part), and I have to say it was exciting. Now, I'm not normally one to follow women's basketball, but with the men's team sucking it up on courts all over the USA, I had to turn to the women for comfort. And they did not disappoint. They played well all season, and I'm glad I got the chance to see the game.

Note: DeMatha Catholic High School also did not disappoint. With a record of 34-1 this season, they won every tournament and championship they attempted. Amazing. St. John DeMatha, pray for us.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

 

"The World's First Love"

The World's First Love. That's the title of one of the books I'm reading right now. Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote it, so you know it's good, but I just wanted to share a few of the highlights.

Bishop Sheen was relating how the New Testament was written not to tell Christians what to believe, but to record what they already believed:

"A second fact to be remembered is that this Mystical Body of Christ has a memory, as we have a memory. If our physical life extends back forty-five years, we can remember two world wars. We speak of them as a living witness, not from the books written but from having lived through them, and maybe through having fought in them. We may later on have read the books about these two world wars. Yet they are not the beginning of our knowledge but only a recalling or a deepening of what we already knew. In like manner, Our Lord is the Head of the new humanity, the new fellowship, or the spiritual organism that St. Paul calls His Mystical Body. To this Mystical Body Christ is associated, first in His Apostles, and then in all who believed in Him throughout the centuries. This Body, too, has a memory, reaching back to Christ. It knows that the Resurrection is true because she, the Church, was there. The cells of our body change every seven years, but we are the same personality. The cells of the Mystical Body, which we are, too, may change every fifty or sixty years; yet it is still Christ that lives in that Body."

and

"Never once did Our Lord tell these witnesses of His to write. He Himself wrote only once in His Life, and that was on the sand. But He did tell them to preach in His Name and to be witnesses to Him to the ends of the earth, until the consummation of time. Hence those who take this or that text out of the Bible to prove something are isolating it from the historical atmosphere in which it arose, and from the word of mouth which passed Christ's truth. If there are three persons in a room, there are also in it six legs and six arms - but they never create a problem because they are related to the physical organsm. But if we found one arm outside the door, it would be a tremendous problem, because it is isolated from the organic whole. So it is with certain Christian truths, which are isolated from the whole - for example, the doctrine of penance if it is isolated from original sin. It is only in the light of the circle of truth that the segments of the circle have a meaning."

and

"No mother whose son has won distinction for himself, either in a profession or in the field of battle, believes that the respect paid her for being his mother detracts from the honor or dignity which is paid her son. Why, then, do some minds think that any reverence paid to the mother of Jesus detracts from His Power and Divinity? We know the false rejoinder of those who say that Catholics 'adore' Mary or make her a 'goddess,' but that is a lie. Since no reader of these pages would be guilty of such nonsense, it shall be ignored." Bishop Sheen then goes on to explain that since Jesus is on a different level than all other sons, it makes sense that Mary is on a different level than all other mothers.

Now, you really should read the entire book. If you want to borrow it, just let me know.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

 

First, "Crap!" Later, "Thanks."

Since I'm living in Richmond right now, Sierra and I sometimes meet halfway(ish) to go to a movie, or dinner, or something during the week. So on Tuesday she and I agreed to meet a theater in Stafford, VA to see 16 Blocks. It was pretty good. After the movie, we decided to go get gas before heading home. But I locked my keys in the car. Whoops. I called a non-emergency police number to try to get someone to come by with a SlimJim to unlock the door, but apparently police don't do that anymore. I could have called a locksmith, but that costs money, so I quickly put that option out of the picture. Luckily my car is stupid so the door doesn't close all the way unless you really slam it. Which I didn't this time, so there was a pretty big space between the door and the frame. And Sierra, always ready for anything, had a vast supply of equipment in her car that I could use to solve this problem. I found one and a half dowel rods, two pieces of wire from Cemetery of the Innocent flags, and a roll of duct tape.

After connecting all the pieces, I tried a couple different approaches. First, I tried to hook the wire around the latch. I figured pulling on it would unlock and open the door. It didn't. My car is old, and does not posses that technology. One idea down.

By this time, the gas station attendant and some random guy had come to help. With them telling me where to aim the wire, I tried to push the button to unlock the door. However, it takes too much force to push the button, so that idea was scrapped.

Then the random guy suggested simply knocking the keys out of the ignition and pulling them through the crack between the door and frame. With some effort I was able to twist the keys out of the ignition, but they didn't hook onto the wire. They flew onto the seat. That's not so bad, unless, in trying to grab them, they fall between the seats. Then I'd be [in not good shape]. So I bent the wire into a more effective poker/scooper, attached some tape to it, and went for the gusto. I was able to hook the keys, and careful, oh so carefully, lift them to the crack at the door. Then, with the random guy pulling on the door to make the crack bigger, I wedged my finger through and grabbed the keys. Victory. So I thanked the guys, thanked Sierra, and drove off into the night.

Update: Sierra has promised to send a picture of this device tomorrow. (Yes, I put it back in her trunk when I was finished.) So await it anxiously!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

 

This blog gets very few readers. That's probably because I don't post often and the posts have relatively unappealing content. Because of this low readership, though, I am very committed to my readers. So when Thomas asked in the comment box if I'd ever posted a picture of my Orange Chicken cake, I was more than happy to reply: Yes. But not on this blog. So, I figured, what the heck. I'll toss the picture up there and count it as an easy post.

(Note: This is a cake made to look like orange chicken, not orange chicken I'm calling a cake. The rice is cake with coconut, the chicken is cake from molds I made specifically for this project. DeMatha is number one, and finished it's season 31-1.) Posted by Picasa

 

Fall Retreat

Fall Retreat was a long time ago now, but I had an experience there that I've been meaning to share. The main difference between the Fall Retreat and the other ones is that the Fall Retreat is silent, giving retreatants more time for introspection and listening to God. Many people come away from this retreat with graces and experiences that they've never before experienced. And I was no different.

What happened to me on retreat? I realized something. Something profound, that I'd never considered before. Something about how I relate to the people in my life. I realized that the quieter people are, the more I like them, the less they bother me.

Let me explain. It's not that I don't like talking with my friends, or wish everyone would take a vow of silence. But when you're on retreat and specifically not talking to people, there are no distractions. You can see people as they truly are, trying their best to figure out God's will in their lives. They seem more innocent, like little kids. It's weird, and I can't explain it. All I know is that on silent retreat, people don't get on my nerves.

Note: If you are reading this, please don't think it means that I hate you when you're talking. I don't mean that at all. I just mean that on silent retreat, without any distractions, it's much easier to see the image of God in people.

 

Spring break in Wal-Mart?

Most students spend their Spring break relaxing at home or going to the beach. But for one student at Drake University, that wouldn't do. He decided that instead he would set a goal and then miserably fail to achieve it despite the lack of any opposition whatsoever.

Skyler Bartels wanted to live in Wal-Mart during his break. He wanted to see if the store could fulfill his every need. It was a Wal-Mart Supercenter, so that shouldn't be too tough, right? It has food, video games and movies, a hair salon, comfy furniture. How'd he do? He stayed for 41 hours. Out of the 168 he planned. What a stud. But wait, I'm sure he had a good reason to leave. The store manager probably called the police. Or maybe his grandmother needed a ride to the doctor. Nope. "I noticed the greeters pointing at me." Plus, "His debit account was frozen. He was exhausted and paranoid."

To make things worse, some reporter thought this was an accomplishment. "The great experiment" it was called. And now Skyler is famous for it, set to appear on Letterman, Good Morning America, and other big deals like that. Becoming a celebrity for reaching less than 25% of your goal. What a world.

Of course, part of me is just jealous. As someone who knows a little something about being in the news for weird stuff (after all, I was on TV and radio following my glorious Cicada Cook-off victory a couple summers ago...) I know how enjoyable the spotlight can be. But c'mon. I won. He didn't even finish.

Monday, February 13, 2006

 

This is another picture of the cake.  Posted by Picasa

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