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Thursday, August 20, 2015

“Joy is the most infallible sign of the existence of God"

That quote (by Tielhard deChardin was taped to Colbert's computer.
 See the great new post about Colbert in GQ here.

See Mockingbird's comment about its "jaw-dropping"ness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Twenty One Pilots

Maybe start with this song/video; just take it in.

They can do Bonaroo:
 Or church:

They can dress prophetically like skeletons...

Well, you get the idea...or not.

Try these articles:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Christians Sharing Fake News-- three voices: gullible? malicious? persecution complex?

1)Ed Stetzzer:

An Embarrassing Week for Christians Sharing Fake News

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. You embarrass us all when you do. |

So, here is the deal.
We are too gullible.
I've done a bit of a series on the "Faux Christian Controversy of the Week" and it just keeps happening.
This week, two “news” stories made the rounds.

Pastor Arrested for Refusing a Same-Sex Marriage

So, what should you do it you see a story like this?
Well, first, if pastors are going to jail for a ruling from last month, you should be suspicious. OK, not really, you should be totally incredulous.
But, let’s say it is a couple of years from now.
If that were the case, it would be EVERYWHERE. It would be on the nightly news.
Did you check How about WORLD, the Christian Century, orCharisma? They'd all have it on their front page.
But, you say, “It was at NBC.” Well, if something sounds crazy, check the URLThis particular story was on
Did you notice the extra .co on the end? That means it's not really Also, click around to the other stories, which literally have text that reads "adfasf weoogsdre gawerags."
You just make us all look gullible when you don’t do simple steps like that.
By the way, if you are a pastor you should already know that no one can make you officiate anything. In fact, you can refuse to officiate an interracial marriage. You'd be an idiot and a racist, but you wouldn't be arrested.

Bible Lawsuit

Then, as if we don’t look silly enough, there is the Zondervan lawsuit. Just Google to see how many websites ran recent stories about a guy suing Bible publishers because the verses on homosexuality are link, continued

2)by Fred Clark:

"It’s not gullibility; it’s malice. (C.S. Lewis is right and Ed Stetzer is wrong.)"

It has been “An Embarrassing Week for Christians Sharing Fake News,” Ed Stetzer writes for Christianity Today.* By “Christians,” Stetzer means the CT audience, which is to say white evangelicals. White evangelicals, he says, seem particularly susceptible to believing and spreading fake news stories because they are “gullible”:
So, here is the deal.
We are too gullible. …
You just make us all look gullible when you don’t do simple steps like that. …
Posting links to fake [news stories] just makes all of us look (rightly) gullible. …
Be less gullible next time.
That’s the gist of Stetzer’s entire post, which makes a commendable case against credulous gullibility and offers some practical advice for how to be more skeptical when evaluating outrageous-seeming news stories online.
All well and good. But all, also, utterly beside the point. Gullibility is not,,
3)Rachel Held Evans:

For the sake of the gospel, drop the persecution complex 

d you hear about the pastor who was arrested for not marrying a same-sex couple? What about the publisher that got sued for refusing to censor anti-gay verses from the Bible? 
Both of these stories have been exposed as fakes of course, but that didn’t keep hundreds of thousands of conservative Christians from sharing them online this week. When I pointed out to a friend that the story he had just shared on social media wasn’t true, he replied, “well it might as well be. Christians in this country are under attack.” 
It has become a familiar refrain. We hear .. link

Cush concert 2015: Tim Taber on lead vocals

Story/ HT Alan Parish

Cush at the Constellation Room, June 9, 2015:
1. The Drug That You Can Never Take (SP3, 2014)
2. Heaven Sent (Cush, 2000)
3. All My Eyes Knew (SP3, 2014)
4. God Help Me (SP2, 2003)
5. Mercury (Humb 1994, Mercury 1995)
6. The Bomb Was Brighter Than the Stars (Cush, 2000)
7. Chalk (Humb 1994, Antarctica 1996)

we're all synesthetes now: Reify and songs as 3D printed sculptures


What Songs Look Like as 3-D Printed Sculptures

PEOPLE EXPERIENCE ART IN specific ways: looking at paintings, hearing music, tasting food. Unless you’re a synesthete like Kanye who sees rap songs as colors, this is how it works. But what if you could see music—not as a video or a performance, but a physical object? And what if that object could play the music back for you?
That’s the goal of Reify, a startup from New Inc’s incubator that is Kickstarting its first project. Lead by Allison Wood and Kei Gowda, Reify turns sound waves into 3-D printed sculptures that play the sound back with an augmented reality app. Wood started the company to explore digital synesthesia, a technologically augmented version of the skills Kanye and other syntesthetes were born with.
Music was a natural place to start. Wood began  continued

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

the Westminster Branch of McDonald’s

From "The Architecture of Happiness" by Alain de Botton

(review here):

"A few years ago, caught out by a heavy downpour, with a couple of hours to kill after being stood up for lunch by a friend, I took shelter in a smoked glass and granite block on London’s Victoria Street, home to the Westminster Branch of McDonald’s. The mood inside the restaurant was solemn and concentrated. Customers were eating alone, reading papers, or staring at the brown tiles, masticating with a sternness and brusqueness beside which the atmosphere of a feeding shed would have appeared convivial and mannered.

The setting served to render all kind of ideas absurd: that human beings might sometimes be generous to one another without hope of reward; that relationships can on occasion be sincere; that life may be worth enduring … The restaurant’s true talent lay in the generation of anxiety. The harsh lighting, the intermittent sounds of frozen fries being sunk into vats of oil and the frenzied behaviour of the counter staff invited thoughts of the loneliness and meaninglessness of existence in a random and violent universe. The only solution was to continue to eat in an attempt to compensate for the discomfort brought on by the location in which one was doing so.

However, my meal was disturbed by the arrival of thirty or so implausibly tall and blond Finnish teenagers. The shock of finding themselves so far south and of exchanging glacial snow for mere rain had lent them extremely high spirits, which they expressed by unsheathing straws, bursting into ardent song and giving one another piggy-back rides – to the confusion of the restaurant staff, who were uncertain whether to condemn such behaviour or to respect it as a promise of voracious appetites.

Prompted by the voluble Finns to draw my visit to a precipitate close, I cleared my table and walked out into the plaza immediately adjacent to the restaurant, where I properly noticed for the first time the incongruous and imposing Byzantine forms of Westminster Cathedral, its red and white brick campanile soaring eighty-seven metres into the foggy London skies.

Drawn by rain and curiosity, I entered a cavernous hall, sunk in tarry darkness, against which a thousand votive candles stood out, their golden shadows flickering over mosaics and carved representations of the Stations of the Cross. There were smells of incense and sounds of murmured prayer. Hanging from the
ceiling at the centre of the nave was a ten-metre-high crucifix, with Jesus on one side and his mother on the other. Around the High Altar, a mosaic showed Christ enthroned in the heavens, encircled by angels, his feet resting on a globe, his hands clasping a chalice overflowing with his own blood.

The facile din of the outer world had given way to awe and silence. Children stood close to their parents and looked around with an air of puzzled reverence. Visitors instinctively whispered, as if deep in some collective dream from which they did not wish to emerge. The anonymity of the street had been subsumed by a peculiar kind of intimacy. Everything serious in human nature seemed to be called to the surface: thoughts about limits and infinity, about powerlessness and sublimity. The stonework threw into relief all that was compromised an dull, and kindled a yearning for one to live up to its perfections.

After ten minutes in the cathedral, a range of ideas that would have been inconceivable outside began to assume an air of reasonableness. Under the influence of the marble, the mosaics, the darkness and the incense, it seemed entirely probable that Jesus was the Son of God and has walked across the Sea of Galilee. In the presence of alabaster statues of the Virgin Mary set against rhythms of red, green and blue marble, it was no longer surprising to think that an angel might at any moment choose to descend through the layers of dense London cumulus, enter through a window in the nave, blow a golden trumpet and make an announcement in Latin about a forthcoming celestial event.

Concepts that would have sounded demented forty metres away, in the company of a party of Finnish teenagers and vats of frying oil, had succeeded – through a work of architecture – in acquiring supreme significance and majesty. "  Chapter IV, part 4,  pp. 108-11