Monday, July 31, 2006

My Debut at the Worship Wonk Invitational

The highlight of my summer so far.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

WWJD About This Slogan

"There's a phrase we live by in America: In God We Trust. It's right there where Jesus would want it: on our money."
-Stephen Colbert

Friday, July 28, 2006

I Honestly Hadn't Thought Of That

"Removing the back wheel can seriously diminish the performance of your bicycle."

-from a bike manual in the Dutch language magazine Onze Taal, quoted at LL

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cartoon from ChurchLaughs
Most Unlikely Line in a Blockbuster Movie

CTLibrary's favorite line from the Da Vinci Code:

"I've got to get to a library, fast!"

Friday, July 21, 2006

Garage Sale Giveaway

Not enough stuff in your life? Take the Rienstras' eclectic detritus.
Bloggers Below the Radar

Slate's Jack Shafer on the difference between the "top 100 bloggers" and the rest, according to a new Pew study. Elsewhere at Slate, David Plotz (in his Blogging the Bible series) on Leviticus 25 and Jubilee: "Good intentions, bad public policy. ... Such long-term leaseholds would have discouraged land improvements, prevented economies of scale, kept property in the hands of lazy owners, and suppressed entrepreneurship."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Self-Fulfilled Prophecy

Colin Powell, in a 1992 press briefing as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the first President Bush:

Saddam Hussein is a terrible person, he is a threat to his own people. I think his people would be better off with a different leader, but there is this sort of romantic notion that if Saddam Hussein got hit by a bus tomorrow, some Jeffersonian democrat is waiting in the wings to hold popular elections. (Laughter.) You're going to get -- guess what -- probably another Saddam Hussein. It will take a little while for them to paint the pictures all over the walls again -- (laughter) -- but there should be no illusions about the nature of that country or its society. And the American people and all of the people who second-guess us now would have been outraged if we had gone on to Baghdad and we found ourselves in Baghdad with American soldiers patrolling the streets two years later still looking for Jefferson.

(Quoted on LeShow)

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Big Questions
from Comment:

- What do I love?
- What do I believe?
- Where do I belong?
- Who am I?
- What hurt needs healing in the world?
- What potential waits to be realized?
- What is to be done?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Declare Your Indpendence from 'Elements of Style'

From LL:

According to the principles enunciated by Strunk and White [in Elements of Style], the Declaration of Independence is an awful piece of writing. It is riddled with adjectives and adverbs, according to Strunk and White, and other purveyors of stupid advice, the nemesis of good writing. Here is the first paragraph with the adjectives and adverbs marked. Is it better without them?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

It frequently uses the passive voice: "all men are created equal...", "they are endowed by their Creator...", "Governments are instituted among Men...".

Many sentences are very long: the first main sentence, the one beginning "When in the course of human events...", contains 71 words. Some sentences begin with conjunctions ("Nor have we been...", "But when a long train..."). There are redundancies ("We mutually pledge to each other..."). All in all, according to Strunk and White, a shoddy piece of work. Curious that they never commented on it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Al Gore is on the show tonight. This just shows you how quickly things can change. I mean, Arnold Schwarzenegger spends his days talking about his political agenda. Al Gore is out promoting his new movie. Who would have seen that coming?" --Jay Leno