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Cave Bookcase - Design by Sakura Adachi

Cave Bookcase by Sakura Adachi - I love this idea and image. It does look like a cave in a bookcase--not that it looks that comfortable, but it's a visually jarring image because the smooth curves interrupt the straight vertical and horizontal lines. Sakura Adachi has designed a winner cave bookcase...expensive...but a winner.

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Raspberry-sized Turtle - Cool Photo

Raspberry Sized Turtle - Too cute...and somehow I don't think this is photoshopped, but perhaps I'm naive. Love the image in any case...

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Tips for Christians Battling Evil Atheists

This appeared on a Google group Atheism vs. Christianity under the title: Christians: Tips To Doing Battle With Evil Atheists. I actually thought this was pretty compassionate advice...Am I whacked?

  1. Remember that they are people, just like you are. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, they are not some lower life form we share this planet with.
  2. More than likely, they are smarter than you are. This can be difficult to come to grips with, but it does appear to be true and is a claim that is actually supported by the Bible (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
  3. Statistically, they are also as moral, if not more so than you are. While it is a good thing that they generally are highly moral, it is a shame that we, who often times claim the moral high ground, seem unable, or unwilling, to match our words with our lives.

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Men Not Needed to Create Sperm

Men Not Needed to Create Sperm - Finally, proof that the male of the species is superfluous: scientists at the University of Newcastle have created human sperm cells from female embryonic stem cells. Coming research....I didn't intend that pun...will focus on creating sperm from female bone marrow, a less controversial source.

But this technique would only produce a female egg, right?

Actually, current efforts won't produce a viable egg at all. Before that can happen, the researchers must figure out a way to induce the cells to undergo meiosis, which would give the diploid cells the correct amount of genetic material.

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Where Does Money Come From?

Permit me to issue and control the money of the nation, and I care not who makes the laws.
~ Mayer Anselm Rothschild, Banker

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Where does money come from? - As best I can tell, money is literally created from debt. So when a bank is established, it makes a deposit into a Federal reserve bank. The amount they deposit determines how much money the bank can (initially) loan. So if a bank puts $10,000 into the Federal reserve, they can loan something like 10 times that, or $100,000. In other words, the act of depositing into Federal reserve gives them the right to loan $100,000. Where does the extra $90,000 come from?

That's the sleight of hand that no one talks about.

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Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens - Research

canon lense
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens

I want to upgrade the main lense on my Canon SLR. This looks to be the best candidate.

Excellent review from Amazon Customer

108 of 118 people found the following review helpful:
By L. T. Beasimer "LB" (Dallas, TX)

I first bought the Canon EF 28-135mm IS lens to use with my Canon 10D along with the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Zoom Lens. About four years later I have sold all my original purchases. The Canon EF 28-135mm was my most used lens, and I still had it until March 2006 when I replaced it with the Canon EF 24-105mm IS f/4L.

Being an L lens, the dust and moisture resistant construction of the Canon EF 24-105mm IS f/4L is sturdy. The lens consists of eighteen elements in thirteen groups including one Super-UD glass element and three aspherical lenses to minimize chromatic aberration and distortion. With a standard twist zoom focus, this lens permits for auto or manual focusing depending on how the switch is set.

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Unix Commands for Sex

Unix Commands for Sex - If you're not doing it right, try this...

 gawk; grep; unzip; touch; strip; init,
 uncompress, gasp; finger; find,
 route, whereis, which, mount; fsck; nice,
 more; yes; gasp; umount; head, halt,
 renice, restore, touch, whereis, which,
 route, mount,
 more, yes, gasp, umount, expand, ping,
 make clean; sleep

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Iraq Reckoning - Peter Oborne - Documentary

Dispatches - Iraq Reckoning - Wow! Iraq Reckoning is an absolutely riveting analysis/critique/documentary of Iraq war from British reporter, Peter Oborne.

In Iraq Reckoning, Oborne reports how Bush/Blair went into Iraq without a plan for post-war Iraq. Interviews with former officials confirm this. The opinion that Saddam was "evil" seemed justification enough to invade the country for both Tony Blair and George Bush.

Oborne then describes how soldiers fought a losing battle with local insurgents and terrorists for control of the country--or more accurately, regions of the country. At first Baathist party members were shunned, thrown out because of their ties to Saddam. Now they are being welcomed back into the governing fold, at least in Baghdad. Why?

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Favorite Atheism Quotes

Atheism Quotes - Absolutely love the Top 50 Atheism Quotes from LeftOfZen.com. Here are about 20 of my favorites:

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
~ Steven Weinberg

"It ainít those parts of the Bible that I canít understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
~ Mark Twain

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
~ Isaac Asimov

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
~ Blaise Pascal

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Red Bull with Alcohol - Can It Kill You?

If you drink Red Bull with alcohol, can it kill you?

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The Wieners Circle - This American Life - Ira Glass

"Welcome to the Wieners Circle--Can I take your order, BIT@%!"

What would happen if you felt free to say whatever foul thing you wanted? At The Wieners Circle in Chicago, you can almost get that experience.

The Wieners Circle is a hot dog stand in Chicago that caters to an inebriated, late-night clientele. This special population can turn quite verbally aggressive, and some 15 years ago, owner Larry Gold got fed up. He told his employees:

"Whatever they dish out, we have to dish out back to them."

And so they did.

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Lady in the Water - 1947

Lady in the Water - 1947 - I found myself mesmerized by this image...


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How Sewing Machine Works - Great Illustration

How Sewing Machine Works - I'd alway wondered. In fact, as a schoolboy, I struggled to understand the mechanism, and now, with this animated gif, I get it...I think...WAIT! There's something wrong with this picture.

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I Need Forgiveness

Forgiveness - As a former Catholic, I have experienced the sacrament of reconciliation. It begins with confessing your sins to a priest. After hearing your confession, the priest will usually offer some advice and penance. After that, the priest will declare you absolved or forgiven by God.

During my junior high and high school years, I was a fairly devout Catholic, and I found this reconciliation experience incredibly powerful. After confession, I had a clean slate and felt pure. What a marvelous feeling, especially for a guilty Catholic boy.

I remember a particularly powerful experience. During a high school retreat, we had the opportunity to ask forgiveness from any classmates we had sinned against. In essence, we asked forgiveness directly from those we'd wronged. WOW! I took this very seriously, and went up to a guy I had really hated...He was a big, strong, jock, and I really didn't like him...I can't remember why now...

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America Needs a Financial Diet - by Will Marre

Will Marre
Will Marre

Financial Diet by Will Marre - Will Marre believes most American households need to get on a financial diet. A typical American household spends 140% of what it earns, which means a typical household borrows money to support its spending. Obviously, we need to spend less than we earn. It takes discipline and, very likely, investing in yourself -- your main income engine. Borrowing for school (instead of for that HD Plasma TV) makes sense, because that investment in education will likely lead to higher income. Money borrowed for the TV will not. Thinking like that is "production" based because you're invest your money in the production engine--YOU!


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Firefox Extensions / Add-ons I Like


Firefox Browser
NoScript :: Firefox Add-ons
NoScript's unique whitelist based pre-emptive script blocking approach prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even not known yet!) with no loss of functionality...
SearchWith :: Firefox Add-ons
SearchWith extension allows you to search selected with various search services. It adds a "Search With" sub menu on the context menu (right-click menu) with a configurable list of search services that can be used to search the highlighted text. Also enables you to view the html source of selected text.
Picnik :: Firefox Add-ons
Very cool integration with picnik.com online photo editor. May take the place of picasa for editing some blog images.
View Source Chart :: Firefox Add-ons
Draws A Color-Coded Chart of a Web Page's Source Code.
Update Notifier :: Firefox Add-ons
Notifies you when updates are available for your extensions and themes. Allows quick access to your extensions and themes and the ability to check both types for any updates. Easily configurable for automatically installing updates when available...

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Joaquin Phoenix Interview on Shootout - Peter Guber and Peter Bart

Heard a fascinating interview with Joaquin Phoenix on AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout with Peter Guber and Peter Bart. Phoenix was there with director James Mangold promoting their movie Walk the Line. I heard somewhere that Phoenix had been odd and uncooperative in his interviews. However, in this one he was great, giving sensible, insightful answers.

Here are some highlights.

NOTE: Just heard that Phoenix has decided to quit his acting career...to pursue his music career?

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Yoga Anatomy - by Leslie Kaminoff - Review

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff lets you literally see under the skin of common yoga poses. But the strength of this book lies in how it infuses lessons on anatomy with a core focus on breath and gravity. Through wonderfully detailed illustrations and easy-to-understand text, Yoga Anatomy depicts the skeletal and muscular anatomy of many common yoga asanas.

From breathing to standing poses, Kaminoff (with illustrator Sharon Ellis) helps you see how each muscle is used--and how slight alterations can enhance (or reduce) the effectiveness of a pose. With these images and explanations, it becomes clear how the spine, breathing, and body position are all fundamentally linked in the journey to find a balance point between breath and gravity.


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Simple Ways to Change the World

Simple Ways to Change the World - I love this list of 20 Ways to Change the World! Some are quite simple, but all have the potential in some way to change the world. Here are my favorites...

Be Nice - This is something EVERYONE can do--you donít need any money or any talent. Simply smile, say "Hello!" or hold the door for someone. You never know the impact. It could change someoneís whole day, week...or life...or simply inspire others to continue the cycle. Before you know it, your smile will have impacted THOUSANDS of lives.

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Spiral Fantasy - Fractal Art Contest Winner


Fractal Art Contest Winner Spiral Fantasy

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Salma Hayek and Baby Valentina

Salma Hayek and Baby Valentina - Looking gorgeous...Oh, and the baby's cute, too!


Salma Hayek and Baby Valentina

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"The Way" - Lyrics - by Fastball

"The Way" - Lyrics - by Fastball - I don't know what the hell this song is about...I read on 365.com that "Tony Scalzo wrote the song after reading a news article about an elderly couple who had disappeared in Texas. He imagined they were ran off on their own romantic trip. Later the real couple was found at the bottom of a canyon. Their RV had veered off the road killing them."

Yuck!

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Jessica Alba - "Good Luck Chuck" Poster

It's like a Got Milk? ad ... but it's not :)


Jessica Alba Poster for Good Luck Chuck

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Final Goodbyes for Two Brothers

Final Goodbyes for Two Brothers - These two photographs gave me chills.

Steve says goodbye to his brother, who's off to Iraq.

Months later, Steve says final goodbye at his brother's funeral.

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Water Kills More Kids Than War - UNICEF Poster

Water Kills More Kids Than War - UNICEF Poster

water kills kids

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Will Marre - Christmas Message - American Dream Project

Will Marre Christmas Message - I received this by email on Christmas Eve day from Will Marre of the American Dream Project. I find Marre such a genuine voice of humanness. He doesn't hide his flaws, is always questioning, and always finds an inclusive perspective on often divisive topics. I see that he was brought up Catholic, attended 12 years of Catholic school, but seems to have adjusted his Catholic faith...Perhaps that's why I can relate to him so well.


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Christina Aguilera - Candyman - Video & Lyrics

Christina Aguilera - Candyman
Christina Aguilera - Candyman

Christina Aguilera - Candyman - Bumped into this high quality version of Christina Aguilera's Candyman video on Vuze. Totally hot. As always, Christina Aguilera's vocals are fantastic, but it's the style of this video, directed by Matthew Rolston, that caught my attention. It's a very sexy throw-back to the 1940's pin-up. The singing, editing, pace, costuming, choreography, cinematography, etc. all came together into a wonderfully eye-popping/ear-popping collage.

I'm far from the target demographic of this music video, but I loved it.


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Mary McHugh Mourns Her Slain Fiance

Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance, Sgt. James Regan, a US Army Ranger killed in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007.

This photograph by John Moore (Getty Images) won 1st place for Feature Photos in the 2007 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest.

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Juggling Videos

Amazing Juggling Finale
Absolutely astounding--and he did it all on stage, live, in front of an audience. Well done, Chris Bliss!

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Dorm of the Deaf - Dustinland

As the husband of a Deaf woman who attended Gallaudet University and Cal State University Northridge...I understand this cartoon from Dustinland only TOO well. As she likes to say, she entered Gallaudet a hard-of-hearing girl, and left CSUN a Deaf woman....There's a double meaning there, for those who understand Deaf culture.

*Used with Dustin's permission

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Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device - Honest Review

Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device - I thought this Amazon Kindle user review on the Amazon site said it all...and very succinctly:

2.0 out of 5 stars

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

By Alex P Keaton "AlexP" (PA, USA)

The Good:

The screen is actually pretty nice on this device. This is one of those new style of paper screens that make it much easier to read on than an on your PC, iPhone, or PDA. +1 points.

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Torture and Collateral Damage - Jonathan Glover

In modern war, what is most shocking is a poor guide to what is most harmful.
~ Jonathan Glover

I read that quote by British philosopher Jonathan Glover in Sam Harris' book The End of Faith. Glover and Harris
expose a moral oddity or failing. They argue that while our conscience is repelled by the torture of one person, that same conscience can somehow accept when a "precision bomb" causes "collateral damage." Yet the harm caused by the bomb is much greater than the harm caused by torture of one individual. How do we accept or discount that greater harm? Why do we focus on pain torture causes an individual? Surely, the pain, suffering (not to mention death) caused to the innocent by the anonymous bomb exceeds that of any torture chamber. Both acts are abhorrent. Why does our moral compass fail us?

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Shadows of Angmar - Hints, Cheats, Advice, Guides - LOTRO

Shadows of Angmar - LOTRO - Here's a funny story. I was invited by some old high school buddies to play LOTRO. I'd never played before, but they said just bring my computer, and they'll set me up.

So I show up, and as I step into the house, I notice a bunch of big computer monitors (21 inchers, I find out later), ethernet cables running everywhere, and huge computer desktop PC boxes. Plus, these guys had headsets, special keyboard/joystick devices, and enough snackfood to satisfy a class of 12-year-olds.

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Scrubs Cast Helps Ted Propose to Anna

Ted and Anna Get Engaged on Scrubs

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Pope Benedict Encyclical - Spe Salvi - In Hope We Are Saved

Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict

Document posted by Vatican is difficult to read with the fancy background. Here's Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe Salvi in a more readable format.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
SPE SALVI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVI
TO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONS
MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
AND ALL THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON CHRISTIAN HOPE


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Beer Turns Men into Women - Study Finds

"Yesterday, scientists for Health Canada suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption, considering the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. The theory is that drinking beer makes men turn into women. To test the finding 100 men were fed 6 pints of beer each. It was then observed that 100% of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn't drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing, and refused to apologize when wrong. No further testing is planned."

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Chuck Norris Supports Bible as Textbook in Public Schools

Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Advocates Bible as Textbook - I was quite surprised to to see this ad with Chuck Norris. In the ad, Norris and his wife advocate using the "bible as a textbook" in our public elementary and high schools.

I see the merits of studying the bible from an academic perspective. Such an academic study would discuss the good and bad ideas that can be found in the bible, review the history and context in which the books of the bible were written, and examine the many difficulties with translation.

However, in reviewing the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools website, I see that such academic ideals are not what Norris is advocating. Norris and the council want a Sunday school approach to bible study. They hope those Sunday school sessions will help heal the moral ills of our culture. Noble cause. But is the bible the best book for this? I don't think so.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - A Fable About Following Your Dream

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho is an absolutely beautiful story. I received the book as a gift from a dear friend many years ago. I'm sorry it took so long for me to read this enduring work of art.

The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a Spanish shepherd boy with dreams of finding treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. Pointing the way are gypsies, an alchemist, and mysterious omens. But it's the boy's trust and courage that propel his journey. With The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho crafted a true fable, filled with symbols and simple truths. It's a story about following your dreams, yes. But the fable's greater message is to pay attention to the "omens" of life -- the voice of spirit. Do that and your happiness is assured. Which isn't to say the journey is without suffering. But the Alchemist in the story says...

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"

I highly recommend this beautiful book, The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream.

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Killer Bean Forever - Animated Movie by Jeff Lew

Killer Bean Forever - Jeff Lew has spent most of his waking hours over the last four years making his new, full-length feature 3-D animated film, Killer Bean Forever. With the movie almost done (after Lew spent his entire life savings and maxed out his credit cards), he's published this preview/trailer for Killer Bean Forever. This actually looks very good. Here's to following your dream!

NOTE: Jeff Lew was lead animator on Matrix: Reloaded, so this guy knows his...3-D animation. Below is the trailer/preview for directorial debut on a full-length animated film: Killer Bean Forever.

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MRSA - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - Research

MRSA - Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - Saw a 60 Minutes piece on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph. It's spread by person-to-person contact, and vulnerable to only one antibiotic--the antibiotic of last resort--vincomycin. And doctors expect this "superbug" to soon develop a resistance to that sole, remaining weapon. What do we do? More research. They hope for a vaccine, and other antibiotic treatments are expected on the horizon. Will this happen fast enough?

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Colbert's Truthiness - Voted Top Word By American Dialect Society


© Comedy Central

Old news, but fun to remember where the Colbert Report started.

"Truthiness." Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report popularized the word "truthiness," and it has been selected by the American Dialect Society as the "2005 Word of the Year."

But all this begs the question: What does "truthiness" mean? And who or what is the American Dialect Society?

The truth hurts...

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