The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others
~ Vincent Van Gogh
Penn Jillette and God - If you are devoted to any religion, even in a small way, you will surely be provoked by Penn Jillette's (of Penn and Teller) essay for the NPR program, This I believe.
But even if you have agnostic or atheistic tendencies, you will probably still be provoked. Let's face it. Penn Jillette is a provoking guy with a lot to say. Here are some excerpts from his essay There Is No God...
"CAPTION"PicURL | BYLINE
Dick and Rick are Team Hoyt
Dick and Rick Hoyt - When Rick Hoyt was about to be born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, depriving his soon-to-be-born body of oxygen. Initially, doctors told the new parents their son was a vegetable, with no higher brain function. But the parents didn't believe it; they saw signs of life and intelligence in their son. Sure enough, the doctor's discovered they were wrong. Rick did have higher brain function. However, the lack of oxygen did deprive Rick of the ability to control his muscles, leaving him essentially a quadrapalegic.
The story of Team Hoyt began when Rick found out about a fundraiser for a friend. The fundraiser involved running, and wheelchair-bound Rick told his Dad he wanted to participate so he could help his friend. So father Dick Hoyt ran with his son, rolling him around the track, raising money for Rick's friend. After the run, Rick told his Dad that running made him feel free for the first time. Inspired by his son's statement, Dick took Rick running, swimming, bicycling, climbing--anything he wanted to do, Dick found a way to share it with his son and help him feel free. It's an amazing story of a father and son's courage, determination, and love.
Old but Not Frail: A Matter of Heart and Head - This article contained some helpful tidbits on aging and frailty that boiled down to these three suggestions:
- View aging as positive
- Keep walking
- Avoid cardiovascular disease
Caveat: Scientists cannot say that walking, cardiovascular health, and a positive view of aging will reduce your chances of becoming frail. They only know that already frail people most often do NOT possess any of these three traits. Still, the advice couldn't hurt.
Below are some relevant quotes from the article that support the findings.
The Four Day Work Week: Sixteen Reasons Why This Might Be an Idea Whose Time Has Come - This article from theoildrum.com makes the argument that a four day work week would have at least 16 benefits to each of us and our economy. Written by Kyle Saunders (associate professor of political science at Colorado State University) the article gives some detail and statistics for each reason, so do read the original article, but the points below give the gist.
8 Bad Words - Found this video by Trevor Crook kinda informative and funny--not George Carlin funny by any means, however...
Rec'd via email...a couple times. Popular and funny list of analogies used in high school essays. I think some of them are pretty inventive.
- The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
- She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
- His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
- He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
- Her hair glistened in the rain, like a nose hair after a sneeze.
Nerf N-Strike Maverick
Nerf N-Strike Maverick Toy Gun - I bought my son a toy, and I'm the only one playing with it.
I did this with a Nerf N-Strike Maverick toy gun, a Nerf dart six-shooter. Since it was ridiculously cheap ($8 each), I bought two so my son and a friend could have shootouts...
...I suppose that's not smart parenting on so many levels, but I won't go there.
As soon as my son unwrapped them, I opened one and starting shooting anything convenient.
That was hard to resist! -- but few other temptations avoiding being a target. My wife was a favorite, as were the much too delicate ornaments on the Christmas tree.
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.
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
TO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONS
MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
AND ALL THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON CHRISTIAN HOPE
- 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...
High octane gas is expensive - Is it worth the money?
In my post Is Cheap Gas Bad for Your Car, I discovered that in the U.S., gas is gas. The only significant difference between cheap gas and brand name gas is the price. But what about octane rating?
- Does using a higher octane gas improve mileage or fuel economy?
- Does higher octane gas give my car more power?
The answers may surprise you.
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...
This line from The Office (U.S. version) cracks me up every time.
Funny Words in Court - From a little book called Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History. Here are about 30 things people actually said in court, word for word.
What We Didn't Know - Love the list of 50 things we didn't know at this time last year from the Tampa Tribune. Below are a few of my favorites...
The use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace on company computers leads to increased productivity.''
Stress causes human brain cells to either shrink or grow, leaving victims of serious stress with dramatic changes to their nervous systems
Hospital patients who receive a transfusion of stored blood aged 29 days or older face double the risk of developing one or more serious infections compared to those who get "fresher" blood.
This was the CD my Mom had in her player when she got sick. I imagine this is the last album she listened to before she died. My sister gave it to her, and it's wonderful, particularly this cut, I'm yours.
Walking Robot Powered by Wind - Fascinating video, it's actually a commercial for BMW, but...Wow! This contraption doesn't look like it should work. Have a look...
Walking Robot Powered by Wind
Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin
Russell Crowe Eulogy Steve Irwin - When I heard that Steve Irwin, the Crododile Hunter, had been killed by a sting-ray, I was shocked and saddened. As news coverage of his death swelled, I was somehow comforted to learn that so many others felt the same....Who knew this wacky, passionate Aussie had such an impact on so many people?
Russell Crowe, a good mate of Irwin's, gave such a touching eulogy at the memorial service for Steve Irwin, a service that was televised around the world. I've transcribed Russell's words below. Truly moving. Here is the video...