Modern Pensées

Reconsidering theology, philosophy, culture, economics, and politics

Archive for December 2010

Pat Robertson Wants to Legalize Marijuana

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In what has to be one of the strangest stories of 2010, Pat Robertson goes on the record in favor of legalization of marijuana.  NY Times story here.

Your thoughts?

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Written by Michael Graham

December 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Best Links of the Week

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Google NGrams Viewer – charts book searches over time.  Above is an example of a search for “inerrancy.”  (HT: MQ)

This has to be one of the craziest stories I have ever read: after police did nothing a father in Germany castrates a 57 year old man who was having relations with his daughter… with a breadknife.  The man is on trial for attempted murder, his only comment was, “I saw it as my duty as a father.”

Free Sufjan Stevens Christmas music.

Ron Paul to head up oversight committee of the Federal Reserve.  Awesome.

Mark Dever gives some wonderful reflections on the life of the late Roger Nicole.  Justin Taylor also has a nice writeup here.

Infographic of Facebook relationships.  (HT:  Scott B.)

Some interesting interactive demographic city maps from the NY Times.

Some good commentary from Paul Tripp on false Gospels.

Soft Drink Infographic map:  “Coke”, “Soda”, or “Pop”

There have been mounds of interesting gems mined from the WikiLeaks embassy wires, one of them is some commentary on Cuba’s coming insolvency.

Some solid J.C. Ryle quotes.

NPR’s top 50 albums of 2010.  Either I am pathetic and out of touch or NPR’s listeners are all esoteric snobs (more than likely the former).  I have only heard of maybe 5 of the artists on this list.

Really fascinating video behind the scenes of the Mars Hill video guys from pre-production to distribution.  They have a pretty minimal set of gear (a Red, and a few 5Dm2s and 7Ds) and do a lot with it in terms of a coherent aesthetic that matches the message.

20 Things that will be more expensive in 2011.

U.S. Navy test of railgun:

Some cool stop-motion:

‘Skills Don’t Translate to the NFL…’

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Tim Tebow’s skills clearly don’t translate well to the NFL.  He’s too slow, has an awkward throwing motion, and will get hammered by faster and stronger defenders.  I couldn’t resist.

Written by Michael Graham

December 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Culture, Sports, Video

Tagged with , ,

Best Links of the Week

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Absolutely fascinating article inside the world of custom scholarly papers.  This is a very well-written piece that is quite controversial and provocative.  I would be curious to hear your thoughts.

Article on the really creepy mythic creature, Lilith… anyone still want to go to the Lilith Fair?

Disturbing implications of toll-gated internet opened up by recent FCC proposal.  This is a very very bad idea.  I already hate paying money for data movement over cell phone networks.  I cannot imagine having to pay for tiered internet.  Suffice to say I have a deep disdain for the FCC.

Richard Cohen has a nice even-keeled op-ed piece on the whole WikiLeaks debacle.

WSJ article on woman who has successfully staved off foreclosure for 25 years!

Great interview with writer Scott Patterson, author of The Quants.  An excellent read for anyone interested in game theory, arbitrage, and applied mathematics intersection with economics and finance.

Orlando International Airport is considering dumping TSA screeners.

Pretty crazy photos of some “super-cell” storms.

In what has to be one of the strangest ‘stories’ in a long time… it appears that some of the members of Insane Clown Posse are self-identifying as “evangelical Christians,” and say they have been that way for a long time.  This has to be some kind of PR stunt or maybe the lack of an evangelical worldview is really that bad.

Google jumping into the foray of the ebook market.

Widespread government cover-up over TARP fund allocation.

Pretty cool video statistical look at life expectancy and wealth over last 200 years from the Freakonomics guys:

NorthPoint’s iBand…

Best Links of the Week

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Provocative piece entitled, “Artists Build the Church.”  Aesthetics without a doubt have been marginalized in the church.  Another work that should be brought into this discussion is Hans Urs von Balthasaar’s Trilogy on “The Glory of the Lord.”  Shame on Protestants for letting a Catholic write probably the best treatment of aesthetics (alongside Wolsterstorff’s work).   God’s holiness and God’s glory are at the core of God’s character.  Hence, art and aesthetics are at the very center of our Christian faith.

4th Amendment Underclothes – metallic print protest clothing.  For those of you unaware the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution states the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Department of Homeland Security commandeering domain names.

It takes Iran over 30 years to notice Star of David placed on roof of their national airline’s (Iran Air) headquarters.  The building was designed by Israeli architects.

Which Cashback credit cards to use at which retailers/websites.  This was rather helpful.

A number of top shelf scientists publish a cautionary letter regarding the new X-ray machines that has some good scientific concerns that dispel a lot of the misinformation regarding the safety of the new machines.   I think some more substantial science is in order here particularly for the elderly, children, pregnant, and those prone to various cancers on or close to skin (testicular, breast…).

If you haven’t heard yet, there were more WikiLeaks documents released of roughly a quarter million wires principally between emabassies.  Of interest is a large amount of security intel, policy, military strategy, and embarassing details about world government figures.  Of interest, it seems that North Korea did in fact provide Iran with the missile vehicles to launch nuclear warheads.  This is very disconcerting as it means that North Korea likely has the nuclear bomb and rockets to launch them in.

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate whether Religion is good for the world or not.  I am inclined to think that religion, in the conventional sense of the word, is not good for the world.  I am also unsure what is meant by the word, “good” as well.  I would argue from different angles and presuppositions than Hitchens but likely arrive at similar conclusions.  I would be very happy if every religion based on human self-righteousness would permanently cease.  I don’t think anything is “good” apart from Christ, hence I think that all non-Christocentric religion is bunk.

Flexible, Disposable E-readers?

Should MIT Teach Poetry?”  I have already ranted on here about the affects of removing the Christian worldview on higher education (see post on UCF scandal).   The point is that our Universities have become trade schools.  Further, these trade schools are increasingly more expensive (astronomically expensive compared to inflation rates) while becoming less effective at producing marketable laborers.  For many employers experience is > or = to education.  If one’s education were limited to such a narrow sub-field of a field within a faculty within a college within a University… there is no foundation for the knowledge/building to stand.  Of course MIT should teach poetry.

Congressman Mike Coffman (Rep. Colorado) writes a cogent piece on why not to raise taxes during a recession. (HT: SB)

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