Archive for November, 2006

Looking for Digital Camera Information

November 30, 2006 6 comments

I want to buy a new digital camera for Christmas this year. My desires are…

1. 6 MP or higher
2. 6x or higher optical zoom
3. Multiple flash options
4. 2″ or larger LCD viewing screen
5. The ability to snap pictures quickly

If anyone knows some things about cameras please leave me a comment. I am not looking just for personal opinion, but for consumer report stories and experiential anecdotes. Thanks!

Categories: Life, Pictures

Dear Blogger…

November 30, 2006 1 comment

Dear Blogger,

How do you make money giving away this wonderful blog service for free?

Categories: Blogs

ESV Online Reference Tools

November 29, 2006 1 comment

I have started to really enjoy using the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible. The ESV website has some very helpful tools (2 of which I have previously previewed for you).

This morning I used the online search feature to look up a couple words in the Biblical text. I found the ESV online tools very precise and simple to use. The ESV folks have also included an option to compare the ESV text to other translations by linking to Bible Gateway.

Check this site out. It is a great reference tool that anyone can easily use.

Categories: Bibles

Headbands, Arrogance, the NBA

November 29, 2006 8 comments

I know this is a blanket statement (there are certainly exceptions to be found, i.e. Dwyane Wade) but in my estimation the NBA is mostly a collection of thugs who think the whole world revolves around them because they can dribble and shot a ball.

Ben Wallace is just the most recent example of an NBA player who thinks that he is more important than anybody else. Can you imagine a hockey player saying something this arrogant?

“If you know the rules and break them, you expect to be punished. I can’t try to put myself above the team or anybody else and wear a headband like I did. I’m man enough to take the punishment. But I’m not sorry.”

So why did he do it?

I just felt like wearing it,” he told the Tribune.

Categories: Sports

The Power of the Mustard Seed

November 29, 2006 2 comments

Every time I eat corn dog nuggets at work I think about the parable Jesus told when he described the Kingdom of God as a small mustard seed which is planted in a field and becomes the largest tree around that all the birds come to nest in.

I like to mix in a little mustard with my ketchup for dipping. The problem is that the taste of the mustard is so powerful. Even if I just put in a dab of it, almost all I taste is mustard.

What an amazing analogy Jesus uses. The small little seed that packs an enormous punch! If I can just be a little Kingdom mustard seed in the midst of the ketchup world around me everyday I can make an impact.

Categories: A/W, Theology

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism in Culture

November 27, 2006 2 comments

Great article by Tim Challies on the increasing levels of voyeurism and exhibitionism in culture. Here are a few highlights..

This weekend a friend sent an article to myself and to a list of other people. He was outraged at a story that appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He is no doubt right to be outraged. Here are some excerpts from the story.

Just how far will people go to get their hands on a new PlayStation 3? Just ask KDWB-FM, 101.3’s morning show host Dave Ryan, who on Tuesday morning asked folks if they were willing to give up their baby for 24 hours in exchange for one of Sony’s highly coveted video game consoles. More than a dozen people called to offer up their kids, but only a few realized it was all just a gag.

“We got more calls than we could handle,” said Ryan, who referred to the practical joke as a “social experiment.” “They were lined up willing to turn their kids over to strangers for a freakin’ PlayStation.”

KDWB morning show executive producer Steve “Steve-o” LaTart said he was surprised how many people were interested in the bogus swap, which consisted of handing over your child to LaTart for 24 hours in exchange for a PS3.

“There were a lot of phone calls that we didn’t even get to, and I would say three- quarters of them were serious,” said LaTart.

People with babies of all ages — including a 2-day-old and a 1-week-old — made it on air. One of the more serious sounding calls came from a woman named “Katie,” who agreed to give up her 1-month-old for three days. She wanted to sell the PS3 on eBay to make some extra money for the holidays.

“In a way it’s flattering that we’ve built up 13 years of trust and that’s great … yet at the same time, hey, we thought we knew Kramer too, you just never know,” said Ryan referring to Michael Richards, who played Kramer on “Seinfeld,” and his recent racist comments.

After announcing that the contest was a prank, “Katie” called the station and asked “does that mean I don’t get the PlayStation?” She was clearly more than willing to give up her child to get her hands on this year’s top gift. It seemed to her a small price to pay for a Playstation. It’s sick.

Challies goes on to say…

And yet for some reason it didn’t surprise me a whole lot. This is the kind of behavior that is only too common in our culture. We live in what is now an voyeuristic, exploitative society. We love to see into other people’s lives and because of technology, this is easier to do than ever before. But there is more. As voyeurism has increased, so has exhibitionism….

We, the consumers, feed this frenzy. When we turn on the television we want to watch celebrities, both new and old, living out their lives before the cameras or learning to dance or cook or crochet. We want to watch families whose spending has spiralled out of control try to fix their broken finances. We want to watch families whose kids are overweight learn how to eat healthy food or adults who are fat lose weight or couples who have forgotten the joys of sex to rediscover intimacy or normal people slurp down blood, guts and bugs. We want to see people learn what not to wear, to see people with rolls on their stomachs get liposuction and funny-looking noses get the perfect Hollywood nose job. We want to escape our own problems by wallowing in other people’s problems which somehow always seem so much worse than our own. We want to see the sad, pathetic, tragic details of their lives, their personalities, their bodies. The more detail we get, the happier we are.

I think its true. I get caught up in some of the ‘reality’ stuff on television. There is something about watching other people that hooks you in. In the article Challies gives some interesting insight into a show that I really like: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He points to an internal memo from ABC which details the kind of stories they are looking for. The most tragic the better. Because more tragedy equals more viewers.

Good stuff to think about. What role do you play? What role do I play?

Categories: culture, TV

Einstein on Problem Solving

November 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Albert Einstein once said,

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

Special thanks to Mark Howell for the quote.

(HT: Church Relevance)

Categories: Mind, Ministry