Wednesday, November 29, 2006

You Knew This Day Would Come

And now, for some celebrity gossip:

This is the headline on CNN.com - Actress, 16, played Virgin Mary, now pregnant

I love Keisha Castle Hughs, and I've written about her before here. I do think that 16 is a little young to be having a baby, but the fact that she's a movie star and is open about the information, and that she is keeping the baby, are good things.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Give Thanks Dear Sinners


Today is my favorite day of the year, Thanksgiving in the United States. As I type this I am sitting at my brother-in-law's parents house. It's my first time ever being here. They live in one of those housing developments that pop up in the American suburbs increasing urban sprawl unsustainably. But you know what, it's a nice house. It's not huge, but the space is used very efficiently. They have a nice little gazeebo in the back and we took some family pictures. In years past we eat, usually at some odd time in the middle of the afternoon, then we all find a safe hideaway to pass out, and then late in the afternoon only minutes after waking up we take a family picture. It may be my favorite day of the year, but it's probably the day I look the worst. Not this year though, we knocked it out right away. We're a good looking crew.

I like Thanksgiving, because it's only purpose is for us to recognize, despite the perhaps unhappy circumstances of our lives, to be thankful to God for giving us a chance. Because we at least have that. And for me today, I'm thankful that I get to indulge, because I ate a lot and drank a lot and spent a lot of time with my family and I feel pretty good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

If Only I Were 25 Million

"So far, Archer has found remains of carnivorous kangaroos, marsupial lions, giant snakes, tree-climbing crocodiles, miniature tyrannosaurs, prehistoric lungfish, and the largest-ever bird, a 10-foot-tall 1,000-pounder that he likes to call the "demon duck of doom."

Another great one from this site (via Kottke.org):

25 Greatest Science Books of All-Time


The fact that we are still garnering scientific insight from a book written in 1543, just goes to show how much scientific discovery has actually slowed since the Enlightenment. "But what about Anti-biotics, and brain-surgery, and space-flight," they say. "Yeah, well what about the continued use of the gasoline combustion engine?" I say.

I'm buying the Voyage of the Beagle this afternoon. Darwin gets me all excited.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Secret to Happiness

The truth about happiness may surprise you (via/cnn.com)

According to a Pew Research Center survey, the happiest age group is men 65 and older; the least happy: men 18 to 29.

The survey also found:

*Married people are happier than singles.
*•College grads are happier than those without a college degree.
*•People who were religious are happier than those who aren't.
*Sunbelt residents are happier than other U.S. residents.
*•Republicans are happier than Democrats -- but both are happier than independents.

It's in life's simple pleasures, traveling and good relationships. Is this really such a surprise? The article seems to come to the conclusion that money doesn't buy happiness, which isn't exactly ground-breaking, but it's also talking about money you have to work really hard for, and continuously work to keep. What about the filthy-rich, silver-spoon types? I'm talking about the people who grow up with billions in their bank accounts. They are still subject to disease and tragedy just like the rest of us, but I'd be interested to see some stats on their general happiness levels and outlook on life.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nothing More Scary Than a Land Mine

There are areas all over the world, where conflicts once existed, that are covered with land mines. Every once in a while a little girl or boy will be walking around one of these areas, exploring as kids do, when suddenly they will have their limbs blown off by a ten year-old land mine. I think about this a lot. I love to travel the world and when I do, I like to explore by walking around. The prospect of being blown up by one of these left over death machines terrifies me. I know that they have robots and even trained rats to help detect these mines, but I had an idea today that may be even more effective at clearing these areas. And mind you, I am a vegetarian; but why doesn't the U.N. just buy herds of cattle and then set them loose in these areas? Maybe even stir them up so that they run around a bit. Then, when one of them steps on a mine, the mine will blow up the cow, instead of a little girl, and then what's left of the cow can be donated to the poor, to eat. This won't work in India where cows are sacred, but in the rest of the world, a little girls life is worth much more than that of a cow.

I will be taking this idea to the U.N. by the way.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Birds of Prey

During prolonged absences such as these I am forced to write journalistically. So, here's an update on what's going on lately in my life.

1. I signed a 6-month lease yesterday and I begin moving into a new apartment in Dallas today. (It's also important to note that I've moved at least every six months in the last 6 years.)
2. I'm currently working at a post-house through December, as an editor again, which I didn't foresee happening, but it's getting colder outside so I can't say I mind all that much, not being on set all day.

Now you are up to speed. In other news, I was driving home from church this morning when a pair of wings caught my eye. I was driving at about 75 miles an hour on the highway and it shocked me so much to see a pair of large wings spread out from a short pole in the expansive grassy section between the two sides of the highway that I turned 100 degrees in my seat to examine the type of bird sitting on there. It was a large hawk. The reasons that seeing this bird was so shocking to me are many. One, is that it is always a strange experience to view wildlife in a city setting, and two, is that a bird of prey should be nowhere near a highway in the middle of Dallas. That's all to say that these "vacant lots" that are actually the remnants of great forests within our expanding cities need to be preserved and protected so that these beautiful animals aren't driven out. There is no way for us to know how important these animals are to our own well-being, but it is obvious that they are.