Monthly Archives: September 2008

Its snowing on Mars!

I got a twitter from the Mars Phoenix:

The snow I see above (a couple kilometers above) is water snow. And yes, @S_in_washington, I’m having foggy mornings too.

http://twitter.com/MarsPhoenix20080929.html

more news about the September Snow Day on Mars:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/news/phoenix-20080929.html

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My StickyMinds computer book reviews

Sometimes I write computer book reviews for StickyMinds.com. This week my book review of Open Source:Technology and Policy by Fadi P. Deek and James A.M. McHugh is featured at Sticky Minds.com (you have to scroll down to see it). It’s permanent link is:

http://www.stickyminds.com/s.asp?F=S1075_BOOK_4

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Philadelphia Weekly’s Cover Story on MeWithoutYou

I was surprised to see “Christ Rocks” on the cover of the Philadelphia Weekly – a free newspaper that is distributed on the streets of Center City.

Here is the article

The article is written by Steven Wells  who followed the band mewithoutYou for 10 days, a band that Gretchen likes so much that she gave me tickets to go to their show for my birthday. But then her mother got sick, so she had to go to California to be with her mom. I spent my birthday, me  without Gretchen at the MeWithoutYou concert at the Traq, and liking them more and more as I listening to what Relevant Magazine recently listed as the seventh strangest thing in Evangelical Christianity.

The article ends with Steven Wells, who is writing from a (cynical) seekers perspective, asking a young woman if what Aaron Weiss (“dumpster diving, celibate, homeless”, lead singer of the band) says makes sense. “It doesn’t have to make sense”, she says.

I believe that what Christ taught makes sense, but life itself does not always make sense. Jesus taught that there is a God who “so loves you”, and that we have a responsibility to love people simply by the fact that God made them. All of the Bible, Jesus teaches, can be summed up in loving God with all your heart and loving people. This has not always been followed by the group of people who call themselves Christians, but it revolutionizes everything when it is followed. This makes sense to me.

Life itself however does not always make sense and is full of surprises and injustices.

This article also discusses Shaine Clainborne, Grace’s Circle of Hope Church, both of Philadelphia, and the Cornerstone Christian Rock Festival that takes place in Illinois, and Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Life, mission, music, Philadelphia, Religion

Phillies win the East!

The Phillies won the Eastern Division in exciting fashion – the score was 4-3 Phillies, the Nationals had the bases loaded in the Ninth, and the Phillies got a double play to end the game.

I had to check what happened last year:

In 2007, the Phillies won the East by 1 game over the Mets.

The Phillies were then swept by the Colorado Rockies 😦

In Game 1 on October 3, 2007, they lost 2 to 4 in Philadelphia.

In Game 2 on October 4, they lost 5 to 10 in Philadelphia.

In Game 3 on October 6, they lost 1 to 2 in Denver.

The 2007 season was also memorable in that the Phillies became the first professional sports team to lose 10,000 games.

I hope they do better in the playoffs this year 🙂

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Free song if you promise to vote

Here is a link for a free Wilco w/Fleet Fox song called “I Shall be Released”, written by Bob Dylan. It’s a great song and all you have to do is to check I Pledge to Vote in the 2008 Election, and give them an email address to send the song to.

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Let Wall Street fix Wall Street

It is morally wrong for the government to help the rich bankers on Wall Street so that they can make their yacht payments and keep their high income jobs, while they provide no help at all for those who are foreclosing on their homes. It is socialism for the rich. We have one political party that is offering socialism for the poor and another political party that is for socialism for the rich. Why not no socialism for anyone? America was set up as an experiment in liberty and freedom. Let’s keep it that way.

I am tired of Bush giving increasingly bigger handouts to those who don’t deserve them and to those who don’t need them.  Banks gave people mortgages to people who were not credit worthy with low down payments and teaser interest rates. They then sold them to Wall Street who bought them with leveraged money. All of this was wrong and based on greed and selfishness. It worked as long as real estate continued to go up in value and people could pay their low monthly payments until their monthly payments ballooned.

Part of the fault is the US governments. Clinton, in his zeal to make sure that the poor could buy a home, relaxed mortgage requirements.  The banks then figured out a way to make it worth their while to provide mortgages to people who were not qualified to recieve them by selling their mortgages as morgage backed securities.

If the government doesn’t act like a sugar daddy to Wall Street, the economy will not fall. The capitalists will do the right thing, act in their own self interest, and make sure that it doesn’t. If the government does act like a sugar daddy, the American Dollar will eventually become worthless, and our economy will eventually fall and the dollar will stop being the currency that the price of oil and almost everything else is measured in. But what really at stake is the idea of a government set up on the principle of LIBERTY and FREE ENTERPRISE where government is not our BIG BROTHER.

I do not want to vote for the First Secretary of the USSRA in November!

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Abraham Lincoln turns 200 in 2009

…and to celebrate the mint has designed new pennies.

Here is the announcement that was made at the Lincoln Memorial:

http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=947

Lincoln was the first president portrait on US coins. The Lincoln Penny was originally introduced in 1909, on Lincoln’s 100th birthday. The Lincoln Memorial was put on the reverse (to replace the wheat) in 1959, his 150th birthday. They are going to change it again in 2009. Here is one of the designs. I wonder what book Lincoln is reading?

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RIP: Pastor Jeff Gowesky

I am reading the family journal of Jeff Gowesky with tears in my eyes. He is a former pastor and a very godly and gentle man. He would pour out his love for Jesus and exemplified what a good pastor is. He loved his flock and his family and brought the congregation into close fellowship with God especially in communion services. I loved the communion service so much that I wished we did it every week, instead of once a month, which is the Baptist tradition.

One of the last things Jeff did, before resigning from Goshen, was baptizing my youngest son, Ben.

To bring you up to speed, he got Altzheimers, probably in his late fifties. That turned into a progressive brain disease called Lewy Body Demensia. This has progressed, and he is now at home on a hospital bed waiting to see the Savior, with oxygen and morphine. The family is all coming down to be with him during his final moments. They are keeping a journal at carebridge.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jeffgowesky

Pastor Gowesky is faithful to the end. Here is one of the family’s journal entries:

I realize that all I wrote told about the physical side of Daddy. On Sunday morning he and my mom were praying and he prayed, “I don’t talk too well, Jesus, but I really love you.”

Daddy has always been a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, mind, and soul. Even in his sufferring he continues to love and serve the Lord. The example that he continues to set for us, his family is indescribable.

to read the journal and sign the guestbook:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jeffgowesky

There have been 2413 visits to this site already.

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Don’t underestimate Sarah Palin

I heard McCain say that Sarah Palin is the most popular governor in the nation on 60 minutes. So I got on the internet to check this out. She has an 88% approval rate which is almost unheard of for governors. If you look at the 50 governors ranked by popularity in 2005, the highest one, the governor of North Dakota, only has 74%. Seventies is very high – eighties are impossibly high. 88% is like batting .400 in baseball. It is difficult for a governor to get 88% of everybody to like you at any one time. It is probably impossible to get 88% of the people to like you all of time. John F. Kennedy, our most popular president, averaged a 77% approval.

She also knocked off the incumbant governor in the Republican Primary – a stunt that is historically rare in American politics.  Especially considering she has “no experience”!

Somebody said in a letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer that “she was no Ronald Reagan”. I am not sure about that (she is probably very much like Ronald Reagan, whether this is bad or good is the debate), so I wanted to find Ronald Reagan’s popularity numbers as governor of California. I couldn’t find that but I found this. Pat Brown, the father of Jerry Brown, was the current governor of California in 1966. His competition was Ronald Reagan, who had never held political office:

Brown badly underestimated Reagan’s appeal. He lumped the Republican nominee in with the far-right John Birch Society, though the first-time candidate took great effort to distance himself. And the governor taunted Reagan as a middling actor unready to take the reigns of state government. His most unfortunate moment came during a 30-minute promotional film, when he joked with school children, “And I want to tell you something else. You know I’m running against an actor. Remember this: you know who shot Abraham Lincoln, don’t ya?”

The joke backfired badly on the governor, by making him look mean and condescending. Several actors who had supported his candidacy abandoned him. Brown lost to Reagan by almost a million votes.

source

Don’t underestimate Sarah Palin!

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Watch Your Own Heart Attack

Watch Your own heart attack in 2 minutes. This is new from the British Heart Association. I have a friend in his forties with a healthy lifestyle who had a heart attack. He’s fine now. He got help right away.

Watch Your Own Heart Attack is an unforgettable, two minute film which enables you to experience what it’s like to have a heart attack first hand. Take the time to watch it then you’ll be prepared if and when it happens for real.

This is two minutes which could save your life. Or the life of someone you love.

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