Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yay, School

Funny news story:

This is pretty much the ultimate prank, and pretty awesome for a high school student. How do you guys feel about the punishment given? I almost think it was a little bit harsh.

Update on School:

Classes are going. That's about all I can really say about them right now, is they're going. Not badly or well, necessarily. I haven't missed any homework (which reminds me, I need to read Jonah for tomorrow) and I'm adjusting to the three-class block I have Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I also like my Thursdays (just Differential Equations, nothing more!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Got My Books

Yes, I do. I've got a crap-load of them, too. Abstract Algebra, Differential Equations, Java (Computer Science intro class), a bunch of books for Literary Catholicism (including Chesterton's The Ball and the Cross, O'Connor's Wise Blood, and Greene's The End of the Affair and The Power and the Glory!) and a bunch of books for Biblical Spirituality (various commentaries and books on spirituality and the St. Mary's Press College Study Bible, which is a New American Bible for those wanting the translation used.)

"'Do you know who Graham Greene is?'
'I think we have all seen "Bonanza."'"

That quotation just kinda came to mind. Bonus points if you know where from.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What the Hetts?! #17: God by any Other Name...

Well, an article here has a Roman Catholic bishop suggesting that Christians use the name Allah to refer to God.

"What the Hetts?!"

I'd be more comfortable of this if I were convinced that Christians and Muslims worshiped the same God...and I'm not convinced of such a thing. For purposes of philosophy of religion we could certainly talk about the Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept of God (all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving/benevolent), but when the rubber hits the road I think there are some decent differences. And I don't mean differences like Calvinists/Arminians arguing over a few verses in Paul. I mean differences between systems that are more fundamentally about grace and systems more fundamentally about works.

Also, since this is a news site--and I no longer rely on those to keep articles up for years and years--I'm providing a link to the Google-cached version of the article at this location.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Granted, the Relevance of this is Fading, but the Relevance of this Other Thing Isn't

This probably would've been a much more relevant thing to link a few years ago, but it hadn't exactly been written then. So here it is now. This is a Christian's literary defense of the Harry Potter series of books. There's also some decent Chesterton quoting in the article. I don't really look down on people who refuse to read it for whatever reason, but I guess I do take slight issue with people condemning it as evil. (Does anyone of note do this anymore?) I'm not quite settled on all the "moral problems" that have been raised with it by some of those people but I don't think they're insurmountable. It's an interesting defense to say the least.

Also, I saw a link to this movement on a different blog and found it quite refreshing that the UMC has this movement. I guess I do feel a little bit irritated that they're calling for unity under their beliefs, but if their beliefs are the official beliefs of the UMC (as I am inclined to believe) then that is nothing but reasonable. Also, it's a lot better than calling for unity even when fundamental beliefs are ridiculously different.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What the Hetts?! #16b: BONUS: Reincarnation and the Chinese Government

Ran across this post by the Dispatches from the Culture Wars guy, Ed Brayton, about a newspaper article which informs us that, apparently, Buddhist monks are not allowed to reincarnate without the permission of the Chinese government. Okay, so it's really just living Buddhas, which if I remember my World Religions (and I probably don't) is a smaller set. But they may have meant monks. Brayton used it as an opportunity to compare reincarnation to transubstantiation and "turning someone into a newt." Honestly I can't quite say I appreciate that, but I'm still glad he posted the article. It's proof that there's actual religious oppression in the world not being perpetrated by religious people. And no, I'm not going to deny past realities of Christendom or even current realities (if there are any of any substance), or the reality of many Middle-Eastern governments. But it's good that this stuff makes the news so it'll be known. A government trying to regulate not just a religious practice, but something which is, really, supernatural and which may not even actually exist--that's crazy. Then again it does make some sense. Buddhism is, in some ways, a threat to China. And I'm going to stop now because at this point I'm just ranting.

Original article is here. Disfrutalo.

"What the Hetts?!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What the Hetts?! #16: Pencil, Brain

Ho-ly snap. Also, a What the Hetts?! on Tuesday. Guess I'm on a new schedule now.

Woman with pencil in brain. For YEARS. Caused some nosebleeds and headaches.

Hat tip to Pure Pedantry.

Pure Pedantry, for me, is general recommended reading. Not always appropriate but when the articles are on issues of science they tend to be pretty educational.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Wrapping Up Morelia

The last week in Morelia was pretty cool, and I'm very, very, very glad to be home.


Had to write my final paper for the culture class this day, and get some journals done.


Got the paper done in time for the class, and enough studying done to make the grade. Journals not done. I'm a slacker, I know. But thankfully Dr. Gallegos didn't show up to collect them Tuesday.


Did get journals done in time for the actual collection on Wednesday. Found out I got I think a B or B+ on the test and an A- in the course, a full letter grade higher than my current Spanish average! Until about five seconds ago, when I decided I'd definitely update this blog-thing, and when I found out I got an A in the social work course! This brings my Spanish GPA up to about a 3.29#. I stopped doing the division when I got there because that was a fine enough estimate for me.


We flew back home! It was so beautiful. I got to have Burgerville as my first meal once back in Portland, and had some Subway at the Houston airport before that. Oh my goodness, it was beautiful. Also, I can drink tapwater again. This might not seem a great privilege to you all but you'd be amazed how much being in a country that actually needs bottled water can make you grateful for the privilege, yes, it is a privilege, of being able to drink water from the tap that hasn't been treated somehow.

All The Rest of the Days Up to and Including Today

I've been enjoying being back home and talking with people on the phone and all that other good stuff.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. That story I promised that I couldn't tell earlier.

On the way back from the Skye club, one friend of mine was stopped by corrupt cops. He had been quite inebriated and was attempting to walk it off, hence why he was walking at 4 AM instead of taking a taxi. The cops found a 4 and 1/2 inch knife on his person, apparently half an inch larger than allowed, and gave him the option of paying them the rough equivalent of $100USD or going to jail. He paid the $100, and they drove him to an ATM in the opposite direction of the way he was walking in order to get the money. He came out of the experience $100 shorter. Thankfully they let him keep his knife, at least, but the knife was very obviously not the point to begin with.