April 30, 2009

If We Weren't Already a Nation of Hypochondriacs


Have you looked at the official list of swine flu symptoms?

Fever, Cough, Sore Throat, Body Aches, Headache, Chills, Fatigue.

Bet you didn't even know you had it. You're welcome.

April 29, 2009

Alternative Colleges

"St. John's College is a co-educational, four year liberal arts college known for its distinctive "great books" curriculum.

There are no majors and no departments; all students follow the same program.

Students study from the classics of literature, philosophy, theology, psychology, political science, economics, history, mathematics, laboratory sciences, and music. No textbooks are used. The books are read in roughly chronological order, beginning with ancient Greece and continuing to modern times."

So, what do you think? Personally, I wish I had gone there. But, perhaps it took me getting my degree to wish for a school like that. And this business degree does get me in the door for a lot of different job opportunities that I doubt the general degree from St. Johns does. But, undoubtedly, the students who graduate from this program are better equipped for most jobs than I was after earning my degree. Right?

April 28, 2009

Is College Overrated?


Since getting laid off earlier this year, I've started to do freelance marketing work and recently decided to try and create a business out of it. To aid in this pursuit, I downloaded a trial version of Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and checked out Dreamweaver CS4 for Dummies and Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 Digital Classroom from my local library.

Within a day and a half of reading through the first book, I had my site up and running. The second book is a bit more detailed, so it's taking me a few days to get through, and I'm really learning a lot. I'll likely update the site once I'm done. Both books have been tremendously helpful, and I highly recommend them both to anyone who's looking to learn Dreamweaver. The one other book I checked out, Dreamweaver CS4: Visual Quickstart Guide, was confusing and poorly laid out.

Here's my point. I'm doing in one week what it's probably taking kids a semester or more to do at a university. I'm working at my own pace. Using tremendously helpful textbooks, some of which contain video tutorials. Stopping where I'm having trouble. Speeding past things I understand.

And most importantly, I'm really learning this stuff. If one was truly self-motivated, how many collegiate degrees would be better served by simply giving the student a computer and a library card?

April 27, 2009

Adult Outdoor Crib


So, we have an outdoor couch for our backyard patio. And it's arguably one of the best purchases we've ever made. It's exactly what it sounds like. You can fully stretch out, while enjoying the sun and the breeze. It's one step away from the comfort of a bed. Except, a couch back offers the privacy that a bed simply can not.

So, my new idea is an Adult Outdoor Crib.

Sleep, read and chill in the beautiful outdoors, in perfect comfort and in perfect privacy.

This can't miss.

April 24, 2009

It's all the Same god


Since we haven't talked about George Clooney in a couple days, I thought I'd use him in an analogy today. Often, people act incredulous about our religious divisions in the world, claiming, "We're all worshiping the same god anyway, no matter what we call him/her/it."

Here's my problem with that statement.

You know George Clooney, right? The Hollywood actor. Silver hair. Paraplegic. Was in Oceans 11. Asian. Hates gay people.

We can all believe in "George Clooney." But the man I described isn't him, even though we call him the same thing.

April 23, 2009

Hollywood Has Turned on Us...


...because no one is as smart as the people they make in movies. And Hollywood has ruined us in our anticipation of what we believe the White House, the CIA and local law enforcement should be capable of.

You know how they found Jason Bourne in about 12 seconds using global satellite tracking technology in the first Bourne Identity movie? More than eight years later, we still don't know where Osama bin Laden is. So, put down your "Martin Sheen for President" and Jack Bauer for "Head of CIA/Torture Information Getter" signs. They don't really exist.

April 22, 2009

Is it Even Mine to Take Pride In?


Why are we proud of things we had no control over? looks, nationality, etc.

April 21, 2009

I Believe in an Invisible God


The difference between me and a crazy person is popular support. I believe in an invisible God. More than that. I talk to Him, and believe He hears me. If His name is Jesus, I can be president. If his name is Narquar, they'll dress me in white.

April 20, 2009

Ellen and George Clooney


So, does Ellen really think George Clooney is hot? Rosie O'Donnell did the same thing on her show with Tom Cruise for years. And not just like, "what a good looking man", but more of a "oh, how i want to be with him."

It's just confusing. Are they simply pretending for the sake of their audience?

April 17, 2009

Tea Party Misunderstanding


Now, I understand that if you're a big fan of the current President, you're going to have an aversion to the tea-party tax protests that went on the other day.

But, the sheer incredulity I heard from several "journalists" yesterday who couldn't understand why people other than those in the very highest tax brackets would care about a tax hike that didn't directly affect them...infuriated me.

By that logic, a white person fighting against slavery would make no sense, either.

You stand up for something because it's wrong. Not just because you'll get something out of it.

April 16, 2009

Boy Scout Beggars


Have you noticed how the Boy Scouts have changed their money-raising methods to match the state of the economy? Now, instead of going door-to-door selling 10-pound tubs of caramel corn, they're blocking the entryways of grocery stores, asking you both on your way in AND out if you'd like to support their troop by buying a candy bar for 12 times its market worth.

Here are my problems with this. 1) I don't like solicitation in general that makes the customer feel uncomfortable. 2) This completely lacks entrepreneurship and ignores the laws of supply-and-demand when what they're selling can be bought inside the store they're standing outside of for far less. This is why I appreciate the idea of the lemonade stand.

There's a fine-line between begging and what these Boy Scouts teams are doing. What do they get for selling the most candy bars, anyway? A merit badge depicting a man sleeping under a newspaper?

Be creative Boy Scouts. I'm not cheap. I'm just picky.

April 15, 2009

This is My First Surgery


If you had to have heart surgery, you'd want to know if your surgeon was experienced or not, correct? Because, statistically, the failure rate for first-time surgeons is significantly higher.

However, if no one allowed themselves to be the guinea pigs for first-time surgeons, all of the experienced ones would eventually die out. So, what's the best way to give these first-time surgeons their first try? And is there any answer that isn't going to leave the poorest people in the hands of the youthful?

April 14, 2009

Everything Happens for a Reason...


...does not mean that everything that happens was supposed to have happened, as if it were a perfect part of God's sovereign plan. The "reason" could simply be that people suck.

"Why did I get hit by a car, Mommy?"
"Well, it must have been God's plan, sweetheart."

Or it could be that the guy who hit you was a freaking moron going 30 over the limit in a school zone. God is redemptive, and is definitely able to use terrible situations for His glory. But, that doesn't mean that everything that happens was supposed to. Our wrong actions have consequences.

April 13, 2009

The Psychology of Adult Baby Talk


I'm not looking to judge here. We all think it's stupid. That's why you don't ever baby talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse in public, and why you have two completely different phone voices depending on who's around at the time.

I'm legitimately curious in the psychology behind it. Is it some sort of inner desire to revert to a state of complete dependence?

April 10, 2009

Good Friday


So, I understand how Good Friday got its name. The idea that now, we look back at Christ's death through the lens of the Easter resurrection, and therefore see this horrible act as a pure act of love, through which we now have hope for the problem of sin.

But, then why are church services on Good Friday still all dark, sad and candle-lit? It's like we're pretending we don't know what's coming.

April 09, 2009

Medicine or Cigarettes?


Why do they sell tobacco sticks at pharmacies?

April 08, 2009

Hot Fish on a Cold Salad?


I just ate a warm grilled salmon filet on top of cold iceberg lettuce.

What a terrible idea. This isn't like ice cream and hot fudge where the contrast makes sense. It's just making my salad warm, which is gross.

Listen up restaurants.

April 07, 2009

Books for Skeptics/Seekers


I used to recommend The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel to my friends, even before the Bible, because of my belief that the resurrection is the primary hang-up they have to get through before considering the Bible shouldn't be treated like Aesop's Fables.

But, I've had a couple of friends who have found it difficult to get through. So, I think I might have skipped a step again.

Now, I'm recommending either Reason for God by Timothy Keller or Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Both of these start with the idea of God in the first place. Why we have it and if we need it? Lewis in particular uses compelling logic, wonderful for you philosophical-minded readers. Keller's book is a little bit easier to digest, and goes step by step through typical objections to reasonable faith.

Here's my suggestion. Go to your local library and see which one you might like. Read the first few chapters of one of them. If you don't like it, try the first few chapters of the other. If you still don't like it, give up. I'm ok with that. But, you've got to try. It's too important not to have an opinion on.

April 06, 2009

"That's Just the Way I Am"


...does NOT get you off the hook for being a jerk.

You do not have an uncontrollable propensity for swearing, arrogance, bitterness or the like. These things can be controlled. If not immediately, then over time. You are not trapped in your former self. Stop the cop-outs.

April 03, 2009

Old Earth or Young Earth?


Continuing off our "why do scientists offer such differing conclusions" topic from yesterday...

I can find scientists who believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old. But, I can't find any who aren't Christians.

April 02, 2009

Economic Politics


If economics is a science, why do all of these "scientists" have such drastically different approaches for how to best climb out of our current financial situation?

It's not necessarily that any of their economic calculations are wrong. It's because they all have different beliefs in what a good financial situation looks like, and what the role of government should be within it.

So, next time you hear the president or anyone else say "economists agree with me", remember that it means nothing.

April 01, 2009

Symmetry of Death


Penn Jillette made an interesting point on his video blog, searching for consistency within the abortion debate. His argument is that at the end of one's life, no brain activity means you can legally pull the plug on them, so shouldn't no brain activity of the unborn child mean they don't have human rights either?

I think this argument of consistency could do well in the legislation world. But, here's my ethical problem with it. In the case of the dying patient on the gurney, if you KNEW that in a certain number of weeks their brain would start kicking again, there's no way you'd pull the plug, right?