The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Good News From Christianity: Our Chance

I've been an advocate for using social media to spread the Good News for some time. Glad to see this from my denomination. Will you be involved in a little digital evangelism in the best sense of the word (spreading the joy you feel in your faith and what your belief has done for you). Give it a shot. It's fun and it's out there 24/7. You too can be a blessing to others.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 





Friday, March 30, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Official Trailer #2 - (2012) Movie

I have found I have an affinity for improbably titled moves. Last year, it was Cowboys and Aliens. This year, it's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In years past, it has been Bubba Hotep with the king of the B's Bruce Campbell, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Manos Hands of Fate, Prince of Space, and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Many of these films were shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and treated with the respect they so richly deserved. I can only recommend Cowboys and Aliens and Bubba Hotep (and Hotep only to men, women find it about as interesting as the Three Stooges, so not a date night movie guys). For more, see http://www.oddee.com/item_96786.aspx  and similar sites. You'll find there are many improbably titled movies out there and on these sites you can see the posters (a real "treat"). See you at the movies.

UPDATE, November 2012: Recently saw Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter on DVD and I have to say, it's not half bad. It lives up to the title, let's put it that way. Or, you could say, if you liked 2004's Van Helsing, you'll like Abe. Vampire hunting with a silver ax is a nice twist! As for Mary Todd, who knew???

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sloggin' Thru Blogging: The Link Seems To Help

It's a little early to consider any results definitive, but attaching a link to my children's book's publisher at the bottom of each and every post does seem to be drawing some wanted attention and clicks through to the publisher. Whether it manages to increase sales ... only time will tell.

Frankly, in the several years of this experiment, I as a writer have found blogging to be a great deal of fun but a less than efficient way to promote a book. If you choose this approach, do so knowing you'll to be in it for the long haul.

Good luck. And there's the aforementioned link, just below.


If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spock VS Q (Leonard Nimoy & John de Lancie)

Happy 81st Birthday Year Leonard Nimoy. Thanks for all the years of great entertainment.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Leaders: How You Say What You Say Really Matters

I was over on Facebook the other day and found an NPR notification that Richard Dawkins would be speaking for "reason" and the "delusion of religion." Now Richard is known for his vitriol and bile when it comes to Christianity. (He is also known for his gross generalizations and for harping only on fundamentalists of faith, Sorry, getting off track.) The comments following were truly discouraging to read. Both those who agreed and disagreed with Mr. Dawkins's point of view were downright nasty in their responses to each other and each others' points of view. This was followed by a Christian Left article stating that many of those against homosexuals of all stripes would like to see them in Hitler-style death camps and ovens. (Frankly, folks, when you stoop to using Hitler you've lost your argument.) I refused to even approach their comments section. I'd had enough from the Dawkins gang.

The point is, we are social creatures and we do take cues on how to behave from each other. Leaders of nations, states, churches, social groups, scientific groups, etc. all need to temper their remarks. They need to engage in civil discourse because hearers and readers do take their cues from what they say and respond in kind. Worse, while some leaders may use such nastiness to make a point but never truly take it seriously, many of their followers do. This can lead to violence in extreme cases and fraying of the social fabric in all cases.

If you want to make arguments for your cause, tell us how wonderful it is and the great things it has done for your life. Don't bombard us with invectives and accuse us of being a mindless moron (or Hitler [again you lose using this one]) for believing our point of view. You'll have a much greater chance of having us at least listen to you. Take the venom and bile approach and we will dismiss you at the very least. Get too close when you say it and you'll probably get punched in the nose.

We need to live together in society. We need to be civil to one another. We need to drop the extreme position that every discussion is a win or lose situation. We need to return to the far more humble attitude that we might learn from each other if we listen. Very few situations in this world are black and white. Shades of gray, multiple levels of complexity, and new discoveries make many things complex and in need of input from many sources. this can't happen with an "I will not only win this argument, I will destroy you in the process" attitude. This is the thinking of the provocateur, the extremist who will never listen to reason. If we head in that direction, we are going to be in deep trouble.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 






Monday, March 26, 2012

NASA's Orion: From Factory to Flight

I hear a lot of nonsense about the end of human spaceflight with the end of NASA's Space Shuttle system. This video should prove that false (provided nitwits in Congress don't get their way). I want to remind you that the gap between the last Apollo flight in 1972 and the first Space Shuttle flight in 1981 was nine long years. If Orion stays on target, the window between final Shuttle flight and first crewed Orion launch should be shorter. In the meantime, private space companies are also working on humans to space launch systems and capsules, unlike the situation in the 1970s and early 1980s. So, human spaceflight is far from over for the United States. We are just in the unfortunate lull between the systems. I've lived through this before, hated it, but enjoyed the flights that followed. I just wish we had been able to move forward with deep space flight in parallel with the Shuttle missions. Unfortunately, the folks that fund the programs aren't so far sighted. But, I have to give credit to those politicians who believe in the program and keep it moving forward, even in difficult times. And before you state that tired old line about using the money to support folks back here on earth, let me remind you of that tired old (but always true) retort, all of the money spent is spent on firms and individuals here on earth, providing jobs for many while inspiring all of us, extending our knowledge, and exciting tomorrow's scientists and engineers in the process. The program is well worth the money spent, years involved, and risks taken.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good News From Christianity: Overcoming Self-Rejection

One of the greatest dangers in the spiritual life is self-rejection. When we say, "If people really knew me, they wouldn't love me," we choose the road toward darkness. Often we are made to believe that self-deprecation is a virtue, called humility. But humility is in reality the opposite of self-deprecation. It is the grateful recognition that we are precious in God's eyes and that all we are is pure gift. To grow beyond self-rejection we must have the courage to listen to the voice calling us God's beloved sons and daughters, and the determination always to live our lives according to this truth
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

Along with self-rejection comes hypercritical judgment of oneself. I've been there, done that, been miserable for it, and with God's grace gotten beyond that (with the help of friends and colleagues) to live a much happier life. If you make mistakes and rake yourself over the coals in a way you would never let anyone else, know that this is not the life you are called to live. If you beat yourself up this way, in time you'll feel so miserable you'll treat others in the same way. 

Seek to free yourself from both self-rejection and hypercritical judgment. Seek the help of those who love you and spiritual guidance of those trained to help. As Henri Nouwen wrote, you are a much loved child of God and God wants to journey with you through a beautiful (if sometimes difficult) life.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Robotic Refueling Mission Team

There is another robot at work outside the International Space Station while R2 is beginning work within the station. This is DEXTRE robot built by Canada and working on experiments in robotic refueling of satellites on the ISS exterior. If all goes well, this may extend the life of the ISS as it services satellites never meant for refueling, saving nations a great deal of money.


If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Demand Repeal of ALL Stand Your Ground Laws, Save Lives

According to USA Today and The Atlantic Wire, 23 states to date have Stand Your Ground laws like the Florida law that led to the tragedy where a "neighborhood watch volunteer" George Zimmerman, armed with a handgun, pursued 17 year old Trayvon Martin, against the instruction from a 911 operator that he cease doing so and let the law act, and gunned Martin down. Zimmerman alleges he felt threatened by the teen he was pursuing, a teen who lived near by and whose only crime apparently was being seen by the wrong person at the wrong moment. Because of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman was not arrested for gunning down Martin, who carried such sinister items on his person as a bottle of iced tea and a package of candy. Zimmerman's claim of self defense, tenuous as it was in the face of evidence, left the man free to pursue others he considers a "threat." It appears numerous cases have never come to trial in Florida since the enactment of this ill-advised law.

The 23 states with this law are: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania has a similar law. [NOTE:According to an interview on Marti Moss Coane's Radio Times on 3/22/12 as many as 32 states have some variant of this law!] Add this to lax regulations on who may own and carry a gun (see Virginia's repeal of the effective one gun per month law) and you have a toxic mix that is sure to lead to additional tragedies. Flood these states with calls, letters, and emails demanding the repeal of these insidious laws before your child becomes the next victim. This vile and dangerous legislation must not stand, for the sakes of innocent lives everywhere.

As you flood these states with repeal demands, hug your children and warn them to stay safe, keep away from paranoid individuals and anyone who is actively, suspiciously watching them. Keep safe.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Avoiding Emotional Child Abuse and Its Lingering Effects

Once upon a time there was a children's TV show host whose air name was "Captain Kangaroo." His heyday was in the 1960s and 1970s and I was among his many young fans. Many years later, the good Captain, a.k.a. Bob Keeshan, wrote a book entitled Growing Up Happy: Captain Kangaroo Tells Yesterday's Children How to Nurture Their Own. There is a lot of wisdom in this book, some of it hard won. Even if you never watched the Captain as a kid, this book is worth a look. Here is Bob's closing remark on the painful subject of the emotional abuse of children:

Every parental action, every parental word weighs heavily with a child. that is why the language of sexual stereotyping, even casually spoken, can have serious and lasting effect. That is why the language of denigration can destroy a child's confidence and self-esteem, leading to a lifetime of unhappiness. That is why parent power should take the form of "Hey, I like you, you're okay.""Don't worry about it. Give it another try. You can do it.""Did I remember to tell you I love you?"That language of parent power will make a child bloom, and bloom prettier than the most beautiful hothouse orchid.

Bob is exactly right. Further, such abuse can come from other sources as well. Today's society is pretty casual with the derogatory labels and defamatory language (need I refer to Rush Limbaugh's recent "slut" outburst?). The impact of emotional abuse can be life-long. Working as a chaplain in a retirement community as part of my Masters of Divinity degree program, I met a lady in her late sixties whose father had wanted a son, not her, and made that clear every day of her young life. He called her names, denigrated her abilities (you're only a "girl"), and generally let her know she was not the child he had wanted. Those awful messages had followed her all her life. She had come to think of herself as her father had seen her and it had twisted her entire life. It was awful to hear this and to see the impact such harsh and abusive statements had in her life.

Parents: I know the job is tough. I know there are days when the kid(s) have you at your wits end. I know how children can push your buttons. But stop, take deep breaths, and think before lashing out with abusive language. A moment's fury for you could lead to a lifetime of pain for them. Remember that those same children also love you fiercely and look to you for everything.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 





Monday, March 19, 2012

Resolving Conflict ... A Brief How-To

I have found that one of the ways to defuse knee-jerk confrontation follows the old Drag Net series model: "Just the facts ..." If someone comes at you with a full head of steam and a complaint (often not well thought through and full of spur of the moment energy), be level headed, keep the personal out of it (as conflict on many levels is not as personal as it feels), and relate the facts of the situation. This is done in an emotionless tone, quietly spoken so the other person really has to listen to hear you, and with careful politeness. You'll be surprised how fast this lowers the emotional level and brings the other person to a more even keel where a discussion and an agreement can be reached. It beats the "pissing match" that can be the ugly alternative. This is especially useful with folks who have discovered over the years that if they come at a problem with plenty of bluster and blow they will get their way. (Of course, this approach works best if the person coming at you is wrong in their demand. If they are right, best to offer a quick apology, warmly stated. In either case, the other person must not be allowed to beat you up. Stand up for your rights and your boundaries, even when you are in the wrong and need to make that apology.)

Here is some more information, both about levels of conflict and their resolution. Good luck!


Levels of Conflict:
           
Levels 1-2 can be resolved, level 3 can be resolved, level 4 and 5 can’t be resolved without an outside mediator. Most people operating at the high levels aren’t healthiest and thrive there.  As you move up the levels, the issue is ever more about power and control.

LEVEL 5. Intractable Situations: Conflict run amok. Object: Basically to destroy one's opponent. Antagonists work up at this level.

LEVEL 4. Fight/flight: Object of people fighting is to hurt opponents, get rid of opponents or both. Good of the organization is not in consideration and won’t be. Can’t appeal to it. At least one party has crystallized only 2 options, I win or lose. If I win, I stay and you go. If I lose, you stay and I go.

LEVEL 3. Contests: Those at this level see this as win/lose situation. Somebody needs to lose. Need to win or lose may overtake the issue. Can still have a healthy resolution here and reframe to win/win at this level. Harder, however. Each level up, language becomes less clear. Eliminate always and never from the conversation. Always should be used never. When say you always do this, response is exception, not the argument topic. Mind goes to exception to the always. This is off topic. To help groups, eliminate always and never. This strategy has the potential to move out of the conflict.

LEVEL 2. Disagreements: Conflict shaded with self defending. Takes on personalities at this level and it is  harder to stay open. Language is less clear. Individuals move away from specifics toward generalities. Still solvable.
  
LEVEL 1. Problems to Solve: Have to work out a solution of the problem. Normal conflict resolution works with this. Anger may come up at any level. This isn’t thought of as people-oriented at this level. But churches like to personify things, so our job is to keep the problem but take the names away. The issue isn’t about so and so, he or she raised a good issue for us as a church. Take the personal out of it. Keep conversation at the level of the problem. Language is clear, little anger, language straightforward, few hidden agendas.

Conflict Resolution:  (looking at tools)
Clarifying the Conflict Situation:
            A. Who are the people and factions involved?
            B. What are the issues – not only talked about, but also the ones that are felt?
            C. What are the underlying causes?
            D. What is the extent of the conflict? How far has it progressed in terms of involving people, wider issues, and the hardening of positions?
            E. What are the priorities? How urgent is this particular conflict, in comparison with others that may be present or developing?
            F. (Added) Remain as a non-anxious presence (refer back to my strategy above) to defuse anxiety. Works at levels 1 & 2.

Plan of Action:
            A. Who should do and say what?
            B. With whom?
            C. When?
            D. How?
            E. In order to accomplish what? 

(This information is based on a seminary class and is sound for any situation.)

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 





 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Riding the Booster" Never Sounded Better

I thought my tribute videos to the magnificence that was Space Shuttle flight were over. But this ride on Shuttle solid rocket boosters is amazing. Stick through all 8 minutes from take off to water landing. You'll be glad you did. Here's hoping the next phase of human space exploration is even more amazing.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 





Friday, March 16, 2012

Dark Shadows Trailer 2012 HD Johnny Depp

Oh it looks like it will be a summer of unique and unusual movies ... with Dark Shadows (my first response was ... REALLY?! ... I mean the original was hardly TV gold) and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, most notable among others. Guess I'll be spending some time at the movies. How about you?

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 





Neil Armstrong narrating his landing using Google Moon

Combining history with today's technology to give you a closer look at history, presented to you by a man who made history back in 1969. Take a ride to the lunar surface with Neil Armstrong.

Update: Sadly, it must be stated that on August 25, 2012, reports came out that Neil Armstrong has died 43 years after his famous adventure. You will never be forgotten, Neil!

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 








Narrated Tour of the Moon

Earlier we took a sweeping tour of Mars via orbiting robot. Now we'll do the same with the moon. The largest crater is absolutely stunning. Some of the sizes listed are truly amazing. Enjoy what new space technology has brought you ...

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 






Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be Relevant, Be Joy-filled, Be Compassionate

Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.
Abraham Heschel

This Polish born American rabbi and leading theologian has it right (of course he does). For faith today to make inroads in society, it must be relevant, active, loving, compassionate, joyful, ... in other words, overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit. The faithful need to roll up their sleeves, enter their neighborhoods, and find out how they can partner with all who struggle there to help improve lives, save lives, and create a better world where they live. The faithful who also believe like Abraham Heschel did need to speak out and write compassionately and engagingly to counter the strident voices of religions that have become irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid, replacing faith with creed, etc. Right now, those voices drown out the rest and all of us are tarred with the same brush. All religion is being lumped into one angry, fuming, irrelevant basket, which does none of us any good. Speak out, engage, live out a loving faith for all to see.  

Right now I'm teaching a Sunday School series requiring articles on specific topics written by Christians (pastors, theologians, etc.) and finding writers who are not of the conservative/evangelical stripe (and there are some great writers in this tradition--don't get me wrong) is very difficult. Moderate to liberal voices of faith simply aren't being heard ... and that is simply wrong, especially for a religion that wants to remain relevant.

I found this quote introducing the first chapter of The Luminous Web:Essays on Science and Religion, by Barbara Brown Taylor

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Friday, March 9, 2012

Japanese scientist unveils thinking humanoid robot

Okay, here's a robot from Japan that learns what it needs to know from Internet surfing on Google. I wonder if the builders have placed restrictions on where it goes and what it learns. I hope so or the robot apocalypse may be coming sooner than we think. Who knows what it is learning out there. Then again, the whole project may collapse if it gets caught up in Angry Birds.

The last line is a little spooky. Picking up moral values off the Internet? Exactly whose? It makes you think.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Love Again" - 2011 Camaro Z28 Spec Commercial Ad Campaign: Met the Original Today

Met an old Z28 from the 1970s like the one in this ad on the road today. Beautiful condition, truly loved by the lucky driver. There was one thing that tarnished the moment for me though. The "Antique Vehicle" license plate. Ouch. It doesn't seem that long ago to me. How about you? Are you pre-millennial enough to have met the early Z face to face? Let me know.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Most Astounding Fact (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)


Be astounded. Listen to the way Neil DeGrasse Tyson delivers facts. Here's our next Carl Sagan.

I am inspired by him to work out most astounding ways to deliver facts myself.

Thanks to Universe Today for pointing me to this short film (http://www.universetoday.com/94010/the-most-astounding-fact-about-the-universe/).

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Unexpected Humor from Microsoft's Spell Check

I write and edit for a living. It's what I do. I would never do it without a computer ... I used to back in the day, but not anymore, never. I know my way around Microsoft Word. I keep the spell check updated with the arcana I edit and leave the suggestions running as a second, AI set of eyes.

Yesterday, while editing fashion-related material, the spell check highlighted womenswear as being wrong ... as this spell checker just did. The first suggestion for its replacement was "women swear." Considering the subject matter I found this downright amusing and many women may consider it entirely appropriate. Come to think of it, with menswear ... Yeah, I think spell check may be on to something.
Womenswear, women swear, yeah, I can see it.

The response was a lot more profound than I'd expected. Like I said, I'll never write without a computer again. Keep on suggestin' li'l buddy. I'm listening.
If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Thursday, March 1, 2012

[ISS] Robonaut 2 Checkout (14th February 2012)



Moving closer and closer to Robonaut 2 working on the ISS. Checking out all the joints in this video. Looks like R2 is coming along just fine. The first humanoid robot in space is having continued success.

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 



WBFF Ghost Host intro 1980s


Okay, this is the last one. One more horror host of yore. The Ghost Host out of Baltimore. This guy came on at midnight. Love the cheap recorded effects ... was that a record crackling I heard? The strange thing was this character had no real performance, no hook. He just stood there stiff in the middle distance, welcomed you briefly, and told you what movie would show tonight. A classic, low budget bit. I wonder if he's still around?

If you like what you read here, you can support this blog (don't let me go it alone here): You can order a copy of the children's book Michael and the New Baby directly from Old Line Publishing at: http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingChildrensMichaelandtheNewBabybyJSBrooks.htm 




Cosmologist Grinds Ax on Radio Times, Tired Schtick, Old Data

The time: February 28, 2012. The place: Marty Moss-Coane's Radio Times. The situation: Tedious interview with new atheist cosmologist Lawrence Krauss and his "new" book of apparently rehashed material (couldn't tell otherwise from what was heard) who spent his time grinding his ax over issues of fundamentalist faith, which evidently really provoke him. Results: Silly name calling, old information, and nothing to keep the attention of anyone with even a passing knowledge of science. The result: Tuned to another station in disgust in 30 minutes.

I really like Marty Moss-Coane and her show. I've been interviewed there and considered it a high privilege. But the Lawrence Krauss interview on this particular Tuesday morning was an awful bore. Half way through I tuned out, tired of the old routine and aged "facts."

Look, new atheists, get a grip. Most Christians do not believe as the fundamentalists do. Repeat that to yourself three times, really slowly. Let it sink in. Most Christians of the moderate to progressive ranks are quite interested in cutting edge science, as I am. We want to hear what is new, our faith is not threatened by this information (hard to believe, no?), and we are far too mature to be impressed or swayed by your petty name calling or negative evidence "proofs."

Lawrence, and your buddy Richard, listen, your act is old and out of date. What do we hear when we listen to you? We hear fundamentalist atheists railing against fundamentalists of the religious sort, using arguments that are tired, thread bare, and really out of date. Lawrence, do you really believe any thinking faithful person has really supported that tired old "God of the Gaps" theology in the last thirty years? My lord, man, do some research. Speaking of research, in the first thirty minutes of Marty's show, which was all I could stomach, there was not one single fact or discovery that I hadn't already heard before, sometimes long ago and by folks far more engaging and less prickly than you. I thought your assertion that (if I have this straight ... and I may not ... I may have nodded off there) nothing before the Big Bang moment of singularity mattered because today's science cannot measure it. Now there's the rub. If science can't measure it, you are going to either disregard it or childishly, churlishly make fun of it with schoolboy japes. It's old sir, it's uninformed, it's knee jerk fundamentalism.

Come back when you want to discuss the new discoveries of radically different planets in our galaxy or other amazing evidence of realities far more complex than we imagined that will capture our attention, inspire our imaginations, and make us want to look to science for wonder and education. Until then, shelve the tired old "new" atheist routine and go back to science. Nobody is looking to you to disprove God. Nobody is interested. Get back to real science.

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