Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SHOULD ALL THIS TECHNOLOGY CONCERN US A LITTLE?

With our advanced technology, it is amazing what we have come to accept as the way things are, leaving us to just shrug our shoulders.


For example, we've all seen this type of error come across our computer screens, often at the expense of a lot of work.




Aren't all errors unexpected?

Are you some of you setting out to make mistakes?

I am reminded of the time, years ago, that Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors a press release that included the following: 

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft...for no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day...(and) for some reason you would simply accept this.

There is no doubt that we all benefit from technology. 

And look at the impact it has had, with industries that have risen and fallen within our lifetimes.

The video rental business did not exist prior to 1980 and is all but extinct. 



Ditto the compact disc.


Remember your Sony Walkman?



How about your boombox?



I know a couple of you readers remember these...




Even music downloads are looking like their days are numbered, as streaming looks to be the delivery model of the future.

To everything, there is a season. 

For the record (those are pretty much gone, too!), Pete Seeger stole that line from a much older lyricist.

Does anyone even have a home phone anymore? Ever see a pay phone these days?



Where the heck does Superman change clothes?



Remember when you used to have to develop film?



And now cars warn you when you're drifting out of your lane.



Yes, the world has changed.

But we may want to be careful how much control we cede to technology. 



I am not rushing to have my home security controlled by my phone, for example, especially when my naked selfies are not even secure on my phone.

After all, as scary as the thought of a nekkid photo of me is, remember how scary it can be when the technology takes over:



I'll be back!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

IS GOD DEAD?



A (Christian-a rarity in my company) coworker recommended the recent film God’s Not Dead to me, because, in his words, “the main character argues like you do.”

The main story line in the film involves Josh, a student in a college philosophy class who refuses to do so when instructed by the professor to sign a statement declaring “God is dead.” 

The professor gives Josh twenty minutes in each of the next three classes to make his case that God is not dead.

I watched the clip on the IMDB page and got what my coworker meant. 

I loved the scene, and in fact, have lived the scene many times (I’ll explain later).

I read reviews of the film, but few seemed to be very objective. 

The atheist reviewers generally trashed it, and to Christian reviewers it was generally the best film ever made.

Having watched the film, I will say that it was nowhere as good as I hoped, although the three scenes that involve Josh making his case for the class are quite good.

However, after watching those scenes, I disagree with my coworker.

I’d credit Josh for making far more thought out and researched arguments than I ever do.

I argue like “My Cousin Vinny.” 

Remember this scene?





My buddies and I used to have senseless arguments like this one all the time. 

Mind you, my buddies were not as cute as Marisa Tomei and the arguments never ended with us kissing (usually one would tell the other to "fuck off"), but we'd pick a point and defend it senselessly until the other one gave up. The louder the better.

Back in those days, the goal was to win the argument at all costs, logic be damned.

As an adult, I try to maintain logic (although sometimes I do revert to my younger self). 

I go with the facts I remember and rely on my wits (well, half of them, anyway). 

I am forthcoming when I do not have facts, but I engage in the debate more to pull information out of my opponent rather than trying to “win” anything or change my opponent’s mind.

In the film, Josh does his homework and finds data posited by theist and atheist scientists alike to make his case.

After the debate scenes, it falls apart a little. Some of the  director's choices were questionable (at best) in my opinion.

Kevin Sorbo plays the college professor like a villain from an old A-Team episode, at one point threatening to make it his mission to destroy Josh's academic career.




There are a few interwoven subplots, but sadly these characters are all stereotypes:

* The controlling girlfriend who breaks up with him because he did not simply drop the class




* The Chinese exchange student and his strict father are carbon copies of the two characters in the Heroes TV series, which were derivative of characters going back decades




* The bullying strict Muslim father and the beautiful young daughter who has assimilated into our culture and is secretly Christian




* The visiting foreign priest whose vacation is ruined by one mishap after another but he never gets frazzled

* The local priest who thinks his parish work is trivial




* The business executive son who has no time for his mother with Alzheimer's and who dumps the blogger is having an affair with when she is diagnosed with cancer and needs his support

* The beautiful daughter of the Alzheimer's patient who is a devout Christian and the college professor's emotionally abused girlfriend




* The Christian band who seemingly make a believer out of the cancer patient and plays a concert that makes the end of the film drag on to it's cliched ending with the college professor. (For the record, the band at Christ's Church of The Valley in Phoenix blows the band in the film away)

The other problem I have is that all the Christian characters are portrayed as saints, and all non-Christians are either idiotic or evil.

That said, the film is worth watching for the debate scenes alone, and there are few other scenes I liked, even though some were absolute cliches.

I would suggest Christians and atheists alike not to expect the film to prove or disprove their point of view.

Watch it and enjoy the debate. 

It may lead you to do some further reading. 

You remember reading, right? 

It's what you do when you receive a text.

Only books are longer.

I could not find a clip of the scene from the IMDb page, although here is a link to that page (it's the clip to the right under "videos"), or you could start watching at 13:30 in the clip I have inserted below.

For me, it was the best scene in the movie.

What I find so compelling about this scene is that I have argued religion versus science with Christians and Atheists alike and had the same experience.

My position is that religion and science are not mutually exclusive, which seems to be the position Josh takes in the film.

Many Christians would not agree and would take the Bible literally.

Atheists would throw out the Bible in its entirety.

But every atheist I have ever debated with always wants to convert the believer, which always makes me wonder why?

Are they insecure in their non-belief? That old saying that no one is an atheist in a foxhole would seem to support this.

My last discussion with an atheist started when he made the statement that there can be no intelligent political discussion in this country until religion is eliminated.

Wow. 

Pretty stark. 

All Christians lack intelligence? 

Every one?

I countered that there can not be intelligent discussion about anything without respect for the other party.

For those of you who are not inclined to go rent the film (although most streaming services seem to have it), here are the debate scenes (for as long as the You Tube link remains active).





I had a good friend who was a confirmed atheist, but I lost touch with him in the decade between his retiring and his passing, so I did not see him at the end.

I have always wondered what he believed as he took his last breath.

Does God exist?

I think at the end of the day it comes down to faith.

But if there is no God, that means everything beautiful in this world happened by chance, not design.

And it also means we go through all that we go through for nothing.

Does God exist?

It's kind of a depressing thought to think He doesn't.

Friday, October 10, 2014

CAN THE SCALES OF JUSTICE MEASURE A NICKEL BAG?



Prosecutors in Montgomery County, Texas, have filed paperwork to have Adrian Peterson's bail revoked and the Minnesota Vikings running back re-arrested after he told a drug tester that he had recently smoked marijuana before taking a urinalysis test Wednesday.

Now I would agree that “smoking a little weed” before a drug test might not be the smartest behavior, but isn’t revoking Peterson's bail a little extreme?



Isn’t the whole point of bail to keep the individual from being a flight risk?

Ever “smoke a little weed?”

No? 

Yeah, right-you didn't inhale....


Ever been around anyone who did?



Do these guys look like they could ever be a flight risk?



Or these guys?



The only flight risk you have with a stoner is if someone forgets to lock the back of the Doritos delivery truck!


So, beating a child wasn't enough to get him locked up, but smoke some chronic and they throw away the key!

Is our justice system screwed up or what?

ARE AMERICANS TOO DUMB TO LIVE?

We've all seen these signs...they want us to slow down around schools to protect the precious youth of America.




First off, I've seen some of these yewts....they're really not that precious.

In fact, from the sheer quantity of them, they appear to be a dime a dozen.

But I digress....

The school zone near me says this:




Now, if the school zone is only in effect when our little snot-nosed rug rats are in school, and the restriction is off otherwise, what are they doubling?

If there's no fine when school us out, then doubling nothing is nothing!

That's why I hit the school zone at seventy...it does those kinds good to run a little! 

I'm supporting Michelle Obama's war against child obesity.

While I am at it, you parents who think your kids are so special that you put this on the back of your mini-van (which, by the way, if you drive one, is a sign that your life is over)....



I thought these went the way of the mullet, but someone must have found a bunch in a warehouse because I'm seeing them again.

Do you really think I think your kids are so unique that I am actually going to change my driving habits around you because they might be in the car with you?

Here's a thought-maybe you should drive more safely!

Similar to those with stick figure decals, my proposed law allows these drivers to be hunted year round.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

STUPID NEWS HEADLINES

This was one of the feature stories on Arizona's news last evening....




Now any time anyone is killed in an automobile accident, it's a tragedy...

But you think maybe the advice might have been more relevant before the accident?

After the accident, why not let people grieve?



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WHAT I BELIEVE (well, whatt Steve Martin believes, anyway)

I was looking for a "medieval barber" sketch from SNL to include the link in my comment of Your Daily Dose (valuable health care suggestion)-couldn't find one, but found this and forgot how funny it was.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

ARE AMERICANS TOO DUMB TO LIVE (THE NEW SEASON)?


Now this may be the case with all television stations, but the ones in Arizona really think their viewers are DUMB.

Warranted or not.

Notice anything about the picture below?





I mean, besides the fact that Caribe Devine is smokin' hot?

If you look at the outlook, on Thursday, they predict a high of 92.

Friday, they call for 97, and Saturday, 99.

Now you might be thinking "92-that's low for Phoenix in early October," but that's not what I'm looking at here.

I'm looking at Caribe. 

And the fact that she felt the need to add the word "warmer" on those days where the temperature was higher than 92 degrees.

You see, beautiful, we kind of got that when THE NUMBER was HIGHER.

You see why McCarthy and I rag on Arizona?