Posts

Showing posts from October, 2003
Gender Genie
The "Big Three" have been blogging about the Gender Genie program that analyzes writing and determines whether the writer is male or female. See what Andrew, Glenn, and Virginia have to say.

So I tried it on my blog entries. My Monday, October 27, 2003 entry, "Weekend round-up" came up with this score:
Words: 372
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)
Female Score: 561
Male Score: 825

Okay, somewhat male! But under 500 words so I tried another entry. I feed in my Friday, October 24, 2003 entry about "Catcher In the Rye" and this came back:
Words: 434
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)
Female Score: 1038
Male Score: 589

Oh my, my feminine side was showing! But again, not over 500 words.

I looked for a longer post and found my Friday, October 17, 2003 essay on Hosea 2:14-15. I didn't include the Bible text itself and this is the result:
Words: 555
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of…
GO Bruins!
Not much was expected of the UCLA Bruin football team this year. And they still have time to live down to the lowered expectations. There are four games left in the season.

This weekend, all eyes are on Washington State and USC as they are the top two Pac10 teams in the eyes of the BCS. Technically, UCLA is tied for the Pac10 lead but because the victories were so anemic, the pollsters think UCLA is lucky. As an honest sports viewer, I can't dispute that. The key is how the Bruins do in their final four games. Stanford is a road game and thus always dangerous. Oregon, WSU and USC follow and each have the offense to make the Bruins look bad. Npw, if the Bruins go 4-0 I'll be really amazed. A 2-2 finish would be very respectable.

Hoping for the best.

clap - clap - clap - clap - clap - clap -clap - clap - U - C - L - A - fight, fight, fight!!!!
Christian Apologists on the Web
It is good to see some Christians are taking their perspectives onto the internet. So often, people of faith are slow to adopt new technology.

Anyway, those hostile to faith have their own site and they have their right to do that. I can imagine there are many others. But it is good to see, these two sites, here and here taking up the cause of Christianity. Check 'em and look up your questions and see if they address it.
Economy on the upswing?
Saw this item that says the economy might be moving again. I would guess such growth rates aren't sustainable but to have them in the + side is good news. Wonder how do the Federal deficit projections look with these new GDP figures?
11 dimensions!

Elegant Universe (hat tip to my blog buddy over at TTC) was broadcast on PBS the other night. I set the VCR and will again next week as the documentry on the latest theories on the universe are discussed.

As somebody who barely passed 1 year of physics lite (Physics for life science majors) and 4 quarters of calculus, I've really enjoyed these kinds of documentries that try to make the arcane world of Cosmology and Astrophysics accessible.
Anthropic principle in Cosmology Conference Story in NYT
Saw this interesting item in the NYT. Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt.

As molecular biologist, I love science and try to be at least aware of some of the latest rumbling in some other fields. Cosmology has got to be one of the most interesting things going on scientifically.

Excerpts:CLEVELAND — Cosmology used to be a heartless science, all about dark matter lost in mind-bending abysses and exploding stars. But whenever physicists and astronomers gather, the subject that roils lunch, coffee breaks or renegade cigarette breaks tends to be not dark matter or the fate of the universe. Rather it is about the role and meaning of life in the cosmos.

Cosmologists held an unusual debate on the question during a recent conference, "The Future of Cosmology," at Case Western Reserve University here.

According to a controversial notion known as the anthropic principle, certain otherwise baffling features of the universe can only be under…
A rock and a hard place
The news out of Iraq is disheartening. Will the Iraqis blame the US or will they be steeled in their resolve that Hussein and his loyalists must be defeated? Will they stand up and claim their freedom for a future without Hussein?

If the critics here in the USA and elsewhere have their way and get the US to *leave* Iraq, what is going to happen? Hussein will come out of hiding and take over. Only the US is strong enough to even attempt to restore some order in Iraq. Dennis Prager commented on his radio show this morning: we face this choice -- stick it out and suffer casulties or leave and let an entire nation fall to totalitarianism again. What do so called freedom loving liberals have to say about those options? Do they have an alternative?
Comments feature activated!
Finally, I got around to putting in the appropriate coding to get the comments link working. If you drop by, please feel free to leave me and the rest of the readership a note via the comments link!
Weekend round-up

I try not to be too preachy in my blogging but I guess sometimes being a passionate blogger means you jump on a cause and push it and in this case, I'll jump on a shoebox.

There is a terrific effort called, Operation Christmas Child. My church participates in it each year and we got our first announcement about it yesterday.

If you are reading this post, hope your church and any service organizations you are a part of plan to participate in this effort or others like it.

Sometimes, people might ask, are such things worth it? People overseas have so many needs that this seems too little. But given the choice of doing what we can versus doing nothing at all, I think it is a no-brainer. And maybe someday, we will find ourselves doing more. In the end, the emotional struggle we face when we open our eyes to see the needs of the world is the realization there is so much of it and then the temptation to despair leading to inaction. This train of thought must be res…

Bookshelf: Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye
Recently started to volunteer with the junior high group at my church. I confess, I don't remember being that antsy when I was a kid. Of course, we remember what we want to remember! Its been a great celebration of life and faith to be with them. They interact with religious ideas in short blocks of time (attention span is still finite -- do we ever totally grow out of that?) and can do so with intellectual honesty and begin to see that there are consequences of belief. They are taking the first tentative steps in a journey that could last a lifetime with eternal consequences.

My hope for us as volunteers and staff is that we can be their guides and cheerleaders. But in today's world with so many dangers, I suspect there will be occasions we will be asked to be more than that. Kyrie Eleison. Christe Eleison.

A few months ago, I decided to revisit my "teenage" life by reading a book that is often on middle school reading lists, Catcher i…
Gehry speaks at Disney Hall Ceremony
Yesterday, the Disney Hall had a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration. See this LA Times story for all the details. Here is an excerpt:Los Angeles architect Gehry, however, explained how he designed a floral pattern that adorns Disney Hall's carpets and seats in homage to just one woman: the late Lillian Disney, whose $50-million gift in 1987 set the project in motion. The hall is also flower-like in form and is surrounded by lush gardens.

"I told her I'd make a flower garden for her," said Gehry, as he leaned into a clear podium with his hands clasped. Gehry described his role in the project as "a great experience, personally."
Also check out this item from CNN.com and be sure to click on the slideshow with wonderful photos.
Miracle of life, another story
Back on October 9, I posted a story of a young woman who volunteers at a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). This past weekend, I heard the story of another woman who works on staff at a CPC.

Her story was another amazing one. She was a teenager and in her early twenties when she made some bad decisions about relationships. In one case, she gave the baby up for adoption and in the other, she had an abortion.

She lived with the guilt of her abortion decision for many years and always wondered what happened to the baby daughter she gave up.

I'm not familiar with adoption law, but apparently, she was allowed to write to the daughter she gave up but that daughter would not receive the file of letters until she turned 18. At that point, the child could seek to meet her biological mother.

The daughter decided to meet her mother. The daughter at some point in her youth became a Christian and so when she met her mother, she thanked her for deciding for life…
Los Angeles Abuzz With Disney Hall Expectations
I'll be going to my first concert there soon. I'll be sure to blog about it. Here are some photos I took of the Disney Hall. Enjoy!

The Disney Hall is probably the most high profile addition to downtown LA in an ongoing effort to revitalize the area. The other big addition was Staples Center and the Cathedral. I suppose it does say something about our humanity that the downtown renewal project would include a non-traditional looking Cathedral, a "shrine" to sports (Staples) and a "temple" to the musical arts (Disney). Perhaps, it could be said that these are places to celebrate, the body, soul and spirit?

I am hopeful that LA Downtown will be revived. I was recently in Minneapolis and the downtown there has its not so good areas but there are definite areas that were alive at night with restaurant options, cafes, bookstores, etc. However, in Los Angeles, when the office workers leave, the downtown is nea…
Hosea 2:14-15
(14) "Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
(15)"Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Incredible!! After all the waywardness (see previous posts on Hosea), God is still trying to "allure her" and bring her/us back into a state of blessing.

And what is more alluring than a whisper!?

As a matter of perspective, I've taken to looking for "whispers of grace" in this world. If God is trying to allure me back to a state of blessing, if God is working by speaking kindly in this world, then I need to listen carefully. For if power overwhelms then subtlety allures. Thus, if God truly wants a world of free will then there won't be many thunderbolts from on high. Admittedly, there were some in the Hebrew Scriptures but …
Instapundit on good looks and professors
Hmm, is there a trend this morning in the blogosphere? I clicked over to Instapundit and find a post on the same topic Postrel is blogging about. Excerpt: Everything's show business, these days.

I've heard female colleagues ascribe comments on their dress in student evaluations to sexism -- but I get those comments all the time, and I remember noticing all sorts of trivial things about my professors. They're right in front of you, day after day, after all.


Is Postrel right on this point?
Postrel whose recent book is entitled, The Substance of Style wonders about physical attractiveness as a factor in electoral success. Excerpt:My take on politicians' looks: Male politicians have to be good looking. Female politicians just have to be polished--in control of their appearance. I can't think of any female politicians as classically pretty as Perry is handsome. Nobody would take them seriously.I suppose she might have a point because politicians must garner the support of a large number of people on the basis of limited impressions. In most professions where the "audience" is much smaller and contact more sustained, good looks though always a factor (human beings are human beings afterall) might not be so determinative as routine contact with each other diminishes the power of the "first impression" of good looks and the appreciation of competence grows over time. What do you readers think?
The inside story of the LA Times Arnold investigation
Jill Stewart blows the doors off the LA Times with her inside sources. Excerpt:Despite the obvious need to get the sex harassment story in the paper well before the election so that it would not act as a last-minute and unfair smear, another source says that Carroll then made a very conscious decision to hold back the article while a story about Schwarzenegger's steroid use was edited (see interview below). The steroids investigative piece was a disappointment to editors, this source says, because it did not portray Schwarzenegger in nearly the horrific light that they had hoped.
......
A leak about the story's contents from the Times to the Democrats might explain why Democratic operatives seemed able to mount an incredibly fast and coordinated attack on Schwarzenegger the moment the story appeared.

Leaking by a journalist to help a political campaign would be a firing offense at most newspapers. Yet Carroll appears…
Seen around the net
Blogging will be light but these links are not to be missed. Hewitt in an October 13, 2003 post references Little Green Footballs post about the David Kay testimony on WMD programs in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a buddy of mine sent me this web link on the billion dollar industry that is Boba tea.
Art in LA
The art work of Lynn Aldrich is on display at the Carl Berg Gallery on 6018 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90036. The gallery is open 11am - 6pm Tuesday to Saturday.

I've arranged for an opportunity to photograph the exhibit later this week. I'll be working on a photo essay which I'll have links here and over at my collaborative blog, Twotincans and at my home page.

Thus, blogging will be light while I work on this project.
Image
Revising Mozart's Requiem
Though the film Amadeus took its share of dramatic liberties, the fact that Mozart died before the completion of the Requiem is true enough. The version we normally hear was completed by his student Sussmayer.

Many have felt that Sussmayer didn't do a very good job. However, what could be done? Sussmayer was there and Mozart would have discussed ideas with him.

I recently heard about a recent effort to modify the Requiem.


(Image from Amazon.com)

This recording is based on the revisions undertaken by Mozart scholar Robert Levin. His premise was that Sussmayer probably got most of it right so wholesale changes would be unwarrented. Levin made some adjustments to clean up some sections that seem too un-Mozartian. Not being musically knowledgeble, I could not detect the changes.

However, there were two more notible changes that could not be missed. Levin adds an Amen fugue after the Lacrimosa. The basis for this addition was the discovery of pr…
Miracle of Life
The other day I was listening to someone share about why she helps out at a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). For those not familiar with CPCs, these are non-profit groups of concerned people who offer counsel and help to women who have unplanned pregnancies. The traditional Planned Parenthood type clinic encourages abortions. However, CPCs offer alternatives. It is the pro-life movement putting its money where its mouth is.

The energetic young woman shared that she was born in 1974, the year after Roe v. Wade essentially lifted all restrictions to abortion in America. She told us her mother was pregnant when her father decided to abandon them. There was also concerns that the child might not be healthy so friends and family were saying abortion is the best thing to do. Her mother almost did it but decided at the last moment not to.

People in the pro-life movement can argue about the extent of political action but we should all agree that CPCs are an essential par…
One year of blogging!!!
I can't believe it was that long ago that the rambling started. To see the first post click here. Hope some of what has been blogged about been interesting.
What does it feel like to be god?Hosea 2:9-13
(9)"Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time
And My new wine in its season.
I will also take away My wool and My flax
Given to cover her nakedness.
(10) "And then I will uncover her lewdness
In the sight of her lovers,
And no one will rescue her out of My hand.
(11)"I will also put an end to all her gaiety,
Her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths
And all her festal assemblies.
(12) "I will destroy her vines and fig trees,
Of which she said, 'These are my wages
Which my lovers have given me.'
And I will make them a forest,
And the beasts of the field will devour them.
(13) "I will punish her for the days of the Baals
When she used to offer sacrifices to them
And adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry,
And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me," declares the LORD.
From Hosea 2:2-8 we see an angry God with perhaps a glimmer of hope in the punishment winning back the …
If you haven't heard...An amazing night in politics as Gov. Davis was recalled by a pretty wide margin and the Arnold won the replacement part of the ballot.

He was far from a perfect candidate but it was very clear that the voters were totally disgusted with Gov. Davis and didn't believe his Lt. Gov. was going to do any better.

Key thing to watch is the reactions of the Democratically controlled legislatures. Will they play ball or will they play hard ball. They run the risk of being thrown out in mass in 2004 if they become to strident in trying to block the Arnold's efforts.
Drudge with the exit polls

News leak to Drudge:LATEST EXIT POLLS SHOW 59% VOTE 'YES' FOR RECALL, TOP CAMPAIGN AND MEDIA SOURCES TELL DRUDGE REPORT, 51% FOR SCHWARZENEGGER, 30% FOR BUSTAMANTE, 13% MCCLINTOCK... DEVELOPING...whoa!
A different take on the CIA leak mess

Instapundit cites this article who cites this Instapundit article.

What is the bottom line of their points?

This excerpt from Hobbsonline:It is simply absurd for there to be a hugely expensive scandal investigation when, in fact, the identity of the leaker is already known to six reporters whose news organizations will, no doubt, be hammering the White House to find and reveal the leaker. The person or persons who leaked the CIA agent's identity did not blow the whistle on a scandal and, therefore, deserve protection. The leak IS the scandal. National security demands the press put the national interest above its own.Pretty wild, eh?
Cal recall... one day left...
For your one stop opinion needs on the recall, check out Presto Pundit. Here is a link to the backlash against the LA Times for the last minute hit pieces against the Arnold. Link courtesy of course from Presto Pundit. Excerpt:LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Times has had about 1,000 readers cancel subscriptions and been "flooded" with angry letters, calls and e-mail protesting its coverage of Arnold Schwarzenegger (news)'s alleged sexual harassment of women, it reported on Sunday.  

The newspaper has detailed allegations by a total of 15 women in three front-page stories since Thursday against Schwarzenegger, touching off a controversy that has consumed the final days of Tuesday's recall election in which the actor and former Mr. Universe remains the front-runner.
As Presto mentions in other parts of his news clippings, the election is already underway with 25% voting by absentee and who knows how many using the pre-election da…
Music and fine dining

Saw this amusing article today. Excerpts:Researchers at Britain's universities of Leicester and Surrey persuaded a restaurant to alternate silence, pop music and classical on successive nights over 18 days, Sunday's Observer newspaper reported.

On nights when the classics were playing -- a tape of Beethoven, Mahler and Vivaldi -- patrons spent more on dinner, especially on "luxuries" such as coffee, dessert, fine wines and starters.
Come back?Hosea 2:2
"Contend with your mother, contend,
For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband;
And let her put away her harlotry from her face
And her adultery from between her breasts,
(3) Or I will strip her naked
And expose her as on the day when she was born.
I will also make her like a wilderness,
Make her like desert land
And slay her with thirst.
(4) "Also, I will have no compassion on her children,
Because they are children of harlotry.
(5) "For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, 'I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'
Who is speaking? Is it God talking about the nation of Israel? Is it Hosea talking about Gomer? As you read on, it would appear it is God speaking but using language that Hosea would use speaking about his wayward wife, Gomer.

In any case, isn't this anger justified? Yet, what do we …
Fearless Forecast
The recall looks to be passing. Barring sudden energy for the anti-recall camp, I'm predicting it will pass 56-44. If there is one constant so far it is the feeling that Davis needs to go.

Meanwhile, the replacement ballot is still volitile. The last minute allegations against the Arnold do not appear to be a problem unless there is more out there. However, one would think all the plausible charges are out there now. The timing of the reports couldn't have been better planned if they were straight from opposition research. But the word is that the LA Times is essentially the Gov. Davis mouthpiece.

Will there be a backlash as against the reports? We shall see Tuesday!

The final numbers (my best guess):
Arnold 46%
Bustamante 40%
McClintock 10%
Camejo 3%
Everybody else 1%
Classical Music in Los Angeles

LA is now anticipating the opening of the Disney Concert Hall which will be the new home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Tickets to concerts are selling briskly. I recently went to the box office to get tickets to an April 2004 concert when Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2 will be performed. Of the three concerts with that piece, two are already sold out and the third is nearly sold out.

Disney Hall and the LA Phil is the hot ticket in town for classical fans and probably even non-fans as it will be the place to see and be seen.

As a somewhat free market libertarian, I can't complain that the prices have shot up. The cheap seats in the old Dorothy Chandler was $14. In the new venue they go for $35!

I'll still make a few treks to see the LA Phil because of my love of classical music. However, I'll have to begin looking into other venues and performing groups for classical in LA.

A search of the internet yields the following options.

L…
LAT poll
There you have it. Even the LA Times poll is showing the same trend. Let's do the numbers:By 56% to 42%, likely voters support ousting the Democratic incumbent, a sign that Davis has lost ground in the closing phase of his battle for political survival. Support for Davis has slipped among key parts of his political base — Democrats, women, moderates and liberals among them — since the last Times poll in early September found 50% for the recall and 47% against it.
.....
Tapping that public anger is Schwarzenegger, whose campaign against "business-as-usual politics in Sacramento" has boosted his popularity as voters weigh alternatives to Davis. The Republican actor is favored by 40% of likely voters, followed by Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, with 32%, and state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) with 15%.

The shift in voter support toward Schwarzenegger is dramatic: Since the last Times poll, he has made double-digit gains among Republicans, independ…