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Showing posts from September, 2005

Elusive Giant Squid Captured on Camera!

Saw this item over at CNN.com. A longer article can be found at National Geographic. National Geographic produced a documentary on their unsuccessful attempt to film a live giant squid.

The evidence for the existence of the giant squid have been sightings and dead ones washed ashore. However, photographic evidence of living ones remained elusive for many years. Discovery channel had a documentary which I missed about that search.

Devotional Thoughts: Feeding the 5000

Matthew 14:13-21 is very familiar. In fact, the story of the feeding of the 5000 is one of two miracles recorded in all four Gospels. The other miracle is the Resurrection!

This incident occurred shortly after John the Baptist's death which was described in Matt. 14:1-12 previously. I figure John's death occurred at night since it happened during Herod's birthday party (Matt. 14:6). News of it probably reached Jesus probably pretty quickly because v. 13 said "As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat..." And then v. 15 said "that evening the disciples came to him ..." Thus, it seemed likely that Jesus took the boat trip (v. 13) in the morning to try to get away from the crowds but it wasn't long before they found Him (v. 14) and He healed the sick who had gathered around Him. Evening (v. 15) arrived and the crowds were still there and the disciples were worried about feeding them all. Jesus merely said, you feed them …

Lessons from the football field: Charlie Weis Keeps His Word to a Dying Boy

If this story doesn't bring tears to your eyes you may need to check if you are still alive.

Excerpt:Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz.

The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.

"He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially," said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.
.........
Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called "pass right."

Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.

Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.

"He said, 'This game is for Montana, and the play still stands,'" she said.
.........
W…

The comment bag: responding to the response citing Spinoza

I'm always pleasantly surprised to check my site-meter and find out people do visit this little blog.

And I'm thrilled to receive comments. Am not thrilled by the SPAMMER comments. I try to delete those as soon as I find them. If I missed any, please let me know!

But it is great to receive real comments. And I was happy to see that someone from Finland left some thoughts on this blog post.

I'll reproduce it here below:Spinoza has said that even a stone, if it would have consciousness, would think it is it's own choice to fall down when it is dropped. Same way we people think we choose to drop the stone, but it is just actually law of physics or God if you may (I actually think of them as the same thing - nature and God).I'm a molecular biologist not a philosopher so I'm not up on my Spinoza.

So I went to my one volume encyclopedia to check out Spinoza. It said that Baruch (or Benedict) Spinoza (1632-1677) was a Dutch philosopher. He didn't accept the conc…

Devotional Thoughts: Do I Want Hell to Exist?

Like most people I don't like to think about it. Don't like talking about it. And am not thrilled to blog about it.

But when I read a passage like Matthew 14:1-12, I found myself thinking about it.

Excerpts:
For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife ... But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter." ... He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.


Gruesome.

Do you think Herod, Herodias and Herodias' daughter belong in hell?

What are the alternatives to hell?

(1) If there is an afterlife and there is no hell then we will be sharing "a cloud and a harp" in heaven with these t…

Wait until next year

Dodgers have been done for a while already but it is offically over as they are too far behind and there are too few games left.

It is one of those "what if" seasons with too many injuries.

One of them is Gagne. He probably pitched too many innings in the pennant drive of 2004 but would they have won the NL West if he hadn't pitched so much? He went into 2005 not quite right and started the season on the DL and may have got back in too soon. He soon returned to the DL and eventually required season ending surgery.

In today's ESPN.com e-ticket is the story of Robb Nen. As a Dodger fan, it is reflexive to root against the Giants but reading the story of Nen, all you can do as a fan of the sport is to tip your hat in respect to the guy for leaving it all out there.

In addition to Gagne, Drew was lost for the season due to getting hit on the wrist by a pitch. Werth was also hit by a pitch on the wrist but eventually returned to the line up but was never quite the same.…

Three new sites I'm keeping an eye on

Hugh Hewitt has organized a collaborative blog with Albert Mohler, a baptist seminary president, John Mark Reynolds, a philosophy professor, Mark D. Roberts, a prebyterian pastor, Amy Welborn, a Catholic author and David Allen White, a literature professor.

One of my very good friends has entered the blogsphere. If you love dogs, you'll love her poem about playing fetch with her dog. I'm now mulling over her thoughts on whether we live in "the Matrix" or not and can we tell the difference.

Finally, Blogs4God has returned! Apparently, the aggregation site was over-run by spammers and needed a major overhaul to defend against spammers and to capitalize on new protocols for aggregating blog posts. A great one stop place to see what Christian bloggers are writing about.

Also, please note on the right column that this blog has joined the Evangelical Aggregator.

Devotional Thoughts: Faith is more than intellect or seeing isn't necessarily believing

Jesus' hometown was Nazareth.

In Matthew 13:53-58, he visited his hometown.

In vv. 54-56 it said, "Where does he get his wisdom and his miracles? He's just a carpenter's son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers - James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. What makes him so great?"

Faith is more than just intellectual comprehension.

Here, the people saw with their own eyes that when Jesus spoke there was something special. They saw him do amazing deeds though in v. 58 it says he didn't do many. But, be real, how many people do you need to see miraculously healed to wonder what is going on?

After seeing Him do a few mighty deeds and hearing him speak with wisdom, they even said, what makes him so great?

There was no denying there was something special about Jesus. They even acknowledged it despite the dissonance with his humble family background.

But what happened?

Verse 57, "They were deeply offended and refu…

Democrats split on Roberts

From what I've heard and read:

Voting for Roberts:
Leahy
Kohl
Feingold
Bingaman
Johnson
Prior
Baucus
Byrd
Nelson
Landrieu
Conrad

Voting against Roberts:
Kennedy
Shummer
Durbin
Biden
Feinstein
Kerry
Boxer
Clinton
Corzine
Lautenberg
Reid


Al Rantel was on the radio talking with Ann Coulter and they speculated that any Democrat planning to run in 2008 will vote NO.

I'm guessing the ones who will vote yes will likely be from a "Red" state?

FYI: Judge Ginsberg was confirmed with a 96-3 vote and Judge Breyer was confirmed with a 87-9 vote.

As of now, I'm figuring Roberts will get 70ish votes for confirmation because the Democrats seem to be splitting right in half over Roberts. I also figure the next nominee will be a someone acceptable to the conservatives and also a ethnic minority or woman which will put the Democrats in a bind.

Christian Carnival #88

Check out the wide range of topics covered by Christian bloggers at the Christian Carnival hosted this week at Digitus, Finger & Co.

Devotional Thoughts: The big net and the storehouse

Matthew 13:47-52 has two final metaphors for the kingdom of God.

This time, Jesus moved from agricultural analogies to one from fishing. This would be familiar territory for some of the disciples since some of them were fishermen.

The net was cast out into the water and many fish were caught. But the bad fish were thrown away while others were put into crates for eventual sale in the marketplace. The key to the metaphor once again is the separation of good and evil at the end of the world.

ed. note - I'm taking some liberties in retelling the story in my own words. Be sure to read it for yourself!

Jesus used the same language in vv. 49-51 as He did in vv. 40-43 when He described the wheat and the weeds being separated out.

Jesus finished the teaching with the metaphor of the storehouse. The kingdom people are like the merchant who brings out both old and new things from the storehouse to sell to the people. Since there will be a separation of good and evil, people need to be told…

Jay Smith - Islam and Christianity: Clash of Civilizations in a Multicultural Age

The other night, I went to First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood to hear a presentation by Jay Smith whose is a missionary to Muslims. His particular approach is to debate with them in London and in other (mostly university) settings as opportunities arise. Some of his material can be found at http://debate.org.uk.

Like most Americans, my knowledge of Islam is fairly modest. The other day I was sharing with a friend about this lecture and mentioned that I went in knowing just three things about Islam: (1) not all Muslims are Arab (2) Muslims hold to the Five Pillars of Islam (monotheism - Allah, prayer, charity, observing Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca) and (3) the countries with large Muslim populations are actually Asian countries.

What follows are the notes I took from the presentation.

The situation in London

He began the talk by saying the Islamic groups in London are probably more outspoken than most other places. Over the years, he has befriended some of the people he h…

LA Dining: Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie

Latest LA Foodblogging is up.

Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie
245 West Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-293-3300 (phone)
626-293-8090 (fax)

No fuss, no muss, just good food at a good price and an incredible variety of items on the menu to choose from.

Whoa! UCLA 41 Oklahoma 24

UCLA defeated OU in surprising fashion today at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It was the first football game I've been to since the last season of the Toledo era.

One of the key plays was a penalty against OU that nullified an interception. UCLA was leading 27-17 when Olsen's pass was deflected and intercepted. However, a penalty occurred prior to the change of possession.

If the play had stood, OU could have scored to make it 27-24. Instead, UCLA's drive was sustained resulting in a touchdown and a 34-17 lead.

Me and my three friends sat in the general admission section where the ratio was close to 50-50. In our group, there were two UCLA partisans, one Oklahoma supporter and one "neutral."

One of the OU fans behind us acknowledged that this year's team had very few from last year's BCS championship participant.

As for this year's UCLA team, what surprised me was the run defense. Oklahoma's Peterson was limited to 61 yards.

Oklahoma's defense s…

John Roberts moving toward confirmation to Chief Justice

So far, it looks good. Baring any last minute surprises, Roberts should be confirmed easily.

In seeing various sound bites, I think two of them stand out.

First, in his opening statement, he said he views being a judge as being an umpire in a baseball game. It isn't his job to hit the ball or pitch it or field it. He just calls balls and strikes and rules on outs. He has a modest view on the role of the judiciary.

Second, in one of his exchanges with a senator, he said, if the little guy is right under the Constitution, I will rule for the little guy. If the big guy is right under the Constitution, I will rule for the big guy. Again, his job is to dispense justice to the best of his ability. The legislature can do things that impact society. The executive branch can do things that impact society. His job as a judge is to look at the case before him and make a determination. Those decisions impact society as a consequence but that isn't the intent going in.

I don't k…

Devotional Thoughts: Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45-46 says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."

It is the companion illustration to the kingdom as hidden treasure.

One of the books (New Bible Commentary: Revised. Edited by Guthrie, Motyer, Stibbs and Wiseman) I was browsing offered this analysis: in the hidden treasure story, the man stumbles onto the treasure and then sells everything to buy the land where the treasure is. In the second story, the merchant is specifically looking for pearls and when he finds one, he sells everything to buy it. Thus, the analogy is that when people are living their life, sometimes they "stumble" upon Jesus and the hope of the kingdom. While others are looking for something in their life and finally they come across the kingdom and Jesus.

I had previously mentioned two possible interpretations of the parables: (1) Jesus seeking the treasure/…

Devotional Thoughts: Treasure in the field

What should we make of Matthew 13:44?

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Two possibilities:
(1) Is it Jesus who "sells all he has and buys that field"? It is an apt metaphor for all that Jesus has done.
(2) Is it us? Humanity's sin is pride that says, I am god. To enter the kingdom of God requires us to say, Jesus is God and I am not. It requires us to give up our autonomy. Thus, the treasure is Jesus and we give up everything to follow Him.

Supportive of explanation number one is that in Hebrews 12:2, "Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame ..."

On the other hand, Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of heaven ..." This suggests explanation number two fits better as it calls for us to exert our will to pursue the kingdom.

Hmmm ...

Judge Roberts Hearing Live Blogging

Wonks have probably bookmarked SCOTUSblog's live blogging of the hearings.

A quick read gives you more of a sense of what has happened than the sound bites from the traditional media.

9/11 in Los Angeles

A new Al-Qaeda tape was released and in it, the speaker said, "Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing."

The article goes on to say:In response to the threats against their city, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the city's police department released a statement this morning. They acknowledged that Los Angeles is a target for terrorists, but said there are no known, credible threats against the city and labeled the tape an instrument of al Qaeda propaganda.Andrew Sullivan posts on his blog, A PERFECT MORNING: Four years later, another beautiful fall morning. That was the theme of his thoughts on September 16, 2001.

Today, in LA, it was not quite a perfect sunshine morning as it was overcast. But it soon burned away and turned into a perfect afternoon.

In Griffith Park there was a free concert called Symphony in the Glen for Grandparent's Day and a canned food drive for Hope Net who run food pantries for low-income peop…

Devotional Thoughts: Wheat and Weeds Revisited

Matthew 13:36-43 has Jesus discussing with the disciples what he said back in vv. 24-30. This is like Matthew 13:10-23 when Jesus explained to the disciples what he meant in Matthew 13:1-9.

Jesus explained the wheat are the people of the kingdom and the weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The harvest is the end of the world when the two are identified and separated.

I react at many levels.

On a theological level, I wonder how does this all work?

Does the good seed have a choice to be good seed? When does the harvest happen? Soon?

Tough nut to crack, eh?

Don't have any answers to these questions. Religious belief is partly rational as some aspects are intellectually accessible but we have to be honest and say some parts aren't. For those, we must accept it as is.

As a matter of doctrine, Christians believe that at some future point in time good will be separated from evil (harvest the wheat from the weeds). This is a source of hope because we know evil though of…

Ethics and reproductive medicine

Recently was scanning through Virginia Postrel's blog and she cited this Elle article on in vitro fertilization with donor eggs.

As a single guy in my 40s, the article is interesting in a hypothetical sort of way. However, if I were to join the ranks of married people, it is likely me and my wife would be prime candidates for requiring the help of medical technology to have children. Thus, it set me off to wondering about what the scenarios are and what guidelines would govern the decision.

So dear readers, I know this is usually a family friendly blog so reader discretion is now advised as I describe some scenarios.

After reading the scenario ask yourself: would I do that? Why or why not?

Scenario one: husband and wife do what they are supposed to do and 9 months later a little one arrives into the world the usual way!

Scenario two: husband is infertile, wife is fertile, use donor sperm with artificial insemination.

Scenario three: husband is fertile, wife is fertile but conc…

Its a final, UCLA 63 Rice 21

Bruins stuff the Owls!

Okay, it is just Rice but it has been a long time since UCLA has blown anybody out.

Next week, my beloved Bruins will go up against Oklahoma.

I'll be in the stands for my first game at the Rose Bowl since the last game under Bob Toledo when the Bruins were going for a field goal to beat the Ducks on the last play. They were too far and the wind was against them and Toledo called three straight running plays not getting them any closer. Suffice to say the kick fell short and that ended Toledo's tenure as UCLA's football coach.

Devotional Thoughts: Yeasty Kingdom

Image
Today, am taking a look at Matthew 13:33-35.

Jesus now compares the kingdom to yeast added to dough.

Matthew reports, "Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to crowds."

This should tell us something about how we communicate with people about religious faith.

Referring back to the Os Guinness post below, in question and answer time with Guinness, he commented that science fiction and fantasy stories can be powerful ways to talk about Christianity because these stories are not locked into a particular time and place. In some ways they are more universal, he said.

Indeed, stories engage the imagination and pique the curiosity in ways that sometimes a direct presentation does not.

I sometimes wonder what kind of parables would Jesus have told if he were teaching in an era that was industrial instead of agrarian.

Or is the kingdom best illustrated by organic and biological images?

Would it sound appealing to describe the kingdom as a locomotive? The k…

Os Guiness - The Third Mission to the West, a Postscript

A little over a month ago, I wrote a blog report on a talk given by Os Guinness.

DJ Chuang left a short note for me in response.

I was pleasantly surprised to get a comment as I wonder what happens after I hit "publish post!"

Anyway, in surfing around, I found out that he will be a participant at the God Blog Convention to be held at Biola University this October 13-15, 2005. DJ Chuang will be leading the session on "The Emerging Church Blogs."

Among my circle of friends, I have heard the term "Emerging Church" tossed around and usually in connection with pastor and author Brian McLaren.

The response is somewhat mixed. Some really like his ideas and some are more skeptical. I, for now, remain on the fence.

But onto DJ's comment: What do you think of his comments? Agree or disagree?

I think Guinness' observation about anti-Christian prejudice is on target. In some of the hot controversies of the day in the USA (abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, et…

LA takes in evacuees

Heard on, of all places, ESPNradio 710AM that one of the big churches in LA has been taking in evacuees from the hurricane. Those efforts are being coordinated out of The Dream Center.

From the interview, it sounds like many of the evacuees who chose Los Angeles don't plan to return to New Orleans and want to start a new life in LA.

SoCalorie of LA Foodblogging gave this on the scene report of the outpouring of support.

From radio reports, donations nationwide are near $500 million.

UPDATE: I just heard on the radio that there will be a job fair at the Dream Center at 10AM today. They say they have 20 employers already and welcome more.

The Dream Center
2301 Bellevue Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213-273-7000
info@dreamcenter.org

Devotional Thoughts: Mustard Seed

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Am looking at Matthew 13:31-32 tonight.

Jesus again illustrated the Kingdom of Heaven with an agricultural image.

The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed. It grows into a big plant that birds can come to.

I was curious to know what a mustard plant looked like. So I did a Yahoo! search and found this web page with a photo of the web page author (David Q. Hall) standing next to some mustard plants growing on the side of the road.



Image source: http://dqhall59.com/images/tall_mustard.jpg

If Jesus were walking in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park or Redwood National Park, He might tell the parable like this:

The Kingdom of God is like the seed of a Redwood. It starts off the size of a tomato seed but the tree can grow to be over 300 feet tall. The kingdom is like a Sequoia. Those seeds start off the size of an oat flake and with time becomes a tree that weighs over 2 million pounds!



Image source: http://www.nps.gov/seki/grantpic.htm

For more fun facts about these huge trees check out th…

Devotional Thoughts: Story of the wheat and the weeds

Taking a look at Matthew 13:24-30 tonight.

Jesus illustrated the Kingdom by comparing it to a farmer sowing wheat seeds but then an enemy came and sowed weeds in with the wheat.

The farmer's servants want to pull the weeds out. But the farmer knows that too many of the wheat will get damaged. He says let's wait until harvest time and we will get the wheat and burn the weeds.

With all the horrible news about the hurricane, many will ask rhetorically (though some genuinely) where was God when the hurricane happened?

It was within the power of God to intervene.

Yet, God has chosen to wait. I don't know why (if I did, I'd be God!) but God has chosen to wait.

One might ask, why did God send Jesus at that time?

Don't know.

God intends to restore humanity to himself. In the wisdom of God, it was the right time to send Jesus.

Likewise, now, we await the Kingdom in full realization. The wheat seeds are growing up in a world amidst the weeds. And, at the right time, in …

So disappointing

The finger pointing and blame game is well underway.

And certainly, some of it is quite well deserved.

The over-the-top critics are to be dismissed as worthless critics and the fair-minded public will know who they are and tune them out.

Nonetheless, there were obvious problems and this item in the NYTimes highlights it. HT: to Instapundit.

Excerpts from NYT item:
Mr. Judkins is one of the officials in charge of evacuating the Hampton Roads region around Newport News, Va. These coastal communities, unlike New Orleans, are not below sea level, but they're much better prepared for a hurricane. Officials have plans to run school buses and borrow other buses to evacuate those without cars, and they keep registries of the people who need special help.

Instead of relying on a "Good Samaritan" policy - the fantasy in New Orleans that everyone would take care of the neighbors - the Virginia rescue workers go door to door. If people resist the plea to leave, Mr. Judkins told The D…

Sci-fi Spaceships

My name is Rene and I'm a nerd. Enjoy this fellow nerds!

HT: to Jonah Goldberg.

UPDATE: Norden, in the comments, has mentioned he has added some ships to the collection!

Stick a fork in 'em: Dodgers are done

Dodgers lost again.

I bought the tickets over a month ago figuring: Labor Day Monday, SF Giants and final month of a pennant race; could be a sell out.

Traffic to the stadium was light and the backup at the parking payment booths was minimal. Hardly a scalper to be found and the few were selling. Once seated in Dodger's stadium, wide swaths of the light blue reserved section were empty.

The reported attendance was 34,871 which is based on ticket sales. The capacity of Dodger's stadium is 56,000 and it looked less than half-full.

The fans have spoken with their feet and wallets: the Dodgers are done for the year.

In post-game Dodger-Talk, the fans were talking about next year.

Host A. Martinez tried to stay positive but the stat he cited was 25 games left and to finish at .500 the Dodgers would need to win 20. He asked rhetorically, has this team shown any hint of being able to go on that kind of spurt?

I have tickets to one more game this season and I'll go. I'll stil…

Support Hurricane Relief

If you haven't done so already, please consider supporting any number of organizations such as:

Search Dog Foundation--they train dogs for Urban Search and Rescue Teams.

Feed the Children--they do exactly that and they are trucking in supplies with the help of corporate partners.

Red Cross--they are the biggest and are on the scene.

If you are part of a religious community, consider giving to an organization associated with it. I'm currently a member at a Presbyterian Church. Thus, I'll give some support to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Hugh Hewitt gives some good reasons why: Churches are always excellent conduits to the communities they serve, and can be trusted to be judicious yet generous with the aid they are provided. I will be recommending to my Presbyterian Church session that we offer to "adopt" a sister congregation like, say, The First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, and send aid via that church.
.............
Institution-to-institution relief wi…

LA Dining: Thai Original BBQ

My latest foodblogging is up over at LA.foodblogging.

Thai Original BBQ of Hollywood
5324 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027
323-962-2004 (telephone)
323-962-8304 (fax)

They have grown beyond the original store. To see if there is one near you, check their locations page.

Delicious and affordable food!

Search Dog Foundation Trained Teams on the Scene

Check out this page to see the teams deployed in Urban Search and Rescue.

It takes about $10,000 to train a dog to serve in these vital teams.

Go here to donate.

UPDATE: Sherry has contributed to Red Cross and Search Dog Foundation.

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge has posted in support of the Search Dog Foundation!

Devotional Thoughts: Parable of the sowers, seeds and soils

Matthew 13:1-23 is the parable of farmer sowing seeds and the soils.

If you aren't familiar with the story, you can look it up at an on-line Bible.

In brief, Jesus told a parable. A farmer scattered seeds and they land in various places: (1) footpath where birds eat it up, (2) shallow rocky soil where there is growth but no deep roots, (3) soil with thorns where the thorns eventually outgrow the plants and (4) fertile soil where there yields a good crop.

Jesus explained the seeds are the good news about the Kingdom of God. In three of the four soil types, there is a problem. The birds represent the evil one that steals away the seed before it has a chance to sprout. The rocky soil represents that problems of life that are stunt the growth. The thorny patch is where the cares of the world and lure of wealth strangles the life of the plant.

Disclaimer: I'm not a theologian, I am just your typical guy reading my Bible and trying to get some grasp of what it means.

We all kno…

Hurricane Relief Efforts

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Support the trainers of Search Dogs!!

UPDATE: I've received an email from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. They shared some information about their organization and their role in the current rescue efforts. Summarizing:

As of August 31, 18 Urban Search and Rescue (USR) teams have been dispatched to the area. 26 of the dogs in these teams were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF). This will be the largest USR effort in the United States since 9/11.

These specially trained dogs are highly mobile in the rough terrain of a disaster site. They can quickly cover areas and using their keen sense of smell determine if anyone is still alive so they can be rescued.

NDSDR trains dogs and provides them at no cost to fire departments and other emergency service agencies.

To find out more about them and donate to their efforts, see their Website: www.SearchDogFoundation.org or call 1-888-4K9-HERO.


There are two charities I have donated to in response t…

Displaced people and devestated places

CNN is reporting that the Astrodome in Houston is now closed because it is filled up with refugees from New Orleans.

At Volokh Conspiracy there is a post from a NO lawyer describing the total destruction of the legal offices and courts of the city. He describes the impact: And what happens when the evidence in their cases has been destroyed? Will the guilty be released upon the communities? Will the innocent not be able to prove their innocence?

One of the new tourist destinations in New Orleans was the opening of the National D-Day Museum. Right now the link is dead. Once can guess they kept the server in the museum and water and computers don't go together well.

As it is now, all I can tell you about that museum is what the Google search turns up:

The National D-Day Museum, New Orleans - America's National World ... Explores the lives of American men and women who took part in World War II through letters, recruitment posters, weapons, models, and film. www.ddaymuseum.org/

US Coast Guard Rescue Line

State OES (Office of Emergency Services) has learned that trapped victims on the Gulf Coast are calling family, friends, loved-ones, or anyone they can get a call out to in California asking for someone to rescue them. These requests need to go immediately to the US Coast Guard's Rescue Line at 800-323-7233 and immediate assistance will be sent.

Please distribute this information as widely as possible.

Thank you.