Showing posts from September, 2009

LA Scene: Dudamel Era about to begin

Dudamel, the new LA Philharmonic music director arrived for his first rehearsal.

Cameras -- still, video and really huge -- jammed the area; Philharmonic President Deborah Borda and Philharmonic board Chairman David Bohnett hovered in anticipation while Borda exulted that the Phil just gotten word that the NBC Nightly News was planning a Dudamel feature for Thursday.

There's really no such thing as a formal greeting when it comes to Dudamel -- as he stepped from the vehicle, he waved to the cheering musicians; but the wave gesture soon turned into a Dudamel-style fist, thrust exultantly into the air. He obediently posed for photos with Borda and Bohnett at the foot of the stairs, but was soon charging upward to distribute a generous round of hugs, especially to the musicians who played a welcome fanfare on the steps.

The reception by the musicians remains very positive.

He added that the musicians see Dudamel not as their leader but as another member of the band -- jus…

Life: Happiness is a Moral Obligation

Prager offers his thoughts on happiness.

For instance, acting happy is beneficial to those around us!

Technology: Got to tip your hat to those MIT students!

image source:

Balloon + digital camera + GPS cell phone + beer cooler + handwarmers = pictures of the Earth from high up.

Go here for their project web page. They hope to have a Youtube video of photos the camera took which was set to take pictures every 5 seconds.

Devotional Thoughts: What is spirituality?

Have you heard this self-description: non-religious but spiritual?

Being religious has gotten a lot of bad press, i.e. religious fanatic bombs cafe full of people. Religious also as in a clergyman involved in child abuse scandal. Or religious broadcaster involved in financial misdeeds.

Totally indefensible.

No wonder people run away from the label religious.

But what is spirituality?

Images: crystal power and harmonic convergences, meditation with incense and aroma candles, being out in nature and solitude ...

What is spirituality if I call Jesus Lord and Savior?

My guts tell me that the word spiritual has gotten diluted in the pluralism of our society and so many images get conjured up.

Also, in our American society, the term has become highly personal and individualized. The self-claimed spirituality of one person will be a salad bowl of items and the spirituality of another will be a salad bowl of different ingredients.

So when then is spirituality if I call Jesus Lord and Savior?


Sports: Gutty Little Bruins Beat Tennessee Again!

Last year was a tough year for UCLA football fans. But the highlight was the upset win over Tennessee in the Rose Bowl.

Well, this year, the Gutty Little Bruins went to Tennessee and pulled off the upset again, 19-15!

Streeter at the LA Times put it this way:

Blood streamed in a river from Kevin Prince's mouth -- the painful aftermath of a shot to the jaw he'll remember the rest of his life, a shot that may help propel UCLA through this still-young season and possibly many more to come.
The game could have turned here, could have been lost. What a painful sting that would have been. But from that heap, a place he'd been much of this warm Southern Saturday, up popped Prince, giving his team belief. He was hunched over in pain. His mouth was open wide and full of red. But he never looked afraid or tentative. He looked like the winner he was about to be.

UCLA learned much in this game. It now knows, for certain, that its defense can apply the brakes, which is what happened …

Devotional Thoughts: Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?

Job 39 ...

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
their labor pains are ended.
Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
they leave and do not return.
Who let the wild donkey go free?
Who untied his ropes?
I gave him the wasteland as his home,
the salt flats as his habitat.
He laughs at the commotion in the town;
he does not hear a driver's shout.
He ranges the hills for his pasture
and searches for any green thing.
Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
Will he stay by your manger at night?
Can you hold him to the furrow with a harness?
Will he till the valleys behind you?
Will you rely on him for his great strength?
Will you leave your heavy work to him?
Can you trust him to bring in your grain
and gather it to your threshing floor?

God continues to give Job a tour of the natural world.