Saturday, June 16. 2012
So I believe I invited you all to Kalissa's Birthday party on June 30th via "The Facebook". If not, consider this the invitation. She'll be having a party on June 30 to celebrate her 3rd birthday. And by her having a party I mean we will be having a barbecue, and she'll be getting attention. That will be at The Castle (our new house) It would be great to see you all there.
In addition it's time for the yearly West Fest Barbecue at Bubba's house. That will be this upcoming Saturday the 23rd. We'll start grilling around 4. It'll end sometime around 10:30 after the fireworks.
Come to one barbecue, or come to both.
Monday, January 9. 2012
A Picture Worth a Thousand Words ... Posted by Ancient of Days in Oddities at 12:37
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are a few that I think might be worth more than a thousand - they're swiftly becoming three staples in my list of standard answers to so-called "technical questions." Continue reading "A Picture Worth a Thousand Words (+/- 19)"
Wednesday, April 27. 2011
A few years back, PETA made a bit of a splash by comparing the slaughter of chickens by KFC to the Holocaust. This, of course, enraged many people, as it seemed to make light of the mass extermination of a people. Still, at the time, I only found the item ridiculous. I assumed PETA was being merely sensationalist, attempting to grab the attention of the media to further their message, subscribing perhaps to the old adage that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” I was surprised therefore, when having lunch with a young woman at a university a few years back, she told me that, in a hypothetical in which I and her cat were trapped unconscious in a burning building and in which she’d have time to save only one of us, she would save the cat. I laughed at first, assuming she was being funny. But it turns out she was perfectly serious. Her cat and I are both living creatures, she argued, neither more important than the other, but she’s known her cat longer. This stunned me. It’s not so much that she would let me die that bothered me, but her logic. She assumed that all living things deserve the same amount of respect and protection and that a human life was in no way more valuable than a cat’s. Well, she was young, and irreligious, so one shouldn’t be too surprised. What is surprising is that her attitude is on that seems to be growing among the Bible believing religious. This is a disturbing trend and one I wish to counter.
The Torah tells us that when HaShem made man, he singled him out from the rest of creation. The previous creation of fish and fowl, followed by beasts and finally man, suggests a progression, with man as the pinnacle of creation. And then He stops in the creation process and announces his intention to make Man. Something special is about to occur: “And God said, ‘Let us make Man in Our image, after Our likeness. They shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the animal, the whole earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created Man in His image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1.26-27.) Man is the only creature made in His image. He does not make cows, chickens, or cats in his image—only man.
Some take it to mean that God is man-shaped, a terrible error, inasmuch as God is incorporeal. Had God corporeality, He would have parts, and having parts, it would follow that He must have been created. (For a full discussion on this point, consult Duties of the Heart by R’ Bachya ben Joseph ibn Paquda.) Moreover, other primates would seem to bear God’s image as well, to one degree or another. We might be left with the impression that being made in God’s image refers to opposable thumbs.
In The Guide for the Perplexed, Maimonides discusses the world tselem, translated in Gen. 1.26 as image. He compares the word tselem with toar, the latter used specifically to refer to physical form. “The term tselem, on the other hand, signifies the specific form, viz., that which constitutes the essence of a thing, whereby the thing is what it is; the reality of a thing is so far as it is that particular being. In man the ‘form’ is that constituent which gives him human perception: and on account of this intellectual perception the term tselem is employed in the sentences ‘In the tselem of God he created him’ . He also mentions that the word tselem is used when HaShem condemns the form of an idol. Maimonides argues that it is not the physical shape of idols displeasing to God, but “some idea represented by them.” Likewise it is not Man’s physical form which is the image of God, but something inward. The tselem of God impressed on Man is Intellect. It is this that sets Man apart from the rest of animalia.
Man is a thinking animal—the thinking animal. Animals are not on the same level as humanity. This is evident in the treatment given to each by HaShem. He tells Noah: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; like the green herbage I have given you everything. But flesh; with its soul its blood you shall not eat. However, your blood which belongs to your souls I will demand, of every beast will I demand it; but of man, of every man for that of his brother I will demand the soul of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man” (Gen. 9.3-6.) Now, if an animal’s life is of the same value as that of a man’s, how can Man be granted license to eat it? Note also, where a man may kill an animal for food, he may not kill another man. And why? Because he has an equal life to right as any other? More than that, he was made in the image of God. He has a special relation to God that no other created thing shares.
Now some will take this as license to animal cruelty. But part of God’s command to Noah was that animals should not be eaten with the life still in them. The Torah is full of mitzvahs relating to the kind treatment of animals. And the Noahide commandment not to eat the limb of a living animal is only a category of further commands regarding the proper treatment of animals.
If reading this, one has come to the conclusion that I am opposed to vegetarianism, one has missed the point. Vegetarianism is not prohibited by the Torah and it has much to recommend it. But what cannot be lost is the difference between humanity and the animal kingdom. When we rate all lives the same, we ignore great differences and we degrade humanity. Man is distinguished by Reason. God has declared Man to be something special. Dead chickens, no matter the number, do not equate with dead humans. If you are forced with the choice between saving a human or a cat, go for the human. The cat you allow to die will bear you no ill will, but neglecting the human is bound to earn one the ill will of Heaven.
 Maimonides, Moses. The Guide For The Perplexed. Trans. M. Friedlander. New York: Barnes and Noble. 2004: 18-20.
Monday, April 25. 2011
Podcast 97: Ringing the Bell Posted by Ancient of Days in Oddities at 02:49
I don't know why all the audio glitches really started up again after I took over the podcast, but there was a bit of a hangup in this week's recording - hopefully, we caught them all in post-processing and this audio sounds pretty clean. We were all really excited to start Babylon 5 proper, although I did find a couple of instances where I had to "ring the bell", our signal to remind/reassure the listeners that "it does get better than this". Aaron, the TrekWest5 intern, brings his usual apathetic reticence to this week's podcast (sometimes, I wonder if it's even worth the gasoline of hauling him to the Podcast Bunker.) We cover episodes 1-4 of Babylon 5, Season 1.
Various topics discussed in this podcast include:
Joey's continuing campaign for office inside the Utah Republican Party
The TrekWest5 Culture Corner: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
JMS answers the question What is/are spoo?
Paul Dunbar's We Wear the Mask
Direct MP3 Download
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Tuesday, August 3. 2010
The Homestarmy Presents: The Brett ... Posted by Sideshow in Oddities at 09:11
Another year, another Brett Favre retirement saga.
So It's out there. Bag of M&M's. You pick a Date. Closest to the date wins. I'm sticking with August 26th.
Thursday, July 29. 2010
The question nobody has been wondering is: why hasn't the new guy been posting? Well, I've been quite busy. But, next week, my children and wife are leaving for a few days, and I shall be finally posting my thoughts regarding the end of Lost. At least I've had time to think about it. I shall be posting twice, in fact, once about the narrative of Lost and whether or not it proved to be satisfying, and a second post will be about Lost and faith.
Thursday, July 29. 2010
Some of you may have seen this site before, but I recently came across it and thought you would enjoy it: Awkward Family Photos. Don't worry it is SFW. Make sure to read the captions with each photo as it adds a little something special.
Here are just a few offerings that cracked me up:
On The Road Again
Punks in Space
And my personal favorite:
Wednesday, July 7. 2010
For those of you who may have missed this, I present: Crazy Double Rainbow Guy
Sunday, June 20. 2010
"I was suspected of being a ... Posted by Ancient of Days in Oddities at 14:23
On the weekly TrekWest5 podcast, Peter and I have, from time to time, wondered aloud what it might have been like to live during World War II, and have discussed the persecution of Japanese citizens here in the US during that period. Today, I came across a very interesting account of one man who lived during that period - and how, although he was a young boy, these events impacted his life in a somewhat amusing manner.
The person in question is Les Earnest, and you can read his account (titled "e-t-a-o-n-r-i Spy and the FBI") from the Wikipedia entry.
Friday, April 23. 2010
I thought I would share some of the links that have given me enjoyment with you all. Most are interesting, and some are funny.
-Mainly for AoD but some of the other geeks will enjoy this rant by a SysAdmin.
-The site Today's Big Thing may actually be my go to site for funny stuff. Here are a few that caused me to laugh: Pop Songs with 4 Cords, A pitcher giving too much info, and why I have never been more turned on or scared at the same time.
-Why I sometimes hate my clients and sales people.
-I really believe that this is how Dickens intended for this play to be done.
Wednesday, April 14. 2010
Monday, April 12. 2010
This is a conversation I overheard this morning at breakfast. E is 9 years old. S just turned 7.
E: When I am a teenager I’m going to have a Faceboog.
S: A face bug?
E: Yeah. You can talk to you friends on a Face Bug.
S: You mean like . . .
E (impatiently): Like you can use a Face Bug to talk to your friends in internets!
S: Uh . . . You mean like a taste bug?
E: Yeah. Taste bugs live on your tongue -
E: -and they tell you how food tastes.
S: Do they come out of your tongue ever?
E: DUH! Yes, when they come out of your tongue they -
S: -they’re on your face?
E: - they go onto your face and then they’re Face Bugs. And then they go in internets and -
S: they crawl into inter nets?
E: Hello, yes, I’m telling you! They crawl into internets and then they talk to your friends.
S: Oh! That’s . . . weird. I mean cool.
E: Yeah. (tosses her hair) And when I’m a teenager I’m going to have one. Because they’re cool.
S: (looks mystified and impressed) me too!
Monday, March 22. 2010
Mr. Elbows might find this entry to be quite interesting. You may not know it, but he has put his hand to poetry from time to time. I happen to have recently discovered this gem from high school.
You may notice a special note at the bottom of the pdf file. Our senior class president was under the impression that I had written the poem for her throughout most of our senior year. It wasn't until a post-high school hiking trip that Mr. Elbows corrected this. Enjoy.
Saturday, March 6. 2010
Better Video for OK GO's "This ... Posted by Ancient of Days in Oddities at 09:35
A few weeks ago, MG linked to a "marching band" version of OK GO's latest video, for the song "This Too Shall Pass". I wasn't as impressed with it as I have been with past videos, which is why I was glad to find this other video for the same track, which includes the absolute best "Rube Goldberg"-style machine I've seen yet - I mean, it involves a person on a zipline, two televisions, 4 paint guns,and a *CAR*. Very cool.
Tuesday, February 16. 2010
From the people that brought you treadmill dancing, I present for your viewing pleasure "This Too Shall Pass" by Ok Go. Unfortunately, embedding was disabled for this video. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKythlXAIY
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