July 2, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 8:08 pm

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

I suppose for some, this video might fall flat. But for me, somehow it’s incredibly inspiring, as if in an unexpected way Matt has shown us that it really is one world.

And we’re all dancing.

December 22, 2007

“In God’s Name”

Filed under: Music,Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 10:10 am

This Sunday night at 9 PM, In God’s Name, a documentary featuring leaders of 12 faiths from around the world, airs on CBS.

One of the 12 leaders is Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of my denomination, the ELCA, and president of the Lutheran World Federation.

It’s been some of the darkest moments in religious life in all of history when in the name of God we kill other people.

-Bp. Mark Hanson

November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 10:50 pm

A little something to ponder for your Thanksgiving:

From Fr. Jake.

November 3, 2007

Lisa’s Science Project

Filed under: Church,Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 7:09 pm

My favorite Simpsons clip of all time:

October 23, 2007

A Vegetarian World?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 9:49 pm

I believe that, by the end of this century, much of the developed world will go vegetarian. Perhaps not exclusively, but I predict that the amount of meat the average person consumes will drop dramatically.

I’m not advocating for vegetarianism. I don’t have a moral objection, particularly, to eating meat. I just think it’s likely that people will voluntarily stop eating meat regardless of what personal choices I might make.

I say this for several reasons, starting with the global political economics of meat. This Salon article talks about the environmental impact of meat-eating. First, there’s the contribution to global warming, which appears to be rather modest:

Six percent of our greenhouse gases come from livestock production, compared with 19 percent from cars, light trucks and airplanes.


[T]he difference between a vegan diet and one that includes cheeseburgers is less than 2 tons of greenhouse gases a year. That’s about the equivalent of switching from a Camry to a Prius. The average American is responsible for about 26 tons annually, so if the entire U.S. population went vegan, we’d reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by only 6 percent.


October 20, 2007

Lolcat Bible

Filed under: Church,Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 10:58 am

From Ed’s comment to my previous post, here’s John 3 1:16 from the Lolcat Bible:

1 Naow dis guy Nicodemus iz a Pharisee and leeds teh Jews.2 He comez to teh Jesus in teh nites and he sez “We knoes u comez frum teh Ceiling Cat and we knoes u pwn.”

3 An Jesus sed, “Ceiling Cat has invisible haus, u gots 2 borned agen 2 see it.”

4 Nicodemus sez, “wtf dood? How doez dat werk?”

5 Jesus sez, “is da truth, u hafta be born agen wif waterz an spiritz an stuffs.6 Flesh givez birf 2 flesh, but teh spirit gives birf to spirit, k?7 Y r u so konfoozled?8 Is lyke wind, it doz its own stuffs an u dunno how it werks, but is all ok, amirite? Is like that!”

9 Nicodemus sez, “I doez not get it.” 🙁

10 “Den ur not gud teecher,” sed Jesus. Burn!11 “Ok, iz da twoof. We says sum stuff dat we sawed, and teh peeplez is still konfoozled.12 I ben talkin bout teh stuffs on Earth and ur still lyke, ‘whut?’ so whut bout Heaven an stuffs?13 I iz da only wan whos gone to Heaven so u haves 2 trusts me, mkay?14 U gots 2 b lifteded up lyke Moses an his snakedy thingy,15 coz if u beleeves ur not gon be ded! Eternal lifes, u can has it!

16 So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez ‘Oh hai I givez u my only son and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?’17 Cuz teh Ceiling Cat not snd hiz son 2 take all yur cookies, but so u cud maek moar cookies 4EVAR!”


September 26, 2007

He Has Returned!

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 7:54 am

Oh wondrous day! Oh glorious sunrise! We leap and dance, full of rejoicing! Praise Master Chief!

We have been quietly, patiently waiting and watching, scarcely able to believe that this day would come, but the Master Chief has returned once again.

Yes, Halo 3 has arrived.

Our household had pre-ordered, of course. The bad news is that days are filled with work and school. The even badder news is that I have to wait in line behind my kids. By the time I get to it, they’ll have already mastered it and be ready to effortlessly kill me ten different ways in competitive play.

But I’ll not let that ruin it for me. Let us celebrate!

August 1, 2007

Must Love Jaws

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 10:32 am

Andrew Sullivan has been posting recut trailers (Mary Poppins as a horror movie, The Shining as a tender-hearted family film). Here’s my favorite so far:

July 26, 2007

Safety vs. Status on Airplanes

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 7:53 pm

For those of us that spend much of our work life waiting for and sitting in airplanes, an item of note. Popular Mechanics has looked at the data to see which airline seats are safest:

Where detailed seating charts were available, we also calculated survival rates for various parts of the passenger cabin. Again, the trend was clear: The rear cabin (seats located behind the trailing edge of the wing) had the highest average survival rate at 69 percent. The overwing section had a 56 percent survival rate, as did the coach section ahead of the wing. First/business-class sections (or in all-coach planes, the front 15 percent) had an average survival rate of just 49 percent.

So when the “experts” tell you it doesn’t matter where you sit, have a chuckle and head for the back of the plane.

Of course for frequent travelers, there is a lot of competition for, and cache associated with, seats as far forward as possible. Not only are free first class upgrades awarded based on frequent flyer status, but most airlines reserve seats in the front of coach for their Platinum customers. I don’t know why we all want to sit in the front of coach so badly — the only advantage is being able to get off the plane faster, which is certainly a plus, but not that big of a deal. I suspect for frequent travelers (myself included) it’s a subconscious drive for a visible sign of status, along the lines of “sure, I’m sitting here in coach with all these once-a-year vacation flyers, but I’m not like them — I’ve got an aisle seat in row 8!”

So now am I going to start requesting seats in the back of the plane instead of the front? No. Again from the Popular Mechanics article:

[O]nce your seatbelt is firmly fastened, relax: There’s been just one fatal jet crash in the U.S. in the last five-plus years.

So I’ll indulge my striving for visible signs of my airline status. But if I’m forced to sit in the back of the plane, and the plane crashes, I’ll be laughing my head off for the 10 nanoseconds while I’m still alive and those suckers in the single digit rows are already toast.

July 13, 2007

What Would Luther Do?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 8:35 pm

Every once in a while, USA Today comes out with something that belies its reputation for only delivering “McNews”. An editorial in today’s issue is one of those pieces. Mary Zeiss Stange asks a simple question regarding the debate over gay clergy in Protestant denominations: what would Luther do?

Like his role model Paul, [Martin] Luther was a product of the social prejudices of his time and culture: a time when the concepts of homosexuality as an “orientation” or a “lifestyle” were still unheard of. But would the man whose break from Roman Catholicism involved a revolutionary rethinking of the role of sexuality in human relationships take such a negative view of homosexuality today? Most probably, given the way his theological mind worked, he would not.

Very timely given the latest in the ELCA.

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