Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not to Get Into Politics, But...

So, I normally wouldn't say much about politics, but sometimes it's really hard not to.  As far as the current options stand, I personally like none of the above.  Obama hates babies and I don't trust McCain.  However, I find myself really liking this.

I may also like this because, like her, my family's from Northern Idaho, graduated from University of Idaho in Moscow, and grew up hunting and fishing (like I did).  Her husband's an oil rig worker and deep-sea fisherman who wins dog sled and snowmobiling competitions.  He's tougher than she is.  She's also a mom and does this for her kids.  If nothing else, it would be fun to see our Bible stories come alive and to watch this Deborah put Barak to shame again.  Or is McCain the real Barak because he can't lead without her?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

People ARE Naturally Good--Science Says So!

So, for a mild amusement, click here.  It seems like scientists have "discovered" that children naturally like to share with each other; not toddlers, mind you, just older and wiser 7- and 8-year-olds.  They gave each kids a pile of jelly beans to dole out, and they were remarkably generous with the other "children."

Why is "children" in quotes?  Well--and here's the funny part--they didn't actually have the kid share with others.  To minimize "face to face conflict" they only put a picture of a kid there for the testee to share with.  Um, excuse me, but isn't that when greed manifests itself?  During "face to face conflict?"  Any kid knows that a picture can't steal their candy back, so why not share?  They'll most likely get the bulk of candy in the end, and meanwhile, can be praised for their generosity!  The only kids who didn't share--those greedy little toddlers--are still working out whether or not a picture actually could demand his fair share, and so exhibited selfishness.

Although this doesn't prove much, it does prove that these scientists think kids are dumb.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Word on Words

I was talking with a Christian yesterday who doesn't have a problem with a lot of the feminist accommodations that we've made in our language such as "mailperson" or "flight attendant" (instead of "stewardess").  She insists that since our society has changed enough so that those jobs are no longer gender specific, we should modify our language to speak accurately.

This bothered me, but it wasn't until that moment that I could put together my reasons.  The biggest reason not to change, I later realized, is that we want a culture that is shaped by the Word, not the other way around.  It seems akin to those who would like a "living" Constitution for our country.  The Constitution has the law for our land, and we need to make changes to accommodate it, not the other way around.  A "living" Constitution (i.e., one that always means what we'd like it to mean), is really not living, but dead, because the actual words are meaningless.  

It's the same way with our language.  If we want a society based on The Word, then we need to respect our words, and not change them with every whim of fashion.  Of course, this doesn't mean that every female mail carrier needs to quit her job, but it does mean having an open mind to the meaning of the word "mailman."  Genesis 1:27 says, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."  "Man" (or in Hebrew, "Adam") encompasses both male and female.  We are one mankind.  A female mail carrier is no less a mailman than a male mail carrier.  

And I really just wrote this for the opportunity to use the phrase, "male mail carrier!"

In Case You Were Wondering

where "Lady Sybil" came from, check this out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What We Really Worship

This is a quote from Gail Pellerin, the Santa Cruz County Recorder, in Santa Cruz county's Mid-County Post from an article entitled, "Same-Sex Marriage Surge Boosts Santa Cruz County's Revenues,"

'The boost in revenues has definitely helped our county's budget,' Pellerin said. 'It is hard to turn your back on revenue.'

Pellerin has also seen the celebratory mood prompt people to spend. 'Couples are out buying rings and flowers and going out to dinner. This law came at a perfect time.'

It seems like we can't say no to gay marriage when it boosts the economy!  Even Hallmark has gotten in on the action.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Funniest Sign Ever

Hey, that's what my husband is getting is Master's degree in!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm Ready to go Camping Now!

My favorite type of "fun" books to read are those dealing with outdoor expeditions. My particular favorites are those dealing with exploration in the arctic and the challenges of the cold and ice. I'm not sure where this enjoyment came from, but maybe it's the Norwegian genes of my ancestors coming out in some way.

I recently finished a really great book called "In the Land of White Death" by a Russian named Albanov. He is the navigator of a hunting ship that gets stuck in the ice north of Russia. His foolish captain thinks that after a year they will thaw out and get home. That year goes by and they're still stuck, and the captain decides to wait another year. Albanov, the navigator, knows that they are heading farther north, not south to warmer waters, and asks to be relieved of his duties and sets out across the ice with several companions in search of land. Out of a party of 10, only he and one other sailor survive. No one ever hears of those left on the ship again.

The best part of this book is Albanov's faithfulness. He absolutely knows that God has promised him that he will survive his ordeal. Every time their situation looks totally grim, with no help in sight, they wake up the next morning and shoot a polar bear, or some other miraculous provision shows up. The story that takes the cake, though, is when they're setting out across an icy channel between two islands. The island they are making for has cabins and food supplies, but halfway across the channel they get caught in a hurricane! They somehow paddle to an iceberg and drag their kayak on top. Him and his companion sailor spend the night huddled up against hurricane-force winds. About 7 hours later they wake up to the sound of, "CRACK!" and they are soaking wet! The iceberg has split in two and their heavy clothes are quickly dragging them to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean (remember, there's still a hurricane going on)! They wriggle out of their clothes and swim to the surface, only to realize that there's no way for them to reach their kayak, still up on the top part of the iceberg. Albanov thinks to himself, "What now?" And prays to God that He will remember His promise. Immediately the iceberg breaks open again and his kayak slides down right in front of him! Him and the other sailor climb on board with their wet clothes, and make for the island they just came from. They are still in a hurricane and it takes them 6 hours to reach land where they promptly burn everything they can spare for a fire and jump around all night long to stay alive!

This book is one in the Modern Library of Exploration series, and I would love to have all those books! Some of theme are out of print, including "The Voyage of Saint Brendan." This is another great one by explorer Tim Severin. He describes the medieval tale of Saint Brendan the voyager, a 5th century Irish monk who travels across the ocean. Severin believes that Brendan made it to North America and back, and decides to re-trace his trail to prove that it was possible. Severin makes fun of modern historians who scoff at these "mythological" tales and he has a genuine respect for medieval scholarship and technology. He makes and sails a leather boat with a team of sailors, who travel from Ireland, to the Faroe Islands, to Iceland, Greenland, and finally America.

All this exploration is great to prepare for camping!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Guess I Just Don't Have a Sweet Tooth...

I have to start this out by saying that I absolutely love where I live. I love Santa Cruz, and northern California in general. I know there are some very special people out there who love southern California, and they have been granted a special dispensation to enjoy heat, crowds, and freeways. God bless you and your labors! So I say this out of love for my own place and not a criticism towards anyone else's love of their place (which is a good and honorable love).

That being said, after spending a season down in the southland, I think experiencing L.A. is like eating too much sugar. In the beginning it's exciting and you can't get enough of it! Then your enthusiasm begins to wane, but for some reason you can't stop yourself from eating. Then you begin to get sick to your stomach, and can't even look at the stuff.

There. I love all my southern California friends and family, but I'm afraid I just don't have a sweet tooth.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Love Santa Cruz!

I get to go home tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Mad Scientist

I've been having fun reading some more books in geology that I haven't for a while.  Often, the good thing about being involved in something, then taking a long break, and then looking back on it, is that it gives you a better perspective of things.

The book I'm reading right now is Simon Winchester's The Crack at the Edge of the World.  It's a book about earthquakes and especially the 1906 San Francisco one.  It's fun to read again about geology and be familiar with his terms, but his attitude toward the science frustrates me.  It's kind of the same old thing; he seems so sure of himself on issues that are utterly unexperimental--such as prehistoric geology, the evolution of the earth's crust, and so on.  He has an extremely arrogant attitude towards anyone who would disagree with him, and calls the 18th century "less sophisticated" because they believed God had something to do with earthquakes.

In talking with my husband about it I realized that there are two types of scientists; essentially I would call them good scientists and bad scientists, but there's probably a better term than that.  Good scientists stay within the limits of science.  They make only simple inferences from their experiments and don't even attempt any universal theories of everything that's totally unknowable.  The bad scientists are those who take the most theoretical parts of science as obvious fact and begin to philosophize upon the nature of the universe and our very own souls as a result of it.  The good scientists may not believe in a Creator God, but at least they have the humility to understand the place of science.  The bad scientists have already gone on to replace the Creator God with themselves!

I thought of an analogy to describe this.  Looking at nature is like an audience watching a magician do a magic trick.  Flowers and food appear!  Rain appears!  The sun keeps us warm!  God, of course, is the magician.  Good scientists are those whose first thought is, "Wow!  I wonder how he does that!"  and immediately begin to investigate into the trick with their own experiments.  The bad scientists are those who sit back in their chair and arrogantly pronounce, "Oh, that's easy.  I'm sure it's done with some trap doors, or special smoke, or something like that.  It's not that amazing."

Eventually, this "bad" way of thinking about science leads us straight back to paganism.  The Greeks were very good at philosophizing about science.  They discovered many things, but ultimately lost out on the most practical areas of medicine and technology--just to name a few.  Their reason was based on what they knew, and they failed to explore any area that didn't conform to what they thought was reasonable.

And, as Chesterton noted, you'll never get anywhere in paganism, except back to Christianity!