Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture!
First Published In The Last Century - July 26, 1997!
Over 9 Million Hits!
An Amusement Park Of Ideas! #ProfHowdy
I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.
"Did you sleep well?" "No, I made a couple of mistakes."
OBSCURE AND UNUSUAL WORDS ************************* 1) maunder mawn der (intransitive verb) : to talk or say something in a vague, rambling, or incoherent way Early 17th century. Origin uncertain; perhaps formed from earlier maund "to beg" in the literal sense of "to keep on begging," or perhaps an imitation of the sound of muttering. The man had consumed so much liquor that he began to maunder about politics but nobody could understand a word he was saying. 2) boondoggle boon dawggl (noun) : an activity or project that is trivial and wasteful of time or money Mid 20th century. Coined by the U.S. scoutmaster R.H. Link for a braided leather cord made by Scouts. The basketball team, after winning almost every game of the season, felt that the practice was a boondoggle since they were sure to win the championship game.
Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief' [Excerpts] An MIT meteorologist dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.' "Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'" and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute. Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added. According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change. "With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is foreign," Lindzen said. Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said. "It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want," Lindzen said. Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific illiteracy." "The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in the 30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ... they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added. The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support. Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said. "Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned," he added. The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2010. But Lindzen claims global warming proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such reductions would be economically disastrous, he said. "If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy, Lindzen said. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200412/CUL20041202a.html
Bono, Who Preaches Charity, Profits From Buyouts, Tax Breaks [Excepts] During the final concert of U2's world tour on Dec. 9, Bono, the Irish rockband's lead singer, launched into "One," a song about a love affair gonesour. "Did I disappoint you or leave a bad taste in your mouth?" he sang to47,000 U2 fans at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. At Bono's command, some of the fans held aloft their cell phones and senttext messages of support to ONE, the U.S.-based group that's lobbying theU.S. government to donate an additional 1 percent of the federal budget toending poverty. Bono made the same tie-in for the lobbying group during most of the 131concerts on the Vertigo tour, which began in March 2005 and was seen by 4.6million fans in Europe, North America and Asia. They sent about 500,000 textmessages of support to ONE, according to the group. While Bono was making his appeal, U2 was racking up $389 million in grossticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time,according to Billboard magazine. No. 1 is the Rolling Stones' current tour,which by the end of 2006 had received $425 million. Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funneled through companies that are mostlyregistered in Ireland and structured to minimize taxes. "U2 arearch-capitalists -- arch-capitalists -- but it looks as if they're not,"says Jim Aiken, a music promoter who helped stage U2 concerts in Irelandduring the 1980s and 1990s. U2 has sold about 9 million copies of the album linked to the Vertigo tour,"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," for which it owns all rights. Inaddition, U2 sells merchandise at the concerts, such as a $30 T-shirt with aphoto of the band on the front. With his trademark wraparound sunglasses and cowboy hat, Bono is as famousfor exhorting world leaders -- from U.S. President George W. Bush toJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern --to give money to Africa as he is for his music. The 46-year-old Dublin native, born Paul Hewson, is also focusing on hisinvestments. Bono declined to be interviewed for this article. Bono's own dealings haven't always followed the altruistic ideals heespouses, says Richard Murphy, a Downham Market, U.K.- based adviser to theTax Justice Network, an international lobbying group. Murphy points to the band's decision to move its music publishing company tothe Netherlands from Ireland in June 2006 in order to minimize taxes. Themove came six months before Ireland ended an exemption on musicians' royaltyincome, which is generally untaxed in the Netherlands. "This is somebody who's exceptionally rich taking the opportunity to shifthis tax burden to somebody else, but then asking governments around theworld to spend that tax take in the way that he would like," Murphy says. In addition, Bono shares three homes with his wife and four children,including a house near Nice in the south of France, a duplex apartmentoverlooking New York's Central Park that he bought from Apple Inc.'s SteveJobs, and a gated estate in Killiney, 10 miles south of Dublin, with apanoramic view of the Irish Sea. "We don't think this fits with Bono's image, and we're trying to get him torecognize this fact," says Chuck Kaufman, a Washington-based spokesman forthe international Venezuela Solidarity Network, which supports thegovernment of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. While Bono promotes charitable causes, he doesn't disclose whether hepersonally gives any money to them and, if so, how much. These includeAmnesty International, the Burma Campaign U.K., DATA, which stands for Debt,AIDS, Trade and Africa, the environmental group Greenpeace and ONE. "It's actually, I think, more honest to say we're rock stars, we're havin'it large, we're havin' a great time and don't focus on charity too much --that's private; justice is public,'' he told the Dublin-based SundayIndependent newspaper in June 2005. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aqdKjGJi9cHc&refer=home
My Messy HouseJill CarattiniKathleen Norris tells a story of a little boy who wrote a poem called "TheMonster Who Was Sorry." The poem begins with a confession: he doesn'tlike it when his father yells at him. The monster's response is to throwhis sister down the stairs, then to destroy his room, and finally todestroy the whole town. The poem concludes: "Then I sit in my messy houseand say to myself, 'I shouldn't have done all that.'"(1) The confession of Saint Paul bears a fine resemblance: "I do notunderstand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but I do what Ihate" (Romans 15:7). Norris further expounds the faithful candor of achild: "'My messy house' says it all: with more honesty than most adultscould have mustered, the boy made a metaphor for himself that admitted thedepth of his rage and also gave him a way out. If that boy had been anovice in the fourth-century monastic desert, his elders might have toldhim that he was well on the way toward repentance." The journey of Lent posits an opportunity to peer at the monster within. There are days in the life of faith when I question whether I am living upto the title of Christian or disciple--or even casual pilgrim. In Lent Ifind there is no question; I am not. "I have found only one religion"wrote G.K. Chesterton "that dares to go down with me into the depth ofmyself." For forty self-reflective days, this is what Lent asks of us. What we find are messy houses, filled with hidden staircases built ofexcuses, idols of good deeds atop mantels of false security, the home ofChrist in disarray at our own hands. If we were to remain shut up in this place alone, we might begin to wonderwhy we should ever hope for anything other than mess and wreckage. Paul'sconfession marks the futility of our own efforts to clean the house. Butwe do not make such a journey alone. In fact we should not havediscovered the mess had it not been shown to us. We are guided to theseplaces in our consciences, to images of ourselves unadorned, and finallyto broken and contrite hearts. Lent is our opportunity to be searched bythe Spirit of Truth, the Breathe of Holiness, God who maneuvers us throughmessy rooms and sin stained walls and exposes our monstrous ways. It wouldindeed be a futile journey if we walked this path alone. Instead, the very Spirit that shows us the monster in a messy house showsus the one who removes the masks and clears the wreckage. In a scene fromC.S. Lewis's Narnia, the great Aslan is seen tearing the costume off thechild in front of him. The child writhes in pain from the razor sharpclaws that feel as though they pierce his very being. With mountingintensity, Aslan rips away layer after layer, until the child isabsolutely certain he will die from the agony. But when it is all overand every last layer has been removed, the child delights in the freedom,having long forgotten the weight of the costume he carried. The journey of Lent does not merely show us the depths of our sin and ourneed for repentance. We are shown the weight of our masks and the extentof our messes; we are handed the yoke of our own failures. And we areshown again the one who asks to take them all from us. "Surely he took upour infirmities and carried our sorrows... But he was pierced for ourtransgressions, crushed for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:4-5). Through thedingy windows of a messy house one has the clearest view of the Cross. Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi ZachariasInternational Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.(1) Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace (New York: Riverhead, 1998),69.
A man is playing the piano softly one night in a downtown bar. In walksan elephant (told you it was silly) who goes over to the pianist, andsuddenly the elephant starts to cry. "There, there", says the pianist"Do you recognize the song?" "No, no," says the elephant " I recognizethe white keys."
Post a Comment