Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Living in LA

So what's new in the city of LA these days? Too much to recap. But I thought I would share just a couple of recent news items.

There will be new buses serving Hollywood clubs, restaurants as well as the Metro Red Line. According to NBC 4, Starting next month there will be new transportation options taking people from restaurants and nightclubs to the Metro Red Line stations at Hollywood and Highland as well as Hollywood and Vine. The bus service begins Dec. 22nd and will operate Thursdays through Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Fare will be $1 per ride.

NBC announced Tuesday that it had picked up The Apprentice for a sixth season, but this next season will take place in Los Angeles, as opposed to Manhattan. It looks like Trump wants a change of scenery, some sun and palm trees, as well as the fact that he is doing some business out west.

According to KTLA an independent peer review panel said it would be safe to tunnel under Wilshire Blvd because of new technology. Apparently that was one of the big reasons why the Red Line was never finished. In the original plans the Red Line was to go all the way to the Santa Monica Pier, but currently it ends at Western. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the Red Line to extend to the sea and this is currently in the MTA 10 year plans. According to KTLA it would happen in three stages. Stage 1: Western to Fairfax. Stage 2: Fairfax to Westwood. Stage 3: Westwood to Santa Monica Pier. I've read other places that this proposal has many challenges, like money for one. But I really hope it happens.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Walk the Line

If you enjoyed the movie Ray, then you will probably like the bio about Johnny Cash - Walk the Line. I just saw it last week. The acting was great. It was your typical life of a musician. One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Johnny had come back to his childhood faith in Christ and was letting his record producers know, whether they like it or not, he was going to record his next albumn at Folsom Prison. But the record execs in their attempt to stop him said:

Record Exec: Johnny, your fans are Christians. They're good people. They don't want to hear you singing songs to murderers and rapists, trying to make them feel better.

Johnny Cash: Then they're not Christians.

Making Christmas Cards

While some of you have already bought Christmas Cards, some of you probably haven't. Dave Walker at cartoon church gives you a million ideas when it comes to making Christmas Cards if you want to put a personal touch on things, which always makes your card stand out a bit. He gives 10 ideas for materials, 10 for tools to use, 10 for subjects, 10 for colors, 10 for sizes and shapes and 10 for messages. "Making a total of one million combinations in all." So check it out.

Which Theologian Are You?

So i took this test a couple of times and Jurgen Moltmann always came out on top. So let me know which theologian you are most like.
You scored as Jurgen Moltmann. The problem of evil is central
to your thought, and only a crucified God can show that
God is not indifferent to human suffering. Christian
discipleship means identifying with suffering but also
anticipating the new creation of all things that God will bring about.

Jurgen Moltmann


John Calvin


Karl Barth


Friedrich Schleiermacher






Martin Luther


Jonathan Edwards


Charles Finney


Paul Tillich


Which theologian are you?
created with

Monday, November 28, 2005

Buy Nothing Christmas

I don't know if you ever get tired of living in a consumer's culture. But if you are, then you would probably really appreciate this new site started by Aiden Enns entitled buy nothing christmas. I had heard of buy nothing day which encourages people not to shop on the day after thanksgiving. And while I admire anything these days that helps make a move against the consumeristic current that we live in, when I thought about the buy nothing day I would usually think, "What difference does it really make to delay my shopping for a day, except for the fact that I didn't shop on the busiest day of the year, which I have never have done anyway."

So it was pretty cool coming across this other site, that is simply trying to create a helpful alternative for people, especially those who go into 6-months debt to have a "happy" Christmas. What I liked about the site was that they were thinking about how to keep the Spirit of Christmas - giving, generosity and love, without caving into commercialism. For instance, you can download a free information kit, where you can find 59 alternative ways (and growing) to celebrate Christmas with little or no purchasing of new stuff. One idea was that students at Trinity Western University (Langley, BC, Canada) set up a free store, bringing things they didn't need and trading with each other.

An idea that I had in mind for this Christmas that was most likely mentioned somewhere on the site, was to give gifts in people's name to help relieve poverty. I'm really hoping that in the next week or two, barring any technical or other difficulties, Genesis, a guy in our congregation and I will have the website up for The Solis Foundation. It is a non-profit with 5013c status where we will be giving micro-loans for people in developing countries, helping orphanages, and in due time bringing medical supplies and a new kind of housing to developing countries. When we get the site up I will definitely let you know. This first year our focus will most likely be Kenya and the Philippines.

The article that the Vancover Sun did on this group was pretty enlightening and entertaining. Enlightening to learn that polls indicate that one in three North American's throw some Christmas gifts into the garbage, and that Ipsos-Reid reports that the average spending per Canadian adult for gifts is $724.00. Entertaining, because Aiden Enns and a group of "cheery carollers strolled through a suburban shopping mall this month belting out anti-consumer Christmas carols. To the tune of 'Rudoph the Red-Nose Reindeer," they sang:

Uh oh we're in the red, dear
On our credit card it shows
Christmas is almost over
But the debit line still grows
Shopping like Santa's zombies
Sent our budget down in flames
But all our Christmas spirit
Helped the giant retail chains

Apparently after a few carols, the malls security guards asked them to leave what was private property.

Lately I have been doing my best to live a life characterized by what I call simply beauty. Living more simply while still appreciating beauty and excellence of craft. I have felt God leading me in this idea, especially in light of my studies in the book of Mark and my growing awareness of the problem of extreme poverty in our world. I have to say that I struggle with this tooth and nail, because I have acquired a taste for fine things. But as another step in my fight of faith, I will be trying some alternative ways to celebrate Christmas this year. It will be cool get the creative juices flowing.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Links to Look At

So I think about once a week, I will be posting something about links to look at, because there are many interesting links that I come across these days.

Entrepreneurship Education Helps Low-Income Kids A multi-year Harvard study indicates that learning entrepreneurial skills may keep low-income students in school and on track for college.

Amazon's Customer Collaboration Amazon has launched ProductWiki, a route for "customer editable product information" to appear alongside most if not all of the items they sell.

Free Trade or Fair Trade? Global Voices Online talks about trade issues.

Anti-Consumers Dig Through Trash for Food Calling themselves "freegans," a group of people who ideologically reject consumer waste eat only food that's been discarded. Check out this article on a group of friends in NY who live as "freegans."

POLL: 95% of readers "Google it" An article on how goggle clearly dominates the search engine market.

The Displaced: Which Way is home? Time journalist have tracked the highs and lows of five groups of survivors of Hurricane Katrina - some since the week after the storm. This is their report.

College basketball team loses 118-6 There is no missing zero, that was really the score.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Does Turkey Make You Sleepy or Thankful?

I wonder how many of us take naps on Thanksgiving. Why do we take naps? Is it the food or is it just the fact that we keep a crazy schedule and during Thanksgiving we are expected to rest up a bit?

What are you going to be eating today? Do you prefer ham or turkey? I definitely prefer turkey. So, have you ever heard that turkey makes you sleepy, or better yet have you ever told people this? Well, according to a story by National Geographic they say, "Contrary to popular belief, turkey's tryptophan does doesn't cause drowsiness. In fact, the substance could possibly aid in the treatment of depression and multiple sclerosis." Check out the article and enjoy a good turkey today.

And when you eat, please remember to thank God. Make a list of 30 things that you are thankful for. One for each day of the month. After making your list, you might be surprised encouragement rises up within you. As Paul says in Col. 3:15 "And be Thankful."

"In a culture caught in an insatiable craving for more, a culture of perpetual dissatisfaction because there is never enough, the community renewed in the image of the Creator is characterized by 'radical gratitude.' 'We are held captive by dissatisfaction,' writes Mary Jo Leddy. As a consequence, 'ingratitude is ingrained within every social class within the culture of money. It is how sin takes shape within us, conditions us, and holds us captive.' Therefore 'the longer we live ungrratefully, the more we strenthen the claims of a culture that takes everything and everyone for granted.' Deep experiences and expressions of thanksgiving - for creation, for the gifts of our lives, for the redemption and peace of Christ - break through this culture of ingratitude and loosen its claim on our lives. It is no wonder that Paul makes the call to gratitude three times in three verses [in Colossians 3]." Colossians Remixed by Keesmaat and Walsh as quoted by tabletalk.

We can also be thankful that the bird flu has not gone from human to human yet. It is also good to keep up on the latest in regard to the bird flu, so check out the article in National Geographic entitled: Bird Flu Basics - What it is and How it Could Explode.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Interview with an Honest Boss

My friend Dustin James sent me the address of this hilarious hallmark card entitled "Interview with an Honest Boss."

The boss tells us what he really thinks about four important topics. He let's us know what overtime really means, he talks about his open door policy, how if the door is open then... He discusses what he thinks about promotions and sick days. If you want a good laugh then, check it out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

most dangerous and safest cities - survey says...

The Morgan Quitno Press, an independent private research and publishing company located in Lawrence, Kansas has come out with their 12th Annual America's Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities. The methodology for determining the safest and most dangerous cities involves a multi-step process. While the process involves much more than this, to give you a simple but incomplete summary they take data from the latest FBI stats in six crime categories - murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft - then each city was plugged into a formula that measured how a particular city compared to the national average for each crime category per 100,000. There were a few more steps which finally lets us know the safest and most dangerous cities in the U.S. Drum roll for the top 15 in each category:

It seems like Richmond, VA always makes this list. It is more dangerous to live in Richmond, VA than Compton, CA - what is up with that? And St. Louis is more dangerous than any city in California, so if you are moving from St. Louis to LA you have some good news to share with concerned parents.

Interesting to note: In cities of populations 500,000 or more, the top ten most dangerous cities are in order:

Detroit, MI
Baltimore, MD
Washington, DC
Memphis, TN
Dallas, TX
Philadelphia, PA
Columbus, OH
Nashville, TN
Houston, TX
Charlotte, NC

What is up with Columbus coming in at #7 while New York, NY in the big city category ranks at the 4th safest city? San Jose, CA comes in as THE SAFEST CITY over 500,000 while San Diego, CA is the 6th safest in big city category. There is not one city over 500,000 in California that made the top ten dangerous city list.

Other notes of interest, in the categories of safestest cities from 100,000 to 499,999, five Southern California cities make the list included Thousand Oaks at #2, Irvine at #4, Sunnyvale at #5, Semi Valley at #6 and Glendale at #9!

When it comes to cities of 75,000 to 99,999 Compton, CA ranks the 3rd most dangerous, while Mission Viejo, CA ranks the 3rd safest. You'll have to check it all out yourself.

As far as metro areas, Los Angeles County came in as the 25th most dangerous metro area, behind many other cities that were more dangerous: Miami #5, Las Vegas #7, Myrtle Beach #10, Little Rock #14, Albuquerque #17, Charlotte #19, Houston #22, Phoenix #23 and Tallahassee #24. Now I know why there is so much traffic in LA and why houses cost so much.

Now while it is interesting to look at all of these rankings, there are of course many things that this study does not tell us. For example, in a city the size of Los Angeles there are neighborhoods where you are likely to find flying bullets and neighborhoods that are very safe. So the overall balance doesn't really tell us much about the neighborhood that we live in, but the study is interesting none-the-less.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Virtual Los Angeles

I recently ran across a really cool site about Los Angeles. It is incredible. It has some really cool computer generated pictures and trips through LA that are a trip - literally! It's crazy what can be done in the age of computers. You can take a trip from Mariachi Plaza to Disney Concert Hall through the First Street Flyover (windows media), which by the way feels pretty much like the real thing, except on this trip you get all green lights and have no traffic. Check out the proposed parking garage (windows media) and redevelopment options for the area north of downtown. You can find all of this stuff on UCLA's Urban Simulation Team website. It is amazing!

You can also find some pictures of Santa Monica, Hollywood, UCLA,LAX,Downtown, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Pasadena, LA Freeways, and much more.

According to the UCLA Urban Simulation website their focus is "a long-term effort to build real-time virtual reality model of the entire Los Angeles basin for use by Architects, Urban Planners, Emergency Response Teams, and government entities. The team has already finished major sections of the city... and negotiations are currently underway for other areas of the city."

According to the site, "When completed, the entire virtual Los Angeles model will cover an area well in excess of 10,000 square miles and will elegantly scale from satellite images to street level views accurate enought to allow the signs and windows of the shops and the graffiti on the walls to be legible... Where you can fly, drive and/or walk through the virtual LA model simultaneously... the possible uses of this model are endless. The team has been in discussions with the city of Los Angeles about the feasibility of using the model in conjuntion with Global Positional System transponders to accurately locate and remotely manage emergency response vehicles in real-time." All i can say is fascinating!

Friday, November 18, 2005

keeping an eye on interesting links

here are a few interesting links to check out for this week.

the hollywood sign to get a makeover this year originally constructed in 1923, the hollywood sign as become an american icon and the most famous sign in the world. this year it's getting a makeover. listen to the npr story on this.

the 100 best products of 2005 pc world has come out with it's top 100 list, included in the top five are google, gmail and apple mac os x 10.4 tiger.

amazon offers refund for all sony rootkit cd's if you got the latest switchfoot or other cd that sony produces, check this out.

review of walk the line get a low down on the latest hollywood biographical film.

how much time do you really have? productive strategy talks about the futurist magazine lastest findings about how americans use their time.

mom-to-be calls unborn a passenger a prenant woman ticketed for driving in the carpool lane will have her day in court next month to agrue that her unborn child counts as a second person in the car.

harvard, for less: extension courses' new allure check out this interesting article from the new york times.

100 arrested at walmart construction site federal immigration agents detains more than 100 walmart workers, story by associatred press.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

what if?

i just got back from watching "jarhead" and was moved to deeply think about war again. over the last couple of years i have given some deeper thoughts to war, and have even made a list of books that have influence my thoughts on non-violence. after the movie i just had to think, it was hard to speak.

it is hard for me to conceive that we send people who are so young to such a tragic experience. i can't imagine the amount of pain that people on all sides of war must face, it is too overwhelming. its too sad. its too depressing.

why do we feel that violence can bring about peace, when the prince of peace overcame violence by laying his life down for all? why do we feel that violence can bring about peace, when many of jesus' first followers followed his path and died a martyr's death?

i was at a lecture the other day and a well known christian said, "what if."

what if after 9/11 we decided how we decided to return evil with good? what if as the most powerful nation on earth we decided that we wanted to be a blessing to the world instead of using violence to "supposedly" stop violence. what if bush called all of the religious leaders in the nation to gather, to sit at tables of ten and said, "i am a christian, and in light of being a follower of christ, let's think of a plan that is good for all people, whether they be christians, muslims, jews or atheists."

what if after all of the discussions we said, "though we could use our power to invade afghanistan and iraq, we decided we would like to overcome evil with good, so we are calculating what a war might cost us, doubling that figure and we are going to use this money to bless people all around the world."

what if we did that? what would the world be like today?

as i thought about that basic idea, i thought, we as the people of God really need to start thinking like that.

after watching jarhead and reflecting just a little on my thoughts on war and peace, i have been thinking: what if instead of being self-protective, we became self-giving?

i know this is easy to say at this time, especially when so many are questioning why we went to war in the first place.

but what if we become more prepared to handle the next crises right now, by thinking about potential crises' that we will most likely face as a people, and give some thoughtful consideration on how we could respond in such a way to bless others. what if we prepare ourselves theologically, emotionally, spiritually and economically to shoulder a cross instead of pull out a sword? yes, we might lose some lives, but we might change some lives as well. remember stephen? remember paul watching stephen die? how did stephen's non-violent ways effect paul and how did paul's life effect ours?

jesus gets me thinking about "what if." what if all of this is just naive thinking? what if it isn't?

red carpet seats and the march of the penguins

Originally uploaded by BrynJ.

according to reuters, the academy's documentary branch screening committee chose 15 documentaries from 82 different docs to move forward for consideration for oscars. on that list includes the phenomenon at the box office "march of the penguins" which has grossed $77 million in just domestic sales.

the movie was amazing. i thought to myself after seeing it, "how many people who have lived on earth have had the opportunity to see how penguins survive such harsh conditions."

other documentaries that have made the first cut were "rize" a film about dance artists in south los angeles who danced youth out of gangs, and "mad hot ballroom" which is the story if nyc school kids on a journey into the world of ballroom dancing.

the list will be narrowed to five when oscar nominations are announced on january 31st. the 78th oscar award ceremony takes place on march 5th.

we will be having our annual oscar party at the fountain room as well as stating our series on "hollywood and the ancient text." it seems to be one of the favorites series that we do at kairos.

if you live in los angeles and want to watch the red carpet arrivals live at the kodak theater, book mark this page to get more information on applying for a lottery for 300 bench seats for 2007, for 2006 lottery is already over. then remember to check your book mark in september of 2006.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

are you an inventor?

so move over "american idol" and "so you think you can dance." abc is making room for inventors in a primetime show entitled "american inventor." simon cowell is among the new shows executive producers. auditions are being held around the country. sorry, but i was a little late in getting this out for those who live in la. i guess you will need to go to san fran or denver. click here to learn more. here is a list of the cities holding auditions.

los angeles, nov. 14th
san francisco, nov. 17th
denver, dec. 1st
chicago, dec. 4th
new york, dec. 7th
washington dc, dec. 11th
atlanta, dec. 14th

the winner gets: one million dollars.

buying cd's by sony lately?

a friend bought me the latest switchfoot cd, but because of what sony had embedded in the cd, i was really glad that i had not yet put in on my computer, for if i did my computer would be much more vunerable to viruses. to get the latest news about sony cd's, check out boingboing.

peter drucker: november 19, 1909 - november 11, 2005

nova spivack, the grandson of peter drucker posted this to his blog, Minding the Planet:

"He lived a legendary life... He was a guru. He was a great man, a Renaissance Man - the kind that comes along only once in a century. He will be missed."

if you want to learn more about peter drucker and what people are saying about his life, his leadership wisdom and his death, then check out managment speak with kris morrison.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

what kind of candy are you?


Nutty and gooey - you always satisfy.
What Kind of Candy Are You?
people have been very kind to me today on my birthday. i'm not the greatest when it comes to remembering birthdays and i have been amazed how many people have remembered my birthday, sent me cards, gave me gifts, cooked me cakes or food, or tried to get a hold of me to share something nice.

at our staff meeting today, they threw me a little party and they each shared with me one word that described me. some of the words were: faithful, faith-filled, free, unbridled, crazy, wild, inspirational, a learner, energetic, a goober (didn't know how to take that one, but they defined it as: childlike, playful,rambunctious, excitable) and an activist. if you had to describe me in a word, what word would you choose?

i am so grateful for the friends that God has given me on this earth. i thought i would do this silly test to see what kind of candy i would be and this is what i found out. so if you were a piece of candy, what would you be?

how missional are you?

i found this chart on brother maynard's blog - subversive influence. it is a helpful diagram by len illustrating brian mclaren's seven layers of emergent that was posted by out of ur, a blog hosted by the editors of leadership journal. you have to read the article to really get a sense of what the chart is talking about. i think the question that the brian is asking is: how engaged is your congregation or house church in transforming the world? or to what degree is your congregation bringing more of heaven to earth?

these missional questions are important. they remind me of a question that graham tomlin of oxford posed at a lecture. a question that has never really left my head or heart: if God's reign were fully realized in my neighborhood, what would be different? that question should guide the mission of the church. of course the church must do what she needs to do to stay healthy herself, but she moves toward health and wholeness for the sake of the world.

we are blessed so that we might be a blessing to the world. i'm pretty sure that is the promise that abraham was given, as well as all who are of his seed.

Monday, November 14, 2005

rain, word, travel = joy

isaiah 55 is an amazing chapter. near the end of this chapter isaiah says, "The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."

as one privileged to be able to communicate the word of God to people, i am always amazed about the different ways that God's word works. today after sharing at kairos here in la, a man who is about 50, who is well to do, shared with me a story of how God spoke to him to help this homeless man on the corner, because he had been thinking about a message i shared previously about jesus' desire for social justice and his care for the down and out.

later someone said, "jr, i have someone you need to meet. they are from germany. they heard one of your talks on a cassette and listened to it about 15 times and was eager to meet you." i discovered that a talk that i gave in amsterdam earlier this year on the kingdom of God, made its way to germany and then this person made their way to los angeles. they are looking for a job here with the possibility of staying.

so just like the rain hits the ground and causes changes in the scenery and produces life giving food, so the word of God as it is shared, is like a seed that sinks into a 50 year old man and produces the fruit of kind deeds to a homeless man on the street. and the word as it is preached in amsterdam is sent to germany and the young listener of the word is sent back to los angeles to share his encouragement with the preacher of the word, and fellowship between new friends occurs.

isaiah continues with, "You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD's name; it will be an everlasting sign of his power and love."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

emerging leaders gathering

orlando mornings
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

life has been absolutely crazy this week, which is why i have been unable to do any blogging what-so-ever. i am down in orlando at our annual emerging leaders gathering in orlando florida with gcm. since i am in orlando, i thought i would put up a picture i took one morning at a previous visit.

after taking the red eye sunday evening and not getting much sleep, i ended up having flu symptoms. because this week was so packed with meetings and preparation, i have continued to lack sleep this week. i was scheduled to talk on wednesday and before speaking because of my lack of sleep over numerous days, flu symptoms and feeling emotionally overloaded, i really didn't think i could share. somehow i felt the Spirit of God at the very last moment just helped me to push through and at least get to first base, which was my prayer.

last night while i was meeting with joe dunn and noel heikkinen as we met to talk about a conference that we will be sharing at in europe this december. zolder 50 in amsterdam will be hosting the event. and people from a number of countries from europe will be attending. the conference will be translated into six different languages, which is why my talks have to be finished by early december.

anyway, noel was telling me that he was blogging quick outline here at our emerging leaders gathering. john hevers talked on God in our story and i shared a talk on the equipping church. other talks have been more discussion oriented so far.

last night i finally was able to get some sleep, and i'm feeling a bit better this morning.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

bird flu could kill 180,000 californians

nbc4 tv starts off their story like this: "As many as 180,000 Californians could die -- and millions more hospitalized -- if bird flu becomes contagious among humans and reaches California, health officials warned Friday."

"'There's no reason to believe it's not going to reach North America,' said Dr. Scott Layne during a hearing on California's preparations for a possible pandemic."

it kind of crazy stuff huh? the article talks about how alaska will likely be the first place in north america hit by bird flu brought by migrating birds, and if that happens, it will only be a matter of weeks before the disease spreads to california. during a hearing at UCLA dr. lane stated "that the flu has a high probability in getting into the animals in the state of california," but it is unknown whether or not its going to turn into a "human pathogen."

the article also says many other interesting things. definetly something to keep an eye on.

Friday, November 04, 2005

keeping an eye on interesting links

here are a few random links of interest for you to check out.

video ipod currently the only network that offers shows through itunes is abc, but cbs digital president larry kramer said this week that he has had talks with apple about selling cbs television shows on the itunes music store

wikipedia notes some interesting facts about wikipedia from a conversation with jimmy wales the main guy behind wikepedia

why paris is burning time magazine gives thoughts on the rage and riots in and around paris

usc prank usc coach peter carroll pulls a halloween prank that stunned many of his players during practice this past monday evening

la mayor praises rosa at detroit service villaraigosa eulogized civil rights icon rosa parks in detroit saying she helped pave his way to become the first hispanic mayor of los angeles

a new weapon for wal-mart: a war room the new york times shares how wal-mart mounts a counteroffensive against its opponents

dealing with spam americans spend 40 minutes a week deleting spam

the summit of the americas according to the chicago tribune, the americans have landed in argentina. they brought warships and radar planes, spies and snipers, and armored cars. they laid in food, water and supplies by the ton - anything that president bush and his team might need over the next few days at the summit.

friday quiz want to test your biblical knowledge? then check out this presbyterian ordination exam

consumer reports consumer reports comes out with the most reliable cars of 2006

google library open for business google has posted the first large batch of public domain books and documents to be indexed in its search engine. learn more about google plans, pending lawsuits

Thursday, November 03, 2005

what christian's can learn from bono

i love what jann wenner wrote in the rolling stone interview with bono, after spending ten hours with him.

"The story of Bono and his band is a story of commitment to one another -- after twenty-nine years, they remain a remarkably stable unit -- and to the greater causes of social justice on which Bono has staked his reputation. Bono gives us a vision of how tomorrow can be better than today. He appeals to something greater than ourselves. He tells the story of his life and struggles in terms everyone can understand. He speaks about faith in a way that even a nonbeliever can embrace. 'The New York Times Magazine' called him 'a one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame . . . the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture...' Bono is the rare major artist who speaks of his life and work with candor and transparency."

the interview was broken up into three sections: growing up, a musical education, a spiritual life

what is it about bono that causes jann to say "He speaks about faith in a way that even a nonbeliever can embrace?" what can we learn from bono? probably a lot, but let me share just a couple of things.

1. one can exercise their prophetic calling as a musician in the mainstream
2. long term commitment to a team of people
3. honesty, candor and authenticity
4. that God is at the center, we are either running from him (the blues) or running toward him (gospel)
5. that social justice weighs heavier on God's heart than what tends to be important in the christian ghetto

u2 sermons is a cool look into the heart and soul of u2, get off your knees looks like a great read, i'll let you know. my friend rudy carrasco did an interesting interview with beth maynard one of the authors of the book in which eugene peterson wrote the forward.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

drug-sniffing wasps may sting crooks

"Sneaky drug smugglers and terrorists may soon meet their match: a handheld chemical detector powered by trained wasps." this is the headline of a recent article in national geographic. it is an interesting article about the "wasp hound" that lewis and rains, georgia based researchers how to bring to the market in five to ten years.

"The Wasp Hound is a tube made of PVC pipe. At one end is a clear lastic chamber, about two inches (five centimeters) in diameter and an inch (two and a half centimeters) deep, where the wwasps are housed. It's like a cap that you can take on and off... the chamber has vent holes, a fan, and a miniature camera connected to a computer. When the wasps aren't working, they just randomly walk around in their chamger, but when the wasps encounter a smell they have been trained to recognize, the hungry insects congregate near the odor, hoping for food. the mini-cam tracks their movement, sending pictures to the computer, which analyzes the images and triggers an alarm withoin 30 seconds."

they say that wasps can be trained in 30 minutes and bred by the thousands - but who has the heart to let nix the k9 know that he may be out of a job?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

fast cities

Nur raus!
Originally uploaded by Martin S..

fast company just came out with the top ten up-and-coming hubs for creative workers - places that draw people who are talented, tech savvy and tolerant.

in the article they talk about how talented and creative people whom richard florida has called the "creative class" the scientists, engineers, artists, managers and professionals, are moving to these creative hubs because of the benefits of connecting with other talented people.

they say, "The country's epicenters of such talent - San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles - are well known." so what they did research to discover which up-and-coming places that are becoming more like these epicenters of creativity and talent. so here's the top ten as listed in the article

sacramento, california
phoenix, arizona
salt lake city, utah
san antonio, texas
raliegh-durham, north carolina
san diego, california
portland, oregon
madison, wisconsin
tuscon, arizona
colorado springs, colorado

they do a great job a describing some of the cornerstones and caveats of each city. in their talk about global fast cities, they name the international up-and-coming cities competing with the u.s. for the global talent pool as:

dublin, ireland
helsinki, finland
montreal, quebec
sydney, australia
vancouver, bc

my fellow californian's

good morning la
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

on november 8th we are voting on 8 important initiatives, from proposition 73 which requires, with certain exceptions, a doctor to notify the parent or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing the abortion, to proposition 80 which deals with a number of aspects of the state’s electricity market. of course the airwaves have been focusing on props 74 – 77. if you want to take a look at a quick summary or look at the issues more in-depth, vote circle seems to do an straight forward assessment by giving us the exact text of the propositions.

one of the easiest ways to vote in la is the early voting option where you can vote touch screen. some of the places you can do this are: beverly hills city hall – room G30C, culver city - city hall – 1st floor overflow room, and pasadena jackie robinson center daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. early voting takes place between october 26th to november 4th, 2005.

“I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians” -Charles DeGaulle

alito fires up conservatives, takes heat off of bush

photo by andy nelson christian science monitor

so the battle of the courts begins. i'm sure that samuel alito will be in the headlines for quite a while, taking negative attention off of bush. every major news agency from new york to la seem to be coming out with their early opinions of alito, most saying his has a conservative paper trail.