Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Interesting Astronomy

Since fifth grade when a friend of my parents loaned me her books, I have been hooked on Bodie and Brock Thoene's writing. This spring their sixth book (Sixth Covenant) skillfully and historically dramatizing the life of Christ is due to be released. Brock is a historian, and digs up most of the facts. Bodie tells stories, drawing you into the lives of their characters. Together they spend hundreds of hours in Bible study for every book, searching in the original languages for treasures of knowledge. Then, happily, they weave these insights into their stories.

I don't know about tunnels under Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene was probably not Lazarus' sister. Jesus' eyes may not have been brown flecked with gold. Nevertheless, I learned history from them, and traditions the Jews held, and Hebrew. Their most recent novels have employed the astronomy likely occuring just prior to and following Jesus' birth.

Genesis 1:14,
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven
to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:"

Luke 21:11,
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places,
and famines, and pestilences;
and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."

Put all this together, and take a look at the article presented on the Thoene's website. Then enjoy the show on March 3, when there is a lunar eclipse. Don't forget to praise the God who reveals His eternal power and godhead in creation.

To God be all glory.

Competition from China

On the radio this morning, Laura Ingram was documenting the news about China from the last year - news you probably missed; I did. There were all sorts of things about weapons, blocking UN Sanctions, demographics, economics, human rights, and the upcoming Bejing Olympics. One point that resonated with me is the false values Americans put on goods because whatever we buy either comes from China or has to compete with their practically slave manufactured products. As a sole proprietor of a business dealing mostly in clothes and home decor, this infuriates me.

Take a look: I am legally prohibited from using slave or forced labor. The government even dictates a minimum wage I would have to pay any employees. To be in business I have to pay licensing fees. If I make any money, or sell anything in my state, I owe taxes. These taxes are supposed to support my government: pay government officials, repair roads, fund government buildings, salary the defense.

Originally, these expenses were minimal. So small were these costs relative to the commerce of the United States, and so eager were foreign businesses to compete in our economy, that the majority of our government funding was supplied by import and export taxes (or tariffs). In the Federalist Papers, the anonymous authors argued for the ratification of the Constitution by reassuring the people of the use of tariffs rather than taxation. Somewhere along the way, the government decided to fund things not described in the Constitution, which was illegal, and they needed more money. So they started taxing the people on their income, on their purchases, on inheritances, and on their land. When this supplied their projects, they found more projects (like regulating cottage industry into near-bancruptcy) to require additional funding. At this point the government did three things: raised taxes, went into debt, and printed more money (inflation) to pay its debts.

Today, China buys our debts. We have a trade agreement with China. Tariffs are negligible, as the government is afraid of discouraging foreign trade in our glorious capitalist economy, which despite the non-capitalist oppressions imposed by the government, has continued to thrive. Most Americans thriftily choose the least expensive offer for a good. They buy clothes made in China, toys, dishes, decorations, tools, and electronics made in China. I can't keep up. Only very nice or very principled people could "afford" to buy my goods, and I try my best to get supplies inexpensively.

What went wrong?

To God be all glory.

Under the Snow

For weeks we have had snow on our lawn. Denver almost set a record for sequential days with at least an inch of snow on the ground. When more came, we could barely tell. The white (or brownish gray as it turns after the dirt of cars and ploughs taints it) got old. When the sun came out long enough and hot enough to reveal our back yard, I was ready to jump for joy.

Until I saw the ground. After two months of snow, I had forgotten what winter does to the world in Colorado on a normal year. The grass was a dun, dreary brown. Everything was smushed and muddied from the piles of snow that had pressed it. Rotting leaves spread in a pile beneath the tree (consequences of raking, jumping, but not bagging and trashing). What happened to green? Can we have back the brilliant white that lifted our eyes to the startling blue of the sky?

Fortunately we didn't have to wait long for relief. At least for a couple days, we have more snow gracing our land.

To God be all glory.

Faramir - An Important Chess Piece

"The board is set, and the pieces are moving. One piece
that I greatly desire to find is Faramir, now the heir of Denethor..."
- Gandalf, quoted from Minas Tirith, Return of the King, Lord of the Rings
I am a thorough Lord of the Rings fan. Take that whichever way you want. The first few times I read the book I related best to Merry's love for the dear old King Theoden and for Frodo and Sam's struggle with the climactic celebration near the end. As I grew, I was able to understand things about good kings, about battles, and about sacrifice through the lens of Lord of the Rings. Eventually, I'd say in the last few years of high school onward, I delighted in the message of immortality and in the love story. Those of you who only saw the movie have no idea what I mean.

Faramir. Remember that younger son, the ranger who blended in, but was important enough to drive his father mad when the son fell ill? There's so much more. A hero. A renaissance man. Faramir is an example of incredible character. Starting with this article, I'm going to set out some thoughts I've had on what made this man who he is.

When Gandalf and Pippin arrive at Minas Tirith, one of the first people for whom Gandalf looks is Faramir. Earlier, in the Two Towers, Faramir reveals that he has a history with the old wizard:

"... and I learned a little of him [Gandalf], when he would teach (and that
was seldom)... But this much I learned, or guessed, and I have kept it
ever secret in my heart since: that Isildur took somewhat from the hand of the
Unnamed, ere he went away from Gondor..."

This amazes me. A little boy, or a young man, gets to follow Gandalf and ask questions and be entrusted with a secret so important that the fate of the world rests on the faithfulness of the pupil. Gandalf found Faramir a willing learner, a faithful man, and somehow important enough to be taught. Faramir was only the second son. The wizard was on no mission to educate the future ruler of an important nation.

In addition, Gandalf entrusted Faramir with his names in different regions, including the West, Valinor, whence all the wizards came and Gandalf latest. Though he says his past is forgotten, he remembered enough to reveal the name Olorin. Translated to English, this means "dreams, memory, imagination." Names in Lord of the Rings (and throughout most of our history) are significant. To tell a name is to reveal part of your identity, especially when accompanied with this explanation.

Gandalf's other friends were friends of necessity. Elrond was a powerful member of the council of the wise. Aragorn, heir to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, was also an important partner in defenses and quests. His leadership of the Dunedain, skill as a hunter, and reputation as a fosterling of Elrond recommended him to Gandalf's confidence. Even the hobbits received notice for their usefulness (though they brought delight with their quirkiness). Bilbo was needed as a burglar (and lucky number). Frodo happened to own a very important Ring. The eagles repeatedly rescued Gandalf and his friends from wars or inprisonment. Faramir, however, seems to have been a friend by choice. Gandalf saw in him something very special, and chose him as a friend.

In the Council of Elrond, when Boromir explained his brother's dream, did Gandalf picture the doughty scholar and understand why the vision would have come more readily, and seemed more urgent, to Faramir?

As he rode to Minas Tirith, either preparing for war or preparing for a long siege, no doubt Faramir was at the forefront of Gandalf's thoughts. Now the heir of Gondor, little could Gandalf see how important his protege would be.

In the border-wars the brothers Boromir and Faramir had been at each others' sides. Since Boromir left to seek for the sword-that-was-broken, Captain Faramir led the covert defenses of the territories such as Ithilien, and the vanguard at Osgiliath. When the army from Minas Morgul was already marching and darkness was spreading, though he had been assaulted already by ringwraiths, Faramir still went to hold the last outposts and walls blocking the enemies from his city.

Listen to how the chess piece describes himself:

"War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour
all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its
swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they
defend: the city of the Men of Numenor; and I would have her loved for her
memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom."

He had perspective of history and of the whole world, not of his own advancement or even the glory of his own country. Such a grasp of macro-strategy is essential for a chessman.

To God be all glory.

PS: Please pronounce Faramir with the 'ar' saying "air", and the 'ir' saying "eer." His name is not Farmer.

All quotations taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, published by Houghton Mifflin

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Really Like Giant Squid

In New Zealand, fishermen caught something large and unexpected this week: a nearly half ton "colossal" squid. Click the link to read the story and see a picture. That's big.

Sea monsters are not myth. The oceans are far too unexplored to go ruling out the existence of a creature or to declare one extinct. New Zealand seems the place to go. Remember the carcass that looked like a plesiosaur a couple decades ago?

To God be all glory.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Amazing Grace

My parents saw the movie tonight and said it was good. Carolyn at Solo Femininity got a pre-release viewing and said the movie was great. Read what she said here.

Yes, the movie was lovely (edited Monday, March 5). The story of "Wilbur's" long struggle was an interesting mix of spirituality, political strategy, friendship, history, and humor. Stay for the end. They play Amazing Grace.

My parents said they didn't follow the parliamentary scenes because so many of the members looked alike in their wigs. Since I knew most of the actors who played the representatives in parliament, I enjoyed following the story there. In addition, I don't know if you've ever watched British Parliament on TV. It is hilarious how they argue so politely and rudely at the same time, while stomping and booing if they really want someone to sit down. The room is so small and tall that the environment is truly unique. In the movie the scenes looked a lot like contemporary parliament whether because that is its model or because parliament has been the same for a very long time.

The only thing I had trouble with was the lack of introduction of the hosts through half of the movie. They are friends of the main character, but we don't know anything else about them.

In case you're wondering, I expect our family will own this movie.

To God be all glory.

Are there any Gentlemen Left?

When I logged onto my computer just now to post the previous two articles, my homepage, Ladies Against Feminism, distracted me for about five minutes (because I had to read the article twice: once to myself and once aloud) with a tantalizing essay on Sense and Sensibility, particularly Col. Brandon. If you are a fan of Jane Austen, you might want to take a moment to sigh over thoughts you've already had and probably already expressed. Then take hope at the testimony of the author.

As a side note, I am eagerly awaiting the new Masterpiece Theater/BBC adaptations of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and, happily, Persuasion. If you're willing to settle for a movie set in a slightly earlier era in the mean time, let me recommend Amazing Grace, which was released today. Thought I haven't yet seen the film, I am impressed and excited by the trailer.

I am considering a series of posts on either Faramir from Lord of the Rings or on Wives and Daughters. What is your feedback? Which would you rather ponder?

To God be all glory.

The Last will be First

This week I was reading the November/December issue of Every Thought Captive, the publication of R.C. Sproul, Jr's Highland Study Center. Yes, I was reading it for the first time. In my defense I will say a few things: 1. The topic was angels, and since I received the publication after Christmas, I wasn't in the mood. 2. I have been sick. 3. Once I started I couldn't put it down, but read the entire magazine straight through. 4. The timing was God's; I got just what I needed for that day.

One thought struck me, a matter of theology or biblical interpretation. R.C. Sproul writes, "But the consolation of theology is in this, that the greater shall serve the lesser, that the last shall be first, that the handmaid would be exalted, that the Second Born would redeem the sons of the First Born." First Born, Second Born. In the Old Testament we see so often. Cain, though firstborn, did not find favor with God. First Abel, then Seth pleased God. Isaac, of course, was the son of promise, not Ishmael, and so was the true son who inherited the blessing of Abraham. Jacob carried the line of the Messiah and the promise given to Abraham, not his older brother Esau. Aaron was older than Moses, but who was the deliverer? David was the youngest son, yet anointed king of Israel.

These stories have always been strange to me, with their quirks and details. Why would Esau sell something so valuable? Did the great men of the Bible really have to behave in such petty ways? What was the problem with Cain? Why are all of these stories - these details - included in the eternal Word of God? What are they to teach us today?

1 Corinthians 15:22, 45 - "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive... And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

Perhaps all those stories were promises that the last would be better than the first, that though Adam was a disappointment, the Messiah was coming, and He was the Promise, the redemption of all their disppointment and sin.

I close with the next sentence from the acrticle (entitled Angels We Have Heard on High): "God made order, and then, for the sheer beauty of it, turned it upside down, that He might harmonize it all again."

To God be all glory.

Corner of Color

Tired from helping my brother with algebra, I lay back on our living room floor and entered a grace-filled world of color through a tiny triangle formed between our window and our curtain. The blue of the sky was so rich. Against the blue painted trim of our house the heavens looked alive, real, vibrant. If God can speak through a color, this morning He did. The message was peace and love and beauty.

A moment after my little corner glimpse into the infinite was crossed by a jet and its puffy white contrail, quickly dispersed as though the wind would brush away the perfect picture of the lovely blue. My eyes closed in a second of praise, then opened to watch three geese fly, just enough for a V-formation, following the jet.

All in 30 seconds, this beautiful message like a living painting passed across my view. What peace do we forfeit when we don't stop to lie back on the carpet and see what God has made?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Advice for Young Ladies

Most of you girls are embarking on a monumental season in your life: the season of transition from beautiful girlhood to noble womanhood. This is also the season that brings new knowledge of good and evil. It brings a stronger awareness of our “crooked and perverse generation.”

As John Adams put it in a letter to his daughter Abigail when she was approaching her thirteenth birthday, it is “a time when the understanding opens, and the youth begin to look abroad into the world among whom they are to live.”

So begins a speech presented by the lovely example of visionary womanhood, Anna Sofia Botkin, on the occasion of a friend's thirteenth birthday. Believing that teens should be held to a standard of spiritual and behavioral excellence, and passionately agreeing with the vision she has of our society, I am linking to the article and recommending it to you.

I wish that when I turned 13, older girls (with whom a thirteen year old would be able to connect as a friend, and not as only a friend of my parents) had alerted me of the changes in outlook and emotions I would experience over the next several years. To be honest, my understanding of teenager came from The Brady Bunch and Saved by the Bell, and I just didn't feel like fitting that mold. To have been challenged to grow deeper in my relationship with God (which He accomplished by His grace anyway) and with my parents would have been a blessing.

God knows best, and He has used each circumstance in my life to form me into the maidservant He has today. Yet that experience, of feeling like a lonely pioneer to some extent, in the Christian teen world, has taught me to desire to share the vision with other young ladies. I pray if any young ladies read my blog, or any parents of such, that you would click on the link and read Anna Sofia Botkin's inspiring and gracious charge provided by Doug Phillips on his blog at Vision Forum.

As a disclaimer/comment, I didn't understand the part about Asia. Does anyone else?

To God be all glory.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


So the flu is spread by coughing: germs fly out of your mouth and into the air other people are breathing. Coughing, then, is a symptom of the flu. If you have the flu, you are contagious one day before and five days after symptoms start. Anyone else notice the irony?

I'm pretty sure I've had influenza for three weeks, a minor case, I'd say, as I've still been able to work and do other things most days. However, all my optional activities like shopping or meeting with friends have been replaced with sleep. Also I'm not thinking all that clearly, so reading heavy articles like CS Hayden's most recent couple, YLCF's blogs on being single, or LAF's recently updated articles has been low on my priority list. I'm taking things in bite size pieces.

That includes chocolate, which I firmly believe aids in the cure of almost all illnesses. Besides having anti-oxidant and cough-supressant properties, chocolate tastes good and makes me feel better. *laughter* When I called the doctor after two and a half weeks sick, he said depression can cause these symptoms at this time of year, and was I depressed. Though I told him truly no, I had to laugh. Who wouldn't be a little down after being exhausted and semi-feverish for over two weeks?

Giving just credit to the medical profession, my doctor did inform me (when I saw him, before he stuck me with needles) that the flu can also be spread by breathing close to someone, like whispering, which explains the spread before symptoms, providing you're close to people.

More irony, though: in recent years a few antiviral medications have become available to limit the strength and duration of the flu. They are only effective if you take them beginning the first two or three days of illness. A doctor must give them to you, I believe. I didn't have any clue what I had the first couple days. I thought I was just tired. Who goes to the doctor after even two days of fever?

Another option is that I could have tuberculosis instead. I'm happier with the flu, though it should be over by now. Maybe if I had rested rather than keeping up appearances of feeling well? Don't worry; I probably don't have tuberculosis. I find out tomorrow. That is what the needles were for. I don't have pneumonia; that is what the x-rays were for.

I am clearly sick. I just ended two sentences with prepositions and don't feel like fixing them.

One thing I have enjoyed reading while sick is Crystal's blog. A post I found especially helpful was her answer to how she manages through the fatigue and morning sickness of pregnancy. Highlight:
Most importantly, I try to start my day with Bible reading and prayer and then to meditate on Scripture throughout the day. I must rely on God's strength right now, or I do not have a lot of my own.

I read that and thought, "Oh yeah; I knew there was something that would help." Depending on God shouldn't be something you need to be reminded when you feel like I do: proves how my spiritual life has been the past few months - perhaps a little too self-reliant in the little I-can-handle-this things?

Weakness is good. At least it's true. Michael Card sings: "When we in our weakness thought we were strong, He became helpless to show we were wrong." God's "helplessness" was stronger than our "strength." And Paul confessed, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

To God be all glory.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Changing Church Part XV

Though it was Saturday, Will had decided to book meetings all day. Anne agreed to go with him for the first half. She was moral support and a welcome change of tone to the members of their church. Most of them did not know her well, since she was generally very quiet at church and very nervous on the telephone.

After lunch Will dropped her back by the house. Dropped isn’t exactly the word. He intended to let her off without ever getting out of the car. But once they were home, he was desperate to get his shoes off for only a moment, and to spend some time alone with his wife. She stood watching him wriggle his socked toes against their soft carpet. Stealthily picking up one of her homemade cushions, she threw it straight at his head. It missed by a foot and a half and he went after her. In only a few paces he had caught her up into his arms, shrieking with laughter. To put her down was impossible. But she wouldn’t let him ignore the clock or his obligations. She eventually pried herself free of his arms and dropped to the floor.

Then she stood staring at the door, not wanting him to go any more than he wanted to leave. He saw her sad, resolute eyes. Before he turned for the door, he kissed her hard. Sometimes God asked for sacrifices. Most people wouldn’t think that a Saturday afternoon was a big sacrifice. Will would have suffered less had he given up his right arm.

Hours later, when the house was perfectly straightened and gleaming with its cleanliness, Anne sat on the couch praying. Her book was finished. It sat beside her with the pretty flowered bookmark resting on top. A car pulled up outside. She didn’t expect Will home for another couple hours, but she looked to see who it was. A young woman from church, Rachael, was walking up the porch steps.

“Will isn’t here, I’m sorry,” Anne wearily greeted the visitor.

“Oh. Well, I wasn’t actually. I mean I would like to say something about last Sunday, but I didn’t come for that. I’ve been meaning to come for weeks, just to say hi.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Come in.”

Rachael walked into the cozy living room and admired the decor. “You’ve done a lot in eight months,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s too feminine, that Will wouldn’t feel at home anymore, either. It’s very natural. Will had a lot of the pieces when we were married.”

“I wanted to say that I think you are very brave. To support your husband like that…”

“I don’t want you to think that I was forced to follow him just because he’s my husband. I agree with the things he said.”

“I know. I admire your relationship with him, how he respects you and you adore him.”

Anne smiled. “I think he adores me, too. Can I offer you some pie? I just made it.”

“Oh, but it looks like you’re saving it for your husband’s dessert,” Rachael observed the plate and silverware set out on the table. “And it isn’t even cut yet.”

“Will won’t mind if there’s a piece missing, as long as he gets his share. And you’re not going to eat a whole chocolate pie, are you?”


Anne laughed with her. “I’ll have mine now, too. Have a seat in the living room. There are some cuddly blankets in a stack by the window,” Anne suggested. “There. And a napkin.”

Rachael took the slice of pie. “I came over hoping we could talk.”

“About what?” Anne asked.

“Nothing in particular. I just thought I’d like to get to know you. I’m not a believer in the idea that pastors and their families should be set on a pedestal and abandoned. They can be some of the neatest people, and encourage your faith so much; I don’t know why people wouldn’t want to be their friends.”

“I certainly like being a pastor’s friend. I married one. What do you do?”

“Not much of anything serious right now. I’m not sure what to do with my life. So many things look interesting.”

“That’s how I was. When I was in high school I thought of any number of things I wanted to do with my life. Nursing, law, education, decorating, cooking… Then it occurred to me that all those things, and most career fields in which women are interested, are all skills that a homemaker needs. I believe God knew what He was doing when He assigned women that roll. We can certainly excel at it.”

“So that’s how you knew?”

“By the time I was a senior in high school, I was convinced this is the job to which God was calling me. I believe that the gift of singleness, when you have it, is obvious, and I was obviously a romantic. I mean, if your lot in life is going to be fighting crushes, you might as well be blessed with a man to love forever, too. It doesn’t always work that way, though. God gave me grace.”

Rachael nodded. Her look was wistful. “How do you find a man. That’s the age-old question. There just aren’t enough pastors to go around.”

“That’s exactly what we’ve been thinking about, except more with regards to their role in the church than as potential husbands. It’s a challenge, to be a pastor’s wife. One I had to take seriously. Whether God brings you a husband sooner, later, or not at all, you have to be busy doing those things that God has called you, as a woman, to do. You have to love children, be a nourisher. Be hospitable. It is hard when you’re not in a house of your own, but have the attitude of a host, and you’ll be amazed the ideas you have. I made it my object to study my calling, so I could be proficient at all those things I love. I love to clean, but you can always improve there. And cooking is endless. I love to make desserts. I love to eat desserts,” Anne lifted a forkful of French silk pie in the air as evidence before she ate it. “I studied romance, too. That sounds strange, but I loved it.” Anne giggled.

“What does a typical day look like?”

“I love to read, and study, and to watch movies. I keep the house clean and welcoming. I like to have people visit, especially spontaneously,” Anne smiled at her new friend, “but I don’t know how to get the word out. I bake a lot, and cook at least one meal a day from scratch. There’s shopping and budgeting. Then I throw in some ministry preparation and a lot of prayer. What about you?”

“I’m still living at home, and I am taking two classes at the community college.” Rachael began. She was interrupted by the bang of a car door outside.

To God be all glory.

See the index for first and additional chapters.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Shadow of the Bear

Occasionally I do want to put book reviews on my blog. Only, I posted once on how I am at finishing books. Then to do the review justice, I feel like I should have underlined more. You can't underline library books, though.

Today I am pointing you to some books I read some time ago, but about which I was reminded today. They are modern retellings of some of Grimm's Fairy Tales. What makes these novels distinct is their conservative, go-to-God persepective. What I mean is, do you ever read a book and your brain is just chanting "Pray, pray, pray"? Or do you wish you could read books where the people are like you: they care what God thinks; they go to church on Sunday, not the mall; they pray when trouble comes; they think about modesty and feminity? This is a book for you.

The author is Catholic, which I am not, and her characters include priests and friars (or monks or something like that). If you can get over that, which I found very easy, the story is beautiful; they characters are good; the lessons are true.

In the series there is The Shadow of the Bear, based on Snow White and Rose Red; Black as Night, based on Snow White, and Waking Rose, which will be published in 2007 sometime, from Sleeping Beauty. The link tells you about the books (you can read Chapter 1), about the author, about the original fairy tales, and sells T-shirts with phrases like "Some day my Bear will come" and "Princess in disguise."

The author apparently loves literature, including G.K. Chesterton (author of Father Brown mysteries), who had a genius for expression. His opinion on fairy tales is here.

To God be all glory.

Large Family Stories

Amy of Humble Musing fame had a link to this long article about many different large families. I really enjoyed reading how the couples each learned through their experiences. Some came from large families. Some just wanted a lot of kids. Some were willing to receive as many "blessings" as God would give, but only had a few kids. Another interesting family tried several means of birth control, but God, as they said, kept "overruling."

What it all comes down to is do you trust God? He says children are a blessing. Do you believe Him. He is in control of everything, including your family size. Do you believe that? If He gives you children, He also gives the patience, the wisdom, the skill, and the help to raise them. Does that make sense? Can you trust that? Finally, trusting God to provide is more responsible than trusting yourself. Who's more able?

I had a discussion with a friend a few months ago about the rising trend of families who will have many children despite culture, despite complications, despite "poverty." They don't believe in welfare. They believe in God. This article is evidence of my side of the discussion.

To God be all glory.

Mac and PC

My dad is a computer tech... I don't know the right word. In the seventies he taught himself those strange, too-long computer languages, and despite having two degrees in other fields, has worked most of his life with computers. The computers he likes (most days) and fixes, and with which he works are PC's. I'm with him: for real business stuff PC's are the way to go. Mac's are sort of fluff and games.

The world is changing. Mac's have noticed PC's great advantage and adapted. What's more, with the rise of the internet and YouTube, Blogger, and other bubbly programs (argh! Mac's are frustratingly bubbly!), people are taking control of the arts from their home computers, and for things like that, Mac's are pretty nice.

Regardless of which brand is or will continue to be the better computer, I have to give credit to the advertising genius of Apple. Extremely inexpensive, two men stand in a white room and chat. One is named PC, wearing a stiff suit and looking a bit flabby. The other, Mac, is in a hoody and t-shirt, jeans. He moves. He jokes. They're friends, though. Only both of them join together to show the good side of Mac and the bad side of PC's. Funny. Effective. Inexpensive. Genius.

One more thing: there are lots of these commercials. You don't have to watch the same, admittedly clever, 30-second clip every night for three months. The story continues. We see new angles. This was something I liked about Geico, too. There were lots of different gecko commercials. In our house, at least, we would yell at each other: "The new Geico commercial I was telling you about is on!"

To conclude, I laugh at the Mac/PC commercials, and I could watch the Geico reel all day. What about you?

To God be all glory.

Red Hair Gene

A year or so ago I tried to do research on the genetics of red hair. Don't ask why; I don't remember. There were no books, no results on a Google search, nothing. Apparently some real scientists were doing some first hand research at about the same time, and their findings are reported by the Seattle Times here.

Things I found interesting were:

The gene for red hair was only recently discovered, is recessive (brown hair being the most dominant) and can be a mutation of the hair color gene.

Red hair occurs all over the world, in Asians, Africans, Europeans... not only the Irish or the German, with whom red hair is most commonly associated.

4% of the billions of people alive have red hair.

Marrying someone because they have red hair does not make cute red-headed children all that likely. Oh well.

Thanks to YLCF for the link. They also have an entire page dedicated to red hair and one for Anne of Green Gables (who is, of course, a redhead).

To God be all glory.