Thursday, August 24, 2006


This morning as I'm having a hard time being motivated to do work so I was killing time reading blogs. Recently I added Bruce Schneier to my blog roll. Today he posted the text of an article he had written for Wired Magazine about how terrorism has been affecting our lives. Its an interesting article that points to how we are letting terror into our lives and getting nervous everything 2 guys stand together checking their watches.

For some reason, reading this article made me wonder what that appropriate Christian response is to terrorism. Part of me says that no response is the appropriate one. We need show love and compassion in the world and not discriminate against people because of language, religion, or race. I think our job as Christians is to promote anti-terror responses that involve showing compassion to not only those who are frightened by the terrorists, but also for the terrorist themselves

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dumber then the smartest bear?

I found this on Bruce Schneier's* blog today.

"There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."

Man, that is an amazing quote! If you don't feel like reading the article, the gist is that parks are trying to bulid garbage cans that thwart bears, but tourists can actually use. It turning out to be a tricker problem then expected.

Some of the comments are great too!

* Note: Bruce Schneier is renowed security technologist and author of Applied Cryptography, Beyond Fear, and Secrets and Lies, among others.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What the...? part 2

First The Holy Land Experience, now this!
What is the world coming to??

Monday, August 07, 2006

Interesting Article

Newsweek this week has a great article about Billy Graham. I've always been sort of afraid of Graham finding him more akin to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, but the article in Newsweek paints him in a very different light.
Check it out.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blogging the bible

I absolutely love Slate's "Blogging the Bible" feature. Its really well written and the author has lots of good things to say. Yesterday's entry was particularly thought provoking.

I assume the presence of the Tabernacle is what sanctifies the camp—right, Torah scholars? If so, how are Jews—scattered around the world, and with no surviving Temple or Tabernacle—supposed to create a sacred space today? Don't we now live in a world where everything is outside the camp?

This closing comment on Numbers chapter 15 touches on something that I struggle with. How is it we create a sacred space for us to meet with God. As a Christian, I have been taught that God is everywhere, but sometimes its nice to find a sacred space to meet with God.

An astonishing rebellion against Moses (and God). A Levite named Korah and a few sidekicks denounce Moses and Aaron: Moses has cut the people off from God and tried to hoard God's love for himself. The rebels declare: "For all the community are holy, all of them, and the Lord is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourself above the Lord's congregation?"

This may be the first recorded example of what has become the fundamental conflict in all religions: religious elite vs. the people. (See, for example, the pope vs. Martin Luther.) Korah asks an essential question: Why should the few priests and prophets monopolize God? What's so great about them that they control access to the divine? In the 3,500 years since, many religions have come down on Korah's side of this question, deciding that God belongs to the masses, not an anointed elite. But the Bible doesn't. It rules emphatically—smitingly—for Moses and Aaron, for the few rather than the many.

This is interesting. First off, I had no idea this was in the Bible. (Unfortunately I haven't read the whole bible thought I've always wanted to.) Secondly, I have always been taught that God is for the people not just for the religious elite. Is this something that changed because of Christ? That is something I have always thought was the case...


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Graduate School Warning Signs?

Today, while reading See Jane Compute's book meme, she mentioned that she liked the book Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia. Seeing as I wish to be a women in academia, I promptly went to Amazon to look at it. While reading the excerpt (which happens to be part of the chapter about graduate school) I ran across this passage:

If, as sometimes happens, graduate students:

  • Cannot bring themselves to do one more reading assignment - or
  • Cannot get out of bed to go to the library - or
  • Get nauseous from the small of the lab or thought of a rat - or
  • Spend hours or days or weeks in useless household chores, such as folding sheets or curtains, while avoiding academic work - or
  • Fuss and dither for months while never finding a dissertation topic that really grabs them ...

Those are all danger signs. Academia might not be for them, and dropping out can be the smartest thing to do. It is never a sign of failure.

This frightens me... This summer I have certainly had a hard time motivating myself to do real work. Certainly the first one applies to me... and probably the second (since most days its watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my friend that gets me out of bed, usually at early hours...)

Should I be thinking about quitting? And if not, how can I get my pre-qual motivation back and actually finish earning a PhD?

The concept of quitting my PhD scares me... I have no idea what I would do with my life if not become a professor. I joke with my boyfriend sometimes about quitting and going back to Intel and making the big bucks. Its not that I would hate it, but I dunno, it just feels wrong. But the pressure of academia scares me...