Archive for November, 2008

Some people are insane about getting stuff for Christmas.

And others focus on Christmas presence.

And some of us are in between, of course.

Update: Giacomo has more on the incident that killed the store employee (referenced in the first link), plus some commentary.

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… one of the reasons why he couldn’t remain a secularist.

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… is gaining support, according to this article at The Scotsman, which reports “SCOTLAND will miss out on a global “nuclear renaissance” which will create tens of thousands of jobs worldwide, if the SNP government continues its anti-nuclear stance, French energy experts have warned…”

William Tucker prefers to call it Terrestial Energy, but he’s also an advocate.

Hmmmm. Is this a good excuse for linking to a 2004 article at Wired called Let A Thousand Reactors Bloom, which says nice things about my grandfather, Farrington Daniels, while explaining how reactors have been made safer? The article is largely about a nuclear reactor building spree in China.

To be clear, I don’t know enough about this sort of thing to be an advocate or opponent of nuclear power. For the most part, it’s way over my head. So I’m pretty much watching from the sidelines on this, at least for now. But, of course, if a safe and successful nuclear power industry gets built on a foundation laid in part by my beloved Grandpa, I am prepared to be proud…  And, OK, so maybe what he came up with was “a crude version of the later high-temperature gas-cooled reactor developed further at ORNL” [Oak Ridge National Laboratory]. You have to start somewhere on stuff like this.

For those of you thinking the name Farrington Daniels sounds familiar, but in a different context, Grandpa was best known for pioneering work in the use of solar energy. There is also an award named after him.  His son of the same name was a professor at Cornell.

(And, by the way, for those of you who love to split science and religion into warring camps, Grandpa was a professing Christian as well as a world class scientist.)

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I agree with this:

…I think that to be ignorant or indifferent to history isn’t just to be uneducated or stupid. It’s to be rude, ungrateful. And ingratitude is an ugly failing in human beings.

Find out who said it, and read the rest of the quote, here.

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From Thou shalt not covet at Rosetta Stone:

It’s as though she believes the toddler property laws apply to her (but nobody else): if I have it, it’s mine. If I once had it, it’s mine. If I want it, it’s mine.

In this case, she is not talking about a youngster.

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Have you seen Volition yet? It’s an interesting (and artistic) take on the choices confronting individuals who live in a society that classes some people as subhuman. (I found the ‘behind the scenes’ video interesting, too. It’s available on the same page as the film.)

Parents: I recommend screening this one before you invite the kids to watch.

Cross-posted at Judson’s Corral.

hat tip: Michelle

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…maybe you could start a Library Tree project. It sounds like a good way of getting wholesome selections on the shelves.

I don’t know about where you live, but around here if you just donate a book to a public or school library, it stands an iffy chance of making it on the shelves. Setting it up a Library Tree sounds like a good way to improve the chances of a book being accepted, while improving your working relationship with the library staff. Such a deal. (In the full disclosure department, I co-own a bookstore that sells new and used books, and we’ve had our share of trade-ins come in with ‘donated to such-and-such library by so-and-so’ bookplates in them. Years ago, we got several hundred in one batch, all with the same bookplate. Before we had the bookstore, it never occurred to me that a library would refuse a donation, but after I stopped to think about it, I realized that of course they would. They’d have to, at least some of the time.)

The church I usually attend has its own library, run on the honor system, that stocks fiction and children’s books as well as nonfiction. It’s another way of making sure people have wholesome reading options. The pastor has recently had to put out a reminder that all donations to the library must be approved. I guess some stuff was showing up from well-meaning folks who didn’t hold to the same standards as the pastor, and of course he’s the one who has to answer for what’s there. Hmmm. Maybe he’d like to set up a library tree, or something like it, to encourage people to donate what he wishes he had on the shelves. Hmmm….

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Donna-Jean shares a video of people waiting in a line hundreds of people long, to get a book signed by Mike Huckabee. The national book tour schedule is here.

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Was it 45 years ago that JFK was murdered? I was in grade school, and a boy named Jay who liked to listen to a radio during recess was the first to hear, if I remember right. It took a while for the news to sink in. In fact, first we suffered a bout of something akin to kill-the-messenger fever, as I recall, and the teachers had to rush to Jay’s aid while kids yelled at Jay that he shouldn’t say things like that, with Jay protesting that he wasn’t making it up and he wasn’t lying. And then we were just numb, and then the teachers led us all to the flagpole so we could lower the flag to half staff properly. It’s funny, but I remember the riderless horse during the funeral procession as much as anything. Didn’t it have boots stuck backward in the stirrups, or something like that? (Hey, I was a kid, and a young one at that, OK?)

If I ever knew this, I’d forgotten, but two other famous men died that day. And what a curious trio they make.

Peter Kreeft, stricken by the coincidence, wrote a novel about the three of them holding a discussion in the afterlife? Where have I been?

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Denny at The Book Den calls it a mirthful masterpiece. Along the way, he also provides a tongue-in-cheek definition for what makes a book an American classic.

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