You are currently viewing archive for July 2009
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
"No! Don't hit him with the Bible! Here, use this!" Overheard from the back of the church van full of elementary aged children being taken home.

Well, we had gotten half a lesson across: the Bible is a special book. More work remained on personal interaction.

We are having Vacation Bible School at our church this week. Children, ages preschool through 6th grade, are getting Bible stories, Kool-Aid, crafts, games, supper (tonight goulash, corn, and ice cream), songs, and love. What will all this do for them? Only God knows how each life will turn out. But, I am confident that we are doing good, and no harm. And that at least some of the children are benefitting on some level.

We won't be on CNN, or FOX. Nor will our work, or the similar efforts of churches large and small this summer, be discussed on Rush or Hannity. But, what we are doing is important.

Our Founders assumed that most of the life of the republic would happen outside government--local, state, and federal. It does, and it should. But we are in danger of forgetting this blessed reality; and may even alter our national life into a web controlled by a bloated spider on the Potomac.

I have a fantasy. All the members of Congress going back home for a week, laying aside bills and hearings and fund-raising, and strumming guitars, helping 6-year olds with construction paper and paste, playing kickball with 10-year olds, and telling Bible stories in churches and synagogues across America. Or, working at the Y for a week if more in line with beliefs or lack therof. The country would be the better for it.
Story here.

The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation - or about two months before they are born.

"In addition, results indicated that 34-week-old fetuses are able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later," said the research, which was released Wednesday.

Scientists from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maastricht University Medical Centre and the University Medical Centre St. Radboud, both in the Netherlands, based their findings on a study of 100 healthy pregnant women and their fetuses with the help of some gentle but precise sensory stimulation.

Once more research has shown that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce.

The article linked speculates on the reasons, but does not mention that perhaps those who live together before marriage lack a serious committment to life-long marriage itself.
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
A movie I want to see: The Hurt Locker.

Review from Powerline.

IMDB listing.

Rober Ebert thinks it is Oscar material.

From Ebert's review:

A lot of movies begin with poetic quotations, but “The Hurt Locker” opens with a statement presented as fact: “War is a drug.” Not for everyone, of course. Most combat troops want to get it over with and go home. But the hero of this film, Staff Sgt. William James, who has a terrifyingly dangerous job, addresses it like a daily pleasure. Under enemy fire in Iraq, he defuses bombs.
. . .
"The Hurt Locker" is a great film, an intelligent film, a film shot clearly so that we know exactly who everybody is and where they are and what they're doing and why. The camera work is at the service of the story. Bigelow knows that you can't build suspense with shots lasting one or two seconds. And you can't tell a story that way, either -- not one that deals with the mystery of why a man like James seems to depend on risking his life. A leading contender for Academy Awards.

11/07: Hand Fishing

Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
Today is a big day in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma (on I-35 south of Oklahoma City).

It’s sure to be another day of unforgettable fun, food and festivities when Bob’s Pig Shop in Pauls Valley hosts the 9th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament and Fish Fry. story here from the Paul's Valley Daily Democrat

For those of you not privilaged with a rural upbringing, "noodling" refers to catching fish by hand, or foot. We called it handfishing up home. You move slowly along the creek or river, sticking your hand or foot, back into underwater holes in the bank, feelling among tree roots and other lurking spots for fish. Did I mention that catfish have spiny fins? Or, that many such catches are made when a large catfish grabs your appendage? Of course, the possibility of water snakes and snapping turtles keeps up the suspense.

And you thought rural life was dull.

Yes, I have handfished, though not for about three decades. Maybe its time to start again.
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
Casino Revenues in Oklahoma Up from Last Year story in the Lawton Oklahoma Constitution. I guess people must be cutting back in other areas.

Heard indirectly from a pawn shop owner: fewer items being redeemed. That fits.
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
I am entertaining a thought this evening that I do not much like. Perhaps we need to rethink forced sterilization.

I'll call him Moe. He goes back and forth between jail and freedom. While out, he tries to stay sober off and on, and clean of drugs; sometimes he succeeds. Last I knew there was another warrant out on him. I have known Moe for a few years, and never known him to earn a wage. He has at least five children with more than one woman. Last I heard he was shacked up with another girlfriend in a different county. I suspect that Moe will father a few more children before biology slows him down. You and I will cover at least part of the cost as taxpayers. If I were dictator, I would consider making a vasectomy the condition for Moe's next release.

I have gotten to know several people affected by fetal alcohol syndrome, or in utero drug abuse by their mothers. And I know a few women who abuse, even while pregnant, and probably will do so several more times.

I believe in individual rights, but not in an absolute sense. Do we need to rethink forced sterilization as an expression of the common good?

It is not an idea I much like, but, I also don't like the alternative.
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
"In general, though, the modern tendency was to feel rather than to think; so that men were now more highly esteemed for inventing new diversions than for preserving old facts or pushing back the frontier of cosmic mystery. Religion was a leading interest in Tsath, though very few actually believed in the supernatural. What was desired was the aesthetic and emotional exaltation bred by the mystical moods and sensuous rites . . . " H.P. Lovecraft describing a fictional civilization in decline 1929/30

Michael Jackson as an icon of Pan, or Bacchus; enabling the worshiping throngs to commune with the gods.

What has been forgotten by the modern devotees is that Pan or Bacchus were dangerous, and linked to death as well as orgiastic pleasure.