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Archive for the ‘truth that goes crunch’ Category

A few things that have become unnecessary essentials lately:

The Moth podcast
Sound Opinions podcast (you were right, Robby, it’s great)
BetterWorld Books: great selection, free shipping, and they are very conscientious, even towards local libraries.
The Iconogram and Blog Networks Facebook apps: windows into heaven, and into the make-up of the communities behind your favorite blogs.
1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: I got to scan this before sending it off to a lucky winner. If you’re an optimist, there’s also 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The Freecycle Network: Pass it around
Congresspedia: Real made up stuff about congress
phonezoo: Make your own dang ring tone

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“Californians are less likely than other Americans to consider religion “very important” in their lives or to be “absolutely certain” in their belief in God.” (LA Times)

Read this just after hearing a radio interview with a group of young Chinese, who rattled off a list of American TV shows they regularly watch, and then talked about the dangers of materialism to their culture and the great need for meaning beyond that coming with cultural shifts and economic success.

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On the Media, one of my dearest podcasts, invited listeners to submit 12 word novels during November (NaWriNoMo). I just caught up to the results in last week’s episode. I may be anticipating another contest. Start counting words. Click below to see the actual results:

In the army, George discovered he was a coward. He told nobody

Obituary; first five words free?
She thought.
“Charles dead. Yacht for Sale.”

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Before I begin, let me just say, you won’t earn my love by reading the whole thing. It’s just nice to know you.

I’ve been so busy putting together a list of the Greatest Recordings Known to Humankind, 2007, that I didn’t have time to get around to this list of Albums I Really Liked This Year. I’ll let you know if I ever finish the other, but here are my top 10 albums released this year, ranked according to my taste in music from best (10) to most best ever (1). I’ll warn you in advance: it’s leans to the sweet
side this year.

Click on “Launch Standalone Player” below to hear samples (minus my #1 pick and 1/2 of my #8). Your browser may resize, but don’t panic, and things will work out for you.

10) Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child: I had been away from Over the Rhine for a while, but this album drew me in close. I also picked up their Live from Nowhere album this year, and enjoyed that as I anticipated The Trumpet Child. The opener grabbed me immediately, and they kept my attention with a fluid consistency throughout. Played like a covers album, in a way, including an overt nod to Tom Waits and some moments of true Patsy Cline and Lady Day.

9) Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity: It was a great year for punchy, spasmodic alt-pop, with fantastic albums from Modest Mouse and Shapes and Sizes also getting lots of spin. But Deerhoof had this sort of whimsical fairy vibe underneath that made them least likely of the three to flail into me.
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Todd posted an unsettling story about churches using Halo 3 as an outreach tool. I threw out the first thing that came to mind as a comment, but it’ll make an even better post.

This Spartan Life, featured in a recently reran Studio 360 story, creates a talk show in the Halo universe. The game may be played interactively online, with each character viewing their play through first person perspective, interacting cooperatively with co-players. So the host and his different guests take on a Halo character (“Spartan”), and capture an interview through the perspective of another Halo character serving as “camera operator” simply by watching their interaction. Brilliant, and the violent backdrop makes it even a little more interesting than trying this in Second Life. (Although, for my money, Second Life is a scarier place to be in general).

So, all that to say, if Christians are really upset about the violence of Halo 3, what we really ought to be doing is coordinating mass protests in the Halo world. Thousands of Peace Church members could band together to stage a virtual peaceful protest in the Halo world, placing their own lives and bodies in harm’s way in a witness against the reckless military rule that dominates that suffering virtual world. “Don’t kill the aliens – kill me instead!”

And, hundreds of thousands of Evangelicals could storm the Halo universe rushing into the midst of armed conflict shouting “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior?”

“Ifyouweretodietonight,doyouknowwhereyou’dspendeterni-”

-GAME OVER-

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I was listening to an excerpt from Watchman Nee’s Release of the Spirit, from Christianaudio’s Devotional Classics podcast, and Nee said something like, “God will not deliver us from the dishes. He will only deliver us from our response to the dishes.”

And the disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

. . .

I don’t have time to write a Things I Don’t Have Time to Write About, but let me highly recommend to you: Over the Rhine’s The Trumpet Child (“the trumpet child will blow his horn/ Will blast the sky till its reborn”); Galactic’s From the Corner to the Block; and The Bible Podcast. No commentary, no mish mash, lollygagging or white noise, just a chapter a day with a fantastic intro & outro theme.

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Today, in my 10 minutes in the car, I caught two enlightening segments from NPR’s On the Media:

Seg 1: Apparently, the difference between people on MySpace and Facebook is indicative of the failure of the internet to prove an equalizing and democratizing force for the universe. I now feel guilty for calling Facebook “the upright walking person’s Myspace,” but only a little bit. Yes, you are irreversibly born into a virtual caste from which only an e-karmic leap can save you.

Seg 2: The Weekly World News (“11th Commandment Found!” “Mother Nature Endorses Al Gore!” “Bat-Boy Walks Across Canada to Cure Hives!”) has stopped the presses. There is now officially nothing in the grocery line to keep you from becoming totally depressed about celebrities. But, for those of you who care about fair and balanced reporting, it will still be available online.

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