Friday, April 20, 2012

Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs
"Washington (CNN) – Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, is near death after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier this month, his media representatives said Wednesday. ..."
There are many people who claim to "find God" in prison but not so many who maintain their ministry nearly 40 years after their release from prison.  Chuck Colson has ministered to inmates over the years and has been a force for good in our nation's penal system.

As I read the comments on this piece, I was shocked at the depth of hate expressed by what seems to me to be a large proportion of the commentators.  These comments are split between persons expressing personal hate toward Colson, and persons expressing general hate toward religion. I can only hope that these comments do not represent a random sampling of public opinion (and being self-selected, most assuredly do not).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What President Am I?

I saw this over at The Kruse Kronicle. Mike is Eisenhower. So who was I to be?

(This has been sitting in my drafts folder for over 4 years, so it was either delete it or publish it.I chose to publish, albeit a little late.....)

Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with
You scored as Theodore Roosevelt
26th President, in office from 1901-1909
Born: 1858 Died: 1919

Theodore Roosevelt

Abraham Lincoln

George Washington

Ronald Reagan

Thomas Jefferson

Franklin Roosevelt

Dwight Eisenhower

Lyndon Johnson

John Kennedy

Harry Truman

Woodrow Wilson


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did - Forbes

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did - Forbes
"Every time you go shopping, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns with retailers. And many of those retailers are studying those details to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy. Target, for example, has figured out how to data-mine its way into your womb, to figure out whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers. ..."
This is not new.  I have been aware of this potential for about 20 years -- when debit cards were starting to take off and scanning technology was being adopted by many of the "big box" stores.

There had been talk in various computer security groups regarding the scanning technology and the ability to tie items purchased to a particular debit card or credit card.  The piece that was lacking 20 years ago was the ability to mine the large amounts of data that potentially could be collected.  Apparently that is no longer an issue.

An analysis of a family's buying habits can now tell you the reproductive status of  members of the family, their overall health, what they like to eat, where they like to go for entertainment, and many more aspects of their lives.  One could even make an educated guess as to political stands by noting, for example, a change in buying habits that correlates to a particular party's call for a boycott or donations to various causes.

I never have been all that paranoid when it comes to privacy online.  My life tends to be a open book, and pretty boring at that.  But this effort by Target crosses a line.  Yes, I know that Google gmail can put up targeted ads based on keywords in email, and Facebook can use your profile to do pretty much the same thing.  But only I see those ads.  And I refuse as a matter of principle to click through on any of that advertizing.  In this case, a young girl's sexual behavior became known through data mining to Target, which then sent "appropriate" coupons to the the girl's address. And all this significantly before the girl's pregnancy would be been obvious.

Whatever one thinks about sexual activity among young teenagers, this situation just does not pass the "smell test".  Target needs to rethink their methods.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Estimate of fish killed at Flat Branch increases to 14,000 - Columbia Missourian

Estimate of fish killed at Flat Branch increases to 14,000 - Columbia Missourian

"COLUMBIA — The estimated number of fish killed in Flat Branch Creek last week has skyrocketed from an initial estimate of 1,000 to 14,000. ..."

A lot of water was used to drown a fire that involved a lot of toxic liquids (an auto parts store as well as a beauty supply store and Chinese restaurant.  The Flat Branch flows into the Hinkson Creek and ultimately to the Missouri River.

The city of Columbia is already dealing with an EPA mandate to mitigate problems with the Hinkson, but when the watershed has so much impervious surface, it is really difficult to maintain water quality standards.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter 2012

In the 8th century A.D. John of Damascus (675-749?) wrote many hymns, including this gem. John Neale translated it in 1862 and it remains a staple in hymnals to this day:
The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to His accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own "All hail!" and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.
The words are taken from The Cyber Hymnal.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Illinois high school investigated for appearance by NFL's Colt McCoy | Fox News

Illinois high school investigated for appearance by NFL's Colt McCoy | Fox News

A group of Illinois high school football players were thrilled when NFL quarterback Colt McCoy dropped by to speak about his faith and toss the pigskin around with them, but the agency that oversees prep sports in the state is considering throwing a flag.

Ken Leonard, athletic director and football coach at Sacred Heart-Griffin in Springfield, said McCoy, the starting signal caller for the Cleveland Browns, visited the school on March 13 while in town for the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet. While at the school, McCoy "threw the ball around a little bit" to several students, including football player Malik Turner, prompting a complaint to the Illinois High School Association about whether the workout represented an illegal, off-season practice for the Cyclones.

Is it just me, or does this seem a little petty?