Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Moffat Really "Behind the Best Dr. Who"?

Matt-smithNot too long ago, the second season of Sherlock, the modern adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes character by Stephen Moffat, was made available for free streaming on pbs.org. I confess that I haven't yet gotten around to watching those episodes, but having thoroughly enjoyed the first season, I'm looking forward to doing so. A friend of mine, helping to spread the word about this development on Facebook, recognized that Moffat has also been responsible for the most recent couple of seasons of Doctor Who. I'm not sure I can quite agree with my friend when he asserts, however, that Moffat is "the mind behind the best Dr. Who."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Goofy!

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the release of Mickey's Revue, a cartoon noteworthy for the first appearance of one "Dippy Dawg." Dippy had a bit part in that cartoon, basically an audience member who annoyed everyone around him with his distinctive laugh. That laugh (and a bit of a name change) soon catapulted the character to cartoon stardom as one of Disney's "top three" most iconic characters, alongside Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as the world came to fall in love with Goofy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Funny (Yet Authentic) Money

I'm constantly amazed at how reading, even reading a work of fiction, can spur learning about pieces of real knowledge: science, history, etc. Stuff you didn't know that you didn't know, except that some fictitious setting brought it up.

That's what happened to me recently as I was reading Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. I'm not going to give away any major plot details here, except to say that detective Philip Marlowe comes into possession of a $5000 bill.

A $5000 bill? I had never heard of such a thing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is Biblical?

Kelly MiyaharaMany years ago, when I was writing and preaching my first sermons in preparation for church ministry, a common theme was to encourage my audience to read the Bible more. I would look around me and see a common lack of Biblical literacy. For example, whenever a Bible category would come up on Jeopardy!, the contestants on the show would routinely struggle with questions that I considered "basic" questions (knowing the answers certainly wouldn't have impressed any of my seminary professors!).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Where is the Good News?

I found this image through an entry at Kurt Willems' blog. He seems to have gotten it through a blog entry about "Funny Church Signs". It does not appear to be a Photoshop or otherwise computer-generated image, but rather apparently reflects an actual church sign out there, although I'll confess that I've not called the church to verify.*

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Transformers Feature: Speed Stars Stealth Force Leadfoot

I seem to have a small but growing subsection of my Transformers collection. It includes toys that have explicit references to (G.B.) Blackrock.

I've already shared how the inclusion of Blackrock's name on the spoiler influenced me to pick up Power Core Combiner Leadfoot some months ago. Folks who follow me on Twitter may have noticed when I shared a picture of a Wal-Mart exclusive movie Bumblebee that sports the Blackrock name. With the recent addition of this "Stealth Force" version of Leadfoot, I've added yet another Blackrock name-drop. That makes three times Hasbro has used Blackrock's name on a Transformer toy, all within the past couple of years.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Badges of Honor

Durkee Area Advertisement (Baker County, Oregon scenic images) (bakDA0025a)When I was in elementary school, I had a teacher who was fond of calling certain students "rednecks." Often, he would tell the student that they should "rub the back of (their) neck to get some of that red off!" Notwithstanding the fact that such an action could only serve to make a neck more red, rather than less, it seemed pretty clear to me, even at that time, that this teacher considered "redneck" to be a bad thing. In retrospect, I find myself amazed that he never seemed to get into trouble for these insults.

"Redneck" is not a term I'm comfortable using. I simply cannot think of that term as anything other than an insult.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Video Game 30th Anniversary of the Month - Donkey Kong, Jr.

The most famous videogame character of all time is (with apologies to Pac-Man) Mario. I would therefore be amiss not to feature one of Mario's earliest adventures. Of course, I've already missed the 30th anniversary of the very first Mario game, Donkey Kong, which premiered in 1981. However, when that game first came out, the protagonist did not yet have the name "Mario" (he is referred to as "Jumpman" on the cabinet). The first video game in which Mario is referred to by name is our subject for this month: Donkey Kong, Jr.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Writing of Romans

The Apostle Paul - RembrandtI'm finally back from attending my grandfather's funeral. Still pretty tired from two back-to-back weekends of traveling, but I'll get back to my regular posting schedule soon. In the meantime, here is an old piece that was originally printed in the edition of Logos that I edited for my college roughly 17 years ago. I ironically haven't had a copy of my own for most of that time, but Grandma kindly let me keep the one I gave her all those years ago:

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