Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Christian Yoga

So I recently heard about something called christian yoga, and started to do a little digging. This review of a christian yoga book that I found on amazon.com is absolutely hilarious.


Yoga for the rest of Us, April 27, 2006
Reviewer: viktor_57 (Fairview, Your Favorite State, USA)

I am a God-fearing, patriotic, white American Christian who is not afraid of expanding my horizons with a little ethnic now and then. I even accompanied my wife to a few of her yoga classes, thinking it might do my stiff back some good. While yoga did do wonders for my back, when the instructor began talking about chakras, meditation and enlightenment, I knew I had to get out of there before I began worshipping elephants and two-headed gods.

I missed the relaxation, calm, and overall sense of greater healthfulness yoga gave me, but I was not about to let the temptations of mere physical and mental well-being lead me down the dark path and away from the One and True God. My wife thought my apprehension about the potential evil of these weird, Eastern ways was silly and that I should resume yoga. I love my wife dearly, and she is as good a helpmeet as a man could wish for, but I could not expect her to see the potential harm of practicing heathen rituals.

I was talking with my local pastor about the spiritual dangers of yoga when he informed me that a Christian yoga movement was on the rise and that I should check it out. I went on the web, found "Yoga for Christians" by Susan Bordenkircher, and decided to give it a try. This book not only has descriptive photographs for each of the positions and exercises, it also comes with an instructional DVD. More important, however, is the Christian focus of the book. Ms. Bordenkircher hits all the right notes, reminding us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, that we honor God with our bodies, and that everything we do and say must be as a representative of the Lord Jesus. So how does Bordenkircher reconcile the pagan practice of yoga with the greater glory of God?

"So to forego the healing benefits of yoga because it is sometimes practiced within a different belief system is like telling God that He is not big enough to take something from the dark and bring it into the light."

To Christians who fear that the yoga postures themselves constitute a form of pagan worship, Bordenkircher answers, "when you have a Christ-centered intent to your practice, how could holding that God-given vessel [our bodies] in any particular position be used for evil because of what another faith has named it?" She goes on to recount how many of our sacred hymns were adapted from popular bar songs and how rock and roll, the very embodiment of secular hedonism, has been co-opted into the service of the Lord by Christian rockers. Seen in this Christ-centered light, I realized I could not only enjoy the health benefits of yoga, but actually bring myself closer to God at the same time. Who would have thought that a pagan practice developed by Eastern heathens predating Christ by over a thousand years was actually a tool for the eventual glory of Christ the Lord? God does indeed work in mysterious ways.


Checkout his other reviews - this guy is really funny. linky

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Weed + Cancer

So there was a study done at UCLA, and it turns out that heavy marijuana use does not increase risk of lung cancer. I found this very surprising, because almost everyone that I know that smokes weed does not use filters (like cigarettes), and they also tend to inhale and hold, which really doesn't seem healthy.

So anyway, here is the link to the story in Scientific American.

linky

I don't really care either way, because I don't particularly like weed. However, this sentence in the last paragraph caught my eye.

The study does not reveal how marijuana avoids causing cancer. Tashkin speculates that perhaps the THC chemical in marijuana smoke prompts aging cells to die before becoming cancerous.


I can't imagine anything that could possibly be more ironic than the thought that the cure for cancer might be smoking weed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

So I just watched the trailer for Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", on http://www.apple.com/trailers/. Looks very interesting, and very depressing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Orale

Apparently Mexicans coming over to pick tomatoes is an issue of grave national importance, far outweighing other petty concerns such as global warming, the lack of universal health care, the fact that our infant mortality rate is higher than some "third world" nations, that our literacy rate is also lower than some "third world" nations, that we currently imprison a greater proportion of our population than any other country on the planet, that our debt to GNP ratio is worse than that of Argentina just before their economy collapsed, or any of a zillion other petty concerns.

No, the hot buring issue today is Mexicans invading America to work.

And the solution? 6,000 National Guard units are being sent to patrol the border between the US and Mexico. If this isn't a disaster waiting to happen, I don't know what is. All it will take is one soldier abusing, or worse yet killing, one Mexican, and I guarantee that Los Angeles will burn.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Supply and demand

I guess the price of coke may be going up soon.

The agency says Operation Twin Oceans has dismantled the cartel. The DEA accuses the organization of smuggling more than 15 tons of Colombian cocaine into the United States and Europe every month.


Now here is the part that I find interesting. 15 tonnes of blow, at $40/gram translates to 600 million dollars a month, or 7.2 billion dollars a year. And that's just one trafficking ring. You have to wonder if at some point it may make more economic sense for Colombia to just make it legal and tell the US to fuck off and stop poisoning their soil and water.

But maybe that would make too much sense.

linky

More Big Brother

As if we weren't getting spied on enough, a reader sent me this interesting story about the NGA, a spy agency that keeps tabs on us via satellite.

Yahoo story - linky
Wikipedia entry - linky

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A tale of two diaries.

Hers

Saturday night I thought he was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink. I was shopping with my friend all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment. Conversation wasn't flowing so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk, he agreed but he kept quiet and absent. I asked him what was wrong he said nothing. I asked him if it
was my fault that he was upset. He said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry.

On the way home I told him that I loved him, he simply smiled and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior; I don't know why He didn't say I love you too.

When we got home I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there and watched TV. He seemed distant and absent. Finally I decided to go to bed, about 10 minutes later he came to bed and to my surprise he responded to my caress and we made love, but I still felt that he was distracted and his thoughts were somewhere else. I decided that I could not take it anymore so I
decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep. I started crying and cried until I too fell asleep. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

His

Played a horrible game of golf today! Shot a 95; can't putt for shit. Got laid though.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pharmacists

A lady walks into the drugstore and asks the pharmacist for some arsenic. "Ma'am, what do you want with arsenic?" "To kill my husband" replies the lady. "I can't sell you arsenic to kill a person!"

The lady lays down a photo of a man and a woman in a compromising position. The man is her husband and the woman is the pharmacist's wife. He takes the photo and nods. "Oh, I didn't realize you had a prescription!"

Big Brother

is listening.

Long article, well worth the read. Salient point is that since 9/11, the NSA has been illegally building a database of every phone call made in the US.

linky

Thursday, May 04, 2006

44,104

signatures on http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/ as of right now.

Colbert transcript

The following is a transcript of Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.





COLBERT: Wow, what an honor. The White House Correspondents' Dinner. To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.

Is he really not here tonight? Dammit. The one guy who could have helped.

By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail.

Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up.

I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term.

I'm a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow.

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, welcome. Your great country makes our Happy Meals possible. I said it's a celebration. I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.

I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible -- I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical. And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's yogurt. But I refuse to believe it's not butter. Most of all, I believe in this president.

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

So, Mr. President, please, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash.

Okay, look, folks, my point is that I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback. I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." All right. The president in this case is Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed is -- everything else in the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case I guess would be the vice president, he's yelling, "Cut me, Dick, cut me!," and every time he falls everyone says, "Stay down! Stay down!" Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he -- actually, he loses in the first movie.

OK. Doesn't matter. The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don't pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's not doing? Think about it. I haven't.

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he's down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car!

And I just like the guy. He's a good Joe. Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America agrees. She's a true lady and a wonderful woman. But I just have one beef, ma'am. I'm sorry, but this reading initiative. I'm sorry, I've never been a fan of books. I don't trust them. They're all fact, no heart. I mean, they're elitist, telling us what is or isn't true, or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say it was built in 1941, that's my right as an American! I'm with the president, let history decide what did or did not happen.

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.

As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished.

Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!

Now, it's not all bad guys out there. Some are heroes: Christopher Buckley, Jeff Sacks, Ken Burns, Bob Schieffer. They've all been on my show. By the way, Mr. President, thank you for agreeing to be on my show. I was just as shocked as everyone here is, I promise you. How's Tuesday for you? I've got Frank Rich, but we can bump him. And I mean bump him. I know a guy. Say the word.

See who we've got here tonight. General Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld.

Look, by the way, I've got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble: don't let them retire! Come on, we've got a stop-loss program; let's use it on these guys. I've seen Zinni and that crowd on Wolf Blitzer. If you're strong enough to go on one of those pundit shows, you can stand on a bank of computers and order men into battle. Come on.

Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it's so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light, sir.

Mayor Nagin! Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It's a Mallomar, I guess is what I'm describing.

Joe Wilson is here, Joe Wilson right down here in front, the most famous husband since Desi Arnaz. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said? [looks horrified] I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along "Joe Wilson's wife. "Patrick Fitzgerald is not here tonight? OK. Dodged a bullet.

And, of course, we can't forget the man of the hour, new press secretary, Tony Snow. Secret Service name, "Snow Job." Toughest job. What a hero! Took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq.

Got some big shoes to fill, Tony. Big shoes to fill. Scott McClellan could say nothing like nobody else.

Colbert, yet again.

Headline on USNews today:

Skewering comedy skit angers Bush and aides


It seems that the truth hurts.

"Colbert crossed the line," said one top Bush aide, who rushed out of the hotel as soon as Colbert finished. Another said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming.

"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]," said a former top aide. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow."


Guess what. Nobody gives a flying fuck that Bush is pissed off. We have all been pissed off for 5 years now while that incompentent monkey has destroyed the country. And now I'm supposed to feel bad because a comedian has upset him by telling the truth? Whatever.

linky

Oh, and there are now 43,151 signatures on http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Steve Colbert, Part Dieux

It has been less than 24 hours since I made my first post about http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/, and there are now 35,926 signatures. That's almost 10,000 signatures in a 24 hour period. Whether or not you approve of what was said, anything that generates such overwhelming reponse is clearly a phenomenon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Steve Colbert

Well done.

If you didn't see Steve Colbert's bit at the White House press correspondent's dinner, download it, and watch it. As of now, http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/ has 27,122 signatures, thanking him for having the courage to step up to the plate and say what he did.

Sosumi

Every now and again, I read something in the news that just makes me laugh, and today I found a doozy.

First a little background.

There exist laws that govern the overall fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the US. Every manufacturer is required to have a given percentage of their production meet a certain minimum fuel efficiency standard. The law contained a few provisions which allowed the automobile manufacturers to continue to make trucks, as it is unreasonable to expect that a vehicle designed to haul heavy loads to get 50MPG.

In the last couple of years, these laws were updated by the Bush administration. On the surface the changes would seem like they were for the better, as they increased the minimum fuel efficiency for fleet sales. However, the updates to the law also discreetly modified the language that defined a truck, thus allowing more vehicles to qualify for fuel-emission exemptions, giving automobile makers a way to weasel out of making fuel-efficient SUVs by making them bigger and heavier. Their well-spent lobbying dollars having achieved the desired result, the automotive industry started cranking out ever larger and more inefficient monstrosities.

Until now.

Nine states have sued the administration of President George W. Bush for lenient automotive fuel economy standards that they say worsen an energy crunch and contribute to air pollution and climate change.

...

But the lawsuit, joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, says the move included language that could "create incentives to build larger, less fuel-efficient models" and attempts to pre-empt a California law requiring a reduction of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions.

...
The attorney general of the District of Columbia and the corporate counsel for New York City have also joined.


Shadenfreude, I enjoy it so.

linky