My new toothbrush is very complicated. I'm used to the thin white bristles. I'm also used to the thin colored bristles. What I can't get used to are the thick rubber fingers that are attached to the head of the toothbrush. I was confused until I read the label of my toothbrush package. It said the rubber fingers were for "massaging" my gums. Maybe I'm missing something, but I have no idea why my gums need to be massaged at all. Do they do any work? They don't hold my teeth in. That's the job of the periondontal ligament. (Most scientist refer to it as "the teeth holder thingy." Most people from Arkansas refer to it as "the tooth holder thingy.") In fact, my gums are a lot like Vanna White. Sure, they touch the white squares, but what do they actually do? Nothing! They're just there for show.
If we're going to be working massagers into random hygiene products, I can think of better ones. Take deodorant for example. Wouldn't it be great to go to work every morning knowing not only that you smell fresh, but also that that special "getting tickled by midgets" feeling would last all day too?
Or Dr. Scholl's(©) shoe pads. You'll never want to take your shoes off again! And it would be better for everyone else if you didn't.
This is just asking for a caption contest.
Thanks to SouthFlorida.com's Scared of Santa contest.
+ = Weird.
Marquette Board of Trustees reached decision: They are indeed girly-men.
After 6 months of controversey on the debate between Marquette's nickname of the Golden Eagles verses the former nickname of Warriors, the board of trustees finaly came to a decision. They infact decidecd yesterday that they were not going to decide.
One board member was quoted as saying, "I am really too scared to decide. Either way someone will be upset and will probably hurt me. Thats just not the Jesuit ideal."
Spokesmen from groups on all sides of the issues spoke out after the decison of no decision. Students For Warriors supporter Brian Collar was seen toting his big flag chasing down a board member calling him a no good overpaid girly man.
Representatives of the Demonstration for Dignity who were oppossed to the Warriors could not be reached as they were planning their next event. Apparently they are off to defend squirrels in the Marquette area stating that the term "garbage eating rodents" simply is not supporting the squirrels dignity.
Students for Hilltoppers are still yet to be seen.
"It was unclear as to whom shot the alleged gunman."
NO! It was unclear who shot the alleged gunman. "Who" is used when the unknown person is the subject of the sentence. "Whom" is used when the unknown person is the object of the sentence. You could also properly say "It was unclear whom the gunman shot."
An easy test is to insert "he" into the sentence and see if it makes sense. You wouldn't say "It was unclear if him shot the gunman." You could say "It was unclear if he shot the gunman."
Looks like my work here is done.
Nice picture, too.
ESPN.com has a poll asking how people feel about the report that Barry Bonds took steroids. They ask some good questions, but their answers are ridiculous. Their options are so extreme that there isn't any room between "I want to lick Barry's shoes clean" and "Burn, Barry, burn."
One questions asks:
"8) How will Barry Bonds be remembered years from now?
•Greatest HR hitter of all-time
•Greatest HR hitter of his era
There isn't anywhere for me to put my opinion that he is among the best of all time, but not the greatest. Not even necessarily the best of his era. And there will probably be a bit of a stain on his memory from steroid speculation, but I don't see it keeping him out of the Hall of Fame or anything like that. To use a political metaphor, I think he will be remembered more like Bill Clinton than Richard Nixon.
Here are some reactions to ESPN.com's story.
I'm not sure how long those links will stay up, so if you can't connect to this story in a couple of days, leave a comment and I'll send you your money back.
Oh, did it snow.
Oh, how the snow goes.
It snowed on a fox,
And on Kevin Knox,
And even on homeless guys in a box.
No, thank you, Dr. Seuss.
After the Bellarmine meeting, the snow was about half an inch deep. It was fluffy and wet, just like professional snowballers like it. No had even walked on it yet. It was perfectly smooth, pristine and beautiful. Naturally, we jumped right in with a giant snowball fight.
Tom, Becky, Rebecca, Jose and I pelted each other with snowballs for almost half an hour. I had snow in my hair, coat, shirt, shoes and pants. I like to think that I got off lighter than the rest of them.
It was Jose's first actual snowfall (he's from Chile), so he was impressed by the whole thing. We made a snowman. Jose couldn't believe people actually rolled balls of snow on the ground to make snowmen. "I've only seen this on Snoopy!" he said. The snowman had four segments and looked kind of like this. You can guess whe we named her.
After I had to go the library, but the pandemonium continued outside. For two hours students pelted each other with snow. Dan had a water balloon launcher that could shoot snowballs a mile. He was "going artillery-style on their a**es," to quote a source at the scene. I think it could literally knock someone out at short range. Not that we're going to try that tomorrow about 7 o'clock in front of Cobeen.
When I passed the Union, where Mrs. Butterworth had been, she was nowhere to be found. There wasn't even a trace of wreckage. I suspect she was entirely salvaged for snowballs. Hopefully there will be more tomrrow. Not that I'll have time to play in in it, since I didn't do anything tonight.
Now I have to go to bed and get 5 1/2 hours of sleep for class tomorrow.
Z: "Have you read Orwell?"
Father: "No, I haven't."
Z: "Jeez, Father! What are you good for?"
Thanks to AntsMarching.org for the link to this photo.
Edit: eBay took it down. It was a guy selling a picture of his computer. Last I checked bidding was around $625.
And to make up for the fact that this is totally wasted post, I'll tell you some late political jokes.
John Kerry walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, why the long face?"
Joke #2 (Thanks to Mr. Packer)
George W. Bush walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, I haven't seen you since 1982!"
"Pirates Arrr Cool"
With the finalization of the presidential election, the liberal elite is out in full force. There is a small but vocal section of the population that thinks they know what the average American needs better than the average American does. A perfect example is last night (Wednesday November 3)'s episode of The Daily Show.
The tone all night was bitter toward people who voted for Bush. Don't get me wrong, it was fairly funny. But the standard line of thought went something like this: "59 million people voted against the person I voted for. Those people are stupid." At one point, John Stewart concluded that voters must "smoke crack." Then one of his correspondants stated that Bush didn't have "mandate" last term. What the heck is mandate? Is it some kind of permission to act as president? The Constitution says you get to be president when you get a majority of the electoral votes. I doesn't mention "mandate" anywhere. I interpret that to mean that you get all the powers of the presidency whether you win by 2 or 200 electoral votes, but then again, I'm not a Supreme Court justice. Maybe "mandate" is hiding somewhere next to "right to privacy."
Relient K released their new CD mmhmm today. I don't have it yet, but I'm waiting for it to come in the mail. A source who commented on the condition of anonymity* reported that his face was "melted" from being rocked off. We'll see. The Flametroll is ready to rock.
But the point of that explanation is to say that I have no idea why my brain feels so tired. What part of the brain is it that wears out? It doesn't have muscle fibers that break down with wear. I don't picture my noodle being like those huge guys that intimidate me while I work out with my 25 pound weights at the gym (not that I'm dwelling on those muscle bound mouth breathers who. . . ooh, please don't hurt me. Ow, please?) I'm hoping the grey matter can't just start to dissolve. (I do have to blow my nose though. I better weigh my head.) So to find out the science behind this phenomenon, I consulted Dr. Imadeanameup.
According to the good doctor, scientists have studied the effects of concentrated effort on the brain, but haven't yet come to any conclusions. Usually this is because they spend most of the time playing the "xerox my butt" prank with the CAT scanners. Scientists are apparently a silly lot. I mean, it's obvious they made this up. I'm a little concerned about those bones. Has anyone seen Elijah Wood lately?
I guess that just goes to show that science doesn't have all the answers and I'm going to have to do the research myself. As soon as these CAT scans print out.
PollingReport.com, as usual.
It's a lot more mixed than its been in the last couple of weeks. And I'm too lazy to copy the numbers over. Click the link, already.
Now what am I going to read on Sunday mornings? Other than Dilbert, I mean.
When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your blog (and also post this heading, otherwise people will think your blog has become a poetry blog)
I left college and came home with a box.
All I wanted was to change my socks.
But my mom's loathing
Of washing my clothing
Had led her to change all the locks.
YOU: So, yeah. Why do I care?
Flametroll: Because it was epic softball play that can be seen as a symbol of life itself. M.E.A.N. was a team that was thrown together from a group of freshmen who barely knew each other. From mere acquaintances it became a cohesive team that outlasted the more seasoned opposition. In fact, all of the opposing teams were covered in much more garlic than any M.E.A.N. player ever was.
Although its record was a mere 2-3, M.E.A.N. came back against all odds. It was a team that (due to bracket oddities) had to win three games to become champions rather than the 1 or 2 wins the other teams needed. Most of all it was a team that got its collective backside out of bed every Sunday morning to make eleven o'clock or noon game time. This turned out to be the decisive factor.
FT:Because the teams M.E.A.N. was supposed to play in the semi-finals and finals both forfeited because their players failed to show up.
Y: What a bunch of losers!
FT: That's what we think too. Although we would never say so.
Y: You that this applies to life itself. What was that supposed to mean?
FT: I never said that.
Y: Yes, you did.
FT: Did not.
Y: Did too.
FT: Oh yeah, I did. But I didn't mean it.
Y: Are you looking for a way out of debt?
FT: Leave me alone.
Y: But I swear I can get you some V1a:graa! or Ci@lis reeel cheep!
As of this post (October 16 at 3:35 pm CST):
Newsweek-> Bush 50 - Kerry 44%
Zogby-> Bush 48 - Kerry 44%
Newsweek-> Bush 50 - Kerry 44%
Tipp-> Bush 48 - Kerry 45%
ABC-> Bush 48 - Kerry 48%
Washington Post-> Bush 48 - Kerry 48%
GQRR-> Bush 48 - Kerry 48%
CBS-> Bush 48 - Kerry 45%
ICR-> Bush 48 - Kerry 43%
Gallup-> Kerry 49 - Bush 48%
Sure, it's fairly liberal, but read the post called "Faf the Vote." Where does that stuff come from?
There were six people playing Hot Shot, three on a team. Each person had 30 seconds to go out and make as many shots as possible from one of several marked spots on the floor. Somehow, I got chosen. Less surprisingly, my team won. I say this not because I'm an arrogant jerk (I admit I'm not very good at basketball), but because--as far as I could tell--our team had the only two sober guys on it. As a prize, I won a Pizza Shuttle gift certificate and another gift certificate for BookMarq. I also got a cheering section for a short period of time. That was nice, too.
Reuters-Zogby->Kerry 45%-Bush45% (+- 2.9)
CNN/USA Today/Gallup-> Kerry 49%- Bush 48% (+- 3.5)
"Tell the caller that the call is being traced, press several numbers on the phone and hang up. Please note that technique is intended to scare the caller and does not actually begin a tracing procedure."
I love this prayer. It sounds like something from Braveheart.
Great Creator God, who rules the world in glory and honor, I regret my dishonor and am ashamed of the honors I have not won. My sins are great and noisome, unbefitting a warrior, and they have brought me no glory and no honor, but only the taste of ashes. I am leaderless and lost without a foe. Your brave death was bought with great pain, and it was glorious,
for in that death upon the cross, you defeated death, sin and Satan. Lord God, I accept your atoning death as the sacrifice which covers my sin and shame. Enter into this warrior's heart and become emperor of my life. I trust in you my commander and willingly follow you into battle. Direct me now in my deeds so that I may be worthy of the honor you have bought for me!
I was walking through an office building at Marquette today and I heard this complaint (without a trace of irony), which I repeat for you verbatim:
"Some people are so repetitive, they repeat themselves and keep saying the same thing over and over in different ways."
*EDIT* I didn't even read the page before I posted the link. I am not responsible for objectionable material that may appear on this site.
Thank you, Fark.com.
"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" will be in stores Nov. 23.
In what appears to be an attempt to cajole people into coming to Milwaukee, the city offered an encore to its normal June-July Summerfest. It was titled, appropriately enough, Summerfest Encore. As a special incentive to spend even more time in Milwaukee, anyone who had a ticket from any one of a number of Brewers games could get in free. Taking advantage of having a ticket and living a bus ride away, I went.
For no money paid at all (college student's dream!), I saw Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
As the sun went down over the lakefront (Lake Michigan, that is), the grounds of the festival were covered in the fog. It was also covered in the collective smoke of a few hundred people who thought I was enjoying their second hand cigarette/cigar/joint. Thank you Febreze.
Instead of individual seats or open space, the stage was surrounded by long benches like you would see on the sidelines of a youth soccer league game. Anyone familiar with RR's music knows that no one will be sitting. It's going to be wall to wall, shoulder to shoulder with people dancing. So everyone danced on top of the shaky narrow benches. The kids behind me looked like juniors or seniors in high school. They were slightly stoned (I heard them talking about it) so after their first beers, they didn't have very good balance atop the benches. The same guy fell on me five times in the first four songs. Fortunately he mellowed out and maintained balance for the most part after that.
Oh, yeah. The music. It was great. RR is a jam band so they didn't really play a lot of songs in the traditional sense. Most of the songs didn't have lyrics and the ones that did only had mantra-like refrains ("Good time, good time. We gonna have a good time.") The rest of their songs were just extremely catchy danceable (that's saying a lot for me) with tons of improv. Three of the four members of the band are cousins. Robert wore a do-rag and played lapsteel guitar most of the concert. He got so hot playing onstage that his head was steaming through the do-rag. His cousin Danyel plays the bass. He must be six foot five and he just pounds away with his hands while the rest of his body doesn't even look like he's trying at all. The other cousin Marcus is the drummer. Then there's Jason Crosby. He plays everything else (piano, violin and organ). In one song, the guys all started switching around. By the time is was over, they had all played every instrument.
Anyway, great concert, very late review. Thanks for reading.
I was walking down Wisconsin Avenue on my way to my scheduled adoration in the Straz Tower chapel. There was a man standing on the sidewalk telling people about Jesus. He told me I needed Jesus. I told him (bad phrasing, in hindsight), thanks but I've already got Him. It's true. I was on my way to see Him right then. The guy responded "I don't believe you!" That set me over the top. I stopped and had a conversation with the guy. He grilled me on what I believe, apparently assuming that if I didn't believe everything he did, in the exact same way he did, I couldn't go to Heaven. Anyway, we talked for a couple minutes and went our seperate ways. The guy was mostly nice enough and doing a good thing, so I won't say he was jerk, but reading the story above made think about my experience. And obviously everything I think about is of great interest to the citizens of the Internet in general and must be posted here.
In other news, what the heck is airline security coming to?
#2: The story was broken here, a Flametroll exclusive. We were informed that Jason might be opening for Switchfoot. Well, after some further research, it has been confirmed. He will be (one of?) the opening act(s?) for Switchfoot at the Rave in Milwaukee on October 20.
"Sir, the baristas attacked our fortified position then retreated into the mountains."
As a member of the editorial board was walking down Wisconsin Avenue this morning, a man handed him a Carpenter for Congress business card-sized flier. The front was typical of campaign material. It was blue on top and red on bottom with a white star shooting a white trail across the middle. It said "Carpenter for Congress" and included what is probably the blandest slogan ever--"He Speaks for Us." But the front isn't what captivated our staff and captured out support.
On the back, rather than a listing of campaign promises or quotes of support from influential people, was a Packer schedule. After Week 1 (September 13 vs. Carolina), was the date "September 14 Vote Carpenter!" Talk about knowing your audience. If any member of our editorial board was registered to vote in Wisconsin, we would suurely vote for Carpenter based solely in this criteria.
"Knowledge is power.
Haha! Frieze & Miazoff! Hahaha! Get it? Freezin' my… Oh. You do get it. Never mind.
Rumor has it my friend Jason of Epiphany fame may be opening for Switchfoot when they play at The Rave in Milwaukee in October. I'm not sure if he will have the rest of the band with him or if it will be a solo set. More information as it comes.
Simply to show I'm not dead
But need to get sleep.
"And everybody knows, it hurts to grow up. But everybody does; so weird to be back here"--Ben Folds Still Fighting It
I apologize for being so sappy. Hopefully next time you hear from me, I'll be raving about my new school.
EDIT: Yahoo and Alta Vista also have this blog at the top.
A popular listing (not related to my site) on excite.com's search engine says "dein post hoert sich etwas wie flametroll an,hoffe da irre ich mich." As far as I can tell from freetranslation.com'stranslation means "Your postal service something hears would hope itself like flametroll at there crazy I me." Probably that makes more sense in German.
Warning, dial up users: This may take a while.
But what the heck is it?
Yeah, I was on a Kyrios retreat this weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for pictures of me dressed as a girl.
The site is strangely laid out, the content is boring and most of it has been moved to a different address. But the NAME is what keeps me coming back.
So there I was, the light red, the car dead, intersection ahead. I was about three car lengths back from the intersection, and for obvious reasons, my emergency flashers were on and I was going nowhere. The light turned green. The guy behind me honked. I assumed he would get the idea, but instead he honked again. I waved him past and he glared at me through the window, apparently wondering who this punk was who thought he could just up and break down in the middle of street. So there I sat, all broken hearted, waiting for my mom and sister to turn the other car around and pick me up. Meanwhile, the light turned red. A guy pulled up behind me, apparently not noticing the flashers and the fact that I was three car lengths from the intersection with no other cars in sight. The light turned green. The man gestured frantically for me to GO, ALREADY! Apparently, his religion (Moronism) didn't allowed to him to drive in the right lane of a four lane road and he was permanently stuck behind me. I put my head out the window and informed him that his head was apparently stuck way too far up there for me to be of any help.
Haha! Just kidding. I simply waved him past and he got over his legalistic "left lane only" interperetation of his faith long enough to get around me.
Oh yeah, I had to get the alternator replaced. I lost all my radio presets.
*Edit: Man, I was comma-happy.
"You war crimes tribunals need to lighten up a little!"
Tune in tomorrow to find out.
This was my first Dave Matthews concert, so I had no idea what to expect. My friends who had gone to shows before were sure I'd be blown away.
We (me, the four guys I was riding with and two guys in another car) got to the Tweeter Center at 3:00 for the 7:00 show. The security guards told us the parking lot wouldn't open until 4:00. With an hour to kill, we all headed to the attraction next door--Odyssey Fun World. I'm not making that name up. It was a warehouse-like building full of arcade games, bowling lanes and a laser tag field. We all decided to play mini-putt.
< tangent > Have you ever noticed that mini-putt is never called the same thing in any two places? It goes by mini-putt, mini(ature) golf, putt-putt and more. The first guy in our group to go to the window to pay referred to it as mini-putt. The cashier looked confused until he explained that he meant miniature golf.< /tangent >
Being a group of guys with money in our pockets, we decided to bet a dollar on the game. Before we could tally up the scores we realized that the security guards were letting people into the parking lot at 3:30. After a scramble to the cars and a quick cut into traffic maneuver we got pretty decent parking spots.
Then the wait. I was told that getting into the concert was half the fun and believe me, it was. We stood in line outside the gates of the Tweeter Center for an hour and a half. They quickly frisked us on the way in and we sprinted toward the lawn (where our seats were). As we got to the steps leading to the lawn area, security formed a line and held us back. We were in front of the line and when they pulled away, I held Andy's sandals while he and I sprinted with a blanket to the front center of the lawn. Best seats possible on the grass. It was an adrenaline fueled run that people are still talking about.
OAR came on to open. The coolest part about that was that Dave came out personally to introduce them. They were OK, but they played "Crazy Game of Poker" for 25 straight minutes. Considering that their set was only an hour, that was a little long. They could easily have played 2-3 more songs.
Then Dave came on. I think the theater was situated somewhere near a leaf dump, because we were covered in a haze of smoke almost immediately. It kind of smelled like burning leaves. (Yeah, I know what it was. I'm not that naive.) It would take forever to go song by song, so here's the setlist according to AntsMarching.org.
- Five new songs. We were only the second live audience to hear them. It cut into the spirit of everyone dancing and singing along, but it was still cool in a historic kind of way.
- They opened "Grace is Gone" with Stefan playing a lap steel guitar. (Sub-highlight: They actually played "Grace is Gone." It was on my wishlist for the show.)
- Lots of popular songs. I think the veteran concert-goers were disappointed not to hear any really rare older songs, but I enjoyed it.
- The 4 last 6 songs were among my top-ten favorite Dave songs. "Grace is Gone," "Jimi Thing," "Grey Street," "Stay" and "Crush."
I got home at 2:30 in the morning. Good thing I didn't have to work the next day.
Adios and good night, folks. Drive home safe now.
The Princess Diaries 2: I don't know about how good the movie will be but I have to wonder about the mattress sliding scene–does Julie Andrews do her own stunts?
That computer animated fish movie: Anyone want to rip off Finding Nemo a little more blatantly? Besides that, the animation was pretty poor looking on the preview. Nemo and Shrek 2 were both much better looking. Not to mention Will Smith sounds really annoying in the preview.
- The movies are doing a pretty good job of not making all of the scenes at the Dursley's house too similar (which they start to seem like in the books). The inflatable aunt was funny. I wonder if she got shot down by the RAF.
- The dementors were cool. In the books, I thought they bore a strong similarity to Tolkien's Ringwraiths, but the movie made them look distinctive and creepy.
- There was a lot of time imagery throughout the movie, alluding to the ending. For example, there was a giant pendulum behind the door of the main exit from Hogwarts.
- I don't know how they plan to make Peter Pettigrew a recurring character. He was kind of ridiculous looking. I realize he was supposed to be ratty, but it may have been a little overdone.
- Was the movie pretty similar to the book? I haven't read the book in a long time, but I didn't notice any major changes. My sister said it wasn't as true to the book as she hoped.
In conclusion (eat that English teachers!), TPOA was good movie. I'm no film critic, but I'd give it 3 stars out of 4 definitely.
When you want to send in your answers, put a comment on the original contest post stating that you have sent your answers and the number of answers you think you have correct. Then email the actual answers to me at my already spammed-out address.
So go out there, play hard, play fair and play to win! Goooooo Mighty Ducks!
Now, everytime I try to check it won't load. Someone please tell me he moved his address. I can't believe that the inspiration for Lost In Translation would just close up shop and leave us. Does anybody out there know?
Papal Message to 8th International Youth Forum
"You Are the Witnesses of Christ in the University"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II's message to the participants of the 8th International Youth Forum, being held in Rocca di Papa, near Rome, from today until Sunday.
* * *
1. I should like, first of all, to extend my cordial greetings to all the students who have come together at this time in Rocca di Papa for the eighth "International Youth Forum" on the theme "Young People and the University: Witnessing to Christ in the University World." Your presence is a source of great joy to me, because it is a shining example of the ever-young universal face of the Church. For you have come from five continents, representing over 80 countries and 30 international movements, associations and communities.
And I should also like to greet the rectors, professors and lecturers attending the Forum, as well as the bishops, priests and the laity engaged in the pastoral care of universities, who will be accompanying the students as they reflect over the coming days.
I wish like to express my most sincere thanks to the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, and all his co-workers, for convening this welcome event. I vividly recall previous years' Forums organized to coincide with the international celebrations of World Youth Day. For this year it was decided to renew the format, to give the Forum a more clearly defined scope, emphasizing its educational dimension by choosing a specific theme around which to debate one concrete aspect of young people's lives.
The theme for this meeting is certainly highly topical and meets a real need. I am delighted that so many young people, coming from such rich and diverse cultures have gathered at Rocca di Papa to reflect together, to share their experiences, and to embolden one another to bear witness to Christ in the world of higher education.
2. It is important in our age to rediscover the bond that unites the Church to the world of higher education. For the Church not only played a decisive role in founding the first universities, but throughout the centuries she has been a workshop of culture, and continues in the same direction today through the Catholic universities and various forms of presence in the vast world of higher education. The Church sees the university as one of those "workplaces in which man's vocation to acquire knowledge, and the constituent bond of humanity with truth as the purpose of knowledge, become a daily reality" for so many professors, young researchers and generations of students (address to UNESCO, 1980).
Dear students, in the university you are not only recipients of services, but you are the true protagonists of the activities performed there. It is no coincidence that the period spent in higher education is a vital stage in your existence, in which you prepare yourselves to take on the responsibility for decisive choices that will direct the whole of your future life. It is for this reason that you must approach higher education with a searching spirit, to seek the right answers to the essential questions about the meaning of life, happiness and complete self-fulfillment, and beauty as the splendor of truth.
Fortunately, the influence of ideologies and utopias fomented by the messianic atheism that had such an impact in the past on many university environments has waned considerably today. But there are also new schools of thought, which reduce reason to the horizon of experimental science alone, and hence to technical and instrumental knowledge, sometimes enclosing it within a skeptical and nihilistic vision. These attempts to evade the issue of the deepest meaning of existence are not only futile; they can also become dangerous.
3. Through the gift of faith we have met the One who introduces himself with these surprising words: "I am the truth" (John 14:6). Jesus is the truth of the universe and of history, the meaning and the destiny of human existence, the foundation of all reality! It is your responsibility, you who have welcomed this Truth as the vocation and certitude of your lives, to demonstrate its reasonableness in the university environment and in your work there.
The question that then arises is: How deeply does the truth of Christ affect your studies, research, knowledge of reality, and the comprehensive education of the human person? It may happen that, even among those who profess to be Christians, some will behave in the university as if God did not exist. Christianity is not a mere subjective religious preference, which is ultimately irrational, and relegated to the private sphere.
As Christians we are duty-bound to bear witness to what the Second Vatican Council affirmed in "Gaudium et Spes": "For faith throws a new light on everything, manifests God's design for man's total vocation, and thus directs the mind to solutions which are fully human" (No.11). We must demonstrate that faith and reason are not irreconcilable, but that, "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth" (cf. "Fides et ratio," Introduction).
4. My young friends! You are the disciples and the witnesses of Christ in the university. May your university days be for all of you a period of great spiritual and intellectual maturity, which will lead you to deepen your personal relationship with Christ. But if your faith is linked merely to fragments of tradition, fine sentiments or a generic religious ideology, you will certainly not be able to withstand the impact of the environment you are in. You must therefore seek to keep your Christian identity steadfast, and rooted in the communion of the Church. To do this, you must be nurtured by persevering in prayer.
Whenever possible, seek out sound university professors and lecturers. Do not remain isolated in what are often difficult environments, but play an active part in the life of Church associations, movements and communities operating in the university environment. Draw close to the university parishes, and allow the chaplaincies to help you. You must build the Church within your universities, as a visible community which believes, prays, gives account for our hope, and lovingly welcomes every trace of good, truth and beauty in university life. All this has to be done wherever students live and meet, and not only on the campus. I am certain that the pastors will not fail to devote particular care to ministering to the university environments, and will appoint holy and competent priests to perform this mission.
5. Dear participants at the 8th International Youth Forum, I am happy to know you will be present in St. Peter's Square next Thursday, to meet the young people from the Rome Diocese, and later for the Palm Sunday Mass, when we shall be celebrating together the 19th World Youth Day on the theme "We wish to see Jesus" (John 12:21). It will mark the final stage in the spiritual preparation for the great gathering in Cologne in 2005.
It is not enough to "speak" about Jesus to young undergraduates: we must also "show" Jesus to them, through the eloquent witness of our lives (cf. "Novo Millennio Ineunte," 16). My wish for you is that this Rome meeting will help to strengthen your love for the universal Church and your commitment to serving the university world. I am depending on each and every one of you to hand on to your local Churches and your ecclesial groups the richness of gifts that you are receiving in these intense days here.
Invoking the Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom, to protect you on your path, I impart a special heartfelt apostolic blessing on you and on all those -- fellow students, rectors, professors, lecturers, chaplains and administrative staff -- who, with you, make up the great "university community."
From the Vatican, 25 March 2004
IOANNES PAULUS II
[Original text in Italian]
The first I heard about it was on Rush Limbaugh. A listener called in and compared Al Gore to that kid who already graduated from high school but still hangs around the parking lot trying to impress people. At that point I had no idea what she was referring to (although I think the metaphor was pretty accurate of Gore in general).
Later, though, I heard actual audio clips of Gore's speech (I haven't waded through the entire 59 minutes of it and probably won't). Say what you want about the war in Iraq, Gore was going overboard. At the top of his lungs, he was calling for the resignation of basically every member of the Bush administration that touched the war in any regard.
Ok, so lots of liberals are calling for the resignation of administration officials. That's nothing really new. What struck me wasn't the speech itself. It was the reactions of the conservatives in the media (by which I mean the three I've heard so far: Rush, Sean Hannity and George Will). They were saying things like "Can you believe he could have been president?", "This is why he wasn't elected.", etc. Don't they remember what they said just three and a half years ago? The way I see it, one speech like this would have made him president. For months during the 2000 campaign, people complained that Gore was as dry as sandpaper in a Mormon township. Pundits said that he had to show that he was passionate about something. Well, this MoveOn.org speech showed passion I've never heard in his voice. Where was that in 2000?
I'm going to make up some math right now on the spot to prove my point. According to the 2000 cencus, the population of Florida was 16 million people. Lets say 2/3 of those people are actually eligible to vote. That makes about 10.6 million people. According to stats I'm sure I read somewhere, only about 50% of people voted in the 2000 presidential election. That leaves 5.3 million voters. Bush won Florida by about 450 votes. So a change of 250 votes from Bush to Gore would have changed the election from Bush to Gore with some to spare. 250 votes is roughly .005% of all votes cast.
Could a little bit of personality have changed .005% of peoples' opinions? Well, look at it this way. That percentage equals roughly 5 in 100,000 people. Now think of all the people you know. Surely you don't have 100,000 friends (except my friend Marianne, but she doesn't count). But of all the people you know, surely at least 2-3 of them are the kind of people (coughmoroncough) who voted for the guy whose campaign commercial they heard last.
So, basically what I'm trying to say with all these fuzzy numbers is that anything Gore did in the last election to make himself look like a human being would probably have won it for him.
Don't you love the American political system?
The big surprise came during "Fading Away." Normally, Ben the drummer abandons his drums to Paul and freestyles as the rest of the band jams. This time Ben opened the rapping, then handed it off to Jason. I've never heard Jason rap before, but he was amazing. From now on, he shall be Jase Face Killa (the bleached blond white guy).
As the show wrapped up, the sky got dark in the west. It started gusting and pouring like The Day After Tomorrow. We all wanted to scramble for cover, but we had to help the bands pick up their stuff (Barlow Girl played afterwards). A roadie for Barlow Girl had me literally holding down the merchandise tent for about 15 minutes. Since I didn't have any free hands to defend myself, two of my friends decided it would be a good idea to poke my face as I stood there. (Thank you Sarah and Kate. I will release your email addresses if I don't get an apology soon.) I was waiting for a gust to pick me up and carry me off like some kind of merch-pilfering Mary Poppins. (Side note: Alliteration is the key to sounding witty when you have nothing to say.)
Anyway, if this entry bored you out of your mind, go to myepiphany.com and listen to some good music from Jason's new band Epiphany.
EDIT: This link doesn't seem to work. I'll find the site and fix it as soon as I can.
EDIT AGAIN: It works now. Ourepiphany.com, not myepiphany.
"See I can't leave the food out on my porch because my landlady, Wendy, who lives in the apartment behind me is allegoric to cats."
Him: Are you a person with patience?
Me: It could use some help, I'm sure.
H: [hands me a two page handwritten pamphlet with a list of a good 40-50 Bible passages on the front] When you finished reading those would you have more patience?
H: I can tell you're a man of patience, just because you're listening to me. Now, If someone needs something and you give it to them, isn't that a good work?
H: You know the Bible says that whatever you do for another of God's people you do for Him?
H: [Holds up his bag. It has that picture on it] What's he doing?
H: In Revelation 13: 20, Jesus says he is knocking at the door, just like I'm doing right now. [Sees that I'm wearing my Kyrios cross] What does that thing on your neck mean?
M: Christianity… I'm Catholic. (To his credit, he didn't care.)
H: Now what's on the outside reflects what's in the heart, right?
H: So if what's on the outside isn't in the heart, it's fake, right?[Guilt trip, I hate that.]
He went on to explain that he lived in a tent (the address was on the pamphlet) and ran a Bible study. When I didn't give him money, he asked if I would go to his Bible study. Not wanting to be rude, I told him "I don't know, maybe." He pulled out his Bible and showed me James 5:12 "Let your 'Yes' be yes, and your 'No,' no." I didn't think that that passage was speaking out against the word "maybe", but I didn't want to argue exegesis on my front steps. I gave in and told him no, I probably wouldn't go to his Bible study. He was ok with that and left. I told him I'd pray for him, and I will.
The problem now is that I fee like a piece of crap. I have no doubt that he was legit. He knew the Bible too well and was too good of a speaker to be a junkie. I kind of wish I had given him something.
Man, in hindsight, I never do anything right.
This is a quote from my last post. As I was reading over it, I just had to wonder "What the heck does 'what have you' mean, anyway?" Lots of people use that term (it seems especially popular among older people, along with "Take it easy now," "When I was your age…," and "Dadgummit") but I don't know if anyone has any idea what it means.
- How many people are good enough guitarists to play Dave's music? A lot of tribute bands cover music that's heavy on the power chords and screaming, rather than intricate strumming and picking. OK, it wouldn't be too tough to learn, but…
- …Of those, how many can sing even vaguely like Dave's 2-pack-a-day growl and still hit the high notes?
- And how many of those people know a really good electric violin and saxophone player? Also, I doubt if there are many people anywhere who can drum like Carter.
- And, come on, if you're really that good what are you doing covering someone else music? You should be out there making your own.
Ergo, that logic leads me to the conclusion that they must be lousy songwriters. (Meanwhile, somewhere in Greece, Socrates rolls over in a long-forgotten grave.)
I probably won't go see Crash, even though it intrigues me. It's at a bar, and I can't stand smoke or drunks. And, being 18, I'm not even sure they'll let me in.
And now that I've made myself look like a hopeless DMB fanboy, I think it's time to change the subject.
Quit making that face at me, Roger Clemens.