Pitchfork Nation: Pictures: Dennis Dome is Done: "The dome opened at a cost of $8.4 million in July. Tonight's storm wasted it in the span of about 45 minutes. I was parked by Four Peaks Brewing Company around 9:45 tonight and a gust of wind nearly picked up one side of my car. Power went out from about 8th Street and north at about the same time and in some places has not been restored. The following are my eyewitness pictures from the northeast corners of Arizona State University at around 1:00 AM.
The storm hurled pieces of the Dome across the north campus. We saw pieces of the canvas and of insulation as far away as Sun Angel Stadium and even a sizable chunk lodged in the trees and fence surrounding Packard Stadium."
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"the little glass dot …
it too may not seem of any particular interest …
but consider again that dot …
That’s somewhere else.
On the other side of that little glass dot is everyone you love,
everyone you know,
everyone you have ever heard of,
everyone who is living out their lives that has access to the internet,
billions of potential viewers,
and your future self among them.
Some have called it both the biggest and the smallest stage,
the most public space in the world, from the privacy of our own homes.
It has been used for many things …
a political soapbox, a comedian’s stage, a religious pulpit, a teacher’s podium,
or just a way to reach out
to a next door neighbor or across the world
to people we love, people we want to love, or people we don’t even know …
to share something deep, or something trivial,
something serious, or something funny,
to strive for fame, or to simply connect …
it can be many things …
but it cannot be just one thing …
… and it cannot be only what you want it to be …
… it is not just what you make of it … it is what we make of it …
the little glass dot
the eyes of the world"
Digital Ethnography » Blog Archive » Aesthetic Arrest: "Many YouTubers do create strong and tight relations on YouTube that extend beyond the screen into physical contexts, and there are a growing number of YouTube gatherings worldwide in which Tubers meet one another face-to-face (see Lange, 2007), but the experience of profound and deep connection with relatively (or even totally) anonymous strangers viewed on the screen from a distance remains an important phenomenon with important implications for how we understand ourselves and our relations with others."
Declarations - WSJ.com: "Another problem with the Michelle speech. In order to paint both her professional life and her husband's, and in order to communicate what she feels is his singular compassion, she had to paint an America that is darker, sadder, grimmer, than most Americans experience their country to be. And this of course is an incomplete picture, an incorrectly weighted picture. Sadness and struggle are part of life, but so are guts and verve and achievement and success and hardiness and…triumph. Democrats always get this wrong. Republicans get it wrong too, but in a different way.
Democrats in the end speak most of, and seem to hold the most sympathy for, the beset-upon single mother without medical coverage for her children, and the soldier back from the war who needs more help with post-traumatic stress disorder. They express the most sympathy for the needy, the yearning, the marginalized and unwell. For those, in short, who need more help from the government, meaning from the government's treasury, meaning the money got from taxpayers.
Who happen, also, to be a generally beset-upon group.
Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes to help the beset-upon mother and the soldier and the kids. They express little sympathy for the middle-aged woman who owns a small dry cleaner and employs six people and is, actually, day to day, stressed and depressed from the burden of state, local and federal taxes, and regulations, and lawsuits, and meetings with the accountant, and complaints as to insufficient or incorrect efforts to meet guidelines regarding various employee/employer rules and regulations. At Republican conventions they express sympathy for this woman, as they do for those who are entrepreneurial, who start businesses and create jobs and build things. Republicans have, that is, sympathy for taxpayers. But they don't dwell all that much, or show much expressed sympathy for, the sick mother with the uninsured kids, and the soldier with the shot nerves.
Neither party ever gets it quite right, the balance between the taxed and the needy, the suffering of one sort and the suffering of another. You might say that in this both parties are equally cold and equally warm, only to two different classes of citizens."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
toledoblade.com -- 'Basic Instinct' author writes book about faith: "The upcoming release from the man who penned dark thrillers such as Basic Instinct and Jagged Edge tells the story of his spiritual conversion and his newfound devotion to God and family.
In Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, to be published Sept. 2 by St. Martin's Press, Mr. Eszterhas describes how his life got turned around during the summer of 2001."
The Gospel Coalition | Christ on Campus Initiative: "The Christ on Campus Initiative (CCI) is a ministry created for the purpose of preparing and circulating literature for college and university students, addressing an array of important intellectual and practical issues from an evangelical Christian perspective. This initiative is made possible by generous support from the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL) and the MAC foundation (Fort Collins, CO). The editorial team, led by D.A. Carson, commissions top evangelical scholars to oversee the creation and distribution of a variety of resources for university students. The goal of these resources is that they be intellectually rigorous, culturally relevant, persuasive in argument and faithful to historic, evangelical Christianity."
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Forbes.com: "Right behind Houston are Minneapolis, home to more of the nation's top companies per capita than any other city; Boston, fueled heavily by the biotech industry; and Washington, D.C., where unless the government goes out of business, consulting firms will continue to make a killing."
Friday, August 22, 2008
Campus Crusader for Christ | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction: "In short, Crusade has grown into an evangelical powerhouse, the point of first contact for many college students who moved away from the churches that reared them. Crusade was overdue for the new critical, scholarly evaluation written by John G. Turner, assistant professor of history at the University of South Alabama. His book, Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America, has already rankled some of the late Bright's family and colleagues. Indeed, Turner admits in the introduction that some Crusade insiders who reviewed the manuscript 'in some cases vehemently disagreed' with his conclusions. But Turner's book succeeds precisely because he recorded the first-hand observations of so many Crusade insiders."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The first half of 2008 was the coolest for at least five years, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday.
The whole year will almost certainly be cooler than recent years, although temperatures remain above the historical average.
Global temperatures vary annually according to natural cycles.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Forbes.com: "In the U.S., towns in Kansas and the Dakotas face extinction mainly because of an exodus of young people. Some Kansas towns are fighting back by giving away free land, with mixed results.
But some bigger centers also face the risk of annihilation. Urban planners across Europe and North America are already grappling with what to do with 'shrinking cities.' After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, millions of residents of what had been East Germany moved west. More than a million apartments were simply abandoned.
In response, the German government sponsored the Shrinking Cities Project to study what is now a global phenomenon. The project has an exhibit on tour that examines shrinkage in Russia's Ivanovo, Leipzig in Germany, Manchester and Liverpool in Britain and Detroit in the U.S.
Whether these cities disappear entirely, of course, is an open question. Detroit's population has fallen by around a third since 1950 and now equals about 950,000. It is expected to shrink slowly but steadily until at least 2030; unemployment inside the city is more than 10%. (The suburbs around Detroit, meanwhile, are growing.) If trends hold, Detroit will be altered beyond recognition by 2100."
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Official Google Blog: Where is Georgia on Google Maps?: "The recent conflict in Georgia has raised some questions about how Google Maps has handled mapping in that part of the world. The most obvious question is, why doesn't Google Maps show any cities or roads for Georgia, or its neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan? The answer is we never launched coverage in those countries because we simply weren't satisfied with the map data we had available. We're constantly searching for the best map data we can find, and sometimes will delay launching coverage in a country if we think we can get more comprehensive data. Some of our customers have asked if we removed map data from any of these countries in response to the recent hostilities in that region and I can assure you that is not the case. Data for these countries were never on Google Maps in the first place.
But this has generated a lot of feedback that we are listening to and learning from. We're hearing from our users that they would rather see even very basic coverage of a country than see nothing at all. That certainly makes sense, and so we have started preparing data for the handful of countries that are still blank on Google Maps. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, as well as other significant regions of the world will benefit from this effort."
Empty Seats at China's Sellout Olympics: "Li Ligong had been trying to buy tickets for the Beijing Olympics since last August. In each round, he would camp out with friends three days before sales began hoping to buy seats for gymnastics, basketball, and swimming events, but he had no luck. 'We couldn't get any tickets,' says Li, 37, owner of a building decoration company and member of a Beijing soccer fan club.
All that changed on Aug. 11. Li got a call from the head of soccer fan club asking if he'd be interested in watching an Olympic doubleheader on Aug. 12 for free, including the game between Canada and Sweden."
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Want More Growth in China? Have Faith - WSJ.com: "One of the most important dissenting voices in China today belongs to Peter Zhao, a Communist Party member and adviser to the Chinese Central Committee. Mr. Zhao is among a group of Chinese intellectuals who look to the West to find the key to economic success. Mr. Zhao in particular believes that Christianity and the ethical system based upon its teachings are the reason that Western countries dominate the global economy. "The strong U.S. economy is just on the surface," he says. "The backbone is the moral foundation."
Without a unifying moral system enforced by common values, Mr. Zhao argues, there can be no real trust between people. Without faith among business partners and between management and shareholders, only the threat of the law can keep people honest. "There are problems of corruption emerging. . . . There is concern about whether China's market economy will ever become a sound market economy."
Mr. Zhao has made his case in both popular and academic publications in the past several years, publishing more than 200 articles -- for instance, "Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches" -- explaining how Christianity leads to long-term growth. "From the ancient time till now everybody wants to make more money," Mr. Zhao told me. "But from history we see only Christians have a continuous nonstop creative spirit and the spirit for innovation."
Surprisingly, Mr. Zhao has been allowed to voice his thoughts on the country's need for more religion and religious freedom. And he has a growing audience for his message -- particularly among Christians, of course. One Chinese think tank claimed that Mr. Zhao's articles have produced more hits online than those of any other author in the country.
Mr. Zhao began formulating his ideas during a 2002 trip to the U.S. "In the U.S., the spires of churches are more numerous than China's banks and rice shops. On a street near Harvard Square," Mr. Zhao recalls, "I once stood and looked about me, only to find that in three different directions there were three churches." The trip seems to have made a personal as well as an intellectual impression. Shortly after returning home, Mr. Zhao became a Christian himself.
Mr. Zhao's argument goes beyond the need for common values. He claims that Christianity produces greater wealth than other religions or no religion. His view is partly historical -- the wealthiest societies are those that are traditionally Christian, either Catholic or Protestant. He says that Christianity provides three elements necessary for economic growth: motivation -- those who work for God rather than for pleasure, money or status don't tire of being productive; a moral framework that makes for less exploitation and less corruption; and a mandate to care for the poor and disenfranchised."