Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

good to know...

if you're in St. Louis County, find out yours here: St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners

What's really sad is that only about half of these names sound familiar.  What do they stand for, who are these people?  Does it matter?

Am I going to get educated on the election and base my decision on the graphic design of their campaign lawn signs?  There's a sign for Jane Cunningham that I want to steal the day after the election from a yard that I pass on my way to school.  It has (this) picture of her on it.  I think I'm going to put it in one of the random rooms in our house.  


New York-based economist John Dunham thinks the Giffen Paradox could pay off for HSM3, too. That theory holds, in apparent Veblen-style, that as a product's price "goes up, people want more of it," he says, although adding that it's more likely to work for Chanel handbags, than G-rated movies. (George thinks the Giffen Paradox really only worked for potatoes in Ireland during the potato famine.)
In any case, the downside to charging admission for a movie experience that only recently was free-ish is that, as Dunham reminds, "as something becomes more expensive, demand falls."
"How those forces play against each other is going to determine how the movie does," Dunham says.

yahoo news: "
Zac Efron…and the Giffen Paradox!?"

okay, so I've seen HSM3 twice now (first time at the midnight showing last Thursday) and it's absolutely wonderful and cheesy and wonderful.  And I think that these economists are crap.  It's going to make a ton of money.  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

“Differences are meant to draw out the part of us that is frightened and repulsed by someone alien and to expose God’s delight in the strange and the odd.”

- p. 13, The Intimate Mystery by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III, for my Marriage & Family Counseling class.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Konstantine - Something Corporate
Two Ways Out - Darker My Love

Who are you, Frederic Bastiat?

Bastiat's wiki entry

“Can the law – which necessarily require the use of force – rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone?  I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right…It must be admitted that the true solution  - so long searched for in the area of social relationships – is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice” (35).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Department of Beautiful Things

Sony Bravia "Domino City" from Film Construction on Vimeo.

Gol-ee-dog.  Sony Bravia has come out with another ridiculously beautiful ad.  In case you missed the others (that I'm aware of) here they are:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

litmus test

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Litmus test, litmus test,
why must you indicate
the presence or absence
of acid in a solution?

Why do you go on
day after day,
night after night,
indicating such a thing?

from Belz

Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Report: 'Twilight'

...well, I'm not done with the book but I'm done reading it.  The reason it's so popular with 13 year old girls is because it's written at a 7th grade reading level.  

Conclusion: the reason this book is popular is because the girl (Bella Swan...gag) does absolutely nothing to deserve the passionate and instant love of Edward, the superhot superhuman vampire.  Every girl wants this, end of story.  

footloose montage!!

dread plan 2.0: imogen heap hair

after looking at this super cute girl's dreads (Allie found her here), I decided that even if my dreadlocks were wildly successful, I wouldn't really like the look as much as I like the Imogen bush she's sporting in these pics.  

And besides, real dreds take like 6 months of hard-core work.  And I don't care that much.  

12 Step Program of AA

hese are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous.[10]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


I fall in and (decidely) out of love with Sufjan Stevens.  He has great music for mourning things.  I can listen to his Christmas music any time (5 CDs for $20!) but the rest of his music is only for when I have lost someone.  

My magical friend Nancy made this!  She's in Fort Collins, CO.  

Ugly Theologians: John Owen

Friday, October 17, 2008

Indoor Herb Gardening

from West Virginia University

"Herbs can also be grown indoors for year-round enjoyment. Growing herbs indoors is no more difficult than growing them in the garden.

Indoor plants will need essentially the same conditions as herbs grown outdoors -- sunlight and a well-drained soil mix that is not too rich.

Select a south or west window. Different herbs have different light requirements, but most need a sunny location; in winter, "grow lamps" or fluorescent lamps are helpful in supplementing light.

When planting, mix two parts sterilized potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite. To ensure sweetness of the soil, add a cut of ground limestone per bushel of soil -- or 1 teaspoon of lime per 5-inch pot. There should be an inch of gravel at the bottom of each pot to ensure good drainage.

Consider the water needs of each herb. Growing plants need more water as do plants in clay pots or hanging baskets. Misting and grouping the plants on a tray of moistened pebbles will help keep them in a humid condition. Don't drench herbs -- avoid getting herb roots soggy.

Annual herbs can spend their full life cycle in a pot indoors. Perennial herbs, however, will do better if you place them outdoors during the summer. Plunge the pot in soil up to its rim, or keep it in a protected location on the porch or patio.

Herb plants need sun during the summer months, so place them accordingly. To prevent the loss of foliage and avoid plant damage, bring herbs indoors before frost. A light frost is helpful on mint, chives, and tarragon; it tends to induce a rest period and make the resulting new growth firm and fresh.

You can maintain an indoor herb garden indefinitely by periodic light feeding, yearly repotting, renewing annuals, seasonal moves outdoors for perennials, and occasional pruning. Water plants as needed. Use several planters or a divided one to allow for different moisture needs of plants."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is stolen from Jeff's blog, but I thought it was such a great resource that I had to stick it up on mine: 

including the Rescuers Down Under, the cover of The Little Mermaid, the genie/bee in Aladdin, the dust from Simba in The Lion King, and much much more!

I had always heard about these growing up but the site gives documented evidence (screen shots) of all 5.  Very useful.

This kind of thinking makes me happy.

“To begin with, we need to ask why the ideologies arose when they did and what are the preconditions for their coming into existence.  First, we must be aware of the long tradition of political theorizing that stands in back of the ideologies, which can be said to recycle much of the material of these ancient theories.  For example, it is sometimes thought that liberal individualism is an unprecedented philosophy that would have been unthinkable prior to the Enlightenment or perhaps the Renaissance.  In its modern form this is certainly true.  Yet if we look back to the post-Aristotelian philosophy of Epicureanism, we are struck by the similarities between this philosophy and that of, say, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who lived two millennia later.  Individualism, as it turns out, is not so new after all.  The modern ideologies have thus received much of their content from these older theories.  The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun.  Not surprisingly, then, the inventors of an ideology rarely create ex nihilo its intellectual ingredients; they have simply recycled them from earlier ideologies and political theories.” (Political Visions and Illusions p.23)

“…I view ideologies as modern types of that ancient phenomenon idolatry, complete with their own accounts of sin and redemption…Like these biblical idolatries, every ideology is based on taking something out of creation's totality, raising it above that creation and making the latter revolve around and serve it.  It is further based on the assumption that this idol has the capacity to save us from some real or perceived evil in the world.  This is a book about political ideologies; the ideologies we shall discuss here have to do with politics and its place within human life.” (Political Visions and Illusions by David T. Koyzis, p.15)

counseling and ministry

I've been thinking about switching to a counseling degree program at seminary (I am currently in the masters in being a sunday school teacher program).  But I don't want to be a counselor, I don't want to have clients and sit in a fabricated-living room-office all day.  I want to do youth ministry, to hang out for a living.  But I want to know what I'm talking about as much as I possibly can.  Which is why I'm going to school.  

However, it IS kind of weird, in one way, getting a counseling degree to do youth ministry.  Wouldn't you get a youth ministry degree to do youth ministry?  However, most of the issues that I see that kids actually need help in is understanding their families and their emotions.  This seems to be the bedrock of all other issues - even spiritual ones.

At L'Abri, I read somewhere and talked to some people who said that in the 60's, people used to come to L'Abri to intellectually discuss serious doubts they had with religion and spirituality and to get real answers.  "Real answers to real questions" was Francis and Edith Schaeffer's motto.  However, talking to the workers at English L'Abri in the Fall of 2006 when I was there, they said that the people who came to L'Abri nowadays were more in need of emotional healing and counseling - either from wounds inflicted by the church or by their families.  The focus was different.

What is this cultural shift?  Shouldn't I be focusing on learning tons of theology to minister to high schoolers instead of family systems?  Ideally it should be both, but realistically I must focus somewhere.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sleepy Head - Passion Pit

What an interesting song!  I'm used to hearing pop-rap songs from 4 years ago sampling the high-pitched voice, but I think it makes a really interesting addition to an indie rock song.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008


"Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities over the last 13 years. Rotterdam's heterogeneous, multicultural street scene remains a major source of inspiration for Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, although since 1998 they have also worked in cities abroad.

They call their series Exactitudes: a contraction of exact and attitude. By registering their subjects in an identical framework, with similar poses and a strictly observed dress code, Versluis and Uyttenbroek provide an almost scientific, anthropological record of people's attempts to distinguish themselves from others by assuming a group identity. The apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity is, however, taken to such extremes in their arresting objective-looking photographic viewpoint and stylistic analysis that the artistic aspect clearly dominates the purely documentary element."

from the new Urban Outfitters "LSTN #2" free mp3 

no one can beat japanese street fashion.  from Shibuya, Tokyo Street Fashion.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A great perspective:

"Over the past thirty years, Wall Street has honed the art of creating and selling financial products with an increasingly tenuous connection to reality.  It has been an extraordinarily creative period - a modernism of money, with an equivalent trend toward abstraction.  Relatively simple derivatives evolved into ever more arcane contrivances.  The risk and the leverage piled up, and, in the short term the billions rolled in.  This is over now."

The New Yorker, Talk of the Town, Dept. of Magical Thinking, "Wiz Bucks" by Nick Paumgarten

Questions Answered

"As we shall see in the chapter on social constructionism, some postmodern therapists have come to distrust the power imbalance inherent in modernism and first-order cybernetics.  They have adopted a not-knowing or decentered position in an attempt to focus on the client as expert and all but remove the therapist from imposing personal/professional influence on the family.  von Bertalanffy, however, believed that it was impossible for therapists to not influence the family system; he noted that not all values, positions, and perspectives were of equal value; indeed, some positions - even those held by the family - can cause damage to the system and the environment.  It is, therefore, essential that therapists study and understand the values, assumptions, and convictions that have been adopted in their own lives, and to evaluate their theories and practices in relation to the impact these will have on the family, the community, and the culture." (p.20)

In seminary, I have found that many of my life questions that I have been "simmering" over for the past 3 years have been answered in my Marriage & Family Counseling class.  Maybe I should switch to a counseling degree program.

Friday, October 10, 2008

the new yorker, Oct. 13 2008
Slow Motion Dog Drink

St. Louis Fashion Week


My genius friend Jessie is currently unemployed and wanted to go to St. Louis Fashion Week ($35/ticket) and so called up the organizer and volunteered herself all week. I got the opportunity to volunteer last night and saw the miacro, Wrath Arcane, and Humanity for All shows for free.

miacro (women) and Wrath Arcane (menswear) were stunning and really exciting. Humanity for All was stupid in the Juicy Couture/Ed Hardy way.

The cutest thing of the night was talking to a miacro model after the show going home with her parents. She couldn't have been older than 16 and still had braces.

I was talking to a girl at the (free) bar who works for Clear Channel and she said that she had been to a show earlier in the week called Goodwill. The designers took all clothing from Goodwill stores. You can see a slideshow (here).

My roommate Sharon was there last night and is going to the Apple Bottoms show on Saturday. Unfortunately I can't make it, and can't fulfill one of my life dreams of meeting Nelly.

The whole thing was overseen by Attilio D'Agostino, owner of ALIVE Magazine.

Probably the most exciting thing of the night was seeing how cool and legitimately fashionable St. Louis can be. This kind of stuff renews my hope in my backward, racist city.

this is from my brother Clay's "mobile uploads" on fbook. His caption is: "the neighborhood turning itself into sardines to eat sardines...sympathy for the little devils?"

Monday, October 6, 2008

way to go, St. Louis: Gentleman Auction House

"The Book Of Matches" Music Video from Steve Kozel on Vimeo.


"I often study some important topic of Scripture using what I call the "Crock Pot" or slow cooker method.  That is, I let it "cook" slowly over the back burner of my mind for months, even years.  That has been true with the subject of God's grace.  It has been on my "back burner" for more than ten years.  I've written three other books during that time, but my mind and heart have kept coming back to God's grace" (Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace, p. 12)

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I think I'm going to start taking the bus to school, to try to cut down on gas (as gas and food take up most of my budget - see the third world diet post).  But, unfortunately (and it might be just me) but bus maps make zero sense.  Especially ones like this.  wtf?

ok, as far as i can tell, I take the Clayton Road Connector home.  And the West County Express to school.  

i want that: The Book

The Bible has been turned into a glossy magazine by Dag Söderberg a former Swedish advertising exec. The magazine is titled, ‘The Book’ and it is a complete unedited text of the Old Testament. Mr. Söderberg has high hopes for his magazine and has said: “I want it to be well spread, to create a buzz. I want people to start taking it to dinner parties, instead of flowers. That way, perhaps everyone can have a Bible on their table without causing too much panic.” The magazine is 450 pages complete with modern-day magazine glossy photo illustrations. There are plans to have it translated to English and brought overseas to cater to the 25-50 year old markets and also a New Testament sequel is in the works. (
“Most people have issues with the Bible,’ Söderberg says. ‘They have never gotten into it. They don’t find it accessible. But it’s our history, our heritage. And for most of us, we relate to it more than we think. Religious or not, it shapes much of our moral codes.”

i don't think anything is more beautiful... - Illuminated Landscapes - Field of Light Sculptures

the melting ice cream truck

team america world police montage

We need to do a copy of this at my youth group

It's Homecoming Season, ya'll.

I had my small group of 15 year old girls over tonight and they were talking about a local high school, Rockwood Summit, that got into a prank war and got their homecoming dance taken away from them.  However, thanks to some parents, they rented another venue and had their homecoming dance anyways.  Nice.  

(nice objective reporting, KSDK)
"A number of houses in Fenton neighborhoods were damaged with paintballs, syrup was dumped on porches, and permanent paint was used to write vulgar language on vehicles."

this my jam

Live Your Life - T.I. Ft. Rihanna

Bailout. You'd think they would have spun that word a little better.

Paulson Statement on Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. Read it all (here).  Oh boy.


This movie kind of rocks. I've heard rumors that they're making a new version. One can only hope. The young Jeff Bridges kind of looks a little like Christian Bale. He's my bid.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What can I do about East St. Louis?

Faith in Action - East St. Louis: visiting elderly or disabled at their homes.

reading: Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities on the educational system in America, with a case study on East St. Louis schools.  


Vivienne Westwood

Why St. Louis is the way it is: pt. 42

The Riverfront Times: "Out-of-control shoplifting at the St. Louis Galleria. Violent attacks in the Delmar Loop. Is MetroLink a vehicle for crime?"

"St. Peters alderman Don Aytes remembers well the fears some of his constituents expressed back in 1998, the year MetroLink supporters tried to bring light rail into suburban St. Charles County.  "I thought for sure it would pass, and then someone on the MetroLink campaign made the decision to advertise that the train would connect Mid Rivers Mall with East St. Louis," Aytes recalls. "That pretty much killed it right there. Soon you had people saying MetroLink riders would come to St. Charles by train and leave by car — stolen car.""

"Ask virtually any store manager at the Saint Louis Galleria about shoplifting, and you'll invariably get two responses: One, it's out of control; and two, it's gotten exceedingly worse since August 2006, when MetroLink opened a stop just 500 yards from the high-end shopping center."

"More pressing to the Rich sisters is what they'll do if the police continue their crackdown on the teenagers on the Loop.

"Where else are we going to go?" asks Nicolette. "There aren't a lot of places where we can hang out.""


further reading: 
"Gatekeepers wanted: MetroLink needs to set up gates and turnstiles to force people to pay to ride, like most city transit trains. That would put an end to thugs jumping on and off. Also, it would generate revenue for MetroLink, since more than likely half of the riders do not pay as it is.
TD, via the Internet"

"Yesterday morning the civic-journalism digestive tract that, metaphorically speaking, is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board defecated on Riverfront Times' front stoop."

"In November, St. Louis County voters will vote on a half-cent sales tax increase for Metro; its passage is crucial to the regional transit system. The question is whether what happened on July 26 will affect the voting and possibly undermine the region’s huge investment in public transit.

Irrational fear of crime, sometimes expressed in barely coded racial terms, long has plagued transit systems across the nation. Usually it occurs when systems seek to expand from inner cities to suburban areas."

Bloom's Taxonomy:

Wikipedia - Bloom's Taxonomy

in my mind...

Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

The Third-World Diet

Since I'm kind of poor lately, I thought it would be a good idea to start eating like a poor person.  Groceries and gas take up most of my money each month (because I'm thankfully living rent free right now).  I'm a huge fan of Indian and Northern African food anyways, and they usually have to eat on the cheap because of economic issues.  So I thought I'd follow suit.  A great recipe site I've found is Vegetarian Recipes Around The World, which has many types of cuisine, mostly from third-world countries - right up my alley.  

Recently I have made Indian Curried Peas (which were kind of sweet - I forget that there is a different kind of palate in many places in the world.  The sweet and sour thing isn't too popular in the US) and Ethiopian Lentil Bowl which I made yesterday and am about to heat up.

Paired with these is some jasmine rice and the best naan I've ever made (numerious unsuccessful attempts have been made at making indian flat bread).  Here's the recipe: Naan - Allrecipes

Ira Glass for Prison Performing Arts

Ira Glass came to town this past weekend and did a live version of a previous show of his, 'Act V'
which is about a prison in Pacific, Missouri (about an hour away from St. Louis) where a woman, Agnes, has an organization called Prison Performing Arts where she goes into prisons and leads them in performing a play.  

Since I had already heard the specific show on This American Life on NPR, the live performance was a little bit of a repeat.  What made it worth it was the experience of seeing St. Louis' "intellectual elite" out in droves to The Pageant.  The Merlot flowed and three-part questions abounded in the Q&A time.  Also, since the show aired quite a bit ago, many of the prisoners have been released and were able to perform sections of Hamlet live.  That was very cool.  

Ira Glass mixes music with the interviews in his show, and to be a good showmen, included lots of hand-flourishes when he pressed various buttons on stage.  One interesting thing that Ira Glass mentioned is his definition of Art (I think it was Ira, it could have been Jack Hitt - the journalist): "Art is about communicating an urgently held feeling.  Ever since going to L'Abri, where we debated the definition of art at every discussion lunch for a month, I have kept my ears open for new definitions.  My favorite still is "Art is any intentional action."

Anyways, another thing that stood out to me was the absolute charity (in the best, C.S. Lewis charitable love definition) exhibited in Agnes, the woman in charge of Prison Performing Arts.  She said "once you realize that people in prison are us - caught - it makes you want to be around them more."  How wonderful and true.  

Ira Glass also brought up the topic of being redeemed by art, that there is something inside us that can only be reached and reformed by performing and sharing in art.  What a beautiful idea.  In closing, Ira discussed the power of narrative (to be frank, I wish the entire show was him talking about this).  He said "The power of narrative is a back door to a very deep part of ourselves.  By empathizing we find ourselves."  And "we are inundated with narrative in society.  When a story surprises us, it matters."  His mission with This American Life is to find stories which surprise.

And one last link, my very favorite This American Life episode: "Break-Up"

Bon Iver + Lykke Li = "Dance Dance Dance"

from Culture Vulture

(link) no two more beautiful people in the world.  

John Legend + Estelle = "No Other Love" (download here)

Department of "woohoo!": Pandora is alive, for a bit.

We were all worried about the future of Pandora.  Thank God that the government took some time off of fixing the economy to work on online music licensing.  

"Under the terms of the Webcaster Settlement Act, which was passed by the House on Saturday and now goes to President Bush for his signature, Web broadcasters have until Feb. 15 to negotiate with SoundExchange, the agency that collects and distributes the royalty. Under the current rate set by federal statute last year, said Tim Westergren, one of Pandora’s founders, his site has had to pay 70 percent of its gross revenue for this performance royalty, and will have to shut down if it is not reduced."