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Showing posts from February, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Lent

Here I am, once again, face to face with my wretchedness. How long will I journey through this season before I get in bed with the old man again? Lord have mercy. Lord, make me merciful.

One thing I suppose I can say is I will attempt to read through Frederica Matthews-Greene's First Fruits of Prayer as a way to develop the prayer muscles.

Ah, Children

Driving on I-96 today, my son remarked about the song "The Day I Tried to Live" by Soundgarden melodiously pumping through the van's speakers: "Dad, is this by Alvin and the Chipmunks?"

Violence and Recoil

Reflecting on Defiance, I'm struck by the tension created in the movie, which wasn't great, but wasn't bad either, between those who relished violence and those who had to be pushed into it. Daniel Craig's character is the first to draw blood, avenging his parent's murder, but he "still sees their faces," meaning the men he shot at point-blank range. He found the taste of blood to be fetid, though this doesn't stop him from killing a challenger to his authority later. The youngest Bielski brothers are the ones who shy from violence even more. Only the second brother, played by Liev Schrieber, truly embraces that inner call to kill; even though he is killing those most acceptable of Hollywood "victims" Nazis the audience is meant to see that perhaps this isn't the way. In fact, there is a scene in the forest camp where the community of hiding Jews pummel a captured German soldier to death. They scream out the names of their murdered…

Tragedian of Middle Earth

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin arrived in stores last spring; never a timely reader I finished the novel last Saturday. It's not as good as The Lord of the Rings--what is?--but, it isn't meant to compete or replace that book. This tale is smaller in scope and as such, can't have the richness of a story broken up into three (really six)books. Nevertheless, this story of fate and striving is a very good read. Tolkien's style is of an older age, yet it reads smoothly, doesn't sound forced or pretentious--he brings you into his world on his terms. Without giving too much away, Hurin, a man among men, challenges Morgoth--Middle Earth's Satan and lord of Sauron BTW--and is captured(This takes place thousands of years before LOTR). Morgoth allows Hurin to live, but he cannot leave Morgoth's lair; he is fated to watch the curse that the enemy lays on his family. So the story switches to Hurin's only son, Turin, who is forced to leave his home…

Aughh! They're coming. . . the plants!

You may wonder why the hell I'm putting up a summary of my class lecture--well, this rewrite helps some of the information stick in my cranial folds.

Tonight's lecture was "Pathways and Dynamics of Plant Invasions." Yes, it was not that exciting. Before the first break I had trouble staying awake--less the prof's fault than perhaps low blood sugar.

Anyway, plant species move to new areas by two primary means: natural pathways (which always existed) i.e. atmospheric, oceanic, and river currents and, of course, us. Natural pathways usually deposited plants along coastlines whereas humans can move them much further in an interior.
Human dispersal has two ways as well--deliberate e.g. commerce, taking the pretty flowers and planting them in our garden 3,500 miles away (now how did that loosestrife end up way over here?), and using species like kudzu to halt soil erosion. That did stop the erosion, but caused other problems. The other method is accidental.
Worldwide …