how did i not know about this?!! chastity bono is now CHAZ bono?


good stuff.

while this article is a sarcastic 'joke' from the pages of the Rutgers Medium (cynical/humor publication), the gist of this article is often on my mind. while cell phones have certainly added a lot of convenience to our lives, i'm pretty sure that they take away a lot as well. i could go into it, but i'll leave it at that. enjoy...

and in related news...


i apparently received mis-information. as if to possibly give them a little credit, westboro baptist was present for their picket for about 15-20 minutes -- and it was a half hour earlier than scheduled. just want to give them a fair report :)


westboro baptist.

about a week ago, i learned that the Westboro Baptist Church was going to be coming to NJ [and yes, that really is their web address]. via their website description, it seemed that they were largely on an anti-jewish tirade, and one of their visits was going to be to the Rutgers Hillel jewish student group, because:

"Rutgers Hillel - You have two mascots? God H8s Fags already 93 College Ave Why does New Jersey have to be so friggin' weird about everything? These guys have two mascots at this college. Is that in case one of them is offensive to someone? I'm just sayin'! WBC needs to have a few words with these young people because all of the people who ever had any influence over them - LIED! What did you do that for? Why did you lie to those kids. Oh well, they're all grown up now, so they must find out for themselves that God is NOT a liar, like you told them He is. Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? So, here we come - behave yourselves appropriately, keep your mouths shut, your eyes and ears open. You never know, you might learn something. Praise God! AMEN!"

yea, didn't really make any sense to me either. if you read up on some of the other 'reasons' for their pickets, i think you'll find them more humorous than offensive -- because it's just. so. ridiculous.

i've known about these folks for awhile -- picketing funerals and such. it's one thing to push your agenda, it's a whole other thing to disrespect and demean.

so i wanted to go see this event with my own eyes. they were slated to arrive at Rutgers Hillel at 8:45 and stay for a half hour. i got there pretty much right at 8:45. and, sadly, this is the only view i got of them:

because they were back on their bus and leaving within 15 minutes of arriving. apparently, they arrived at 8:40, stood out on the sidewalk for about 2 minutes, went back to their bus, and were pulling out by 8:55. come on -- i mean, even spider man came out for the counter-protest:

but seriously. it wasn't disappointment that i felt. it was curiosity. i was curious why a group that has mouths and convictions as large as they do, seemed to have scampered away with their tails between their legs. why would they have bothered? are they simply pot-stirrers with barks much worse than their bites? do they really have any deep-lying passion for what they preach? or are they just after the publicity in order to sustain their ridiculous propaganda?

the plus side, is that they successfully spurred the people of rutgers toward a bit of a unification against hate.

i was excited to see the students and Hillel making the counter-protest against hate. this could VERY easily been an 'anti-christian' counter-protest -- or 'anti-conservative-christian'. i'm encouraged by the way the counter-protest was handled -- maturely, and without irrational stereotypes and hatred. it also could have easily been laced with hatred toward Westboro Baptist. and it wasn't. there were a number of articles/editorials in the Rutgers newspaper over the past week encouraging people to be thoughtful about their reactions. the second reformed church of new brunswick resides across the street from Hillel. they were present and in full support:

anywho. just wanted to share my account. it provoked a lot of thoughtfulness in me this past week about my own convictions -- and what they are rooted in -- so i'm thankful for that. i encourage you to take some time for your own convictions this week -- remind yourself of them, think about them, test them. peace...



we had a 'john calvin' sunday yesterday to honor the great reformer and revolutionary. we had one of his hymns, I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art, in the service. a portion of the lyrics struck me deep. so, any of you who seek inspiration, i pray you take in these words of john calvin -- 16th century revolutionary:

Lord, give us peace, and
make us calm and sure -
that in Thy strength we
evermore endure.


monday fun.

some monday fun courtesy of MENTALFLOSS. i LOVED the smurfs as a kid -- and still love their message of community [republicans can insert comment about communism here ________.] anywho -- enjoy this 'quick 10' about the smurfs...

1. The Smurfs were invented as a result of a silly conversation over dinner. Pierre Culliford, a Belgian artist known as Peyo, was dining with a friend when he had one of those momentary lapses of vocabulary that we all experience from time to time – he couldn’t remember the word for “salt” and asked his friend to pass the “schtroumpf.” Mocking him, his friend responded with, “Here’s the schtroumpf. When you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back.” This sparked an idea, and “les Schtroumpfs” were born in comic strip form shortly thereafter. This, of course, was translated to “The Smurfs” when they hit the American market.

2. The cartoon series was created when an NBC executive spied his daughter playing with a plush Smurf doll. After observing how much she loved the doll, he decided that the Schtroumpfs might be a good fit for his Saturday morning cartoon-fest. It was; it aired for nine seasons.

3. The Smurfs are specifically “three apples” tall.

4. The white hat the Smurfs all wear have been around for ages and are called Phrygian caps. They’re often considered symbols of liberty and were once found on the tops of Liberty Poles. You can see one on the seal of the United States Senate as well.

5. Because the Smurfs shared all of their possessions, some people thought this was a barely veiled attempt to brainwash children into Communist ways. Of course, some people also thought the Phrygian hats meant that the Smurfs were a sect of the Ku Klux Klan, and others claimed the Smurfs were neo-Nazis promoting an Aryan race because of the lone, blonde female in the group. In fact, none of those things were true. Peyo’s son has stated that the Smurfs had no political undertones at all, and the only messages his father wished to impart were those of friendship and love.

6. Karenna Gore’s Secret Service code name was Smurfette, which she has apparently regretted ever since. In 1997, she said, “Ever since I was put on the spot and told ‘two syllables’ and ‘It has to start with an S,’ I have been cringing in the back seat when identified as ‘Smurfette’.”

7. The answer to the age-old question “What color does a Smurf turn when it’s choking?” is purple. At least we can assume it’s purple, based on the episode where a Smurf decides to hold his breath.

8. The Smurfs showed up at a bunch of Kings Entertainment amusement parks in the mid ’80s. King’s Island near Cincinnati had a boat ride that took people through the Smurf village, King’s Dominion had Smurf Mountain, Great America had a little roller coaster called The Blue Streak, and Carowinds had a children’s play area called Smurf Island. Since then, they have all been replaced with different rides.

9. There are some Smurfs from the original comics that never made it to the cartoon. These include Alchemist Smurf, Timid Smurf, Enamored Smurf, Finance Smurf (whoo-hoo! How fun for kids!), Mango Smurf, Lumberjack Smurf, Pastrycook Smurf, Submariner Smurf and Navigator Smurf.

10. The World Record for People Dressed as Smurfs (I can’t shake the feeling that the plural should be Smurves. I know. So wrong.) was set just this year in Swansea, Wales. More than 2,500 people crammed into a nightclub dressed in blue and white and weren’t allowed to have any natural skin showing in order to count toward the record. The previous record had been set just a year earlier, with 1,253 Smurfs gathered in Castleblayney, Ireland.

[facebook'ers 'view original post' for video]

happy monday :)

the internet -- proof that God loves us...

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today i received this passage in my daily email from Sojourners. they are words that inspired my soul, so i was compelled to share...

The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
the Lord will rejoice over you with gladness,
and will renew you in love;
the Lord will exult over you with loud singing,
as on a day of festival.

[Zephaniah 3:17]



is things like THIS that make me curious why some (and herein i am referring to 'pushy' atheists) atheists find it so necessary to press their claim that there is no God. i struggle to think of any other situation like this where someone or some group feels the need to press so hard against the belief of something. i wonder about the motivations of pushy atheists. maybe i should make a shirt that says 'i don't believe in atheists' -- and see what they have to say about that...

article HERE.


is it any wonder?

do we wonder why THIS is something that's bubbling up? it shouldn't be a surprise when there are so many people 'afraid' that teaching aspects of religion and faith in school is considered 'brainwashing'. there is a word for this fear: ridiculous. religion is part of history, and it is part of present-day life. we teach capitalism in schools -- does that give me the right to think that 'they' are 'brainwashing' my kid into being a capitalist? no, of course not. there is infinite value in religion, whether you are a person of faith, an atheist, or a disenfranchised catholic. and this irrational fear surrounding religion in schools and the public sphere is a sad one. because we are losing values, and that's a problem. care to share otherwise?

[ht to melissa for the article]



THIS is super amazing. feast your eyes oh you star wars nerds...

how i wish i was still 4 feet tall...


HERE is an article with a great historical perspective on the recent awarding of the nobel peace prize to obama.



HERE is a good example (watch the video) of someone who saw something that was unjust, and is doing something necessary about it. while i disagree with the headline labeling the GOP as 'pro-rape', i think it's an interesting profile of who voted how (see HERE for the breakdown).

reminds of the time i heard david crowder describe 'justice': we can stand on the banks of the river of injustice and help by pulling people out all day long. it is another thing to walk upstream and figure out who's throwing them in in the first place.

new fun site.

i'm addicted to macro sites. here's a new one i found today (i'll eventually post a list of all the ones i've come across): COMIXED. and enjoy this preview...


only in jersey...

this is a real story. unbelievable, but real. HERE is some further evidence.