Monday, March 29, 2010

I Am Bartimaeus

I've been reading The Year of Living Like Jesus, by Pastor Ed Dobson. I have had a hard time getting through this book, as I have found it so far a bad imitation of A.J. Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically. This seems to be a new genre of books: take a topic and live it out for a year, like the Happiness Project, and one other book whose title escapes me but has to do with living for year taking Oprah's advice.

I was reading a section of Dobson's book on Bartimaeus, the blind man who yelled out to Jesus: "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me?" In response Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus answered, "Rabbi, I want to see." I realized upon reading this that my request is the same: I too want to see. But I want to see not because I am physically blind but because I am spiritually blind, or at least I need significantly corrective spiritual lenses. After almost 50 years of living my Catholic faith, I still have too many worries, concerns, fears, judgments, temptations, shortcomings, etc. Would that I could see spiritual reality and put all these problems into perspective, or elminate them entirely if I could improve my spiritual eyesight and see things as they really are. Perhaps then I could turn my attention to the things that really matter, and cast my eye upon eternal truths, and not those illusions that mislead us daily. Yes Rabbi, I want to see!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Global Warming, or Not

I am not a scientist. The closest I came to being one was when I was pre-med in college, at Columbia. But I soon dropped that, as I found physics and chemistry truly boring, and biology only mildly interesting. I also found the other pre-med students too competitive. One time during a chem lab we were asked to get some ingredient from a large tub. The rush to the tub rivaled the onslaught of shoppers on Black Friday at opening time. Wham! Someone's jar hits me on the side of my glasses, a hard blow as anyone who wears glasses could tell you. No apology. Nothing. Just a quick scoop of the magical dust into the jar. Away with you medicine! Come hither economics!

As a confirmed non-scientist I am continually confused as to the reality of global warming. This latest salvo against the global warming belief makes me even more confused. According to this article, the belief that global warming is occuring rests on some very shoddy statistics, apparently boiling down to a very small sample of a few trees somewhere in the world, with the data being massaged and manipulated to provide the global warming result. Who is right? In principle, I am against waste and conspicuous consumption. Global warming or not, get your SUV's off the road. But is it really happeining?

Speaking of which, the trend toward green may also be breeding people who lie and cheat. According to another study, people who buy green feel a sort of entitlement to get away with other things. So, while there may indeed be global warming, it may be accompanied by an unhealthy dose of ethical cooling.

Monday, March 01, 2010

You've Got to Be Kidmanning Me!

It turns out that the actress Nicole Kidman actually has a hard time getting acting jobs because of her bum knee, which she apparently sustained while filming Moulin Rouge. The problem has to do with insurance. She is now considered a high risk to not finish a film because of her knee and thus insurance companies are not wanting to get involved. The problem has been worked out with special salary escrow arrangements. The whole idea seems somewhat out of place in the fantasy life that we perceive to be Hollywood. Source: