Saturday, December 31, 2005

Great Radio - Heretics

This American Life did a fantastic show called Heretics a couple of weeks back. I'm a huge fan of the show and Heretics is one of their best shows of the year. It's the story of Carlton Pearson who was a big name evangelical preacher who was declared a Heretic for saying that Jesus will save everyone, not just those who go to church.

What's a fascinating about this piece is that gives the listener a view into the evangelical mindset that I haven't seen before. I came to the conclusion that the belief that those who have not been born again are all going to hell, is really a form elitelism. It's why hard-core evaneligcals think they are better than everyone else. They excuse the moral issue of most humans suffering for eternity by meekly claiming they didn't make the rules but then refuse to consider may their view of the rules in incorrect even when their trusted pastor preaches another interpretation.

A great companion to Heretics is Bart Ehrman's The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew which I'm reading now. Ehrman shows how the today's Christian beliefs about Jesus and God were not always the only or even the predominate beliefs but rather the set of beliefs that won out after a protracted struggle in the 3rd century.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Harmony Remote

One of Christmas gifts was a Harmony 520 remote. Harmony's website which is necessary to set up the remote was down for the most of the day yesterday. I finally got the remote programmed around 11pm. This morning I discovered I needed to make a few adjustments, and the site is once again down today, again due to "heavy traffic." What incredibly poor planning on the Harmony people's part.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Great Articles

I've been very infrequent in my postings, to remedy this, I have new set of topics. I'm going to post links to articles or audio clips I thought were particularly interesting or worthwhile. The first is a

NPR Segement with Clotaire Rapaille

I like this segement because it is hilarious and Rapaille has great insights into the American mind. Rapaille is riot every time I've heard him. And yes, the clip is a bit dated in terms of the election Rapaille talks about the principles involved are not.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs

Last week, I saw Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit at LACMA. First, let me say the exhibit is has some really impressive artifacts and I'm glad I saw it.

However, the lines to get in were horrible. The tickets were sold for entry at a specific hour which should have kept waiting down. I arrived 20 minutes early for my hour and had to wait over 2 hours to get in. Tickets were oversold which made the whole experience much less pleasant than it could have been.

Second, exhibit does not include the famous King Tut Golden Mask. I understand that maybe it was too fragile to travel. What I find inexcusable is the deceptive advertising, which makes ticket buyers think the mask will be there. The web site linked above as well as all the all the banners and other advertisements I’ve seen show an image that almost everyone will think is the golden mask. However, it’s actually of an artifact that’s a small sarcophagus used hold an internal organ. There were plenty of impressive artifacts on display and it’s wrong to confuse people in this manner. Shame of National Geographic for participating this deception

Thursday, June 23, 2005

First Post

Here's my first post and it's of course a rant. A bit of background first though. About the name: I think monkeys are hilarious. And while there is a certain "In Chief" who is the real "Monkey In Chief" for generally looking and acting like a chimp while sending the country down the tubes, he has not claimed the name so I've taken it mostly for my own amusement.

Second order of business, I can't spell well. I tend to leave words out when I write. I don't have the time or the energy to proof these posts so that's just the way it is.

Now for my rant. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and make it a good income but it's impossible to find a decent place to live at anything approaching a reasonable price. I'd really prefer to buy something but $700,000 for a starter house in a decent area is insane and beyond my budget. I'm not willing to commute the hour plus each way to get a cheaper area. Though rental market is supposedly softer after the Internet bust, rents are still insane by the standards of anywhere else in the country except Manhattan.

What really pisses me off about all this is the houses in this area were mostly built in the early 1950's to be easily affordable on one blue collar income. These days is it's a stretch to buy a starter house on 2 professional incomes. When this real estate bubble bursts and all those who supported the insanity with their interest only loans are in deep shit, I'm not going to have sympathy for them