Friday, January 21, 2011

Various and Sundry, January 21

In "Things I Never Thought You Could Use Social Media For" news, this morning Maria Shriver sent out a tweet saying, "If you would like to follow the wake and funeral for our father, please follow @sargememorial today and tomorrow. will have it live." Following a funeral on twitter? This I must see. I have to admit, it seems like a very practical use of twitter: a temporary account for a singular event.

The Dirt Therapist lists 10 gardening chores to do in January--well, actually 11. I've done some of them, anyway, but it was an excellent reminder to spray some copper on the roses.

Here's another list: Buzzwords to avoid for 2011. They are summed up nicely in this comment on the blog: "In these economic times we need to, literally, more than ever take it to the next level and ideate our people-centric skills and increase our bandwidth by using the cloud to initiate contact with the twitterverse." Like that.

I would just like to say HA! in reaction to this article headlined Tea 'Healthier' Drink Than Water -- though I don't appreciate the 'quotes'. "Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers." So there. And chocolates have flavinoids.

I'll probably have more to say--certainly more to think about--in regards to the question of how the building projects of the post-war boom are being played out in today's church. But just this morning, I saw news of a friend, Scott Gunn of Seven Whole Days fame, being part of a church merger.

Gunn sent out a letter on Jan. 10, stating in part, “After much thought, prayer and listening, our vestry (or Board of Directors) has come to the conclusion that we can do the work God has given us to do more effectively if we merge … It is very sad to think about leaving behind our beloved buildings. No one would say these are 'just buildings,' or that this is an easy choice.

“However, as Christians, we are people of hope, who proclaim a resurrection faith,” it continued. “We firmly believe that out of this sadness will eventually come joy and freedom in our new life as a congregation — (one that's) able to focus on mission and ministry, and not mere maintenance and survival.”

As they do, they might want to check out the Internet Monk's Suggested Program for the Church.

If you're willing to cringe a little bit (at least I cringed), take a look at this video, "I want to be an aid worker." Ouch!

Finally, thanks to Futility Closet, I checked out the Amazon reviews for A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates. Really. It's a collection of a million random digits with...well, you know. But the reviews! People went to town. One man reports that he had put the book on his wish list just to read the reviews and his wife accidentally bought it for him.

Here's one-star review:

The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever algorithm they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.

Other tidbits:
* “I had a hard time getting into this book. The profanity was jarring and stilted, not at all how people really talk.”
* “Once you get about halfway in, the rest of the story is pretty predictable.”
* “If you like this book, I highly recommend that you read it in the original binary.”
* “I would have given it five stars, but sadly there were too many distracting typos. For example: 46453 13987.”
* “I really liked the ’10034 56429 234088′ part.”
* “Frankly the sex scenes were awkward and clumsily written, adding very little of value to the plot.”
* “For a supposedly serious reference work the omission of an index is a major impediment. I hope this will be corrected in the next edition.”

One can only hope.

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