Friday, July 29, 2011

Various and Sundry, July 29

Whew! Crazy busy week, but I've got the first episode of Project Runway waiting for me to remind me it could be crazier and busier.

So let's see here...

First of all, I just this afternoon saw a headline that the Uganda Little League team was denied visas to come to the U.S. "because of discrepancies over players' ages and birth dates", which is a crying shame, in my opinion. What a disappointment.

"[Little league representative Richard] Stanley said birth records in Uganda are not strictly tracked, as in the United States.

"Now when the parent comes in, they get asked, 'What's the birth date of your child? Are you the birth parent?' They don't even know what that means in some cases, so they can't answer the question," said Stanley..."So now it's a question of credibility. All you need is one person to not be credible and the visa officer is not obligated to issue a visa," Stanley added, "and if they don't issue one visa, they're not going to issue any visa."

Well, rats.

In the Christians Jumping On the Popular Culture Bandwagon Department, I'm sorry to report there are two--TWO--zombie-themed Books of Spiritual Inspiration. First is Dance Lessons for Zombies: How Jesus Delivers Zoned-Out Followers From Their Worried, Joyless Lives; next (and arguably worse) is The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook due out in October. I wish I could say I was making this up.

I am also not making up the fact that 12 percent of the population of Napa County is here illegally. That would be over 16,000 people. Let's just admit it: our immigration policy is nuts.

The ever-thoughtful Ta-Nehisi Coates has left the Civil War for the moment to focus on the 30-years war, about which I know nothing. From what he is reading, he draws a number of interesting conclusions. "First, it's really startling to read about the utter barbarism which Europe sank to during the War, and then contrast it with popular images of Africa as "the dark continent." I hope this doesn't sound cold, but immediately it occured to me that all the sins the proto-white racists put on Africa--cannibalism, slavery, wanton rape--were very much known to them. The very Germans who fled from Palantinate to a country that derided Africans as savages, were, themselves, the children of such savages. From that perspective, racism is again revealed as not simply amoral but as phrenology, as Intelligent Design."

Speaking of Intelligent Design, the Futility Closet points out the anomalies in this Ohio map created by a Michigan grad:

Oh, those wicked, wicked Michigan cartographers!

And finally, because it made me laugh, here's Doonesbury from Tuesday (click to enlarge):

So smooth.

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