Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mary Roche.

I don't really watch television, so I often learn of TV moments at the back end, through conversation.

I just learned about Mary Roche's audition on American Idol, and then located a clip.

The whole thing was getting weirder every second. When she went on to the voices part, she starts to sound like a sound clip from an old classic movie: "You don’t want to know…They're saying…It's time to go home Toto, and no one can ever make fun of us again…All of you look different in person…But you were all in my dream…you, and you and you were too, only you all look different. Oh, don't you believe me?"

To see everything before and after the singing, which has additional bizarre moments (rock band lead singer comment), the link is below. Wait patiently, it loads slowly. Both clips appears to have been slightly edited. When Simon asks her for marks out of ten, she says, "Huh?" That wasn't her response in the longer audition clip.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Peggy Noonan on The Da Vinci Code.

I do not understand the thinking of a studio that would make, for the amusement of a nation 85% to 90% of whose people identify themselves as Christian, a major movie aimed at attacking the central tenets of that faith, and insulting as poor fools its gulled adherents. Why would Tom Hanks lend his prestige to such a film? Why would Ron Howard? They're both already rich and relevant. A desire to seem fresh and in the middle of a big national conversation? But they don't seem young, they seem immature and destructive. And ungracious. They've been given so much by their country and era, such rich rewards and adulation throughout their long careers. This was no way to say thanks.
Peggy Noonan

I don't know. I like what Peggy Noonan has to say, I always enjoy both the ethos and pathos in her writing, but I'm not sure everyone gets it as clear as she lays it out. One of the questions floating around in my head this week with Tom Hanks' "just fiction" comments is whether Hanks is oblivious to the real issues at stake here, or whether he's just being disengenuous and is very clever at spin.
Pagan Proselytizing.

People who have read the novel by Dan Brown are twice as likely to believe its central theme - that Jesus Christ had children by Mary Magdalene, the research found.

The book has been hugely popular in Britain, with 22 per cent of adults having read it, the survey of 1,000 people by Opinion Research Business found.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

------- The Da Vinci Code: Fiction or Fact? ------

"Jesus' establishment as 'the Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea."
"Hold on. You're saying Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote?"
"A relatively close vote at that," Teabing added.
The Da Vinci Code (2003) p. 232-3

"What I mean," Teabing countered, "is that almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false."
The Da Vinci Code (2003) p. 235

"The film is a work of fiction."
Tom Hanks

"If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you'd be making a very big mistake."
Tom Hanks

I began as a skeptic," Brown said, "As I started researching The Da Vinci Code, I really thought I would disprove a lot of this theory about Mary Magdalene and holy blood and all of that. I became a believer."
Dan Brown

[How much of this novel is based on fact?]
"All of it. The paintings, locations, historical documents, and organizations described in the novel all exist."
Dan Brown

"Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction."
Sir Ian McKellen, video link

"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."
Jesus, John 8:24

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'"
Paul, I Corinthians 1:18-19

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New design hopefully solves old problem. No more text getting pushed down by the sidebar. Drawback: No photo or profile until I write them in.
Da Vinci Code editorial.

...Witness the coming of the movie version of "The DaVinci Code." Think of it as the anti-"Passion." In one film, Jesus was Lord; in the other, Jesus was not only merely mortal, he was the center of an elaborate fraud. In one film, Jesus founded his Church at the Last Supper; in the other, the Catholic Church unfolds as a secretive, murderous, thoroughly evil conspiracy. So what's Hollywood's take? The reaction to this movie is almost the exact opposite of what Gibson received.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
    John 15:18
Stray thought on Duke rape allegations.

Experts say that the absence of conclusive DNA evidence would not necessarily be a fatal blow to the prosecution's case. They cite a figure stating that 75 percent to 80 percent of rape prosecutions do not involve forensic evidence such as DNA.

"The truth is if you speak to crime lab directors, they will tell you that in only a relatively small number of cases is there any DNA evidence," said Peter Neufeld, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, which uses DNA to free people wrongly imprisoned. "In rape cases, there is an expectation of DNA. But like many expectations, often it is misplaced."

I hate getting half stories. This information doesn't tell us anything conclusively. What's missing is finding out whether these cases with no DNA evidence occur because women do not undergo a DNA test soon enough after the crime, or whether there are reasons that DNA evidence can be missed.

The difference would be huge. On the one hand, I think modern juries too influenced by television shows like CSI have been led to expect that you can't prove a crime without DNA evidence. On the other hand, my unscientific mind can't conceive of a reason why two separate tests for DNA could fail to find a single molecule of an attacker's body on your person. It seems to me that an attacker's body oils, skins cells and sweat would be like invisible ink all over a victim. But maybe in some cases it happens. I wouldn't know.

So I would love to get the full story, but this is the second time I've read this partial information. E-mail me if you have better information. I also e-mailed ABC News.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Crazy sport, that 100-meters. You cross the finish line in 9.77, you're the fastest man alive. You cross the finish line in 9.84, you're merely second place. I had to look at the picture a long time to figure out how Justin Gatlin (left) won. His foot is farther across the finish line, which means that he would have crossed it before the center guy.

Incidentally, the Associated Press account says that Gatlin "surged into the lead in the final 40 meters. Does .07 seconds even qualify as a "surge"?

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