Thursday, June 15, 2006

---Al-Qaida Wanted War, Parents Warned About Christian Thoughts, Chinese Church Raid, An Inconvenient Movie, Hawking Talks, The SBC, and Other Stories 

Documents: Al-Qaida Sought U.S.-Iran War
Among the “treasure” of information gleaned from Zarqawi’s final hideout was an purported plan to bolster al-Qaida’s waning fortunes in Iraq by inciting a war between the U.S. and Iran. Elsewhere [FOXNews.com - U.S. Identifies al-Masri as New Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader - Iraq], the Zarq-inator’s replacement has stepped up, doubtless providing endless new material for SNL, top-ten lists, and a lot of pointless journalistic speculation.

Parents warned about Christian content
Scripps Howard News Service- "Narrow focus draws 'PG' rating for Baptist-backed film" [found on BlogsNow] The MPAA has slapped its “PG” rating on the film "Facing the Giants", not because of racy themes, sexual innuendo, crude body-function humor, or nudity---all staples of films which target juveniles and their parents' money these days---but because it contains a frank expression of Christian thought. The MPAA told the film’s production company that it felt that the movie’s “...thematic elements...” “...might disturb some parents".

...and in China....
FOXNews.com - China Detains 28 Christians During Raid on Unauthorized Church
Chinese police detained attendees at an “unauthorized” home-Church service, fined and released some, and confiscated their Bibles and notes.

Japanese file-sharing embarrassments
My Way News - Virus Spreads Data, Scandal Over Winny
A new worm has begun to inconvenience a popular Japanese file-sharing network by invading users’ computers and “sharing” their files. “Antinny” seems to be confined to Japan at this time, but it appears from the article that the technology could easily be adapted to other file-sharing systems like BitTorrent.

Inconvenient truths about “An Inconvenient Truth”
Canadafreepress.com: Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe [found on BlogsNow]
AlGore’s environmental magnum opus draws scathing criticism from legitimate climatologists.
...and it’s somewhere South of “Poseidon” and “R.V.” at the box office...

Another "tragic mutual incomprehension"?!
My Way News - Hawking Recalls Pope's Views on Research
Popular physicist Steven Hawking has been getting out lately. I am amazed to learn that Hawking is 64, especially considering the ongoing effects of ALS on his body. In Hong Kong, the holder of Newton’s chair in Mathematics at Cambridge spoke on subjects ranging from Creation to his speech synthesizer, which has become almost as much of a cultural icon as he is. Hawking referred to a conference at the Vatican with John Paul II, then leader of the world’s most popular pseudo-Christian heresy, in which the Pope cautioned scientists “we should not inquire into the beginning itself because that was the moment of creation and the work of God”. Hawking compared the assertion to the suppression of Galileo by the Catholic Church in the 17th Century.
It appears that Hawking’s comments were a partial repeat of a presentation in Oakland, CA last November:
Hawking's cosmological riff | CNET News.com [found on Simberg’s Blog, by way of Cowing’s NASAWatch site]
Here, Hawking is quoted as calling the current U.S. 10-year plan for manned exploration of Mars “stupid”. It isn't entirely clear whether he meant Bush or NASA, both, neither, or something else.

Which reminds me....
My Way News[AP] - Report: Design Flaw Caused Genesis Crash
The final report on the humiliating failure of the Genesis recovery faults LockMart for installing accelerometer switches backward in the Solar-sample-return capsule, which caused the parachute recovery system to fail to deploy. The report further faults lack of oversight by NASA-JPL and the Goldin-era management atmosphere in which the probe was constructed. LockMart skipped pre-launch testing of the recovery system, preferring instead to compare spacecraft drawings with the similar Stardust probe. The combination of goober-headed goof-ups converted the important Solar exploration mission into yet another multi-million-dollar sight gag when the return capsule dug a hole in the Utah desert, splitting open like an egg.

Also from Simberg’s Blog
The Flame Trench space blog by Florida Today
Commentary and information on NASA and space at FL Today.

TIME.com: The Bloggers' Favorite Southern Baptist [found on BlogsNow]
I evidently haven’t been keeping up with the Southern Baptist Convention. Whether TIME is on track with this assessment, or whether the developments are truly a significant change of direction for the denomination remains to be seen. The SBC has managed, over the last several decades, to strongly alienate many local member churches with its political intrusions and very public arrogance. I have met enough of those alienated members, including ministers and teachers which the Convention apparently considers too "moderate", to conclude that its notion of religious "conservatism" is largely one of political compliance rather than of consistency in Christian doctrine. The SBC will regain its credibility when it begins to humbly pursue unity in God’s Love, in Christ ( John 17:22-24 ), rather than in the political and financial ambitions of its leaders.

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