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Batless Batter

April 28, 2005 at 9:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Random fact: the Official Baseball Rules do not explicitly state that a batter must have a bat in his possession while he is in the batter’s box.

Imagine What This Would Do to the Southpark Movie…

April 27, 2005 at 7:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

President Bush today signed legislation legalizing technologies that enable users to skip or mute sections of DVDs. Most often these technologies are targeted to parents who want to control what their children watch.

Hollywood and other media companies opposed the legislation because they argue that the government is enabling companies to distribute technologies that violate Hollywood’s copyrights. That would be a fair charge if anybody were actually altering the content (and especially if they were distributing the altered content, which is illegal). But that isn’t happening. The content isn’t being altered at all. The technology enables users to automatically skip certain sections of movies. It’s no different than if a reader were to skip a couple pages in a book or a track on a CD—except in this case it’s automated, and the skipped portions are very carefully selected.

Although this legislation is driven by an ideology of censorship, the outcome is more consumer freedom. That’s a good thing. And it’s typical that Hollywood would oppose it.

(As an aside, I got a kick out of the URL for this article. The URL includes the phrase “bush_sanitizing_hollywood”. That’s beautiful. It sounds just like what an [impartial and objective!] AP editor would title this piece.)

Most Revolting Headline of the Month

April 26, 2005 at 3:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Flesh Chunks Found in Iowa Water Lines

Chaos on the Diamond

April 25, 2005 at 2:59pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I spent seven hours yesterday on the ball diamond, and I have the sunburn to prove it. (Three year-old sunscreen just isn’t as effective as you might hope.) What a beautiful day to be outside.

And then…


Shall I Beat My Cock or My Woman?

April 21, 2005 at 9:14pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

This is easily one of the most entertaining (and bizzaro) stories I’ve read in quite some time.

Because We Know You Can Never Get Enough Information, Here is Some More For You

April 20, 2005 at 11:35pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

The new USDA food pyramid is now here! However, instead of a one size fits all pyramid, the feds have gotten “internet-savvy” and allow you (member of the unwashed masses) to enter your age, gender, and activity level online at their new website to obtain your own personalized pyramid. Some of the information on the website is useful, but after repeated attempts to get my personal pyramid, the site timed-out. Apparently so many people are trying to get their personal pyramids that its overwhelming the system or something like that. Its a pyramid overload!!! Anyway, why the hell didn’t they ask you to enter your weight as well?

Free Will vs. God’s Will

April 20, 2005 at 8:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I read an article over lunch that generated some questions for me. In the article, the Pope’s brother said:

“I am very concerned. I would have thought [Benedict XVI’s] advanced age and his health which is not very stable would have been reason enough for the cardinals to pick someone else,” said a visibly moved in an interview on German television after the election of his 78-year-old brother.

“But the cardinals made their decision and that is the will of God,” said Ratzinger, himself a prelate.

It was the last line that got me. How does Mr. Ratzinger know the will of God? In his mind, his brother being selected Pope is the will of God by definition. The Pope is the Pope because, ultimately, God chose him.

That’s all well and good—well, except for the fact that it’s all incredibly tautological—but what does that say for the notion of free will? I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of Catholic doctrine, so maybe somebody can explain to me the Catholic church’s position on free will. Mr. Ratzinger is saying that God enacted His will through the actions of the cardinals. That, to me, seems antithetical to the notion of free will.

More generically, are free will and God’s will compatible? Is it possible for free will to exist in a universe in which God can superimpose His will on humanity?

In one sense the notion of God’s will is comforting. It implies a God active in our daily lives. It means He is watching (or looming) over us, ensuring that life goes according to His (hopefully benevolent) plan. And it means we are all living out God’s purpose.

On the other hand, if God’s will supercedes human free will ... well, that’s a little freaky. It implies a world in which humans are little more than God’s playthings. Am I really writing this stuff on my own, or

rather am I writing exactly what God is commanding me to write?

Any thoughts, anyone?

Hey, Why Does Everybody Have the Munchies Today?

April 20, 2005 at 2:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Today is 4/20.

I stopped by Mr. T’s office this morning; he’s already “hard at work” with a towel stuffed under his door.

No Mo’ Joe

April 19, 2005 at 3:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Joe Dailey is moving on. As glad as I am to know that he won’t be running the Husker offense this fall, I’m still disappointed to see him go. Dailey is a fine athlete and he could have made great contributions to the team. But not at quarterback.

I don’t blame the guy one bit. Dropping from top dog to runt-of-the-litter isn’t easy, and it’s especially hard for somebody who has already taken as much abuse (deserved and undeserved) as Dailey has.

Best of luck to you, Joe.

No More Blight in Lakewood

April 18, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A while back I posted several blog entries about an eminent domain battle in Lakewood, Ohio. (I’m too lazy to go find the entries right now.) Anyway, I missed this news from last month: the property owners couldn’t convince the city to buzz off, so they went to the voters. And nearly 2/3 of the voters said ‘Up yours, Lakewood! We value our fellow citizens’ property rights!”

Something to remember here in Lincoln.

How smart are dogs?

April 16, 2005 at 12:06am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

There’s no way to know for sure if ... dogs are in fact thinking their way around life’s problems, but if not then one thing is certain: They’re extremely good at fooling people into thinking they are.

Read the whole thing.

Shallow Rewards

April 14, 2005 at 2:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

From an AP dispatch:

The House voted Wednesday to eliminate federal estate taxes in 2010 and beyond, a repeal that Democrats said would reward the richest families at the steep cost of deeper federal deficits.

Since when is it a reward for individuals to keep their own money?

Republicans and the Rule of Law

April 14, 2005 at 2:07pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

In a nice piece over at Reason Magazine that links Terri Schiavo, Bush v. Gore, and Carla Faye Tucker, Jonathan Rauch describes one of the (many) reasons I don’t get along very well with President Bush and congressional Republicans these days.

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back?

April 12, 2005 at 9:57pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

I stopped in at the new Dac Nguyen resturant that apparently just opened in place of the old Vien Dong restaurant across from UNL city campus. I was surprised to see it open since I was under the impression that it was going to be serving Teppanyaki cuisine and would thus need extensive remodeling to move in grills.

I was even more surprised when I walked in to find the same waitress who worked at Vien Dong - WTF?! Hmmmmm. Anway, the menu seems to be aiming for some sort of slightly sophisticated Pan East Asian experience. It seemed like the least expensive dish there was $7.50. I tried the chicken curry. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was almost an exact replicate of Indian-influenced Southern Thai or Malay style chicken curry (ie “Massaman” or “Muslim-Man”), with a coconut milk base, onions, and potatoes (hence the Indian touch). This is very different from the typical super oily chicken curry you would order at many chinese or vietnamese places. The ingredients were all fresh, vegetables were crunchy, and the chicken was nicely cooked too. Dissapointing was the fact that the curry itself was extremely mild, even for Nebraska tastes in my opinion. In fact it was about as spicy as a glass of warm skim milk, which was disheartening.

Overall, what was a bit unsettling at first is that the entire menu has been completely over hauled and much more limited. However, that is not to say that a smaller menu necessarily means its bad. As the french know, a restaurant with a small menu usually means that the listed items are all high quality! And there were a few items on the menu I have never seen before anywhere. Again, it seems to me like Dat’s is aiming for a more sophisticated clientale (ie grad students and faculty from UNL), just based on prices alone. I noticed that there was lobster and other seafood av

ailable on the menu. I was definitely dissapointed that virtually all of the pho that was previously offered at vien dong’s is now gone. Anyone with any culinary tastes knows that pho ranks among the best of dishes anywhere. And there is no teppanyaki available at all either, contrary to my earlier expectations.

Dat’s is probably worth a few more visits before a final verdict.

No se habla espanol aqui

April 12, 2005 at 7:02pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

English is now the official language of West Virginia. But don’t worry, West Virginia’s lawmakers is just idjits, they didn’t mean to be intolerant.

On second thought, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

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