Ever wonder if those Wikipedia pages we occasionally peruse really matter? Steve Skiena and Charles Ward think that they do. These guys used quantitative analysis to rank and compare historical reputations. They evaluated each person by aggregating the traces of millions of opinions, just as Google ranks webpages, and came up with this list.
Looking at their top ten, I find it interesting that the list includes famous and infamous types. Causes me to ponder which folks have impacted history the most. Seeing Shakespeare in the number three spot helps me to remember that often the pen is mightier than the sword. Seeing Aristotle in the ranks of political leaders reminds me that great thoughts and ideas are powerful. Lastly, the rankings of Jesus and Muhammad communicate to us about the influence of spiritual leaders on planet earth. What do you think of the list? Do you agree with the rankings? Would you replace anyone?
My top three Christmas movies in no particular order ...
- The Nativity Story :: Many scenes moved me at a deep level and engaged me emotionally. Watching Joseph tell Mary that he believed her and would be a father to Jesus was spectacular. Check out my review here.
- It's a Wonderful Life :: I loved how a man's quiet life of charitable living was vindicated by angelic visitation. The last scene is one of my favorites of all time.
- A Christmas Carol :: The transformation of Scrooge at the end of the movie is a great scene. Would that we all have such dreams of angelic visitation.
I loved the songs - even the new ones added seemed to help tell the story. The kids were great and the supporting cast did a credible job. Who knew that some of these TV folks had such great voices? The show was different from the movie as it was based on the stage version. I thought the scene transitions were done well.
All that said, who is not moved by "Climb Every Mountain" or does not feel joy when the kids sing "Do, Re, Mi"? To me the joy was more in the story and not in critiquing or comparing the performances. In the end, the story won out for me.
I really liked the show and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★.
"Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody." -Benjamin Franklin
Had an online dialog a few weeks ago with a guy about what it means to be content with suffering. Though he leads a large number of people he just did not seem to "get it" as he spoke of a person who is fighting back and was overcoming their adversity. So I thought of a few questions about being content. Would you be content to:
- be stuck in traffic for a long time with no chance to get off?
- live in poverty with no hope of a better future for your kids?
- only eat food that you do not like while you desire other food?
- drive a car that is need of repair and constantly breaks down?
- be imprisoned for life for a crime that you did not commit?
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds
if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. -Doug Larson
Even apocalypse looks less dire when viewed over a plate of bacon. -Stephanie Stamm
During November I shared each day (well almost every day) about the things that I am thankful for at my other bog, An Eye for Redemption. Thought that I might share a few excerpts here from those thankful thoughts.
The dawn of each day seems to bring with it the hope of a second chance.
It speaks to me of the way that the Holy Spirit causes us to rise above our circumstances and be so much more than we think that we can be.
When we live from the heart we are able to say no to things that are not good for us.
I am so thankful for being here to experience the joys and sorrows of life.
When I am down and discouraged I find hope and encouragement in the God authored dreams he has given me.
In hindsight I can see God's providential hand in the closing of doors and in new opportunities.
People like these have shown me by their example what it is like to live for God.
When we forgive them we are released from all sorts of bitterness and anger.
I so give thanks to God for a country that was founded on a love for liberty and the proposition that all men are equal.
God stooped down to work with people, their limited understandings and the influences of their cultures.
The smallest seed of faith, planted in our heart, can change everything - in 1976 it rocked my world!
In 1991 she followed in the footsteps of of Martin Luther King Jr. by winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her persistent work of nonviolent change in Burma. Her sacrifices of family and freedom are so inspirational. Her willingness to risk all for her country spoke deeply to me about the nature of people who want to be free.
I liked the movie, recommend it to you, and on a scale of ten give it ★★★★★★★.
debate with my teammates. I am so insecure about my views that I need to reinforce them by constantly speaking about them.
In contrast, I so want to be a man that listens. I want to be a person who can learn from the life lessons that others can teach me. I want to be one who listens not only with my ears but with my heart. Even to folks that I disagree with.
I pray that we all may have ears to really hear - and listen to understand!
This cartoon strip points to the way that we in the church see ourselves.
Do we see ourselves as a team or just a group of religious debaters?
The answer speaks to how we treat each other.
Sadly I too often fall into the role of debating with my teammates.
I pray that I will take on the role of teammate more than debater.
I want to be one who loves, blesses and encourages my teammates.
How about you? Debater or teammate?
this Shoebox Cartoon reminds us that sometimes technology does not deliver on the promised relief that many thought that it would. Sometimes even commenting on blogs is laden with obstacles like captcha and moderation - do folks really get that much spam and nasty comments? Why not require user identification?
It seems that 'bad people' have always made it hard for the rest of us. Because of these nasty folks we are patted down at airports, our phone calls are monitored, people's privacy is invaded and folks identities are stolen. Sad that the evil of the few has affected so many of us. Not that having good passwords are a bad idea! ツ
I remember reading this book when President Kennedy was still alive. As a young teen I so admired this story. On this 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination I give you this description of the book:
Seventeen years before John F. Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States - in the early morning of August 2, 1943, to be exact - a PT or Motor Torpedo Boat under his command was rammed and sliced in half by a Japanese destroyer in the waters of Blackett Strait, in the Solomon Islands. Kennedy's wartime career had been unremarkable to that point. He had shown a talent for scrounging the occasional loaf of bread or haunch of New Zealand mutton for his crew, he had nearly destroyed a refuelling dock in his rush to be the first PT boat returning from overnight patrols, and he was a congenial and businesslike commander of his tiny boat with its crew of twelve. The PT boats were the terriers of the Pacific Fleet, yapping at the enemy's heels but rarely getting the chance for heroics, and PT109 was no exception.
Kennedy's first direct confrontation with an enemy ship was the one that sank his boat. There was no time to react; in the concealing darkness, with no radar, the destroyer was inside torpedo range before they saw it. In the aftermath of the ramming, as the destroyer swept away and fired two shots back at the broken and burning PT boat, and with an injured back, Kennedy gathered his surviving crew to the derelict forward section of the boat, which was still floating. Kennedy swam into the darkness and towed the injured back to the hulk. He would spend 30 of the next 36 hours in the water, during which time he and the crew swam three miles to a small island with Kennedy towing a badly burned survivor.
Over the next three days Kennedy placed his life at risk in the effort to secure the rescue of his crew, which was finally effected on day 4. Only two men were lost, and those at the time of the collision. In September 1943 Kennedy assumed command of PT59 and was promoted to Lieutenant. In October he plucked 50 marines from the water beneath enemy guns. In November, suffering from a ruptured disc and malaria, Kennedy was directed by a doctor to leave his command, and returned stateside in early 1944 weighing just 125 pounds.
President Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal and the Purple Heart. In August 1963, three months before his assassination, Kennedy wrote: "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy'".
Did you know Furukama Takeji, a Japanese researcher, believed that certain personality traits can be linked to your blood type? Granted that there is no scientific documentation to prove his theory but it is fun to see how his assessments compare with our realities. I checked my type below and found it to be mostly accurate. Find your blood type and tell me what you think about this personality type theory.
Type A: While outwardly calm, you are such a perfectionist that you’re likely to be a ball of nerves inside. You’re the most artistic of the blood groups. You can be shy, conscientious, trustworthy, and sensitive. A’s are most compatible with other A’s and AB’s.
Type B: Result oriented and strong minded, type B people will start a job and continue until it is completed, and completed well. You are the individualists of the blood groups and find your own way in life. B’s are most compatible with other B’s and AB’s.
Type AB: You are the split personalities of the blood groups. You can be both outgoing and shy in the same time, confident and timid. You are usually responsible, but too much responsibility will cause problems. You are trustworthy and like to help others. AB’s are compatible with AB’s, B’s, A’a and O’s.