Happy #Mandalorian Day

It’s the season two premiere day for The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Disney’s new GroupWatch feature means that you can have a Star Wars movie night with up to six friends wherever they may be.

In this time of Covid-19 and social distancing, just remember to take the masking and isolation advice of Mando and Baby Yoda.

This Is The Way.

will.i.am’s “Yes, We Can” Obama speech video – facebook application

Yes..We..Can… Barack Obama inspires me and gives me hope for positive change and leadership. will.i.am’s video tribute captures this hope.

I’ve made a Barack Obama “Yes, We Can” facebook application that showcases the video and some helpful links. Click on through and add it to your facebook profile and then share it with all of your friends.

We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”  That may go down as one of the greatest quotes in the history of modern politics.

You can also view the full video of Obama’s New Hampshire primary speech.

Here’s the transcript:

I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire.

A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we’d have accomplished what we did here tonight. For most of this campaign, we were far behind, and we always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out and spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment – in this election – there is something happening in America.

There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be.

There is something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit – who have never before participated in politics – turn out in numbers we’ve never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.

There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common – that whether we are rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what’s happening in America right now. Change is what’s happening in America.

You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness – Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington; who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that’s stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve – no destiny we cannot fulfill.

Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring doctors and patients; workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together; and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that while they’ll get a seat at the table, they don’t get to buy every chair. Not this time. Not now. Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas and put a middle-class tax cut into the pockets of the working Americans who deserve it.

We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success. We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness. We can do this with our new majority.

We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists; citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return. And when I am President, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home; we will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan; we will care for our veterans; we will restore our moral standing in the world; and we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election, it is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.

All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably.

But the reason our campaign has always been different is because it’s not just about what I will do as President, it’s also about what you, the people who love this country, can do to change it.

That’s why tonight belongs to you.

It belongs to the organizers and the volunteers and the staff who believed in our improbable journey and rallied so many others to join.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change. We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come.

We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.

Harry Potter and The Dark Lord Waldemart

On June 21st, the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows, will go on sale and millions of copies will go flying off of store shelves. Unfortunately, the smaller local and regional bookstores will not be seeing much of this initial rush. Why? Wal-Mart will be selling the books at a loss at 50% off the suggested retail price. Wal-Mart will actually be losing money on each sale simply as a loss leader to pull traffic into its stores. This is a sad chapter in what has otherwise been a celebration of reading and books in an increasingly multimedia-driven world.

Wal-Mart Watch has created a parody site specifically against this particular promotion. Below is the parody video trailer from waldemartwatch.com :

The Machine is Us

My inner geek thinks this is seriously brilliant.

We’ll need to rethink a few things…
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

Kudos to Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. You may also download the complete transcript or windows media version.

Christians Sue over Tolerance

A senior at [tag]Georgia Tech[/tag] is suing the University for the right to be intolerant. I’m always amazed at how much effort certain [tag]Christians[/tag] can expend condemning others and defining new ways to form divisions between people. The excuse most often cited is ‘Holiness’ and the Greater Morality™. My concern is that I rarely meet someone of the “I’m standing up for what’s right” crowd that embodies much Grace.

Most believers I’ve met who came to faith through great loss and even greater brokenness are usually so consumed by [tag]Grace[/tag] that there is not much room left inside for Condemnation. If we are truly focusing on God’s calls to “Love our neighbor as ourself” and “Love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength” I believe there would be scant time left for moral posturing. I wonder what would happen if the world saw the Church actively loving the broken, the weak and the different instead of aggressively distancing itself. This kind of [tag]separatism[/tag] isn’t about [tag]morality[/tag] or holiness, it is about [tag]fear[/tag] and insecurity and [tag]doubt[/tag]. After all, if you’re looking for the true spirit of God and [tag]Christianity[/tag] do you look to Mother Teresa or to Jerry Falwell?

So Ruth, after you finish suing Georgia Tech and push the Church even farther out of reach of those in need, I hope that your happy little club is proud of you. I’m fairly sure God won’t be. The God of Scripture and history and my life wlll undoubtedly be just one more bit heartbroken.

“Embarassed by Evangelicals?” =)

Hehe… You know, it is not terribly hard to amuse me and make me happy. I do it quite a bit all by my lonesome. However, the kind of smiles that warm you up and remind you that while all may not be right in the world, there are great people standing in the gap… well, those moments aren’t quite as common. So imagine my surprise when the phrase “embarassed to be an evangelical” leads me, on its first entry, straight to my dear friend, the Right Reverend Benjamin D. Dubow :)

Ahh, Ben. The kind of Christian that reminds us of the power of faith in one man and steadies my hope in the promise of the Church. Men like Bonhoeffer, Chesterton, Rich Mullins, Pastor Marc Wolff… and Ben.

After the smirk faded ever so slightly, I read Ben’s post and remembered why I love him so. After laying out some background on the scandalous title (well, ok, it’s not scandalous to me), he ends with a thoughtful list of affirmations on true evangelicalism. It’s worth a read. (or 20)

-We affirm that the Bible is in fact authoritative and inerrant, though we are not arrogant enough to suggest that we are authoritative and inerrant.-We affirm that Jesus is in fact divine and the one, true savior–and we let him speak for himself when he says “I am the way, the truth and the life.”-We affirm creedal, Orthodox, historical Christianity.-We reject tendencies towards anti-intellectualism and fundamentalism.

-We affirm the unique worth of every human being on planet earth as created in the image of God–regardless of race, ethncity, gender, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or anything else.

-We affirm that all truth in God’s truth, whether found in the sciences, philosophy or anywhere else.

-We affirm that seeking justice and mercy in the world is a Christian duty, commanded by Jesus and found throughout the scriptures.

-We reject the notion that “behavior modification” and “sin management” are the goals of Christianity. We equally reject the notion that it is our job to force Biblical morals on people who are not following Christ.

-We reject spiritual litmus-tests that make debatable matters into essential ones and draw strong distinctions between “who is in and who is out” theologically.

-We affirm that every person has the right to hear about Jesus Christ and to make their own decision about how to respond to him.

I feel much better now =)

The Real Simpsons

After, what, 16 seasons or something of unique intro credits for The Simpsons, they’ve finally made a live-action version. Marge needs bigger hair. Why is Lisa twice as big as Bart? Why is Maggie on the wrong side of the car? (it’s british). Not all I’d have hoped for, but still fun. Here’s the Simpsons Intro on Google Video.

Tagworld : a Rupert Murdoch-free MySpace

tagworld logoIf you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to play with this new social networking site. It has some cool Web 2.0 stuff (meaning AJAX) and is a lot more customizable than MySpace. It’s in beta so there smoothing out the kinks.. Seems to have some mac issues with the AJAX, but very promising. Give it a whirl, see what ya think…

Forget Regret Or Life Is Yours To Miss

RentRENT has finally arrived and I loved it. I’ve seen RENT on stage several dozen times and I was apprehensive but hopeful for the film treatment of my favourite musical. As I expected, the film critics are split on the movie, but the fan base is loving it and the cast are enthusiastic as well. So tonight, we went and I was thrilled. Sadly, the sound at our theater could have been better, but the theater was packed with people and I am thoroughly pleased with it.

I liked the conversion of some of the transition songs to dialogue and the more detailed scene developments over the minimalist stage sets. The cast is strong, even if not everyone is my favourite from the various stage productions I’ve seen. Some of the songs lose a bit of emotional connection, but lyrically, I believe the visuals that Chris Columbus chose really reinforce the overall concept of RENT. The scenes of Roger singing in the New Mexico desert hills were a bit too Sound of Music for me, but the treatment of Angel’s death with the disappearing Life Support members on through to his hospital progression deeply moved me.

Like the stage show, I will see it again and again and will eagerly await the DVD.

There’s only us, there’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today. I can’t control my destiny. I trust my soul. My only goal is just to be. There’s only now, there’s only here. Give in to love, or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today.

Thank you Jonathan Larson for your gift to us.

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Rocks

Just back from the midnight premiere and a bit jacked on too much Coke past my bedtime. Quite a bit darker than the previous movies and much more encouraging of a book adaptation, the fourth Harry Potter movie plain rocked. While some of the teenage acting continues to limp along and the Yule Ball scenes drag the pacing down a bit, the visuals were impressive to say the least and the film captures the 4th years’ angst and awkwardness surprisingly well. Now I just wonder what Harry is gonna sound like in two weeks with a French accent when I see him in Montpellier.

Who wants to be James Bond?

Well, they are hiring… It doesn’t mention that you will be replaced after 2 to 4 missions with someone younger and with a more current acting, I mean intelligence agent, resume. Yes, yes, I’m still bitter that we’re getting the Blonde Bond instead of Pierce Brosnan for the next flick.

Ooo those crazy romans… a latin primer.

Ever wonder what that latin phrase or motto you’ve always heard actually means? Here’s a list. Feel free to comment any others that aren’t included… fortes fortuna adiuvat (and aida)