Saturday, November 29, 2008


A scholar has been charged with defacing 150 books from the Bodleian Library at Oxford. A bad act to be sure... "priceless"? I almost always feel that's an overstatement.

To the untrained eye the damage is barely visible. Yet within the handbound pages of books charting how Europeans travelled to Mesopotamia, Persia and the Mogul empire from the 16th century onwards, the damage caused by one Iranian academic to a priceless British Library collection is irreversible.

Leading scholars at the library are at a loss to explain why Farhad Hakimzadeh, a Harvard-educated businessman, publisher and intellectual, took a scalpel to the leaves of 150 books that have been in the nation's collection for centuries. The monetary damage he caused over seven years is in the region of £400,000 but Dr Kristian Jensen, head of the British and early printed collections at the library, said no price could be placed upon the books and maps that he had defaced and stolen.

"These are historic objects which have been damaged forever," said Jensen. "You cannot undo what he has done and it has compromised a piece of historical evidence which charts the early engagement of Europeans with what we now know as the Middle East and China

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yeah... I'm Gonna Go See This

I hope it's as good as it looks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is Sad and Sobering

Alzheimer's is a scary possibility for older folks -- it is terrifying any earlier. Here's this sad report from The Wall Street Journal.

Brian Kammerer, the 45-year-old chief financial officer of a small hedge fund, called his wife one day from a cellphone in the men's room of his Manhattan office building. A colleague had just asked him for something, he whispered, but he had no idea what it was.

"It clicks and it holds papers together," he said.

"A stapler?" Kathy Kammerer asked.

"I think that's what it's called," he replied.

Soon after that exchange in early 2003, the father of three was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, capping nearly five years of uncertainty and fear about his increasing forgetfulness and difficulty with language.

While most people who get Alzheimer's are over 65, Mr. Kammerer is one of about 500,000 Americans living with Alzheimer's or other dementias at an atypically young age. Alzheimer's takes a long time to develop -- usually, it isn't diagnosed until 10 years after the first symptoms appear -- but more Americans are identifying it early, thanks in part to aggressive screening programs pushed in recent years by groups including the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a national alliance of caregivers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Thank God for those who sacrifice for our freedoms -- both abstract and practical as well as our safety. Here is a great post from John Piper over at his Desiring God blog...

When soldiers came to John the Baptist and asked, “What shall we do”—meaning, “How shall we respond to your call to repent?”, John answered, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14).

From this we learn that repentance did not demand ceasing to be a soldier. The tensions between being a follower of Jesus as a soldier are essentially the same as the tensions of being a follower of Jesus in all the other authority structures of society that God ordains for the stability of the world (like business, education, government, and family).

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Church of the State is Not So Welcoming

Despite the problems with the modern church -- and they are many... This look at the Church of State is chilling. Disabled need not apply -- too expensive. The utilitarian chickens are coming home to roost in Australia apparently.

THE Rudd Government is under pressure from all fronts, even Labor colleagues, to overturn a decision denying German doctor Bernhard Moeller permanent residency in Australia because his son Lukas has Down syndrome.

The Immigration Department this week rejected Dr Moeller's application for permanent residency, saying the potential cost to the taxpayer of 13-year-old Lukas's condition was too great.

Politicians, disability groups and the small Victorian town of Horsham, where Dr Moeller is the only specialist physician, were outraged by the decision and have called on Immigration Minister Chris Evans to intervene on the family's behalf.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the authorities should reverse the decision as soon as possible because DrMoeller was making a valuable contribution to the region, and because Lukas should be treated like any other child.

"In my view, a serious error has been made by the federal authorities," Mr Brumby said. "I think this is a case which needs reversing and overturning. The quicker we can get a review and a decision on this, the better."

Coalition disabilities spokesman Cory Bernardi said Lukas could make a positive contribution to society and that Senator Evans should use his discretion to approve the residency application for the Moeller family.

"It is sad that in this modern day we are still viewing people with a disability, such as Dr Moeller's son, as a burden," Senator Bernardi said. "They can and do make significant contributions to our society."

At least many in the government recognize this as a bad -- horrid --- decision. Whether they are counting the political cost or realizing it's wrong I know not.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Texas Tech 56 -- Oklahoma State 20

They looked really great tonight -- defensively and offensively. I'm getting excited -- which is usually when Tech blows it. Come on guys!

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Post Below Reminds of this...

Nobody expects the Mormon Inquisition!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Get Your Guns Up!

I'm not a rabid enough Texas Tech fan to hate the University of Texas. Grad school engenders weaker loyalties. But tonight's football games was awesome. And as a West Texas boy -- it's nice too see us put it to the tea-sippers from Austin.

Texas Tech Red Raiders 39; Texas Longhorns 33.

Irony and Pivoting in History