April 2005


29 Apr 2005 08:10 am

I noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of me as I drove around this afternoon. I’m not a big fan of bumper stickers. I’ve never had one on my car, and I never intend to have one. But if you’re going to have a bumber sticker, it ought to at least be clever and make some sense. This bumper sticker said:

Smile oft. Speak
gently. Be kind.

OK. I assume that “Smile oft” means “Smile often”, although why abbreviate it when there was plenty of room on the line for the truncated two letters. Perhaps they charged for the bumper sticker by the letter.

There are serious problems in the world. But don’t worry. All you have to do is smile often, speak gently and be kind. It is a little more complicated than “Don’t worry. Be happy.” But it is less complicated than living a healthy lifestyle. A recent study found that only 3% of American adults are doing what they should to avoid serious disease.

Specifically, the researchers were looking for Americans who, in addition to not smoking, eat five or more fruits or vegetables daily, engage in 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, and who have “healthy” weight, meaning a body-mass index of 18.5 to 25.

They found the prevalence of the four healthy lifestyle characteristics (HLCs) to be as follows: Nonsmoking, 76 percent; healthy weight, 40.1 percent; consumption of five fruits and vegetables daily, 23 percent; and getting regular physical activity, 22.2 percent.

Imagine that on a bumber sticker:

Don’t smoke.
Eat fruits and veggies.
Exercise.
Be skinny.

I suppose both bumper stickers are equally effective.

28 Apr 2005 05:27 am

Headline AP: Birds May Be Behind Exploding German Toads

26 Apr 2005 05:27 am

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestor. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.

— G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy

25 Apr 2005 05:26 am

Thankfully, this is only a foreign problem for now. But if the Department of Homeland Security hears about it, they will ban toads from all flights.

Headline AFP: Exploding toads baffle German experts

24 Apr 2005 05:26 am

Q.29. How are we made to take part in the redemption Christ bought?

A. We take part in the redemption Christ bought when the Holy Spirit effectively applies it to us.


After Jesus fed the five thousand, the crowds are following Him around, seeking to get Him to do more miracles for their entertainment. They try to goad Him into it by pointing out that Moses gave manna, and that proved his authority. Hint, hint.

John 6:35-40

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Jesus takes this conversation in a different direction. Rather than giving them more food, as they desired, Jesus instead talks to them about God’s soverienty in salvation, and our personal responsibility.

What are we supposed to do? Go to the one who offers the bread of life (verse 35). Jesus proclaims to them that He is “the bread of life”. If we come to Him, and trust in Him for salvation, He will meet our ultimate spiritual need to be made right with God, and we will never hunger or thirst spiritually again (verse 35). Jesus tells us that we must believe upon Him and Him only for our salvation. That is what we must do.

But many do not believe in Him savingly (verse 36). Why? Because they were not given by the Father (verse 37). There are specific people who will respond in faith to the preaching of the Gospel. They are the people the Father has given to the Son, referred to as the elect. And Jesus promises that He will not lose any of these people (verse 39).

But notice that Jesus also promises that everyone who trusts Him for their salvation will be saved (verse 40).

Jesus is saying that God is sovereign in salvation, as in all other areas of life. God’s providence does not stop when we come to the topic of salvation.

Yet, at the same time, we are commanded to come to Him and trust Him only for our salvation. Everyone who comes to God in faith, trusting in His provision for their salvation will be saved. But only those within whom God is working will respond with this saving faith.

So how are we saved? We are saved as God works within our lives to bring us to saving faith so that we respond with saving faith to His call.

23 Apr 2005 05:25 am

Headline Washington Times: Expect MJ to root for Chicago

I hate to contradict, but we’ve never been Cubs fans here at me judice.

22 Apr 2005 05:25 am

Headline AP: Inventor Creates Soundless Sound System

21 Apr 2005 05:23 am

Headline Tribune Review: Blaze damages former police barracks

We’ve heard these defamatory charges before. Don’t believe them. The worst she could do is dig a few holes in their yard.

21 Apr 2005 05:23 am

From the mj Department of Stupid Lawsuits, we have the following submission:

Headline Tribune Review: Shocked man sues Allegheny Power

An East Huntingdon Township couple has sued Allegheny Power, contending it did not warn them that cutting tree limbs around electrical cables could be hazardous.

Glenn R. Backus was shocked and injured while cutting a tree on Aug. 16, 2004.

I imagine he will use the following testimony at the trial:

“I’m shocked, shocked, to find that cutting tree limbs around electrical cables could be hazardous.”

I'm shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here.

Mr. Backus can then go on to sue the gasoline company after blowing up his car by smoking while refueling.

20 Apr 2005 05:22 am

Today at work, I learned something in HTML that I didn’t know before. We had a table that contained data that was wrapping when there was an embedded space. Something like this:

A table that wraps

We had a customer who complained about the wrapping, and a couple of us were looking at why this particular column would wrap with an embedded space. We talked about expanding the width of the column and the table, and finally we decided to ask the HTML Expert.

HE took one look at it and asked, “Why don’t you just use the ‘nowrap’ attribute on the table data?”

We were both a little surprised, not having realized there was a ‘nowrap’ attribute in HTML. But we added it and it changed our table to display the way we wanted:

A table that doesn’t wrap

I felt a little silly that I didn’t know such a basic HTML attribute, but I had not run across this one before.

However, after a little reflection, I realized that I was familiar with the ‘nowrap’ attribute after all. I have been using it, just not with HTML. I’ve been applying the ‘nowrap’ attribute on my radio and my MP3 player for years.

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