Daily Archives: April 16, 2011

Congratulations to Manchester City for Making it into the FA Cup Final

Manchester City reached the FA Cup Final for the first time in 30 years with victory over derby rivals Manchester United at Wembley.

Yaya Toure demonstrated power and poise to take advantage of Michael Carrick’s mistake to score after 52 minutes and set up another Wembley date against either Bolton Wanderers or Stoke City in May.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Sports

(Bloomberg) Texas University Endowment Storing About $1 Billion in Gold Bars

The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment, took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion as the metal reaches a record, according to the fund’s board.

The fund, whose $19.9 billion in assets ranked it behind Harvard University’s endowment as of August, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, last year added about $500 million in gold investments to an existing stake, said Bruce Zimmerman, the endowment’s chief executive officer. The holdings reached about $987 million yesterday, as Comex futures closed at $1,486 an ounce….

“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” [Kyle] Bass said today in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Education, Euro, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(BBC) Nigerians vote in presidential election

Tens of millions of Nigerians have taken part in Africa’s biggest presidential election, amid hopes of the most credible poll in two decades.

Votes are already being counted in parts of the country, with official results expected on Monday.

Voting is reported to have generally gone smoothly, despite some reports of fraud and incidents of violence.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s main challenger is Muhammadu Buhari, an ex-military leader popular in the north.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Nigeria, Politics in General

A Nifty NBC Video Piece on Singer Paul Simon at age 61

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Music

Mark Oppenheimer: A ”˜Good Book,’ Absent God

At first, “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible” (Walker & Company, $35) looks like the Bible that Christians believe in, politicians take oaths on and the Gideons put in hotel rooms. It is divided into books like Genesis, Lamentations and Proverbs. Each book is organized into chapters and verses. It is written in the stately cadences that signal the presence of important, godly matters.

Begin to read, however, and you immediately see that God is not present. Instead, there are uncredited quotations from Aristotle, Darwin, Swift, Voltaire and hundreds more pre-Christian, anti-Christian or indifferent-to-Christian thinkers, assembled into an alternative genealogy of nature, human origins and ethics. Here are history and wisdom, without the divine attribution. Without any attribution, actually, which is why the Internet is a required study aid.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology, Theology: Scripture

NY Times Magazine–Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?

…[James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic]’s initial question ”” which he first posed in a 1999 study ”” was simple: Why do some people who consume the same amount of food as others gain more weight? After assessing how much food each of his subjects needed to maintain their current weight, Dr. Levine then began to ply them with an extra 1,000 calories per day. Sure enough, some of his subjects packed on the pounds, while others gained little to no weight.

“We measured everything, thinking we were going to find some magic metabolic factor that would explain why some people didn’t gain weight,” explains Dr. Michael Jensen, a Mayo Clinic researcher who collaborated with Dr. Levine on the studies. But that wasn’t the case. Then six years later, with the help of the motion-tracking underwear, they discovered the answer. “The people who didn’t gain weight were unconsciously moving around more,” Dr. Jensen says. They hadn’t started exercising more ”” that was prohibited by the study. Their bodies simply responded naturally by making more little movements than they had before the overfeeding began, like taking the stairs, trotting down the hall to the office water cooler, bustling about with chores at home or simply fidgeting. On average, the subjects who gained weight sat two hours more per day than those who hadn’t.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(London Times) Urgent help is needed to save thousands of crumbling British churches

The most comprehensive survey of Britain’s churches ever carried out has shown a “critical” number in desperate need of financial help.

Nearly 4,000 of the nation’s 47,000 churches ”” 8 per cent ”” are in poor or very poor condition, needing an average of £80,000 spending each for repairs and restoration.

The survey, to be published on Monday, has found that 1.6 million people take part in voluntary activities involving the Church, averaging out at 33 per church. The biggest area was community activities, followed by faith activities and then administration.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Bill Murray Hugs the Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina–what a great Picture!

Check it out–it is on the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Movies & Television, Politics in General, Sports

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who didst devote thy life and thy death to our most plenteous redemption: Grant that what thou hast wrought for us may also be wrought in us: that, growing into thy likeness, we may serve and share thy redeeming work; who livest and reignest in the glory of the eternal Trinity now and for evermore.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

–Jeremiah 31:31-34

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Friday Night Fun

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Humor / Trivia

Wikileaks' Julian Assange and NYT's Bill Keller Trade Barbs at UC Berkeley

Keller did get his dander up after Assange said that watching the American news media cover international events is like watching a goldfish bowl where readers pay little attention to outside perspectives.

Keller seemed to take that as a slight against the prestigious New York Times overseas correspondents. “I have to object to the idea that we’re not interested in what happens outside the U.S.,” he said. “We have 40 correspondents and stringers overseas, and we have four people who have been killed covering the wars.”

Assange said he meant no disrespect to the work of Times correspondents living or dead. But he did get the last word on that topic.

“I say that 40 people covering the entire world in the New York Times, which is the opinion leader of the United States, is a state of desperation,” he said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

(Gallup) Positivity and Optimism the Norm in "Thriving" U.S. States

Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming are the most likely among residents of U.S. states to be “thriving,” based on how they rate their lives at this time and five years from now, while residents of West Virginia and Kentucky are the least likely.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, Psychology, State Government

Andrew Goddard on the C of E and Establishment–Arbiters of the Faith?

Perhaps the even more serious challenge looming relates to same-sex relationships and marriage. When in 2004 the Civil Partnership Act gave those entering legal same-sex partnerships fundamentally the same legal status as husbands and wives there were two exceptions: there could be no religious ceremony at the registration and marriage remained between a man and a woman. So, for example, a married person undergoing sex reassignment has formally to divorce his spouse before being legally recognised in the new gender and entering a civil partnership with his former spouse.

The former distinction was legally removed last year and discussions are now underway about how to enable civil partnerships on religious premises. Under the pretense of extending religious freedom, the state risks giving support to one perspective within churches’ internal debates on how to respond to civil partnerships by permitting religious premises to apply for authorization to host their registration. While this could create difficulties for a number of denominations, the Church of England as the national, established church will come under particular scrutiny.

Although there will be no compulsion and the Church of England has said it will not seek to gain authorization, conflicts could still result….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)