Monday, December 25, 2006

The True Meaning of Christmas

It finally clicked in me -- the True Meaning of Christmas.

It was when I heard the Christmas story retold for the fourteenth consecutive time, at last night's Family Christmas Eve service, at our local church. The Pastor had read Luke's Gospel, and then he expounded on it.

He started by describing Luke 2:1-7 in more detail. The reason that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were staying in a stable is that there was no room at the inn. That I've known since I was a child, but nothing more.

The rest of it needs to be appreciated against a backdrop of adult experiences. The child I was did not bother to wonder why they needed to find an inn.

The Pastor explained that Joseph needed to haul himself (and the pregnant woman he was engaged to) 80 miles, by foot, from his home in Nazareth back to Bethlehem in order to be counted in the census. So he could be taxed.

That's my wife and me, Joseph and Mary. Not only do we have to undertake some pain-in-the-ass journey for some poorly-planned government bullshit, we have to do it when we're about to give birth. All for the ultimate pleasure of paying taxes. This is jury duty on a Grand Scale.

To make the story more interesting, Joseph is caring for a woman whose child she carries is not even his.

And this is the way the Universe works. Even God's Children cannot escape suffering the idiocy that this world has to offer.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Time Magazine Person of the Year (What Else?)

As soon as I heard that Time Magazine's Person of the Year (POTY) was "Me," I knew I had another sarcastic blog entry to write. By now, this entry is but one of many that pokes fun at Time. And if you want to listen to great commentary on the topic, redirect your browser to today's commentary by Bill Langworthy on NPR's All Things Considered.

I'd rather not waste much content on Time. POTY noise actually rewards Time in the end, even if it's criticism. I just want to point out that choosing me as POTY (along with hundreds of thousands MySpace teenagers who are either horny or lonely or both) was plain laziness. If Time had done a little research, they'd've discovered the term blogosphere, which might've led them to this special issue of Communications of the ACM. And somewhere in this two-year-old, well-researched set of papers would be the person or team responsible for creating the technology that enables us POTY winners to blog.

If it sounds like I'm angry at Time, it's because I am. Aren't I supposed to receive some monetary award? Because I didn't. Hello?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Build My Own Universe? Are you Joking?

Okay, I finally accept that my elementary-school-aged daughter can design her own web page and probably make it look a whole lot nicer than this site. But could the next generation one day build its own universe?

Incredibly, some physicists think so, according to this feature on NPR's All Things Considered:

This is a cool page, not just for the feature article, but for the related links. The one bit of disappointment I feel is that I wish this came out nearer to April Fool's Day. That way I could fool people into thinking that something is a joke when, in fact, it's actually real.

So I wonder if our Universe was once created by a team of ambitious physicists in a higher level universe? What if they have to shut down their experiment due to lack of funding? Or what happens if a student overheats a Twinkie and in the process accidentally destroys the lab while attempting to redo one of the Twinkie Experiments?