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Old 01-23-2010, 10:18 PM   #101
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Sunday Dispatch.454

Sunday Dispatch.454


Solara: Is that from the book?

Eli: No, it's Johnny Cash. "Live at Folsom Prison".


~The Book of Eli
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:35 PM   #102
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Sunday Dispatch.455

Sunday Dispatch.455


Recent developments in astronomy have implications that may go beyond their contribution to science itself. In a nutshell, astronomers, studying the Universe through their telescopes, have been forced to the conclusion that the world began suddenly, in a moment of creation, as the product of unknown forces.

The first scientific indication of an abrupt beginning for the world appeared about fifty years ago. At that time American astronomers, studying the great clusters of stars called galaxies, stumbled on evidence that the entire Universe is blowing up before our eyes. According to their observations, all the galaxies in the Universe are moving away from us and from one another at very high speeds, and the most distant are receding at the extraordinary speed of hundreds of millions of miles an hour.

This discovery led directly to the picture of a sudden beginning for the Universe; for if we retrace the movements of the moving galaxies backward in time, we find that at an earlier time they must have been closer together than they are today; at a still earlier time, they must have been still closer together; and if we go back far enough in time, we find that at a certain critical moment in the past all the galaxies in the Universe were packed together into one dense mass at an enormous density, pressure and temperature. Reacting to this pressure, the dense, hot matter must have exploded with incredible violence. The instant of the explosion marked the birth of the Universe.

The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion. It was literally the moment of Creation.

From a philosophical point of view, this finding has traumatic implications for science. Scientists have always felt more comfortable with the idea of a Universe that has existed forever, because their thinking is permeated with the idea of Cause and Effect; they believe that every event that takes place in the world can be explained in a rational way as the consequence of some previous event. Einstein once said, "The scientist is possessed of a sense of infinite causation." If there is a religion in science, this statement can be regarded as its principal article of faith. But the latest astronomical results indicate that at some point in the past the chain of cause and effect terminated abruptly. An important event occurred-the origin of the world-for which there is no known cause or explanation within the realm of science. The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.

This is a distressing result for scientists because, in the scientist's view, given enough time and money, he must be able to find an explanation for the beginning of the Universe on his own terms-an explanation that fits into the framework of natural rather than supernatural forces.

So, the scientist asks himself, what cause led to the effect we call the Universe? And he proceeds to examine the conditions under which the world began. But then he sees that he is deprived-today, tomorrow, and very likely forever-of finding out the answer to this critical question.

Why is that? The answer has to do with the conditions that prevailed in the first moments of the Universe's existence. At that time it must have been compressed to an enormous-perhaps infinite-density, temperature and pressure. The shock of that moment must have destroyed every relic of an earlier, pre-creation Universe that could have yielded a clue to the cause of the great explosion. To find that cause, the scientist must reconstruct the chain of events that took place prior to the seeming moment of creation, and led to the appearance of our Universe as their end product. But just this, he cannot do. For all the evidence he might have examined to that end has been melted down and destroyed in the intense heat and pressure of the first moment. No clue remains to the nature of the forces-natural or supernatural that conspired to bring about the event we call the Big Bang.

This is a very surprising conclusion. Nothing in the history of science leads us to believe there should be a fundamental limit to the results of scientific inquiry. Science has had extraordinary success in piecing together the elements of a story of cosmic evolution that adds many details to the first pages of Genesis. The scientist has traced the history of the Universe back in time from the appearance of man to the lower animals, then across the threshold of life to a time when the earth did not exist, and then back farther still to a time when stars and galaxies had not yet formed and the heavens were dark. Now he goes farther back still, feeling he is close to success-the answer to the ultimate question of beginning-when suddenly the chain of cause and effect snaps. The birth of the Universe is an effect for which he cannot find the cause.

Some say still that if the astronomer cannot find that cause today, he will find it tomorrow, and we will read about it in the New York Times when Walter Sullivan gets around to reporting on it. But I think the circumstances of the Big Bang-the fiery holocaust that destroyed the record of the past-make that extremely unlikely.

This is why it seems to me and to others that the curtain drawn over the mystery of creation will never be raised by human efforts, at least in the foreseeable future. Although I am an agnostic, and not a believer, I still find much to ponder in the view expressed by the British astronomer E. A. Milne, who wrote, "We can make no propositions about the state of affairs [in the beginning]; in the Divine act of creation God is unobserved and unwitnessed."

~Robert Jastrow
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #103
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i love how scientists have to be "forced" into believing things, as if they're just angry children.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:21 PM   #104
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Ergh. The Big Bang and our possible origins in the death of another universe (or even an extrusion from a still existing other universe, who knows) is a fascinating topic. I don't think anyone knows the whole story yet, either way.

I am coming to the view however that 'supernatural' forces in the way that term is usually used, are just natural forces we don't understand. Which doesn't equal no God - I should be well and truly on the record around here about God at this point - but does hopefully clear away some of the fuzzy cobwebs. If there is a God, it does not live 'in the sky' as atheists would have it, but in the fabric of everything, well, natural.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:10 PM   #105
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Well, creation aside, there was definitely a cosmic event of some sort last night. I caught parts of Grosse Pointe Blank on tv yesterday which had me vaguely wonder about timing of my own HS reunion. Today my email inbox has been filling up all day with facebook friend requests from obscure people from HS that I basically haven't seen or talked to since then.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:09 PM   #106
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Sunday Dispatch.456

Sunday Dispatch.456


Well the moon is broken
And the sky is cracked
Come on up to the house
The only things that you can see
Is all that you lack
Come on up to the house

All your cryin don't do no good
Come on up to the house
Come down off the cross
We can use the wood
Come on up to the house

Come on up to the house
Come on up to the house
The world is not my home
I'm just a passin' thru
Come on up to the house

~Tom Waits
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:43 PM   #107
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Sunday Dispatch.457

Sunday Dispatch.457


The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody and unpopular campaigns.
Claudius found it tough to get soldiers and felt the reason was men did not join army because they did not wish to leave their wives and families.
As a result Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.

A young priest of named Valentine defied Claudius's orders and secretly married couples.
When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was arrested and brought before Claudius. The Emperor
demanded that the young priest stop performing marriages and that he denounce his Christian faith.
He was placed in a Roman prison to await his execution.

While in prison the Roman jailer asked Valentine to pray for his daughter who was blind.
She was healed and came to meet the young priest. They soon fell in love.

The night before his death Valentine wrote a farewell letter to the jailer's daughter.
He signed it 'From your Valentine'.

He was beaten and put to death the next day February 14, about 270 AD.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:17 AM   #108
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sounds like the message here is to defy the establishment.

I bet we can find 1,000,000 People who Support Same Sex Marriage | Facebook
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:19 PM   #109
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Sunday Dispatch.458

Sunday Dispatch.458


There are no ordinary people.
You have never talked to a mere mortal.

~C.S.Lewis
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #110
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Sunday Dispatch.459

Sunday Dispatch.459


Christians are hard to tolerate;
I don't know how Jesus does it.

~Bono of U2
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:39 PM   #111
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That's a great one...
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:18 PM   #112
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Dude, it's tuesday...
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #113
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^ Ok, this sort of thing keeps happening to me lately and it's freaking me out.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:11 PM   #114
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Sunday Dispatch.460

Sunday Dispatch.460


Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness...
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

~T.S.Eliot
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:15 PM   #115
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Sunday Dispatch.461

Sunday Dispatch.461


I am Patrick, a sinner, most uncultivated and least of all the faithful and despised in the eyes of many.

~Saint Patrick
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #116
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Well, interestingly enough, Saint Patrick, the Irish national hero, was British.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:16 PM   #117
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Sunday Dispatch.462

Sunday Dispatch.462


No dream is ever just a dream.

~from the film Eyes Wide Shut
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:23 PM   #118
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Sunday Dispatch.463

Sunday Dispatch.463

The entrance into Jerusalem [on Palm Sunday] has all the elements of theatre of the absurd: the poor king; truth comes riding on a donkey; symbolic actions... even parading without a permit! Also, when Jesus "set his face to go to Jerusalem," what was involved was direct action, an open confrontation and public demonstration of the incompatibility of evil with the Kingdom of God.

~David Kirk
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:45 PM   #119
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Sunday Dispatch.464

Sunday Dispatch.464
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:44 PM   #120
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Sunday Dispatch.465

Sunday Dispatch.465

There is no peace here war is never cheap here
Love will never meet it it just gets sold for parts
You cannot fight it all the world denies it
Open up your eyelids and let your demons run
Ah ah ah

I thread the needle through you beat the devil’s tattoo
I thread the needle through you beat the devil’s tattoo

~Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
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