Archive for October, 2006

Apostasy and Shusaku Endo’s Silence

October 30th, 2006 18 comments

When I found a used copy of Shusaku Endo’s Silence at Powells I thought it would be a great time to read this work of fiction from one of Japan’s “foremost novelists” (someone had talked about it up at Regent once and I have wanted to read it since). In brief: read it. It is a wonderfully written story about a Portuguese Catholic priest in the foreign world of Japan who must deal with core issues of faith: why is God often silent? His struggle is also the struggle of many missionaries to Japan in 17th century who were forced to look apostasy in the face. Shusaku Endo‘s “masterpiece” has received both acclaim and harsh criticism. I imagine there are those within the Roman Catholic church that would call Endo a heretic, but the issues that he raises must be dealt with by all Christians. Simply calling “heresy!” is a cop out: it may be heretical, but it cannot be ignored.

To warn you right off the bat, this is going to be a long post with lots of “spoilers” and quotes from the book. While I will primarily be discussing the theological statements and not the story line, it will be impossible to not give things away. If you feel like the impact of the book will be lessened by reading about it (including the climax), read the book first and then come back; if not, keep on reading! Read more…

Categories: Literature, Religion, Theology Tags:

Space Saturday XXV

October 28th, 2006 No comments

I barely made it, but here is the 25th edition of my Space Saturday: The Antennae Galaxies!

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration (Source)

The Antennae Galaxies (also known as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039) are two galaxies in the process of colliding (and have been doing so for some 200 or 300 million years). The collision is taking place in the constellation Corvus approximately 63-68 million light years away. Because of the collision there are large clusters of star birth regions. Billions of stars have been created because of this intergalactic crash. It is also quite lovely to look at!

See my Space Saturday Archive for more astronomy pictures!

APOD - The Antennae Galaxies
APOD - The Antennae Galaxies in Collision
IPAC at CalTec - The Antennae Galaxies
ESA - The Colliding Antennae Galaxies [heic0615]
HubbleSite - Super Star Clusters in the Antennae Galaxies
Wikipedia - Antennae Galaxies

Categories: Science Tags:

The one where I complain…

October 25th, 2006 13 comments

Readers of my blog know that I really don’t complain too much. Even when I had my ipod, wallet, dvds, shoes, underwear, and other assorted items stolen or when I shamelessly asked for money I tried not to be too pessimistic or annoying. That being said, let me complain for a moment: I still don’t have an ipod and now my car CD player is busted (yeah, poor me, how will I survive? Who cares about those who are actually in need?). First the lights went out but everything still seemed to work okay. I can deal with that, I don’t need to know how many seconds of Come Sail Away have passed. And I don’t really need to listen to the radio, we pretty much just get Canadian stations anyway… No worries. At least the CDs play!

I pop in the second disc of Jason Harrod live at Zoka Coffee and start singing along. Two times through is enough for now so I hit the good ol’ eject button and the face plate thing moves down… no CD… then up… and then down… and then up… and then down… you get the idea… then it beeps. Now every time I turn on the car it goes through the same motions, the sound of the faceplate, Jason Harrod singing Kickin’ Mule, and then beeping. I love Jason Harrod, but after 38 times through, I am ready for something different. I might go insane. Luckily I didn’t have the soundtrack to Titanic in at the time…

So anyone have any suggestions? And keep in mind that I am quite broke… I don’t even know how much CD players cost!

Categories: Daily Life Tags:

If you are in LA, go to the Troubadour

October 24th, 2006 No comments

I’m not joking. Tonight (October 24th). Troubadour. 7:00pm. $12. The Lonely Forest. Rock. Be blown away. You can thank me later.

Visit my Lonely Forest page or my Lonely Forest YouTube video clip page.

Categories: Meaningful Song Tags:

The Pale Pacific at WWU

October 23rd, 2006 6 comments

On Saturday night I went, once again, up to the Viking Union at Western Washington University. This time it was to catch The Pale Pacific. Like all bands that I dig, their show was amazing! ;)

Gabe, Justin, Cam, and Greg always know how to entertain, make us laugh, and put on a kick-ass rock show! The full set of pictures can be viewed at my Flickr set: Pale Pacific @ WWU.

I took six video clips (I will eventually get them up on YouTube [EDIT: you can now check the vids out at my Pale Pacific YouTube Playlist!]) that you can download. The sound isn’t the best because the speakers were off to my left, but they are good enough! NOTE: large files!

  • If Only She’d Leave Town (.mpg, 42.7 MB, 3:59)
  • Space To Move (.mpg, 37.1 MB, 3:27)
  • Sucker Punch (.mpg, 51.3 MB, 4:46)
  • Wake Up Call (.mpg, 41.6 MB, 3:52)
  • Start/Stop (.mpg, 60 MB, 5:35)
  • Gravity Gets Things Done (.mpg, 19.8 MB, 1:50)

  • More at my Flickr set: Pale Pacific @ WWU.

    Categories: Meaningful Song, Photoblog Tags:

    Space Saturday XXIV

    October 21st, 2006 1 comment

    This version of Space Saturday brings the beauty of nebula N44C.

    Credit: Donald Garnett (U. Arizona) et al., Hubble Heritage Team, NASA (Source) - Full Size

    This is a region of glowing hydrogen gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud in the southern hemisphere.

    N44C is peculiar because the star mainly responsible for illuminating the nebula is unusually hot. The most massive stars, ranging from 10-50 times more massive than the Sun, have maximum temperatures of 54,000 to 90,000 degrees Fahrenheit (30,000 to 50,000 degrees Kelvin). The star illuminating N44C appears to be significantly hotter, with a temperature of about 135,000 degrees Fahrenheit (75,000 degrees Kelvin)!

    “The star that appears to power the nebula, although young and bright, does not seem hot enough to create some of the colors observed.” So what is going on there? I guess you will have to find out! Regardless of what is going on, it is beautiful!

    Visit my Space Saturday Archive for more interesting astronomy images!

    Categories: Science Tags: