Friday, February 28, 2014

Daddy Craft - Dragon Light

So the little one's been without a design on his IKEA wall lamp ever since he went crazy on it 8 months ago and ripped the cover off and into little pieces. He's talked about wanting a new cover for the lampshade from time to time, but the opportunity never presented itself.

Until last week.

Game of Thrones season 3 came out on DVD with its typical many-piece ridiculous slipcase. As I slipped off the outermost slipcase, inspiration struck.

I pulled apart the binding and flattened the edges, trimming them to fit the light.

Then I folded the edges around the lampshade.

And carefully slid the shade back into the grove and screwed the whole thing back together.

Viola! Daddy craft done in less than ten minutes.

And just in time, for I hear winter is coming (back again) this weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asay

"I'm Batman." It's a phrase that I'm not ashamed to admit, I've uttered a time or two (each month). At two years and two months the The Little One is potty-training like a champ and I'm certain his new "big boy" Batman undies are a big part of it.

I look forward to the day that both he and his little brother (The Squeaky One) are old enough to watch Batman: The Animated Series with me. (And the movies, of course, but those would be later.)

The Twitter² Summary:
Batman has delighted and thrilled fans of all ages for more than seventy years. In God on the Streets of Gotham, Paul Asay traces the history of Batman in all his manifestations and how we may find something greater than we expect in the story of a Dark Knight protector.

The Low-down:
It was with great excitement that I opened God on the Streets of Gotham. I found myself looking forward to Asay's take on the connection of Batman and faith through the lens of culture. I was not disappointed.

Asay's take on the Caped Crusader is an interesting one. He sees parallels to the Christian faith in the mission Batman chooses, the armor he wears and the support he receives from those with whom he partners. Batman is not portrayed as a Christian by Asay or even as a symbol of the Christian faith. Instead, Asay shows that both we and Batman are facing a world darkened by the damaging effects of sin.

The book is an interesting and throughly enjoyable read. Asay's writing is insightful and quick-witted and the concepts are explored with acute understanding of the faith and cultural lenses we view them through

The Rating:
5 of 5 Stars (An awesome book that I will want to read again and again.)

The Author:
Paul Asay is the associate editor at Plugged In, a ministry that reaches more than 6 million people with movie reviews that help people understand popular cultural trends and how they intersect with spiritual issues. Paul is an award-winning journalist who covered religion at The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and whose work has been published by such outlets as The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Youth Worker Journal and Paul has a special interest in the unexpected ways that faith and media intersect. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Wendy, and two children.

The Links:
The Intro and First Chapter

The Publisher’s Website

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Should One Ministry Control the Internet?

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers recently announced that they had received 1,930 applications from organizations and individuals wanting to own new specific web address extensions. (Similar to .com, .net and .biz) With nearly half of the applications originating in North America, most are exactly who you'd expect. Apple computer company is seeking to lock down .apple and protect their brand, ABC wants to ensure no one tries to stream their shows on a (perhaps convincing) address and geographic regions look to protect their images for Pr and tourism profits.

Amongst the sea of application is one stream that stands out in this collection of multi-national corporations, governments, and wealthy entrepreneurs: religious organizations. RNS reports that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints placed bids on .LDS and .Mormon and that the Vatican applied for .Catholic in four languages at a cost of $740,000.
Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications has said .Catholic will help his church deliver its message online.
But only entities, parishes and religious orders formally recognized under canon law would be allowed to use .Catholic, "so people online -- Catholics and non-Catholics -- will know a site is authentically Catholic," Tighe told Catholic News Service. 
At a time when the vatican is battling liberal theologians and American nuns over the definition of modern Catholicism, .Catholic would ... allow the church hierarchy to monitor and control its brand...
What I find most interesting about RNS's article, though, is that the applied for the simple extension .church.  LifeChurch has said that they will most likely allow any organization of people who share "similar religious beliefs" to apply.

What do you think about ICANN ceding control over vast swathes of online real estate to organizations with enough cash? Should any one ministry be allowed to decide who has access to .church, .christian or any other religious web address extension?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: The Bartered Virgins by John David Merwin

I don't know about you, but I love watching those shows where people are picking a house or apartment from among a few different options. My favorites are when they're set in exotic locales like Hawaii, Fiji or the Virgin Isles. What I doubt I've ever thought, though, is "I wonder. What is the specific history (down to what time a certain meeting on a certain day occurred), of these locations?" If, unlike myself, you are the kind of person who wonders that sort of thing, then do I have a book for you!

The Twitter² Summary:
John David Marwin's The Bartered Virgins is a very brief historical tour of the history of the United States Virgin Islands. Its devotion to the specific history allows this slim volume to claim authority on the history of these small tracts of land.

The Low-down:
Though The Bartered Virgins is generally well-written, it comes across as rather dry in places. In spite of this, I found it to be an interesting read. It is not a long book, coming in at a meager 96 pages (35 of which is devoted to appendices). If you're the kind of person who is really interested in history for history's sake - you will probably like this book. If, however, you are the kind of person for whom history class was a dull slog through dates, names and places - this is probably not right for you.

Merwin's attention to detail is admirable, but occasionally breaks down the narrative approach for which he strives. For scholars of the history, Merwin's inclusion of the text of treaties and agreements in appendices are wonderful.

The Rating:
3 of 5 Stars (A book to check out from the library, but not to own)

The Link:
The Publisher’s Book Page

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Dorrance Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”