callistahogan: (Default)
I finished His Majesty's Dragon and enjoyed it. A review will probably be coming shortly, probably whenever I can stop being laaaaazy when it comes to LJ things and post. I also went to the library and got the three books I requested, as well as Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I'm currently reading The Case for Faith, and it's incredibly good.

As for the skit, though... I am panicking a bit now. I only have tomorrow, maybe a bit of Friday, until I have to audition, and I have barely practiced so far. I know what I have to do, but it's just I don't know how. I understand how suicidal people think as best as I can (obviously I can't know exactly how they feel, but I can certainly understand it a bit), and I can write it amazingly (I just wrote a short piece inspired by the movie about suicide we watched in health today), but acting it is just... hard. And it's because of my shell, I know it is, but I can't seem to get out of it.

I promise I will, though. I don't care if I have to practice nonstop tomorrow. I will get the part and I will rock at the auditions. I want to do this so badly.

I'll practice, but in the end, I have to put it in God's hands and hope that he'll pull me through. It's not up to me, after all. I believe it's His will for me to have this part, but I could be wrong. (Of course, I hope I'm not!)

--

Meme.

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

Let's see...

District of Columbia vs. Keller (2008): The Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed.

United States vs. Williams (2008): Federal statute prohibiting the pandering of child pornography was not unconstitutionally overbroad. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed.

Van Orden vs. Perry (2005): A Ten Commandments monument erected on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol did not violate the Establishment Clause, because the monument, when considered in context, conveyed a historic and social meaning rather than an intrusive religious endorsement.

Elk Grove Unified School District vs. Newdow
 (2004): A noncustodial parent did not have standing in federal court to allege that his child's school violated the Establishment Clause by leading students in the recital of the phrase "one nation, under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bush vs. Gore (2000): In the circumstances of this case, any manual recount of votes seeking to meet the December 12 “safe harbor” deadline would be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale (2000): A private organization is allowed, under certain criteria, to exclude a person from membership through their First Amendment right to freedom of association in spite of state antidiscrimination laws.

Santa Fe Independent School District vs. Doe (2000): Student-led, student-initiated prayer at football games violates the Establishment Clause.

Wow, I could just go on and on and on, copying down notable cases, but I'll stop now. Most of the above cases I agree with, but the last one, I don't see why people can't led prayer in schools so long as no one is offended by it.  But that's just me.

And, yes, I did more than one case. But I couldn't help it.

Linkspam

Sep. 29th, 2008 07:15 pm
callistahogan: (Default)
Since I don't have any good ideas for a post, this will just be a conglomeration of links that have stood out to me lately and my thoughts on them. And there might be some substance after all, but you'll have to wade through the linkspam in order to get to it, unfortunately.

First of all, this terrifies me. Fellow Republicans, I have to say that I'm disappointed in your judgment. The bail-out plan might not have been perfect, but... if your house was on fire and you had water, would you try and find a fire extinguisher because it worked better? No. This is just... I can't believe it. I don't know what's going to happen to America now. All I can do is hope and pray that things will work together for good. But the clock is ticking. The stock market is thisclose from crashing... not good, not good, not good.

More links:

Maine was spared rare hit by hurricane. Pity, really. I was all excited for this big storm and nothing happened. *sigh* But maybe it's for the best.

Palin, Biden: a lively pairing for veep debate
. I am very excited for the debate. I'm very worried about Palin, just because of the fact that she's not been doing very well in interviews lately and the press is tearing her apart, but I think she may rise to the occasion. As for Biden... he's experienced. He could take this debate. It'll surely be interesting to watch.

This is interesting. So is this. And this. Oh, and don't forget these. It's certainly interesting to see all the different perspectives on pretty much the same issues, don't you think? Politics may be messy, but it sure does fascinate me.

Disney Store Reveals Exclusive Line of Camp Rock and Hannah Montana Costumes
. Ew. Just... ew. Disney is really getting on my nerves, with their incessant need to milk their most successful shows for all they're worth. They're popular enough already, please don't push it.

Project Runway's new Lifetime hits snag
. Oh no.

And I really don't think there are any more links. However, I've been trying to practice for that skit, and... it's hard. I can do it, but only if I have a few minutes to get in the right state of mind. I'm just... wondering, how I'm going to be able to exercise enough control over it by Friday. I know I don't have to be perfect... but I want to be impressive. I'm definitely trying, but it's harder than I thought it would be.

Also. Books.

Yesterday, I requested three books from the library—The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch by Donald W. Patten, The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, and The Battle For the Beginning by John F. MacArthur—via the awesome interlibrary loan. They are in transit right now, so they should be here by... Wednesday, at the latest. That gives me a chance to maybe finish two books.

I find myself in a "must read everything I can about creation vs. evolution debate" mood, so expect lots of book reviews dealing with that subject—with books from both sides. I always find this research so much fun, so I can't wait.
callistahogan: (Books)
Book: The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
Genre: Nonfiction / Apologetics
Length: 340 pp., including appendix, discussion questions, bibliography and index
Grade: A

Amazon Summary: Strobel, whose apologetics titles The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith have enjoyed strong popularity among evangelicals, approaches creation/evolution issues in the same simple and energetic style. The format will be familiar to readers of previous Case books: Strobel visits with scholars and researchers and works each interview into a topical outline. Although Strobel does not interview any "hostile" witnesses, he exposes readers to the work of some major origins researchers (including Jonathan Wells, Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe) and theistic philosophers (including William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland). Strobel claims no expertise in science or metaphysics, but as an interviewer he makes this an asset, prodding his sources to translate jargon and provide illustrations for their arguments. At times, the interview format loses momentum as seams begin to show between interview recordings, rewrites, research notes and details imported from his subjects' CVs (here, Strobel's efforts at buffing his subjects' smart-guy credentials can become a little too intense). The most curious feature of the book—not uncommon in the origins literature but unusual in a work of Christian apologetics—is that biblical narratives and images of creation, and the significance of creation for Christian theology, receive such brief mention. Still, this solid introduction to the most important topics in origins debates is highly accessible and packs a good argumentative punch. 

My Thoughts: It's no surprise to me or the people closest to me that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the first actual book I've read that goes over the creation/evolution debate itself. I've read Christian apologetic books before, of course—most recently, Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis and The Reason for God: Belief in An Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller—but this is the first one that really delves deeply into the whole creation/evolution battle, and I think it explained everything a lot. This book is most definitely going to be in my possession for a long time. This is my first read of it, and I've already learned so much.

Lee Strobel is an amazing writer. Since he's a journalist, that's to be expected, but the way he explained everything in his book just felt so understandable. He tried not to use terribly big words and, as he interviewed some of the best people in scientific fields, he asked for examples to explain certain "science stuff" that normal people can't really understand in a way that even a fourteen-year-old teenage girl can understand. Not once in this book did the big words cause me to need to reach for a dictionary. Some things went slightly over my head, but that's to be expected on my first read through it. I'm certain that when I start reading this book again, as I know I will, that some of the foggier stuff will begin to make sense.

Part of the reason why I enjoyed this book so much is the way he laid it out. He didn't just cite sources. He gave us pretty much the entirety of interviews he had with numerous scientists from various fields, giving us a taste of what scientists are actually saying. And he didn't just interview one or two people. He interviewed people from various fields—cosmology, physics, astronomy, biochemistry—and areas of expertise—biological information and human consciousness—giving us a sense of what some of the smartest men in these various fields of studies think about certain issues and why they think that.

This really cemented my belief that hey, people who believe in God and reject evolution aren't as stupid as people make us out to be. We can be great thinkers, great scientists, great people. Just because we don't believe in evolution doesn't make us stupid. I am so sick of people telling me that I have ideas that are utterly ridiculous, just because I'm a strong Christian and a creationist, because... well, I have a bit more self confidence than that, and I hate it when people tell me I'm stupid, especially when I know I'm not.

This book helped me along. Now I have yet more basis to believe what I do and, regardless of what some people may say, I'm not going to go back on my beliefs just because people say they're ridiculous. I loved the way Lee Strobel laid out everything in this book. I loved the way it made so much sense, and I just know that I'll be able to explain a great majority of this to people if they ask me.

That's pretty much the main reason for liking this book. It's not the main reason—the main reason is that it is so scientifically sound—but me being able to explain my faith is such a great feeling. Admittedly, I have to learn to step back a bit and learn to act out my faith instead of explain it, but I'm going to need this knowledge. I just know I will, and I'm so lucky that I have a copy of this book to hand out to people in case they would like to read it.

However, there was one thing that set me on edge. It was the insistence of the "scientific" Big Bang that kind of made me grit my teeth. However, for me, at least, the Big Bang is a way for scientists to explain the creation of the universe in a purely naturalistic way, and you know what? I respect that. I disagree with it, personally, because I don't believe things can be explained purely by naturalistic means, but I respect the people who have an honest reason for believing in naturalism.

How odd, I know, but it's true.

And this book helped me gather my feelings on those issues. Like I've already said, it helped me formulate some of the best arguments for creation in my own mind for myself and for the people around me. This book is a great study tool, and I'm going to read it again soon. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the creation/evolution debate and is willing to look at things with an open mind, because this is a great nonfiction book explaining this controversial issue.

Currently Reading:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Next Up:
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Complete Evangelism Guidebook by Scott Dawson (editor)
callistahogan: (Default)
New Scientist Brings Up Old Arguments

The above link is a response to Evolution: 24 Myths and Misconceptions published by New Scientist by Answers in Genesis, probably the most successful creationist site ever made. 

From the beginning of the article, it rubs me the wrong way.


I know that this post is going to rub some people the wrong way and it might dissolve into an argument. I don't mean to single [personal profile] mercuryblue144out, but there have been.... issues between us whenever we bring this up, so if you could kindly keep it as civil as possible, it would be much appreciated. If you want to get into a debate, please don't respond, or at least not on the public comment thread. If you wish to debate, then please send me a message via LJ, YIM, email, or in case of Clan, any other way you can think of.

Thank you.

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