Friday, January 30, 2009

Inaugural Photo

When you go visit this page, you may shrug. What's the big deal? A wide angle photo that captures a[n] historic moment.

Don't be deceived. Notice the zoom buttons on the left of the photo. This high resolution multi-photo-glued-together image will blow you away. It is really quite impressive.

Thought you might like it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Things are not what they seem

On Inauguration Day, Raleigh got about four inches (or more) or snow. This is not necessarily a critical piece of information, except it explains how I was able to stay home all day (because the church offices were closed) and watch the entire inauguration. My northern friends won't understand this, and believe me, it's taken me a while to overcome the urge to just go drive in the snow because "I know how." It's simply an issue of infrastructure. Little exists in Raleigh to treat the roads. Maybe the highways were treated, but that's about it, so it is considered unsafe to drive around town until the roads dry up. So due to the church offices being closed for MLK day, I benefited from a little snow to extend my vacation an extra day.

Anyway, it was great fun to sit together as a family around the TV and follow along with all the pomp and ceremony unfolding before us. One unexpected musical performance was an arrangement of Simple Gifts set by John Williams for some of the finest musicians in the world: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill. The performance was exquisite, and so was the writing. It was so artistically refreshing and so nice that the American people were subjected to such fine art! (music snob alert). I was SO impressed by the musicianship in the 20 degree weather! Amazing. Perhaps the elegance of the performance was magnified by the whatever-that-was that proceeded it in Aretha Franklin.

A couple of days ago, a freind informed me that in fact, the performance we heard was not what was played while we watched. What we heard was previously recorded. This explains why these classical musicians were using in ear monitors. I wondered why they couldn't hear each other, sitting so closely. Turns out, they were playing along to themselves. They were bow-synching.

I was devastated.

Here's a CNN report of the Yo-Yo-Vanilli scandal.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Are You an Organ Donor?

This discussion came up at lunch a couple of days ago. The question is whether you have that little box checked on your driver's license that says your organs may be used in the event of a brain-dead trauma.

The follow up question is this: Is there a biblical directive to be an organ donor? Is there a biblical directive against it?

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009