Thursday, October 31, 2013


For quite some time now, whenever I have an opportunity, I question Christians on why they call Yeshua Ben Yosef Jesus rather than by his given name.  Not that it particularly matters -  but I find it a bit peculiar  I know that some folks with difficult-to-pronounce [at least for Americans] names choose something simple like Sophie or Michelle, but Yeshua really isn't that hard to say.  I found this interesting discussion from the website the Nazarene Way

"Yeshua is the original Aramaic proper name for Jesus the Nazarene, who lived from about 6 B.C.E. to 27 C.E. (A.D.)  The word "Jesus" is actually a mis-transliteration of a Greek mis-transliteration. It is most proper to call Him Yeshua. It was indeed his proper name, given to him by his parents, and only in Hebrew does this name have any meaning. In Hebrew Yeshua means both "Salvation," and the concatenated form of Yahoshua, is "Lord who is Salvation." The name Jesus has no intrinsic meaning in English whatsoever.  The first letter in the name Yeshua ("Jesus") is the yod. Yod represents the "Y" sound in Hebrew. Many names in the Bible that begin with yod are mispronounced by English speakers because the yod in these names was transliterated in English Bibles with the letter "J" rather than "Y". This came about because in early English the letter "J" was pronounced the way we pronounce "Y" today. 
Today's tradition of pronouncing His completely Hellenized name as "Jesus" has indeed obscured His true name, "Yeshua," and has shifted its perceived meaning much like most of His original teachings.  Even His name, it would seem, became a part of this understanding. The name Jesus or Jesus Christ is often used in everything from idle conversation, to bumper stickers and jewelry, to enforcing false teachings, to justifying wars and political agendas, and is even used as a profanity. The name Yeshua however, has remained pure and holy, known and used only by those who would uphold His name and teachings in the highest regard and thus reserving His holy name for use only in spiritual matters and the most humbled and sincere of prayer and obeisances."

Give the Rabbi his props and call him by his name.

h/t xian

Wednesday, October 30, 2013



As I watched the Rockies this past season, I was amazed at the play of rookie Nolan Arenado at third base.  He seemed to routinely turn in spectacular plays, with particularly quick reactions to hard-hit balls followed up by a strong throw.  Never before has a rookie NL third baseman won a Golden Glove - but Nolan just did, and deservedly so.  Here is a brief write up and a video.  Kudos Nolan!
"Tonight, Nolan Arenado completed a startling transformation, winning a Gold Glove Award as a rookie third baseman just years after he was expected to move across the infield to play first base.  In beating out the Dodgers Juan Uribe and Mets' David Wright, Arenado accomplished something significant.
Before Nolan Arenado, only nine men won a Gold Glove Award as a rookie, and none of them were National League third basemen.   It is very difficult for rookies to gain such an elite reputation in mere months, as Troy Tulowitzki knows all too well.  Arenado, though, had a flair for the dramatic, and despite spending only five months in the big leagues, he kept a steady buzz by making the ridiculous play consistently.

For the first time in the award's history, a sabermetric defensive metric was directly applied to the award's result. A full 25% of a player's score is made up of a "SABR Defensive Index."  This likely helped Arenado clear that rookie hurdle, as Arenado ranked 2nd in the NL in UZR (behind Juan Uribe) and had more Defensive Runs Saved than any two third basemen in the league .
On Monday, Arenado lost out to Manny Machado for the Fielding Bible Award at third base yet came in second place in the voting, tops in the National League."


Sunday, October 27, 2013


The Argyle Sweater

I know we should not make fun of folks who suffer traumatic brain injuries, but IMHO, I think that Gary Busey was pretty whacky even before his motorcycle crash. 


And, if you are not a regular reader of the Argyle Sweater, I recommend it highly :-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


An original by my colleague and friend Francis Collins - context - Francis is the current head of the National Institutes of Health.

Note the design on the guitar neck - a double helix - Collins formerly was the Director of the Human Genome Project

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Banksy made a monkey out of me. 

On Saturday afternoon, I was taking two out-of-town friends on a tour of Central Park, giving them the insider's view of the city.

One pal idly mentioned that she was hoping to buy a bag — one of the designer knockoffs hawked on every Midtown corner
Moments later, we happened to pass a table filled with white canvases covered in stenciled spray-paint images, near one of those ubiquitous "your-name-in-calligraphy" artists.

"Look at this guy," I said with a note of derision. "Knocking off Banksy."

Banksy, of course, is the world-famous street artist whose original works have sold for more than a million bucks and who is in the middle of a month-long "residency" in New York.

Every day, he completes a new work in the city and posts it on his website. There's been a slaughterhouse truck filled with stuffed animals, a delivery truck housing a trompe l'oeil paradise and a bunch of graffiti that's been instantly defaced.
I've been following his travels through the boroughs. Five years ago, I attended his installation in Greenwich Village. Plus, I studied art history in college.
So, I know a fake Banksy when I see one — I thought.
As counterfeits go, these were pretty good, I had to admit. I noticed there were quite a few pieces with a monkey motif, and my boyfriend really likes monkeys.
But as a street-smart New Yorker, I wasn't about to give my hard-earned cash — they were $60 each — to some con artist trying to capitalize on real art.

On we walked, out of the park and past the Museum of Modern Art, where Banksy once surreptitiously hung his own painting of a can of cream-of-tomato soup.

That guy — such a joker.

This time, however, the joke was on me and countless other New Yorkers and tourists who marched past the unassuming table with the sign "Spray Art."

Because, as I found out when I got to work on Monday and read a story about Banksy's weekend exploits, every single canvas on that table was the genuine article — and signed, to boot.

A video on his website revealed it took hours to make a sale. A woman bought two for her kids, after negotiating a 50% discount. A tourist bought two, and a man from Chicago bought four to decorate the blank walls of his new house.

Each one is worth at least five figures, if past sales are any indication. The bragging rights? Priceless.
All day, I've been replaying my brush with Banksy through my head, trying to figure out if I missed any tip-offs that a pot of art-world gold was right under my nose.


Although, now that I think about it, one of those monkeys I was looking at for my boyfriend was wearing a signboard.

The message: "Keep it real."   DES - be sure to watch the video at the Bansky Link

Monday, October 14, 2013


For a while now, I have been intending to make a pitch for watching Pitch Perfect.  I saw it on a trans-Atlantic flight and found it thoroughly enjoyable.  Visit the link given above and watch some of the videos below - hope you find it as entertaining as I did.

Friday, October 11, 2013


I really enjoy spontaneous, random, anonymous creative projects - for example the cairns that I previously wrote about.  Down the path from our place, next to the teepee where wild things are, someone spent a fair amount of time putting together the beautiful arrangement shown below.  We will probably never learn who did it, but I know that many folks walking, running and biking the trail have enjoyed it very much.  Gracias vecino.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


When I read the article about the latest research for preventing Clostridium difficile, I was both amused and positively impressed.  Just the image of a poop pill induces the potty-humor response, but the initial clinical results are impressive.  C.diff infection is a fairly common problem in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and folks like my uncle Arch not only suffer the direct effects of the infection but also suffer because of the required quarantine and isolation.  So for some folks it won't be 'shut up and eat the vegetables', it will be 'shut up and eat the poop!'