Archive for October, 2010

Political Polls: Their Influence and Unreliability

I have long supposed that political polls (1) had the power to affect the results of an election and (2) that they were specious. An article that suggests that these points are true: Polls gone wild.

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Facebook Facade

10/14/2010 2 comments

I have too many Facebook friends. Not in number but in diversity. I have too many friends from too many different backgrounds who know me in such vastly different ways that I can no longer honestly and enjoyably partake in the social networking extravaganza. I own many masks and rarely do I show them all to any one person. Rarely do I even show a few. With every friend added, the limitations on what is appropriate to say become tighter and tighter. Now the box is closed so tight I can hardly say anything worth mentioning. I could join in with the “Just finished my homework” club or the “Just got back from Taco Bell” groupies and all the other one-hundred thousand unenlightening, uninteresting, yet uncontroversial bull-crap messages that people feel the need to share. Or I could just remain silent, waiting for that rare thought to seep through the many filters I am now forced to put them through. Facebook was fun once, back when the only friends I had were those that knew my darker side, those that would not be offended or surprised to hear what wretched beliefs I hold. Oh well, I guess that’s why I have this blog.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls

10/13/2010 2 comments

This Thursday I will have the honor to be in the presence of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Science Museum of Minnesota has been offering the exhibit since April and I will finally get to feast my eyes on these tasty pieces of history. As these scrolls rarely leave Israel, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. For those who don’t know, the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered to be among the most important archeological finds of the 20th century. Prior to their discovery, historians interested in Second Temple Judaism (the period just prior to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and ending with the destruction of The Second Temple in 70 C.E.) were primarily dependent upon a few Jewish and Roman sources. With the finding of the scrolls in the 1940’s and 1950’s in a series of caves in Qumran, Israel (a small region just East of Jerusalem along The Dead Sea), scholars were given access to a plethora of pasty, worn, crumbled documents that have since significantly increased our knowledge about the Hebrew Bible and about the vast diversity that existed at the time between the various Jewish sects. And while they give us little to no specific insight into the life of Jesus or the beginnings of Christianity, they do paint a vivid picture of the world that gave birth to that revolution, and as such, allows us to better place it in its wider context.