Saturday, February 23, 2008

Have you heard the latest about Hillary, Obama, Bush, and McCain?

What do the following stories have in common:
- Hillary Clinton helped free two Black Panthers accused of torturing and murdering Alex Rackley
- President Bush paid for the funeral of a 6-year-old boy who drowned near his ranch in Crawford, Texas
- Illinois Senator Barack Obama is a radical Muslim

Two things - First, I have received all of these stories via e-mail several times (and many more like them). Second, they are all verifiably false.

These kinds of things get to be particularly ubiquitous during election years. And, if you've ever received these e-mails or anything like them, then you know that the e-mails are normally sent to you and a whole bunch of other people - and you probably notice that your simply the latest group to get this thing forwarded to you. My parents even received one of these in their snail-mail (anonymously, of course).

Friends, here's the thing - when you receive one of these e-mails, the first thing you should do is go to and check to see what the validity of the claim is. Now, here's the funny part - some of the worst offenders will actually claim in the e-mail that their story has been verified by - do not believe them! Check it out for yourself.

Quick Tip: if any variation of the following phrases are used, red flags should be going up:
- this is a story you won't read in the media
- this is something ____ doesn't want you to know about
- forward this to everyone you know
Um, chances are that if you won't read it in the media it's because someone actually did a little fact-checking and found the claims to be lacking in credibility (just a thought).

If, by chance, the information you have received is completely true, then feel free to forward at will.

If, however, the e-mail is verifiably false or if it contains half-truths mixed in with innuendo and speculation, then I highly recommend hitting the “Reply All” button and explaining to everyone (in a nice way) that the information contained in the e-mail is not entirely accurate.

Here's the frustrating part - at times I have replied to completely false e-mails and I've been told by the person who sent it to me, “it may not be completely true, but it's a good story anyway.” Um, folks, that's called lying - or “bearing false witness” as it's put in Exodus (you know, one of the Big Ten!).

Look, you can be opposed to someone's policies without having to forward lies about their character.

Please, use a little bit of common sense when you see these things.

OK, I'm going to get down from this soap box now - please forward this to all of your friends, you probably won't read this in the media, it contains information they don't want you to know.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Most Redeeming Films of 2007

Anyone who knows me knows that I really enjoy good films - I mean, if I could I would watch two movies a day every day.

So, I was pleasantly surprised a couple of years ago when I discovered the film reviews offered by the folks at Christianity Today. I was expecting to see some rather lame reviews complete with a "naughty word count" or some such nonsense - what I found is a site that consistently offers thoughtful and insightful reviews.

One thing I find myself looking forward to every year now is their "Most Redeeming Films of the Year" list.

This year's list includes some truly great films (at least I can vouch for about half of them - I'm looking forward to catching the rest in the next few months).

I'm especially looking forward to seeing Lars and the Real Girl, Into Great Silence, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

My wife and I both enjoyed Bella - which says an awful lot (we don't tend to get excited over the same movies very often).

The #3 movie on the list - Juno - I've already seen twice in theaters (not something I normally do) - if you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

Check out the complete list here.

Share your thoughts - what would you say are some of the most redeeming movies you've seen?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More Cowbell!

I just have to share this one - my lovely bride and I were out last weekend enjoying a great evening of art and music on Wilmington's Art Loop. By the end of the evening we were enjoying some great jazz music from the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble.

So, after one song, the leader says he's going to prove that everyone has some musical talent - and to do that he needed the least musically talented person in the room to come up on stage - my wife looked at me and simply said, "Go."

I hesitated for a moment, but then thought about the fact that I've been telling the guys in the men's class at HBC to "do something you've never done before" - well, I knew I had to go up.

Imagine my surprise when I was handed a Cowbell and told to go to town on it! This is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lives.

And yes, the entire time all I could think was:

I have a fever - and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!

Funniest Satan Video Ever

I don't care what you're doing right now, you have to click here and watch this video.