Saturday, March 14, 2015

Political Song of the Day -- Man in Black by Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 VNSA Used Book Sale

A sampling of my finds from our yearly trek to the VNSA Used Book Sale:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick -- the inspiration for Blade Runner.  I had a few others of his but had never picked this one up.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester -- on most lists of the best sci-fi books of all time.  I have not read this author yet.
Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks -- Banks is probably my favorite sci-fi author.  I have almost all of his books now.

The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss

Science Non-Fiction 

Wrinkles in Time:  Witness to the Birth of the Universe by George Smoot
A More Perfect Heaven:  How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos  by Dava Sobel
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

The Poincare Conjecture by Donal O'Shea -- nerdy math stuff.  I love it.
The Case for Mars:  The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must  by Robert Zubrin

General Non-Fiction & History

Benjamin Franklin:  An American Life by Walter Isaacson -- After reading John Adams and now reading Team of Rivals, I'm kinda hooked on political history.
Code Breaking:  A History and Exploration  by Rudolf Kippenhahn
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Garbage Land:  On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte 

Soul Made Flesh:  The Discovery of the Brain by Carl Zimmer

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -- Jane Austen

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Here I go again ...

Jeez, I didn't mean to do another religious post this quick, but I saw two things yesterday that made my blood boil:

The first, a mission statement of sorts, was on the wall of a client of mine, a Mary Kay cosmetics seller.  The 2nd was a church that I saw just a a mile away.

I'm obviously not a Christian, but I pride myself on the fact that I know more about religion than most of the religious people that I know.  And I'm pretty damn sure that God, or at least the God of their own bible, did not "intend for them to have more".  More compassion or more forgiveness, perhaps.  But not more money or cars.  It's fascinating how God-centered pastors or businesses fooling people into believing otherwise.  We all know why ... people believe what they want to believe.  If they value possessions, they will seek that belief system that reinforces their desires.  And if that belief system involves God, then all the better because it will give their selfishness a legitimacy.

The second picture deserves a response in the tone in which their statement is given:

- "Your church and religion making something a sin does not make it so."

Especially when said religion picks and chooses what transgressions the bible is supposedly against to define as sin.  Just a few things the bible is against that are ignored: 19 Things The Bible Forbids Other Than Homosexuality 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015