Lifeboats

The RMS Titanic was the largest ocean liner of its day.  It was four times the size of the ships that set the standard when laws regarding lifeboats were written.  So the company provided the legally required number of lifeboats when it set off on its maiden voyage in April 1914.  There was room on the ship for more, and the company fully intended to supply the “extra” lifeboats when the law required it.  But on that fateful day, they knowingly (and legally) set off for New York with one-fourth the lifeboats they knew they needed.

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Obnoxious

My retreat from sports has been well documented.  I didn’t watch nearly as much football last year as in previous years, and I am sure I will watch even less this year.  That’s not a value judgment.  This is the value judgment coming up.  Brace yourselves.

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Walking by faith (or not) with Joel Osteen

As I type, my former hometown of Houston is in extreme flooding situations as a result of Hurricane Harvey. And everyone says things are about to get much worse. As is generally the case, people in pain reach out for a face to put on their dartboard of blame. For many, the "winner" is Joel Osteen, pastor of the Lakewood Church.

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Cool

The tagline was, “25 Dumb Things People Think are Cool.”  I was drawn in.  The caption led me to believe it would be a list of things that are inherently dangerous, or that are based on pseudo-science.  Turns out, as a couple of clicks revealed, it was basically a list of things that many people in our culture like but the one making the list does not like.  I really need to spend less time online.

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Steam

As I left the house this morning, I saw a strange thing.  I saw steam rising up from the roof of two houses across the street from me.  Nowhere else.  Now, I remember enough about high school chemistry to know steam is water in gaseous form; it is normal on hot afternoons after a rain for steam to come up from the asphalt as the heat of the surface essentially boils the water that hits it.  But this was morning time — warm, but not unbearably hot.  And it was just the two houses, as far as I could tell.  (I’m virtually certain the houses were not on fire, in case you were wondering.  The thought did cross my mind, though.)

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Polling

The famous Gallup polling company recently did some research as to why people attend church assemblies.  The biggest two reasons: sermons that teach about Scripture, and sermons that help relate Scripture to everyday life.  The smallest response came with regard to “a good choir, praise band, or other spiritual music.”  Interesting.

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Trolls

Every once in a while I will deviate from my standard policy and read some comments on a YouTube video or other internet post.  I will never cease to be amazed at the willingness of complete strangers to weigh in with the most subjective criticisms imaginable.  I don’t know where the term “trolls” came from, but I like it.  It conveys the image of some semiliterate, untalented nobody lurking in his basement (which is to say, his mom’s basement), lobbing ill-conceived and ill-informed mortar fire at people who are actually doing something with their lives.

Maybe it’s American Idol’s fault.  ...

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Knowledge

Alton Brown is one of my favorite television celebrities, back from when I actually watched television.  I heard him talk one time about he and his young daughter watching the Mythbusters guys blow things up on their show, after which she turned to him and said, with attitude, “So, what did you do on your show today?”  Apparently, “Cutthroat Kitchen” wasn’t quite literal enough for the young lady.

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Walkway

I know it’s a debated position, but I firmly hold to the view that the “moving walkway” would be called a “moving standway” if we were supposed to let the machine do all the work.  Not every visitor to Hollywood Studios agrees with me.  And that’s fine. 

Others, though, “stand” in such a way as to impede my walking.  ...

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Monopoly

A study commissioned by Hasbro revealed that fully 68 percent of Monopoly players have never read the rules.  I believe it.  Like most people, I learned Monopoly by listening to an experienced player explain the rules.  As a result, I have always played some bits of the game wrongly.  Free Parking, for instance.  It does nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

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Adulting

It is trendy these days to admonish millennials into better practice of what is being termed “adulting.”  Basic skills such as cooking, shopping, laundry, auto maintenance, and the like are being neglected.  As a result, a generation is going off to college unable to boil an egg or sew a button.

The cry goes out from far and wide to bring back home economics classes, shop classes, and financial literacy classes.  Get our schools to empower our children so they will have a chance of coping in a world that will soon try to eat them alive.

 

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Nerds

It is said that the word “nerd” originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the cool kids who somehow managed to find their way to and into MIT characterized the uncool kids as knurds.  Knurd, you will note, is drunk spelled backward.  Therefore it was trendy to be drunk, whereas it was the sign of ultimate and irreversible squaredom to study, achieve, graduate with honors, and get a job.

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Unfunny

Amy Schumer’s recently released comedy special on Netflix is, by all accounts, (and pardon the reference to her recent film, which I carefully avoided) a trainwreck.  Early comments and ratings give it one star out of five.  That’s pretty bad, even by Netflix original programming standards. 

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