Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some of my favorite Mitch Hedburg lines

Mitch Hedburg was one of the funniest stand up comedians I have ever heard. His humor was very simple and his delivery style was quite reserved, almost shy. He often delivered his lines staring at the floor and fidgeting like a young boy meeting his first date. Tragically, he died early last year at the young age of 37. I've heard a lot of Mitch Hedberg recordings, but I don't recommend or listen to any of the ones made in typical comedy venues because of the language he uses. He appeared a lot on Letterman, and if I remember correctly, the jokes were always pretty clean.

Here are some of my favorite Mitch Hedberg lines:

"I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shishkabobs. Foosball ruined my perception of soccer. I thought you had to kick the ball, and then spin 'round and 'round. I can't do a backflip. Much less several. Simultaneously with two other guys. That look just like me."

"I like Kit-Kats unless I'm with 4 or more people."

"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."

"My friend said to me, 'You know what I like? Mashed potatoes.' I was like, 'Dude, you have to give me time to guess. If you're going to quiz me you have to insert a pause.'"

"If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptible."

"Why are there no during pictures?"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dig here

If you dig a hole through the earth, where will you end up? Check out these websites for the answer. They're both a clever use of Google Maps.

With this map, you can click anywhere on the map and you'll get a "Dig here" link. Click the link and a push-pin shows you where you'd end up.

This one has two maps side by side. You can drag one and watch the results in the other.

And we were always taught we'd end up in China.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Technolusionist Marco Tempest

Known as the Virtual Magician, the Swiss-born Marco Tempest has become well-known by posting a number of his PhoneCam Magic tricks on YouTube. These tricks are done with a camera phone and they're all WYSIWYG -- no edits or post-production of any kind is done.

He's been seen a lot in Europe and Japan, and is becoming well-known in the U.S.

You can see all his YouTube videos at http://www.youtube.com/virtualmagician.

You can also find Marco on the web at http://www.newmagic.com and at http://www.virtualmagician.com.

Here is one his PhoneCam tricks that made it onto the Jay Leno show:

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ravi Debates a Buddhist

One of my favorite Christian apologists is Ravi Zacharias. His ministry is to thinking people (but I like him anyway :-)
But he also speaks to the heart.

He tells the story of an informal debate he once had with a professor of Eastern Philosophy. Over a dinner table, the professor made the case that Ravi's belief in the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ showed that his thinking was too western. If only Ravi would adopt eastern thinking, he might come to better conclusions, his Indian birth and upbringing not withstanding.

The professor explained that westerners are stuck in the rut of "either-or" thinking, where everything is either this way or that way and contradictions are not acceptable. Easterners, on the other hand, follow the superior "both-and" philosophy, where differing points of view can be accepted, even contradictory ones.

After the professor had gone on for some time, Ravi turned to him and said, “So you’re telling me I must use either the 'both-and' philosophy or nothing at all?” No answer. Ravi repeated his question. "I must use either the 'both-and' philosophy or nothing at all?” The professor finally answered, “The 'either-or' does seem to emerge doesn’t it?”

In Bedford, Massachusetts, there is a Unitarian Universalist church which I pass every day on my way to work. On the side of the building is a sign that says something like, "We are a place where differing beliefs are welcome, including yours." I feel like stopping by and asking them, "Would you welcome the beliefs of a person who doesn't welcome differing beliefs?" Sounds like "both-and" thinking to me.

The point is that truth is exclusive. It is impossible for two contradictory beliefs to be correct. This is the Law of non-contradiction. And it applies to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Christians are often accused of being arrogant because we believe Jesus is the only way. But, if it's true, it has to be the only way. It's the law.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Micah is blogging again

Micah has decided to resume bloggin'. Check out his blog at http://micahmo.blogspot.com

Quote of the Day

"We teach kids in school that morality is relative, then when they go out and live out their moral relativity, we put them in jail."

— Ravi Zacharias 8/15/06

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Logic & Paradoxes

I really enjoy logic and puzzles, especially paradoxes. One of my favorite examples of a logical paradox comes from Raymond Smullyan in his book, What is the Name of This Book? (New York, 1978).

He says, "My introduction to logic was at the age of six. It happened this way: On April 1, 1925, I was sick in bed with flu, or something. In the morning my brother Emile (ten years my senior) came into my bedroom and said,

'Well, Raymond, today is April Fool's Day, and I will fool you as you have never been fooled before!'

I waited all day long for him to fool me, but he didn't. Late that night, my mother asked me, 'Why don't you go to sleep?' I replied, 'I'm waiting for Emile to fool me.' My mother turned to Emile and said, 'Emile, will you please fool the child!' Emile then turned to me, and the following dialogue ensued:

Emile: So, you expected me to fool you, didn't you?

Raymond: Yes.

Emile: But I didn't, did I?

Raymond: No.

Emile: But you expected me to, didn't you?

Raymond: Yes.

Emile: So I fooled you, didn't I!

Well, I recall lying in bed long after the lights were turned out wondering whether or not I had really been fooled. On the one hand, if I wasn't fooled, then I did not get what I expected, hence I was fooled. (This was Emile's argument.) But with equal reason it can be said that if I was fooled, then I did get what I expected, so then, in what sense was I fooled. So, was I fooled or wasn't I?"

I highly recommend What is the Name of This Book. It's a great introduction to logic in the form of puzzles. Most of the puzzles take the form of "You are on an island inhabited by Liars and Truth-Tellers, but you don't know who is which," and it gets more complicated from there. Much more complicated. At the end of the book, you're dealing with "insane liars" who, regardless of what is true, believe the opposite. So an insane liar always inadvertantly tells the truth because what they believe is true is really false, but they lie about it.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Bob Cooper, World Champion

On November 12, 2006, Bob Cooper (left) of London, UK, reached the pinnacle of a sport most people could only dream of conquering. Beating over 500 other competitors, Bob became the World Champion in . . . Rock, Paper, Scissors. The championship is held every year in Toronto, Canada. And before you think that winning RPS requires no skill, take a look at home page of the World RPS Society. With an "RPS Strategy Guide" published by Simon & Schuster and an on-line trainer on the RPS website, participants insist that winning requires highly refined skill. Bob's secret? "Hard work, training and lots of research into tactics, body language and basic psychology," and the reward for displaying that skill? This year's grand prize was the handsome sum of $7,000.