Saturday, October 14, 2006

Get The Shooty Dog Thing!

Ah good old Doctor Who. The sci-fi channel has been showing the 2nd season of the new series of Doctor Who Starring David Tennant as The Doctor (Number 10). Back in the spring they had shown season one which starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor (Number 9). In some ways I like this newer version of the BBC Sci-Fi Series better than the original, but as with most things I still have slightly more affection for the original.

In the episode "School Reunion" The Doctor and his latest companion Rose Tyler, meet up with past companion Sarah Jane Smith, and a run-down K-9. There are a few references that newer fans who have never seen the original series would not understand completely. There were also a few real good laughs. For instance when Rose and Sarah Jane are bonding while talking about the eccentricities of the doctor, the get to laughing and when the doctor appears they completely lose it. Another real good laugh is when the baddie tells his underlings to attack K-9 he says "
Get the shooty Dog thing!" Fun Stuff.

The refereneces to when the Doctor dropped off Sarah Jane seems to ignore "The Five Doctors" episode from the original series. Oh well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Race of The Presidents at RFK

OK all you conspiracy theorists, I've got something you can research. If you are into baseball or even watch the ocassional game on the tele, you may have noticed that in some cities they have some middle of the 4th inning entertainment. In Milwaukee they have the Sausage race, four runners in mascot costumes shaped like different types of sausages race around the warning track of the field, and in Pittsburgh they have running pierogies.

Well in Washington DC they have the Race of the Presidents. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, the four presidents whose faces are on Mt. Rushmore, run around the warning track at RFK. The concept of the Presidents race started last season on the scoreboard, I remember the game I attended the cartoon characters raced a couple of times, once I think they were in little cars, but after the 2006 All-Star Break and the renovations of RFK (OK the addition of several dozen curley double-u's) the race became a live mascot type race. Here is where the conspiracy comes in. Since they began the races after the mid-season All-Star Break and refurnishing of RFK, All but one president has won the race at least once.

The only one not to win is Teddy. Why? Well some races, Jefferson and Lincoln conspire to delay Teddy while Washington goes about his business and wins it. The season total wins are Lincoln 14, Jefferson 13, Washington 9 and Roosevelt 0. Something is fishy at RFK and it ain't the Anacostia river. Not even on 01 October, 2006 did Teddy win (I think Washington won), the last game of the Nationals 2nd Season, and the last one at home, and Frank Robinson's last game as the Nats Skipper. Not even with fans chearing him on, in the cheap seats, wearing Run Teddy Run t-shirts. Teddy came in third, and I think that was only because Jefferson took a header into the dirt. Those races are fixed I tells ya.

NOTE: This will ruin the illusion for some so if you don't like seeing the man behind the curtain or in this case some of the folks under the mascot suit then don't look. Here is a blog from some folks who participated in the race during one game, that blog has some behind the scenes photos of the blogger's experience under the big head. Earlier in the season a reporter for the Washington Times ran in the race as George Washington with other reporters and described his experience (

BTW the Nationals finished the season looking like the Expos, they were of a few years ago 71 wins and 91 loses, they were swept by the New York Mets in their last three home games. For the final game Skipper Frank Robinson gave an emotional speach before the game, which the Nationals blew some chances to win. Some interesting ninth inning switches were made. Starting catcher Brian Schneider was moved to first base, the first time in his career playing first, in the catcher position I think they put in Brandon Harper the backup catcher for that game. Usually it would be Robert Fick, but since Nick Johnson's broken leg injury the previous week Fick usually played first, which he did for most of this last game. Then at the bottom of the ninth the last National to bat, in a rare batting appearance was closing pitcher Chad Cordero, who had pitched at the top of the inning. He ended up striking out.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Recent Read Number 6

"Christianity from its very beginning was a literary religion, with books of all kinds playing a central role in the life and faith of the burgeoning Christian communities around the Mediterranean. How, then, was this Christian literature placed in circulation and distributed? The answer, of course, is that for a book to be distributed broadly, it had to be copied"

My latest read "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman is a very interesting read. The main focus of this book is the New Testament of the Christian Holy Bible and its variations. Ehrman explains, often at length the process of copying the text of the Bible's New Testament from the first century Christians copying the scriptures by hand, to the Monks and scribes of the Middle Ages (still copying painstakingly by hand) to the early printing presses to modern mass publishing. He talks a lot about the scholarship field of textual critisim which is "the science of restoring the original words of a text from manuscripts that have altered them." The problem we have with The New Testament that we read today, is not only translation errors, but changes of the text in the "original" language by the scribes who copied the text. Changes to the text sometimes were just innocent mistakes, mispelling, letter or word switching. There were also intentional changes made. Some of these intentional changes were to correct previous errors made, but some of the changes were to clarify or support church views or theological ideas or views. Several examples of changes are described some of the examples were to support the divine nature of Jesus. This book explores only a sampling of the changes, if it were to list all of the changes it would be a series of books, since there are literally thousands of variations. Simple variations, complex variations both intentional and unintentional have been found since the original texts were first written.

One must question if the Bible is inspired by God then why all the changes? In his conclusion chapter the author writes "..even if God inspired the original words, we don't have the Original words" This opens up holes that atheists have jumped into for centuries. The author asks if God had inspired the words, then why didn't he preserve them? Who knows. My theory on this is along the lines of movies based on books. The movies make changes to the details of the text but they keep the story intact (usually). A second movie made many years later will often make more changes to the details but still keeps the basic story. The same thing has been done with the Bible, an original spelling error, or word switch in the text of an early copy has been copied many many times, but somewhere down the line some scholar or textual critic noticed the change, while comparing two versions. Once the change has been found, how significant is it? Does it matter how many women went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for burial? What about the last words that Jesus said upon the cross?

Shortly after I started reading this book I noticed that another book was out there that points out some mistakes that are in this book.I guess I'll have to track that book down sometime and read it. The fact that this book may have some inaccurate information doesn't change the fact that what we read today is not the same exact wording as what the original author wrote. Does this mean the Bible is not inspired by God? Not necessarily, inspired doesn't mean dictated word for word as many people think it is. If the words of the New Testament are not the true words of God does that make them any less important?

Even though this book is subtitled "The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why" it doesn't really explain the Why completely. I don't think that can ever be known. We can discover how the text was changed, and narrow it down to when and generally speaking who, but for those changes that were intentional I don't think we will ever know why.

Misquoting Jesus - The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman 2005 Harper Collins Publishers 242 pages.