Monday, July 24, 2006

into the interior

Quick post, as I'm leaving for Alaska momentarily. Randy, Erin and I are taking 12 kids to Manley Hot Springs again this summer for the youth mission trip. We meet at the airport in an hour. I hope to have good pictures and good stories when we get back on Aug. 2nd!

Until then...

P.S. - I was thinking about Alaska being called "Seward's Folly" and feeling a little disconcerted that you can rearrange the letters (and add one "d") make it "Edwards's Folly." Yikes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

an inconvenient truth

Erin and I went to go see "An Inconvenient Truth" on Tuesday night. For the uninitiated, this is Al Gore's documentary about global warming and the effects on the planet. It stems from a Power Point presentation that Gore has been giving for years in hundreds of cities around the world.

Yes, it's a movie about a Power Point presentation. Starring Al Gore.

Let me state right off the bat that I'm no huge Al Gore fan. And might this film have a little too much Al Gore talking about Al Gore? Absolutely. Political grandstanding? Yeah, probably. BUT...

This is also the most compelling movie I've seen all year. Maybe in the last couple of years.

This movie includes real - and I would say indisputable - scientific data to back up the claims of global warming. Forget those magazine columnists and political pundits and newspaper folks who write about the problem the ones who say, "Well, it's all just part of a several-thousand-year cycle." No more vague claims: this movies shows empirical data - measurements - that left me speechless. As one conservative remarked in this week's Newsweek article The New Greening of America, "Al Gore can't convince me, but his data can convince me."

In short: GO SEE THIS FILM. Ignore Gore talking about Gore if you want, but GO SEE THIS FILM. Seriously, I don't make recommendations that often. If you and I are friends, do me this favor and go see it. I really do feel that it is our duty as human beings to take an honest - and scientifically sound - look at this problem.

Monday, July 10, 2006

going out with a (head) bang

My 12th grade AP English teacher was arguably the most lenient, least effective, and least favorite of my high school English teachers. However, she did leave us with a little pearl of wisdom on the next-to-last day of high school that has stuck with me for years: "It's never too late to ruin a good reputation."

Watching the final match of the World Cup yesterday, I couldn't help being reminded of this admonition. I love soccer for its grace and perpetual motion, for its requisite athleticism and (more often than not) its sportsmanship. Though Italy had been stalwart throughout the tournament with a defense that did not allow an offensive goal (there was one own-goal scored in the game against the U.S.), I was pulling for France primarily because this was Zinedine Zidane's last run before retiring. He's a fun player to watch, one of the greatest of the age, and his skill in controlling the ball commands immense respect. Frankly, I wanted to see him end his 18-year career with a World Cup win.

So when Zidane was ejected after earning himself a red card for head-butting Materazzi in the chest with ten minutes to go in overtime, all I could think was, "Ten more minutes. Couldn't you have made it ten more minutes?" France had outplayed Italy the whole game, and Zidane would have been France's best chance for a goal in the final minutes (not to mention the penalty kick shootout). I'm sure Materazzi said something that very well may have warranted an ass-kicking, but maybe at another time and place, and in a different manner.

I can only imagine working the same job for almost two decades...and then, at 4:50 p.m. on the last day, walking up to an unsavory coworker and knocking the crap out of them.

This incident doesn't change years of amazing accomplishments throughout Zidane's career. But it does cast them in a different light. They are overshadowed by this final, failing move. People will see him differently because of it. I know I do.