Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Southern Baptist Church Condemned by Eminent Domain

The Redevelopment Agency Board of Long Beach, California voted to condemn the Filipino Baptist Fellowship church building two weeks ago. They claim the building is a "blighted area" and should be removed to make way for condominiums. Many of the town's citizens have testified before the board in an attempt to save their church.

John Eastman of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, is defending the Baptist church. He said after the board's vote: "I had no illusions that we were going to stop the vote, but what was most discouraging yesterday was the utter lack of any evidence on why this was necessary to cure some blighted areas blocks away. They didn’t bother to answer that. That was their legal obligation, and they went ahead and condemned a church anyway."

Eastman may challenge the decision in court, but the city leaders have offered the church other sites in which to meet. Eastman talked about these sites several days ago, "Well, let me tell you about the properties they’ve offered. Most of them were vacant lots. It’s a little hard to hold a church service in a vacant lot. Several of them were leases, not buildings to own. [The church members] own this one, and they want to have a church that they own so they’re not at the whim of a landlord. So you take all those off the table. Almost all of the others were in other parts of the redevelopment area, where they could be forced to move out a couple of years down the road when the city gets around to developing that block. "

The city offers three other sites: a bar and two gas stations.

The Filipino Baptist Fellowship church formed nearly twenty years ago, meeting wherever they could find room. Finally in 2002, the congregation gathered enough money to buy their current building.

Eastman says that he believes the church should be protected under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.

Pastor Roem Agustine of the church said, "We are more united than ever and more focused in our prayers to the Lord." The congregation is obviously sad over the matter, but continue to trust in the Lord, " We know that the Lord will not leave us, and we just don’t know what it is that the Lord has laid out before us. But it’s there and we know it’s there. We continue with our prayers and our hopes up, trusting Him."

I had worries about this sort of thing when Eminent Domain was first introduced in June of last year. The city should not have the right to take away the building from this church and offer them no suitable site to move to. I know how hard it is for a church to relocate ( my old church did it twice over the past eight years). It is a very difficult and annoying procedure... I really feel bad for this congregation, and I hope they can get things settled out with the city.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Afghan Christian to be Released

Afghan officials announced to the media yesterday that Abdul Rahman, the man imprisoned for converting to Christianity, was going to be released. Those close to the trial claim that the case was dropped because prosecutors were unsure if Abdul Rahman was mentally fit for the trial. Right now, the prosecutors and lawyers are debating how and when the release should take place.

Meanwhile, dozens of protests are taking place inside various parts of the country. Muslim clerics threaten to incite other protests if Rahman is not sentenced to death.

Rahman is being held in a high-security prison, Policharki, inside Kabul. He was moved to this prison on Friday, after inmates of a lesser-security prison threatened to take his life. Rahman is being kept hidden from the media and other prisoners for his own safety.

I am very thankful that the Afghani courts have decided to release this man. He is clearly very brave, standing up for his faith in the middle of a country full of hate. But even if he is released, I believe for his own health, he should leave the country or remain under some sort of protection. Muslim clerics will not allow him to live peacefully. All we can do is pray for the Lord to watch over him.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Psalm 148

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights...

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light...

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens....

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

President Bush Speaks Out On Afghan Case

Man Faces Death for Converting to Christianity

President Bush spoke about the situation:

"I'm troubled when I hear, deeply troubled when I hear the fact that a person who has converted away from Islam may be held to account. That's not the universal application of the values that I talked about. I look forward to working with the Government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship."

Later, the president continued:

"It is deeply troubling that a country we helped liberate would hold a person to account because they chose a particular religion over another. We have got influence in Afghanistan and we are going to use it to remind them that there are universal values."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Afghani president Hamid Karzai to discuss the matter. Karzai promised that "respect for human and religious rights will be fully upheld." Italy, Germany, and the UN have also raised their concerns, some threatening to pull out their peace-keeping troops from the country.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Man Faces Death Penalty for Converting to Christianity

Abdul Rahman, 40 years old, is on trial for breaking a law, forbidding Muslims to convert into Christians. The nation is Afghanistan, a country US soldiers have occupied for over four years. This is the first case in which the defendant has admitted conversion to Christianity and will not back down, even in the face of death.

Abdul Rahman was converted into Christianity 16 years ago when he worked with Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Many years later when he returned to Afghanistan, his relatives denounced him, his children were taken from him, and he was arrested. Rahman was brought before Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada several days ago. The judge claimed, "We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law. It is an attack on Islam." The law states that no Muslim man can reject the religion of Islam.

A sentence will be decided within the next two months.

US State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack talked to reporters about the incident: "Our view … is that tolerance, freedom of worship is an important element of any democracy. And these are issues as Afghan democracy matures that they are going to have to deal with increasingly."

The prosecutor in the case, Abdul Wasi, commented, "He would have been forgiven if he changed back. But he said he was a Christian and would always remain one. We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty." Right now, the only way for Rahman not to get the death penalty is an insanity plea.

Abdul Rahman is a very brave person. In the face of almost certain death, he sticks to his belief and can be a witness to others in that area of the world. If Afghanistan does execute this man, it will be a giant step backwards for the country. Right now, all the eyes of the world are watching the situation. Italy has threatened to remove it's peacekeeping troops from the country if this man is executed. Maybe other nations will follow Italy's example and keep Rahman from the death penalty. Just remember to keep this brave man in your prayers.

Other blogs covering this:
Mercy Now
Boy Scout Blogger
Pete's Place

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

World Magazine movie review:

As is often the case, most of the Academy Award nominees for Best Foreign Language Film were largely unknown to American audiences at the time of the ceremony. What's especially sad about this is that the most inspiring, gripping, and surprising film nominated that evening—among both the winners and losers—was one of these little-seen gems.

Germany's entry, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, deserves a place next to A Man for All Seasons, Chariots of Fire, and others of the most profound portrayals of faith on film. Although currently only playing in select cities (with a wider release expected), this import is the definition of a film worth seeking out, even though it lost the Oscar to the South African film Tsotsi.

Well-known in Germany, Sophie Scholl is a figure of remarkable courage, intellect, and faith. The film deals with just six days of this young woman's life—the final six days. Key members of a passive resistance anti-Nazi group known as The White Rose, Sophie (Julia Jentsch) and her brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) risk their lives by writing, printing, and distributing pamphlets that condemn National Socialism and a bloody war that Germany could not win.

On the morning of Feb. 18, 1943, Sophie and Hans walk into a lecture hall at the University of Munich to secretly distribute the group's sixth pamphlet before the building was flooded with students. This dangerous mission does not end well.

The film concerns itself with the short but intense period between Sophie's capture and execution. After she is jailed, Sophie faces off against Gestapo interrogator Robert Mohr (the steely Gerald Alexander Held), a Nazi true believer and atheist committed to breaking Sophie's spirit in order both to convict her and to search out her collaborators. While one might initially be frustrated at the lack of context for Sophie and her strongly held beliefs, the force of these interrogation scenes erases all misgivings.

Director Marc Rothemund and screenwriter Fred Breinersdorfer base their story extensively on transcripts of Sophie's interrogation and trial previously unpublished and unavailable (they were sealed away in East Germany before 1990). Never coming across as a Nazi-villain caricature, Mohr demonstrates supreme intellect and commitment to his cause—but is shocked to find himself matched by Sophie, who has intellect and willpower to spare.

Mr. Rothemund, at the helm of a technically excellent production, shows immense skill at weaving in details that inform Sophie's character but never overwhelm the production with heavy-handed exposition. We learn of her faith in quiet moments of prayer, and of the influence of her parents (remarkably, it's positive) in informing her political views. Sophie possesses a deep-seated strength of character, and her humble confidence is so unnerving to Mohr that one wonders whether the first to break will be her or him.

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days makes Sophie's moving story accessible to the rest of the world. Though the film is unrated, it contains nothing objectionable; only the intensity of the subject matter ought to give parents pause in allowing children to see it. It's a story that serves as a powerful example of faith and courage in the face of great evil. Go see it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Legacy of Terri Schiavo

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. In my opinion, this was one of the most atrocious acts ever committed in American history.

Here is a quick recap of the story:

In February of 1990, Terri Schiavo, then 26 years old, collapsed at her Florida home. As a result, oxygen was cut off from her brain for several minutes. The cause of this collapse is still disputed: Terri's husband claimed that she suffered from a cardiac arrest. But top physicians found several neck injuries and bone fractures possibly caused by an attempted strangulation.

Even though she remained in a coma, Terri could breathe, look around, and move her limbs slightly. In contradiction to Michael Schiavo's opinion, his wife was not a "vegetable."

William Hammesfahr, a neurologist hired by the Schindlers (Terri's parents), testified to the Florida court on Terri behalf:

I spent about 10 hours across about three months [examining Terri] and the woman is very aware of her surroundings. She's very aware. She's alert. She's not in a coma. She's not in PVS," Hammesfahr told CNN Tuesday night. "With proper therapy, she will have a tremendous improvement. I think, personally, that she'll be able to walk, eventually, and she will be able to use at least one of her arms.

A video tape showed Terri's interaction with her family ( like Terri's smiling at her mother and watching a balloon float around the room). But nevertheless, Michael Schiavo persisted that it was his wife's wish to be allowed to die. The Schindlers tried desperately to remove Michael as Terri's legal guardian but to no avail.

Judge John Greer ordered the feeding tube removed stating that Terri would not want to live by artificial means. Terri Schiavo died 13 days later.

There are so many injustices seen in this tragic story. First of all, Michael Schiavo's actions were very suspicious and many people believe that he may of had something to do with the accident. Michael should not have been Terri's legal guardian under such circumstances. Terri's parents, who obviously cared for her, should have been made guardians.

It was very clear that Terri was alert and could react to things around her. Of course she would want to live! She took up no room... and expenses were not an issue. Thousands of people volunteered to pay her hospital bills, but Michael Schiavo still insisted on her "execution".

How sickening could this be?

The Florida courts sentenced an innocent woman to death.

Michael Schiavo has moved on and re-married.

The Schindlers still miss their daughter.
Other blogs covering this:

Agent Tim Online
Mission Amare
The Rebelution
Jennifer's Musings
The RIGHT stuff...
Spunky Jr.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick, the Missionary to Ireland

Patrick was born in Dumbarton, Scotland around 390 AD. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest, but Patrick, himself, had no interest in Christianity. When he was 16 years old, Patrick was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. It was during this time that he turned to God for help. The next four years were very difficult ( as you can imagine), and Patrick's only solace was his Lord and Savior. Finally, Patrick escaped from Ireland and returned to his home and family. Once there he began an extensive study of the Scriptures and preparation to go abroad with the news of the Gospel.

Around 435 AD, Patrick ( or St. Patrick) was sent to Ireland as a missionary to replace the discouraged and unsuccessful, Bishop Palladius. He set up his mission "headquarters" in Armagh, Ireland from where he began various evangelistic outreaches. It was during this time that Patrick gave his famous sermon, explaining the trinity by using a three-leaf clover. Patrick probably did more for the nation of Ireland then any other missionary before or after him.

Excerpt from St. Patrick's confession of faith:

.....exalt and praise His wonders before every nation that is anywhere under the heaven. Because there is no other God, nor ever was, nor will be, than God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, the Lord of the universe, as we have been taught; and His son Jesus Christ, whom we declare to have always been with the Father .... begotten by the Father before the beginning of the world, before all beginning; and by Him are made all things visible and invisible.

He spent 40 years witnessing to the pagans, druids, and those who practiced dark magic. His work also staged a surge of missionaries pouring upon Germany, France, and Ireland over the next several decades. Before he died, St. Patrick looked back at the work he had accomplished:

Those who never had a knowledge of God but worshipped idols and things impure, have now become a people of the Lord, sons of God.

Now, I'm sure St. Patrick's doctrine wasn't perfect, but we should respect and remember his work of bringing the Gospel to a dark, unfriendly land. He taught the pagans about the Creation, the fall of man, salvation, and the path to God.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blog Header and Regenerate Our Culture Button

I finally got my blog header up! It took me longer then it should have, but at least I got it up.

Palm Boy is the creator of this header. Thanks so much for putting it together for me!

Wholesome Works helped me with the technical work ( putting the header up, adjusting it, and fitting it in the top space), so thanks to you too!

The header still needs some work and adjusting, so it's not completely finished yet.

Also, as you probably noticed, all the "Regenerate Our culture" buttons have died for some reason. So I made my own button:

This isn't the nicest button there is.... but it's good temporarily. :) If you want this button for your blog, let me know and I'll email you the code.

Edit: Regenerate Our Culture has a new button out for your blog. You can find it here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Regenerate Our Culture Kick Off

Regenerate Our Culture kicks off today! This excellent idea is finally taking off!! If you haven't become a sponsor, please do so here. Over 50 blogs are helping to sponsor the magazine, you should be one of them.

Note: Check back to the site on and off during the day to see the updates.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

1,600 More SAT Scoring Problems Found

When I take my SAT test... this better not happen...

The College Board disclosed Tuesday that an additional 1,600 SAT scores have not been rechecked from an exam in October that had scoring problems.

The previously overlooked batch of answer sheets came from among those being scored separately for a variety of reasons, including security concerns. Some of those scores were on hold and had not been reported, but others may have been reported incorrectly, according to an e-mail sent to college admissions officers and guidance counselors early Tuesday. The statement also was posted on the College Board's Web site.

College Board spokeswoman Chiara Coletti said Tuesday she became aware of the latest problem late Monday. The sheets will be rescanned over the next few days and colleges and students notified of any changes as soon as possible.

She said she expected some, though perhaps a small number, of scores would be affected."To the best of my knowledge, there are no more surprises," she said.

The College Board, which owns the SAT college entrance exam, disclosed last week that scoring errors had been discovered on 4,000 out of 495,000 tests taken during the October sitting. All 495,000 tests, plus answer sheets from three other sittings, were rescanned.

College admissions offices said that the earlier disclosure came just in time, before final decisions were made, though some expressed concern erroneous scores may have affected the decisions of students on where to apply for college.

Though it is unknown how many — if any — scores will be changed from the latest group of 1,600, the latest revelation will likely intensify criticism that has already surfaced from many in the admissions and testing fields over the College Board's handling of the error.

Some counselors and admissions professionals have also criticized the College Board's decision not to change the scores of students who received higher scores than they should have. The College Board said last week that the effect of those mistakes was "minute" but has since acknowledged about 600 students received higher scores that they deserved because of the scanning error.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Blog Header

My sister keeps telling me that I need a blog header, and I have to agree that my blog looks pretty "blah" without a nice one. Unfortunately, I don't own any of the fancy photo programs (Photoshop, Adope Photos, etc...) so I'm not quite sure how to do it. If anyone could tell me how to build or customize my blog header, I'd greatly appreciate it. :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

The God of All Comfort, Continued...

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort....- 2 Corinthians 1:3

The name, "God of all Comfort", is to me the greatest and dearest of all names ( or characteristics) attributed to our Lord Jesus Christ. "All comfort" is an incredible amount of assurance and care given to us by God. But why then are so many Christians troubled or worried? Why are so many ( in fact, a majority of Christians) apprehensive and distressed about spiritual and physical matters? Some do not feel that they are "fit" to come before God and some do not trust him as they ought... These Christians spread sorrow wherever they go, and do not, in any way, glorify God.

God commands us to be lights unto men, living epistles to unbelievers. But how can these "dismal Christians" be living epistles unto the world?

This is a section from Hannah Smith's The God of All Comfort ( a must-read for Christians):

I was once talking on the subject of religion with an intelligent agnostic, whom I very much wished to influence, and after listening to me politely for a little while, he said, "Well, madam, all I have to say is this. If you Christians want to make us agnostics inclined to look into your religion, you must try to be more comfortable in the possession of it yourselves. The Christians I meet seem to me to be the very most uncomfortable people anywhere around. they seem to carry their religion as a man carries a headache. He does not want to get rid of his head, but at the same time it is very uncomfortable to have it. And I for one do not care to have that sort of religion."

How can we promote our religion if we carry it as a headache? We can witness about God's comfort, but if we do not truly know what it is or have it in us, then how are we to be believed by the world? When witnessing, it is not just what we say, but also how we act in our daily life.

What is the comfort that God gives us? This comfort is the knowledge and trust in our Savior. This comfort is the all-encompassing, complete assurance in God's care for us. But many people read about God's comfort and think: "This is all too good to be true.." "Will God truly bestow this incredible gift to us?" "Will God truly send His comfort to me, a sinner?"

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you... - Isaiah 66:13

What a wonderful verse... How many times when you were young ( or even now), did you go to your mother for comfort? Remember the comfort you got from being in her arms? In our mother's arms we feel completely safe... our worries seem to "melt" away as we are basked in motherly affection. Do you remember the times you disobeyed or lied, and were kindly forgiven by your mother?

But unfortunately, many Christians view God as a Judge, instead of as a Comforter. They look up to God fearfully, trembling before a stern, austere, unloving judge. Now I admit, God is the Judge of all nations... He punishes us and keeps His law, but the stern, unforgiving judge imagined by many pitiful Christians DOES NOT EXIST.

I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; - Isaiah 51:12

What do Christians have to fear, if God is comforting us? And most of all, why do some Christians stand terrified before the GOD OF ALL COMFORT? It is very foolish to do so....

This brings us back to the sheep illustration used many times in the Bible. We are the sheep... foolish... frightened... confused. We are sometimes too frightened or foolish to trust in God, and be comforted by Him. comfort all that mourn....- Isaiah 61:2

God will comfort ALL that mourn... No one is too sinful to be comforted by God ( for EVERY MAN is dead in sin). God offers His comfort to, not a select few Christians, but to ALL.

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down...-2 Corinthians 7:6

This message must be shown to all worried Christians. Yes, God has comfort for all who come to Him. And God is always here, always willing to give us His wonderful comfort. He never sleeps and never is "too busy" to help us!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.- John 14:27

Now how can any believer, after reading this, go about with fear and terror inside of him?

Many ask, "How can I get God's comfort?" The answer is simple. You must take it.

God offers it to all of His children, but first the believer must have faith and trust in Him. Once he has the faith, he can ask God for the divine comfort...

The next time you meet a Christian who is worried and troubled, give him this message. Show him, that he belongs to a God of all comfort.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.- 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Some Short News Stories...

-Everyone trips and falls, but one art lover in Cambridge, England, had an epic stumble late last month. The visitor at Fitzwilliam Museum reportedly fell down a flight of stairs and crashed into a display of Qing dynasty Chinese vases. The visitor was uninjured, but the priceless vases, which date from the late 17th or early 18th century, were left in pieces. "It was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident," museum director Duncan Robinson told the Reuters news service, "but we are glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed."

-For shame: A Florida state senator wants to use embarrassment as a tool against drunken driving. Mike Fasano proposed that license plates issued to drivers convicted of drunken driving offenses should begin with "DUI" and be pink. "Maybe it will embarrass people and keep them from drinking and driving," Mr. Fasano said. "Maybe they'll think twice." Of course, the ACLU disagrees. Larry Spalding, a legislative counsel for the group, said it opposed anything that would heap ridicule atop punishment for drunk drivers.

- New Jersey may be tired of being made fun of, but a recent campaign to spruce up the state's image with a new slogan might not be having its intended effect. While a vast majority of the slogan suggestions from New Jersey citizens have been positive, some have reflected a sarcastic flair for self-denigration. Slogans perpetuating New Jersey's image of political corruption probably won't help the state's tourism business. "New Jersey: We can always use another relative on the payroll," and "Why should death end your voting rights?" were two entries that probably won't get much consideration. Neither will one suggestion that heaped scorn on the state's environmental record: "Come to New Jersey—it's not as bad as it smells."

-At least one hunter didn't have to spend hours in a deer stand to bag a five-point buck. Wayne Goldsberry was staying at his daughter's Bentonville, Ark., home when he heard the sounds of glass breaking from a back bedroom. When he went to investigate, he discovered a five-point buck had crashed through a window and into the home. When the animal blazed past him into the master bedroom, he told his wife to call police. But instead of waiting for police, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound man eventually wrestled the deer to the ground, broke its neck, and in the struggle suffered only bruises from being kicked. Mr. Goldsberry butchered the animal and packed the venison in a freezer.

These are just a couple of interesting news stories of the past few weeks... :) Read more at World

Oh, by the way, this is my 100th blog post! Next stop, 150!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

South Dakota Governor Signs Abortion Ban Into Law

On Monday, Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota signed a bill making nearly all abortions illegal in the state. This is a great blow to overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

The bill makes it unlawful for a doctor to perform abortion unless it is in an effort to save a woman's life. Any doctor who performs an illegal abortion faces up to five years in prison. ( Rather a light sentencing, no?)

Of course this move faces a lot of opposition from groups such as Planned Parenthood, which is planning on challenging the new law.

I can't wait to see how this all plays out in South Dakota and in other states as well.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gadget Lets Authors Sign Books From Afar

I just thought this was cool....

Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away.

Some fear Atwood's LongPen could end the personal contact between writers and readers. Atwood says it will enhance the relationship. "I think of this as a democratizing device," said Atwood, whose appearances draw hundreds of fans willing to stand in long lines for a word and an autograph.

"You cannot be in five countries at the same time. But you can be in five countries at the same time with the LongPen."

Atwood's democratic device underwent the most universal of experiences on Sunday: the last-minute technical hitch. Its first-ever public demonstration, at the London Book Fair, was delayed as project director Matthew Gibson and his crew engaged in some frantic tinkering.

"We've had a setback, and we're trying to address it," Gibson said.

Anxious minutes later, Atwood picked up a pen to autograph her new short story collection, "The Tent," for Nigel Newton, chief executive of her British publisher, Bloomsbury. She wrote the words on an electronic pad while chatting to Newton over a video linkup.

A few seconds later in another part of the exhibition center, two spindly metal arms clutching a pen reproduced the words onto Newton's book in Atwood's angular scrawl: "For Nigel, with best wishes, Margaret Atwood."

Later, Atwood planned to give the device its trans-Atlantic "Marconi moment," signing copies of "The Tent," for readers in New York and Guelph, Ontario.

When Atwood, 66, announced her invention late in 2004, many assumed it was a hoax. But the inventive spirit is not surprising from an author whose interest in science and technology informed science fiction-flavored novels such as "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Oryx and Crake."
Atwood, however, said the invention sprang from her own technological ignorance.

"You know those people who come around with a package and you sign a thing?" she told The Associated Press in an interview. "I thought my signature was whizzing through the air and landing somewhere else, and I thought as I was crawling through the night on another maniacal book tour, wouldn't it be great if I could sign a book like that?

"It turns out they don't work that way. But I asked some technically minded people if such a thing was possible, and they said it was."

Atwood set up a company with Gibson and several others to produce the device, naming the firm Unotchit — pronounced "you no touch it."

They plan to lease the gadget, rather than sell it, renting it out to publishers for one-time signing events or tours. Atwood hopes publishers will use it to promote lesser-known authors and to bring author signings to small towns and small countries that usually aren't on the book tour circuit.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Petition to Governor Rounds of South Dakota

As I mentioned a few posts back, South Dakota legislation has passed a bill that would make abortion illegal ( unless the mother's life was in immediate danger). This is a giant step towards overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.

Over 47 million innocent infants have been "legally" murdered over the past 30 years! America really has sunken far during this time, but finally has a chance to get back on track.

If you support this bill ( and making abortion illegal), please sign this petition to Governor Rounds.

The goal is to get 1,000,000 names on this petition by March 15th... this petition will be sent to the South Dakota Governor Rounds, Senator Bartling, and Representative Hunt. It's very simple, so please get your friends and family to sign it...

You can read more about the petition on the Boy Scout Blogger

So please get everyone you know to sign this petition and say a prayer that Governor Rounds signs the bill into law.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Regenerate Our Culture

Regenerate Our Culture is an organization of bloggers, committed to "regenerating our nation's worldview away from... post-modernism.... and back to the Christian worldview." The organization is headed ( or sponsored) by top bloggers- Travis, Kristin, Alex, Jake, and Tim. The plan is to create a new Christian/Conservative magazine (with a target audience of 15-25 year-olds). Along with the magazine, the Regenerate Our Culture organization will be setting up a blog network, bringing together all the brilliant Christian minds of the "blogoshpere." Check out this
page to learn more about this idea and how it is going to work. And then if you are interested, which I'm sure you will be, become a sponsor.

This really is an awesome way to spread the Gospel, so I urge you all to join in!

Note the cool "Regenerate Our Culture" button you get for your blog -->