Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The Carnival for Progressive Christianity is up!

More on the Knoxville shooting

Two pieces of analysis from the writers at Alas, A Blog.

The Dangers of Demagoguery
My additional comment here is that Tennesseans have experienced not one, but two major incidents of demagoguery put into action this year. The first was the burning of the Islamic Center in Columbia, TN. And now this. Maybe Tennessee will manage to wake up at some point and recognize their political grandstanding does actually hurt people.

Also from Alas: Guns, Killing, and People

Yay, Kiera Knightley!

Kiera Knightley is insisting that her breasts not be digitally enhanced in the publicity for her upcoming movie. What a novel concept!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knoxville Church Shooting

A gunman walked into a Knoxville area Unitarian-Universalist church yesterday and opened fire, killing two members and injuring others. His actions probably were influenced by the church putting up a sign declaring support for GLBT persons. The Knoxville police report that in a letter he wrote he claimed to target the church because of it's "liberal stance on things."

There's a number of blogposts following this with more info:
Box Turtle Bulletin: here, here, and here
Pam's House Blend
The Wild Hunt

Sunday, July 27, 2008


From Zan at Butterfly Cauldron:

And now, to the meme:

You are in a mall when zombies attack. You have:
1. One weapon
2. One song blasting on the speakers
3. One famous person to fight along side you

My weapon of choice: Oxy-acetylene cutting torch, tanks on a hand-cart, of course.

Our themesong: "Mean Town Blues" Johnny Winter

Famous side-kick: A certain college prof, preferably about with a certain college friend. That doesn't count, well...fiddlesticks. St. Andrew of Constantinople, then. (There is method, here, I promise.)


Hello, Berkeley!

I am in Berkeley.

Getting here was harder than it should have been. The flight I was supposed to be on was delayed by more than four hours. Southwest rerouted the passengers, which caused nice full-to-the-brim flights, oh and everyone's baggage got nice and left-behind. By the time I got myself and my luggage together it was too late to get to the hostel in Berkeley, so I ended up at a hotel near the airport for the night, fuming and having vivid dreams of trying to catch my luggage. Murr... So instead of arriving in Berkeley at about 7 pm on Thursday, I arrived in Berkeley at about 11 am on Friday. Dropped my luggage in the hostel office, found lunch, bought a bus pass :), and made it to my first potential-roommate interview with next to no trouble.

So far, Berkeley is quite pleasant. The streets and buses are crowded with people. This has produced a small degree of cognitive dissonance, as my brain associates crowded streets and buses with hearing Russian. So I've been walking around expecting to hear Russian. This wasn't helped by the three Russian-language conversations I overheard today within ten minutes. (There was also a lady speaking some Slavic language on the bus on day one, but I think the language was Polish.)

So far, I'm quite happy with the bus system. I'm sure that eventually, I'll even absorb that bus schedules actually mean something here. I'm also happy that street-harassment is nothing like Memphis. As of yet, nothing, and that includes my trip today to a not-so-nice (but still not really bad) area of town.

The only "fun" thing I've done was wandering down to the Marina, which is quite pretty and pleasant and nice and SUNNY, so I'm nicely burnt.

The goal is to find a room, so if anyone knows someone looking for a roommate is Berkeley, holler, sing out, do whatever it is that you do!

And no, I haven't yet had the guts to even try anything purporting to be BBQ.