Bene legere saecla vincere..."To read well is to conquer the ages"
Friday, February 16, 2007
Yay and Nay for Religions
Copa was a ton of fun last night! It was slightly less crowded than usual, and two of my friends bailing on me ended up leaving Adam and myself with five girls. However, it got me thinking about religion. And nothing else that interesting has happened in the past couple of days, so I might as well spew my thoughts here and get a discourse going. For those of you who don't know, I am Catholic (By the way, why is it still called "Roman Catholic"? What is it being distinguished from?), and despite my beef with the Church's stance on abortion and homosexuality, I'm pretty content with it. I think it's given me a lot of hope and a lot of explanations as I've grown up, and I think that's what religion does best. It explains what we can't explain, and what we fear, and what we feel. I think that people who were not raised in a particular religion misunderstand me, perhaps lumping me in a category with Christian fundamentalists. Faith, to me, is believing what you believe for no reason other than that you know in your heart that it's right. No evidence, no real reason to believe, you just do. So doesn't it suck that we have all these religions based on faith that are opposed to one another? I guess this bring me to difficult female situation #953: what do you do when you want to get closer to someone of another religion? For me: nothing. And it just frustrates me so much. It makes me want to scream and kick and cry like my two-year-old cousin once removed when he gets upset. It's just not fair.
Why can't we all just accept that we're not going to believe the same thing? Why stick to rigid guidelines? Yes, I'm Catholic, which I realize is a very conservative religion, and I do follow their schedule of "days of obligation" and all that junk, but I do it out of choice. I enjoy going to mass, and it helps me meditate for an hour a week. The structure, to me, is no more than a guide, if you will, to finding some answers on my own. Why can't everyone just believe in that? Why is it that my parents would disown me if I didn't marry a Christian, but if they converted to Catholicism for me it'd be alright? Why are they upset with my brother for not going to Catholic mass anymore? He's more enlightened at where he goes to church now, so what if he doesn't think Mother Mary should be a tenet of a belief system? It upsets me that we get caught up in these semantics without regard for how we should be behaving or the consequences of our actions. In my case, they've led me to be forlorn. Worse yet, people who are hypocrites and merely complete the motions. I love what my religion has done for me, and I God for what he's done for me, but I hate that it's holding me back where I need the most help. I guess this is what they call a test of faith, huh? I think I can pass it...I hope. I hope my frustration will subside, and I really hope that things will be better soon. This isn't to say I'm miserable right now, or ungrateful for what I have, but it doesn't mean I can't be frustrated!
Alright, enough blubbering, on to the tech news. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to print without having to invest in ink or toner? A company called Zink Imaging is looking to make that a reality with heat-based printing. I don't get exactly how it works, but it could translate into printers being built-in to cameras and phones and such! This would spell disaster for the ink industry (which makes a lot from ripping us off), so I wonder what the catch will be? The price?
There seem to be pretty good odds that Steve Jobs will be announcing the return of an Apple line of sub-notebooks at WWDC this year, which is a class of notebook computing that's smaller than your normal laptop but also with slightly weaker specs. Apparently, these models may not even have CD-ROM drives! However, they will boost Flash memory, a first for Apple. I'll let you know when we have more details, though I think that CD-ROM drive is an absolute necessity.
In local news, a Texas judge has ruled against deep linking, which is linking to pages on a copyright-protected site other than the home page without express permission. They're appealing the decision, but this would definitely affect bloggers like me who are simply referring to articles on sites like the New York Times. I think it's a stupid ruling. If you're not directly stealing the content, it shouldn't be illegal.
This is a great list of useful applications for college students. I use about half of them, and with good reason. My favorite is Meebo, because I just love the effort they put into that interface.
Barack Obama is trying to attract younger voters by spreading his message on the Interweb, and I think it's working. The Facebook groups in support of him are getting bigger and bigger, and he's even coming here to UT to speak next Friday! If I didn't have an important class at that time, I'd totally go.
Google's Summer of Code is back! I strongly recommend this for Freshman and Sophomores (or even college students) who can't find a summer internship but want to have some experience for their resumes. Companies are always very happy to see open source software development.
The big news today is that Aaron Eckhart is now in final negotiations to portray Two Face, Mr. Harvey Dent, in The Dark Knight. This is pretty big news because this character is so complex and interesting, and I'm so glad that he's going with an actor who's relatively unknown. Not that Thank You for Smoking wasn't big, but it wasn't a mainstream blockbuster or anything, and so the audience won't have any predisposed notions of the character.
Now for some crazy trailers. The international teaser for Live Free or Die Hard is much more awesome than the one we saw stateside, though it carries the old title with it. I hate the title, but this movie still looks pretty cool. We also have the full theatrical trailer for Grind House, and it's also pretty freaking sweet. I still have high hopes for having fun while watching this movie.
Yahoo Movies also put up a couple of great clips from 300, which only fuels my anticipation more. I may explode when I finally get to see this movie.
AICN has another positive review about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which helps keep my doubts at bay about it. I was always hoping that it would be a fun movie to watch, though I can accept that it'll be a B movie at best.
Appetizer What sound, other than the normal ringing, would you like your telephone to make? I'd like it to play "La Cucaracha", OR the intro to "Oye Mami".
Soup Describe your usual disposition in meteorological terms (partly cloudy, sunny, stormy, etc.). Probably partly cloudy. Usually pretty nice/happy, though not bubbly, and occasionally a little weathered and forlorn (such as tonight).
Salad What specific subject do you feel you know better than any other subjects? Computer science =P
Main Course Imagine you were given the ability to remember everything you read for one entire day. Which books/magazines/newspapers would you choose to read? Probably the textbook for OS and maybe a few programming manuals (Ruby, Python, C++). I don't need to remember everything in a novel, just academic texts.
Dessert If a popular candy maker contacted you to create their next confection, what would it be like and what would you name it? Well it would have to be low-fat so that you can eat a lot of them and not feel bad, so I'm thinking something fruity. Maybe a shock tart lollipop? I don't know, there's a reason that I'm a programmer and not a candy designer =P