Monday, June 30, 2008

My Kids Love the New Weezer Album

I'm Trying to Get a Handle on the Energy Debate

And this article from the Financial Times explains it as well as anything I've read.

Hundreds of Pets Given Up, Put Down

The front page of this morning's Tennessean featured a horribly sad and disturbing article about the number of animals being dropped off at animal shelters:

Pet owners in Nashville are increasingly giving up their pets to shelters, and animal control officials say the slumping economy is to blame.

This month alone, Metro Animal Care and Control has seen record numbers of owner-surrendered pets, defined as pets whose owners leave them at the shelter. This number has for the first time overtaken the number of stray dogs and cats that are found or dropped off. . . .

The number of animals in Metro that have been euthanized in June has already reached more than 1,100 — nearly 300 more than at this time last year.

That's awful.

I don't claim to know what financial challenges are facing the people who are turning in their pets. Maybe some have to choose between feeding their children and feeding their animals; maybe some have been forced to move into an apartment building that doesn't allow pets. Still, I can't imagine a situation in which I'd hand in my pets to be (almost certainly) euthanized.

An aside: Before reading this article, I was embarrassed to admit that we have six cats in our household. Now I'm proud to say that my family has saved the lives of six animals. I can also say that the Tinleys are doing our share; the rest of you need to go out and get some more animals.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Considering the Brevity of My Recent Posts . . .

. . . I should probably make use of my Twitter account. (That, for instance, took fewer than 140 characters.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is Murder Really Worse Than Child Rape?

I personally don't support the death penalty in any circumstance, but I'm not sure why executing a convicted murderer makes so much more sense than executing a child rapist. Click here to see what I'm talking about.

I Like This Trade

The Pacers have agreed in priciple to trade Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors for T.J. Ford (one of the best young point guards in the game when he's healthy), Rasho Nesterovic (best known as Stephen A. Smith's punching bag), and the #17 pick in tonight's draft (giving them an opportunity to atone for whatever mistakes they make with the #11 pick). This is the best move the Pacers have made since 1996, when they traded Mark Jackson for Jalen Rose then managed to get Mark Jackson back without giving up anything significant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Don't Think You Realize What Just Happened

Fresno State just upset Georgia to win the College World Series.

64 teams play for the college baseball championship; they are divided into sixteen 4-team regions, in which the teams are seeded 1 through 4. Fresno State was a 4 seed. Had this been basketball (where teams are divided into four 16-team regions), the Bulldogs would have been no better than a 13 seed. Going into the postseason, Fresno State was #89 in the RPI rankings; going into tonight's game, they were still only ranked #52.

In short, this year's Fresno State team may be the most unlikely national champion in major college sports history.

I Loved the 70s, 80s, and 90s More

I've been tuning in this week to VH1's I Love the New Millennium, though I watch with a nagging concern about what they'll do when they get to 2008. I'm also concerned by the absense of Rachael Harris. What's up with that?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Significant Majority of Christians are Pluralists; Only One-Third of Mainliners Attend Church Weekly

You will find many, many more interesting statistics by reading this Pew Forum report on American relgious beliefs and practices which describes religion in the United States as "non-dogmatic, diverse, and politically relevant." I don't have time to comment or analyze. Maybe later.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Never Gets Old

I'm a little behind on Internet memes, but this may be the best thing I've ever seen.

Worth Reading

Dan Rather wrote a great column this past weekend on the current economic crisis and its effect on the have-nots:

We are witnessing the outlines of what happens when the world's have-nots feel they can no longer eke out the necessities of life. In the developed world, it may be worth noting that those who have less are often the very same people our society depends on to get our food to us; in the developing world, it should be recognized that hunger fuels anger, ignites revolution and feeds terrorism.

The implications of high commodities prices start with humanitarian concerns, but they do not end there. They also encompass issues of civil society and national security. One need not subscribe to apocalyptic or even pessimistic thinking to read warning signs in the unrest we have witnessed this spring.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Not to Do If You're a Public School Science Teacher


(CNN) -- School administrators in Ohio voted Friday to begin the process of firing a middle school teacher accused of burning a cross into a student's arm and refusing to keep his religious beliefs out of the classroom.

I guess I'm not sure why school administrators have to go through a "process." I think the school district would be safe letting him go. The "dude burned a cross into a kid's arm" argument should hold up in court. Branding aside, this teacher has a history:

Freshwater was also reprimanded several times for refusing to move his Bible from his classroom desk and teaching creationism alongside evolution, according to the 15-page independent report. The report also cites evidence that Mr. Freshwater told his students that "science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner."

Personally, I don't think the Bible on the desk is a big deal; I could let that go. Teaching creationism alongside evolution should be cause for a special meeting of the school board, or at least a good, long talk with school administrators. The gay comment is grounds for suspension. The branding incident, especially given the teacher's history, calls for a "security will escort you to your car" response.

Though I believe fully in the separation of church and state (for the sake of the church as much as for the sake of the state), I don't think we can reasonably tell public school teachers and public officials to pretend that they aren't people of faith while they're on the job. That said, I'm not sure how anyone could argue that the science teacher in question didn't take a Carl Lewis long jump across the proverbial line.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Actually, I Stumbled on This Article When I Was Supposed to Be Working

But I waited until I got home to blog about it. From

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's no secret that people sneak in some personal e-mail and Web surfing when they're supposed to be working.

A new study attempts to shatter perceptions that these Web surfers are just slackers trying to avoid work.

In fact, it turns out everyone does it, from senior managers to entry-level employees -- and researchers figure that means management attempts to clamp down on Internet use may be missing the mark.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where's the Love for Capernaum?

Everyone knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth and that Jerusalem was the site of his death and resurrection. But according to Matthew none of these cities served as the headquarters of Jesus' earthly ministry. This distinction instead belonged to the city of Capernaum, located on the Sea of Galilee. Luke also records significant events in Jesus' life that took place in Capernaum and names the city as the home of some of Jesus' most prominent disciples.

Yet there is no Capernaum Baptist Church nor a Capernaum, Pennsylvania. Google "Bethlehem," "Nazareth," "Zion" (another name for Jerusalem), or even "Bethany" (the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus that Jesus sometimes visited) and you'll find all sorts of cities, churches, and towns named in honor of these cities. But a search of "Capernaum" turns up very little that isn't directly related to the ancient city. Why no Capernaum Lutheran Church, no Capernaum Outreach Ministries, and no Capernaum, Missouri? What's the deal?

Astronomers Discover Three Earth-like Planets

Except that smallest of the planets is four times larger than earth and all three are way too close to their sun to have any hope of supporting life. Comparing these planets to earth, in my opinion, is like comparing an orange to a volleyball, but whatever. I suppose these planets are much more like earth than the average extrasolar planet, so that's a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Giving in Reponse to Flooding in the Midwest

If you would like to donate to the flood-relief effort in the Midwest, you can click here to give through UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief). 100 percent of the money given goes to the relief effort. (To my knowledge, administrative costs are covered by money from the offering plate.)

You can also give to the Mennonite Disaster Service. (Thanks to Aunt B. for the tip.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Third Tinley Kid

Friday, I posted a picture of our soon-to-be third child. That picture was actually from the ten-week ultrasound. I have something much more recent:

Necessities and Luxuries

This is kind of sad. I was doing a mental assessment of some of the things that I and my family spend money on and categorizing these expenses as either necessities or luxuries. In my mind, cable television and Internet both qualify as necessities. No matter how hard I try to move them into the luxury category (and, if I'm completely honest, I haven't tried that hard), cable and Internet just won't budge. They've become utilities much like electricity, gas, and water. I don't know what that says about me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I've Been Meaning to Tell You

The Tinleys just purchased a minivan. It's a 2005 Toyota Sienna. Here's a picture:

Buying such a large car when gas is $4.00 per gallon may seem like a curious move, but the van is actually more fuel efficient than the vehicle it replaced, and we really need a third row of seats. This is why:

Meet the third and final Tinley kid. He'll arrive in late September.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Fox News refers to Michelle Obama as "Obama's Baby Mama."

See If You Can Read the Whole Thing

The Atlantic has an interesting article on how our love of the Internet has affected our brains' ability to read several pages of text in one sitting. See how far you get before moving on to something else.

Racism, Sexism Not the Only "Isms" at Play in This Year's Campaign

Yesterday, John McCain unwisely said that bringing our troops home from Iraq is "not too important" and that he is more concerned about eliminating casualties. Obviously, McCain's political opponents pounced. While I agree with the Obama campaign's opposition to McCain's position, I didn't like their means of pouncing. Both Sen. John Kerry and one of Sen. Obama's foreign policy advisors suggested that McCain was "confused" and had a muddled understanding of history. I've heard others of McCain's political opponents use the word "confused" several times. In my opinion, this is a not-so-subtle way to pain McCain—if I'm not mistaken, the oldest non-incumbant presidential candidate nominated by a major party—as old and senile: It is ageism (as much as I don't care for that word—the ei bugs me). While dementia afflicts many septuagenarians, it is not a condition we should take lightly or use for political gain. Those of us who have been disturbed by the sexism directed toward Sen. Clinton and the racism directed toward Sen. Obama should also be upset by the ageism direted toward Sen. McCain.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Few Things to Consider

  • I'm sure that, by now, you've seen footage of Barack and Michelle Obama giving each other dog last week in front of a screaming crowd in Minnesota. Fox News's E.D. Hill actually asks if this modified high five is a "terrorist fist jab" (Gawker). Really. Then she brings in a body language expert to further interpret the gesture because, as she says, "Everyone seems to interpret [the fist bump] differently." I suppose. But no sane person would interpret it as a "terrorist fist jab."

  • Why did the climate bill fail? Time explains.

  • Here's a warm-and-fuzzy story: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield wanted to do something for former Negro League players who never got the chance to play in the Majors. So he put together a draft in which Major League teams drafted the aging former Negro Leaguers into their baseball families. (Hat tip: Aunt B.)

  • More in baseball: Kudos to Ken Griffey, Jr. for hitting number 600. Too bad he had to do it in front of a sparse crowd in Miami.

  • You may have heard rumors about the tape of Michelle Obama saying nasty things about "Whitey." Here it is.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Meyer Explains His Work

That Ain't Right

I'm a week late on this, but you should be outraged nonetheless. From the New York Times:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.

“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.

When it comes to improving healthcare, I'm not picky. If you have an idea for government-provided healthcare, I'll listen. If you have an idea for making private plans more affordable and available, I'll listen. But I won't accept a healthcare system where a woman can be denied coverage for having had a C-section. (More broadly, I won't accept a system in which for-profit companies make life-altering decisions about whom and what procedures to cover.) The C-section issue is particularly upsetting because of the disturbingly large number of unnecessary Caesarians that doctors perform. (C-sections are more profitable to doctors and hospitals than natural births.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm Convinced

Nashville and surrounding counties need to do something for the taxi drivers.

Happy Friday

When I was young, I enjoyed watching music videos on basic cable. Nowadays, one can only watch music videos on the Internet on 425 X 344-pixel flash players. Here are a couple that make me happy:

Weezer's "Pork and Beans" sets a medley of Internet memes to the tune of a great song that is reminiscent of the Weezer I knew in the mid nineties:

Mates of State's "Get Better" video is a little disturbing but will nonetheless make you feel a little more positive about life:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I've Come for That 1975 Nickel in Your Pocket

The other day I noticed that I had a bicentennial quarter in my pocket. I didn't realize that such coins were still in circulation. My surprise at finding such a quarter raised the question: "How does the Federal Reserve remove bills and coins from circulation?" Do they periodically send agents down to the local Mapco Express or Captain D's, open the cash register, and replace all currency minted or printed before, say, 1983? Use the comment field to enlighten me.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Because My Youth Died Long Ago

The new Weezer album (the "Red Album") arrived in my inbox at midnight. Unlike other Weezer albums that I purchased on their release date, I haven't listened to this one several times yet. Actually, I still haven't listened to it at all. But my love of Weezer was such an important part of my college years that I had to buy the album on day one, even though I rarely buy albums anymore. (I've become largely a song-by-song guy because I'm cheap.) At any rate, I'll try to listen to the album by the end of the week and update my Official Weezer Album Rankings.

My Thoughts Exactly

Even though I don't get many comments (because I don't have readers), I share Wonkette's Ken Layne's frustration about the state of political discourse in this country (AOL News Political Machine):

The 2000 election was the first to be heavily covered by online media, and the 2004 election was the first to get overwhelming coverage from the political blogs that had sprung up like partisan mushrooms, but the 2008 election will be the first to be completely defined by the angry morons who call C-SPAN, yell idiocy at talk-radio hosts and, especially, leave hundreds of inane comments on websites. . . .

When space-monster archaeologists visit the ruins of Earth, they'll find a very detailed record of the 2008 campaign, preserved in the browser cache files on millions of computer hard drives. They will marvel at three-paragraph AP stories posted on CNN that somehow elicit 500 comments that have nothing to do with the story. They will wonder why so many people who can't type, spell or put together a coherent sentence nonetheless composed thousand-word freakouts about things they don't understand.