Quick Takes – 12/1/2007

Mythbusters:  Are Elephants Afraid of Mice? Apparently so.

My niece, Meredith, has started a blog. You can check it out at Irish Laughter. All the best, Meredith! (And go Sox!)

Nicki Adams at titus2talk shares some great frugal Christmas gift ideas. “If you’re a bit short of cash, or would like to get a bit more personal and creative, why not try out some of these random ideas.”

Justin Taylor draws attention to anti-religious bigotry in the mainstream media. “Whether or not you are a fan of Mike Huckabee and his candidacy for the presidency, it’s helpful to take a sober look at the transparent bigotry on display among some members of the mainstream media reacting to an evangelical who is unashamed of his faith and who has an integrated worldview.”

Bernard Lewis identifies the real issue at hand in the Annapolis summit peace talks. “If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime. If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.”

Paul Edwards encourages Christians to engage Philip Pullman’s books and new movie, The Golden Compass, rather than run away from it. “It seems to me the proper response from those who are convinced of the truth ought to be to engage error, not run from it. Rather than fearing our children might read a book or see a film that challenges their faith, such a scenario presents us with an opportunity to teach them to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” I would agree, with reservations. I would want to read the books or see the film first to know what error I was engaging. It would also depend on the ages of the children. Children are very impressionable, and books and films can make deep impressions. (For more on The Golden Compass, see Quick Takes – 11/10/2007)

Univeral Music Group CEO Doug Morris laments the impact of illegal music downloads on the music industry. “Really, an album that someone worked on for two years — is that worth only $9, $10, when people pay two bucks for coffee in Starbucks? People never really understand what’s happening to the artists. All the sharing of the music, right? Is it correct that people share their music, fill up these devices with music they haven’t paid for? If you had Coca-Cola coming through the faucet in your kitchen, how much would you be willing to pay for Coca-Cola? There you go. That’s what happened to the record business.”

More from the Doug Morris article above. “Universal is also experimenting with the subscription-based plans that many … see as the wave of the future. The idea is to charge customers a fixed monthly fee (which could get tacked onto their cell phone, cable, or Internet bill) in return for access to unlimited music from a given label and, say, the opportunity to hear new recordings a week before their general release. Morris is currently championing a version called Total Music.” (Hmmm, once again this sounds very familiar. See Media Access for the Next Generation | Subscription Services)

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