Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Funny - THINK Before You Name

Actual sign on Interpretation By Design Site.
It is likely that I am just a little punch drunk from three and a half weeks with very little sleep, but I found a sign on the road between Mena and Hot Springs hilarious.  We were driving to Little Rock last Sunday to have a short (~3 hours) visit with Eliza's birth-mother, and we saw a sign that said "Little Hope Baptist Church - 2 miles".  First, I had to ask Kristy if she saw the same sign.  Then, I just started laughing (prompting the "Please don't kill us over a sign." commentary from the passenger seat).

As it turns out, others have found the "Little Hope Baptist Church" sign humorous.  I found a picture of the sign on another blog. What were the church planters thinking?

I should mention that it doesn't surprise me too much that a church would get named this if the largest "town" close to you is Pine Ridge, Arkansas (home of the famous Lum & Abner radio team). If you spent much time in Oden, Pine Ridge, or Pencil Bluff, you would probably think that you had little hope as well. It DOES surprise me that there other churches in the country named the same thing (Canton, Texas; Tuomsuba, Mississippi; Madera, California). I am certain that I can find others.

Am I delirious or does anyone else find this funny?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And Then There Were Four...

Last Wednesday (March 16), we officially added one little girl to our family. Judge Bryan seemed like she needed a break from her shackled, crazy people and spent a few minutes in her chambers to sign "happy papers."  Maybe it is just my overall tiredness, but I think Eliza looks a LOT like Sophie.  Is it the cheeks, nose, or something else?  Or do all babies look alike?

2 week old Eliza Kate and a very tired Russ.
10 day old Sophie Kristin and a very tired Russ.

By the way, Happy Birthday, Dad!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

41 - A Really Sad & Scary Number

41.  You know the number right after 40 and right before 42. As someone that deals with numbers every day, I don't usually feel sad or depressed by one of them. However, a couple of weeks ago, I heard a news story that really hit me pretty hard by using the number 41. In New York City, the abortion rate is 41% according to the city health department. The number for black women is closer to 60%. What is going on in that city that 2 out of 5 (3 out of 5 for black women) pregnancies end in death?

Don't get me wrong. I am not about changing laws, but I am concerned about what it is says about our overall societal well-being. Somehow, we need to figure out how to provide a different message to the women making these decisions. For some reason, they believe that the best plan for their future involves sacrificing the life of an innocent. Our churches (actually the individual Christians inside and out of those buildings) need to provide better hope and answers that don't come from changing laws or Supreme Court decisions.

Adoption is a WONDERFUL thing. I have a great brother (Lee) because of adoption. My daughter, Sophie, is a blessing every day. We have seen Chloe brighten up Walt & Annie's life.  Esther has made Josh & Margo goofy parents just like Kristy and me. We are hoping and praying that little Eliza Kate will become our daughter in the next couple of weeks. This is the sort of message that we need to put out to women that are facing difficult decisions.

Newly hatched Sophie and a very tired Russ.
 Anyway, I just had to get that off of my chest because it is not often that a number makes my eyes watery.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vaccination Scares and Other Nonsense

In 1998, a research paper in the journal Lancet entitled "Ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children" linked the standard vaccine for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) to a new type of disorder in the autism spectrum. The news media (in typical fashion) produced headlines and parents everywhere were scared to vaccinate their children against diseases that could cripple or kill them. I have had friends and family members talk about allowing others to carry the societal burden for immunization (that is, depend on herd immunity) based on this study and others that rely on it for their foundation.

So, how many of you have now seen the news media in any form trumpet headlines that the FULL paper has been retracted? Everything in the article is "scrubbed" from scientific literature. That means if you cited the paper in your paper for support, it is likely that your paper will be scrutinized next. The good thing is that no one was EVER able to reproduce the results of Wakefield's study. Here is a damning quote by the BMJ (British Medical Journal):

Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare.

So, what's the big deal? Well, when we allow JUNK SCIENCE to dominate the headlines and then put retractions as footnotes on the back page, the public has a FALSE image that vaccinations are dangerous.  Vaccinations have wiped small pox from the earth, made polio a rarity, and saved millions of lives from other deadly diseases. The real truth is that the original paper should never have been published. The main author (Andrew Wakefield) failed to disclose a couple of small conflicts of interests like the fact that he was hired by a law firm to produce evidence against the multiple disease shot and that he studied children from anti-vaccine groups instead of those from a randomly drawn sample (Guardian article with more details).

The American has more details of the whole issue.  It is a good read on why you should NOT rely on herd immunity.  Here is the sub-head from the article.

The campaign against the most valuable medical technologies ever invented is based on junk science.

Brian Deer has worked for 13 years to kill this whole scam.  Here is the full story:
So, if you are on the fence about vaccinations, don't give it a second thought.  Herd immunity is a good theory until REALITY hits and your child is sick with something that could have been prevented by a small needle.

BTW, stuff likes this vaccine fraud finally being put to rest will probably bring me back to blogging now that Global Warming (no, I mean) Climate Change (sorry again, I meant) Global Climate Disruption (well, what I really meant was) Climate Challenges advocates have "almost" lost the argument. I say almost because they will remain around until the paradigm shift works through academia over the next 20 years.

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