Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Gospel of john

Through September 30, Best Buy has agreed to match dollar for dollar all contributions made to the Red Cross either in stores (at the register), or online if you go through this link.

A Gospel of John Passage Is Proven True

It turns out that a specific passage from the Gospel of John wasn't a religious conceit, that is a kind of poetic license John took to prove a point. It's true. Now there is proof. When the sewer line in the Old City of Jerusalem needed repairs in the fall of 2004, the workmen made a historic discovery: the biblical Pool of Siloam. The Gospel of John cites this as the place where Jesus cured the blind man. Theologians have long thought the setting of the pool was a "religious conceit" used by John to illustrate a point. Turns out, the place is real. And it's exactly where John said it is, reports The Los Angeles Times of a new study published in the Biblical Archaeology Review.

What's more, it is much grander than anyone ever realized with three tiers of stone stairs on three sides that allow easy access to the water. Each group of steps is separated by narrow landings. The pool is about 225 feet long. The Pool of Siloam is not only a holy site for Christians, but also Jews. In ancient times, Jews who made their annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem gathered at this very reservoir. Since Jesus was a Jew it would have been natural for him to have gone here, too. Scholars have long said that the place didn't exist and was just created by John as the setting for Jesus' miracle when he cured the blind man. A gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary told the L.A. Times.

Hezekiah built the pool to provide a safe water supply to the people of Jerusalem in case they were attacked by the Assyrians. The workers also built a tunnel measuring 1,750 feet under the City of David that connected to the Gihon Spring in the adjacent and less vulnerable Kidron Valley. This pool was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, but rebuilt in the 1st century BC before being destroyed again in 70 AD by Titus, the man who would become the Roman emperor.

Fast forward to the fall of 2004: When the men repairing the sewer line uncovered two steps, the work stopped so the antiquities' experts could have a look. They didn't have to look long before they were "100 percent sure it was the Siloam Pool," Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority told the L.A. Times. How could they be so sure? When the workmen crafted the steps centuries ago, they buried four coins in the plaster, all of which date from 103 to 76 BC. In addition, in the soil in one corner of the pool, the archaeologists found a dozen coins that date from 66 to 70 AD, indicating that the pool was being filled in at that time.
took 'em long enough =)
amr's brain blurted out at 3:00 AM   Permalink   
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It's really interesting (and it amazes me) that many things, events and places in the Bible that's still around. I'm glad I found you posted that find.

By Blogger Azxel, at 9/20/2005 3:12 AM  

Hello Amrlion...I know this might be a strange request, but you have an image on your site titled od-arod.jpg. I work in a market department, and we would like to use that image in an ad. Did you take this picture? And if so could we get permission to use it? You can write me back at shanar@cynergydata.net

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/22/2005 11:07 AM  

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Saturday, September 10, 2005
sporting newsies::
Through September 30, Best Buy has agreed to match dollar for dollar all contributions made to the Red Cross either in stores (at the register), or online if you go through this link.

...and now back to our regularly scheduled programing.
  • The Sox suffered an unfortunate loss last night to the evil empire, but all is well again. Schilling and the boys put the 9-2 hurt on the Yanks and Rockies reject Chacon to restore the 4 game AL East lead. If you're keeping track, we're rooting for Cleveland and Oakland (and Anaheim if the A's manage to take the West), the clubs with the best chance of keeping the Yankees out of the playoffs for the first time since 1993 (there was no postseason action in 1994 due to the strike shortened season).

  • The game definitely had its moments, but the reigning Superbowl Champion NE Patriots began the quest for title #4 in 5 years with a 30-20 win over the Oakland Raiders.

  • Andre Agassi did it again. After a stunning comeback to make it into the US Open semifinals, Agassi took center stage again today, beating Robby Ginepri (6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3) to become the oldest US Open finalist in 31 years. Thirty-five years young and counting. Dear sir, I salute you.

amr's brain blurted out at 4:26 PM   Permalink   
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Monday, September 05, 2005
we're not invincible
The dead and the desperate of New Orleans now join the farmers of Aceh and the fishermen of Trincomalee, villagers in Iran and the slum dwellers of Haiti in a world being dealt ever more punishing blows by natural disasters.

It's a world where Americans can learn from even the poorest nations, experts say, and where they should learn not to build future settlements like the drowned old metropolis on the Mississippi.

The levees in New Orleans inspired a false sense of security, says Dennis S. Miletti, a leading scholar on disaster prevention. read more

No matter how advanced we get, we'll always be subject to the world around us. While there's no way to guarantee anything, there's no need to set yourself up for the inevitable...
amr's brain blurted out at 3:02 PM   Permalink   
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Saturday, September 03, 2005
quotes and stuff
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." –President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring Hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005 (Source) (more stupid Hurricane quotes here)

I don't know what Bush was thinking at the time, but at least the administration came to its senses, dismissing Brown from his role in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

In related news, I came across this article, in which si.com's Andrew Lawrence has a few scathing words for Venus Williams. While he clearly exaggerates the situation, the point remains that there are plenty of people who, in the wake of the storm either didn't know just how big it was going to be, or just don't care, now that the damage is done.

please help.
don't turn your back on what could turn out to be the worst natural disaster in american history.

Through September 30, Best Buy has agreed to match dollar for dollar all contributions made to the Red Cross either in stores (at the register), or online if you go through this link. (official release)
amr's brain blurted out at 10:51 PM   Permalink   
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Thursday, September 01, 2005
you CAN make a difference
Hurricane Katrina Victims Need Your Help.

While it's clear that people need food and other basic necessities, the best way to help is to donate money to reputable agencies so that the necessary items can be purchased and distributed more efficiently. If you wish to volunteer your time, contact a volunteer agency to determine the best way to help.

Give money.
Contributions are tax deductible and every dollar counts. Many companies have matching programs so check with your employer to see if your contribution can be matched. Is it so hard to cut back on a few luxuries for the sake of saving lives? Please give whatever you can. No amount is too little.
::edit:: Through September 30, Best Buy has agreed to match dollar for dollar all contributions made to the Red Cross either in stores, or online if you go through this link.

Offer housing.
Hundreds of thousands of hurricane katrina victims have been left homeless. There's no indication of when the water might be cleared from flooded areas, let alone when the cleaning and rebuilding process can begin. If you have any room to spare consider opening your home/land to those in need. Free background checks are being donated to insure the safety of all parties involved so don't let safety concerns stop you from trying to help.

Give blood.
Blood has a limited shelf life. The different components of blood can last from 5 days to a year or more.
  • Platelets must be used within 5 days of donation.
  • Red blood cells may be stored under refrigeration for a maximum of 42 days. Frozen red blood cells can last up to 10 years, but because of the high cost involved, only a small portion of the blood supply can be frozen.
  • Plasma is generally frozen and must be used within one year.

It's great to respond during an emergency, but because blood is perishable, new donations are needed every day. In addition to meeting the needs of victims, valuable stores were destroyed so the need is even greater than usual. You can donate every 56 days so make a habit of it!

Give miles.
While millions of Americans accrue frequent flyer miles through reward programs, the number of people who actually use them is considerably smaller. Through the generosity of several major airlines, the American Red Cross can receive donations of frequent flyer miles. These miles are used to get help to and to rescue refugees in disaster areas. You know as well as I do how difficult it is to accumulate enough miles to do anything useful with. Why not put them to work? Take a few seconds to check if your miles can be donated.

If you know the words of prayer, I urge you to pray for the victims and their families. Pray for the rescue workers who are putting their lives on the line to help in the relief effort. Pray for our president and other officials, as work is done to coordinate both a short and long term response plan.

You might feel like the problem is so big that there's nothing you can do that will make any difference. The reality is that there is no one person that can "fix" a situation like this. It's only by working TOGETHER that we can make a difference.
amr's brain blurted out at 1:12 PM   Permalink   
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Then and now
Then: SFN 2003

Now: Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath

Please Help
amr's brain blurted out at 12:06 AM   Permalink   
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