ramblings and writings of a southern hobbit

Archive for July, 2010

Twitter-pated

For those of you who have been longing to buy an authentic star trek communicator or one of Shatner’s impeccably ripped shirts from the Star Trek OS episode “Amok Time,” you’re in luck! The Shatner Store is having a sale! And I would never have known if it weren’t for Twitter, the rich microblogging source of instantly updated information that makes it easier than ever to find out what your favorite celebrity had for lunch.

It’s still not quite as popular as the ubiquitous Facebook (or perhaps my data is simply skewed because Facebook is allowed on campus and Twitter still is not), but I finally had to come to grips with presence of Twitter after seeing multiple online news articles making use of politician’s tweets as sources. That got me thinking. We know what politicians and celebrities are thinking, but what would it be like to get inside the head of some famous authors?

If they had Twitter. . .

William Shakespeare

To tweet or not to tweet–that is the question.

Jane Austen

I just spent a dreadfully dull evening at a card party. I considered amusing myself by pouring tea on the gentlemen next to me.

Charlotte Bronte

There is no possibility of taking a walk today.

Lewis Carroll

‘Tis brillig and the slithy toves doth tweet and google in the wabe.

C.S. Lewis

Rather loudly exclaimed “I do not like peas!” while at a restaurant today and heard a child reply “me too!”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Received another letter from an “S. Gamgee” today. At least it wasn’t signed “S. Gollum.” That would be a good deal worse.

Cervantes

Acabo de acabar de escribir un libro acerca de un hombre loco que decidía hacer un caballero. Un día, seré famoso.

James Joyce

…this evening. I hate it. Took a walk around Dublin…

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I Feel Witty

Actually, I don’t feel witty.

And in this day and age, being witty is an extremely important life skill. Why? One word–Facebook.* It has been rumored that the purpose of Facebook is to help you connect with friends and family. This rumor has been circulated to mask the real purpose of Facebook: to show off one’s razor sharp wit with pithy status updates.

There’s just one problem. I can’t think of anything to witty to say. Generally speaking, when I’m Facebook I’m either at a coffee shop or I’m eating lunch in my room. I guess that explains why when I used a Facebook app to determine the words I use most often in status updates, my top words were “drinking” and “coffee.” Drinking coffee certainly is fun, but there’s a limit to how many times one can wittily and entertainingly  say “I’m drinking coffee.”

And look at what I have to compete with!*

  • Perhaps I’ll die of Oreo inhalation while I’m laughing raucously at one of my friends. Go out with a bang… that’s what I always say.
  • Well I’m bored..hmm…might as well check myspace…no friend requests, no wall posts…well I will always have you tom.
  • To all you haters out there… there is nothing wrong with sugar. Makes you taller, in fact. I recommend three heaping tablespoons of brown sugar with every meal. And chocolate syrup. LOTS of chocolate syrup.
  • My highlight of the day: Saw a coyote cross the road. He looked so happy and content. It was hard to imagine him plotting against Roadrunner.

I guess it’s part of the curse of having witty friends.

*There’s also Twitter and Myspace and Google Buzz. But nobody cares about them.

*Yes, these are real status messages really posted by my real Facebook friends.


Dependent by Design

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.– John 6:35

Every July 4th, Americans gather with watermelons, fireworks, and flags to celebrate Independence Day. We are a free people living in a free country and, boy, are we proud of  it. Not just our independence from England, but our independence in every way. Nobody can tell us what to do or think or feel. But rob the earth of its atmosphere for just five minutes and we’d all be dead before we’d have time to wonder just how independent we really are.

There are some aspects in which we can and should be independent. Parents, for example, raise their children so that by the time they reach maturity they can provide for themselves. No one thinks much of a forty-year-old man who still lives in his parent’s basement. But when you really think about it, humans are desperately dependent.

Take water for example. Only three days without water will kill you. Dehydration is serious; it can causee heat exaustion and heat stroke, cerebral endema, seizures, hypovolemic shock, kidney failure, coma, and, finally, death.*

Humans are also dependent on food. You can go longer without food than you can without water, but still, malnutrition will lead to severe physical and mental complications and followed by death.

We simply cannot live without water or food.

But why? That’s how we were designed to run. I’ve always wondered why, though, God designed us to need so many things. I think it’s to remind us of something else we need: Himself.

C.S. Lewis put it this way:

God made us: invented us as  a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.*

And here’s what the commentator Matthew Henry had to say on John 6:

Christ is bread is that to the soul which bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life (is the staff of it) as bread does the bodily life; it is the staff of life. . . . Our bodies could better live without food than our souls without Christ.*

By our very design, we are dependent on God. And every bite, every sip should remind us of it.

(more…)


Hrothgar's Golden Hall

All college students have at some point been asked the dreaded question: “What do you want to do after you graduate?” For those of us who can confidently say  “I’ve wanted to be pediatric endocrinologist ever since I was three and a half and I’m planning on starting medical school after I finish my double major in organic chemistry and pediatric neurosurgery,” the question might not be so daunting. Unfortunantly, not all of us have our futures planned out with such precision.

After much deliberation, however, I have finally found the answer this very question: I’m going to start a restaurant. A really, really cool restaurant. I’ve decided I’m going to call it “Hrothgar’s Golden Hall.”

We already have rock n’ roll themed restaurants that blare rock music over the speakers so loudly that you can’t even think and that distract you with so many tvs playing music videos that you don’t notice if your food tastes bad. We already have outer space themed restauarants that require you to take a ride on a “flying saucer” before being seated and dress their servers up in funny costumes. But we don’t have any Anglo-Saxon themed restaurants. That’s why my idea is so brilliant, see.

The most important facet of a restaurant isn’t actually the food–it’s the atmosphere. And Hrothgar’s Golden Hall will have the most unique atmosphere of any restaurant known to man. The dining area will be charmingly decorated with giant-forged swords and monster limbs. Blind poets will perform stirring war songs on Thursday afternoons. Servers will be required to grow bushy red or blond beards* and will not scowl at you if you make a mess or throw bones on the floor.

It’s genius! But before I can officially open, I have to perfect my recipe for non-alchoholic mead. And convince people that it’s sanitary to have a cook with a bushy red beard….

*Female servers will be allowed to wear fake beards.

Photo courtesy of: Ruth Harris / CC BY-SA 2.0


Finally!

Free online ordinations! If you’re thinking about starting a cult, this might be a good option for you–you could legally call yourself Reverend and the Universal Life Church accepts people from all faiths, including (I presume) ones that are made up on the spot. You have to be over thirteen years old and use your real name, but other than that there are no other requirements. But remember: check out your state’s legal requirements before trying to perform a wedding.