Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Thoughts and a verse of the day

Warning: This post is not mistitled. There is no thread.

I played Wii and guitar hero over the weekend with some friends from church. We bowled, golfed, played tennis, and some short weird Japanese games. It was fun and I can imagine how it could become seriously addictive. Fortunately, Steve and I don't have one. I also discovered a fun Yahoo word game called Bookworm. It's like a version of Boggle. It too is seriously addictive.

In my LIFEgroup we've been studying The 10 commandments. The last two weeks have focused on the first two commandments. I was struck by the idea that in prohibiting the worship of other Gods and of the use of idols in worship, God is reserving to himself the right to define himself. We are not to worship our ideas and desires, or imaginings of God, but only the true God as He reveals Himself. It's a very logical extension of His response to Moses. Moses' asks God's name at the burning bush and God responds, "I am Who I Am." It's only in the context of His relationship with Israel, the incarnation in Jesus, and the presence of His Spirit in the church that He will reveal Himself and be encountered.

I think it's neat the way different babies can be cute in different ways.

One of the things I've observed while being part of weeding over 11000 items out of our library in the last three months is that at some point in the 1930's several American publishers of religious books began using Roman numerals instead of Arabic for the publication dates. Books published by Doran, Revell, or Abingdon-Cokesbury in the 1910's or 20's and later in the 50's have publication dates like 1923 or 1918. Books published by those same publishers in the 30's-40's have dates like MCMXXXVIII or MCMXLV (Yale books have MDCCCCXXII). I just find that a curious practice. It might be an interesting thing for someone to research sometime, but I can't think of a good reason to.

One of the books I weeded today was titled That They May Have Live. I had to search that title three times. The first time I entered "That They May Live." That got no results. So I looked at it more closely and realized my mistake. I entered, "That They May Have Life." Again no results. My mind couldn't wrap itself around the apparent typo.

I finally got around to reading Ender's Game this summer and have gone on to The Speaker for the Dead. I've liked the other Orson Scott Card stuff I've read and I was tired of having my sf fan credentials questioned any time I mentioned I hadn't read any of the Ender books. I'm really impressed. I enjoyed Ender's Game, and I really enjoyed TSftD. I would never have expected to like a book that focused so much on interpersonal and family relationships as well as I did. I think Card does a good job setting up the parallel of the humans inability to understand one another with their inability to understand the aliens. I also enjoyed the way biblical allusions fall seamlessly into the story, especially this one about Ender's role in the xenocide:
"Yes, well, it's nothing mystical," said Ender. "I think of it as being like the mark of Cain. You don't make many friends, but nobody hurts you much either."

Have you heard about Cuil? It's a new search engine built by some former Google employees. Supposedly it indexes 3X as many web pages as Google and is attempting a completely different approach to determining relevance and claims to be less reliant on popularity. I like some of their ideas but I've gotten nothing out of performance. So far it's taking forever for me to access the search screen and I've only seen numbers of results, no actual links. I hope that it can get better and maybe if traffic slows down the site'll work better in the Trinity environment. The general consensus on the cataloging lists I follow says, "Wait for 'Cuiler.'"

That's it for today's episode of "Random stuff bouncing around Everett's head."

Verse of the day:

"And God spoke all these words, saying,

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

"You shall have no other gods before me.

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:1-6 (ESV)


Becca said...

I've been musing about the Roman numerals question for copyright dates. Nothing definitive, but I have a theory:

The dates you cite roughly correspond with the Art Deco moment, and the switch to Roman numerals may have been one way to stylistically deviate from the norm. The return to Arabic numerals in the 50s would coincide with the beginning of Modernism and Post-Modernism, which might logically make the switch to move away from "ancient" numbering.

Arabic numbers appear on Modern and Post-Modern clocks, while Roman numerals appear on Art Deco clocks--the lines of Roman numerals better fit the overall styles of clocks.

The title page designs, cover designs, and inside cover designs may provide some clues--if they are deco-inspired, that would support the theory.

The only other thing I can think of is the advent of film, and the filmmakers' usage of Roman numeral to reflect copyright. Maybe the publisher switched so it would look cool.

Geron said...

when you get ready, i'll let you borrow all of the ender books

Everett said...

Thanks for throwing that Art Deco suggestion up there, Becca. It never would have occurred to me. It seems plausible, though. If true it might also account for the practice in movies. Of course the use of Roman numeral copyright dating has persisted much longer in the film format than with books.

Everett said...

Thanks, Geron. I've got the first three, but I'll be happy to borrow the others when I come down at the end of the month.