22 February 2008

Soccer + God = ?

This year's FIFA Player of the year, Kaka, decided to give his trophy to the church he attends in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In his own words I believe he said "I deliver this up joyfully to God, because he is the reason behind every victory."
This act is not without controversy. Yes, he won the trophy but why on earth does it need to be on display at a church? And further for that matter, its a church which also has some controversy surrounding its leaders.
Examining his life a little more I notice he is a devout Christian and had a life changing experience as a teen when at 18 he fractured his back in a swimming pool accident. He attributes his recovery to God. I guess the gesture is consistant with his other acts of attributing his success to God such as revealing a T-shirt emblazoned with "Jesus Loves You" after some games and prayers and gestures to the heavens post game. It seems he comes from a more demonstrative Christian tradition that tends to make others feel a bit awkward. It appears people don't like being confronted with those messages and think religion should be kept private. Or are these religious actions just candy and fluff? Could a Christian still be representative of God in his or her public activity without doing those type of displays?

15 February 2008

Oldest person in world could be in Israel

About 120 years ago Mariam Amash entered the world and today still leads an active life. Her secret to longevity apparently is eating healthy. I believe the article state she eats plenty of vegetables. I hope falafel is part of that diet. It is also a bit of a surprise that she live in a rather volatile part of the world. I don't think life expectancies in Israel are too high.
Wisdom occasionally comes with advanced age and Mariam leaves us one bit - don't overindulge in the drink.
I'm sure Phil will probably have a problem with that.

08 February 2008

Saints alive, a crook captures sainthood long after his death

Have you heard of Jesús Malverde? Neither had I until I read this article.
Apparently Mexican folklore has made him out to be a saint. Granted he probably did some good things and maybe even just things but I doubt those make you a saint. But in Mexico apparently this Robin Hood-like person has unofficially become a patron saint of crime and drug traffickers. There is even doubt he even existed.
Nonetheless a shrine has been erected at Culiacáno which receives a lot of traffic. Drug dealers and the poor alike come to ask for Malverde's blessing, which troubles me a bit. The poor need better hope- not someone with a cloudy story of crime. I'm sure some may argue he was just trying to fight injustice in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. It screams ethical dilemma. Where are the good guys being good guys?

07 February 2008

Bison upend Western Illinois at the BSA



Tonight was the first Bison men's basketball game I saw in almost a year. And both were pretty similar. NDSU won them by wide margins. NDSU had a tight first 5 minutes with the Leathernecks then strolled into some maximum 'leadage.' The final score 86-62. Ben Woodside put up a lot of baskets and of course Bison Brent did too. With his parents seated behind me, Brent Winkelman cooked up double double of 14 boards and 21 points. Woodside saw much benchtime in the 2nd half after he collected 4 fouls but came away with 20 points. There were a few times throughout the game in which the officials' calls were questionable but I never seem to know why.
The Bison seemed to be strong and a bit fast. With their long knee length trunks, I am tempted to compare them to Minnesota phenom Sam Jacobson but the comparison ends short. The Bison are a gritty physical team albeit with a calm demeanor. They punch their way to the basket but are just as capable of hitting from the field. What they lack is finesse and a dab of creativity. Woodside and Winkelman are clearly the best players, but there are some auxiliary teammates which fill in when needed-I make note of Mike Nelson and Marcus Moorman.
In the later part of the 2nd half NDSU let their game slip a bit. I'm not sure if it was fatigue or focus since they were up by 20. Bison Brent even missed 4 free throws during this run. I am not sure if he was paying tribute to the Shaq deal or just couldn't get the shots on.
Nevertheless it was a grand adventure amongst the 2000+ fans in attendance.
The added story to all this is that I got in free. My friend was going to use the 2 for 1 coupon (he did) and give me the ticket. However, I found a ticket on a magazine rack in the ticket booth area. I snatched it up and my friend sold the additional ticket for $6. He made out really good I suppose.

06 February 2008

An Droichead Nua

Newbridge in County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland is a thriving town east of Dublin. It is surprising that its population is roughly around 20,000. That count makes it akin to the town I call home, Hastings. However, Newbridge is no bedroom community. There are a few industries in town, one you might have an intimate dental relationship, Oral-B.
So why do I being this up? Well, an aquaintence of mine hopes to relocate there soon and I thought I'd investigate this place a little. So far it seems like a charming town near enough to Dublin but still on the outskirts to have its own identity.
Slan.