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June 13 - June 17, 2002



Monday 17th June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


Help Wanted

St Barnabas Anglican church in Sydney is desperate – it needs an atheist. And not just any old non-believer, either. The church needs someone able to debate visiting American Christian academic William Lane Craig in August, at the Sydney Town Hall. Wheezy old Christian-baiter Phillip Adams is unavailable that night, so the church has resorted to placing an advertising billboard outside its premises, hoping to attract the right person. Any reader of this blog able to help should contact the church.



Priest Abuse Scandal, Australia Sub-Division [Cont.]

The Crikey whistle-blowing website reports that the Catholic Church is paying a PR company $20,000 a month to manage news coverage of the latest priest abuse uproar. That compares to the one-off $50,000 payment the Melbourne archdiocese had been offering each of the priests’ many victims. Crikey also carries excerpts from – and links to – the stream of recent stories which add up to “a public relations disaster for the Catholic hierarchy”.


-posted 7:25pm, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

I’ve been following Junk Yard Blog's progress in The Truth Laid Bear map of the Blogosphere. Guess who I found! Congrats Martin. Other blogs I found eking their way into the ecosystem are Relapsed Catholic, Cut On the Bias, Midwest Conservative Journal, Natalie Solent, Joshua Claybourn, Turkey Blog and the wild and crazy Heal Your Church Website.


Shark Blog posts a letter to Palestine from a New Zealander.


He Lives says the USS Clueless is regarding set theory.


Mark Byron has a tribute to his dad.


Redwood Dragon has a great post on Sgt. Strykers encounter with the Sims. Read the Sims post first, then enjoy Redwood Dragon.



Canadian Anglicans

A Diocese in British Columbia has voted to allow the blessing of same sex unions.



Smallpox Update

The World Health Organization, Pakistan Health Officials and the US National Institute of Health say the ‘smallpox’ scare noted last week is the chicken pox. Link via Instapundit.  Here is a story of the confusion in the bio-war in the former Soviet Union.



I Got Conned

On Friday I ran a piece about viruses crossing over into JPEG’s. It turns out it’s an improbability according to the folks at Slashdot.


McAfee and Symantec (and all the other AV vendors out there) are waging a PR war to "discover" ever more news-worthy viruses to defend against. To get maximum coverage, your new virus needs to do something unique or different -- make your computer turn green, or infect something previously uninfectable, or whatever it might be.

Don’t these companies know this kind of advertising is going to be spotted and refuted? Link via Instapundit



A Slippery Slope

On Friday I linked to an Internet story about the domain name for the country of South Africa. This trial in Zimbabwe could have extra-territorial implications. Meanwhile, The Weather Channel and US news sites got hacked with a DOS attack this past week.



Orangutan Buddhist Funeral

Mike, the star attraction at Thailand’s Sa Kaew Zoo was buried with full Buddhist honours yesterday. At first I thought this strange, and then remembered police dogs in North America have funerals.


-posted 10:05am, by Bene Diction



Saturday 15th June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


Lover, Lover, Warm to My Soul

Most of my book, Living Water to Light the Journey, is now online. To tempt visitors to this website to dip into it now and again, I plan occasionally to place short excerpts here on the daily weblog.


One of my goals with the book was to show how our society has changed quite dramatically in just a few decades. As illustrations, I cited examples from popular culture.


For instance, there was a time when the advice columns of women's magazines were a small but important element of support for women


Not any more.


In Chapter 5 I looked at Agony Aunts - the ladies (and sometimes men using a woman's name) who answer readers' letters about life's problems.


I spent a couple of days in the library reading magazine archives, in order to find advice of the past that I could compare with that of the present.


The change was startling, and is evident in the following two letters, taken from my book. The first is from Woman's Day magazine in 1955; the second from New Life magazine in 1998.


I can’t help feeling jealous of my husband’s admiration for a young woman who lives near to us. She is married and doesn’t appear to think twice about him, but I know he thinks she is lovely and he flares into a temper every time I tax him about talking to her. How can I manage him better?


* Learn to manage your own jealousy first. It could poison your relations with your husband, and his tempers are a sign that he resents your possessiveness. Many men admire good-looking young women, but if their wives are wise, they accept this as part of the masculine attitude, and at least pretend that it doesn’t matter a scrap. Usually it doesn’t matter.

“Mary Friend” column, Woman’s Day, 3 January 1955


Can you help me stop being so jealous when my husband gives young women adoring glances?


* On the first night of a new moon, fill a white china cup with mineral water. Add a few drops of orange essence and one drop of musk oil and mix with a silver teaspoon. Wash your husband’s underwear and socks and put the cup of magic mixture into the washing machine as you repeat these words: “Lover, lover warm to my soul and feel my sensitive heart.” Each time you feel a pang of jealousy, light a pink candle and repeat the incantation.

“Cast a Spell” column, New Idea, 17 January 1998


-posted 11:00am, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:


Shooting the Messenger

This decision is not going to win the Catholic Bishops any brownie points with the public. Stupid, stupid, stupid.



The Final Moments

Christianity Today looks at what really happened during the Burnham rescue attempt.



The New Persecuted

Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint on the Burnhams and martyrs.



A Weekend Read

Frederica Mathewes-Green has a web site. Link via Eve Tushnet



South Africa Censorship

We take Internet access for granted. South African’s can’t, after their government moves to take over the countries Internet domain registration.



I Hate Spam!

An Australian is getting all kinds of support after a direct mailing company objected to his objections. Hidden in this story is an even bigger problem for a Christian group.


Adding to the legal melee are reports that a Christian education center said T3 Direct was using its IP address without permission. Steve Crockett, the information technology manager of the Swan Christian Education Center, told local papers that T3's decision to pursue legal action over an IP it did not even own was "absolutely unconscionable."

Go mates!



Child’s Play

A 17-year-old Austrian hacker has romped his way through the Pentagon computers.

FBI agents are on their way to have a serious chat with the young man.



Viruses, Worms and Trojans, Oh My

There is a new type of computer virus that has the potential to affect shared photos.



What we are Doing When We Blog

Awhile back, I posted that the O’Reilly Network was coming out with a book on blogging. Here is an article by the author that every journalist wanting to know what a web log is should read. Link via Instapundit



Another Weekend Read

This is the funniest police log ever.



Blog Watch

Mere Madness has an excellent post on the death of Deborah Yap. This talented young blogger from the Philippines is on my list of must-reads, and should be on yours as well.


Christianity Today’s weblog has more on the Burnhams and lots of other issues.


At In Between Naps Amy Wellborn has clear, sane updates from the Bishops Conference. Relapsed Catholic keeps pace.


In A Mirror Dimly has a four-part series this week on marriage.


Christian Conscience ‘won’ a debate with someone on a ‘board’ recently. To his horror he discovered what was going on in real life with his ‘opponent’. A heartbreaking and timely warning to us all.


Instapundit takes down Midwestern Conservative Journal!  Not to worry. A nod from the prof yesterday sent so many readers to Johnson’s site the bandwidth was exceeded. Quick as ever, MCJ moved posts, links and rants over to Blogspot. Update your link. And, if you can, why not help our favorite underpaid librarian out with a financial donation.


Thanks to the tireless googlebot doing its thing, I discovered was the site of the week at Creative Slips. Thank you! enjoyed Martin’s Tuesday post, "Trust Me. I’m an Expert". He has his own definition of ‘expert’ for Mr. Roth.


Traipsing through’s blogroll this week, I looked for posts exploring what blogging is all about. Stranger in a Strange Land tries to explain it to her mom. Mere Madness ponders bloggers’ praise and fellowship. BloggedyBlog looks at blogging modesty. AKMA’s Random Thoughts tackles the morality of pseudonym blogging. Aarondot gives advice on how to stay modest. Minute Particulars wonders with literary references.


Several months ago I discovered this sanity test on Tim Blair and lost the link. Here it is. In the interest of fair disclosure, I am insane!


-posted 8:55am, by Bene Diction



Friday 14th June, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

It’s a busy day in the blogosphere. Let’s get to it.


Mark Byron responds to a Brothers Judd about post David Brooks article on America’s wealth.


Megan McArdle at Live From the WTC has the clearest explanation of Japan’s economic problems and deflation I have ever seen. Even I understood it.


Joshua Claybourn gets a mention in The Corner.


EslerFried answers my question about why Christians don’t agree on a response to Islam.


JunkYard Blog has his longest post ever! Preston wraps up his look at whether Jose Padilla is Oklahoma’s John Doe #2.


The Captain of the USS Clueless has buckled his seatbelt. Sunny Days in Heaven rebuts den Bestes post on set theory. I wouldn’t know what Russell’s Paradox was if I tripped over it, and I don’t pretend to fully understand this discussion. What I do see is math, faith and emotions colliding. And Perpetual Ephermera’s Louder Fenn takes the Captain on over his post on euthanasia. Follow the USS Clueless links for the train of the discussion.


Relapsed Catholic is following the Bishops and the blogging about the Bishop’s conference as only she can.


I have a confession to make. I personally don’t like reading personal journal blogs. I find most of them quite egocentric. There are exceptions. Reading this post at makes me want to jump to this diarist’s defense. This blogger’s defense is gracious. I’ve already ranted about isolationism in our walk with God.


He Lives puts praise and flattery in their place. Ar arr arrr!


I have really been enjoying posts lately on how bloggers see themselves and their efforts evolving. Spudlets weighs in.




The US and Canada are currently fighting seasonal wild fires and flooding. We have the resources to minimize death and property damage. China does not.


In Shaanxi, the hardest hit region, 152 people were confirmed dead, 266 reported missing and over 110,000 needing emergency aid as of Wednesday afternoon, Zhang Xiaoming, an official at the Civil Affairs Ministry, told AFP.

Some 489 millimeters (19.5 inches) of rain which fell on mountainous regions in the southern parts of the province between June 8 and June 10 has wreaked havoc on farmland while triggering mud and landslides that have covered roads and railways.

"Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and civil affairs officials have directed rescue operations and pledged eight million yuan (one million dollars) in rescue funds to the province," Zhang said.

More than 300 towns and villages were affected in Shaanxi and 83,000 homes were damaged by the flooding, caused by the heavy rain which fell along the Hanjiang river.

Land and mud slides were hampering rescue operations under cloudy skies Wednesday as some 526 kilometers (315 miles) of provincial roadways were blocked and 13 bridges damaged.



What are the Odds?

Gambling is an ugly pastime. It’s getting even uglier.



A Big Grudge

Police think a 71-year-old man who shot four monks and then himself at an abbey in Missouri this week, was upset about his divorce and subsequent annulment 43 years ago. Ephesians 4:26 is worth pondering here.



Reuters Again

An Ottawa teen who got sucked into a sewer has been dubbed ‘Sewer Boy’ by Reuters. Sewer Boy? Sewer Boy? The teen is fine. As for the Reuters writers….



I DOooo

Weddings are a mountaintop experience. Uh, sometimes.



Killing the Sims

Sgt. Stryker, aka Paul, has written the funniest piece on a Sims game I have ever read. Go there now.


-posted 9:00am, by Bene Diction



Thursday 13th June, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

Holy Weblog links up to a quiz. Which of the seven deadlies is your Waterloo? I’ll disclose too.  Sloth. Ouch. Here is a chart explaining the seven, with the corresponding virtues.


Little Green Footballs links to an article highlighting the amazing work that MEMRI is doing.


JunkYard Blog is going to try to tie in the threads from his coup yesterday. Stay tuned.


He Lives posts on forgiveness.


Mark Byron looks at his ego, blogging, and stardom. I think it is nice to be linked and receive kudos from our fellow bloggers; however this ‘star’ thing is a uniquely American obsession.  Joyful Christian is wrestling with vanity too. Josh Claybourn is young and has a ‘gee-whiz,’ ‘swell,’ tone to his praise. I’d like to see some Christian bloggers tackle praise versus flattery.



Take Care of Your Own House

Speakers at the Southern Baptist Conventions annual meeting have warned delegates against passing judgment on Catholic priests.


"We shouldn't enjoy this Catholic mess too much," the Rev. Bobby Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Fla., said Sunday during a service sponsored in St. Louis by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists. "We're waiting on the other shoe to drop, and when it does, don't be surprised if there is more and more within our ranks."


Profiling Christians

Cal Thomas on the Burnham’s choice.




This is an interesting StatsCan release on Internet usage in Canada. Around a quarter of a million households have stopped going on line. Over 15 million Canadians homes are hooked up according to Ipsos Reid.  We certainly enjoy e-mailing.




N.Z. Bear, who made the map of the blogosphere, is bearish on blogging.



It Burns, It Burns

Meryl Yourish, who knows about these sorts of things, writes about the reverse black/white web pages that hurt your eyes.



The Old Man

June 16th is Father’s Day. The World Wildlife Fund has a salute to animal dads.


-posted 11:40am, by Bene Diction