Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Friday, March 29, 2002  

I'm off for family visits. Have a blessed Easter.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:18 AM

I'm going to follow the Blithering Idiot's lead and post some Terry Taylor/Daniel Amos lyrics here. He deserves the publicity.

The Author of the Story
Music by Daniel Amos, Words by T.S. Taylor
©2001 Zoom Daddy/BMI

She had one foot on the ground
And one foot in the air
(it seemed) the world held her cold hand
While the angels brushed her hair

"but that's how it has to end
On this side of glory,
Some wounds will never mend,"
Says the author of the story

I held one hand in the fire
And lifted one hand towards the sky
But the busy world still turned
And the angels passed me by

Sometimes there seems to be
No author of the story
These thoughts occur to me
On this side of glory

And I kissed the Lamb of God
And my fingers found the wounds
And the angels moved the stone
And I searched the vacant room

That's how it all begins
On this side of glory
"and you'll see her shine again,"
Said the author of the story

For more, go to Daniel Amos : DanielAmos.com.

Trust me on this.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:16 AM

Speaking of NRO, another new link I recommend is The Corner on National Review Online.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:15 AM

Lots of good stuff over at NRO today. Here's another: Michael Novak on Catholic Church & Dissent on National Review Online

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:07 AM

Christopher Hitchens has said the major "monotheistic religions" are the true "axis of evil." Christopher Hitchens is either incredibly ignorant, or a fool. I leave that open; there's hope for an ignoramus. Dave Shiflett has much to say about the impact Christianity has had on our culture.

Yet the fact is that Christianity has worked many wonders in the world. It has played a central role in the creation of Western science, the abolition of the slave trade, and in the creation of some of the West's most sublime and lasting works of art. Its devotees have engaged in countless works of charity, including the creation and expansion of hospitals for both the paying and the poor. Indeed, Christianity has also played a seismic role in the creation of a society that pays bloviators fairly good money for fairly meaningless work.

All of which might be worth remembering at Easter time.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:01 AM

Despite what Nature magazine is trying to assert, non-embryonic stem cells still show much more promise than embryonic stem cells, and without the plunging us into a moral morass. Michael Fumento says:

Such a coincidence! With the U.S. Senate debating so-called "therapeutic cloning" to produce embryonic stem (ES) cells and other countries, such as Canada, suffering similar political agony, Nature magazine releases letters from two research teams saying that the alternative — so-called adult stem cells — may be worthless.

Nature was so eager to get the news out that it even published the letters online, before the print edition. Both letters attack the "supposed flexibility" of NES cells, as one reporter put it. And the world media swallowed it like a starving mouse downing a chunk of cheddar.

The Washington Post subhead flatly declared: "Adult Cells Found Less Useful Than Embryonic Ones." Agence-Presse France headlined: "'Breakthrough' in Adult Stem Cells Is Hype, Studies Warn," while an Australian newswire, AAP, boldly presented its prediction as fact. "New Research Tips Debate on Stem Cells," ran the header.

Wrong, says Indiana State University biologist David Prentice. Instead we have "political science" he says, "speculation and nonsense" in a major science journal designed to influence national policies. The assault goes right to the heart of the debate. That's because research to date appears to show that NES cells are superior in virtually every way except that — or so ES-cell research proponents claim — ES cells have far greater potential to "differentiate" into a vastly greater number of useful mature cells.

Golly! Do you suppose the folks at Nature are trying to influence the policy discussion in Washington? Fine, they have that right. But to do so by publishing misleading information isn't too cool.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:47 AM

Thursday, March 28, 2002  

Why Outland, by the way?

First off, Outland is a locale mentioned in a couple of Lewis Carroll's lesser-known books: Sylvie and Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. (Although they tend toward the maudlin at times--and that's not surprising, considering when and by whom they were written--they're still delightful books. Well worth finding.) Outland is one of the outlying provinces of Fairlyland.

Second, I live in Fargo. How outlandish is that?

Update: "The Professor" I mention in the masthead isn't the person many people refer to as the professor. He's a different person altogether.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:14 PM

I'm going to add some links to blogs I've enjoyed, or found interesting and insightful, or both. The list will undoubtedly grow as I explore the "blogosphere", so stay tuned.

One must list Instapundit among the Grand Panjandrums of blogging. High volume, insightful, and lotsa links.

The Blithering Idiot is neither a blitherer nor an idiot. (Nobody who posts lyrics by Terry Taylor is an idiot.)

Via the aforementioned non-idiot, I found Louder Fenn.

That'll do for now.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:02 PM
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