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

Friday, November 22, 2002  

Links For The Linkless Department: Who Links Who is a nifty little tool that shows, well, it shows who links to who, using the blogs4God list of Christian bloggers. I was browsing the list one day, and I noticed that there was a whole slew of worthy blogs with zero--count them--zero links. Today's the day I begin fixing that, with the first of what is intended to be series. Maybe some other bloggers can jump in on the game, too.

Let's begin with I'm a Dad. Aaron's latest blog says:

Sleeping Through the Night - Revisited Apparently Liam was just giving us a taste of the good life last week. He slept well Sunday - Tuesday, but since then has been a completely different story. Every night he has awakened in the middle of the night around 1:30 or 2:00, often more than once. I have the reason narrowed down to just a few possibilities.

Welcome to the mysteries of fatherhood, Aaron. Don't worry, the sleepless nights will end, in about 18 years, or so.

Next up is the Front Range Bible Blog. Mark's latest post is a pointer to a book about one of the heroes of 9-11:
Heart of a Soldier shows us bravery under fire, loyalty to one's comrades, and the miracle of finding happiness late in life. In charge of security for Morgan Stanley, Rick Rescorla successfully got 2,700 of its employees out of the World Trade Center's South Tower on September 11. Then, thinking perhaps of the soldiers who had died in his arms and of Susan, the woman who had "made his life," he went back and began climbing the tower stairs, looking for stragglers.

Have at it, ladles and jellyspoons.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:49 AM

Thursday, November 21, 2002  

"Just What Exactly Does That Mean?" Department: Every once in a while, I'll see a phrase and my brain will grind to a screeching halt. Today, the phrase is "...the exception that proves the rule." I must be dumb or something, because it seems to me that an exception would not prove ("to establish the truth of by evidence; to show to be true by reasoning") a rule; on the contrary, it would tend to cast doubt on a rule.

So I googled "exception that proves the rule" (Good Golly, I love Google!) and found this, which explains it thus:

We think of it as meaning some case that doesn't follow the rule, but the original sense was of someone or something that is granted permission not to follow a rule that otherwise applies. The true origin of the phrase lies in a medieval Latin legal principle: "exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis", which may be translated as "the exception confirms the rule in the cases not excepted".

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:24 AM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002  

Link Swapping Department: I just discovered that Irene Q has listed Outland in her blogroll. I have a pretty simple "rule": You link to me, I link to you.

Thanks, Irene.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:41 PM

Skanks Department: Apropos of my earlier post that mentioned the question "Where did all the skanks come from?", William Sulik posts an extended quote that answers the question, from a source I wouldn't have expected: Tom Petty. (Yes, that Tom Petty.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:04 AM

Obscure Hebrew Words Department: Busy week, so blogging will be light, but I'll give you this to chew on: Our Sunday School class has been using the Crossroads of the World material by Ray Vander Laan (from Focus on the Family). One of the concepts Vander Laan has been emphasizing is that God put the Hebrews in a very special place. The Promised Land was literally at the crossroads of a couple of major trade routes of the ancient world; thus, whoever controlled this location was in a unique position to influence the world.

But the Hebrews couldn't just walk in and take over. They had to fight with several different people groups, such as the people of Jericho, Ai, and the other cities they conquered when they first crossed the Jordan. Later on, the Philistines were among their main enemies. While the Philistines controlled the coastal plains, the Israelites lived primarily in the Judean mountains. Between them was the Shephela, an area of foothills that marked the transition from the plains to the mountains. Control of this area kept going back and forth from the Israelites to the Philistines.

Vander Laan says the struggle over control of the Shephela is similar to how Christians are called to influence our culture. We can be like the Israelites often were, retreating into our mountain strongholds and surrenduring territory to the enemy (that is, the world). Or we can be like the Israelites when they were obedient to God's command and following his judges, and conquer and control the Shephela of our culture, transforming it.

So, the exercise for the class is this: What is your Shephela? Are you conquering it, or have you withdrawn to the mountains?

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:56 AM

Monday, November 18, 2002  

Bandwidth Consumption Department: StrongBad offers some amusing but bad advice on web page design. Call it "Web design for dummies", mostly because you'd have to be a dummy to follow his advice. (Hey, it's from StrongBad, so what do you expect?) "Maybe tomorrow you could be really big in Pakistan. Or at least, with some guy named Stan."

WARNING: this is a Flash site, so be ready for some download time if you don't have a fast connection.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:52 AM

Crunchy Blog Goodness Department: Theosebes is a new blog by Susanna Cornett's brother Alan, that looks at the news from a Christian perspective. Today, he asks and answers the question, "Where did all the skanks come from?"

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:08 AM
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