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Start Date 2008-06-04 11:41:45 |Comments 1,367 |Entries 818 |Images 2,353 |Videos 58 |Mobl 341 |

Category: politics

10/16/09 05:21 - 42ºF - ID#50028

Are Americans Faking Religiousity?





Among developed countries, America is viewed as one of the most religious nations, and it seems that there is no end to its inhabitants' appetite for Christianity in all its flavors. Americans tell pollsters that they go to church in immense numbers, and most of them name the Bible as their favorite book.

Church attendance as established by surveys is one of the main factors alleged to illustrate the depth of religious feeling in America. Depending on which poll you consult, between 33 percent and 43 percent of Americans claim to attend church weekly. Using the low end of that range, we get a figure of around a hundred million people. Even cursory crack research, however, reveals that this can not be true, for the simple reason that there are not enough seats in all churches in America to hold nearly as many people.



I think the article is snarkily amusing, but the second half is easier to poke holes in,

According to a study conducted for the Catholic Biblical Federation in 2008, 93 percent of Americans have at least one copy of the Bible at home. Twenty-seven percent of Americans surveyed believe that the Bible is "the actual word of God, which must be taken literally, word for word," and 78 percent view its contents as true. Almost half of American respondents agree-either somewhat or completely-with the statement "The Bible should be studied at school," and 56 percent have given a Bible as a gift at least once. In addition, a Harris poll conducted the same year showed that Americans overwhelmingly name the Bible as their favorite book.

One might deduct from these numbers that the Americans' knowledge of the Bible is at least somewhat satisfactory. Nobody could like the Bible, let alone maintain that its contents are true, give it as a gift, or recommend that it be taught in schools, without possessing at least an elementary awareness of its teachings. In order to agree that the Bible contains the unerring pronouncements of God, which are to be taken literally, word for word, from beginning to end, one must necessarily be acquainted with what these pronouncements are.



Since they don't reference other polls of American ignorance, it's easy to make fun of Bible literalists' ignorance of the Bible. But it totally correlates with general American ignorance about history (or any other substantive topic).
or


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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

10/10/09 09:45 - 50ºF - ID#49984

Tioga River headwaters in fall

This weekend is peak leaf peeking in Tioga County, but I was there last weekend... Got these shots as the sun was slipping behind the mountains, up past Pirate's Rock.

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We kept driving up the trail to the Wrench and found that people had been burning the plastic/insulation off aluminum, probably to get a higher price selling it for recycling.

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The plastic had melted off and run towards the creek and then pooled where it cooled. The dark bits are the burnt plastic.

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Ew.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: school

10/06/09 01:01 - 57ºF - ID#49944

corporations class

Yeah. So interesting.

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Permalink: corporations_class.html
Words: 5
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/02/09 01:27 - 46ºF - ID#49901

Nisha @ Niagara Falls

thanks, (e:zobar)!

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(okay, not a great shot. i think my room is too dark)

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(better... would prolly easier if i wasn't using a sleepy, resistant puppy)
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

09/20/09 09:07 - 65ºF - ID#49822

photo backlog: lisa's visit

Still back in August...

Lisa, Miriam & I had a wonderful time with the Buffalo Queer Women's meetup and the assorted (e:peeps) who ventured out Friday night at Adonia's. Saturday, we went to the Towne for breakfast and then to the Falls.

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And then we went to the Anchor Bar because Lisa LOVES wings. I had the pesto ravioli, which was pretty good. Lisa said the wings were "eh" and expensive but she was happy that she got to do the tourist thing at the Anchor Bar. (See (e:heidi,49673) for a picture at Anchor Bar.)


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Permalink: photo_backlog_lisa_s_visit.html
Words: 103
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: food

09/17/09 10:43 - 69ºF - ID#49801

No more insulted greens

(fifth & final post today!)

I got some fancy greens from the coop this week.

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The first time I had them, I insulted them by using Hidden Valley Ranch buttermilk dressing (and sunflower seeds! Just like Pizza Hut!) The greens wilted in disgust.

The second time I had them, I used Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. The greens weren't offended but they didn't perk up, either.

Tonight, I got it right. I made lemon garlic dressing, sliced up some grape tomatoes, added goat cheese and sunflower seeds. Wow!

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4 T. olive oil
4 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper to taste.

(From _Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa_ ISBN 9781566563987 p. 14)



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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

09/17/09 09:40 - 69ºF - ID#49800

photo backlog: Fall Brook

We're still in the backlog of photos from August... it was a very nice month for taking pix. (fourth post of the day)

This time we're at Fallbrook, PA, (map: ) formerly a thriving town of 1,400 people with an opera house and a railroad that connected to Corning, NY. (wikipedia: ) It's now a ghost town. The cemetery is amazing but I haven't shot it yet.

Eventually the spot I photographed became a state park with a big picnic area including a pump well, a pavilion, and guardrails along the cliff above the creek. The park has been abandoned. I'm guessing it was abandoned because of the severe acid mine drainage from all the mining (see Uncle Dudley's coal mining museum (e:heidi,49799)). Although the Tioga County Concerned Citizens Committee has been working on AMD remediation for about 20 years now, there's still a lot work to be done for the stream to support aquatic life and be rid of its sulfuric smell. I'd love for this to be a usable park again with fishing, swimming, camping and hiking. Fall Brook is part of the headwaters of the Tioga River which runs north into New York state and then turns back down into PA becoming the Susquehanna, eventually feeding into the Chesapeake Bay.

The entrance bridge. I'm guessing it was built by Civilian Conservation Corps members but I don't know that for sure.
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That bridge is so beautiful!
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A and Nisha on the trail
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Nisha checking out a mushroom
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Mushroom on the trail
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Settling in for the nice view.
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We sat up there for a while... and then I dropped the hood to my telephoto lens 20' down the cliff on the bank of the creek. A thought he was going to scale down the cliff and I said absolutely not! There's a trail down. Nisha was the first to give up hiking from the base of the trail to where the hood landed. she was pretty upset that she couldn't figure out how to follow any farther. Then A had to stop - he boosted me over a pretty big rock & tree combo so I could finish the trek. I know I'm making it sound very arduous, and it was, but it's all within a very small area, just a couple acres.

A little way down the cliff trail looking up
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part of the cliff
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River, waterfall... The orange tint is real - it's from the acid mine drainage. TCCCC does educational events with schoolkids where they can tie-dye white t-shirts in a concentrated version of the orange water. It's pretty gross.
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Back at the top we checked out the cement pad where the picnic pavilion was.

Blackberries. Yum!
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Pump for the well
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Spider & web
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Permalink: photo_backlog_Fall_Brook.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


09/17/09 08:48 - 69ºF - ID#49799

photo backlog: Uncle Dudley's museum

(third post of the day)

Well, it's not really Uncle Dudley's museum, it's her boyfriend Bernie's coal mining museum.

Silver tea set for (e:Matthew)

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Miners' lunch boxes
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Old telephone, radio, lamps and bottles
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Helmet with headlamp, lantern, sitting on a dynamite box
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Five different trivets poured by Ward Manufacturing to celebrate Blossburg Coal Festival and the 75th anniversary of Ward Manufacturing a square nail (there's a word for this - penny nail? it's more of a spike but not big enough to be a railroad spike), a coin bank from Miners National Bank in Blossburg, beer chips from the Duncan Tavern in Antrim, PA (still exists!) and from the Bloss Hotel, which my great aunt & uncle Jack & Vera Reid owned, glasses, and an employment card from the mines. There's an old brass plumb bob in the background.
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Bird cage for canaries the miners would take into the deep mine shafts. When the canary died, they had to get out of there quick - there wasn't enough oxygen.
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Better shot of the bank with some kind of oil can.
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Whiskey, moonshine, and other jugs
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Business card from Jones & Brague Mining Co., the last of the coal mining operations in Hamilton Township. My grandfather worked for them washing coal trucks. He also worked for Ward Manufacturing.
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Telephone directory for Morris Run Coal Co. Bernie couldn't tell me an approximate year, but it was really early - no numbers, just dashes like Morse code. (Sorry for the glare with my reflection - I tried a couple different shots - I would have had to move it to get a decent one.)
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I'm trying to get a good picture that conveys the luxurious summer lazy feeling of Uncle Dudley's back porch. It's latticework covered in old olive tree branches.

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Permalink: photo_backlog_Uncle_Dudley_s_museum.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

09/17/09 08:30 - 69ºF - ID#49798

Zoar Valley

The queer women's meetup group took a hike at Zoar Valley in August with Albert Brown, an excellent tour guide who has been involved in the successful conservation and preservation efforts.

The foot of the "Pyramid"

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Trail

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Scrambling down the pyramid

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I'm fascinated by the shale formations
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Permalink: Zoar_Valley.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

09/17/09 08:23 - 69ºF - ID#49797

photo backlog: Infringement Festival

Like (e:carey), i have a photo backlog, but only since end of July, not last year!

I went to several Infringement Festival events... really enjoyed them. Such a crazy mix.

Albright-Knox - poetry slam in the courtyard. Photos of people reading poetry are not very exciting so I didn't post any.
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This little girl posed for me as I took about 10 shots of her. She loved it.

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Bellydancing in the theater

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Firedancing in Days Park - awesome to watch, hard to photograph.

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Permalink: photo_backlog_Infringement_Festival.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


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