2.27.2008

Review :: U2 3D

My wife and I sat down last night since we were unable to get tickets for U2's last tour trying to get the next best thing. 3D technology has made a tremendous resurgence but I was a bit skeptical going in...how would a concert film be that much better in 3D?

Oh how wrong I was...what I experienced was one of the most visually arresting and kinetic concert films (and films period) I have seen. The concert filmed in Brazil and Argentina was an amazing spectacle with the crowd of well over 50,000 cheering and singing their hearts out to U2's songs from their origins to their latest album. The 3D captured the lighting and movement of the stage and band to such a degree I felt part of the show.

Directed by Mark Pellington (Arlington Road) this film boasts the first live action 3D digital film and it may change the way films come at us in the future. Instead of me trying to go into this, Chris Campbell at Cinematical has a great review about the landmark nature of the film.

You don't have to be a fan (although that doesn't hurt) to enjoy the film as a whole.

2.22.2008

Review :: Juno

I have heard of this movie since early fall when I was won over by its approach to teen pregnancy and its whimsical story. So I went in with high expectations and they were blown away...blown far, far away.

Many have compared "Juno" to last year's indie crowd-pleaser "Little Miss Sunshine" and rightfully so in many ways. They both have spunky outsiders with dysfunctional families (whose isn't?) dealing with adversity. They both have an all-star lineup at the top of their game and memorable moments a plenty. But "Juno" can stand on its own without any comparison no problem.

The world created by first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody, although far from any reality you and I may be living in, is believable on the screen for 90 minutes. Ellen Page's depiction of the unexpectedly pregnant Juno left me smiling and laughing throughout...spunky, confident, vulnerable. She has her own lingo, makes pop-culture references constantly and I (and my wife, for that matter) couldn't help falling in love with her. "Juno" has found itself now on my top 10 comedy films.

A Thermometer and Visual Beauty


Blogging tends to be much like a thermometer for me...depending of the business and demand of life I blog more or less. And as you can see...I haven't been blogging much lately. I will catch you up on the big event I have been prepping for...exciting stuff.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this beautiful ad.

2.16.2008

VIDEO Dudes beware of new Quicktime!!

(THIS IS A POST FOR VIDEO NERDS...sorry)

I love Tubesock and how easily it can extract .flv movies from sites like YouTube BUT the latest update of Quicktime screws it all up! No longer can you watch a video...you only get audio.

So this morning I started scrambling all over the web to find a solution. I tried uninstalling the new release but the program is in so many directories I couldn't delete them all making a downgrade impossible. But I found the solution:

1. Go to PACIFIER and download
2. Download the 7.3 release of Quicktime
3. Install Pacifier and have it install the 7.3 Quicktime packet
4. Tell Pacifier to replace all existing QT files
5. DONE...everything back to normal.
The new version of QT is overwritten by old.

2.13.2008

What's the new 3rd Place (or space)?

"Clearly, Starbucks was ahead of the curve with tapping into satisfying the consumer need of a Third Place—a place besides home and work where people could form community. But consumers have evolved from needing a Third Place to needing a Third Space. This Third Space includes social media spaces like blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Twitter, and many more. These are spaces where meaningful online communities are forming." (from Brand Autopsy)

I think of this from a church perspective and wonder how we can carry our experience from simply being a place to being a space people connect, share and grow. The coffee shop has been the revolution of the late 20th century for a 3rd Place and Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, MySpace, and Twitter have been the latest 3rd Spaces...where next? How can the church recognize this trend and move toward a constructive response? Thoughts, anyone?

2.12.2008

Gratitude Note no. 2

I'm continuing my bold step from a challenge from Ben a few Sundays ago. Gratitude helps defeat pride and he asked us to write notes of gratitude for the next 3 weeks.

I'M GRATEFUL FOR MY FRIENDS

I'm a social person who often thrives from being around people. Over the years I have been blessed with an amazing community of friends. We have shared so many memories, experiences, laughs, tears, and just plain life. They have made my life rich and colorful far beyond what I could imagine.

When I think about some of the memories...a Spring Break trip that started in North Carolina backpacking and ended in sun poisoning on the beaches of Key West, stealing a good neighbors Christmas tree, driving back from Young Life camp and my mini-van door flying off, laughing about what we would do for a million dollars, breaking wrists on 4-wheelers, dreading teaching on Mondays at the pub, dressing up for the Oscars, and so many more...

So thank you, friends. Thank you for being in my life...

2.11.2008

The future of mobile computing?

Is there anything besides excellence?

The Leadership Journal blog had a fascinating link today...a story about excellence and if there is a viable alternative. It is a word synonymous with business and these days the church. But is excellence the penultimate with anything less a sin?

Daniel Schantz writes about this subject is an insightful article for the Christian Standard. Here's a quick taste of some of the article:

The term excellence is often spoken by church leaders in condescending tones, as if to say, “Others may be content with being average slobs, but not us. We must have only the best.”

This can be a slap in the face to members who don’t have the capacity or means to be excellent—the “good,” the “fair,” the “poor." Can only good-looking, gifted singers serve on the worship team? Must church buildings resemble palaces in order to be useful? Do all preachers have to be Madison Avenue models, professional comedians, celebrities, best-selling authors, and able to speak five languages? The gospel was targeted to the poor, not just to the exceptional.

2.09.2008

Apparently the Internet is the next TV...

"...protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery."

- Statement from Writer's Guild officials in an apparent tentative agreement

If, as many have been saying for some time now, the internet is to become the primary driver of both content and delivery of media...how does that also change the way the church should respond in kind? The chance for the church to use this emerging trend now before everyone has jumped the wagon (although one could make the case that the train left the station with YouTube). A place where millions around the globe can access your content...the church has left the building!

2.08.2008

Does the sun hibernate?

I have to be honest...I don't buy all this global warming tomfoolery going on. To me, it has become one of the greatest ways to fund projects for academics and yet another way to for papers/magazines/media outlets to sell people more stuff. (read the analysis based on actual news accounts throughout the 20th century flip-flopping between global warming and the coming ice age).

Now don't get me wrong...I'm not saying stewardship of the earth isn't important but when I hear it equated with the "spiritual crisis" of our time, count me out. It's not that the earth and our climate aren't changing...I just believe it has a whole lot less to do with your tailpipe and a whole lot more to do with astrophysics.

A fascinating piece was published in the Investor's Business Daily about the sun and its cycles. Definitely worth a read regardless of what side of the issue you find yourself on.

2.07.2008

Everyone has religion...

"Everyone has some religion, some ultimate. The religion of modern society is egalitarianism, democracy, brotherhood, society itself...being accepted, being popular, being one of the community. We still want the same thing -- respect and acceptance by others -- but we get it not by being different but by being the same.

Love fits the egalitarian religion of the world world much better than faith does, if you mean faith in the God of biblical revelation, not just faith in a vague force of your own imagination, or faith in faith."

CS Lewis in "Between Heaven and Hell" by Peter Kreeft

2.06.2008

How's that for motivation to serve?

"When anyone enters the Church, he does not enter an institution which began yesterday. The Church has centuries of human history behind it and goes back before the eternities in the mind and intention of God. When anyone takes upon himself anything of the preaching, or the teaching, or the serving work of the church, he does not enter on a service which is without traditions; he walks where the saints have trod."

William Barclay in his commentary on Titus 1: 1-4

I'm preparing for our first major launch of Life Groups since I took it over last summer, and I came across this quote while reading about Titus this morning. The simple yet profound truth of this statement is easily forgotten in a world obsessed with looking forward and leaving its past behind as if it never happened.

For many of people, serving at church means they are doing the church a favor but reading about Paul and the way he addresses his "guys" like Titus and Timothy...it's the exact opposite. Serving, teaching and preaching is a privilege and offers you the chance to trod in the same sphere with the saints.

So as I prepare for Life Group leader training...I will not only remind them but also myself afresh the privilege and honor it is to be in God's service. We are involved in something with deep in history and rich in tradition.

2.04.2008

Heck of a game...how about those ads?

One of the best Super Bowls I have seen. Over 150 people gathered at Four Corners to watch the festivities (Tom Petty still rocks!) and sample soups and chilis for our Souper Bowl.

Someone at Time Magazine watched the game with a laptop to document and grade every commercial on last night...some funny and some not so much. If you want to see their opinions, head on over.

2.01.2008

Your Political Compass

As the presidential debate heats up to a roar...find out what candidate fits your leanings with one of the most comprehensive online tools I have seen, Electoral Compass.