Thursday, December 23, 2004

Walden Media - An Impressive Record

Walden Media is set to produce "The Giver."

According to their press release
"Jeff Bridges is attached to produce, and Todd Alcott is writing the screenplay based on the beloved and Newbery Medal-winning young adult science fiction novel by Lois Lowry. The Giver is the riveting story of Jonas, a 12-year-old boy living in an idyllic future society where all memory of human history has been erased. The sole keeper of the vast range of human emotions that are unknown to the larger community is the 'Giver,' a man chosen as an adviser, whose unique access to knowledge isolates him from the rest of society. Jonas' simple life is thrown into turmoil when he is designated to inherit the Giver's dangerous yet prestigious role. Under the Giver's instruction, Jonas begins to learn increasingly chilling truths about the world he lives in. This growing knowledge sparks the flame of true rebellion in Jonas as he defies his society and risks his own life to save a child in jeopardy. "

Now This makes me pretty impressed with this company. Allow me explain why. First, I think that Young Adult books are perhaps one of our most important social assetts. This group needs stories that are entertaining and spiritually, socially, or politically challenging. Second, in this day and age of film, I think the greatest of these stories need to be told by great filmmakers.

So I present to you a list of the Top 10 Young Adult Books I have Read

1. The Giver - Lois Lowry
2. Magicians Nephew - C.S. Lewis
3. Lion Witch & Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
4. Johnny Tremaine - Esther Hoskins
5. When the Legends Die - Hal Borland
6. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkhban - J.K. Rowling
7. Holes - Louis Sachar
8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - Robert C. O'Brien
9. A Sound of Thunder - Ray Bradburry
10. Harry Potter & The Sorcer's Stone - J.K. Rowling

Now I present that same list as Movie by Production Company:

1. The Giver - Coming 2005 - Walden Media
2. Magicians Nephew - Coming Soon - Walden Media
3. Lion Witch & Wardrobe - Coming 2005 - Walden Media
4. Johnny Tremaine - No Movie Adaptation
5. When the Legends Die - No Movie Adaptation
6. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkhban - 2001 - Warner Brothers
7. Holes - 2003- Walden Media
8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - 1982 - MGM
9. A Sound of Thunder - No Movie Adaptation
10. Harry Potter & The Sorcer's Stone - 2004 - Warner Brothers

A qucik survey shows their work on 4 out of 10 take out the 3 out of the 10 that have not been made and that puts them at nearly 60% of my list. Pretty Impressive Record if you ask me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

As a special celebration of my 30th birthday, I have convinced Ms. Rowling to release Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on July 16th of next year. Although at first she was reluctant to allow her release date to be exploited, eventually she decided for a friend as close as me, for an event as momentous as turning 30, she would make an exception. I could not have been more honored. I hope you all will venture out on the 16th of July in the year of 2005 both for the book, and for a birthday present for me. :-)

Chronicles of Narinia - First Peeks

The powers that be at Disney have released a Behind The Scenes documentary on the making of next Christmas' smash "The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe". The featurette focuses not on the role of Andrew Adamson director or Brian Cox the voice of Aslan and his team of fellow actors, but instead on the role of Richard Taylor and his astounding staff at Weta Workshop, of Lord of the Rings Fame. It is a visual treat, and sure to be only the first of many wonderful glimpses we will see of C.S. Lewis' famed work as it come to life this next year.

Monday, December 20, 2004

TiVo Vs. Cable DVR - A Comparison

In my ongoing quest to further the cause of TiVo usage everywhere I offer this friendly article on TiVo / Cable DVR comparisons.

Please Enjoy

Friday, December 17, 2004

The New Persecution

Christian Protestors Face 47 Years in Jail for Encounter at 'Gay Pride' Event after a federal judge refused to send a message to the Philledelphia DA's office that Freedom of Speech is granted to Christians the same as it is granted to those against Christianity.

I want to stress that this trial is a milestone in the growth of the church. Complacency and Apathy is the Hallmark of Christian Character today. In a time where Christian's are jailed for preaching the Bible: in a time when a student can be expelled for wearing a shirt that says "STRAIGHT": In a time where Christ has been LEGALLY removed from Christmas: In a time where the 10 commandments have been removed from the court room: and In a time where the declaration of independence has been deemed as "anti-American rhetoric" this attitude will be erradicated. Christianity is coming to a time of testing. We will lose jobs, homes, family members, and those who are uncommited to the faith they now claim.

Take heart in the words of Christ!

Matthew 5:10-12 - Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Luke 21:12-18 - “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.

John 15:18-21 - “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

I encourage you to understand that when the law can no longer protect us from the strength of secularism we should welcome the "fire that refines" the church, and prepare ourselves for the day of trial.

Practical Steps -
1. Memorize Scripture - I think this is the first most important lesson, Bible's will be come scarce, implant as much of the word of God in your mind as possible.
2. Prepare Your Children - Make sure your children understand why we are different, why we are hated, and why we must stand firm.
3. Pray for Strength - The pain of the flesh must be subjected to the will of the Spirit. Pray for a prepared relationship with Christ, a dependence on the power of the comforter, and a fellowship with the father to withstand the suffering of the flesh.
4. Repent & Evangelize - We must clear out our own sin and weakness, and work to share the gospel with "as many as possible, as often as possible" to prepare for the impending day.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

So Why Keyhole is My Question...

I am thinking about this a lot -Why does Google want Keyhole? It's just a big computer, with a big index of Geographic locations and photos.
Locations and Photos... I focused on this for a long time.... Maps.Keyhole.Com does not seem like all that practical of a money maker... So what is the connection. Then is hit me...I am focusing on locations and photos when the key is "indexes" Everything has always been about getting a backrub from the indexes.
Combine geographic indexes, and web indexes and targeted advertising takes on a whole new power. It is the Yellow Pages taken to a whole new level


Imagine with me for a moment the power of Google's newKeyhole service combined with Rand McNally's Driving Directions power.
Here is what I am saying. Have you seen the turn by turn insets in Rand McNally maps?
Now imagine if I was looking at the REAL INTERSECTION with my turn overlaid. Now that is a subscription service I could sink my teeth into.
Combine this with Verizon's Cellular DSL and the power to fly along my path on my screen, with my turn by turn directions. Add GPS and we have a whole new power!!!
This could be cool!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

T-Shirt Hell :: Shirts :: IDIOTIC CRYBABIES

T-Shirt Hell :: Shirts :: IDIOTIC CRYBABIES

TiVo vs. Microsoft vs. the Set-Top Box

After reading this article on the battle between Big Green, the little screen, and the cable companies I was also reminded I needed to check out Digital Joy which is an unbranded look at HP's digital media hubs that were being showcased at Woodfield Mall this past Saturday.
I think the analyst major flaw in awarding the win to MS is that to put programming in 2 rooms from HP/MS is $1700 and to put programming in 2 rooms from TiVo is as low as $160. Now even at the $20 a month difference to pay for programming on 2 units with TiVo that is over 6 years before the MS option has justified it's cost differential.
I am not buying electronics with a 6 year ROI.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Nature of Gambling

There are 2 great moral questions I have changed my position on in the last few years based on the expert logic, Biblical exposition, and sustained effort of people I respected greatly.

The first is the subject of abortion. 5 years ago I felt that abortion though morally wrong was a civil right in a free society since it "did no harm" the measure that should callibrate crime. Alan Keyes in his 2000 presidential run convinced me that in fact, it was a civil wrong, since it did do harm to the most basic and most innocent of mankind the unborn, and they like all people were "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" This guarntee was co-opted as an offering to the gods of vanity and convience against the most vulnerable of our society .

The second issue that I have changed my mind on is the issue of gambling. In the past, I did feel it was wrong for a Christian to gamble if it was a problem that caused him or her to shirk responsibilty for his or her family that was ordained by God. However Chuck Miller - our minister at the West Chicago church convinced me that the sin of gambling was that it was capitalized on our flesh using all three lies of Satan. This point was well illustrated in an Agape Press article I read today where the author points out, "Gambling is always sinful because it emanates from a spiritual motive God summarily rejects."
The basis of gambling is to "gather gain" by expoliting others who have experienced loss. The LOSS by others is the fundamental problem that can not be ignored. It is a violation of the command to "love one another" if we steal from those in need by means of gambling.

These sins are so much at the heart of the falling of this great nation. We as a people and a nation will pay the judgment for the ongoing growth of these exploitations. We are at a crux where our choice is only to tear down these "high places" of abortion and gambling and seek God's revival in our hearts and lives.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Teachers - Are They Pulling Their Investments Out of Public Education

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute published a paper noting the disporportional relationship between public educators and the general public in usage of private schools rather than government schools for their own children.

Here is the opening to the paper

Does it matter where public-school teachers send their own children to school? If so, how and why? What can we learn from them? What we are grappling with here is the question of connoisseurship. Stock analysts, for example, watch carefully when corporate directors buy or sell the stock of companies on whose boards they serve.
Similarly, we can assume that no one knows the condition and quality of public schools better than teachers who work in them every day. Teachers, it is reasonable to assume, care about education, are reasonably expert about it, and possess quite a lot of information about the schools in which they teach.
If these teachers are more likely than the general public (which may not have nearly as much information or expertise in these matters) to send their own daughters and sons to the public
schools in which they teach, it is a strong vote of confidence in those schools. If they do not, then we might reasonably conclude that those in the best position to know are signaling a trong “sell” about public education in their communities...

It is important to note that if those charged with education in this nation, do not trusts our government education systems, we as responsibile parents must find better educational solutions for our children. Whether that is home school or private school, this is another proof that government schools have failed.

TiVo - Should I Get One

In my entry last week Is TiVo the "Beta" of DVR I discussed the pundits opinion on how people would go the Comcast Route for their DVR rather than the TiVo route. I understand the dilemma and would rather pay an extra $10 a month myself than buy a piece of hardware, and still pay that fee, if I was not already vested into the equipment. The product is clearly inferior, but it does the job and get the TV shows recorded, so who can complain.

I was not expecting to see it so quickly. I have had my first coworker ask my opinion on the Comcast DVR. So I guess this puts us in the last days of the kingdom of TiVo.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Another Example of UN Corruption

The Washington Times in their House Republicans call for Annan to step down article today point out the U.N. lack of cooperation in the investigation into the Iraq Oil for Food scandal. When an international organization feels it is above investigation by a member nation, it is time for that member nation to get out.

We should leave Annan in power, but take our membership, military, and fiscal resources. The U.N. is bad for America, this defiance is just another example of why.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Is TiVo the "Beta" of DVR

I was quite saddened by Steve Johnson's assertion in the Chicago Tribune that TiVo may be to the Beta-Max of DVR technology. How can my beloved TiVo be the future loser to an inferior yet popular trend, the Comcast DVR. It is a real loss for the DVR world to see the potential for this pioneer to one day pack up and be replaced by the less powerful, less user friendly, cable provider system.