Today’s Sermon: Jesus Without Underwear

Dear Congregation,

Recently, like many other congregations around the United States, we all went to see Man of Steel to better understand Jesus through the remarkable parallels found in Superman. I am serious. There were many other congregations whose pastors also led them to see Man of Steel (Daily Telegraph). And here some of you thought I was a heretic!

One aspect of the Man of Steel which we did not address as a metaphor to Jesus, but which got your attention and confused you, was the loss of his red underwear from his previous image. What did that mean???

Was there new research to suggest Jesus went commando underneath that robe? On a more practical level, should you be going commando to be more in the image of his Holiness??? Continue reading

Extended Video of Batpod Motorbike by Vietnamese Super Fan

Vu Tung Lam, a mechanic from the tiny village of Lang Son recently introduced himself to the world by building working prototype of the Batpod, Batman’s motorbike from The Dark Knight trilogy! See my extended video of it below and read more about this cool machine made from an old $125 Suzuki motorcycle!

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Hey (fat) Girl Friend, Wanna Be My Bridesmaid (so I can look thin)?

Here’s definitely something to think about the next time you are at a wedding, or see someone’s wedding pictures!

On July 6, the Daily Telegraph in the UK ran a story about how one-third of engaged British women in a survey by Slim Fast admitted they would choose an overweight friend for a bridesmaid to make them look better (i.e. thinner) on their wedding day (and the photos from that day that would be cherished as long as the marriage lasts).

OH MY!!!

That was my first reaction. Insecurity and vanity have gone to new heights! While I’m sure this is nothing new after thinking about it, just the thought shocked me… though I’m not a woman so that would go far to explain why. I did know about women having bigger purses to make them look thinner, tight stuff to hold it in, curved lines to fool the eyes on actual size and shapes of their bodies, having an uglier friend be their “wingman” out on the town so they’d look more attractive (guys do the same thing though not me), etc. But this was way above and beyond that for me because this threw out true friendships for obesity!

OUCH!!!

That was my second reaction. If this ever really got out, every woman who will ever get asked, or not asked, to be a bridesmaid, is probably going to think about this reason as a possibility first. If she didn’t get asked, the reaction might be just a slight snark. If she did get asked, especially when she didn’t think she was among the bride’s top 3-5 friends, she might be outright insulted. Now, I know brides also take bridesmaids from her family or the groom’s family, too, to include them in the wedding party a little more. But hey, now there is a great excuse to eliminate some thin friends without telling them the truth about how insecure you were!

Just the thought you could have been included or excluded among the bridesmaids for your weight is just NASTY!!!

Now, this “one third” group is just those who admitted it! I wonder how many didn’t admit it???

And how many who would undoubtedly be in self-denial about it?

Come on. People are in denial about all sorts of ludicrous things. That’s why admitting you have a problem is truly the first step towards solving it… whether it’d be addiction or something light and simple.

Worse, what do you think those rates would be in America these days, where obesity is literally an epidemic?

Literally means statistically cause they’ve got far more than enough numbers to prove it!

Good Lord!

There were a few other eye opening details from this survey, like how brides diet before their wedding and such. However, they weren’t surprising to me. People, men and women, do all kinds of crap to their bodies that are far worse, and friendships were not at stake here.

There was also a result about how the women surveyed said buying a new outfit boosted their confidence. Hey, you think marketers don’t know this when they advertise to women? And don’t give me the “that’s BRITISH women” or “that doesn’t apply to me” stuff. If it didn’t, the woman is uncommon, if not rarer than that. Too bad the odds are she’s probably not nearly as uncommon as she thinks she is there. That uniqueness affliction is true for all humans as many psychology studies have shown. Also refer to note above on “denial”.

But I especially loved the 40% who said new shoes made them feel better about their appearance. Maybe so, but if that feeling better has anything to do with men looking at them, and a lot of it is, let me share the news the men aren’t likely looking at their feet if the men were checking them over! The eyes stop far above the feet!

That’s enough of all that for now, though. It’s plenty to chew on. But maybe you’d like to answer a couple of these questions knowing results from that SlimFast survey. This is not meant to be scientific or anything. Just throwing some thoughts out there in hopes the people who respond would be honest, and seeing what comes back.

If the Sim Fast survey were correct and you’ve had a chance to be in more than 3 bridesmaid parties in the past 5 years or so, statistics say you should probably answer “yes”.

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If the Slim Fast survey were accurate, and you have 3 or more married female friends whose wedding you have attended, statistics say you would probably answer “yes”. Let’s see if the men’s opinion differ from the women’s below. Don’t tell your friends if you answered “yes”, though, cause you know they’ll ask you which friend/s prompted the answer. For women who like to gossip, and there are many who do, this could be “fun” (aka nasty) gossip!

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If the Slim Fast survey were accurate, and you have 3 or more married female friends whose wedding you have attended, statistics say you would probably answer “yes”. Compare to the men’s results above. Don’t tell your friends if you answered “yes”, though, cause you know they’ll ask you which friend/s prompted the answer. For women who like to gossip, and there are many who do, this could be “fun” (aka nasty) gossip!

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.5

It’s Over Susan Boyle, Hollie Steel’s Got Your Number

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Update from May 15, click here to share what Hollie Steel and Susan Boyle should sing next in Britain’s Got Talent in order to be better than the other!

From May 30, see Hollie’s semi-final and final performances.

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OH… MY… GOODNESS!!! Whatever’s in the water over there in Britain, the Americans could only wish they had the same thing going. Where the British keep finding some of these talents is beyond me but have a listen to what little 10 year old Hollie Steel does in her Britain’s Got Talent 2009 audition… especially the last notes in the song that she hits… and I mean HITS! Can you say, ree-DONK-u-lous???

Hollie Steel

Hollie Steel

Well, wait a minute. I take that all back. I actually have no words worthy of what I saw Hollie do in that video.

However, I had to come up with a story to blog and share this video because my superlatives weren’t good enough. So how’s about me making the call Hollie’s going to beat out Susan Boyle to win Britain’s Got Talent 2009 unless some even more amazing comes along? That might be hard to imagine but, hey, that was hard to imagine when Susan Boyle did her audition. You can leave your opininon in the poll below to agree or disagree with me if Hollie will win, but here’s my reasoning, psycho and social analysis, Siminh Cowell style! 😉

Let’s start with talent. After all, BGT is a talent show, right?

No contest. Hollie Steel could sing Susan Boyle out of the auditorium. Don’t get me wrong, I like Susan Boyle’s voice a lot, but she simply doesn’t have the power, dexterity, range, timbre or much of any other qualities by one gauges a voice that little Hollie does. This girl could sing the birds out of Britain, never mind Susan Boyle out of the auditorium! If there were no birds in Britain left next year, it won’t be because of climate change. They’ll have gone to where the singing competition weren’t nearly as tough!

Second, not in importance but what popped into my mind, appearance. Are you kidding me? Sure, the old spinster look is charming and refreshing among all those teenage pop stars and older ones who overdo their looks, but that can’t complete with an adorable 10 year old girl cuter than any button I’ve ever seen!

Third, expectations. Susan got the audience so riled up because initial expectations for her were below Hollie’s. People were so cynical towards Susan, which was what made her audition video so moving the way she turned them on a dime to be her supporters. Of course, Hollie dealt with cynicism towards her in the form of Simon Cowell flashing his hand just 15 seconds into her audition, ready to buzz out her out at 3:19 left in the video. But true to her name, she was solid steel to stand her ground. She did not so much as even flinch at the sight of his look and opened hand. She just waited for a few seconds till the music queued her in, opened her mouth, almost as if on queue to respond, and released a tsunami of a singing voice that startled Simon back in his place, with a shocked reaction on his face that was just priceless! But, in general, Hollie was a cute girl people were hoping to succeed from the start. Nobody likes to see a little girl get crushed publicly, and so the expectation change from start to end for Hollie wasn’t nearly as large as Susan’s. Just look at judge Kelly Brook‘s face light up at 3:54 remaining in the video when Hollie came out. Kelly was just enamoured with this girl throughout! However, next time out, the surprise will be gone for both. The audience will listen and they’ll look, to which I defer to my first and second arguments above in favour of Hollie.

Fourth, determination versus innocence. Susan Boyle knew she could “rock” that audience as she said in her audition video. It was a matter of people giving her the chance. She was going on determination, not innocence. She knew she was good, had recorded before and that it was her looks that stood in her way. Hollie Steel, meanwhile, “only entered in the competition so she did not feel left out when her 15 year old brother Josh also went for an audition”, according to the UK Telegraph. It may be easier to admire determination than innocence, but I argue it’s easier to fall in love with innocence. If BGT isn’t a talent contest, it certainly is a popularity contest. Hollie’s got talent, and she’s got love, doubly trumping Susan again. Besides, Simon’s already issued public warnings to Susan to focus on the contest and not get carried away with fame. Susan’s already lost her innocence. As for Hollie and determination, she’s got plenty, overcoming near death from pneumonia at the age of four!

Finally, voter demographics. Britain and the Western world are getting older. Susan Boyle’s got a lot more people in her age bracket (40-60 year olds) than 0-20 year olds in Hollie Steel’s age bracket, half of whom won’t likely be calling in much. However, last I checked, children, especially adorable little girls singing the birds to shame, rather loved by the general public. I think a lot of people Susan’s age will vote for Hollie the kid, hoping or having grandchildren of their own at their age. It’s all about the children at that age, not your fellow age groupers who are talking about failing body parts and new medication! And no, those few cowardly cyber bullies doing stupid things online dissing little Hollie, hiding behind their Internet covers, aren’t nearly enough to alter the votes. (see Sun story link below)

Right now, Susan Boyle is still the 1-2 favourite (The Sun, UK), but I’m going to step out and call it for Hollie barring a better candidate later.

Right or wrong, though, BGT 2009 has got me hooked! I will be following this year the rest of the way!

As for their American equivalents, I blogged just the other day asking what does America’s Got Talent, or American Idol, have to compete with Britain’s Got Talent seeing videos the likes of Connie Talbot, Paul Potts, Susan Boyle? The question becomes even more pressing now with Hollie Steel coming along! I’m starting to think those American shows should be called America Ain’t Got No Talent and American Idle! Go to the post questioning that talent and prove me wrong with some answers!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.6

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