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Posted by on Jul 12, 2007 in Religion, Technology | 0 comments

Discovery of, uh, biblical proportions

This is a fascinating story. An excerpt follows:

THE British Museum yesterday hailed a discovery within a clay tablet in its collection as a breakthrough for biblical archeology – proof of the accuracy of the Old Testament.

The cuneiform inscription in a tablet dating from 595BC has been deciphered for the first time – revealing a reference to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that proves the historical existence of a figure mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.

The discovery was made by a professor from the University of Virginia.

Now, will the mainstream press will pick up on it?

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Posted by on Jun 26, 2007 in Entrepreneurship, Hollywood, Religion | 0 comments

Email re: Hollywood

I recently received an email from a friend (and former intern) who asked if I plan to see Evan Almighty, and if I had any general thoughts about the film.

I may see it on DVD one day, but have no plans to see it in the theater. Even if the reviews had been good (or even lukewarm), I would have still waited; I just don’t have time, or the desire, to go to the movies these days.

With one exception.

I was a worker bee on Evan, my first big-budget studio film in ten years. I got my start on Hollywood films and worked on at least a dozen of them, in every conceivable capacity.  But now I dwell in the indie and documentary worlds, and after the EA debacle, I’m reminded why I bailed from Hollywood in the first place. (I’m putting together an essay on this topic and will post it at a later time.) I met some great folks on the gig, but also saw some wicked mojo behind the scenes, and am absolutely convinced that karma got some serious payback in the form of dismal box office receipts. Enough said for now.

Most ‘movie people’ I know, those that have been in the business for a while, lack enthusiasm for the films on which they worked. It becomes a grind, and the studio execs tend to be neurotic, power-obsessed boobs, and the idiocy rolls down hill. The fun of movie making evaporates when you have marginally competent executives calling the shots, writing the checks, and micro-managing beyond their skill sets. Not unlike regular ‘ol corporate America, I reckon. Again, more about this later.

Finally, filmmaking can be fun, and the advent of digital video, self-distribution and internet delivery are taking the Hollywood ham-fists out of the picture (ha), resulting in a more entrepreneurial environment that leads to greater satisfaction in the ranks. Granted, it may not be as lucrative, but one day it will be, when talented young filmmakers learn to harness and control their own distribution, and cut the greed-heads out of the loop.

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Posted by on May 10, 2007 in Media, Religion | 0 comments

A scientist on evolution…

I find Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, fascinating.

Educated at UVa and Yale, he spent much of his life as an atheist before finding Christianity. His thoughts on evolution:

(When asked, “What do you say to your fellow Christians who say, ‘Evolution is just a theory, and I can’t put that together with my idea of a creator God’?”)

“Well, evolution is a theory. It’s a very compelling one. As somebody who studies DNA, the fact that we are 98.4 percent identical at the DNA level to a chimpanzee, it’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that when I am studying a particular gene, I can go to the mouse and find it’s the similar gene, and it’s 90 percent the same. It’s certainly compatible with the theory of evolution, although it will always be a theory that we cannot actually prove. I’m a theistic evolutionist. I take the view that God, in His wisdom, used evolution as His creative scheme. I don’t see why that’s such a bad idea. That’s pretty amazingly creative on His part. And what is wrong with that as a way of putting together in a synthetic way the view of God who is interested in creating a group of individuals that He can have fellowship with — us? Why is evolution not an appropriate way to get to that goal? I don’t see a problem with that.”

Regardless of your stance on this issue, you must admit, his response is lucid and thoughtfully considered. I wish we saw more of this in public debate, and less of the screeching and name-calling.

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