August 12th, 2007


Astro-image of the day: Perseid meteor shower tonight and tomorrow night!

Don't forget, folks! If you have clear sky tonight or tomorrow night, go out somewhere dark and watch the skies - after midnight is best, but any time after 10pm is good. You might see something like this (a time-exposure for dramatic effect, of course):

Click the image to see the story.

Bring a blanket and insect repellant, plus plan a good spot to park and lie down where you won't get hit by passing motorists. Go somewhere that has a dark-ish sky, especially in the northward direction, but if you have a dark sky in whatever direction, just watch the darkest part of the sky. You'll see about one meteor per minute in areas that aren't light-polluted, less depending on how much of the sky is glowy.

Don't just stand and crane your neck, or you'll lose enjoyment in a hurry. Be patient. Talk about life, the universe, and everything. Once in a while, your discussion will be punctuated by, "Oooh, did you see that?"

Speaking of falling stars, I went to see Stardust today with adammaker and Jack and a friend of Adam's, and ran into Chris K. at the theater. Oh, my, if you haven't seen it yet and you like fantasy, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! I loved it! Must go see it again.

Dark skies,

Hot. Did I mention that it's hot outside?

Yeah, as in 107° with heat index right now. After hauling about 150 bricks. Assuming I can get rid of some of my excessive body heat, I'm about to go back outside, unload said bricks, and then go get another load of about equal size, then unload that, too! Why? Because I'm crazy!

Also because they're free. I plan to install a brick sidewalk in the back yard, and with these I might just have enough. Of course, if I were to actually try to start digging the path and laying those bricks in this weather, I would die of heat exhaustion.

EDIT: Whew, finished the second load, showered in COLD water, and am feeling moderately more human.

Also, I just learned that today's heat index in Lawrence reached 112°. Holy fried-Kansans, Batman! And this lovely weather is scheduled to continue through Wednesday.


Lutherans: Making a good name for Christianity

This is heartening; I was raised Lutheran and gave that up about the time I was confirmed. Now the church is currently looking less and less like the "upbaptised babies go to hell" sect it was then.
Lutherans vote to allow gay clergy
CHICAGO, Aug. 11 (UPI) --The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday voted to refrain from disciplining clergy in committed same-sex relationships.

The vote at a national assembly in Chicago came the day after the gathering's delegates voted against removing the requirement that gay clergy remain celibate, The Chicago Sun-Times reported. In practice, gay clergy will apparently face no consequences within the 20-year-old grouping - the largest Lutheran denomination branch in the United States.

“It’s a huge victory,” said Jeremy Posadas, a delegate from Decatur, Ga. “The gospel of inclusion has won and we’re going to keep winning.”

Other delegates were less enthusiastic.

“This decision does not reflect the will of the people, but of bishops and clergy who disregard God’s word,” said the Rev. Mark Chavez, a leader of Lutheran CORE - a coalition that seeks to preserve traditional authority within the church.

The issue of gay clergy is a wrenching one in a number of denominations. The consecration of an openly gay Episcopal bishop has come close to splitting both the U.S. church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.