Of all the problems in the world, you would think a disease that affects 0.002% of the population would receive relatively little attention. And yet, thanks to the latest social media craze, more than 3 million people worldwide donated more than $100 million in August alone to a charitable organization that funds research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gehrig's disease....
Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church Blog
The Oscars have come and gone. Hollywood continues to do its thing: art imitating life, they say. In reality, it’s not that simple: some movies have an agenda beyond pure entertainment; many movies are pure fantasy, divorced from any conceivable reality; and ultimately, Hollywood is a for-profit enterprise....
Any member of Metro church will tell you that our family is made up of people from very different cultures. Even those of us of African descent know that a Nigerian is different from a Ghanaian, is different from a Guyanese, is different from a Jamaican, is different from a New Yorker, is different from a Floridian....
My ninth place showing in the inaugural Metropolitan 5K Run/Walk? Yeah, I’m proud of that! I trained for the race. I ate right the day before. I had a race plan, and I executed it. So when I crossed the finish line--where my wife and daughters were standing and cheering me on--it was mission accomplished....
Last week, in spotlighting National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, WAMU 88.5 FM (the local NPR affiliate) presented a story about a young, homeless mother that left me frustrated and utterly despondent. It went something like this:...
Don’t judge me, but I'd been salivating over the latest, greatest smartphone since it was first rumored a few months ago. TV commercials began to run. I salivated. I pored over glowing reviews in the tech blogs, and salivated some more. I consulted my trusted gang of smartphone addicts/users, many of whom come to Metro Church (the church is a hospital, right?), and, well, they rendered a lukewarm verdict. But it wasn’t enough to tide the salivation.
The more I saw the TV commercials, read the blog posts, and cursed my current phone--which I’ve already run into the ground--the harder the wait became. Three days before the launch date, I broke down and went to the cell phone manufacturer's website--you know, just to do a little bit more research. Those schemers knew I was coming! Prominently displayed on their front page was the following: Get up to $300 for your phone when you upgrade to our new smartphone. Find out how much your phone is worth.
Of course, the trade-in calculator told me that my current phone was worth $65, not $300. But that was good enough incentive. Now, my dream phone would only set me back just $135. I could resist no longer. I clicked the PREORDER button and proceeded to select the color I wanted and the features and accessories. Then just before hit ORDER, a voice inside my head said, “Run this purchase by your wife.”
It was the last voice I wanted to hear--I mean the voice inside my head, and frankly, my wife’s, too. She doesn’t get it: Her phone is like that 10-year-old luxury sedan with only 50 000 miles on it; after one year, my sports car already has 100 000 miles on it, and is running on fumes. But I knew what she was going to say: “It’s not in the budget.”
Since we’ve began attending Financial Peace University (FPU) at Metro--it began in early May and concluded in July--we’ve been faithful to our budget--that “thing” that lets us tell our money where to go. We’ve been having a great time being good stewards, but on one this one purchase, I was sorely lacking in patience. And self-control.
Another big event in science—more momentous than the Venus transit last month - occurred on this Fouth of July. Particle physicists held a much-anticipated press conference in Australia confirming that they had discovered the Higgs boson, aka the God particle.
So what is the Higgs boson, and why do some call it the God particle? If I were to tell you I had a simple answer to the first question, I’d be lying. So here’s my understanding, in a nutshell:
Tomorrow is a very big deal in the science world--and also in our Solar System. For the first time since June 2004--and not again until December 2117!--the planet Venus will pass directly between Earth and the Sun. The phenomenon is described as the key that unlocked the mathematical elegance of the cosmos. Why?
Here’s a description from www.transitofvenus.org:
[Image Credit: NASA]
When Venus passes directly between earth and the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun. Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system. The view is like a front-row seat to the Transit Method, by which we now find planets around distant stars.
Experience the wonders of science and technology, in our backyard
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1; New International Version)
Call me a nerd—you better not!—but I am near giddy about the USA Science & Engineering Festival that’s coming to town this weekend. It has become one of the few major gatherings I gear up for, joining the quadrennial Summer Olympics (I’m accepting donations for a trip this August to London) and the quinquennial General Conference session (San Antonio 2015, here I come).
The last two concerts I decided to put down good money to attend, which also meant hiring babysitters, were Michael W. Smith at Bethesda’s Strathmore Hall two Christmases ago and Mali Music at Metro’s Activity Center this past Easter Sunday. When my two favorite artists come to town, I can’t let the opportunity to hear them pass by. At the Christmas concert, my wife and I sat in plush seats and were serenaded by the 53-year-old Smitty—as true fans are allowed to call him—backed by full symphony orchestra, as he sang such classics as “Agnus Dei.” At the concert on Sunday, the majority of us ignored our chairs, while the 25-year-old Mali—as true fans are allowed to call him—and his merry (to say the least) band and backup singers performed such anti-mainstream YouTube hits as “I Hate You.”