Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big 12 - Pac 10 Hardwood Challenge Schedule

The Kansas City Star just posted the schedule for this year's Big 12 - Pac 10 Hardwood Challenge, a smash-mouth brawl of a series where the Big 12 holds a slight edge. This fall, KU will be traveling to UCLA for what will surely be the most closely scrutinized match-up. Here's details:

Kansas goes to UCLA, Missouri plays host to Oregon and Kansas State entertains Washington State as the pairings and dates for the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series were announced Monday.

Most of the games will be played from Dec. 3-6, with three games occurring outside the window.

Last season, the conferences split the 12 series games, but the Big 12 held a 10-7 advantage in all games between the conferences.

Television and tip-off times will be announced at a later date.

Nov. 29

Nebraska at Southern California

Dec. 3

Washington at Texas Tech

Southern California at Texas

Baylor at Arizona State

Dec. 4

Colorado at Oregon State

Dec. 5

Oregon at Missouri

Iowa State at California

Washington State at Kansas State

Dec. 6

Kansas at UCLA

Arizona at Oklahoma

Dec. 16

Oklahoma State at Stanford

Dec. 22

Texas A&M at Washington

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Lake Swimmers Album on Sale

Last year I stumbled upon Great Lake Swimmers, and ended up loving their 2007 record, Ongiara.

For the next 24 hours, you can pick up their new album, Lost Channels, for just $3. This record doesn't tamper much with the classic GLS formula, merely adding some talented backing vocalists and a little more energy to the banjos, hushed singing, and sense of open, sweeping, outdoor spaces.

If you like Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, or Sufjan Stevens, you'll find something to like on this album. Especially for $3.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Kansas Jayhawk Basketball, 2009-2010 Lineup

How Good Will KU Be Next Season?

So you've probably heard by now that Xavier Henry and brother C.J. are headed to KU and now the Jayhawks are the clear-cut pre-season #1. In case you're wondering, I've already filled out my 2009-2010 NCAA bracket with KU winning it all...

However, while many national hoops pundits are wildly praising Bill Self's recruiting jones--deservedly so--only a few are seriously considering how good Kansas basketball could be next season, and the array of talent Self will have at his disposal. One of those sources is Upon Further Review...who, ironically, was lambasted for saying that Xavier Henry would never set foot at KU.

But after eating a little crow, this blog serves up some of the best KU 2010 Starting Lineup analysis I've found. Check it.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Best Earbuds Revisited

On the day I sat down and slammed out my Best Earbuds post, I had no idea it would become the most popular page on this site. Apparently lots and lots of people want to find a decent pair of earbuds without breaking their bank account. How about that?

I was a penniless student when I wrote the post, and now I'm a mostly-penniless graduate/church planter, so the original concept of strong bass + solid treble range + designer colors + low price continues to appeal.

Apparently it grabs other people too, because according to my Amazon stats, the now-famous V-Moda "Bass Freq" earbuds continue to sell well, and continue to be well-reviewed by other users.

These earbuds come in a good range of colors, so the other day I found myself wondering if that was a big part of their selling point. Are people getting drawn magnetically to the V-Moda color palette? I mean, "tambarine orange" earbuds don't exactly grow on trees.

It was clearly time for some quick market research. According to my stats, here's the breakdown on the most popular (best?) earbud colors.

Bling Bling Black: 50%
Platinum White: 25%
Blue Steel: 16%
Hot Pink: 16%
Tambarine Orange: 16%
Rocker Red: 8%
Rouge Red: 8%

What can we determine from this off-the-cuff market analysis? Well, Jaded Green has fallen on hard times. And the majority of people don't want to get very adventurous with their earbud colors. Maybe it takes more-than-average confidence to pull off a Blue Steel or Rocker Red, I dunno. I should also mention that 8% of earbud shoppers jumped up a price category, opting to make more of an investment in the V-Moda "Vibe" earbuds.

But apparently the greatest attraction of my "best earbuds" are not the color choices. Which, despite the fact that I still think Tambarine Orange is an extraordinary option, is probably a good thing. Great earbuds should primarily be about the ability to deliver great music.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll (Book Review)

No doubt timing had something to do with it, but Mark Driscoll’s latest book, Vintage Church, is my favorite in his Re:Lit series to date. (If you’re looking at the total Driscoll canon, Confessions of a Reformission Rev is still at the top of my list.) Having written on topics like Jesus, the Atonement, church leadership, and the Bible, the biblical foundations for church was a logical next topic for Driscoll to tackle. And tackle it he does.

In Vintage Church, Driscoll’s propensity for landing verbal punches is displayed to good effect. Why? Because the Bible delivers all kinds of body blows to our pride and preferences, and this is never more true than when God speaks about his community, the church. So when we talk about the topic of church, teachers need to let God’s dictates fall. Driscoll does:

The Bible is clear that every Christian is a part of the larger church body and is expected to participate in the life of a local church with the gift(s) God has given him or her. This is so God may be glorified and so his people may be built up through their service to one another. It is therefore a sin for someone who claims to be a Christian not to be actively loving his or her Christian brothers and sisters and seeking to build up the church as fathful members of a church. - Vintage Church, 51

Tough ecclesiology like this leads to a robust explanation of what God’s people are to be and do. Driscoll hits on obvious questions like Who Is Supposed to Lead a Church? Why is Preaching Important? What Are Baptism and Communion? He fleshes his positions out with scriptural care, but also with a practitioner’s eye:

Preaching is like driving a stick: you only get better the more you practice, and the hope is not to kill anyone as you learn, while accepting that a few dents are inevitable. - Vintage Church, 92

Driscoll also discusses topics less-frequently discussed, like church discipline, technology use, and the active role of members. And while I’ve developed a gag reflex for blog posts and titles featuring the word “missional,” “What is a Missional Church?” is one of the best chapters in the book. A few lines…

A missional church goes to great lengths to understand the people God has sent them to. It seeks to know the culture and people better than any other organization, even businesses…(224) Such labor is “for the sake of the gospel,” which means that any church that only does evangelism without first studying the culture in an effort to contextualize does not truly care about the gospel (228).

[Many people] still live under the myth that missions is something that happens across the world rather than across the street, and that missionaries are special people and not normal Christians. This is a sin to be repented of (230).

Too often, what is called a missional church is nothing more than a hip, trendy gathering of the disgruntled children of other churches, where few if any true conversions are experienced (232).

Countercultural living requires becoming a stakeholder in the culture (235).

Gerry Breshears, Driscoll’s co-author, does a very solid job fielding common questions after each chapter, a feature that adds to the book’s blue collar tone. Vintage Church is highly recommended.

Cross-posted on my church plant blog.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Fourth Jason Bourne Film Slated for 2011

/film gives us an update on the consistently excellent Jason Bourne movie series:

Producer Frank Marshall updates us on the status via Twitter saying that Bourne Ultimatum/Ocean’s Twelve scribe George Nolfi “should have a draft by June” 2009 and that the film “is in the works for Summer 2011.” This of course would mean that the film would need to go into production by Summer 2010, October at very latest. “It really take long to get these scripts right! :),” admits Marshall. Marshall has previously stated that he would like to see Bourne go to South America in his next adventure, which will be the first movie not based on a Robert Ludlum novel.

The bar for action and intrigue was set so high in the first three movies that I'm almost surprised that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are taking aim at a fourth. Not to mention that with the advent of the amazing new Bond films, any additions in the Bourne series will also have to answer to the golden 007 standard. Still, when this one drops, I will be heading to the theater.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Asher Stalks a Banana

While Asher has adapted to the Living Room and Bedroom environments, the Kitchen is his native habitat.

Cross-posted on arieljvan.com

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.



Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife