Super-woman?

This woman is great. To think that jabbing pen in its eye wouldn’t stop it. But then if you’re really hungry then its hard to distract you from the goal of eating (and I know this from experience for a few people I know). And for those who don’t have time or choose not to read the following article, well actually no. Read it yourself.

Woman Saves Husband from Mountain Lion

“SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — Wildlife officials on Thursday credited a woman with saving her husband’s life by clubbing a mountain lion that attacked him while the couple hiked in a California state park.
Jim and Nell Hamm, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month, were hiking Wednesday in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, 60 miles south of the Oregon state line, when the lion pounced.
“He didn’t scream. It was a different, horrible plea for help, and I turned around, and by then the cat had wrestled Jim to the ground,” Nell Hamm said in an interview from the hospital.
Jim Hamm was recovering from a torn scalp, puncture wounds and other injuries.
After the attack, game wardens closed the park and released hounds to track the lion. They later shot and killed two lions found near the trail where the attack happened.
The carcasses were flown to a state forensics lab to determine if either animal had mauled the man.
Although the Hamms are experienced hikers, neither had seen a mountain lion before Jim Hamm was mauled, his wife said.
Nell Hamm said she grabbed a 4-inch-diameter log and beat the animal with it, but it would not release its hold on her husband’s head.
“Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, ‘I’ve got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye,”‘ she said.
“So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn’t want to go in as easy as I thought it would.”
When the pen bent and became useless, Nell Hamm went back to using the log. The lion eventually let go and, with blood on its snout, stood staring at the woman. She screamed and waved the log until the animal walked away.
“She saved his life, there is no doubt about it,” said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game.
Nell Hamm, 65, said she was afraid to leave her dazed, bleeding husband alone, so the couple walked a quarter-mile to a trail head, where she gathered branches to protect them if more lions came around. They waited until a ranger came by and summoned help.
“My concern was to get Jim out of there,” she said. “I told him, ‘Get up, get up, walk,’ and he did.”
Jim Hamm, 70, was in fair condition Thursday. He had to have his lips stitched and underwent surgery for other lacerations on his head and body.
He told his wife he still wants to make the trip to New Zealand they planned for their anniversary, she said.
Nell Hamm warned people never to hike in the backcountry alone. Park rangers told the couple if Jim Hamm had been alone, he probably would not have survived.
“We fought harder than we ever have to save his life, and we fought together,” she said.”

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Worshipping Zeus

In light of going to the Getty Villa on Saturday, this article on CNN was entertaining to read yesterday. And no, this definitely means I am not starting to worship Zeus.

Zeus Makes a Comeback in Greece

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A clutch of modern pagans honored Zeus at a 1,800-year-old temple in the heart of Athens on Sunday — the first known ceremony of its kind held there since the ancient Greek religion was outlawed by the Roman Empire in the fourth century.
Watched by curious onlookers, some 20 worshippers gathered next to the ruins of the temple for a celebration organized by Ellinais, a year-old Athens-based group that is campaigning to revive old religious practices from the era when Greece was a fount of education and philosophy.
The group ignored a ban by the Culture Ministry, which declared the site off limits to any kind of organized activity to protect the monument.
But participants did not try to enter the temple itself, which is closed to everyone, and no officials sought to stop the ceremony.
Dressed in ancient costumes, worshippers standing near the temple’s imposing Corinthian columns recited hymns calling on the Olympian Zeus, “King of the gods and the mover of things,” to bring peace to the world.
“Our message is world peace and an ecological way of life in which everyone has the right to education,” said Kostas Stathopoulos, one of three “high priests” overseeing the event, which celebrated the nuptials of Zeus and Hera, the goddess of love and marriage.
To the Greeks, ecological awareness was fundamental, Stathopoulos said after a priestess, with arms raised to the sky, called on Zeus “to bring rain to the planet.”
A herald holding a metal staff topped with two snake heads proclaimed the beginning of the ceremony before priests in blue and red robes released two white doves as symbols of peace. A priest poured libations of wine and incense burned on a tiny copper tripod while a choir of men and women chanted hymns.
“Our hymns stress the brotherhood of man and do not single out nations,” said priest Giorgos Alexelis.
More than a mere re-creation
For the organizers, who follow a calendar marking time from the first Olympiad in 776 B.C., the ceremony was far more than a simple re-creation.
“We are Greeks and we demand from the government the right to use our temples,” said high priestess Doreta Peppa.
Ellinais was founded last year and has 34 official members, mainly academics, lawyers and other professionals. It won a court battle for state recognition of the ancient Greek religion and is demanding the government register its offices as a place of worship, a move that could allow the group to perform weddings and other rites.
Christianity rose to prominence in Greece in the fourth century after Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion. Emperor Theodosius wiped out the last vestige of the Olympian gods when he abolished the Olympic Games in A.D. 394.
Several isolated pockets of pagan worship lingered as late as the ninth century.
“The Christians shut down our schools and destroyed our temples,” said Yiannis Panagidis, a 36-year-old accountant at the ceremony.
Most Greeks are baptized Orthodox Christians, and the church rejects ancient religious practices as pagan. Church officials have refused to attend flame ceremony re-enactments at Olympia before the Olympic Games because Apollo, the ancient god of light, is invoked.
Unlike the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the old religion lacked written ethical guidelines, but its gods were said to strike down mortals who displayed excessive pride or “hubris” — a recurring theme in the tragedies of Euripides and other ancient writers.
“We do not believe in dogmas and decrees, as the other religions do. We believe in freedom of thought,” Stathopoulos said.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thankfully it is the end of the week. I am not sure why, but instead of this week being shorter, it felt much longer than others. It is the weekend though and I am happy.

Tonight we’re going to Truth and Life. We went last night and listened to Azurdia speak about running the race from Hebrews 12:1-3. It was good. Probably what even just as enjoyable was being able to catch up with the few friends that also came, and even fewer who still attend Master’s. Pennington is preaching tonight, but I am not sure of the subject, except the theme is Glory of the Cross. I get to pick up dinner on the way up and I think I am going to stop at Famima!! Think of a Japanese 7-eleven and that’s it, except much better than our 7-elevens here (and probably 200x’s more healthier for you).

Tomorrow we go to the Getty in Malibu. And it is going to be 60 degrees. I’m thrilled that it will be that warm.

Well time to let the weekend c’mon in…

(in other words, time to leave work)

Electronic books? Being an avid reader I usually scoff at the idea of electronic books, primarily because snuggling up with a computer or PDA is idealistically wrong. Besides, after an hour or so of staring at that illuminating glow my head begins to swim and my eyes become crossed. When I am going to read for any amount of time I want to feel the pages of my book, to turn each page after finishing reading it gives me sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. Seeing that scroll bar farther down its straight path hardly gives me that same sense of satisfaction, but perhaps it could if I just trained myself. Train myself? I think not.

In Japan however, a new trend is starting called the mobile phone novel. Being an ever forward moving and constantly moving nation, its no wonder that people are now downloading novels to read on their cellphones. And primarily these novels are not War and Peace or Murakami, but novels written by other fellow anonymous Japanese cell phone writers. Rather than typing their famous work of art on the computer, they type it on their cellphone. I’d think their fingers would cramp much sooner than they would typing or writing longhand. How soon will cell-phone novels be popular here in the States? Try maybe a year or two.

The article (courtesy of Wired Magazine):

“Chaco types furiously on her cell phone keypad, stopping only to take an occasional puff of her Seven Stars menthol cigarette. But she’s not sending a text message. She’s writing a novel.
Chaco is becoming one of the most popular mobile phone novelists in Japan. We don’t know much about her — except that she’s a twenty-something Pisces from Osaka — but we do know that she can spit out books faster than Danielle Steel. In the last 14 months, she wrote five novels, including her best seller, What the Angel Gave Me, which has sold more than 1 million copies to date.
“I can type faster on my phone than on a standard keyboard,” she says. In between chapters, Chaco logs on to her blog and puts up a progress report for her eagerly waiting fans. “My god, it’s already 9:30!” she writes. “Where was I? I was sitting at my desk with writer’s block.”
Chaco’s decision to stay anonymous is pretty common among mobile phone novelists, who are often sharing personal and provocative stories for the first time.
A mobile phone novel typically contains between 200 and 500 pages, with each page containing about 500 Japanese characters. The novels are read on a cell phone screen page by page, the way one would surf the web, and are downloadable for around $10 each. The first mobile phone novel was written six years ago by fiction writer Yoshi, but the trend picked up in the last couple years when high-school girls with no previous publishing experience started posting stories they wrote on community portals for others to download and read on their cell phones.
Magic iLand is one such site. It began as a community portal where users could create personalized homepages from their cell phones. In March, the company launched a free novel library where readers can download text and link to blogs by select authors.
The Magic Library Plus has quickly established itself as the gold standard for mobile phone novels. Work published there is guaranteed hundreds of thousands of readers and lots of street cred. Since its inception, the library has added at least 10 new titles per month. It includes frequently updated reviews and instructions on how to write a mobile phone novel.
Last month, the site held the world’s first mobile phone novel award — with the cooperation of heavyweights like NTT DoCoMo, D2 Communications and video-rental giant Tsutaya.
While most of the 2,400 entries were romance novels written by women in their teens and early 20s, other popular genres included horror, sci-fi and fantasy. The Outstanding Achievement Award went to a man pushing 40 who told an apocalyptic tale of the last 24 hours on Earth.
“A mobile phone novel boom is definitely in place,” said Magic iLand spokesman Toshiaki Itou. “And these are people who hardly ever read novels before, never mind written one.”
Next summer, the company will debut software that allows mobile phone novelists to integrate sounds and images into their story lines.
Adding visuals and vibrations to romance novels’ steamy sex scenes could bring the genre an even wider audience.”

Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat

Last night I went to go get my calendar per my usual habit of waiting until they’re 50% off and found this book while browsing afterwards. A couple years ago I went to Japan and stayed in homes of Japanese families. Not only are Japanese families very hospitible, but I found the food amazing as well. Since coming home I’ve continued to go to Japanese places, not only for sushi, but also for the food that I had while in Japan. This book, while obviously geared towards those who are looking for a New Year’s diet, is not about how to lose that 10 lbs you gained over Christmas. Its about eating and living healthy (for those are two separate things). Perhaps what I enjoy most about this book is not the lifestyle tips, while I do appreciate it, but its the tips on how to have a Tokyo kitchen. The author provides recipes from her own mother and lists for the food to stock in your kitchen. A favorite chapter heading of mine is “The Samuri Diet”. This book is a real treasure trove of mouth-watering recipes (I can’t wait to make the cold Soba) and helpful tips on how to have a more flavorful kitchen, even if you don’t want a Tokyo kitchen.

Predictions for 2007

I think I can make these predictions too. Or maybe I should predict that there will be snow in CA this spring, Florida will have no hurricanes or storms of any kind, we’ll elect a president that everyone loves and he will bring relative peace on Earth. Get the gist? Anywhos, it is entertaining to read Pat Robertson’s predictions for a mass killing in 2007, as reported on CNN.com today.

“VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (AP) — Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday that God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would cause a “mass killing” late in 2007.
“I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”
Robertson said God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat.
God also said, he claims, that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.
Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.
The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election.
Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
In 2005, Robertson predicted that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term. He said Social Security reform proposals would be approved and Bush would nominate conservative judges to federal courts.
Lawmakers confirmed Bush’s 2005 nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But the president’s Social Security initiative was stalled.
“I have a relatively good track record,” he said. “Sometimes I miss.”
In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America’s coastline in 2006.
Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring’s heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.”