Posts Tagged ‘Texas A & M’

The birds of the air…

January 19, 2010

Lesser Goldfinch

I’ve added a new page to this blog – The birds of the air…  It’s simply a bit of  dabbling in one of my biggest passions – bird watching.   It’s not remotely related to Orthodoxy, except in the sense that it’s an appreciation of the creatures put on this Earth by a loving God.  I’ve been an active birder since I took some ornithology classes related to my wildlife science major at Texas A & M, but it’s much more than a scientific study for me after 25 years.  And yes, Orthodoxy and science are not enemies.  I just happen to believe in the Orthodox teaching that some stuff is just a mystery.  Science is great, but don’t look for it to explain the unexplainable.

For me birding is the most immediate contact with the natural world and its animals.  Birds are everywhere around us; they are the most visible and accessible creatures, and picking up a pair of binoculars and “hunting” for them satisfies a human desire to understand and be a part of the natural world.  I’d go so far as to say that in some sense it’s also a spiritual experience, but not so far as to say ‘nature is my religion’ or ‘the outdoors is my church’.  Too many people these days substitute a worship of the creation for worship of the Creator.   Anyway, if you’re interested, check back once in a while and I’ll update the list with reports about my backyard feeders or any birding trips I’m taking. 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.     Matthew 6:26

Advertisements

You hear the one about the zombie who staggered into a bar?

August 18, 2009

948235-zombies_super

I’m relieved to know that university scientists are spending hard-to-come-by research dollars on projects that actually have practical applications

Yes, folks.  Your concerns about the very real threat of badly dressed, brain-eating undead have been heard by science and are answered in a new, ground-breaking study by Canadian scientists at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. 

And how do we stop a zombie plague?  Do we triage ill zombie patients, provide them with palliative care?  Do we search for a vaccine to reverse the zombie infection.   Nope.  The scientists’ research found only one sure fire course of action:   “…hit them [the undead] hard and hit them often…It’s imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly or else… we are all in a great deal of trouble.”  And that can only mean zombie decapitation.   Says highly degreed professional, Dr. Neil Ferguson, after performing considerable background research, including marathon screenings of  Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Vengeance of the Zombies, and Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town:  “My understanding of zombie biology is that if you manage to decapitate a zombie, then it’s dead forever.”

All I can say is, I’m so glad this study wasn’t done at Texas A & M University.  You’d never hear the end of  the bad Aggie jokes this would spawn.   “How can you tell the difference between a zombie and an Aggie’s date at the A & M UT football game?……Braaaainsssss, braaaaainssss.”  

zombie2

Thank You Troy Polamalu!

January 20, 2009

0_61_troy_palamalu_320

Thank you for making Orthodoxy cool.   For showing my sports-crazy 9 year old son that a professional football player can be a devout Orthodox Christian who isn’t afraid to talk about his faith  and to make the sign of the Cross in public.  Thank you for your example of good sportsmanship and hard work; your devotion to family and a clear-mindedness about the value of eternal things  over material possessions.

I’ll admit it, but football isn’t one of my favorite sports.  Maybe having spent my entire life in the state of Texas makes one either love football or not.   It’s not for lack of exposure though.   Back in the day, my high school (Judson HS)  won the state championship several times.   As a geek,  I was of course president of the “spirit club”.  Yeah, that meant myself and other fellow geeks and nerds worked the concession stand every Friday night and made the big, decorated paper goalpost banners.  Then I sealed this ambivalent footballness with my induction into the maroon and white cult of  Texas A & M; a university that could not be more historically and intricately linked with football.  However, it was at A & M that I most clearly understood and appreciated  the Pavlovian reward for fan devotion and team spirit.  Football games that by tradition require men to kiss their dates after every Aggie touchdown are ok in my book.   

So, what am I going to do now that my 9 year old thinks football is the greatest sport since the gladiatorial games?  If he’s got someone like Troy Polamalu as a role model, I’m gonna say…. GO STEELERS!

(And Mr. Polamalu – if you ever feel the need to get out of the cold Yankee north country, I know a very nice Orthodox parish in San Antonio that would love to have you come for a visit!)

For a very personal interview with Troy Polamalu, discussing his faith and family life, click here.

polamalu