Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Gangs are like Al-Qaeda

Since my last post on the problem of violence amongst youngsters here in Chicago, there has been much rhetoric about "fixing" the problem.  I don't think it's that simple.

But I do think this article was interesting and probably true.  As he notes,

Understanding this may help us prevent future violence in our communities.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wall Street's Billions

The past quarter has been very good to the investment banks on Wall Street.  JPMorgan Chase reported $3.6 billion in profit and Goldman Sachs came in at $3.2 billion.  How have they been able to do this well with many other banks continuing to struggle, and the everyday citizen still feeling the effects of a tough economy?

Is it this simple?

(ht: kottke)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Flu (Vaccine) Scare

So far this year about 1,000 have died in the USA from the swine flue. Thankfully an effective safe vaccine exists to prevent the condition.

Wait, what? People don't want the vaccine? They fear it's part of a global government scheme to practice population control? That pharmaceutical companies are inserting additives to ensure people get sick again, thereby ensuring their future revenue? The Chicago Tribune ran an article detailing two mothers' choices in vaccinating or not, treating both as viable options. Conspiracy theories abound.

All the reliable research I have seen indicates vaccines, including this one, are safe. Thus, it has been surprising to me that such an uproar is being made in our country. I wonder if medicine has become too effective and our lives too comfortable if we take for granted the saving power medicine has in our lives. We live at the point in recorded human history at which life expectancy is the longest. And yet people question the very medical advances that have made this possible? It doesn't make sense to me. I wonder how many mothers will be glad they didn't get the vaccine when their child gets sick?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The world's greatest city?

Which city do you think is the world's greatest? The editors of Time Out asked that question and here's their list:
1. New York
2. London
3. Paris
4. Berlin
5-tie. Barcelona
5-tie. Chicago
5-tie. Tokyo
8. Istanbul (not Constantinople)
9-tie. Rome
9-tie. Sidney

It's a fascinating list, and their reasoning seems good to me. I don't have many qualms with their rankings. The other fun thing on the site is that you can score the cities yourself. So for those of you who have travelled a lot, contribute away.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Prodigal God

As you can see on the right, I've just finished reading The Prodigal God. Because I've just been reading it, I've been thinking about it a lot, but let me just say that it's a great book. And thus, I wanted to use this forum to pass on the recommendation.

It's subtitled Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and I think that's an apt description. Tim Keller uses the parable of the Prodigal Sons to drive home the true message of the Gospel. If you're looking for a great synopsis of what the Christian message is all about, I highly recommend this book.

And if you think it's possibly mis-titled, you definitely need to read it.