Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's Vista... Need I Say More?

I'm having computer issues. Thus, no Nut Cache. I've been messing with this all day. It's a software issue, not hardware, as the system in running just fine in "safe mode." So, I'm currently backing up ALL my data, as I think I'll have to reformat my hard-drive this weekend.

It's Vista... I don't want to talk about it... Rumor has it that Windows 7 will be out in October, I can't wait. A friend has been using the Release Candidate that Microsoft has out now for trial use, and loves it. I may be switching to the RC this weekend, if I can't get Vista working.

You know, all an operating system really needs to do is run programs and manage files, quickly and without fuss. How hard is that? Sure, neat things like transparent windows and other wiz-bang-ery is cool, but if the OS doesn't run your programs, what good is it?

Well, back to it...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Know, I Know...

I know it's Wednesday and I haven't posted anything yet this week. Holidays really can mess things about a bit.

We got lots of yard work done over the weekend, and still got in some "laying about watching movies," too. But the one think I didn't do any of, is writing. (I really do need to get more organized about this blog thing!)

It's been two weeks since I hung the squirrel feeder in the tree in Mom's front yard. Nobody's found it yet...

I've got a good Nut Cache for tomorrow, and a nice recipe for Friday. I'll see if I can't get this thing back on some sort of track for next week.

Thanks for your patience!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/21/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

This goes along with yesterday's post about the supposed "Missing Link." The guessing game as to when life began on Earth continues full force. Notice how many times words and phrases like "might," or "could have," or "possibly" occur in this article about new computer model predictions. When you reject the truth, it's only a question of, "Which lie will you believe?"

So, parents, what did you name your kids? How did you pick the names? Honoring family history? A favorite Bible character, maybe? The popularity of baby names changes slightly each year, but unusual names, or unusual spellings of more common names, are becoming more popular, also. Read the story in USA Today. And here's a wonderful source provided by the Social Security Administration that charts the popularity of the top 1000 baby names each year. (My name, Eugene, was #120 the year I was born. It's #691 this year)

So, you’re the head of a major bank. The bank loses $6.7 billion while you’re in charge. You’ve been forced out, but you still get a chauffeur and private secretary and a generous pension package, worth hundreds of thousands of Euros a year? I want these guys to fire me!

"And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. Amen.'" Yeah, there's a story here!

I feel very strongly about civic duty. I've served on a jury, as, I'm sure, have many of you. It's never convenient; it's always a bother; arrangements must be made; but we do it. I've got to admit, thought, sometimes doing something like this would be fun! I mean, I can understand why he did it... I just don't recommend doing the same.

Sometimes blood is thicker than chocolate, other times, not. All is not sweetness and light where the Goumas family and their candy businesses (yes, plural) are concerned.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Missing Link? Again?

It’s been all over the news this week. The search is over! The “Missing Link” has been found! Sure it has…

Before we get all excited, there have been “Missing Links” found before this, that, after time, have turned out to be nothing more than monkey business. In the 60’s & 70’s, the paleontological world was abuzz with the discoveries that Dr. Louis Leakey had made in the Olduvai Gorge of East Africa. Australopithecus boisei, also known as “Zinjanthropus” and “Nutcracker Man,” was proclaimed far and wide as the “Missing Link.” But, today, none of the members of the Robusta group of Australopithecines is considered part of mankind’s family tree.

By the time I was in college, Australopithecus afarensis, commonly known as “Lucy”, had replaced Au. Boisei as what was considered the “Missing Link.”

Donald Johanson discovered “Lucy” in 1974, and, through the 80’s and 90’s, “Lucy” was pushed as the “Missing Link.” But, by the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century, “Lucy” was losing her place in the family tree. Slowly, like others before her, “Lucy” has drifted from the Human-ancestor column fully into the Ape column.

Now, they give us “Ida!” “Ida” has been identified as Darwinus masillae (yes, named after Charles Darwin in this, the 200th anniversary of his birth), and appears to be a fossilized lemur monkey. And, of course, they’ve dated the fossil at 47 million-years-old. Of “Ida” Sir David Attenborough has said, “"This little creature is going to show us our connection with the rest of the mammals. This is the one that connects us directly with them. Now people can say 'okay we are primates, show us the link'. The link they would have said up to now is missing - well it's no longer missing.”

Of course, actual scientific articles do not make the same sensational claims that we’re seeing on Fox News and reading in National Geographic (SkyNews was the most fawning that I’ve seen so far, saying things like, “Researchers say proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and the then radical, outlandish ideas he came up with during his time aboard the Beagle.”.) The conclusions in the scientific article states, “Darwinius masillae is important in being exceptionally well preserved and providing a much more complete understanding of the paleobiology of an Eocene primate than was available in the past.” The phrase “Missing Link” in not found in the article published at PLoS ONE.

Time, I’m sure, will, in a matter of a few decades at the most, cause “Ida” to also fade out of the spotlight, as new candidates for “Missing Link” are brought forth. Meanwhile, here are a few things from Answers in Genesis to keep in mind:

Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature. Its appearance is far from chimpanzee, let alone “apeman” or human.

A fossil can never show evolution. Fossils are unchanging records of dead organisms. Evolution is an alleged process of change in live organisms. Fossils show “evolution” only if one presupposes evolution, then uses that presupposed belief to interpret the fossil.

Similarities can never show evolution. If two organisms have similar structures, the only thing it proves is that the two have similar structures. One must presuppose evolution to say that the similarities are due to evolution rather than design. Furthermore, when it comes to “transitional forms,” the slightest similarities often receive great attention while major differences are ignored.

The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial. Team member Jørn Hurum of the University of Oslo said, “This fossil is so complete. Everything’s there. It’s unheard of in the primate record at all. You have to get to human burial to see something that’s this complete.” Even the contents of Ida’s stomach were preserved. While the researchers believe Ida sunk to the bottom of a lake and was buried, this preservation is more consistent with a catastrophic flood.4 Yet Ida was found with “hundreds of well-preserved specimens.”

If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms. Instead, the best “missing links” evolutionists can come up with are strikingly similar to organisms we see today, usually with the exception of minor, controversial, and inferred anatomical differences.

Because the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it’s unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the “missing link” other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate—from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week.

It turns out that the publicity surrounding this fossil is the result of a concerted campaign, "including a film detailing the secretive two-year study of the fossil, a book release, an exclusive arrangement with ABC News and an elaborate Web site," orchestrated by the History Channel. Looks like the Link is still Missing!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Has It Really Been 29 Years?

I was reminded this morning by Julie at Herding Grasshoppers that the Mt. St. Helens volcano erupted 29 years ago today.

In the memories of all who were living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in May of 1980 will always loom large.

I remember mid-afternoon, Dad and I were out by the corral, doing something with the horses, looking west across the valley, and seeing the cloud approaching. Dad said that there must be a bad thunderstorm coming, while I said that it must be the ash from the volcano. Dad thought I was nuts, as Mt. St. Helens was hundreds of miles away.

I was right, and the air turned a weird green color, and it started getting really, really dark. It got so dark that the street lights came on in town. It was one of the eeriest things I've ever witnessed.

All together, I guess we got about a half inch of ash here. Everyone was warned to stay inside, and not to breath the ash. Do not drive, we were told, as the ash would get sucked into your car's engine and damage it. They closed schools for a week, until the ash had settled. (I remember well, because we had to make that week of school up before we could start our summer vacation!)

Since 1980, the scientific study of volcanism has vastly increased our understanding of what happened that day. Studies of Mt. St. Helens have also yielded vast evidence that supports Young Earth Creation.

But, for those of us who lived through it, it is a memory that will never fade.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Abnormal Week Ahead

This is going to be a busy, and slightly disjointed, week. Mrs. Squirrel is taking two days of vacation, to turn the three-day weekend into a five-day-er, so that we can get some of the spring cleaning chores done about the place. We've had several trees blow down over the winter that need to be chainsawed up, and general policing about the place.

I tell you this to inform you that my blogging may be erratic this week. Be advised, internet is spotty and unpredictable out in the woods... Also, I've got about 6 or 7 half-done things to be finished up and posted, but nothing ready today... (I've got to get more organized about this, that's for sure)

I'm also up a creek with Friday's The Squirrel Can Cook segment, as this week's recipe was kind of a flop... I'll perfect it, though, but for now, I've no idea what we'll be cooking on Friday. (We'll cook something though.)

Keep checking back, though, as there's no telling what the week will bring. Just know that, whatever normal is around here, this week isn't.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook – Sausage Cheese Muffins

I found today’s recipe in Taste of Home magazine many years ago, and they quickly became a family favorite. It’s quick and easy and oh so tasty. The first time we tried it, I thought DEA was going to bust down my door. These muffins should be listed as a controlled substance!

Our ingredients today are:

1 pound hot pork breakfast sausage
1 10oz can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1/2 cup milk
1 to 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder
3 cups biscuit/baking mix

Brown the sausage in a skillet and drain of the grease. While you’re browning the sausage, grease your muffin pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine soup, milk, cayenne, mustard, sage, and sausage.

Stir in the biscuit mix until a course dough forms.

Fill greased muffin pans about half to two-thirds full.

Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Recipe makes about 2 dozen regular-sized muffins.

Now, take my advice. Fix this recipe when nobody is home, brew a pot of coffee, pour a cold glass of milk, and pig out. You will not want to share! You can make another batch later for everybody else.

The Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/14/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

Look, if you want to eat plants, go ahead. If you want to eat only plants, sure, fine, enjoy. But don’t tell me I’m wrong to eat meat (see Genesis 9:3), and don’t act like you’re all “saving the planet,” and everything! Veggie day? Really? Give me a steak!

From the Rodent Revolution watch: Some may see this as a lack of gratitude on the part of the mother squirrel, but, after what I showed you here yesterday, I ask you, can you really blame her? We live in a world of “squirrel-proof” birdfeeders, and “squirrel repellents”, is it surprising that we’d be a bit suspicious? Hm?

OK, this one’s a not funny: Recently, the United States military destroyed Bibles that were printed in the Afghan language that had been sent to Afghanistan, to America Evangelical Christian soldiers, for them to give to Afghanis that they knew. These Bibles were purchased with private funds. I urge you to take the time to read James White’s article on this story.

Somebody needs to buy this guy a teddy bear, or a stuffed rat, or something. Dude, if you’ve got to keep it close, try the top drawer of your nightstand! That “under the pillow” thing is just Hollywood, ok? Don’t sleep with guns!

I understand hobbies. I even get “dangerous” hobbies, like skydiving and bungee-jumping. I don’t plan on ever skydiving or bungee-jumping, but, go ahead, have fun. I’ve enjoyed some whitewater rafting from time to time, but some things are just plain stupid…

That's the Nut Cache for this week!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Star Trek Review

Mrs. Squirrel and I are looking forward to seeing the new Star Trek movie. We were going to see it on Tuesday, but something came up, so now our viewing is scheduled for Friday.

However, as a long-time Trekker, I was disconcerted and concerned when I saw this review at the Onion:

"Film has been characterized as accessible to people who don't even know what Pon Farr is." You can see why I'd be worried!

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Torture for Fun and Profit?

There has been a lot of talk about torture recently. Questions have been raised: Is torture ever justified? How far is too far? With the change in administrations, our national policies towards the treatment of prisoners have changed. And the practices of the former administration have come under renewed scrutiny.

In the midst of all of this, it has come to my attention that a New England company is manufacturing and marketing to private citizens a torture device so vile, so diabolical, that it needs to be brought to light.

Warning: the images on these videos are graphically funny and disturbingly amusing.

Did you hear the demented laughter of the torturer! This is not right! These squirrels are not even being questioned. They have no information to disclose. This is torture purely for the amusement of the sick torturer!

This is much, much worse than waterboarding!

I’m calling for congressional hearings into this travesty. All Yankee Flippers and their ilk should be removed from every backyard where they have been placed. This company needs to be shut down, and its executives jailed. Reparations should be paid, in bird seed, to all squirrels, and their families, who have suffered as a result of the illegal and immoral acts of the Droll Yankees Corporation.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mommy's Day

I can't help noticing that a high percentage of my regular readers are moms. So, in that light, I want to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, and all the Mommies, Grandmommies, stepmommies, and future mommies who read my blog. Thank you for all that you do, as you do what you do! Have a really great day, today and everyday.

If you're not a mom, but have a mom, do something nice for your mom. If your mom is no longer around, do something nice for s mom you know. I'll be fixing my mom dinner.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Never Underestimate A Squirrel

Mrs Squirrel said to me, "There's no way you could do that obstacle course." -- She's right, of course...

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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook – Baked Sesame Chicken & Fried Rice

Where last week’s recipe was all about the Hot & Spicy, this week we’ve got Subtle & Savory in store. This is my take on a recipe that Mom has made for years. She fixes it with white wine, were I use chicken broth, and I added the sesame oil, for that subtle Asian flavor.

Note: All photographs (Here you go, Fred!) show a half-recipe that I fixed for Mrs. Squirrel and me last Saturday. I guess, if I’m going to include pictures, that Friday’s recipe will usually reflect the prior Saturday’s dinner. This means that you may get the occasional frozen pizza recipe!

Our ingredients today are:

4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 cups of rice (regular white rice – don’t use “minute” type rice --- ever! For anything! Blech!)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First we have to fry our rice. Heat your stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 4 cups of rice. Mix thoroughly so that all rice is coated with oil, add another tablespoon of oil, if needed. Then stir slowly until the rice is a nice toasty brown color (close to the color of a brown paper shopping bag.)

In a large covered baking dish, mix the chicken broth, sesame oil, soy sauce. Now, the fun part! Spoon the fried rice into the chicken broth mixture… ah, nice hiss and a cloud of steam! Add the sesame seeds, and give it a stir. Then arrange the chicken breast on top of the rice. Everything will be mostly submerged under the chicken broth, with sesame seeds floating on top.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the cover and bake another 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is nicely browned.

Serve with the veggie of your choice, and enjoy.

The Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/7/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

You just can’t take the children anywhere anymore without worrying that you’ll have to cover their eyes. Tourist attractions worldwide shouldn’t have to install content blockers, but many wish Windsor Castle had such a content blocker when this took place. (Note: article is safe to view, even if reported activity wasn’t.)

My daughter is a really big fan of Jane Austin’s books. I remember having to read Sense and Sensibilities for an English class in high school and hating every page of it. Now, if all of Jane Austin’s books were like this one, I might have enjoyed them more.

The weather forecast is often inaccurate? The forecast of bad weather is hurting tourism? What should you do? Why, complain, of course! "It's infuriating," said Andrew Kirk, chairman of the Carrbridge, Scotland business association. "Even today it is forecast as rain, and yes it's cloudy but there's been really beautiful spells.” It’s getting tough out there when people start to actually expect the weather man to be right…

I’m sort of ambivalent when it comes to things like red-light and speeding cameras. On the one hand, I’m strongly in favor of people obeying the law. On the other hand, I’m not a big proponent of police-state methods in any way. Whether traffic cams are “police-staty” or not is debatable, I suppose, but I was amused by this story. Hoisted, one might say, by his own petard!

Perhaps more pre-marital counseling would have been a good idea? Maybe one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high, is because some people just shouldn’t get married in the first place. In either case, this does not bode well for the future of this marriage. Not a good start...

That's the Nut Cache for this week!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Return of Deism?

Before the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, atheists had no answer to “Where did everything come from, then?” And so, Deism. Deism is an attempt to “have your god, and ignore him too.” It is the belief that God created the universe, set it in motion, and left it to run on its own. Deism was the refuge of the intellectual and of the practical atheist. Of America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen were avowed Deists, and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, just to name a few, were Deistic in much of what they wrote and said.

Deism was a big deal a couple of hundred years ago, as it dealt with the questions of origin by saying that “God made it,” but ignored any moral obligations that creatures might just, possible, owe their Creator. But, with the growing acceptance of Darwin’s work, God became unnecessary. Deism faded into the background to be replaced by hard atheism and agnosticism as evolutionary belief made it possible to be intellectually satisfied regarding questions of origins.

But as Intelligent Design, and other critiques of evolution, continues to make Darwinism less and less tenable a position, it seems that Deism may be becoming popular again. I recently received an e-mail from a friend who needed answers to Deism’s claims. It seems that my friend has a friend who has discovered “what he was looking for” in Deism.

Deism is an effort to reconcile the obviousness of the existence of a creator with the desire to be unaccountable creatures of that creator. Paul directly addresses this in Romans chapter 1:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

It is clear from creation that God is real and that He is vastly powerful, but that is all that we can learn from creation itself. We would know nothing else about God, if God did not reveal Himself to us. This He did through Scripture and through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:1-2) Deists deny the truth of Scripture because of their unrighteousness. As Jesus put it, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20) If the Deists’ god is God, then there is no moral judgment to come, and they may do as they please, and decide right and wrong for themselves. But, if God is God…

Why should we believe what the Scriptures say about God? My reasoning goes like this: Jesus said that He was God (John 8:58 is just one example) – Jesus proved that He was God at the Resurrection (Acts 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8) – Jesus said that the Old Testament was true (Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 16:29,31) – Jesus chose the writers of the New Testament (John 15:16) and told them that the Holy Spirit would help them write the Scriptures (John 14:26), and this is what Peter said happened (2 Peter 1:19-21). Therefore, the Bible is true and reliable.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy puts it this way:

1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.

2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.

3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.

5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.

And Article X clarifies that this inerrancy applies fully only to the original autographs (a document or text handwritten by its creator):

Article X.

WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

WE DENY that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

The issue of the autographs and textual criticism (the study of manuscripts in order to determine which preserved reading is the closest to the original writing) becomes important in addressing the “Deist Challenge to Christians” found at the World Union of Deists website. You see, their challenge centers around Mark 16:18 – “they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Unfortunately for them, Mark 16:18 most likely shouldn’t be in the Bible at all. And, if it isn’t in the Bible, it can’t be used to disprove or challenge the Bible, nor those who believe the Bible.

Here’s the big problem with their “challenge,” textual critics say that, according to the best manuscript evidence available, the Gospel of Mark ends at verse 8!

The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Greek manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not. A shorter ending also existed, but it is not included in the text. Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Greek manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious. The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Greek manuscripts available to them lacked vv. 9–20. (John MacArthur, the MacArthur Bible Commentary, Nashville, Thomas Neilson, Inc, 2005)

In fact, in an amusing twist, the Deist site links to the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, and, on the very page the Deists link to, we read this:

Verses 9-20 were are not found in the earlier manuscripts and are therefore considered later additions. So the gospel of Mark ended without anyone seeing the resurrected Jesus or any of the cool stuff about snake handling, drinking poison, or damned non-believers.

Since these verses are believed, by believers and skeptics alike, to not be part of the original text of Mark, we are under no obligation to defend what is said in Mark 16:9-20. For a movement that prides itself on its commitment to reason, trying to force Christians to defend something that isn’t part of the inspired text of Scripture seems… unreasonable.

But, just for the sake of discussion, let’s pretend that these verses are part of the inspired text; what then?

Nowhere in the text does it say that all Christians would perform these signs. But it is worth noting that all of these signs, excepting the drinking of poison, are fulfilled by the Apostles in the book of Acts.

They will cast out demons” – Acts 5:16 records that Peter was both healing people and casting out demons. Acts 8:7 – Phillip was casting out “unclean spirits” – Acts 19:12 tells of “unclean spirits” departing in association with Paul’s ministry, but then Acts 19:13-16 tells one of my all-time favorite stories from the Bible of an exorcism that went very, and very funnily, wrong.

They will speak with new tongues” – Acts 2 records the first occurrence of this event in great detail!

They will pick up serpents” Acts 28:3-6 tells of what happened when Paul was bitten on the hand by a poisonous viper.

if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them” – there is no recorded instance of this in Scripture. It may have happened, it may not have happened.

They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” – There are many healings recorded in the book of Acts. Acts 3 tells about God healing a lame man through Peter. Acts 5:16 – God, again through Peter, was healing people of sickness. In Acts 9, Peter is used to heal a paralyzed man who had been bedridden for 8 years.

So, even though Mark 16:9-20 are not in the inspired text, there is ample evidence that the things spoken of were, in fact, fulfilled during the lives of the Apostles. This all powerful “Challenge to Christians” turns out to be just so much hot air.

Deism fails at a philosophical level. They posit a God powerful enough to create the universe and everything in it, but will not allow that God to intervene in His creation in any way. Nor, apparently, can God have any purpose in and for His creation. Nor will they allow the possibility of God communicating with His creature in any way. All such ideas are dismissed as “superstition” and rejected.

It seems to me that Deism is a bankrupt philosophy.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook - Spicy Peanut Chicken

You must understand, I’m giving it to you the way I would make it, if Mrs. Squirrel didn’t have pepper allergies. In other words, this is the HOT version, got it? (For you sissy-mouths out there, just reduce the amount of, or leave out entirely, the red pepper flakes and the cayenne.)

Here are your ingredients:

1/4 cup canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 breasts) – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 to 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (We like garlic, so too much is never enough)
1 medium red onion – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1ea medium red & green bell peppers – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
2 medium scallions (those long skinny green onion things) – sliced (about 2-3 tablespoons)

This one goes really fast once you start cooking, so make sure all your ingredients are prepared and ready before you throw anything into the wok.

Mix the chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a jar with a tight lid. Use a jar with a good lid, because you’re going to want to shake this very well before you add it to the pan. But, for now, just give it a stir and set it aside.

If you have a wok handy, you’ll want to use that, but, if not, a 12-inch or larger cast iron or stainless steel skillet will work. Heat your wok or skillet (hereafter known as The Pan) over high heat. Add oil; rotate The Pan to coat side. Add the red pepper flakes to the oil, and cook the pepper flakes for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken to let the heat defuse through the oil. Add the chicken and the garlic to The Pan and stir-fry about 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Now add the onion and the bell pepper to The Pan and stir-fry for about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Grab that jar with the chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and cayenne pepper and shake it well and good. You really want to get this mixed well. Once mixed, add it slowly to The Pan while stirring. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until sauce is thickened. Stir in the peanuts and top with the scallions. Serve with rice.

The Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

UPDATE: Fred suggested that I include pictures. So, Fred, this is what it should look like when you are all done...

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