Archive for ‘Culture’

May 26th, 2014

Most Scars Aren’t Visible: Invisible Disabilities

by Max Andrews

Original story from HealthLeader…

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 56.7 million people — or 18.7 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population — had a disability in 2010. “Perhaps as many as half of them have disabilities that are not readily evident to the casual observer. There’s a huge population of people with hidden or invisible disabilities,” says Lex Frieden, who was instrumental in conceiving and drafting the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. 

A professor of biomedical informatics and physical medicine and rehabilitation at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)School of Biomedical Informatics, Frieden recently completed a term as a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Standard Rules of Disability.

“People get angry when they see other people get out of their cars in restricted parking places and they don’t appear to have disabilities,” Frieden says. “But you might be surprised at what types of disabilities are very serious that cause people to be restricted in terms of their mobility.” 

May 19th, 2014

True Truth: Be Your Own Media

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest post by Mike Burnette.

__________

I’ve done media consulting with a couple Christian ministries lately who are not cutting through all the communication noise very well — in some ways they’re hiding from the noise with their fingers in their ears. The noise I speak of is LOUD and coming from our over-communicated, hyper-speed social media culture — so much so that if you’re not hustling, planning, fully present, extremely valuable, and engaged — you’re done. Many of these well intentioned people were great at media marketing in 2004 — the problem is it’s now 2014 and they haven’t adjusted. I believe their messages are important, but since they have no media plans, strategies, or budget — they’re destined for failure; barring divine intervention. Some groups have wonderful Christian men and women on their boards, but they have no practical knowledge of media programming or understanding of how powerful current media platforms are to success. They think Vimeo, SnapChat, Twitter, SoundCloud, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc– are all very quaint entertainment fads — they may not even realize the car has replaced the buggy.

May 17th, 2014

Tim Lambesis’ Sentence and Last Interview

by Max Andrews

I feel like I’ve lost a friend for the time being. Tim and I grew to have, what I believe, a close friendship. I’ve been going through a bit of hell myself for the last few months and I’ve told Tim some stuff no one else in the world knows. There’s a lot in the media that doesn’t show the non-spotlight side of Tim.

Tim is a good friend. His sentence is six years with hopes of him getting out earlier on technical legal issues. Tim and I have had long conversations on the phone and many emails back and forth. I always enjoyed getting an email from him. He was such an encouragement and I could see him transition from his atheism to him becoming a disciple of Jesus. It’s a long interview and it was a joy to talk to Tim and know him behind the scenes of everything going on–the international publicity, the media, the false rumors, the exaggerations, the lies.

Tim’s condition for the interview was simply that it be released after his sentencing so that it wouldn’t affect the court.

April 20th, 2014

A Review of Calvary: A Glimpse at the Human Condition

by Max Andrews

This film was highly anticipated, by me at least. One thing I noticed is that, even though it was mid afternoon, I was probably the youngest person in the cinema. It’s easy to respond to that by thinking that most people are at work–true. (I work at home by the way you judgmental …) But, I think this film is certainly intended to be for the more mature and seasoned of folk.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2234003/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.49.16 PM

April 20th, 2014

Brain effects from marijuana… Well, we didn’t see that coming!

by Max Andrews

I’m a conservative libertarian. I’m socially conservative and I believe in a limited government. I’m more of an idealist than a pragmatist. When it comes to the issue of medical [or even non-medicinal] substances I believe it should be privatized. I think the only role government should have in such circumstances is that when I purchase something for a headache that I’m actually getting what I’m intending to buy; that is, if I wan aspirin it should be illegal to sell rat poison as aspirin.

Okay, marijuana. I’ve never done marijuana. I don’t know know the feeling. However, I think there are governments with different and inconsistent standards. Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone who worked for a rehab and he said that if alcohol were introduced to the market today it would be illegal. From my research, admittedly, I haven’t devoted much to it but I consider myself informed, alcohol is much worse than marijuana.

It’s an issue of privacy, moderation, and personal responsibility. It’s not the government’s place in all cases. (An exception would be taking a poisonous substance for the sake of committing suicide–intentional or unintentional–for example.) The Washington Post came out with an article from the National Survey of Drug Use indicating that marijuana use affects the brain… It’s okay if you let out a big sigh. I did. This is a bit old.

April 7th, 2014

Just another review of Noah: “It’s just annoying…”

by Max Andrews

Look, I don’t have a problem with people taking liberties with narratives and stories in order to extract certain elements. For example, I absolutely loved The Shack. It’s horrible when it comes to the Trinity but it’s not teaching that–it’s about the problem of evil.  It made the problem of evil real to the readers and it taught a relational aspect with God. (Spoilers)

(Potential not-so-big spoilers.) Also, here’s the trailer for Noah: Trailer, Featurette, a Clip, and more videos.

I’d like to think I have an open mind about many of these things and I’m a huge movie fan. I love them. I was looking forward to Noah even though I kept reading reviews hating it. Well, I don’t hate it but I don’t necessarily like it. It was just annoying to watch…

One thing that drove me nuts [that probably shouldn't have] is wondering why the heck there were so many supernovae in the sky? All those bright stars during the day? Yeah, those could only be supernovae. The Watchers–fallen angels–are painted as being sympathetic to man’s fall in a good way. Backwards just are somethings think I. THEN… these fallen light, lava, rock, transformer autobot angels are redeemed after building the ark? Liberties are okay but that’s just weird…

April 6th, 2014

Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

by Max Andrews

This year’s Unbelievable conference is 12 July 2014. I haven’t scheduled out my summer yet but there’s a likelihood I’d be able to attend and I would love to meet fellow lovers of reason, truth, and Jesus at the conference. If you see me there please come up and introduce yourself!

  • This year’s conference will help ordinary Christians like you be equipped to:
  • Be confident in your faith and share it effectively
  • Engage with atheism, Islam and other worldviews
  • Give good reasons for God and the truth of Christianity

Contributors:

Conference Host: Justin Brierley

Justin hosts the popular UK discussion show and podcast Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio. He also writes for Christianity magazine.

 

William Lane Craig

Dr. Craig is one of the world’s leading philosophers of religion and has debated many of the world’s leading atheists around the world. He is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. 

March 18th, 2014

Why LOST is the best TV series… Ever

by Max Andrews

Before I start ranting about the glories of LOST I need to put up a disclaimer first: I’ve been told that me watching LOST over and over is a PTSD thing. I started watching it while recovering from a major surgery and watched it during the four month recovery. I know someone who does the same thing (continuously watching something they watched whilst in the hospital for something traumatic). So, there may be personal bias due to those circumstances but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. There are six seasons (121 episodes and an epilogue) and I’m currently on my ninth time through the whole series since I started for the first time late July 2011. (Judge all you want. Many times it have it playing in the background while I do work. I’ve managed to complete an MA and my first year of a PhD so you can go for a walk if you started jumping to negative judgements about me… This qualification was primarily for Fred… a hater of all things me… but he really loves me, he just doesn’t know it.)

Also, I haven’t seen every TV series in history so I’m making an inductive conclusion based on what I know. Take it hyperbolically if you wish. I’ll do my best to not give away spoilers but I’ll share enough to eventually convince the masses that hate LOST that they’re wrong, lack philosophical rigor and a broad imagination, and that they’re about as useful as a limp noodle.

-END DISCLAIMER-

So, here’s the synopsis. Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island with unique electromagnetic/magical properties. It’s science fiction so if you’re already upset by “magic” then go away. (I’d hate to hear your thoughts on Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc.) The plane was off course by over 1,000 miles so that’s why they aren’t rescued right away.

March 18th, 2014

Celebrities with Crohn’s Disease

by Max Andrews

Original  source Fox Health.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can be incredibly challenging. In Crohn’s disease, a rogue immune system attacks the digestive tract, causing inflammation and tissue damage.

Crohn’s disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Like many autoimmune diseases, symptoms tend to cycle, getting worse during flare-ups and then subsiding.

Here are 11 people who achieved celebrity for their deeds—not their Crohn’s disease diagnosis—and how they dealt with the condition.

Cynthia McFadden
ABC News correspondent McFadden first experienced the excruciating pain of Crohn’s disease, which her friends euphemistically dubbed “George,” in her sophomore year of college.

“They weren’t going to say, ‘Did you have 15 diarrhea attacks today?’” the journalist says in a 1994 People magazine interview. “So, instead, they’d ask me, ‘How’s George?’”

March 5th, 2014

“Under Our Skin” – The Must See Documentary

by Max Andrews

Under Our Skin is an amazing documentary about Lyme Disease and those who suffer from it. It’s available to watch for free on Hulu (I know many places around the world don’t stream Hulu so you may want to try to find it somewhere else). It doesn’t talk about the conspiracy behind Plum Island (US government animal testing facility off the coast of Lyme, Connecticut… There may be good reason to blame the government for this disease but I won’t discuss that issue here). It focuses on the problem of healthcare in the US, the imbalance of the government and insurance companies, the corruption of policy makers, and the greed of those who patent advances and not make it available for others to benefit from. Here’s the trailer.