Sparks Fly!

LTC Results came back this week! S won both individual and team Gold! Congratulations, S & to all the South Main LTC Bible Bowl Participants! This was S’s final year of eligibility to participate in LTC and Bible Bowl. She has participated in Bible Bowl in each of the last 10 years, every year of eligibility. S also participated in other events in previous years, but due to other obligations stuck to Bible Bowl alone this year.

Meanwhile the weather here has been totally whacked this week – we’ve had storms, hail, tornado threats, and beautiful clear skies all within the last few days. Yesterday it was in the upper 80s, today, it’s storming and in the 40s with howling North winds, rain & hail & this is the 1st day of MAY?!

China’s Easter offensive against the churches – “…The frightened old men of Beijing dispatched swarms of cops, with enough sirens, bells and whistles to answer a train wreck, to an evangelical congregation in Beijing to round up 40 men, women and children on their way to a park to lift their voices in song and praise to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ…” me:Somethings seem to never change.

Gas Prices Top $1-a-Gallon Higher than Year Ago; Media Don’t Blame Obama – “…Instead of asking whether Obama’s anti-oil policies could be increasing the cost of gas, the networks blamed other factors such as Mideast turmoil or the “money game” played by speculators. Certainly, the turmoil in Libya, Egypt and surrounding nations has increased worries about oil production…”. me:They ALWAYS blamed Bush?!

10 Years of LTC Awards
Sparks A Flyin'!
I sent sparks flying this week in more ways than one. First, I sharpened up all the lawnmower blades as another mowing season begins in earnest. Second, I did something I almost NEVER do – I opened my big mouth once in an online flame war between two talented artists / photographers and their friends over a copyright dispute where one had accused and threatened the other over allegedly copying an image that belonged to the former. I will not mention the forum nor the artists here. I posted b/c I felt the 2nd artist was being wrongly accused due to the fact that nothing in the former’s image was used in the latter one except the basic idea and that the 1st (accusing) artist was being attacked personally by some others. Being an open-source software developer, this current trend of stretching copyright law and using the DMCA to stifle innovation and freedom of expression bothers and worries me because it has been used (usually by big corporations) to intimidate developers and small businesses, and reduce competition! I felt the need to speak up because no one else had mentioned this problem and I got my wrist slapped by the former artist on their blog. To their credit, this person took down their post within hours without me complaining, though I had no intention of complaining anyway or commenting further on the matter. Am I or anyone else now forbidden to create and post on pain of a copyright infringement lawsuit an image based on a similar concept without using any piece of the accusing artist’s images because this artist is claiming patent-like protection of their ideas?! One can see how such claims can intimidate and stifle both art as well as software development and thus must continuously be vigorously opposed! Don’t get me wrong, I’m in full support of copyright and artists’ (and developers’) rights to their work. If I see someone post a work that includes copied parts of works previously done by this artist or anyone I know, I’ll be the first to let them know so they can use the full force of the law to protect their work!

On the lighter side, C. sent me this cool video of a Japanese commercial:

Oh, I just HATE to see this: (Bail was denied Monday for the woman accused of brutally beating a trans-gender woman inside a Baltimore County McDonald’s).

As a Christian, I don’t generally support the so-called “Gay / Trans-gender Rights Agenda”, but just as much as a Christian, I hate to see anyone hated and persecuted by others because of who they are. I may disagree with their lifestyle choices, but they have just as much right to be here and live their lives as do I or anyone else (as long as they themselves are not attacking or attempting to impose their ways on others), free of personal attacks and violence; and I strive to love and befriend them (some are my friends) as much as any fellow Human being created by God in His image!

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