Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Friday, July 20, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY
Yep, Tondar's a douchebag.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY
It was almost like Tres not getting in trouble for things that have already happened.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

ALL FOR THE LOVE OF THE RPG

Dunno if you saw this one...

RENO, Nev. - A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.


The depravity of these parents reminded James and me of some of the people we knew at UM that joined the Square Root Club as a result of text-based RPGs...

...0.89 GPA. There was a guy named Randy that got a perfect 0.0 because he forgot to go to his final exams or drop classes he stopped attending. All for the love of text based RPGs online.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

My drunken ex-boss: "What we do echoes through eternity. Approach everyday like it's your job, because guess what...it is."


This quote came during one of the Tuesday douchebag meetings where we were told that we were not selling enough mortgages. I guess this was intended to excite and inspire. Instead, it amused and confused.
PIC OF THE DAY
I think we all know how this one ends.
DEFINING THE CHURCH

Last week a lot of fuss was made over the Pope's "RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH." However, if you actually read the document you find it is rather tame and actually only touches on two main points.

First was the clarification of Vatican II. Those that do not understand the Church very well have thought of Vatican II as some sort of great Constitutional Convention where the Church was "modernized." However, like the Council of Trent it was merely a reaffirmation and clarification of the Church's beliefs...

"In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation."


This sort of thing happens every 400-500 years in the Church. But as stated these do not replace or erode previous dogmatic beliefs. They merely provide clarification.

Secondly, many have been upset by the document's emphasis on the continuing importance of points raised in the Nicene Creed. However, this is merely a continuation of what the Church has always believed, and has continuously professed since the Nicene Council threw the Arian heretics under the bus. In particular this letter clarified that...

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.


There is only one Church. It is Holy and Catholic and "subsists" in Christ. Furthermore, its leadership maintains apostolic succession. Which as you remember from Matthew 16, Christ gave the Keys to Heaven to Peter, and upon him built his Church (not on Martin Luther or Henry VIII). As Catholics we believe that Pope Benedict XVI is successor to this Rock.

Now it is understandable, this got a few people stirred up. However, I would personally blame this on the media for taking the most scandalous elements of the letter and reiterating them in a way to raise interfaith dispute. In a way this is ironic, since the letter goes out of its way to note that protestants have elements of truth in their faith and that the Eastern Church is only separated. However, what the trouble really boils down to is the fact that people don't like to be told that they are wrong.

But if you stay up on your daily readings (on the right), Christ warned of this Monday in Matthew 10:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

YOUTH MOVEMENT IN MOTOWN

For the last 3 years, the Pistons have fallen short of winning the championship. Though they are still considered one of the elite teams in the NBA, it is obvious they just quite do not have the chemistry or killer instinct to get back over the hump. Obviously this calls for change. But instead of bringing in a scorer that can create his own shot or a player that pretends to get hurt on every play, the Pistons have simply decided to get younger...

That's why he is presenting coach Flip Saunders with four young players off the bench -- Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson and first-round rookies Rodney Stuckey (No. 15 overall) and Arron Afflalo (No. 27) -- to provide jolts of caffeine to a team that has seen and done everything already. The Pistons have played 99 postseason games over the last five years, and Dumars is empathetic.

...

Dumars is following a simple formula. When Billups, Hamilton and Ben Wallace were young, he complemented them with veterans off the bench. Now that his starters are in their late 20s to early 30s, the bench needs to grow younger. That's why Dumars is anticipating bigger roles for young forwards Maxiell and Johnson, both of whom are highly valued within the organization. Against smaller lineups, the Pistons may follow the Spurs' lineup and shift Rasheed Wallace to center with Maxiell starting at power forward; depending on free agent Chris Webber's future with the team, the Pistons could also go traditionally big with a front line of Nazr Mohammed and Rasheed Wallace. It's obvious that the Pistons are trending away from waning veterans like Webber in order to revitalize their team with younger, lively legs.

The transition to youth off the bench will present issues. There will inevitably be ugly stretches and frustration with how much Stuckey and the others have yet to learn. But the Pistons' goal will be to finish April with a better second unit than they've had in recent years, one that could ultimately inspire their elder starters.


If you get the chance, this Ian Thomsen is a must read for any NBA strategist or Pistons fan.
BONOBO BIOLOGY

From Seth...

I was reading up last night on the Bonobo, a type of Chimpanzee that, at times, acts even more human than do chimps. Particularly of interest -- because this is the key to human evolution -- was how they have physically adapted to their societal structures. Basically, chimps maintain their social structure with violence and networks of gangs, whereas Bonobos literally fuck all the time, and their bodies have adapted to succeed in such structures.

Thought Loop 1: Is sex drive an "animal" or "human" trait?

It was suggested that humans, when we split off from this group, put particular emphasis on customs and symbolic activities instead of sex or violence. Indeed, since long before we knew we were just another ape, we have defined our humanity through the use of such abilities (namely, reason) rather than more "animal" acts of sex and violence.

But here's the thing: among the animal kingdom, there are VERY few creatures who are as violent to members of their own species as Chimpanzees, and there are perhaps no animals on the planet who have sex for pleasure as much as bonobos. If these are "animal" characteristics, then it's interesting that they should be displayed most prominently in our closest relatives. It actually suggests that the opposite is true: our capacity for violence and sex for pleasure is, biologically speaking, one of our most human traits.

If we want to differentiate ourselves from the animal kingdom, then, perhaps it's better that we define ourselves not by what instincts we have, but how, remarkably, we are able to out-think our instincts.

Thought Loop 2: Where's the cutoff for humanity?

Watching these close cousins of humans react to each other and display intelligence got me wondering where exactly we draw the line on humanity. Would we accord basic human rights on a Neanderthal? An Ergaster or Erectus? An Australopithecus?

The standard cutoff as I understand it is self-awareness: if you know you exist and perceive the world around you, then you're entitled to human rights.

Problem is, the more we learn about chimpanzees (normal and bonobo), the more proof we have that they are, in fact, just as self-aware as we are. They can learn abstract concepts (though they don't look for them like we do), and thus can be taught to read at a low level, and communicate with a small vocabulary. When they're threatened, rather than stay in an adrenalined state long after the threat has abated -- like almost every other animal on the planet -- chimps, like us, will go into a state of hyper brain activity. We're contemplating our demise. We're preparing, mentally, for such a situation again. We're trying to do consciously what other animals do unconsciously. We're, in effect, aware of our existence and that our existence was threatened.

One of the preservationists trying to preserve the Bonobo in the wake of Congo's recent civil war has used this chimp self-awareness to claim that because chimpanzees pass the self-awareness test, we should treat them as simply a separate species of humans (nobody has tried to mix human and Pan DNA yet to see if there's actually a residual special connection, but it's a reasonable guess that we're not genetically compatible after 4 million years apart).

Since we're conveniently the only species of hominid left on Earth, and we have yet to meet an intelligent extraterrestrial being, we haven't had to face this question, really. Obviously, the preservationist guy made his claim to accomplish his end of saving the Bonobo, but common sense would suggest only humans, not chimps, are accorded human rights. But where would you guys put the cut-off?

Monday, July 16, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY
Yeah, we get it Frank. I'm a ho-bag.
KATHERINE WATCH

Como se dice "toast" in Italiano...

Bongiorno, Bonjour, Ciao, Hello!

I hope this finds you all doing well. I am finally back from my European adventure with the 40 teenagers. Wow. This was my 3rd trip with People to People, and unfortunately my least favorite. The kids were naughty! I had several issues with students including sleeping together, showering together, sneaking out, drugs, alcohol, stealing, weapons, and police reports. Ay carramba! It was an adventure for sure! But all in all, it was pretty fun.

I started in Rome and went up through Asissi, Pisa, Florence, Montecatini, and then on to France, Monaco and England. It was almost the same as a few years ago, but this time I got to see Omaha Beach and Normandy on the coast of France. It was a very emotional city due to all of the Americans that lost their lives in D-Day back in 1944 in WW2. I got to walk through the American cemetary which is huge and on the coast. Omaha beach made memories of the opening scene of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" flash through my head.

I even got to go to the Italian hospital! A girl fell down the stairs, so I took her to the hospital. National healthcare is the bomb! We didn't have to pay a penny for her care, and it was ridiculously fast! We were in an out of the ER within an hour! I was impressed! I had to communicate in Spanish since it is so close to Italian.... which was quite funny. But it worked!

In France I stayed with a woman in her home for a few days which was interesting. We had a cheese tasting night.... and wow.... France has a lot of different cheeses!

There was only one person to get lost on this trip..... and of all people, it was ME. Yes, I know you are laughing.... but somehow I got lost from the 40 kids and other leaders. There are 2 exites in the Sistene Chapel, and I took the wrong one! Oops! Overall, I was lost in the Vatican for about an hour, but finally got to a phone and figured out how to call our delegation manager who told me where they were. How funny!

Europe is carb-o-licious! I had loads of pasta, which is awesome. The sites were beautiful, and the weather was perfect.

Now I am home and running around getting things done until I leave in a week + for South America. I will be there for the remainder of the summer; returning the night before I have to be back to school. Today was a rough day for me.... I had 2 students from where I teach die in a car accident. I had one of the girls this year in class. So.... remember to love every minute of life and appreciate your friends. You never know when our time will be up.

Enjoy your summer! I would love to hear from you! I hope all is well!

Ciao
Kat
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

I was gonna rob the yuppies, but then I got high...

"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," the intruder said, according to Washington, D.C., police and witnesses. Everyone froze, including the girl's parents. Then one guest spoke up.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, told the man. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, "Damn, that's good wine."

The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, a federal government worker, told the intruder to take the whole glass, and Rowan offered him the bottle.

The robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese. He put the gun in his sweatpants.

Then the story took an even more bizarre twist.

"I think I may have come to the wrong house," the intruder said before apologizing. "Can I get a hug?"

Rowan, who works at her children's school and lives in Falls Church, Virginia, stood up and wrapped her arms around would-be robber. The other guests followed.

"Can we have a group hug?" the man asked. The five adults complied.


Maybe all that touchy-feely liberal crap about criminals just needing love is true.
PIC OF THE DAY

So if we have had an Old Hickory and a Young Hickory, what does that make Tondar?
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today Olivia mentioned that the drinking club would be meeting at a different club every month. I just hope they don't meet here. I don't think there's enough room on that train for all of us.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY

From the dawn of time to the walls of the Aladin, the question is finally answered.