This was all over the news a week or two ago, but in case any of you missed it…
Tag Archives: cnn
This isn’t really Mormon-related, but it does have to do with something I saw on my mission. I served in Taiwan, and at the time there was this gross thing that we called Beetle Nut (or at least that is how I thought it was spelled) that taxi drivers would chew. Apparently it gave them a bit of a “buzz”. It was essentially a stimulant. Although not “officially” mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, members and investigators were taught not to chew it.
Well, apparently it is actually called Betel Nut (or Areca Nut), and they are finding now that it leads to cancer.
CNN has a nice article about it:
Heavy users of betel quids reveal their addiction when they smile. Their teeth are stained a reddish-black, dyed from years of chewing potent parcels of areca nuts and tobacco, wrapped in a lime-coated betel leaf.
“Some people after they eat they’re drinking coffee or tea; always after eating I’m chewing the betel nut. I like it,” says Myo Min Than, a 28-year-old noodle seller at a market in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon.
Like tea or coffee, betel quids — or “nuts” as they’re often referred to — give users a lift. But unlike tea or coffee, they also give them oral cancer.
The Belief Blog on CNN.com had a posting recently by someone who talked about how “dirty” Jesus was (apparently he’s written a book about this). The main point of the article was that Jesus lived like a person and gave a couple of examples:
He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.
To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.
What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.
The author then goes on to say:
…the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.
I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.
They could relate to him.
I have no idea if Jesus had to go to the bathroom or if He ended up with diarhea. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that however He lived His life, he understands me. He somehow knows what I am going through. He feels my pain and knows how to relieve it. He can relate to me. I don’t know if I can relate to Him (His perfection, His knowledge), but I want to. I want to learn more about Him. I want to be more like Him.
The author closes with this:
He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.
A very nice thought!
(I promise this is my last CNN link for at least a little while)
CNN has a Summer Travel series and they recently posted about 8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.. I don’t know if it is any particular order, but the Salt Lake Temple is listed as number 6. There is a picture and the following brief description:
The Neo-Gothic Salt Lake Temple, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct.
Then further down in the article are a few more paragraphs about the temple and Temple Square:
The Neo-Gothic building, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct. Except for some of its hardware and glass, the temple was built completely of native materials. With five floors, six spires — the tallest standing at 210 feet — and a granite facade, the structure is definitely imposing.
I’ve never been to Salt Lake City before other than when I flew in and out of the airport when I was a missionary. There was no opportunity to visit Temple Square, and I’ve never made it back. I hope to visit someday…
Here is another quick one from CNN…
In an effort to look at cultural differences across the United States, a data analysis company selected two words that it felt exemplified an American cultural divide and analyzed their usage on Twitter.
The words: “beer” and “church.”
And according to the study by Floatingsheep.org, Americans tweet more about church than beer, and there is a distinct regional divide between the tweets.
The article also has a map of the United States that shows the density of tweets for those two terms. If you look at Utah, you’ll see that right around the Salt Lake City and Provo area people tweet much more about church. Just north of that is an area where people tweet much more about beer. The so-called Bible Belt apparently tweets a lot more about church than beer.
I don’t know how accurate the study is, or how accurately things are placed on the map, but it is still interesting.
CNN has an article talking about “whether young people are too vulnerable to make permanent (or potentially scarring) decisions about their bodies”. Obviously the debate can get rather heated. On the one hand, I’d say that any age is too young to get a tattoo or piercing (other than ear). However, we do let people get baptized at age 8, and this is supposed to be a major decision in their entire life. Thankfully we have direction from our Prophets and Apostles:
Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.
Short but to the point. I like it!
I commented back in June about how a commercial/ad for the Church showed up on CNN while I was letting some videos play. One of the entertainment news videos that came up was about Lindsay Lohan posting a nude picture of herself on Twitter.
Well, here is another weird one. I followed Digg link to a web site that had 100+ Useful Bookmarklets For Better Productivity. I skimmed over the bookmarklets, and got to the bottom, and there was an ad for Mormon.org that invited people to chat.
Obviously the Church isn’t targeting specific sites. They are going to be using some established online ad provider to place ads according to keywords or phrases. But even then, I’m not sure what made the bookmarklet site trigger a Mormon.org ad.
So, I was watching a few “latest news” videos on the CNN news site, and I just let them play through. At one point, between videos was a commercial for the Church’s video called Finding Happiness. Then, the next thing I knew there was a segment on about how Lindsay Lohan had posted a topless picture of herself on Twitter. Weird timing! Obviously the Church doesn’t pick exactly when their commercial will be shown. I just wondered if that was a good place or a bad place to show a Church commercial? I kind of thought it was funny. Ms. Lohan has had a lot of problems lately. Maybe she should get a copy of the video 🙂
CNN is carrying a mental_floss article about the Ten important kisses in history. As could have been expected, the kiss that Judah gave Jesus is in the top spot:
Nothing ends a good “bromance” quite like flagrant, murderous betrayal. A long time ago, a wandering preacher named Jesus was doing pretty well for himself — building up a following and promoting religious teachings — until one of his buddies sold him out to the authorities. In exchange for 30 pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot kissed Jesus on the cheek and, by doing so, identified him to Roman soldiers.
Although Judas double-crossed his best friend for a paltry sum, some scholars argue that Judas is the secret hero of Christianity.