Archive for September, 2010

By Brett Michael Dykes

And here you thought bedbugs were the biggest source of anxiety for hotel guests.

Yes, guests at Vdara hotel in Las Vegas now have something else to worry about: being burned alive by the glare of the building’s “death ray.”

What the heck’s a “death ray,” you ask? Well, first off, it’s not as deadly as it sounds, since no one has actually died from it — at least not yet. But according to the U.K. Daily Mail, the powerful beams of Nevada sunlight reflecting off the glass hotel onto sections of the hotel’s swimming pool area have burned some guests and have melted plastic bags.

The building’s concave design creates a sort of magnifying-glass effect. The hotel’s designers reportedly anticipated that ill-situated humans might experience some discomfort courtesy of the building’s blinding glare, so they placed a film over the glass panes of its many windows. Obviously that didn’t quite do the trick. So for now the hotel is placing larger umbrellas in the pool area while designers try to come up with another remedy.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the hotel’s employees coined the term “death ray” to describe the intense reflection. Reports of the glare have also enhanced the hotel’s public profile, though almost certainly not in the way its owners would like; Yahoo! searches for Vdara have spiked by nearly 19,000 percent in the past 24 hours.

Bill Pintas, a Chicago attorney, told the Daily Mail that he experienced the harsh glare of the death ray firsthand during a recent Vdara stay. Pintas reported that as he lounged out by the pool, his head suffered a sensation he likened to a “chemical burn.” He added, “Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning.

In another interview, Pintas said: “I was effectively being cooked.” Thankfully, he returned home alive. Still, his skin was burned and his hair was singed — disproving the old saying that whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

I saw this article over at Aaron Snow’s blog. It’s a great analogy about simpler church concepts using the simple equation 2+2=4. Check it out!

I’m always looking for ways to help other churched people understand why I’m a simple/organic/house church guy, because I get asked about it quite often.  I often have used construction terms–the structure of the traditional church needs a lot of metaphorical scaffolding (programs, finances, staff, etc.) to hold it up, where as a simple church doesn’t need any of those things. I may have found a new one.  And it involves my least favorite subjec … Read More


In a world where spray on tans are becoming more and more common, will spray on t- shirts be the new trend?  According to Reuters this bizarre cross between spray paint and a sweater was unveiled at a fashion show earlier this week.

Manel Torres and Paul Luckham, the inventors of Fabrican technology, are developing a fabric that can be sprayed onto skin and other surfaces to make custom-fit clothes that can be taken off, washed, and worn again.  This technology can also be used for a number of other purposes including medical bandages and even upholstery.

According to Reuters, Torres demonstrated the process in a lab at Imperial College, spraying a T-shirt onto a model in a matter of minutes. An experience the unnamed model described as “nice, actually.”

“It’s like second skin,” she said.

The system uses short fibers, such as wool, linen or acrylic, mixed with polymers to bind them together. A solvent which evaporates on contact with a surface allows the fibers to be sprayed out of can as a liquid.

What do you think? is this new fashion en vogue or en sane?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What do we mean by ‘simple church?’

Some call them house churches. Some call them organic churches. Some call them simple churches. We prefer to just call them churches. They are rapidly multiplying, simple (more…)

Class of Nonviolence

Posted: September 25, 2010 in Non-violence

Here is a great source for articles from some of the pioneers of the non-violence movement; such as Martin Luther King Jr., Dorris Day, Mohandas Gandhi, as well as many others.

Topless Women Image via Wikipedia CNN posted an iReport about national topless day. While there are some limits on when men can go topless, there are many more imposed on women. For example, I can legally run most places without wearing a shirt. A woman runner doing the same thing would risk being arrested for indecent exposure. This leads to the obvious matter of what justifies the difference in treatment. Some people would point to religious reasons and clai … Read More

via A Philosopher’s Blog

Pick who you think will win at UFC 119. Then see the latest Vegas fight lines. (page 7)

Click the image below to begin.