Monday, November 30, 2009

Official Narnia: Dawn Treader pics

See here at Facebook!
And become a fan of Vernacular Catholic while you're at it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking

Duh! Who would have thought this was a good idea? Ever?

No Surprise: Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 17 November 2009 08:21 am ET

It's no secret to students that coed dorms are more fun than same-sex dorms. But they can also fuel very unhealthy behavior that might otherwise be moderated.

A new study finds university students in coed housing are 2.5 times more likely to binge drink every week. And no surprise, they're also likely to have more sexual partners, the study found. Also, pornography use was higher among students in coed dorms.

Some 90 percent of U.S. college dorms are now coed.

More than 500 students from five college campuses around the country participated in the study. Among the results:

  • 42 percent of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis.
  • 18 percent of students in gender-specific housing reported binge drinking weekly.

While that doesn't put coed housing on par with fraternity and sorority houses, the researchers note that binge drinking isn't exclusively a "Greek problem."

"In a time when college administrators and counselors pay a lot of attention to alcohol-related problems on their campuses, this is a call to more fully examine the influence of housing environment on student behavior," said Jason Carroll, a study coauthor and professor of family life at Brigham Young University. BYU was not one of the participating campuses.

The findings are detailed in the Journal of American College Health.

A separate study in 2007 found that college exacerbates the innate predisposition of some young adults to become heavy alcohol users. In effect, going to college can fuel alcoholism.

In light of the finding, the natural question is whether a selection effect is in play. For example, do partiers and teetotalers sort themselves out in the housing application process?

That doesn't appear to be the case, the researchers said in a statement today. College housing offices generally assume students prefer coed housing and give them the option to "opt out" if single-gender housing is available. Very few exercise that option.

"Most of the students who live in gender-specific housing did not request to be there; they were placed there by the university," said Brian Willoughby, lead author of the study. Willoughby recently earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and returned to BYU as a visiting professor.

A wealth of information on the study participants allowed the researchers to examine other factors that could predict binge drinking. Their statistical analysis took into account the effects of age, gender, religiosity, personality and relationship status.

"When we first identified these differences with binge drinking, we felt certain that they would be explained by selection effects," Willoughby said. "But as we examined the data further we found that the differences remained."

The participating campuses included two public universities in the Midwest and another on the West Coast, as well as a liberal arts college and a religious university on the East Coast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Atheist Actor - Religious Films

I saw awhile back that atheist actor Paul Bettany was doing a film about Darwin called Creation and I also noticed he is in an upcoming movie called Legion about a biblical apocalypse and angels battling demons for mankind and control of earth and a woman pregnant with the new messiah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now I see that he is doing the movie adaptation of a graphic novel called Priest about a priest who disobeys the Church to hunt down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.

Seems like the theme for Legion has to do with God abandoning humanity or outright destroying it, Priest is about a rogue priest out for vengeance. Creation sets up Darwin's crisis of faith juxtaposed with his wife's devout Christianity. According to wikipedia, "Darwin explains her refuge in religion as her reaction to [their daughter's] death."

These movies aren't due out until 2010, and the commentary by me here is speculation, but you can find trailers for Legion and Creation. My guess is that these are the anti-religious, or specifically anti-Christian, drivel that one would expect but I'm waiting to read some reviews closer to a release date. I am holding out hope for Creation to have a redeeming end since it was produced by Mel Gibson's Icon Productions. We'll see. Overall I just find it very interesting that this atheist actor is tackling so much religious content, albeit seemingly from a negative viewpoint. Seems like Hollywood just might still hate us.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1 lb Baby Born - Health Care Bill

Just noticed this story, courtesy of Good Morning America, a couple of days ago.

Gabriella Gil entered this world four months early and weighed just over a pound. Doctors gave her a 15 percent chance of surviving.

Now, at eight months and 12 lbs, she's come a long way for such a little girl.

"It's hard to believe but Gabby actually weighed less than a can of soda," her mother Maruja told Good Morning America. "It's kind of shocking but at the same time there's hope, there's a life, there's a soul in this little baby."

Current medical technology keeps pushing back the age of viability outside of the womb. And I love the mother's quote, "there's a life,...a soul in this little baby." Exactly! That's the point! These babies are alive, they have a soul. It cannot be legal any longer to kill them.

Gabby isn't the first baby to defy the odds. In 2006, Amillia Taylor, another Miami baby, was born at just 10 ounces, a world record. Today she is three years old and thriving.

In 2005 Sapphire Davis weighed 15 ounces, the size of a small cell phone. Today she's happy and healthy at 37 pounds.

Pro-abortion advocates always seem to say something like "it's just a clump of cells" and refuse to see that these babies look a lot like babies much sooner than they think. Regardless, that "clump of cells" is a distinct and separate entity with its own DNA and is a life - the same way that all human life starts - at conception. This "clump of cells" isn't going to turn out to be a giraffe - it's human.

Radical feminists need to realize this isn't about them, it's not about a woman or her body, it's about babies, about human life. It's ridiculous to think that this should be seen as health care. Abortion is not health care because killing is not health care. Congratulations to the USCCB for standing up for what's right and fighting to keep abortion out of the health care bill.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V - Is The Pope An Alien?

There's a new show on ABC (that's a remake of an old show) called V. V is for visitors; that's what they call the aliens. It premiered last night and one of the main characters is a priest! Basically the plot is a bunch of alien spaceships arrive over 29 major cities in the world. They say they come in peace. But some people think they're lying!

Father Jack is a young(er) priest at St. Josephine's a small parish along with an older priest. Apparently their parishioners include only a couple of homeless people and a guy in a wheelchair who later takes advantage of the visitors' medical technology and universal (literally) health care. After the visitors arrive, though, the church is packed.

So far ABC seems to be doing an alright job with their portrayal. Although there does seem to be a vestment issue in the premiere (where's your chasuble, Fr. Jack!?). Very early on they let us know that the Vatican's answer to the existence of aliens is basically "we are all God's creatures." Fr. Jack appears to have some doubts about reconciling the existence of aliens with the existence of God as he has known Him. The elderly priest at St Josephine's takes the "don't question the Vatican" stance and sees the visitors as benign. Fr Jack is suspicious of them and preaches about it in his homily (sans chasuble).

Later we find out that the visitors aren't what they appear to be and that many of them have been here for years and infiltrated the important positions of authority in government, military, and yes - religion! So we'll see where this goes, but my bet is that the elderly priest may be an undercover visitor and if the pope turns out to be one I'm gonna flip - channels that is. Also, we'll need to see if ABC can resist the temptation for the relationship between the very attractive single mother FBI agent (played by Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell) and Fr Jack goes anywhere further than co-conspirators.

My message to ABC - we're watching you, so if you want us to watch, then watch how you portray our faith.

You can see video here.