Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jessica Alba proves she's smarter than Bill O'Riley and TMZ

Jessica Alba proves she's smarter than Bill O'Riley and TMZ in one masterful step. TMZ, of course, appears to me to be pretty lame to begin with, but Bill Riley (who often seems as though he just makes stuff up as he goes along...unlike TMZ which seems to simply report on what other people make up) yet again makes a fool of himself too and soundly puts himself in the same camp as TMZ! Of all people to call him out? Jessica Alba. Hell yeahs. This is a pretty funny read: Sometimes I think Bill is a product of the modern school system that he frequently bashes (of course, that school system didn't exist when he was a kid, but who's paying attention...certainly not him).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Basic info on Documentary Hypothesis (origin of Torah)

Documentary Hypothesis (also known as JEDP) proposes that the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, known collectively as the Torah or Pentateuch) represent a combination of documents from originally independent sources.

Development of the hypothesis arise from attempts to reconcile inconsistencies in the ancient texts of the Torah. According to the influential version of the hypothesis formulated by Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918), there were four main sources, and one final redaction. These sources and the approximate dates of their composition were:

  • J, or Jahwist, source; written c. 950 BC in the southern kingdom of Judah. (The name Yahweh begins with a J in Wellhausen's native German.) The writings where likely based on early oral and written sources, maybe even original from cultures outside of Israel.
  • E, or Elohist, source; written c. 850 BCE in the northern kingdom of Israel. J and E may have been combined at some point after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE.
  • D, or Deuteronomist, source; written c. 621 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform. P, or Priestly, source; written c. 450 BCE by Aaronid priests.
  • R, or Redactor, source; written c. 400 BCE by the last editor(s) who combed the what was available from the previous sources to combine them in to the final Pentateuch. This editor may have been Ezra.

According to Wellhausen, the four sources present a picture of Israel's religious history, which he saw as one of ever-increasing centralization and priestly power. In effect, this exposes a de facto conspiracy by the individuals in the various eras to shape the documents to suit their contemporaneous needs.

Although rejected by most Judaism and Christian faiths (for fairly obvious reasons), modern forms of Wellhausen's original hypothesis have become the dominant scholarly view on the origin of the Pentateuch. Most contemporary Bible experts accept some form of the Documentary Hypothesis, and scholars continue to draw on Wellhausen's terminology and insights. In the area of New Testament scholarship, proposed solutions to the synoptic problem often bear a strong resemblance to the Documentary Hypothesis.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Hawaii Episode of No Reservations

I was watching the Hawaii episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. There it was, Ono Restaurant. I was actually at a restaurant featured on the Travel Channel. I don't know if that is a good thing or bad. Nowadays, from what I'm reading in recent reviews, you can't just walk up and take a seat anymore, unless you show up at odd hours. 

When I visited Hawaii in 2001 (a little over a month after 9/11), it literally took me three days to find an authentic Hawaii restaurant on Oahu. The one that I found was Ono. When I was there, I talked to the owner or manager (someone of authority) and told him that I was seeking out real Hawaii food and had so far done so without luck until I heard about his place. He sat me down and paraded dish after dish in front of me. The experience was very similar to Bourdain's experience on his TV show. My favorite dish was laulau, of course. I think I gained 5 pounds that day, which I have yet to lose years later. OK, slight exaggeration, but I think I did over indulge. 

I mentioned Ono in my Hawaiian vacation journal. I added that entry to my blog in 2005 here. I have a less than flattering photo of the front of the restaurant which I will keep private. From what I've reading, it no longer matches what someone would find when they arrive there. Ono is still very small, but the term "hole-in-the-wall" doesn't seem to apply anymore. Much like Bourdain, I recommend making at stop of Ono Restaurant.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meeting of G8 and GTO owners last weekend

Yesterday's meet and tour was a lot of fun, and a great experience. We had 4 G8's and 4 GTO's show up in the morning at Downtown Campbell. Our cars did get noticed (thus having the desired affect). The group was very friendly, with the topic of Pontiacs dominating the conversation.

GTO's in Downtown Campbell, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

We took off just before 11am to head up to Alice's Restaurant up in Woodside (not an actual city on the map, it is usually addressed as "Redwood City"). The goal was to take the scenic route through the hills on Highways 9 and 35. I lead the caravan of G8's and GTO's. Unfortunately, right away (before even getting out of Downtown Campbell) we lost a couple cars in our caravan. We stopped for quite awhile to try to find them, but could not. After guessing they would find their own way, we started up again.

Then, my great leadership lead us astray. Unfortunately, I missed a turn in Los Altos area and we ended up heading back to Campbell. After letting everyone know my bonehead move, we took the alternative route along 280, which is still very scenic. Even on this route, we got some fun hilly roads later on highway 84.

When we got to the rest'rant, we found that the others did indeed find their way. We also meet up with a couple other G8 owners. In all, our group was over 15 people, with 7 G8's and 3 GTO's (one GTO met us in Campbell, but did not come on our drive).

Fortunately, I called Alice's the day before to reserve space for our crew. We got a private room in the back, and had a great time. We had a great diversity of people, including (but not limited to) a couple of engineers, a manager of a valet company, and one person who is from Japan. There were individuals from the immediate area, and others who came from as far away as Napa. Everyone got along great...and the food was pretty good too!

Afterward, we lined up our cars and took pictures. Again, our cars were getting noticed by others.

Almost everyone in Woodside, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

It seemed like everyone had something unique to show off, or was interested in seeing what someone else had done so far. One car had cool looking black rims. Another had the clear protective bra. I had the truck liner and splash guards. Some had the 2008 with the "Atari Gages" and others has the 2009 without. One had dimmed the brightness of those gages with an overlay. One thing that struck me (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that it seemed like none of the G8 owners have tuned our cars (yet).

Checking the cars out, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

When it was time for me to take off, I drove back home via the scenic route that I missed on the drive up. The G8 is so much fun on the windy roads, as it is on the freeway too!

Lessons learned for next time:
  1. Bring walky-talkies
  2. check out the route prior to the tour
  3. pick a spot closer to freeway to meet before a tour
Things that did go right:
  1. Fun drive√
  2. Cool people√
  3. great final destination√
  4. calling a day ahead for a reservation at the rest'rant√
  5. set up the date far enough ahead to get a good showing√
  6. and finally, have great weather!√

Here's the link to the online photo albums available so far:
  1. Matt's photos
  2. Don's photos
  3. Junya's photos of Matt's car and others
Here's a quick video of almost everyone that came: