advicereligion & philosophy

PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel

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Consider how Christians might respond to a call for a blanket divestment from Christianity, inspired by a variety of things that have taken place in the past, or are taking place right now … things that had (or have) nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ and the kingdom He proclaimed, yet were done (or are being done) in His name, and in pursuit of a very worldly and wrongful pursuit of His kingdom.

How might Christians respond to such a call? [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten horses least likely to win next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes

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10. Tripod

9. No Way José

8. Mucilage

7. Parts On Order

6. Save-Your-Money

5. It’s A Grand Old Nag

4. Kevorkian’s Delight

3. Stumblebum

2. Wrong Way Corrigan

1. Bernie Sanders
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten things you don’t want to hear at today’s Memorial Day barbecue

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10. “If the smoke from the grill gets to be too much, just crack a window.”

9. “Oh, before you eat that potato salad, would you mind signing this waiver?”

8. “Yes, I’m a Jehovah’s Witness! I’m glad you asked!”

7. “Why do all the burgers have long, thin tails?”

6. “Zip up, Uncle Jesse; that’s not how we put out a barbecue!”

5. “These GMO burgers actually glow in the dark!”

4. “Is coleslaw supposed to move?”

3. “Why does my hotdog have a fingernail?”

2. “The grill’s rusted through. Better light the tire.”

1. “Who put mayo on top of all the buns? Oh, wait…. Who moved the picnic table under the tree?”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddmoney

Meet the start-ups that are thriving in the current economic recovery

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The economy is doing really, really well. The signs are all around. The job market is so good that even ROBOTS are getting hired. Young adults are choosing to spend quality time with their parents rather than moving into their own homes. Inflation is so low that you can get a new iPad for about the same price as the previous iPad. Don’t listen to the doom-and-gloom: in this incredible economic climate people are making money hand over fist. To set the record straight and advance the true narrative I’ve written this hard-hitting, unflinching look at some of the most impressive new businesses that are taking advantage of the modern economic recovery.

 

SURPRISE! DINNER: Food delivery services are all the rage—even for the budget-conscious. That’s where Surprise! Dinner comes in. Their network of reasonably-compensated employees rummage through the leftovers of the customers of Fresh Direct, Peapod, Magic Kitchen, Hello Fresh, Farm Fresh To You, and more—and then deliver the findings to you! Customers get tasty, surprising, and gently used food items (some of it was even organic at one time). And for those on an extra tight budget, check out Surprise! Dinner Basics, which rummages the refuse of Surprise! Dinner clients, and brings customers the results at a further discount!   [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten signs you have a bad commencement speaker

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10. He advises the females in the auditorium to take Home Economics ’cause “nummers is hard!

9. His claim to fame: he’s the surviving member of Milli Vanilli

8. Her speech is 90 minutes of “Knock Knock” jokes

7. He’s a Goldman Sachs V.P. who claims he can triple your graduation gift money in three months

6. She goes off on a rant about “the great left-wing liberal socialist conspiracy”

5. After applying lipstick to the edges of his thumb and index finger, he lets the entire speech be delivered by ‘Mr. Hand’

4. He’s Obama, just not the Obama

3. He once gave a four-hour TED talk, about Ted Danson

2. He’s wearing his cap, but forgot his gown

1. First name ‘Donald’, last name ‘Trump’
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten prom themes for 2016

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10. Moon Over Gitmo

9. Give ’Em Enough Grope

8. Hide Your Flask and Dance!

7. Memories To Last An Evening

6. It’s All Downhill From Here

5. How to Fake an I.D.

4. 100 Seniors Standing Around a Ballroom Texting

3. Fifty Shades of Bunting

2. Abstinence Makes the Fond Grow Harder

1. The Republican National Convention
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Mon-day.

announcementseducation

Trigger warnings, teaching and Planet of the Apes

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted at When Falls the Coliseum, the online-mag/group-blog I started all the way back in the 20th Century. I’m stopping by to let you know I recently published my first essay in Reason magazine: I’m a Professor Who Doesn’t Use Trigger Warnings. Here’s Why. I’m also pleased to announce that I have a new author website. Okay, that’s all for now. Thanks.

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Given the incredible success of animal movies like The Jungle Book and Zootopia, top ten planned movie remakes

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10. The Dogfather

9. Raiders of the Lost Shark

8. From Deer to Eternity

7. Deep Goat

6. The Manatee from U.N.C.L.E.

5. Not Without My Otter

4. The Karate Squid

3. Pig Trouble In Little China

2. The Bad News Grizzlies

1. Ferret Bueller’s Day Off
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingfamily & parenting

Top ten things you don’t want to hear on Mother’s Day

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10. “Today is Mother’s Day?!”

9. “What do you mean, ‘What is it?’ – It’s a nose hair trimmer!”

8. “Uncle Dad knows about us!”

7. “I’m taking you out to dinner, but we have to hurry; this coupon is only good until six.”

6. “Great news! We’re placing you in a home!”

5. “Here are all the ingredients for a great Mother’s Day dinner. All you have to do is cook it!”

4. “‘Love’ is too strong a word, but I certainly don’t loathe you!”

3. “Of course these flowers aren’t stolen from a funeral home. That banner just means, when you go to bed tonight, I hope you rest peacefully.”

2. “Here’s your gift, Mom: it’s a DVD of Oedipus Rex –- you sexy thing you!”

1. “I don’t know how to break this to you. You think you’re my birth mother, but I was actually adopted.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten signs Harrison Ford is too old to star in the fifth Indiana Jones movie

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10. He’s older than some of the relics he’s looking for

9. His fedora now has a chin strap

8. He’s going to carry a whip in one hand and a walking stick in the other

7. It opens with him trying to outrun a runaway shopping cart

6. In the second sequence, he comes across a jewel-encrusted hip replacement

5. There’s a fight to the death atop a Rascal scooter

4. They’re changing his name to Indiana Groans

3. They’re thinking of calling the film Raiders of the Lost Keys

2. Or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Coumadin

1. Or Indiana Jones and the…Wait, What Was I Searching For?
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmoney

Top ten signs you’re using a bad tax preparer

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10. It takes him 45 minutes to figure out his tip at the Bonefish Grill

9. When you point out a math error, he says, “Ahhh, five of one, half a dozen of the other.”

8. He claims bajillion is a real number

7. Instead of the IRS, he sends your completed tax return to the IRA

6. While filling out your taxes, he’s continually mumbling, “Nummers is hard!

5. On his own tax return, he’s claiming “Johnnie Walker” as a dependent

4. He checks off the box for “joint filing,” then lights one up

3. Before every number on your tax form, he puts one of those ‘more or less’ squiggles

2. He does his math calculations in the nude, so he can count to 21

1. His “diploma” in Accounting is from Trump University
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

I hate the NCAA men’s basketball tournament

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Is it finally over? Is it done yet? Man, do I hate the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten things Donald Trump has to say about the person he loves the most

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10. “I say not in a braggadocious way: I’ve made billions of billions of dollars making deals all over the world.”

9. “Nobody knows the system better than me.”

8. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.”

7. “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.”

6. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

5. “Nobody respects women more than I do.”

4. “I could be more presidential than anybody.”

3. “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”

2. [when asked who he speaks with consistently about foreign policy] “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

1. “Nobody loves The Bible more than I do.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingdrugs & alcohol

Now that Dos Equis is retiring The Most Interesting Man In The World, top ten favorite facts about him

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10. He has won the lifetime achievement award…twice

9. If opportunity knocks, and he’s not at home, opportunity waits

8. Once he ran a marathon because it was “on the way”

7. He can speak Russian…in French

6. He once won a staring contest with his own reflection

5. He lives vicariously through himself

4. He bowls overhand

3. Even his tree houses have fully finished basements

2. Once, while sailing around the world, he discovered a shortcut

1. When a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, he hears it
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & government

Trump-Cruz wedding rocks presidential race

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Love, like a large bear, is unstoppable, as the surprise marriage of leading Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz proves.

“Lyin’ Ted is now Lovin’ Ted,” Trump declared at the joint announcement of their union, before resuming gazing deeply into his soul mate’s squinty eyes.

“Same-sex marriage is fundamentally illegitimate, lawless, unconstitutional… and absolutely wonderful!” Cruz squealed as he attempted to run his hands through his life partner’s lustrous orange-y mane.

Leading political analysts acknowledged they were surprised by the development.

“The data did not indicate this,” said statistician Nate Silver. “Then again, there’s one event all my fancy numbers can’t predict: love. Come back to me, Sarah!” [Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Improve your kids? Maybe. But, ruin them? Ah…

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Every now and again I get myself invited to a dinner or cocktail party. At such an event recently, talking with a few good friends about the complexities of having kids, we came to a jarring and perhaps disheartening conclusion.

[Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads The Undoing by Averil Dean

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The Undoing by Averil Dean begins with one drastic action and no explanation. Julian is alone and does something nearly unthinkable. The interesting thing, for the reader, is that it is entirely out of context – there is only the vaguest of hints about how we came to this point. Then we jump back a day, to see what brought Julian to the edge. Then we jump back 5 years, then 3 days before that, then a year before that. As we hopscotch through time, we begin to get a sense of the characters and events.

Celia, Rory, and Eric have been inseparable since childhood, growing up in the tiny Colorado town of Jawbone Ridge. Celia and Rory were raised as siblings (her father married his mother); Eric is Rory’s best friend and Celia’s sometime lover. They did not have easy childhoods – there were abusive parents, family secrets, desertion and death – but these three damaged people had a bond that helped them survive it all. They eventually follow Celia’s long-time dream of buying the abandoned Blackbird Hotel, planning to turn it into a B&B. Instead, the three old friends end up dead, shot to death in the hotel. Who was responsible and what pushed this relationship to the breaking point?

I love the way this story skips through time. I love the way that just when you think part of the story is becoming clearer, a new bit of backstory makes you rethink everything. There are so many threads to unravel! Dean does an excellent job of weaving the disjointed bits of backstory into an ending that completely changes the way you will view the first few pages. It kept me engaged; I read the book straight through, starting in a departure lounge at the Cleveland airport and and finally finishing over dinner at JFK.  There was no way I was going to put this one down – I needed to know how it ended! There’s not much greater praise for a novel.

My copy of The Undoing was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge by the good folks at MIRA Books.

undoing

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump epic fails

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10. Trump Steak. On March 8, 2016, Donald Trump arranged a display table covered with steaks, bottles of wine and water, and a magazine, to show just a few of his many successes, countering what Mitt Romney had said about his businesses. But nowadays, there is no such thing as Trump Steak. There used to be, in 2007, when they were sold through the Sharper Image catalogue, but they were discontinued because, according to Sharper Image’s then CEO, “We literally sold almost no steaks.” Ironically, the steaks on his table bore the logo “Bush Brothers.”

9. Trump Wine and Trump Water. Despite his assurance at his press conference that Trump Wine is “the largest winery on the East Coast, I own it 100% – no mortgage, no debt – you can all check, you have to go check the record, folks – in fact, the press, I’m asking you please check,” when the press checked, they found the website for Trump Wine stated, “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.” The bottled water is nothing more than generic water with Trump’s name slapped on it.

8. Trump World Magazine. This magazine, which came out four times a year beginning in 2007, was never a big money maker, and its publisher, Niche Media, pulled the plug in 2009. What he held up was an annual brochure called The Jewel of Palm Beach that promotes some of his properties.
[Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads In Wilderness by Diane Thomas

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I am woefully behind on reading and reviews, but this is a great story to get me back on track. In Wilderness by Diane Thomas is a fascinating story told with a beautiful, poetic writing style. I was immediately drawn to the characters and the lyrical way the story is told made it a real pleasure to read.

It’s 1966 and Katherine Reid is dying – an unidentifiable, wasting illness that the doctors cannot put a name to and can do nothing to stop. Her life has been slowly disintegrating for the last four years, a series of tragedies, leaving her on her own with her failing health. She can’t keep food down. She is growing thinner and weaker, fading away, and the doctors can’t offer her any solutions.

One doctor tells her how, a hundred years ago, they would have told a patient like her to try a change of scenery, take a grand tour of Europe, live a little before the end. This gets her thinking. On impulse Katherine buys an isolated cabin in the North Carolina wilderness. She plans to hike in with a duffel bag full of food and warm clothes, the few things she will need in the weeks she has left. She chooses it as her place to die.

Instead, she begins to get well. She can keep food down, she’s getting stronger, and she is enjoying the quiet isolation of the forest. But when you’ve come to the wilderness to die…and then you don’t…what do you do next?

Danny is barely out of his teens and crippled with PTSD. After his discharge and a horrifying incident in California, he came to the wilderness to get away from people and his fear of what he might do. He watches Katherine as she works in the garden, as she walks to the privy, he sleeps by a chink in the cabin wall, where he can hear her breathing. When he finally storms into her life, it’s just a matter of time before he can’t keep his demons at bay.

Katherine’s story is compelling all on its own. I was amazed at her strength and thought about how satisfying it must be to choose the way you will go out; so few of us are able to do that. Danny scared me from the moment he appeared on the page. The stalking was terrifying, even moreso since Katherine doesn’t even know she’s being stalked. Their meeting was inevitable and I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the clash that had to be coming.

In Wilderness is an intriguing story and a pleasure to read. My copy was provided free of charge through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer Program.

wilderness

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Now that penis size has become an issue in the current Presidential race (thanks to Mark Rubio and Donald Trump), top ten nicknames for Presidential penises

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10. President Abraham Lincoln: The Rail Splitter

9. President George W. Bush: My Weapon of Mass Destruction

8. President George H. W. Bush: The Idiot Producer

7. President Jimmy Carter: Peanut

6. President Bill Clinton: The Troublemaker

5. President Harry S. Truman: The Fuck Stops Here

4. President Ronald Reagan: The Big Gipper

3. President Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Rider

2. President Lyndon Johnson: Johnson’s Johnson

1. President Richard M. Nixon: Tricky Dick
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.