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Defensive wins Mon, Dec 04, 2006
I used to have a shirt from a basketball camp that said, "Offense wins games.  Defense wins championships."  While that's one of the stupidest ideas ever created, it was at least slightly true for the Chicago Bears yesterday.  And while their game against the Minnesota Vikings wasn't a championship game, the Bears' defense literally won the game.  Well, actually it was the defense and the special teams.  But no matter how you look at it, it had nothing to do with the offense.  Bears quarterback Rex Grossman went 6/19, 34 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs, which, for all intents and purposes, is abysmal.  The Bears' offense scored a grand total of 7 of the 23 points in game.  Essentially, without the defense and special teams, the Bears would've lost 13-7.  But hey, who needs an offense when you consistently win games? #sports

Zicam Mon, Dec 04, 2006
I keep seeing commercials for Zicam, the newest miracle cure for the common cold.  But every time I see the commercial, I get a little scared. 

What's that thing on the box?  What's it do?  Where does it go?  If it was meant to be taken orally, it would be in pill or syrup form.  If it was meant to be taken nasally, it would be in spray form.  Help me out here, I'm running out of orifices.  How else can stuff get in the human body?  Sure, there's ... ya know ... but why the heck would a company make a product meant to be taken that way, much less expect people to buy it?  That's crazy talk!  No cold is bad enough to take medicine that way.  I would go so far as to say there are few deadly diseases that are worth being treated in that entrance. 
Doctor:  It looks like we'll have to administer the treatment in ... well, ya know ... the other end. 
Me:  It looks like I'll be opting for death. 
Doctor:  Good choice.  I'd do the same.
Fear not!  The product instructions clear things up.  On the 7th step (good God, why did it take that long?):  "Apply medication just inside of each nostril."  And there ya have it, folks.  That Q-tip-thing is made to be shoved up your nose.  I never would have thought that being told to put a foreign object in my nose would come as such a relief. #health

Funerals Mon, Dec 04, 2006
I don't go to many funerals.  But I went to one last week, and like most things, they generate ideas in my head and cause me to form opinions.  So here it is:  Funerals are bad events.  There isn't much more to say about that.  A funeral is an event to mourn the death of a human being.  There can't possibly be much happiness in something like that.  However, I have to applaud the fact that funerals are often a celebration of a person's life, accomplishments, personality, and good vibes they left with the world.  Rarely, if ever, do the people at the funeral talk about how much of a jerk the person was.  And that's good.  That's how it should be. 

But now for the opinion:  Viewing a dead body is probably the worst conceivable way to see a person for the last time.  What freak came up with that idea?  I guess some people like to have closure, so they feel the need to view the person's body one last time.  I hate to break it to you, but here it goes anyway:  A body at a funeral is likely a hollow cavity that's been frozen for the past several days, drained of its blood (and possibly vital organs), and painted to look like a living person.  If you get close enough to the body, and if you're "lucky" enough to touch it, it'll be the last thing you remember about the person.  Hey, isn't that great.  A memory of a hollowed-out corpse covered with makeup.  Lovely. 

Instead, I think we should remember a person with pictures.  I'd say there aren't many people on this globe who haven't been photographed at least somewhat recently, so it shouldn't be hard to get a few pictures together and set up a display or an electronic presentation.  You get to see the person in normal human settings, doing normal human things, exhibiting normal human emotions.  That's the way a person should be remembered.  Happy times, happy things.  Even if the person was being a jerk in the picture, it's still an accurate portrayal of how the person was, instead of lying down in a wooden box with hands folded nicely on the stomach. #psychology

Puzzle pieces Mon, Dec 04, 2006
I heard an interesting thing recently:  The main difference between a person who believes in something and a person who doesn't is that the believer focuses on what's known, while the non-believer focuses on what's unknown.  As an analogy, consider Christianity.  It's a religion with lots of beliefs, and along with those beliefs come a bunch of holes.  There are some pretty reliable knowns (Jesus existed, he claimed to be God, his early followers were willing to die for their belief in him as the Christ) as well as some potentially show-stopping unknowns (existence of God, infallibility of the Bible, creation/evolution/big-bang/monkeys).  If we think of the whole thing as a puzzle, the knowns are puzzle pieces in their proper place and the unknowns are [obviously] missing pieces from the puzzle.  The analogy I heard had to do with a painting of the Mona Lisa.  If an average person saw the painting with a few puzzle pieces missing, he/she would easily be able to identify the painting even though it wasn't complete.  The same can be true of Christianity.  Even though we don't have all the puzzle pieces, we can still believe in it by focusing on what's there instead of focusing on what's not there.  I definitely don't have all the answers.  If anything, I have the same number of doubts as the standard person.  The only difference between me and the standard person is that I choose to focus on what's known instead of what's unknown. #religion