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Welcome to the Antrim Church of Christ Web Site
Then I Met Marty PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 26 March 2011 11:06

A couple weeks back you may have also cringed when you heard, on national news, that a New Hampshire state senator suggested we ship the mentally ill to Siberia to die. I cannot remember if the story stated his party affiliation, but even if it didn't I would have assumed he was Republican and figured that the politician was an embarrassing fringe element (every cause has at least one).

You can imagine what happened after the activist he was speaking with hung up and shared the inflammatory information with others...boom! If you search Google for the Senator's name and "Siberia" (with the his name in quotes) you'll likely get more than the 33,300 results that I just did. Add to that the fact that many sites (including news ones) allow open comments, and the result is scores of reactions that I could never share in a church bulletin (not that they ever should be printed anywhere). On the surface it seems to serve him right—he said something extremely insensitive (downright stupid) and he deserved a good metaphoric slapping.

Then I met Marty.

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A Little Creeped Out? PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 15:18

Binocular guy

This past week, to make the time on my Concept2 Rower pass more quickly, I listened to talk shows on Internet radio (well, the Internet streams of "real" radio stations).  On one show they interviewed the founder of Voyurl, a service which "allows you to share your clickstream and find out who is looking at what, when and where.  You can connect to friends, find new sites, or just see what others are looking at real-time."

Basically, it's a way for you to let other people know everything you are viewing on the web (and how long and often you viewed it), and for them to be able to do the same in return.

The interviewer was skeptical, thinking it was carrying the Facebook and Twitter type sharing a bit too far (and with little benefit).  The interviewee touted how it would allow you to more effectively review the time you spend on line, simplify returning to sites you visited before, and locate other interesting pages based on where your friends have been going.

So, what do you think?  Would you use the service?  Would you share all your web surfing with the world, or at least friends?  Would you be interested in seeing everywhere your compadres clicked to?

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Last Updated on Sunday, 20 March 2011 15:25
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The End PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:32

Earthquake mapIf you click on the image, you'll see that the "10-degree Map Centered at 40°N, 140°E" (generated Saturday, March 12, 15:22:22 UTC) says, "255 earthquakes on this map."1 First, imagine having lived through the original estimated 8.9 magnitude quake—one that appears to have shifted Japan's main island by 8 feet and the earth's axis by 4 inches.2 Depending on where you were in Japan when the quake hit, you watched anything from books falling off shelves to a 30-foot high tsunami "that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys.3

Then, as you continue to listen to the news of evacuations around nuclear power plants (and of a large explosion in the building that houses the reactor at one), 5.57 million people without power (and 1 million without water), "the coastal city of Rikuzentakata...virtually destroyed by [the] tidal wave," four missing trains (with an unknown quantity of passengers), 3,400 buildings either completely or partially destroyed, and 200 fires...4

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Last Updated on Sunday, 20 March 2011 15:18
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What's in a Name? PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 26 February 2011 17:14

This week I spent a couple days off-the-grid in East Millinocket, Maine with Mike, my father-in-law (a retired truck driver who dabbles in used car sales). During one trip (to plain-old Millinocket) I saw a sign for an oil and propane supplier—one I'd never noticed before: Dead River Company. I told Mike that it seemed a regrettable choice for a business considering the environmental-catastrophe concerns people have with removing crude from Mother Earth. Especially after last year's Gulf disaster, it would appear that whether or not it originally made sense to name the forest products company in 1909 after a river that flowed through its land in western Maine,1 in 2011 it has to be a bit of a hurdle for Dead River's Marketing Department. Little did they know in 1936 when they expanded into petroleum products (anyone remember Esso?)2 that 75 years later some would consider them part the second most nefarious industry (only behind tobacco)...and that their name would be a constant reminder of the worst-case scenario for their trade.

However, the sub-optimal naming up in northeast Maine didn't stop there. Enjoying more of that beautiful area's flavor by reading the Katahdin Region News, I saw an ad for Rob's Oil Burner Service. Nothin' too bad about that; well, except that they put the initials above the company in bold capitals: R.O.B.S. I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I want someone coming into my home with R.O.B.S. on their uniform. :-)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 26 February 2011 17:18
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A Lesson from Smuggling PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 19 February 2011 14:39

Old carOne of the first editions of Ruport Murdoch’s new iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, included a story that had all the makings of a great old-fashioned G-Man tale.1 An unmarked truck sneaks out from Pennsylvania before dawn with liquid contraband destined for Manhattan. After arriving, the banned substance is clandestinely slipped into a crowded room of addicts waiting for their once-a-month fix. Images come to mind of Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, high speed chases with cars not long past the Model T, Tommy guns, and the FBI kicking over huge vats of illegal liquor.

However, Prohibition ended in 1933, and long ago those famous moonshine runs morphed into NASCAR racing. So, what new liquid has led to such an illicit trade? Perhaps some normal beverage beefed up with a narcotic? A new caffeinated alcohol drink (like Four Loko) that five states outlawed before the FDA finally stepped in to make it illegal for everyone?2 Considering this fluid has caused raids reminiscent of Prohibition it must be pretty addicting and the Devil’s juice.

The Amish smuggler, Samuel, was sneaking in...gasp....

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Diane's Miracle PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Saturday, 12 February 2011 15:32

Diane's MiracleIn the "we took way too long to start it" category are the monthly church prayer meetings that began in January (and will repeat every fourth Sunday at 10AM instead of Bible study). Although other items were also brought before the Lord, one request especially stood out—Diane’s need for an operation that might finally stem the tide (actually reverse it) when it comes to the progressive damage multiple sclerosis has been doing to her body. Over the past couple months, Rick has been sharing the amazing results of a new treatment called the Liberation Procedure, and after one recent service Rick explained how this is one case where they just cannot "go it alone." The Davis family needs our help.

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How Far Would You Go? PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Thursday, 03 February 2011 21:18

Machine gunThe lead article in the most recent Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter is about the exploits of Rolo, a former member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) who now spends his time leading residents of FARC-controlled areas (and FARC rebels themselves) to Christ. Needless to say, it is a very risky proposition. Not only is the guerrilla organization anti-religion (they are Marxists), but his former membership in the organization makes him, in a sense, an apostate. It isn’t only religions that consider turning your back on your "faith" a major "sin," and every time he crosses over into FARC territory it is only the protective hand of God that is between him and death.

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