1. Don't let them take Katie...

    jake on 2005.06.11
    at 12:45 am

    I find pop culture gossip to be interesting. What attracts us to it? And why the hell do we famous people who contribute nothing? Well right now I don’t really care. This is actually a post on Scientology. All the publicity around Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got me thinking about the peculiar “church” and why so many celebrities join. And why the heck don’t they get that their religion doesn’t make much sense?

    I’m no expert on the subject so I will let my links do the talking. So far I’ve found out that it’s not really a religion at all. And you need to pay into it to gain status. Sounds perfect for celebrities. Quite simply it is a cult.

    The ongoing controversies involving the Church of Scientology and its critics include:

    • Scientology’s harassing and litigious actions against its critics and “enemies.”
    • Differing accounts of L. Ron Hubbard’s life, (critics charge Scientology with being a cult of personality, with much emphasis placed on the alleged accomplishments of its founder). Scientologists claim that government files, such as the FBI, are loaded with forgeries and other false documents detrimental to Scientology.
    • Deaths of Scientologists due to mistreatment by other members.
    • Scientology’s disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members critical of the Church.
    • Criminal activities by some members of the Church of Scientology.
    • Claims of “brainwashing” and mind control.
    • Accounts of L. Ron Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion to make money.

    I don’t wish to speak ill of anyone but Scientology really creeps me out. I’ll let you make up your own mind of their intentions. Let’s hope Ms. Holmes is careful and rationalizes what’s going on around her.

    Less ranty update: Maybe she’ll be strong enough to resist when they start talking about dead aliens.

    Posted in: Rant

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  2. Bargains in Music

    brian on 2005.06.10
    at 05:39 pm

    “I call it a bargain. The best I ever had!”

    Amanda has us on a kick watching CSI and CSI Miami. We generally enjoy CSI, but we find CSI:Miami utterly annoying and we mainly watch it so we can make fun of David Caruso’s character and his acting. Hello, he runs the crime lab, but spends most of his time leading the SWAT team and kicking down doors? Hello, artistic license! And why would a show that basically prays at the alter of science be sponsored by GM SUVs? (HUMMER on Miami, GMC on Vegas) Should people tuning in for their love of science know what these monstrosities are doing to the planet?

    One of the best parts about CSI is its use of music. Very good. Except the downtempo 2-minute music videos in the middle of each Miami episode. Club Chemistry! (UConn student TV reference).

    The theme music to the CSIs are all songs from hit The Who songs. They mostly get stuck in my head for days and I sing and air guitar along with them. So it was yesterday that I gave in an decided to head to the iTunes Music Store and invest in some classic The Who tracks for my iPod. { ITMS }

    When I was there, I found a bargain, the best I ever had. OK, maybe not the best, but damn good. One of the The Who‘s crowning achievements was the rock opera Tommy. { ITMS } You can buy the soundtrack/album for $7.99 24songs for 1.2hours of music. That’s an excellent deal. An honestly, the only reason I bought the whole album was the value. Otherwise I would have bought maybe four tracks. Instead I bought nearly two times as much (in dollars) because it was such a reasonable price. I was rewarded with the album-only track Underture which is more than 10 minutes long itself.

    I also picked up a few other hits, including the theme tracks to the CSI shows. I did not buy “Bargain”: { ITMS } but I’m debating going back for more.

    On a related note, you can pick up even more music, with longer tracks at an even more impressive price: $0. Perhaps that should be £0. That’s because of a new project the BBC has launched.

    BBC Radio 3 has a new initiative where over the next weeks it will be broadcasting the BBC Philharmonic’s performances of the nine Beethoven symphonies. The radio broadcasts will then be followed by the release of the tracks on the BBCs website for free download. MP3 format, 128kbps quality, no copy protection. Excellent!

    I have downloaded a few of the tracks thus far, and a few more are in progress. Symphony 2 is nearly an hour in length. Each track has an introduction by the host comprised of a three minute background on the piece.

    Go forth and download.

    Posted in: Music

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