Archive for December, 2009

I, Caesar: Justinian: Last of the Romans

December 20, 2009

Sixth episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

Hail Caesar — Justinian: The Last of the Romans details Emperor Justinian’s development of the Roman legal code, a legacy that would influence concepts of social justice all the way to the present day. Additionally, Justinian’s restoration of the dimensions of the Empire are also explored using expert testimony, narration, re-creations, maps, and paintings

I, Caesar: Constantine: Bearing the Cross

December 18, 2009

Fifth episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

Hail Caesar — Constantine: The Christian Emperor recounts some of the achievements of this ruler, including his controversial relocation of the Roman capitol to Constantinople and his astonishing conversion to Christianity. Through the use of re-creations, the narrated words Roman contemporaries had written about life under Constantine, and the testimony of historians, the rule of one of the most successful of the Roman Emperors is examined.

I, Caesar: Hadrian: Within These Walls

December 16, 2009

Forth episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

Hail Caesar — Hadrian: Emperor of the Golden Age revisits the rule of Hadrian Caesar through the testimony of historians and the paintings and words of contemporary Romans whose writings are brought to life through narration. Renown as a generous patron of the arts and for championing the causes of the common man, Hadrian Caesar also lead an army that killed over 500,000 people in crushing a Judean uprising. With ruthless efficiency of this sort, Hadrian Caesar was able to consolidate the Empire to a degree never before achieved.

I, Caesar: Nero: The Power and the Madness

December 14, 2009

Third episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

In Hail Caesar — Nero: The Power and the Madness it is the schizophrenic rule of Nero that is explored, a rule which very nearly resulted in the collapse of the Empire. The program details the 14-year rule of Nero through the testimony of historians, re-creations, and through the paintings and words of Nero’s contemporaries given voice by present day narrators. This colorful era of Roman history was noted for the constant turmoil of rebellion, plots, and assassinations, and the beginnings of the persecution of the nascent Christian sect. Nero’s reign would end with his suicide, opening a power vacuum that continued to hamstring the faltering Empire.

I, Caesar: Augustus: First of the Emperors

December 12, 2009

Second episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

Hail Caesar — Augustus: First of the Emperors explores the rise of the consummate Roman politician Octavius Augustus Caesar, driven for 13 years by the desire to avenge his uncle’s murder. The story of his struggle to consolidate power and expand the empire is told in paintings, re-creations, and through the words of Augustus’ contemporaries, as narrated by Perkins.

Pastoral Spiritual Abuse

December 11, 2009

Jennifer Garza from The Sacramento Bee reports on the spiritual abuses some churchgoers have to face:

It began with a compliment from the pastor and a desire to be obedient. It ended with Karen Sapp allowing the minister to control nearly every aspect of her life.

She had faith in the North Highlands pastor, promising she could change her life with honor and service. Sapp gave all her free time to the church.

She worked in many church ministries, including one for members to cook meals for the pastor’s family. She donned the uniform she was asked to wear. Sapp said she called the church leader, his wife and children “The First Family” – as requested.

One day last year, Sapp and her family walked way from the nondenominational independent church.

I, Caesar: Julius Caesar: I Am Not King, But Caesar

December 10, 2009

First episode of this six parts A&E Biography miniseries in which Jack Perkins chronicles the rise and fall of six Roman Emperors.

In Hail Caesar — Julius Caesar: Master of the Roman World the program explores the rise to power of a young upstart gambler whose mettle as a soldier was beyond dispute. Gaius Julius Caesar would ride his uncanny military prowess all the way to the most powerful position in Roman society. Julius Caesar’s tyrannical rule — chronicled in re-creations, paintings, and narrated testimony from diaries of his Roman contemporaries — would establish and expand a Roman empire that would endure for centuries.

NRA Members Not as Afraid of Gun Restrictions as Congressmen Are

December 10, 2009

In a move that should revolutionize the gun debate, Mayors Against Illegal Guns decided to go over the heads of Beltway types and poll gun owners and NRA members directly on questions related to gun control laws.

E.J. Dionne Jr. reports that the results would surprise many:

The survey, which will be released soon, wasn’t conducted by some liberal outfit, either, but by Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster lately famous for providing talking points against the Democrats’ health care bills.

“I support the NRA,” Luntz insists. What he doesn’t go for is the “slippery slope argument” that casts any new gun law as the first step toward confiscation. “When the choice is between national security and terrorism versus no limits on owning guns,” Luntz says, “I’m on the side of national security and fighting terrorism.”

Most NRA members seem to agree.

In his survey of 832 gun owners, including 401 NRA members, Luntz found that 82 percent of NRA members supported “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns,” 69 percent favored “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns” and 78 percent backed “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.” Among gun owners who did not belong to the NRA, the numbers were even higher.

Do Not Give Your Money To The Pokemon! Give It To Us!

December 10, 2009

Ignorant or proud to be stupid?

Rat Eating Pitcher Plant

December 8, 2009

Matt Walker from BBC Earth News reports:

A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.

The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap.

The botanists have named the pitcher plant after British natural history broadcaster David Attenborough.

Pitcher plants are carnivorous. Carnivorous plants come in many forms, and are known to have independently evolved at least six separate times. While some have sticky surfaces that act like flypaper, others like the Venus fly trap are snap traps, closing their leaves around their prey.

Pitchers create tube-like leaf structures into which insects and other small animals tumble and become trapped.