July 12, 2020

Saturday Ramblings

Presented by Adam Palmer

Greetings, all. Jeff Dunn, the Grand Rambler of the iMonastery is on assignment in Colorado this week and has left it to me, his trusty apprentice, to present this week’s offering of Saturday Ramblings. To wit:

People are actually signing up to spend a year and a half living in a shipping container in Russia for a fake “Mars mission” led by the European Space Agency. The ESA selected the first half of the crew this week, which includes a Frenchman and a Colombian-Italian, who will undergo all sorts of astronaut training and tests without the heady benefit of becoming an actual astronaut.

HarperCollins announced this week that best-selling author Sarah Palin will return to the bookshelves this fall with a book “inspired by the ‘thousands of everyday Americans’ she met on [her recent] book tour.” The upcoming volume is titled America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. Depending on your opinion of the polarizing Mrs. Palin, that title will fill you with either warm fuzzies or severe dread.

End-times alarmists in Poland were surely sounding the Komeback Klaxons when Warsaw received a biometric ATM, courtesy of BPS SA Bank. Instead of swiping a magnetic card to access their money, account holders need “nothing more than their index fingers and their PIN numbers.” The machine scans their finger veins to verify their identity and is clearly discriminatory to Captain Hook.

Speaking of technology, film critic Roger Ebert did us all a favor this week and posted this insightful news piece about the way high definition television will change the way we watch movies. The catch: he wrote it June 12, 1988. The photo of the state-of-the-art GE “Performance Television” is well worth the click-through.

Birthdays. Filmmakers George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, and Sofia Coppola (two of those people have won Academy Awards–and it isn’t who you think); influential musicians David Byrne of Talking Heads and Bono of some band; artist Salvador Dali; famous Christian Stephen Baldwin; legendary stately lady Katharine Hepburn; funnyman and faux pundit Stephen Colbert; and, in a grand twist of irony, the birth control pill turned 50 this week… on Mother’s Day.

Finally, in anticipation of tomorrow’s church services, the folks in the media department at North Point Church released this self-mocking video this week. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: it’s funny ’cause it’s true:


  1. Adam, Thanks for filling in. That Sunday morning trailer made me laugh myself silly. Thanks for starting my day off with a smile. 🙂

  2. Funny trailer. Now we just need one of a liturgical service with The Hooters “All You Zombies” playing in the background (jn). 😉

  3. Who says contemporary churches don’t have a “liturgy”?

    Thanks, Adam. And thanks, North Point, for not taking yourselves too seriously.

  4. Worry over biometrics: seriously? Police in Arizona are demanding to see proof of natonal citzenship, and the zenophobes driving this hysteria are worried about biometric ATM’s in Poland? It makes me laugh at the same time it sends shivers own my spine.

    • First of all, Ox, it’s “xenophobes”. Secondly, even though my parents were both immigrants, count me among them. Are you aware that immigrants (non-citizens) are already required to carry acceptable proof of residency with them at all times?? This is according to federal law. And a driver’s license counts, as long as it’s from a state that doesn’t allow illegals to get one. Ever had a cop stop you and ask for ID? Did you develop KGB flashbacks, or did you just hand him your driver’s license? So why the hysteria?

      • Kozak:

        It’s an example of the law of unintended consequences. Politically-correct types are going to demand that I.D. checks not single out any nationality, which will result in spot-checks of everyone. This will result in a renewed effort for a standardized national I.D. system, which, yes, will feel a bit KGB-like. In the end, civil liberties of everyone will be assaulted, and nothing ultimately will be done to better protect U.S. borders.

    • Just to clarify: I used the word “surely” in front of “sounding the Komeback Klaxons” as a means of suggesting that biometrics is the sort of thing that will send shivers down the spines of Christians who like to focus on the rapture, the end times, the plots of the Left Behind novels, etc. To my knowledge, no one in Warsaw is outraged about the biometric ATMs–the concept just seems like the sort of thing that, when it inevitably makes its way Stateside, will be branded by certain Christians as bearing the Mark of the Beast.


    • While I have … ehem … left behind the Left Behind phenomenon, which turned out to be pretty profitable, I am not completely ignorant of the potential to which technology could be used by governments or corporations or both to ensure the masses are dutiful citizens and consumers.

  5. I think I have just lost all credibility as a participant here at this blog by admitting that I actually attend North Point Church. I am glad that my church has enough of a sense of humor to laugh about this.

  6. I too attend Northpoint, and appreciate the humor and their realization of the dangers found in this type of “liturgy”.

    I also appreciated Michael Spencer’s kind references to Northpoint’s senior pastor, Andy Stanley, when Michael mentioned listening to his sermons “Andy Stanley (outstanding)”, and Andy’s overall approach to those in ministry, “(Andy) has deeply impressed me with his ability to empower and affirm others in ministry.”

  7. Isaac Rehberg (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

    I gotta say, that video was absolutely BRILLIANT! I’ve shared it with some friends and they all agree, it’s one of the best YouTubes in a while.

  8. Rick Ro. says

    Thanks for sharing that video. Hilarious! Just what the doctor ordered. I’m sharing it with many friends and family.

  9. Rick Ro. says

    Sadly, but maybe not too surprisingly, the video has been removed by North Point Church. Maybe the spoof hit too close to home, eh?