Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Google Maps and Katrina

Google Maps now offers a comparison of New Orleans before and after Katrina's damage. Zoom in a little, and then you can scroll around and use the buttons labeled "Satellite" and "Katrina" to see the flooding in detail.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pizza Dough

Gluten-free pizza? No big deal.

This recipe makes one batch of dough for a typically-sized large home pizza pan, or two batches of a very thin crust for those with the patience to pat it out very flat. (Or sometimes we split a double batch into three parts, for an intermediate thickness.)

It refrigerates well for a few days, so you can prepare the dough before you want to actually make a pizza.

In a large mixing bowl combine:
  • 1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups gluten-free four mix
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp vinegar
Mix well, first with a wooden spoon and then by kneading. Depending upon humidity and your flour mix, you may need to add a few teaspoons more warm water or flour mix: the dough should have a consistency that is "rubbery", not "dry" or "sticky".

This dough tastes better the more it rises. Let it rise for at least 4 hours. You can let some of the rising happen after you pat the dough flat onto the pizza pan (and you'll have to pat it, it can't be rolled).

Worshipping Grief

Last week's sermon was about the difference between forgiveness and pardon. It discussed why Yeshua had to suffer so much.

This discussion going around the blogosphere puts similar issues in a very different context. Do people who have suffered have higher moral authority? That sounds quite un-American and un-democratic. Rephrased: does suffering produce moral wisdom?

Sadly, it doesn't. Occasionally suffering prompts people to stop and think more. But just as often it prompts people to mindless vengeance.

God's plan is not that we need to suffer to grow wise, but that we can identify with him and his suffering, to avoid the need for our own suffering.

The novel The Bridge to Terabithia ends with a character inspired to live in the way a virtuous friend would have lived. He will put into the world what the friend would have, because the world needs it. The same plot is how we are supposed to think of suffering and Yeshua.

Bike Commute Challenge

If you live in Eugene and bike to work, try this.

Being Abled

I have some deaf friends in Rochester who will love this video.


I have been a part of a few conversations in which someone Jewish wondered if the damage done by Hurricane Katrina was related to the U.S. supporting expelling Israelis from their coastal homes.

The best answer I have relates to a bumper sticker I saw last November: "If God wanted us to vote he would have given us candidates". (The saying has been attributed elsewhere to Jay Leno.)

Exactly how were those who lost there homes supposed to have done anything different politically? Most of the damaged counties voted for the more pro-Israel candidate. It wasn't the high-population counties that did otherwise that bore the brunt of a natural disaster.

For news about Katrina you might other miss, check Terry Teachout's page.

Truth in Advertising

Those of us not super refined might find this bit of truth in advertising amusing. But truth still does not mean "meaningful information".

The Problem with Miracles

This is a cool video about why God is not a D.J.