The Queen of England Says, “We Would Like to Play”

I thought an iPod was the strangest thing the Obamas could have given the Queen, but the gaming company THQ has topped them. They have presented Her Majesty with a Nintendo Wii. Yes, a game system! For the Queen of England! But this is not the standard, pearly white Wii you would buy at Wal-Mart. The console, nunchuk, and Wiimote are gold-plated.

A gracious gift or a shameless plug?

The technology site THQ’s ulterior motive: promoting their latest product Big Family Games, a collection of sports mini-games meant to “include the whole family from kids to grandparents.” So, as the article states, “what better family to send it to…?”

Good point, but for the Queen of England?

She may have wanted the console. Mike Krumbholtz of Yahoo!‘s gaming blog Plugged In writes that “she was ‘addicted’ to playing Prince William’s Wii last Christmas.” The speculation begins. Will Her Highness stick to sports, or will she find her inner rocker with Guitar Hero or Rock Band?


More Than Weather: NOAA Posts Links to Swine Flu Info

NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), generally associated with The National Weather Service, is pulling double duty by adding a green box of links marked “2009 Flu Info” to their home page. The links only lead to government health sites, of course, such as WHO, HHS (Human Health and Services), and the CDC. So if you’re someone who frequents NOAA’s website, you now have another place to get both the recent weather and health news.

Of course, this also shows the extent of the fear about the swine flu. Health may have a lot to do with climate, but to me, NOAA’s still seems to be stepping out of their boundary. Or maybe they’ve done this before—I don’t know. Can we go nowhere without getting the swine flu bulletin waved in our faces? As excessive as the hype is, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; that’s the intent of this move: to help people prepare.

Swine Flu: Deadly Hype

Scientists have discovered the H1N1 virus lacks a key amino acid found in deadlier flu strains. This means the swine flu is not lethal. That doesn’t mean no one will die, as some people already have, but widespread deaths are unlikely. Influenza can mutate easily, so it could be temporary good news. However, a vaccine like the shot Americans get every year is in production, and just like with seasonal flu, health officials will monitor any mutation.

So, the situation isn’t as bad as it seems to be, yet everyone’s panicked about it. Is the fear more virulent than the flu itself?
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It’s the End of the World…Again

Swine Flu, Avian Flu, SARS, Hurricane Katrina, The Indonesian Tsunami, 9/11, the World Wars—every time there is a disaster, someone in the religious community declares it the beginning (or continuation) of the end, and they have Bible verses to prove it. Some people have gone so far as to mark our exact final day (sometime in 2012, if you have not heard). Well, here’s my two cents.

Yes, I believe the world will eventually end. When? I have no idea, and neither do the people who say they do. All anyone can do is speculate. Wars and disasters have been occurring since time began. What about the Black Plague? The American Revolution? The Civil War? These events were as horrific as recent ones—perhaps even more so—and “evangelicals” were as sure then as now that we had only a few years left on this Earth. Yet we’re still here.

Trying to pinpoint a date is useless. The more you get it wrong (and you will), the less people will believe you—it’s the simple “boy who cried wolf” phenomenon. Instead, if you’re so worried about everyone (or really everyone’s souls), get them saved so they will be ready when the last day sneaks up on all of us. There are better ways to do that than scaring people into being “desperate for God,” literally. (The term “fire insurance” comes to mind.)

The church is meant to be a house of refuge, right? Not a house of prophecy. God will handle those details.