Monday, April 7, 2014

Also Been Reading Some Science Fiction

To cleanse the palate between courses...

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville Steam-punk, science-fiction, mytho-poetic, horror-fantasy novels aren't my usual thing but Mieville is so viciously skilled a writer he makes it work even for me.

The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt A well-paced read. Priscilla Hutchins is an interesting enough character I may come back for more.

3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Otherwise, I'm still chewing on the serious stuff; The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood (almost done), the Bible (Exodus 23:19...), and From Babylon to Bethlehem: The Jewish People from the Exile to the Messiah by H.L. Ellison (just started).

Been Reading...

...more that I care to on targeted school shootings at institutions of higher education.

I suppose it's a good thing such exotic violence is so rare. If early detection, intervention, and treatment fail, the policy, training, and equipment needed for mitigation are daunting. Here's the bibliography for a report we've been working on:

Aveni, T. (2003) Officer-Involved Shootings: What We Didn’t Know Has Hurt Us. The Police Policy Studies Council, August 2003.   
Blair, J. and Martaindale, M. (2013) United States Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2010: Training and Equipment Applications.  Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, Texas State University, 2013  
Counterterrorism Bureau of the New York City Police Department. (2012) Active Shooter Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation. NYPD Printing Section, 2012
Drysdale, D., Modzeleski, W., and Simons, A. (2010). Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education. U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, D.C., 2010.
Farren, K. (2013) Justifying Weapon Mounted Lights. IALEFI, Control 13-11
Good. J. (2014) The Deployment of Illumination Tools: Law Enforcement Primer. Night Reaper Systems, 2014.
IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center Board. (2007) The Patrol Rifle: Considerations for Adoption and Use. The Police Chief, February 2007.
List of School Shootings in the United States. (n.d.)  In Wikipedia.  Accessed April 10, 2014. 
Paparazzo, J., Eith C., and Tocco, J. (2013) Strategic Approaches to Preventing Multiple Casualty Violence: Report on the National Summit on Multiple Casualty Shootings. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2013..
Schweit, K. (2013) Addressing the Problem of the Active Shooter. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2013.
Smith, L and Supiano, B. (2008) Major Shootings on American College Campuses. Chronicle of Higher Education. Februay 18, 2008.
Timeline of Worldwide School and Mass Shootings: Gun-related tragedies in the U.S. and around the world. (n.d.) Information Please Database, Pearson Education, Inc. Accessed April 10, 2014.
United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.  (2013).  Crime in the United States, September 2013.  Retrieved April 10, 2014, from  
Vossekuil, B., Fein, R., Reddy, M., Borum, R., and Modzeleski, W. (2002) The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States. United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education, May 2002.

Photo credit:

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Used Bookstore in Prescott!

I found a new favorite place to hang out...

Paperback City 3196 Willow Creek Rd, Ste A104, Prescott, AZ 86301 (928) 445-2299. It's a cozy little storefront joint just across the parking lot from where I buy my groceries but I had not noticed it until now. It's no Half Price Books I guess, but then Prescott is no Apple Valley either. I felt right at home and bought two books: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss and an old volume on Teilhard de Chardin. I didn't have time to browse the Science Fiction aisle so I'll be back.  I know it's pretty nerdy to love hanging out in bookstores but it's safer, cheaper, and quieter than going to the bar.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Not Thelma and Louise

Gramma Kay and Grampa Larry visit the South Rim...

Mom and Dad are visiting Prescott, Arizona, this month. I was out of town on business all week so come Sunday the 16th we got together for a day trip to the Grand Canyon. It's less than three hours to the north of my new digs. Mom had not been there since 1955. This was Dad's first visit. It was cool and windy (it is winter even in Arizona after all) but the sun came and went often enough to make for some fine vistas.

Mom made up for her nearly 60 year hiatus by purchasing a little bit of everything in the gift shop. I finally bought a copy of Over The Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, the Expanded 10 Year Anniversary Edition by Michael P. Ghiglieri (Author), Thomas M. Myers (Author), M.P. Ghiglieri (Editor), Kim Besom & Bronze Black (Illustrator). "They have to keep updating it," lamented the clerk who sold it to me, "There's just no end to stupid!"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Paul Was Not a Christian

A sophisticated argument, skillfully rendered...

Could key elements of traditional Christian dogma - from Augustine to Luther - hinge on a choice between nominative and genitive case when translating a key phrase in Paul's letters from their original Greek?  Does the bulk of the history of Christianity arise from distinction between the Christian notion of faith in Christ and Paul's expression the faithfulness of Christ?  Wow!  The concept rocks my world and I'm not even a Christian.

Professor Pamela Eisenbaum is a practicing Jew who teaches in a Christian seminary.  Tough duty; I imagine watching her work would be a treat. Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle is as thought-provoking as it is accessible.  A skilled writer, Eisenbaum is methodical but never plodding.  As she guides us through her challenging thesis there are moments when tells us she needs to slow down to carefully spell out a complex concept in detail.  Heed her warning and you will be rewarded.

I don't read Greek (of course neither do most Christians...okay, other than those who live in Greece I suppose) so I'll be sending this book along to some fine friends who do.  I look forward to hearing what they - a retired Roman Catholic priest and a 20-something evangelical minister - think of Professor Eisenbaum's approach to the pivotal role Paul played - whether intentionally or accidentally - in the early church.

Fun stuff. Paul Was Not a Christian should be on every Christian theology nerd's reading list.

PS I recommended the book and its author to Justin Brierley at the Unbelievable radio program and podcast.