Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cupcakes of Satan

I really wish the below was an Onion story. Let's encourage those small businesses eh? Ridiculus!

An 11-year-old baker's 'cup'cake business has been shut down in Illinois. Chloe Stirling, of Troy, makes about $200 a month selling 'cup'cakes baked in her family's kitchen, charging $10 for a dozen and $2 for specialty 'cup'cakes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. On Monday, the Madison County Health Department put an end to Chloe's baking endeavor after a front-age article on the successful enterprise appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat. "They called and said they were shutting us down," Chloe's mother, Heather Stirling, told the Post-Dispatch, adding that in order for Chloe to continue selling 'cup'cakes, the family would need to "buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have. Amy Yeager, a health department spokeswoman, told the newspaper the county was only applying the law governing businesses that sell and distribute food to the general public. "The rules are the rules. It's for the protection of the public health," Yeager said. "The guidelines apply to everyone. Chloe, who even donated 'cup'cakes for a fundraiser benefiting a boy in her school who was battling cancer, told she doesn't have hard feelings. "Well, I think it's just the rules are rules and they kind of need to be followed. I really don't blame the health department because it's not really their fault," she told the station. reported that many people have offered to open up their county-inspected kitchens to Chloe. The family is also considering building a second kitchen in their basement so she can continue baking.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Braille Story

This story was told on one of the lists I am on. I cannot express how much Braille has added to the richness of my life, in both large and small ways, so wanted to share the below.

What I wanted to share was what I was able to do with Braille over the weekend. That was, read nursery stories to my grandkids while interacting with them at the same time. Here are some details. I’ve always been visually impaired my whole life. I’ve got enough vision to read print, but the price I pay is sticking the book an inch from my face. That doesn’t allow much opportunity for interaction with others while you’re reading, and I wanted to be able to read to my grandkids when they came along so I could see their reactions and really interact with them as I did so. When I started learning Braille, I realized that Braille would allow me to do two things at once. That is, read, and still look around while I was doing it. I immediately understood that I could read a story to them out loud while looking at them, interacting with them. I realized that for me, Braille was the only way to go for doing this with them, and it was the most normal way of reading to them for me. This weekend I went to see my son and his wife and their kids. They’re 3 and 4, so they need coaxing when it’s time to go to sleep or take a nap. When they were getting tired I quickly volunteered to read them a story. I had downloaded the Random House book of Nursery Stories from the BARD site onto my iPhone, and with my Focus 40 Blue Braille display, it was a cinch to connect to the iPhone and read the story on my Braille Display. Not only were they curious about Grandpa reading Braille, but they loved the stories, especially “The Gingerbread Man”. It didn’t take them long to pick up on the line … “Run Run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!!” It didn’t take long for them to just forget about the Braille aspect of things. They knew Grandpa could read the Gingerbread Man to them, and they requested it once I had done it the first time. I must say learning the Braille, practicing, spending the $2700 for the display … was all worth it. I’ve, of course, been able to read other things with my Braille Display and iPhone, and doing that too makes the cash outlay for the Display worth it. But being able to be with my Grandkids like that … it’s exactly what I wanted to do, and Mr. Braille made it possible.

So there’s a reason why every visually impaired person should at least try Braille. It’s tough when you have to start over and begin at ABC, but once you get through it all, here’s an example of the payoff that makes It all worthwhile.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Disability Simulations

I found this article a great summary on disability simulations. I recall in college I had a friend who simulated blindness for twenty four hours for a psych assignment. My friend was well meaning, and he did indeed gain a very small idea of what it is like to be blind on the first day. Had his simulation been long term, i.e. if he were actually, he would have found himself adapting well as most do with training to being blind. As it was he was even more amazed with my abilities. As I say he meant well, and I appreciate where he was coming from, but articles like the one above point out the very real concerns one should be cognitive of when discussing the concept of a disability simulation.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I found this edifying from Bible Gateway And thought I'd share.

Special Revelation and the Bible When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He rebuked the devil with the words, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Historically, the church has echoed the teaching of Jesus by affirming that the Bible is the vox Dei, the "voice of God" or the verbum Dei, the "Word of God." To call the Bible the Word of God is not to suggest that it was written by God's own divine hand or that it fell from heaven in a parachute. The Bible itself clearly calls attention to its many human authors. In a careful study of Scripture we notice that each human author has his own peculiar literary style, vocabulary, special emphasis, perspective, and the like. Since the production of the Bible involved human effort, how can it be regarded as the Word of God?

The Bible is called the Word of God because of its claim, believed by the church, that the human writers did not merely write their own opinions, but that their words were inspired by God. The apostle Paul writes, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). The word inspiration is a translation from the Greek word meaning "God-breathed." God breathed out the Bible. Just as we must expel breath from our mouths when we speak, so ultimately Scripture is God speaking.

Although Scripture came to us from the pens of human authors, the ultimate source of Scripture is God. That is why the prophets could preface their words by saying, "Thus says the Lord." This is also why Jesus could say, "Your word is truth" (John 17:17), and "Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

The word inspiration also calls attention to the process by which the Holy Spirit superintended the production of Scripture. The Holy Spirit guided the human authors so that their words would be nothing less than the word of God. How God superintended the original writings of the Bible is not known. But inspiration does not mean that God dictated his messages to those who wrote the Bible. Rather, the Holy Spirit communicated through the human writers the very words of God.

Christians affirm the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible because God is ultimately the Author of the Bible. And because God is incapable of inspiring falsehood, His word is altogether true and trustworthy. Any normally prepared human literary product is liable to error. But the Bible is not a normal human project. If the Bible is inspired and superintended by God, then it cannot err.

This does not mean that the Bible translations we have today are without error, but that the original manuscripts were absolutely correct. Nor does it mean that every statement in the Bible is true. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, for instance, declares that "there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). The writer was speaking from the standpoint of human despair, and we know his statement to be untrue from other parts of Scripture. Even in revealing the false reasonings of a despairing man, the Bible speaks truth. 1.Inspiration is the process whereby God breathed out His word. 2.God is the ultimate source of the Bible. 3.God is the ultimate superintendent of the Bible. 4.Only the original manuscripts of the Bible were without error.