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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, February 11 2002

Is this anything?

David Letterman's latest zany recurring bit is something he calls "Is this anything?" It consists of a setup of the bit followed by the pulling open of a curtain where a performer or, sometimes, a nonperformer, is doing something that may or may not be worth seeing or even worth "anything." David and his band-leader cohort, Paul Schaeffer, then discuss what they've just seen and decide whether it amounts to "anything," They don't always agree, but if the action behind the curtain exhibits creativity and talent it's usually declared "something" and if it's showy but pointless it will garner a "not anything." When Letterman and Schaeffer disagree, it's because they have different perceptions of what constitutes "anything."

I became reflective on this over the weekend while trying to think creatively about my new project, www.xnmp.com. The web site has developed more quickly than I expected when I first mentioned it here last Tuesday. The Christian news and media portal, I've now decided, will generally list 15 current news story links, all to major secular news outlets online, each accompanied by a few lines of explanation, questions for thought, or editorial comment. I won't have time to change all 15 story links every day, or do a series of updates throughout the day, as I would consider the ideal, so, for now, I'll make the goal the updating of at least one and, when possible, two of the story links every day.

The "thinking creatively" about it consisted of coming up with a "slogan" to grace the top of the page, attempting to capture the whole point of the project in a phrase. The slogan: "daily links to news that signifies." "Signifies." What's the significance of "news that signifies"? Where does that come from? The Old Testament. No, in this case, the source is Shakespeare, namely Macbeth, one of The Bard's most memorable and profoundest speeches:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
          Signifying nothing.

Put in this context, despite the hundreds of headlines that appear in a day, there may not even be 15 that "signify" more than the sound and fury of tales told by idiots. But we'll keep trying to find out.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Just ask a kid (end of series)

On the first day of school, about midmorning, the kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers."

A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"

•      •

A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. "What are you doing?" his mother asked.

"The box says not to eat them if the seal is broken," the boy explained. "I'm looking for the seal."

Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the Day

The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.

— Henry David Thoreau
Sent by Jim Martin

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