2014 World Cup Group Stages Open Thread

2014 WC Venn Diagram of Hope

An actual conversation between myself and RJH this morning:

Scott: Are you optimistic for England?
RJH: Don’t be silly!
And so it begins!

THIS IS A THREAD FOR BLOGGERNACLE SOCCER FANS TO DISCUSS THE WORLD CUP. HATERS GET LOST.

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Your Friday Afternoon Chat Transcript

BSG, The Wire, & Buffy

Your weekly, or however often I get around to it, view into some of the weightier conversations between Steve Evans and myself. Today, we talk about an article on the internet that is full of crap. 

_________________

Scott: So yesterday there was that article at Wired or wherever that foolishly claimed to have the “definitive” ranking of every season of every TV show that matters.
And it was BULL CRAP

Steve: Look, it was a noble attempt.

Scott: The collection of shows itself was fine–a few notable misses–but the rankings? BULL CRAP

Steve: Plus who cares what the best season of E.R. was? They’re all the same.

Scott:

Nurse: DOCTOR! HE’S DYING!

Doctor: NOPE, HE’S SAVED NOW!

Nurse: LET’S KISS!

Steve: Gunshot wound! I need a CBC, x-ray, fluids STAT! [Read more...]

Remember when everyone was into blogging?

Hey guys, you remember blogs? Man, those were great. I miss them.

Especially today.

Because earlier this morning in the process of cleaning out a bunch of old folders in the dusty and cobwebbed corners of my hard drive, I came across a folder containing my user archive for a long-forgotten web browser. Based on the contents, I think it was created two computers ago–probably when I got the computer that my current computer (which is itself several years old, and about to be replaced) replaced, and just copied all of my user data and files over from the old box so as to make sure I didn’t lose any of the obviously vital information that I apparently didn’t look at again until today. Anyway, I started clicking through the folder, and found a sub-folder containing a great big long list of bookmarks–sites that, 5-7 years ago I visited regularly. Most of it was blogs–holy smokes the blogs. Blogs from the days when Blogger was just exploding, and every family in the ward, every old high school friend, and every bored office dweller with too little to do was creating a blog, posting some pictures, and feeling like the king of the internet because that one post got like, I swear, 9 comments, and none were from your mom. [Read more...]

Your Friday Afternoon Chat Transcript

Deep Fried Fair Food

One time, many months ago, Steve and I tried to start a recurring feature in which we post the unrehearsed, unplanned, and (basically) unedited transcripts of our IM conversations that deal with the weightiest of matters. It didn’t go over so well, and everyone got super mad and that was a darn shame, because it was an amazing post and I’m not remotely bitter about it nope not at all.[1] Anyway, we are going to give it another whirl today with a topic no less divisive than last time: Deep Fried Foods. If you’re interested in seeing what spurred this conversation into existence, go here.

Scott: Gotta say, the whole deep-fried fair food thing just puzzles me. I think it’s all gross. Like even when people are showing “the greatest” fried stuff at fairs, none of it is appealing to me.

Steve: I like fried foods. Those little donuts.

Scott: Me too–but not fried for the sake of frying. Like, I think a decent corndog is great.

Steve: yes.

Scott: But they go so over the top that the result isn’t a corndog anymore–it’s 6 lbs of batter with a gargantuan sausage in the middle, and leaves you sick. [Read more...]

Mormon March Madness – The Final Four

Monson & Uchtdorf

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Mormon March Madness – Elite 8

Many were called, and 8 were chosen. But only 4 get to keep playing.

The win-loss results of the Sweet 16 vote were largely unsurprising, with possibly the exception of Moses falling to Enoch and Hyrum losing to Emma. However, the magnitude of some victories was a bit shocking to me–especially the all-1st Presidency match-up between Uchtdorf-Eyring, where the 2nd Counselor took 85% of the vote. Hal, we love you still!

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Mormon March Madness – Sweet 16

It’s Sweet 16 time in Mormonville, so let’s all go on a group date together and decide who’s moving on and who’s going home!

The Round 2 voting didn’t produce many upsets–those all took place in Round 1. In the Modern Mormon Prophets Region, we’re down to the heavyweights as the Silver Fox, Elder Holland, and President Eyring all clubbed their opponents like stranded baby seals, and Elder Oaks snuck past his Apostolic cohort pal Elder Nelson.

In Ancient Scripture voting, girl-power was insufficient to carry Esther or Deborah into the Sweet 16, as Adam and Enoch won the day. (Any further accusations of a female bias at BCC will be moved off-site to the edge of Temple Square where no one can hear you scream.) With no more Book of Mormon reps to help out, it’s John the Beloved holding court against three Old Testament foes. [Read more...]

Mormon March Madness – Round 2

Round 2 is on!

But it’s not without some major disappointment on the part of this blogger. With respect to the results of the voting in the False Prophets Region, all I can say is that you people have no idea what you’re talking about, and you should–each and every one of you–be ashamed. But we have some delicious match ups in Round 2 (Eliza R. Snow vs. Heber Kimball! Parley P. Pratt vs. Emma!) Jon McNaughton vs. Emperor Palpatine!), so there is still some time for at least a partial redemption.

Vote today and tomorrowthis week, and Sweet Sixteen voting will take place starting on Friday next Monday morning! [Read more...]

March Madness – Early Mormonism & False Prophets Regions

After yesterday’s barnburner that saw Deborah eek out a 6-vote win over Noah, we’re down to two regions left in Round 1.  Rather than wait until Monday for the final region, today it’s two for the price one–Early Mormonism & False Prophets are up now!

(Results from Round 1: Modern Mormon Prophets, Ancient Scripture)

A couple of notes:

  • Voting closes in 24 hours.
  • Seeds have not truly been assigned, because we don’t care about numbers–we care about people.
  • Round 2 for all four regions starts Monday Tuesday Wednesday!
  • Relevant questions for your consideration include:
  1. Did they make it to Salt Lake?
  2. Who had poorer attendance at FHE in college?
  3. Who had the most wives? (or HUSBANDS!?)
  4. Who’s really just in it for the free food?
  5. Who would you be most likely to portray in a Hollywood adaptation of the Restoration?
  6. Who haunts the dark hallways of stake centers at night? [Read more...]

March Madness – Ancient Scripture Region

We’re back today with Round 1 in the Ancient Scripture Region, but first let’s recap the action from yesterday’s Modern Mormon Prophets region.

There were really no major surprises in the first round here. As expected, President Monson had no problems overcoming his bye week, and the Tri-DarkHorse-umvirate of Uchtdorf, Holland, and Eyring all walked away with landslide victories.  In fact, the only relatively close matches involved the victorious Elder Oaks (over Elder Bednar), Elder Nelson (over Elder Cook), and, in a nod to pirates everywhere, Elder L. Tom Perry (over Elder Christofferson).

Now, on to the Ancient Scriptures Region. A couple of notes:

  • Voting closes in 24 hours.
  • Seeds have been assigned directly via capital-R Revelation.
  • Early Mormonism, and False Prophets regions are forthcoming.
  • Relevant questions for your consideration include:
  1. Who is more prophetic?
  2. Who is more likely to sell essential oils?
  3. Who has the biggest book? [Read more...]

March Madness – Modern Mormon Prophets Region

It’s March Madness Bracket season, and it’s been too long since we’ve done anything remotely likely this.

A couple of notes:

  • Voting closes in 24 hours.
  • Seeds have been assigned in the only appropriate fashion: Apostolic seniority.
  • Ancient Prophets, Early Mormonism, and False Prophets regions are forthcoming.
  • Relevant questions for your consideration include:
  1. Who is more prophetic?
  2. Who would win in a leg wrestle?
  3. Whose talks better to read than to listen to? [Read more...]

BFFs With the Mormons Except When We’re Totally Not

With the recent decision from BSA to allow openly gay scouts, a number of long-time scouting supporters were, and continue to be, upset. So upset, in fact, that a new program has been established: “Trail Life USA – the new Christian-based alternative that excludes openly gay boys.”  

Naturally, the question on everyone’s mind, of course, is whether our super-allies will let us Mormons join. Will “Trail Life USA” become the new official Activity Wing of the Aaronic Priesthood? Let’s consult Trail Life USA’s FAQ page for answers!
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From the Archives

The best two minutes in the history of the bloggernacle, period.

At the request of the PTB, I’m going to repost my BoH series, as well the entire library of BCC Zeitcast episodes, since they’ve been lost from the Internets somehow. [Read more...]

Feed My Missionaries

In priesthood opening exercises on Sunday, our attention was directed to the fact that one of the approximately 19 pairs of full-time missionaries in our ward didn’t have any dinner appointments this week, and that this situation needed to be remedied.

A calendar was presented. Hands were raised. Appointments were made.

But this procession prompted my friend James to shoot me a text message, and the following conversation ensued:

Feed My Missionaries

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Getting It Right

YWMedallions

Note: Names have been changed to protect privacy. 

When I entered the chapel on Sunday just at the start of Sacrament meeting, I noticed that all four members of the Young Women’s Presidency were seated on the stand. Seated next to them was the smiling face of a young woman who had just completed the last of her Personal Progress requirements and would therefore be receiving her Young Womanhood Recognition Medallion.   After the meeting started and the rest of the ward business had been taken care of by a counselor in the bishopric, our Bishop stood up and took a few moments to explain the long and difficult process of earning the medallion.   [Read more...]

CTR: Crap That’s Real

CTR: Crap That’s Real is a column devoted to discussions of whatever I deem worthy of discussion. It might be Mormon-related; it might not be. This week, we are going to talk about new TV shows, bad parenting, fictional characters who should be Mormons, and other stuff. Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you want to talk about something.

GA material, that.

GA material, there.

*     *     *

Hooooo boy! Who’s sick of reading and slash or talking about conference? You too? Great, because I am pretty much done.  Actually, I was pretty much done by the middle of the Sunday afternoon session when the candy bowl we were using for that game (where you eat crap whenever people say crap) had nothing but jelly beans left.  Bottom of the barrel at the bottom of the barrel, right? So let’s all promise not to talk about GC ever again until this Sunday when we talk about it all day at church again. [Read more...]

CTR: Crap That’s Real

CTR: Crap That’s Real is a column devoted to discussions of whatever I deem worthy of discussion. It might be Mormon-related; it might not be. This week, we are going to talk about General Conference Snacks, Movies, Baseball, and other related minutiae. If you have something you think is worthy of inclusion in next week’s CTR, shoot me an email.

*     *     *

It has been nearly one and a half years since I last struck the keyboard here at BCC. During that absence, people have asked where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, why I left, and even whether or not I am actually the same person as Steve Evans, who was also absent during that same time period. These are all worthy questions, but the easiest one to answer is why I left.  It’s very simple: Over time, I became increasingly afraid of the possibility that Brad Kramer would eat me. [Read more...]

Roundtable: Mormons & the Zombie Apocalypse

BCC has never shied away from difficult topics. Indeed, throughout its history, bloggers and friends of BCC have often convened into roundtable discussions to address some of the sticky issues that face us as a religion and as human beings. Past discussions have dealt with depression, correlation, historicity, and the status of women in the church. Today, BCC Labs continues this fine tradition by talking about zombies.

Steve Evans, Scott B., Sir Ronan, Matt Page, and guest Matt Bowman have graciously taken the time to contribute their thoughts to this timely discussion. [Read more...]

Wednesday Morning Applied Religion Poll – Tim Tebow edition

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past two years, you know the basic factoids about Tim Tebow. Unless you’ve been consciously avoiding all conversations about sports or religion for the past several months, you are also probably at least somewhat aware of the non-stop insanity/hilarity/horror/miracle/thingy that is the Denver Broncos’ football season, and Tim Tebow’s role in it.

Vote on what this all means, below the fold! [Read more...]

(POLITICAL) SCIENCE!

The usual suspects return for another entry in the BCC Labs series. See prior entries herehere, and here.

BCC Labs is always working on innovative ways of maximizing the upsides of your online Latter-day Saint information consumption, interaction, and generation experience . Studies have shown that the marginalization of insufficiently critical approaches to the theological exploration of appropriate ethical behavioral actualizations by means of negative sporting and humorous contumely are market desirable. Therefore it is with great excitement that BCC Labs presents to you its latest innovation: The Student Review’s Political Analysis, examined through the window of (Political) Science!

Before we present the material being studied, let’s have a quick refresher of BCC Lab’s methods of examination. [Read more...]

BCC Zeitcast 75: Mixing Religion & Politics

With only one year left before the big 2012 Presidential Election, Newsweek and Daily Beast reporter McKay Coppins checks in with Scott B. on the goings-on for Mormon candidates Mitt Romney and John Huntsman, Jr. Later, Scott and Joanna Brooks discuss Harold Bloom’s recent travesty article in the New York Times, and Joanna’s response at Religion Dispatches.

And if that lineup isn’t sufficient, our very own Kristine Haglund stops by to help Scott understand big words.

Episode Content Guide (below the fold) [Read more...]

Seeking Pastoral Care at BYU

Note: This is the second of a two-part post resulting from a lengthy conversation among the permabloggers at BCC regarding repentance, and should be considered a group effort more than my own personal post. Part 1 was posted previously and can be found here.

To this point, I’ve focused solely on the concept of “worthiness” as a social status and the perverse incentive to avoid repentance that may follow as a result. As noted in at least one of the comments on the previous post, the conflict of interest in repenting need not be limited to social circles. It is (sadly) easy to imagine a man or woman putting off repentance because of the fear–which may well be justified–that their significant other will pull the plug on the relationship. In this post, I’d like to focus on circumstances where the conflict of interest is most explicit: students and faculty at a Church-owned educational institution, such as Brigham Young University. [Read more...]

Repentance and Conflicts of Interest

Note: This is the first of a two-part post resulting from a lengthy conversation among the permabloggers at BCC regarding repentance. Part 2 will be posted later this week.

Several weeks ago during a casual conversation, my Elders Quorum president asked me a thoughtful question: “How much real atonement do we see in the Church?” By “real atonement” he meant true repentance and change–people beginning to sing the song of redeeming love, putting off the natural man, desiring no more to do evil, and desiring only to do good. That sort of thing.

After a few minutes of discussing it, we both seemed to conclude that the answer is somewhere between “I don’t know” and “Not very much.” Is this weird, given that we are (theoretically) in agreement that church is a hospital for sinners? Shouldn’t repentance–something we all need, constantly (seriously–we all need it constantly)–be something to celebrate as a frequent event? Shouldn’t we react a bit more like the Robinson family when we, or our fellow Saints Sinners “fail” in our pursuit of Christ-like living?
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Depressing Discoveries About My Libertarianism, Part 4

This is the final entry in a 4-part series. Previous entries are found here, here, and here.

I can make an argument that I’m a libertarian because I’m a Mormon. I can also make a separate argument that I’m a libertarian because of my background in economics. Lastly, I can make the argument that I am a libertarian because I believe that individual liberty is vital to economic and social prosperity. But none of these arguments feel very honest to me.

Total honesty, then? [Read more...]

BCC Zeitcast 74: Matt Bowman, Bigfoot, Monsters, & Mormons

In this special Halloween episode, Scott B. and Steve Evans play host to BCC’s long-time friend and Juvenile Instructor blogger Matt Bowman, who thrills the children with tales of Cain, Bigfoot, and secret UFO societies. Later, recent BCC guest blogger Theric (Eric Jepson) gives us an update on the soon-to-be-released anthology “Monsters and Mormons.”

And if that lineup isn’t sufficient, our very own Kristine Haglund checks in to help the ladies design Halloween costumes depicting famous Mormon women.

Episode Content Guide (below the fold) [Read more...]

Depressing Discoveries About My Libertarianism, Part 3

Welcome back to this depressing series of posts.

In Part 1, I confessed that I’m not very charitable. In Part 2, I talked about how I don’t get along with would-be/should-be political allies–other LDS libertarians. The impetus for today’s Depressing Discovery came when an overseas-coblogger recently asked for my thoughts on some of the Presidential candidates’ views, and I had to admit that I didn’t know a single thing about any of their views.

To understand why this is the case, it is important to understand that my particular flavor of libertarianism flows not just from a belief in the importance of individual liberty relative to other objectives, but also from a profound cynicism towards government, politicians, and political processes. Put simply, I don’t have a shred of faith in politicians, individually or collectively, to a) properly identify a problem, b) properly identify a solution, or c) properly apply the solution to the problem.[1] The logical outcome of this lack of faith, therefore, is a lack of interest in what politicians are saying. Since I have no confidence that anyone is going to “get it right,” I can’t be bothered to educate myself on what actually would be right, or devote any energy to supporting it. [Read more...]

Depressing Discoveries About My Libertarianism, Part 2

In my previous post, I confessed that I am probably not as charitable as I try to say I am, and then insinuated that you probably aren’t, either.[1] The second Depressing Discovery about my libertarianism is that I feel, politically speaking, very lonely at church. Whenever I meet other libertarians, I tend to sense that they aren’t my political kin, and I am not theirs, because the truth is, I find much of the LDS Liberty rhetoric to be kinda crazy and borderline dangerous.[2]

Although I know the text of the Book of Mormon certainly omits scads of details that would give much needed context, given his “join me or die” approach to peace, I don’t understand how a libertarian can see Captain Moroni as a political hero.

Sure, I prefer private education…but I don’t think that support for public education causes a man to lose his priesthood or grieve the heavens.[3]

(I strongly encourage you to follow that link–read the post and comments and just bask in the Cocoa Puffs. You can’t make this stuff up.) [Read more...]

Depressing Discoveries About My Libertarianism, Part 1

I have posted about 150 times here at BCC, but as I went back through the archives recently, I realized that the very first post I wrote is far and away the best one. This discovery depresses me in no small measure. One of the things I liked about it is that I let my love of free markets be seen, at least indirectly. I’ve generally shied away writing or commenting on politics since then, after discovering that most of the readers and most of my co-bloggers take a less-than-sunny view of market economics. I’ve told myself that I’m trying to avoid debates; in reality, I’ve realized just a coward. This discovery also depresses me in no small measure. In recent weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about my political ideals, and have discovered several things about myself and my beliefs–nearly all of which–you guessed it–depress me in no small measure. [Read more...]

Sunday PM General Conference: The Languatron Memorial Session

And we are finally here–the final session of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference. We are still giving constant coverage on Twitter as well as here on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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Lunch for me today was just nuts. Brazil nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc… Salty!

Okay, John C. on the live-blogging this session, Scott B. on Teh Tweets.
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Sunday AM General Conference: The Gordon Jump Memorial Session

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the Sunday Morning session of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

————
Alrighty…had some problems with my Interwebs this morning, but we are finally up and running now.

I had a Ziplock baggie full of Reese’s Puffs for breakfast today. How about you? [Read more...]

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