Anyone know AJAX? and What is it about Christianity? and "At least it's not $1 zillion" and Thanks a lot, slugger.

First of all, does anyone know how to make a webpage where users can click and drag stuff all Googley-like? For example, Google calendar? I’ve heard the term “AJAX” but I don’t really know much about it, and considering my knowledge of making web pages is pretty much limited to stuff like this, I’d like to know if it’s, well, feasible and/or worth learning. Sort of a big ballpark view of the whole thing.

Second, Christianity bugs me a little bit, and this time I’m not talking about the Christian Church and their big old doctrine and the Bible and all that, but rather Christianity as pop culture/clique/whatever:
- The music: I guess I’m starting from an assumption that Christian rock is SO BAD, (snicker; I just remembered the old inside joke about SO BAD in capital letters… nevermind) anyway, Christian rock is not even in a league with other modern popular musics. If that’s not a fair assumption, let me know.
- The clique: being “Christian” has become a Thing That You Can Be. You can be a jock, a stoner, a nerd, a hipster, a prep, … or a Christian. It’s got a whole culture. I guess that’s fine.
- The tolerance: So there’s a Christian clique, and they are going out of their way to talk about how goddamn tolerant they are. They will invite you! You are welcome! All are welcome in God’s house! Even if you’re not Christian, you are welcome! (nevermind that such an invitation is like inviting Freddy R. Jock to your LAN party, or Christopher Straightedge to your body piercing club)
- The language: When you read your Christian friend’s away message, and it has some Bible quote. You know what I mean. Or “Sorry, I’m away, I’m off enjoying God’s wonders.” (except the fermented beverage wonders, or the human body wonders; see the next point)
- The abstinence: Okay, no sex and drugs. Whatever floats your boat. But when you get combine the Christian language, the overbearing tolerance, and the mindless abstinence, you get:
- The arrogance: At some level, this is all rooted in a sense of superiority: they have found The Truth, and life is great for them, and we’re-not-trying-to-convert-you-but-you-can-find-the-truth-too. And, you know, you might be a heathen, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but really you’d be happier if you joined our side. (and avoided, particularly, sex and drugs.) Argh! I hate it when people act like they know the secrets of life! (if they really do, I’m jealous; if not, I hate their pretense) And Christianity just happens to be a fully society-sanctioned way to act like you’re the greatest thing.
(incidentally, this guy, shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up.)

Transition from religion to politics, because one eternal unanswerable question is not enough– it’s time for the horizontal line!

I found this: Cost of War
While it’s just some cute little liberal “Bush is so bad!” site, it also has a big number on it, and well, that’s a really big number, and there’s not much more to say to the readers of this blog, because boy is that number pretty goshdarn big.

Oh, also, back to religion.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy really has some pretty good wisdom in it, as I was pondering yesterday, and here’s why: say you had an oracle, and you could ask and get answers to any question. What the hell would you ask it? Would you say “what is the meaning of life?” What does that even mean? Here’s how my conversation with the oracle would probably go:

Me: What’s the meaning of life?
Oracle: What is the meaning of an orange? Or a lobster? Or a cloud? They just are.
Me: (gets frustrated and kicks the oracle)

Okay, say I didn’t kick the oracle.
Me: Okay, sorry that was too vague. What should I do with my life?
Oracle: You want a step-by-step guide? Here. (hands me a 10,000-page tome)
Me: (starts reading) “3:36:05 start reading book, 3:36:47 stop reading book and take one step forward, 3:36:58 open book again…” All right, this won’t do. How about just a vague outline?
Oracle: Well, okay. You’ve got three choices. You can take the programmer path, or the professor path, or the travel-the-world-and-become-a-monk path.
Me: That’s all? Stop telling me what to do!
Oracle: You asked.
Me: (gets frustrated and kicks the oracle)

Me: Right, sorry. I meant, where do we go when we die?
Oracle: Underground. Unless you get cremated. Or pull a Jeremy Bentham.
Me: Oh. I knew that. Sorry.
Me: What questions should I be asking?
Oracle: I don’t know. You want tomorrow’s lottery numbers? That’s a pretty popular request.
Me: Ehh, sure, I guess. (takes lottery numbers and leaves, kicking the oracle on the way out.)

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