About Bryan J.

Be of good cheer, little pup, for thou too in resurrection shall have a little golden tail. ~Martin Luther @revdeaconb

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    Lifelogging Mediocrity and The Quantified Self

    Lifelogging Mediocrity and The Quantified Self

    They’re calling 2014 “The Year of the Wearable” in the tech world. Love or hate Google glass, it seems as if wearable tech is in the future- if not for us, then perhaps for our kids. Smart watches want to replace your smart phone. Smart wristbands want to track all your steps and exercise movements. Over 100 apps exist to quantify the quality of your sleep. There’s even a tiny camera that you can clip to your shirt pocket that takes photos every five seconds and uploads the photos to your social network of choice. It used to be that…

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    NYC Preview: The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity

    NYC Preview: The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity

    Mockingbird has been around since 2008, and the earliest post we have on the subject of Social Media is 2009, in which we studied the phenomenon of getting busted on Facebook for real-life lies.  In the five years since that post, we certainly haven’t lost our fascination with the subject- it’s been one of our favorite hobbies to put the world’s social life under the microscope and view our favorite themes in action. Facebook users (for 10 years now!) are cultivating identities to be liked instead of being honest. Selfies are the new living room portraits, carefully framed to show the…

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    A Very Merry Viral Christmas: 2013′s Six Best Christmas Vids

    A Very Merry Viral Christmas: 2013′s Six Best Christmas Vids

    Something about the holidays brings out the very best (and worst?) in the creative juices, and this year in particular is inspiring a very creative mix of yule-tide youtube videos to warm the heart on cold winter nights. Here’s my compilation of the 6 theologically noteworthy Christmas videos of the 2013 holiday season (so far!):

    This little ditty out of Chicago makes me chuckle, even if it does feel a little staged. A piano that makes with you music regardless of age, skill, genre, or life situation.

     

    I hope I can check in with this family in a decade to see if…

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    The Odds Star Wars 7 Being Loved Are Approximately 3720:1

    The Odds Star Wars 7 Being Loved Are Approximately 3720:1

    When the Apostle Paul defended his teachings of the gospel, there were occasions where he needed to flaunt a little bit of street cred- “A Hebrew of Hebrews” he called himself, while toting his education and family heritage. So before I begin writing about Star Wars, allow me to follow the Apostle Paul’s example.

    Do you love Star Wars? Yes. It was my idol and religion before becoming a Christian.
    How much do you love Star Wars? When the movie prequels came out, I made my own Jedi costume and wore it to theaters. I wasn’t yet alive when the originals came…

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    Conan O’Brien’s Gracious Comedy

    Conan O’Brien’s Gracious Comedy

    It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with late night talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien. Many will remember the drama surrounding his 2010 departure from his dream job: The Tonight Show on NBC. The event prompted some serious reflection and wisdom from Conan about hardship and life– wisdom worth remembering for anyone with upward aspirations.

    Since then, Coco’s been having a blast on cable TV, and he’ll be hosting his current show Conan on TBS till at least 2015, and one of his recent sketches had me laughing out loud in the office while my heart was strangely…

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    Banksy, FOMO, and the Hippest Law in NYC

    Banksy, FOMO, and the Hippest Law in NYC

    The street artist Banksy is all over the news lately–or at least he’s been there since October 1st, when he began a thirty day stint of public art projects in the New York City area. We’ve mentioned him before on Mbird, including his Exit Through the Gift Shop, with a particular interested in the ueber-creative, borderline absurd prophetic law-voice that pervades his work. You’ve probably seen his trademark stencil-based-style and tongue-in-cheek dark humor before, and if you haven’t, here are some of our favorites.

    Since we last caught up with Banksy, a strange thing has happened to his subversive persona. In an…

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    Five Thoughts on “I Killed A Man”

    Five Thoughts on “I Killed A Man”

    On the viral video front, last week’s release of the youtube video “I Killed A Man” took the Internet by storm, though it was bested in views by a wacky Norwegian dance epic about foxes. And while wacky dancing animal videos come and go, this video has haunted me since I first saw it. It is likely the most sobering and consequential video to hit the web in a long time, and it certainly merits some consideration:

    The video itself is fairly self-explanatory. Matthew Cordle, an Ohioan at age 22, released a full confession online admitting to killing a man when…

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    Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Law of Championship Fandom

    Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Law of Championship Fandom

    Did you follow the NBA championship series? Lebron James and the Miami Heat nabbed their second national championship last week after a spectacular and emotionally draining series against the San Antonio Spurs.  I was lucky (blessed?) to pick up the series on game 6, where the Miami Heat orchestrated a major last-minute comeback against the San Antonio Spurs, tying up the game with seconds on the clock and eventually winning in overtime. The pundits and the commentators have done nothing but gush since the series ended- they’re stretching back decades to think of match-ups and championships that have rivaled the…

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    Another Week Ends: A-n-x-i-e-t-y, Assurance, and the Post-Apocalypse

    Another Week Ends: A-n-x-i-e-t-y, Assurance, and the Post-Apocalypse

    1) As if teenage parenting isn’t hard enough, Huffpost’s recent, “What Really Happens on a Teen Girl’s Smartphone” uncovers a whole new world of social cues for teens to follow in the digital age. It’s more than the simple “Thou Shalt Have an iPhone,” though that’s certainly part of it. It’s a life lived for likes, favorites, and retweets- social pressure and conformance anxiety abuzz in one’s front pocket:

    “Not having an iPhone can be social suicide, notes Casey. One of her friends found herself effectively exiled from their circle for six months because her…

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    The Rasta-Banana of Great Price

    The Rasta-Banana of Great Price

    “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

    “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

    “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a man in search of an X-Box Kinect, who, on finding one at a carnival game, went and emptied his life savings, didn’t win the Kinect, and was given a giant…

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    Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

    Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

    1. Forgiveness and apology seems to be a theme in the news as of late, or at least it was prior to Monday’s heartbreaking news from Boston. CNN’s belief blog highlighted the story of one man’s quest to forgive and restore the man who killed his brother when they were teens. I found the story enlightening as it ping-ponged between the two poles of forgiveness by grace (the victim’s brother) and forgiveness by works righteousness (the recently released killer). Quote: “I think for me, forgiveness will come in doing good works, trying to help others. But as far as forgiving…

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    A Quick Get Fuzzy

    http://assets.amuniversal.com/8be09d4082d801302725001dd8b71c47

    From Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley http://www.gocomics.com/getfuzzy

    Reflections on Identity and Bracketology

    Reflections on Identity and Bracketology

    Congratulations to Louisville, winners of the NCAA tournament, and the team I picked to win in my tournament bracket! Unlike Louisville though, I only came in third in my pool for picking who would advance throughout the annual collegiate basketball tournament. Third out of six participants. Some bracket I picked, huh?

    Maybe it’s just me, but this year in particular, it felt like the trend of “bracketizing” things left the sports world and entered pop culture big time. Are you a fan of public radio programming? A Southern Cali public radio station put all your favorite programs on a bracket. Needless…

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    Mockingbird at the Movies: A Quick 2013 Summer Blockbuster Preview

    Mockingbird at the Movies: A Quick 2013 Summer Blockbuster Preview

    It’s April, and you know what that means? A mere four weeks away till the start of the summer blockbuster season! By no means complete, here’s a list of “big” movies to look out for this summer, based upon trailers, the likelihood they’ll merit a fuller Mbird review after they premiere, and my personal taste in movies. But if I run afoul of the almighty Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, perhaps my recommendations will change? As has been noted elsewhere, it looks like we’re in for a quite a bit of post-apocalyptic mayhem:

    4/5 Jurassic Park 3D: This is the first…

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    Maundy Thursday: The Tears of St. Peter

    Maundy Thursday: The Tears of St. Peter

    During Holy Week, it is customary hear again of the end for Jesus’s earthly ministry. He has been welcomed into Jerusalem as a new king, only to find the crowds demanding his blood a few days later. Along with the crowds, Jesus’s smaller group of close friends and students also left him, so by the time of his trial and death, only his mother and one friend stood supportive in the bloodthirsty mob to witness his crucifixion.

    Perhaps the most tragic of all the relational failings of this time is the three denials of St. Peter. The…

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