how facebook’s launch of video calling can help scholars

Facebook + Skype = VideoCalling

Facebook + Skype = VideoCalling

what would have been the death of skype is now its salvation. facebook launched its ‘videocalling‘ today (most likely because ‘videoconferencing‘ was already taken by this guy – which is a story in itself!)

skype’s collaboration with facebook benefits both companies. i can now video chat someone as easily as i can fb message them, meaning i’ll likely never use standalone skype again because the only people i’d want to watch me talk to them are already friends on facebook.

but videocalling shouldn’t be simply seen as the mother of all distractions from actual work. videocalling has the potential to be a very time effective tool for scholars, as instant video communication with trusted colleagues can allow scholars to discuss articles, relay visual information, and will be especially helpful for language studies involving pronunciations and languages that do not use western characters and therefore do not lend themselves to easy transcription into digital fonts. and as soon as group video chat is launched (standalone skype already does this), colleagues can hold meetings and plan conferences right over facebook. and did i mention the service is free? (for now…)

now, i’m just waiting for the first documented case of, “omg! i accidentally left my fb videochat on and he saw me naked / watched me eat / heard me fart / saw me dancing to justin beiber / heard me laughing at student essay answers while grading” or, worse yet, “my wife saw me working on that article while i was talking to her.”

Video from Latest Dead Sea Scrolls Conference Now Available

(possible alternative titles included:)

“The South Carolina IHOP Improv Company Performs the Most Recent Archaeology of Qumran Conference.”

Video is now available from the most recent conference on the Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

IHOP Brawl

(Actually, it’s a video of a brawl in a South Carolina IHOP on the TMZ website. The wild brawl Saturday left the pancake house trashed.

Careful, there’s a little bit of language at the end.)

It’s not too far off. After all, it is Qumran. And besides, it’s not as brutal as this Qumran conference.

really? mark driscoll wants to teach you (that is, men) to ‘lead’?

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in what is *not* a mugshot.

seriously. just watch this video. just watch it. maybe move a trash can next to your computer, or better yet, take your laptop to the toilet, just in case you get the sudden urge to vomit.

matthew paul turner at jesus needs new pr puts it this way:

Pastor Mark wants to help YOU look tired and drained like him–as well as 9,999 other men in ministry!

And all of this is for free (all you need is a penis!)

But you have to sign up! Because if 10,000 people don’t sign up for this adventure, he won’t do it.

And what an adventure of rejoicing it will be… for a young Calvinist, this will be like getting spanked by Jonathan Edwards…

Via YouTube videos and other exclusive content, Pastor Mark will take you to Ireland with him… and England… and Turkey… and to Orlando with RC Sproul. You’ve always wanted to go to Orlando with RC Sproul, right?

Do you want Mark to teach you how to lead?

the video really is an exercise in, “see, i’m not really all that educated, and god talks audibly to me, and i’m a leader, and i get to hang out with cool people (read my full bio and see how much i brag about how many people follow me on twitter), and i know you want to be like me, so instead of educating yourself in the proper sense and going to college and to seminary and doing graduate degrees in ancient languages and biblical literature (because that stuff’s way too hard!), just sign up for my videos (that is, if you’re male and therefore eligible to be a leader) and i’ll teach you how to lead.

seriously, i especially loved these tidbits from the bio:

  • Preaching magazine named him one of the twenty-five most influential preachers of the last twenty-five years. (He was #17 and the youngest person on the list by over a decade.)
  • He has preached on every continent except South America and Antarctica.
  • His sermons are regularly near or at the top of iTunes’ Religion and Spirituality podcasts
  • He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook (with over 110,000 combined followers and fans) [seriously, that’s on his C.V.]
  • an iPhone app (downloaded by 37,000 people)

so watch the video, and ponder these questions while you do:

  1. really? ‘backstage’ at mars hill church?
  2. really? there are leaders around the world that could benefit from you?
  3. really? leadership coaching with me (mark driscoll)?
  4. really? ‘tell you whatever it is i’m learning at that time’? wouldn’t i rather learn from your teacher? (strike that actually, nevermind.)
  5. really? thing that ‘leaders need to know’ like ‘how to recover on mondays when you feel like you’ve been hit like a truck’? really? what are you, picking grapes all day? laying bricks? doing construction? you’re a preacher. you stand up and speak for an hour on sunday. i know preaching creates a bit of stress on monday, and that there’s more to it than sunday, but really? you got ‘hit by a truck’?? i have some friends in the central valley of california who might have some comments about what ‘hard work’ really is.
  6. really? ‘what’s it like to be a pastor’s wife’? really? so women aren’t eligible to be leaders/pastors? what if your wife is the pastor? (like me) and only on sundays? what about the rest of the week? how does she handle being married to you on those days?
  7. really? ‘how to handle people needing you‘? really?
  8. really? paul had a doctor? and it was luke??!! seriously? what is this, free-association fundamentalist harmonization hour?
  9. really? saving your house? saving your marriage? saving your voice? that makes you a leader: knowing how to save your voice??
  10. really? these are the things that [male] leaders need to know?
  11. really? do we really get to watch ‘people come into town to meet with you’? please?
  12. really? you never know who you’re going to bump into?? (unless you ask your booking agent?? – click here to fill out mark driscoll’s ‘speaker request form’ or view his speaking calendar.) really, ‘never know who you’re going to bump into’?
  13. really? you don’t want to be arrogant about it, but you want to help me?
  14. really? starting in january, we can get ‘backstage, behind the scenes’ videos? featuring you?

and note to self when making podcasts: LOOK AT THE CAMERA, not at yourself on the screen! i can’t watch this video without thinking the entire time that he’s watching himself while he talks on his mac. watch his eyes. lol.

so if you want to learn all the important things about being a leader like mark driscoll, like how to handle ‘people needing you’ (see the 1:39 mark in the video), then sign up. because the world needs more white, male leaders like mark driscoll (as difficult as that can be). just remember, make sure you bring your testicles, because every fundamentalist knows that it is in the testicles where the leadership authority of the holy spirit truly resides.

view the ‘unlisted’ video here (what are you hiding?):

HT: matthew paul turner

Top 10 Viral Videos of the Year on YouTube

YouTube has ranked its top 10 videos of the year in a video of its own. Some of these still crack me up, including the #1 video.
Check ’em out.

want to do a phd in the humanities? watch this first.

Ph.D. in Humanitiesif you ever wanted to do a phd in the humanities, watch this first.

i have never viewed anything as true as this. now if you’ll pardon me, i’m off to lament my wasted life… ;-)

writing the dead sea scrolls to air july 27, 2010 at 9:00 pm on national geographic

Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls on Nat GeoWriting the Dead Sea Scrolls” will air on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 9:00 PM on the National Geographic Channel. The NatGeo website has complete details of the show, including a synopsis of the program, photos, quick facts, and video clips from the beginning and the end of the show.

I mentioned my trip to Israel and the West Bank earlier this year to make this program in a previous post.

National Geographic Israel previously featured the UCLA Qumran Visualization Project in 2008. The QVP resulted in the digital model of Qumran, a 3D virtual reconstruction of Qumran that was a central component of my doctoral research at UCLA. The UCLA Experiential Technologies Center website has a description of the Qumran project, complete with a video introducing the project, which can be viewed in the virtual reality visualization portal on UCLA’s campus.

excerpt from robert cargill’s ajs lecture: why qumran matters

here are the final few minutes of my december 2009 association for jewish studies lecture on ‘the state of the archaeological debate at qumran.’ i was summarizing why qumran matters for the study of the dead sea scrolls.
thanx to dave kaplan for capturing this clip.

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