Richmond Indiana's Eastern Cross

Indiana CrossIf you've visited Richmond, Indiana via interstate 70 recently, it's likely you've seen a new addition to our most prominent landmarks: a 110-foot vinyl-sided cross right next to the highway exit on our east side.  The cross was erected at a cost of US$150,000 by New Creations Chapel, Inc., which has a website dedicated to the project's history and progress.  Their hope is that it "will give hope, direction, light from above, and encouragement to all those people traveling Interstate 70 and passing New Creations Chapel."

Richmond already has a number of issues with public perception when it comes to tourism and first impressions.  All discussions of religion and symbology aside, I think this new fixture probably doesn't help with that.  But the main question that came up in the casual discussions I've had with people about it is "how does such a thing go up without the community having any input on it?"  To answer that question I contacted Scott Zimmerman, who works as a City Planner with the City of Richmond.

Here's what he had to say: Continue reading Richmond Indiana's Eastern Cross

Book Review Shorts: Spycraft, Religion, and Conspiracy

Body in dumpsterQuick reviews of three books I've taken in lately:

  • Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda by Wallace, Melton and Schleshinger
    Fascinating, scary, and geeky. With great diagrams and photographs explaining how spy devices were constructed and worked, and with interesting stories about various successes and failures, all told from the perspective of the "techs" working behind the scenes to support operations. For someone interested in geopolitical history, technology, security issues and government secrecy, it was a must read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Warning: the book minimizes any discussion of the ethical/moral/legal implications of the spycraft, and the human toll takes a backseat to the geekery.

Continue reading Book Review Shorts: Spycraft, Religion, and Conspiracy