All posts from “Technology”

Friday Five Interview: Craig Detweiler

December 6, 2013 8:00 AM

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Craig Detweiler. Craig Detweiler directs the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University. Craig's cultural commentary has appeared on ABC's Nightline, CNN, Fox News,...

Wednesday Link List: Animal-friendly Religion, Suggestive Selfies, and More

September 11, 2013 7:00 AM

Link and the world links with you; lurk and you lurk alone... A Texas pastor believes the R-rating a small budget film received was intended to limit exposure to its faith-based message. In one of their best articles ever,...

Bigger Chunks of Time

June 26, 2013 3:44 PM

How well do your church members know each other? How much do people really share and care about one another’s lives? Does anything in their daily existence allow for anything other than superficial relationships? And do the demands of...

Ur Video: Use a Cell, Go to Hell

March 19, 2012 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: St. Patrick's Story (As Told by an Irish Girl)

March 16, 2012 12:00 AM

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Celebrity Pastors, Bloggers, and Questions of Authority

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

Shoot the Wolves from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo. Above is a video from last year’s Elephant Room. The clip highlights a panel of popular pastors discussing the behavior of perceived “wolves” in the church and in Christian media. During...

Is Video Preaching on the Decline?

December 21, 2011 12:00 AM

'Tis the season for presents, and parties, and pageants, and...predictions. At the end of every year we often speculate about what the future will bring. What trends will gain momentum, and which have 'jumped the shark.' Sam Rainer, president of...

Christian Saints vs. Cultural Celebrities

December 15, 2011 12:00 AM

Earlier this year, on October 5th, an influential and visionary leader died. His life forever changed the American experience, and his legacy will be felt for generations to come. An ability to see a future many thought impossible marked his...

Worship Through a Child's Eyes

July 28, 2011 12:00 AM

Back in college my professor of American religion gave us an interesting assignment. We had to visit a number of local churches, sit in their sanctuaries, and write down our observations of the spaces. Based on these observations, we...

Taming the Image

June 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The band is rockin', arms are swayin', and you're about to come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your perfect smile. Is this a rock concert? A...

Chuck Swindoll: We're Creating Spectators Not Worshipers

May 9, 2011 12:00 AM

In part 1 of Skye Jethani's interview with Chuck Swindoll, he spoke about the insecurity that leads some pastors to seek a crowd and to pander to cultural trends. Some of you felt Swindoll was just being old-fashioned and grumpy....

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

May/June Catalyst Leadership: The God Show

April 26, 2011 12:00 AM

The new issue of our free digizine, Catalyst Leadership, is now online. This time we're covering how technology and entertainment values are changing the way we worship. The issue includes articles and videos by Andy Stanley, Britt Merrick, Louie...

Pastor Blames Facebook For Divorces

February 9, 2011 12:00 AM

Reverend Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in New Jersey has banned Facebook. He's ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts or resign and has called on married people in his 1,100-member congregation to delete...

The Top 10 of '10

December 28, 2010 12:00 AM

Well Urbanites, as another year draws to an end it's time to look back. Here are the most commented upon (a.k.a. the most argued about) post from the last 12 months. There plenty of politics in here covering the health...

Url's Links of the Week (2010-12-12)

December 22, 2010 12:00 AM

Urthlings, this is your leader. Here are videos, articles, and blog posts you should be reading this week. Live long and proselytize. Peace on Urth, Url Santa Executed The war on Christmas just got ugly. The leaders at Repent Amarillo—a...

Url's Links of the Week (2010-12-10)

December 10, 2010 12:00 AM

Urbanitos, this is your jefe. Here are videos, articles, and blog posts you should be reading this week. Live largo and proselytize. Adios, Url Accountability stinks. New research from the Barna Group concludes that only 5 percent of Christians are...

My 30-Day Twitter Experiment (Pt 2)

December 3, 2010 12:00 AM

In Part 1 I shared my reasons for embarking on a one month Twitter experiment, as well as the parameters I set up for myself to help my stay on my goal of “tweeting for the sake of others.” In...

Url's Links of the Week

December 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Urbanities, this is your leader. Below are videos, articles, and blog posts you should be reading this week. Live long and proselytize. That is all, Url Should pastors give financial advice? Bishop J.D. Jakes and Dr. DeForest B. Soaries were...

My 30-Day Twitter Experiment (Pt 1)

November 29, 2010 12:00 AM

Last November I wrote a blog post titled “Why I Don’t Tweet … Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It.” The spark for the post came from a brief interaction with Ed Stetzer about Twitter. A prolific tweeterer (is that...

Justice: Sep/Oct Issue of "Catalyst Leadership" is Live!

August 23, 2010 12:00 AM

The latest issue of our digital magazine, Catalyst Leadership, is now live. We going deeper into the controversy and questions surrounding justice and evangelism. It's a strong line-up of contributors from both Leadership journal and recent Catalyst conferences: Andy Stanley,...

Driscoll, Avatar, and Native Justice

July 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Dr. Metzger wrote on Ur about the novelty of multi-ethnic efforts in the church today. He asked whether justice was really taking root in our hearts, or is it just a trend. In this follow-up post he exposes...

What Did You Say?

July 9, 2010 12:00 AM

The Portuguese issue of Playboy showing Jesus Christ among topless models. “We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal…. It is a shocking breach of our standards.” -Theresa Hennessy, Vice President...

An Open Dialogue about THE NINES' Poll (Part 2)

June 30, 2010 12:00 AM

Earlier this week, Dave Travis from Leadership Network asked Skye Jethani a few questions regarding his objections to the Twitter poll they launched for THE NINES. In part 2, Travis answers questions about the same poll asked by Jethani. Skye:...

An Open Dialogue about THE NINES' Poll

June 28, 2010 12:00 AM

Skye Jethani, managing editor of Leadership Journal, and Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, have been talking about the controversy surrounding THE NINES' poll. Jethani thinks it was a mistake--a poorly communicated idea that has deteriorated into a popularity...

The Kerfuffle about "The Nines"

June 25, 2010 12:00 AM

Yesterday, Skye Jethani wrote a post critical of how Leadership Network was driving publicity for THE NINES conference. The "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" poll raking Christian leaders struck him as distasteful and he asked his friends at Leadership Network...

Thumbs Down for "The Nines"

June 24, 2010 12:00 AM

In ancient Rome large audiences gathered in coliseums to be entertained by slaves and prisoners—including many Christians—fighting for their lives against wild beasts and one another. Their fate was often determined by the emperor who gauged the crowd’s pleasure or...

Why I Don't Tweet...

March 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Some months ago I sat down for breakfast with Ed Stetzer while we were both in Phoenix for a conference. Afterwards Ed “tweeted” about our meal together and commented that for some inexplicable reason “Skye isn’t on Twitter.” He gave...

To Tweet, or not to Tweet?

March 22, 2010 12:00 AM

I'm really excited to introduce you to a new Urthling. Jonathan Acuff is the author of the recent book from Zondervan, Stuff Christians Like and the founder of www.stuffchristianslike.net His humorous exploration of the church subculture is a perfect fit...

Holy Holograms!

March 3, 2010 12:00 AM

Clark, a media technology company that supplies churches, is pioneering holographic technology that can create a life-size, three dimensional projection of a preacher on a platform. Blogger Tony Morgan was given a preview at Clark’s offices near Atlanta. He writes,...

Rob Bell on the Dangers of Video Preaching

February 15, 2010 12:00 AM

He once planted a church by teaching through Leviticus. He can use a rabbit carved from a bar of soap to illustrate the nature of suffering. Google his name and the term "Sex God" will appear among the top...

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2009 12:00 AM

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Top 10 Posts of 2009

December 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Biblical Literacy Reaches New Low Why "John 3:16" being the top Google search isn't something to celebrate. by Brian Lowery The Body Broken for Who? Theologian J. I. Packer on restricting the Lord's Supper a Leadership interview The Facebook...

Merry Christmas, from Url Scaramanga

December 24, 2009 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Rick McKinley on the Christmas Story

December 23, 2009 12:00 AM

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"Friend" Url on Facebook

December 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Friend me on Facebook and we'll be tight, chums, bosom buddies, cohorts, partners, sidekicks, comrades, cronies, pals, I'll be like a brother from another mother...virtually. (We are talking about online community). Check out my profile....

Ur Video: NT Wright on Blogging

November 24, 2009 12:00 AM

NT Wright on Blogging/Social Media from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo....

Twitter Theology

November 9, 2009 8:04 AM

Social media like Facebook and Twitter have received an abundance of critique, not the least of which is that social media users are self-absorbed. But I wonder if we might turn answers on Twitter to the question “What are you...

Video Venues and Multi-Sites: Can We Please Move On?

November 5, 2009 12:00 AM

May I vent for a moment? If I stumble onto another blog, article, or conference advertisement for anything having to do with video venues or multi-site models of church growth, I just might lose it. Everywhere I look within our...

Virtual Church is STILL a Bad Idea

October 27, 2009 12:00 AM

**Editor's Note: I apologize for the lack of posts in recent days. We've been experiencing some technical difficulties. -Url Scaramanga** I was disappointed to read Douglas Estes’ piece last week on Ur, for a number of reasons, but chief among...

In Defense of Virtual Church

October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

A myth is growing in some circles of the blogosphere that online church is not good, not healthy, and not biblical. If we read carefully the criticisms levied against internet campuses, they boil down to some very common and tired...

Catalyst Lab: Don't Pity the Poor

October 7, 2009 7:15 PM

Jessica Jackley was in first grade when she became aware of how the poor were being presented to her. She saw ads for parachurch organizations and appeals for missions groups that featured photographs of impoverished children with distended bellies and...

Blog ... The Devil Wants You To

October 7, 2009 1:30 PM

For one of the first Catalyst lab sessions, three of the top Christian bloggers took the stage to talk shop: Ann Jackson (www.FlowerDust.net), Carlos Whittaker (www.RagamuffinSoul.com), and Jon Acuff (www.StuffChristiansLike.net) So what wisdom did these titans of the blogosphere...

Ur Video: Stetzer & Hirsch on Multi-Site

October 1, 2009 12:00 AM

Key ideas: Stetzer--Is multi-site being used to give great communicators a larger audience, or is it being used to raise up more communicators? Stetzer--Multi-site isn't a big phenomenon in post-Christian settings. It's much more popular among Christians willing to...

Church Rater or Church Hater?

September 21, 2009 12:00 AM

I love rotten tomatoes. Not the produce—the website. RottenTomatoes.com is a movie ranking website that aggregates reviews from hundreds of journalists and movie reviewers, and then charts how “fresh” a film is based on the percentage of positive reviews. If...

Video Ur: Perry Noble on Multi-Site Churches

September 9, 2009 12:00 AM

The validity of video-based preaching has been a matter of debate on this blog. Some, like Bob Hyatt, are critical of the trend believing it puts even greater distance between the teacher and the taught. In addition, projecting one preacher...

There is NO Virtual Church (Part 2)

August 31, 2009 12:00 AM

(Read part 1) Calvin’s definition of “church” is where the Word is preached, the sacraments are received, and church discipline practiced. That’s a good summary of the defining characteristics of the New Testament ecclesia and a good summary of the...

There Is NO Virtual Church (Part 1)

August 26, 2009 12:00 AM

In the early 1950s when Robert Schuller and others across the nation combined a growing car culture with “Church,” they believed they were reaching a segment of the population traditional church wouldn’t or couldn’t. “Drive-In Church” allowed parishioners to hear...

Internet Campuses: A Blessing or Bogus?

August 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Earlier this month Frank Viola confronted the growing trend of “post-church Christianity,” with a biblically-rooted argument that a gathering of two or three close friends is not “church” and therefore cannot be a substitute. We’re eager to continue the debate...

Ur Video: Chris Seay on Consumerism

August 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Chris Seay is one of the featured speakers at the Story conference in October. Learn more and register for the event at www.storychicago.com....

Ur Video: John Piper Says Video Hurts Preaching

July 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Everyone knows that John Piper believes in the supremacy of preaching, but what about augmenting the spoken word with video clips or dramas? In this short video Piper answers that question. Here's an excerpt: "I think the use of video...

Webcam Worship

July 6, 2009 2:09 PM

The following is an excerpt from a chapter called "Internet Campuses - Virtual or Real Reality?" in the book A Multi-Site Church Road Trip: Exploring the New Normal, by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird (Zondervan, 2009). This picks...

The Hansen Report: Community or Bust?

May 10, 2009 8:00 AM

The CNN headline echoed hopeful reflection I've been hearing in churches: "Shaky economy forces Americans to rediscover community." Optimistic Christians suppose the community they will rediscover is a local church that demonstrates how putting your faith in markets or government...

Catalyst Leadership: Ministry Mastermind

May 8, 2009 12:00 AM

The following interview was excerpted from the latest issue of Catalyst Leadership--our new free digital magazine created in partnership with the Catalyst Conference. For instructions on reading the full text, see the note at the end. Any church with a...

Ur Video: Shane Hipps on Medium and Message

April 2, 2009 12:00 AM

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Shane Hipps on "Virtual Community"...Again

February 27, 2009 12:00 AM

This conversation got started with a short video of Shane Hipps at the National Pastors Convention discussing whether online community was really community. Scot McKnight posted his response a few days later. Earlier this week, Anne Jackson joined the discussion...

The Facebook Fast

February 24, 2009 12:00 AM

Blogging. Facebook. Twitter. Those three things are practically my middle name. I've been called a "social media butterfly" over the last four years. The question of "Can community happen online?" which has been the topic of conversation on this blog...

Scot McKnight on "Virtual Community"

February 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Thanks for your video, Shane. Your point about not equating virtual community (grant me the term for the moment) with real community is one that needs to be heard. But, I'm not so sure it is this simple... First, as...

Video Ur: Shane Hipps at NPC

February 12, 2009 4:11 PM

We create media, and then media re-creates us. That's the message Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels (Zondervan, 2009) wanted pastors at NPC to hear in his interview on the main stage last night and in his seminars this morning....

New In the Newsletter

January 16, 2009 10:14 AM

Instead of teasing you with a paragraph or two this week, let me tempt you instead with a table of contents. If you're not subscribed to the Out of Ur newsletter, here's what you're missing: Currents "Bible Society Supports Atheists'...

Video Ur: Preview 2009

January 12, 2009 12:00 AM

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Video Ur: 2008 in Review

January 9, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Next BIG Things

January 1, 2009 12:00 AM

I've been giving a lot of thought to the state of the church as we enter a new year. In these uncertain times we naturally look to reliable and wise voices to guide us through the fog. And who is...

Merry Christmas, Urbanites.

December 24, 2008 12:00 AM

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Happy Thanksgiving from Url

November 27, 2008 12:00 AM

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Ur 2.0: Get Farther Out of Ur

November 13, 2008 12:00 AM

You can get out of Ur, or you can get really out of Ur. For those desiring the latter, the Ur Newsletter is the resource for you. For a few years I’ve been sending out a free email newsletter...

The Cult of Mac

October 30, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Many people feel that the greatest threat to Christianity today is postmodernity. Others zero in on relativism. Some believe the enemy is secular humanism. And others believe Islamic fascism is the boogey man. I disagree. In my...

Ur 2.0: Introducing Url & The Urthlings

October 28, 2008 12:00 AM

You may have noticed that the blog has a slightly new look. The revised banner is a simple way for us to celebrate Out of Ur's third anniversary. In October 2005, Leadership embarked on a digital journey of conversation....

The First Church of Second Life

July 25, 2008 8:13 AM

There is another life beyond this one: a realm where one's role on earth is a distant memory, where inhabitants have new bodies and can fly anywhere they like. It sounds a bit like heaven. But it's not. It's...

Announcing the Ur Lexicontest!

July 1, 2008 12:00 AM

Regular readers of Out of Ur know that new words and phrases are often coined and disseminated on this blog. ("Church pirate" may be the most recent example thanks to Ed Young Jr.) We'd like to assemble an Out...

Live from Shift: Switchfoot Podcast

April 11, 2008 11:19 AM

For the third podcast recorded here at Shift, we sat down with Switchfoot band members Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas. In it, Drew and Jerome discuss the ways in which they've seen student culture change over the past 10...

We're Going to "Shift"

March 27, 2008 12:00 AM

In two weeks the Willow Creek Association is hosting a different kind of student ministries conference. Shift 2008 will address the cultural changes that are impacting the way we think about reaching the next generation. Out of Ur is excited...

Top 10 Posts of 2007

December 27, 2007 12:00 AM

A year ago on this blog it seemed hard to imagine that 2007 would surpass 2006 in traffic and participation, but that is exactly what happened. Thanks to the thousands of Ur-banites that read this blog everyday and drive the...

Advent Conspiracy Videos

December 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Earlier this month Skye Jethani posted about the obstacles we face during the Advent season, and his church’s attempts to overcome the busyness and materialism of the season. Last week, David Swanson reported on the new film What Would Jesus...

ATMs: Automatic Tithing Machines

September 25, 2007 12:00 AM

How can you pass the plate to people who don't carry cash? You can't. So the next big wave may be the "Giving Kiosk" in your church's lobby. "A lot of people no longer carry cash or a checkbook," says...

Out of Context: Dot.TV Pastor

August 30, 2007 12:00 AM

"Next to a church's preaching pastor, the most important staff member in the shaping of the message is the media pastor...The second hire in most congregations should be the media pastor." -Eric Reed, managing editor of Leadership, reports this statement...

The Tech Effect

August 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Twenty-five years ago, the film Tron was a revolution - the first movie to use digital animation extensively. But critics almost universally panned the movie. One said, "Tron is loaded with visual delights but falls way short of the mark...

The Ever-Changing Message

August 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Our friends at FaithVisuals.com recently spoke with Shane Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. We posted part one of the discussion last month where Hipps uncovered the ways electronic media affect our messages, and how it can...

Is Video Technology in Church Manipulative?

July 10, 2007 12:00 AM

As you read this post the summer issue of Leadership is arriving in mailboxes. The issue tackles the impact of living, and ministering, in an increasingly visual culture. Many churches are eager to employ video and other new digital tools,...

Out of Context: Shane Hipps

July 3, 2007 12:00 AM

"I believe certain technologies preclude incarnational ministry. And the reason I believe that is because God became embodied in Jesus. And embodiment means human physical touch; presence. And there are certain technologies that disembody us, like video." -Shane Hipps serves...

Dancing with Consumerism

April 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Url: You moved from a career in advertising to pastor a Mennonite church. Is that reflective of a generation that's reacting against consumerism? Do you see a trend of younger people preferring smaller, less market driven, ministries? Hipps: We are...

Forecasting the Future

February 2, 2007 12:00 AM

I have just finished reading James Martin's The Meaning of the 21st Century. And - in my opinion anyway - every person who seeks to influence others to the Christian way ought to be conversant with this book. Don't expect...

Preaching the Word in an Image–Oriented Culture

January 31, 2007 12:00 AM

My childhood church had a silver cross suspended in the sanctuary. It was the visual focus of our worship. I recently returned to the church and the cross was still there, but few people notice it anymore. A large...

Introducing 'Gifted for Leadership'

January 23, 2007 12:00 AM

For all you women out there, I'm thrilled to announce the launch of Gifted for Leadership. It's a new resource designed specifically for Christian women who are capable, called, and gifted leaders. Unfortunately, many Christian women in leadership feel alone...

The Top 10 Posts of 2006

December 29, 2006 12:00 AM

These ten blog posts were not chosen by Leadership's editors, but by the thousands of visitors to Out of Ur every month. Thanks for contributing to the conversation this year. In order of popularity, here's a look back at the...

The Greatest Show on Earth

December 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Last December, David Fitch challenged the popular trend known as "Experiential Worship." Fitch said, "?we can no longer be naive that a ?religious experience,' like the one sought in a rock concert worship service, provides immediate access to God." And...

Out of Context: Ivy Beckwith

November 17, 2006 12:00 AM

"Just look at church websites. How many of them have this picture of a perfect family with a blue sky background. They all look so nice in their polo shirts, and the kids all have straight teeth. It's all just...

Praise the Lord, Pass the Ammo: A new video game uses violence and murder to spread the love of Christ

August 30, 2006 12:00 AM

One of the reoccurring debates on this blog has been whether cultural forms used in ministry are neutral, or do forms possess inherent value that may or may not be compatible with God's kingdom. For example, Andy Stanley shared his...

Video Venues and the Papacy of Celebrity: Why changing the methods always changes the message

June 28, 2006 12:00 AM

Most people spend a significant part of the week looking at screens; television screens, movie screens, computer screens - in fact, you're looking at one right now. But traditionally Sunday morning was not a screen-time. Then came PowerPoint. First the...

The Gospel According to Electronic Culture: What if the medium really is the message?

May 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Before entering ministry, Shane Hipps had a career in advertising developing multimillion dollar communication plans for brands like Porsche. It was during his time in advertising that Hipps gained expertise in understanding the power of media, technology, and culture. He...

Disposable Worship: a caution about using too much technology in worship

April 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Last month I attended a "worship experience" that included smoke machines, lasers, digital graphic projections, and more flat panel screens than I could count. Technology is changing the way we worship, but what are we losing as a result? David...

Mark Driscoll's Apology: Blogging means sometimes having to say "I'm sorry"

March 28, 2006 12:00 AM

In January, Out of Ur ran an editorial written by Brian McLaren on a pastoral response to homosexuality. Hundreds of readers posted comments either supporting or condemning McLaren's perspective. But none caused as much uproar as the rant written by...

Tivo Tyranny and Preaching to Consumers

February 16, 2006 3:05 PM

I just read about the latest form of oppression: Tivo Tyranny. It's the burden of having recorded too many TV shows, and now finding there's no way you're going to be able to watch them all. Tivo has a feature...

The Poet of Ur: "Genus: Blog, Species: Comment"

January 31, 2006 12:00 AM

Wheaton College professor, and guest poet of Ur, Dan Haase has been watching our conversation from a distance. Dan sent along this short piece to help us pause and think. It has made me wonder, should this blog be seeking...

The Blessing of Blogs: Is the New Media Good for the Church?

January 3, 2006 12:00 AM

The weblog phenomenon is being felt in every sector of our culture including the church. Some are heralding the blogosphere as an egalitarian "new media" that is changing the way people communicate and process ideas. But will blogs foster communication...

The Best Comments of 2005

December 28, 2005 12:00 AM

With the new year upon us this seems like the right time to highlight the best comments from the most popular posts of 2005. True, Out of Ur has only been in existence since October, but if mediocre sitcoms have...

Introducing Url and the Urthlings

October 1, 2005 12:00 AM

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