1. Words



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2. The Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine

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3. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway on Motherhood as Vocation

How should Christians think about the Mommy Wars? Vocationally. You may have heard vocation used as a synonym for occupation. But Martin Luther used it to talk about every Christian’s calling to particular offices through which God works to care for his creation. We serve our neighbors as employees, yes, but also as citizens, parishioners, and family members. Through our web of relationships, we are the instruments by which God works in the world.

So, for instance, God heals us by giving us doctors and nurses. He feeds us by giving us farmers and bakers. He gives us earthly order through our governors and legislators, and he gives us life through our parents. God is providing all these gifts—but we receive them from our neighbors.

Parenting is one of the most important vocations we can be given. Yes, the obligations of childrearing are difficult, but when the duties are fulfilled with the knowledge that we are doing the will of God, our reward is great. Luther wrote that fathers should not complain when they have to rock a baby, change his diaper, or care for the baby’s mother, but instead should view each act as a holy blessing.

(Via: Gene Veith )

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4. Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope

For decades critics of modern classical music have been derided as philistines for failing to grasp the subtleties of the chaotic sounding compositions, but there may now be an explanation for why many audiences find them so difficult to listen to.

A new book on how the human brain interprets music has revealed that listeners rely upon finding patterns within the sounds they receive in order to make sense of it and interpret it as a musical composition.

While traditional classical music follows strict patterns and formula that allow the brain to make sense of the sound, modern symphonies by composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern simply confuse listeners’ brains.



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5. Use a Slight Smile Instead of a Poker Face

If you’re playing cards, or have a tiny white lie to tell in person, keeping a completely straight face isn’t necessarily the best tactic. A recent study suggests a slight smile, or anything “emotionally positive,” is what really throws people off.


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6. Weird News of the Week: Albino python on cocaine confronts police

The snake, which was three metres long and was kept hungry so that it would be more aggressive, was allowed to roam the apartment to scare addicts into paying for their drugs, police said.

Animal services were called to capture the snake, which was tempted into captivity using a whole chicken and sent to a nearby zoo.

The reptile had been resting on 200 grams of pure cocaine, and a further five kilograms were found in the apartment.



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7. Paul Spears on 20 things I wish I knew as a college student

10. Learn the basics of grammar. If Grammar Rock was non-existent in your house and you think Conjunction Junction is a city in Colorado, you probably need to go memorize the basic rules of grammar. If you think that the semi-colon is the key you use when you are winking at a cute member of the opposite sex on Facebook, you probably need to go memorize the basic rules of punctuation. I hated memorizing the multiplication tables until I realized that math problems go very slowly if I have to stop to think, for example, what 7×9 equals. If you don’t, almost instantaneously, know when to use a semi-colon or comma then you need to back and memorize the “grammar and punctuation tables.” Both grammar and punctuation are necessary for you to be able to accurately express yourself on a subject.

11. Proofread everyting. Get some super type-A authoritarian grammarian to proofread your paper for you. It is better if they catch a mistake rather than your professor. A lack of proofreading communicates a lack of care to your professor.

12 Think of your work as that of an intellectual craftsman. Your abilities will be a reflection of the time and care you put into your work. Doing the bare minimum barely educates you.

15. I know on #11 I spelled everything “everyting.” Did you notice?



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8. Quote of the Week: “If you finish high school and keep a job without having children before marriage, you will almost certainly not be poor. Period. I have repeatedly felt the air go out of the room upon putting this to black audiences. No one of any political stripe can deny it. It is human truth on view.” — John McWhorter

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9. Virtual Models of the Temple Mount in the Time of Jesus

For several years UCLA’s Urban Simulation Team has been working on a virtual reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount prior to the destruction of A.D. 70. In collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority they have put together a display at the Ethan and Marla Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Center in Jerusalem.

Below is a video clip—the model was created by Dr. Lisa M. Synder—showing what the Temple Mount and Herod’s Temple would have looked like in the time of Jesus.

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10. Study: Sleeping in on the weekend boosts your brain power

Scientists have discovered that an extra dose of sleep is more than just a luxury - it provides an essential boost to brain power ahead of the working week.

Those who return to work on Monday morning refreshed from a long lie-in the day before perform better than those who spent less time in bed at the weekend, research has found.



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11. 14 Famous Man Rooms

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12. Image of the Week: Amazing Sculptures Made of Paper



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13. Over 1,000 MP3 Albums, $5 Each Through August

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14. Model describes universe with no big bang, no beginning, and no end

By suggesting that mass, time, and length can be converted into one another as the universe evolves, Wun-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological models that may fit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model. What this means specifically is that the new models might explain the increasing acceleration of the universe without relying on a cosmological constant such as dark energy, as well as solve or eliminate other cosmological dilemmas such as the flatness problem and the horizon problem.


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15. Literary journal explores the Rambo body count

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16. Infographic of the Week: Movies Infographics Collection

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17. The psychological secret to humor is making immoral behavior seem harmless

University of Colorado psychologists A. Peter McGraw and Caleb Warren set out for an all-encompassing explanation of humor. That might seem like an impossible task, but they believe they’ve cracked the code by examining the shortcomings of previous theories of humor. For instance, Sigmund Freud thought humor came from a release of tension, while later theories held the key to comedy was a sense of superiority or incongruity.

But none of those can account for all humorous and non-humorous situations - for instance, they point out that killing your spouse would meet all three of those conditions, and yet most people wouldn’t find that funny. So they added a new element to the equation - comedy comes from violating society’s rules, but only if the observer feels those rules have been violated in a safe way.



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18. Headline of the Week: Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts

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19. Jeffrey Polet on In Praise of Gossip

St. Thomas assessed the issue with great clarity. He treats the issue in the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa in the section on justice. The reason for this becomes apparent if we remember that gossip is an affront to honor. For justice renders to each his due, while honor determines what is due. Detraction (from detrimentum – damage or loss) creates confusion as to what is our due, and thus Thomas treats it as analogous to theft. It destroys the reputation of another by various means: spreading falsehoods; exaggerating the other’s shortcomings; revealing private matters; ascribing good deeds to bad intentions; or indirectly by denying the other person has done some good, or by otherwise concealing or diminishing that good.


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20. How Much House Can I Afford?

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21. Six Devastating TV Paycheck Comparisons

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22. HistoricalLOL of the Week

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23. The Stanford Mini Med School: The Complete Collection

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24. Tiger Woods vs. Ben Hur

Last fall, Forbes magazine was all atwitter as Tiger Woods closed in on becoming “the first athlete to earn over $1 billion” in the course of his career. Presumably his fortunes will now start to droop, but Forbes missed the mark—taking the long view, Tiger was never all that well paid to begin with when compared with the charioteers of ancient Rome.


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25. Common Baby Names that Might Hurt You

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26. Andrew Brown on doctors :

But the prestige of doctors is curiously unaffected by their lack of success. Until around 1900, we now know, the medical profession scarcely cured anyone and did nothing to increase average life expectancy. Without a correct theory of disease it could not hope to discover remedies except by chance. Yet faith in doctors, and the belief that their endeavours were scientific, remained almost entirely unaffected by these distressing facts.


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27. How-To of the Week: How to be an astronaut: A beginner’s guide

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28. World Population Map by Longitude

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29. The Phenomenology of Ugly

I don’t want to make any harsh personal remarks here but it is clear that a philosophers’ Mr. or Ms. Universe contest would be roughly on a par with the philosophers’ football match imagined by Monty Python. That is to say, it would have an ironic relationship to beauty. Philosophy as a satire on beauty.

It is no coincidence that one of our founding philosophers, Socrates, makes a big deal out of his own ugliness. It is the comic side of the great man. Socrates is (a) a thinker who asks profound and awkward questions (b) ugly. In Renaissance neo-Platonism (take, for example, Erasmus and his account of “foolosophers” in “The Praise of Folly”) Socrates, still spectacularly ugly, acquires an explicitly Christian logic: philosophy is there — like Sartre’s angelic curls — to save us from our ugliness (perhaps more moral than physical).



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30. 10 Worst Places to Live

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31. Is it legal to eat your cat?

When police in Western New York pulled over Gary Korkuc for blowing off a stop sign on Sunday, they found a live cat in his trunk, covered in cooking oil, peppers, and salt. Korkuc told authorities that his pet feline was “possessive, greedy, and wasteful” and that he intended to cook and eat it. Korkuc has been charged with animal cruelty. Is there a legal way to cook and eat a cat?


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32. Another 33 Things

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33. Flight of the Conchords sing about one of the most important issues of the day: why people should stop touching monkeys.


Flight of the conchords

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Articles by Joe Carter

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