One hundred years ago the average American workweek was over 60 hours; today it’s under 35. One hundred years ago 6% of manufacturing workers took vacations; today it’s over 90%. One hundred years ago the average housekeeper spent 12 hours a day on laundry, cooking, cleaning and sewing; today it’s about three hours.
Christian leaders before our modern age of fatty, bureaucratic organizations considered these two essential elements—faithful service and a work product that is genuinely valuable—to be synonymous. How can one faithfully do work, after all, that yields no value? Our modern theology of work has lost this critical understanding. We have separated the means (diligent employment) from the end (participation in God’s creative, redemptive order). The consequence is that we teach, in effect, that the only bar a Christian’s employment need pass before it is worthy of his Father is that it be legal and not overtly connected to sex.
A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.
6. Weird News of the Week: Man gets shot in groin twice, eats sandwich before hospital visit
Shot twice near the groin, New Haven resident Miguel Soto III had a choice: Eat the sandwich he just bought, or rush to the emergency room just a block away.
He headed home, sat down in the kitchen and polished off the hero before asking his dad for a ride to Yale-New Haven hospital, WVIT-TV reported late Wednesday.
8. Quote of the Week: “The longer I live, and the more time I spend in the Christian conservative movement, the more keenly I’m aware of the extent to which divorce is devastating the Body of Christ.” – David French
It’s usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.
Two scientists are suggesting that colonisation of the red planet would be faster and cheaper if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America – not expecting to go home.
‘The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,’ said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored the controversial article.
The two scientists propose the missions begin with two two-person teams of astronauts in their 60s who would fly in separate ships that would then serve as living quarters on the planet. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow.
What can six seconds do for you? Woman to woman, let me encourage you that just six seconds a day can help safeguard your marriage.
12. Image of the Week: How the Elephant Got His Trunk
It looks like the perfect illustration for the tale of how the elephant got its trunk.
Sadly for this youngster, however, this was no scene from Kipling’s Just So Stories but all-too-painful reality.
Under the watchful eye of its family, the baby elephant had gone to the edge of an African waterhole for a drink.
A group of British space fans have successfully launched a paper plane into space and captured some amazing images in the process.
The trio of amateur space enthusiasts created an impressive paper aircraft with a 3ft wingspan and launched it using a helium balloon.
A small onboard camera then took a series of photos as it soared to 23 miles (90,000ft) above the earth and the balloon burst due to air pressure.
The plane then glided back down from the edge of sapce landing 100 miles from where it had been launched.
15. Baggini’s law of proverbs: Every proverb has an equal and opposite proverb
A five-year-old boy popped the big question to a three-year-old girl in their home town of Homs, 180 kilometres north of Damascus. The children are thought to be the youngest couple in the world to be engaged of their own free will.
Khalid, 5, and Hala, 3, have consented to marry each other, according to media reports. The Syrian children agreed to the engagement, and the parents said the marriage may take place in a decade or so. The kids even exchanged rings and vows.
17. Infographic of the Week: The United States of TV
Twice a century, India is attacked by huge rat armies that devour crops in massive destructive waves and leave people without any food. Scientists long dismissed it as an urban myth…until they discovered that it really happens, and why.
A massive bamboo forest covers about 26,000 square kilometers in a region encompassing northeastern India and parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar. For forty-nine out of every fifty years, bamboo is a godsend for farmers, who can use the plant as building material, clothing, and even food. But in the fiftieth year, the bamboo inadvertently creates a rat army of almost mythical proportions that wreaks havoc on the entire ecosystem.
One compelling study used PET imaging to watch what is going on in the brain during inner speech. As expected, this showed activity in the classic speech production area known as Broca’s area. But also active was Wernicke’s area, the brain region for language comprehension, suggesting that not only do the brain’s speech areas produce silent inner speech, but that our inner voice is understood and interpreted by the comprehension areas. The result of all this activity, I suggested, is the narrative self.
Since then, much more neuro-imaging data has supported this idea. Sukhwinder Shergill, a psychiatrist at King’s College London, has contributed mightily, investigating the neural bases of schizophrenia symptoms, including auditory hallucinations. By generating and monitoring inner speech in ingenious ways, his functional MRI studies consistently show activity in neural areas involved in speech production, comprehension and internal monitoring during silent inner speech. This fits nicely with Gazzaniga’s idea about the left hemisphere interpreter’s role in creating the autobiographical self.
(Via: Alan Jacobs)
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
In the Darwinian world of high-school dating, freshman girls and senior boys have the highest chances of successfully partnering up. Senior girls (too picky!) and freshman boys (pond scum!) have the least.
These are truisms known to anyone who has watched 10 minutes of a teen movie or spent 10 minutes in a high school cafeteria. Now, however, social scientists have examined them exhaustively and empirically. And they have found that for the most part, they’re accurate. So are some other old prom-era chestnuts: Teen boys are primarily—obsessively?—interested in sex, whereas girls, no matter how boy-crazy, tend to focus on relationships. Young men frequently fib about their sexual experience, whereas young women tend to be more truthful. Once a student has sex, it becomes less of an issue in future relationships.
In the extent and diversity of our dependence on technology, humankind is unique. But we’re also singular for having wrested moments of purposeless peace from amidst the brutal struggle of living on Earth. Daydreaming, idling, flights of fancy and curiosity: these too have merit, even if they don’t cure cancer or make a mobile app a little bit friendlier. If our every action is put to the test of ‘world-changing,’ we risk making tools of ourselves.
(Via: Alan Jacobs)
27. How-To of the Week: Win a Coin Toss
There is evidence to suggest that those with high I.Q.s stay up later and sleep later.
Researchers from the London School of Economics have found that people with high I.Q.s are more likely to be night owls, whereas folks with lower I.Q.s are more likely to wake up early and function their best during the day. Other studies have found a link between “eveningness” and getting good grades in school.
Few Afghans in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Taliban strongholds where fighting remains fiercest, know why foreign troops are in Afghanistan, says the “Afghanistan Transition: Missing Variables” report to be released later on Friday.
The report by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) policy think-tank showed 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar know nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. targets in 2001.
In July, nine-year-old Ming Li lost her hand in a tractor accident. Her arm was too damaged to reattach it, so they grafted it to her leg instead. Three months later, her hand’s back on her arm and regaining function.
33. Kyle Gets Buckets