Archive for September 4th, 2010

September 4, 2010

Very Old Things on Earth

by Vince

Rachel Sussman shows photographs of the world’s oldest continuously living organisms — from 2,000-year-old brain coral off Tobago’s coast to an “underground forest” in South Africa that has lived since before the dawn of agriculture.

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September 4, 2010

Using Procrastination to Your Benefit

by Vince

Dan Ariely explains how setting dates and goals and sharing them with others helps in the end:

Interestingly, we found that the majority of students committed to earlier deadlines, and that this ability to commit resulted in higher grades.  More generally, it seems that simply offering students a tool by which they could pre-commit publically to deadlines can help them achieve their goals.

How does this finding apply to non-students? When resolving to reach a goal—whether it is tackling a big project at work or saving for a vacation, it might help to first commit to a hard and clear deadline, and then inform our colleagues, friends, or spouse about it with the hope that this clear and public commitment will help keep us on track and ultimately fulfill our resolutions.

This sounds pro-community and may serve as a challenge to those who aren’t best suited for longer term planning (myself included).

September 4, 2010

Knowing a Culture

by Vince

I am currently reading Andrew Marin’s controversial book Love is an Orientation. A quote of his stood out to me today: “We have to go to the culture before we know the culture. For most of us, this comes in slowly taken smaller steps toward involvement” (my emphasis added).

Instantly, when I think of Christian communities pursuing an evangelical approach to the GLBT (gay lesbian bi-sexual and trans gender) community, it is almost in “rush in” terms. Rush in, share the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray for a conversion to a heterosexual lifestyle. Now I may be painting with a wide brush, but that approach is appealing at times because many within the church (I included at times) don’t know what to say and silence kills. Solution? Blabber about salvation or just say something to stop the awkward quiet.

What this “rush in” approach accomplishes is 1) not actively listening to that person and their story, 2) assumes they are not a Christian or know God (because you can’t be gay and a Christian, or can you?), and 3) turns any sort of conversation into a battle and putting the other person instantly on the defensive.

Marin’s book tackles each of those three statements and some, so I say it is worth reading. Marin notes that it almost comes off that if you are gay, your story doesn’t matter until you turn straight. If you are gay, you may even be burdened with others thinking your story follows a stereotypical path (absent father, sexual abuse, etc.) All humans deserve to have their story heard. For if we stop listening, how are we to understand each other beyond the stereotypes our world churns out?

Back to the initial quote, the world and media (and sometimes the GLBT community) tells you churches are, to name a few, hypocritical, overly judgmental, and uber-obsessed with salvation and the rapture. Likewise, the same outlets, sometimes along with the church, tell you that the GLBT community is all about promiscuity, meth and other drug use, rave parties, infecting others with HIV/AIDS, and have couples that will raise kids to destroy our morals. Did I miss anything?

No matter where you stand on these issues, you may have first-hand knowledge of the GLBT community or a Christian church and can speak against the above stereotypes. The speed of approaching each community is crucial for future dialogue pertaining to anything church/sexual related (Proposition 8 and DADT to name two important ones). I see that in the end, we have to address both personally and ecumenically these root issues. If we do not, issues such as DADT are impossible to deal with and lead down dangerous (I don’t throw this word around lightly) paths.

September 4, 2010

A History of the Tea Party

by Vince

David Weigel provides an indispensable look into the Tea Party:

The conservative media made would-be Tea Partyers aware that they had plenty of like-minded people out there, and provided them with the information that proved their doubts about the Obama agenda had merit. It was the Internet that really drilled this in. Activists tell pollsters – and have frequently told me – that they often hear about ominous programs via Glenn Beck or talk radio and then they go to the web to get more information. That information can be provided by think tanks but it can just as easily be provided by politicians or their staffs, operating Twitter accounts and cutting through the media filter, or by other Tea Partyers filming their events and uploading the content to YouTube. According to the Times poll, more Tea Partyers trust their fellow activists than trust information from newspapers.

Stunning is the word that comes to my mind. How about you?

September 4, 2010

This is HIP-HOP

by Vince

By Airwave Ranger. I wonder if Dre took note from this video.

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September 4, 2010

Awkward Back-to-School Photos

by Vince

Buzzfeed has 29 laughers.

I am sure if we all dig we can find some.

September 4, 2010

Song of the Weekend

by Vince

I thought it was relevant. It is hard finding a good video version of this song online.

Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses – Depression

September 4, 2010

Change in Pace

by Vince

MJ and I have moved in to our loft. It is a different pace of life than I have ever been use to. We are sharing a log cabin in the woods with some family.

This week, I was able to take separate hours sitting around a campfire burning cardboard/wood and raking leaves.

If I hadn’t spent my time around a campfire or cleaning up the leaves, I would of been inside on the computer feeding franticness to my mind.

It is a change in epiphanies, too. Usually, I would think of having epiphanies while reading but my mind wanders to new places while watching a campfire or tending to the grounds. Even reading three books to my little niece is a change in pace that I am grateful for. This new living situations has us basically without TV which leads to more reading. Thank goodness I enjoy reading.

So MJ and I sit here at the Green Goddess coffee shop waking up to some strong coffee. We are in the 215 for a long weekend and soaking up some quite time at the moment.

I have some exciting news blog related. Another friend of mine, Charles Myers, is joining up to blog here. I see Charles as brilliant and I am blown away by how much knowledge he fills in his brain. Look for some of his work here and also check his personal blog here.

Today is bbq day for us. The smells, family swooping in, and last bits of summer are here all the while passing by. Let’s enjoy what we have this weekend.

September 4, 2010

Brian Wilson is Burning

by Vince

This was Brian Wilson on Jim Rome is Burning yesterday. It isn’t very often that you have a segment focused on two arrogant jerks. This interview is nuts.