Some Stuff That’s Nifty 7/11/13

Back from vacation, and finally caught up on all the stuff that’s been going on since the last roundup.  Look for thoughts on my vacation tomorrow, and for now, enjoy these links!


Lightning (Photo credit: Pete Hunt)

1. A student of design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem has come up with a design for a compact living space that’s made from two sheets of fabric stitched together.

2. Over at i09, we get a history lesson on a time when the Pope decided everyone was going to skip ten days on the calendar, and some people didn’t like that.

3. Fred Clark at Slacktivist has an answer to Richard Beck’s post about mattering that I discussed today.

4. The Avant/Gard Diaries recently published an interview they did with the Seattle vigilante Phoenix Jones.  I’m doubtful that what this guy is doing is really safe for the public, but I have to admit that he seems to have a real conviction about improving his community.

5. I love The Simpsons.  I enjoy Game of Thrones.  I adore Game of Thrones Simpsonized.

6. Rachel Held Evans is taking a break from the internet for a few weeks, but before she left, she posted this excellent rumination on the problem with biblical literalism as most people understand it.  Evans is a truly remarkable person in the blogosphere, because she very adeptly walks the fine moderate line.  Even if she’s not posting anything new for a while, take some time to check out her older content.

7. I am quickly becoming a fan of Richard Beck’s blog Experimental Theology in a big way.  Here’s a post he wrote two days ago in regards to an ongoing series he’s doing where he reads through the complete works of theologian William Stringfellow (that’s an awesome name).  There’s so much that’s interesting about this post, but if I have to pick out one thing to draw your attention, read the section regarding Stringfellow’s thoughts on prayer following his diagnoses with a debilitating disease.

8. A write-up on an incident that happened recently at a convention where someone thought it would be funny to slap stickers that said ‘fake geek girl’ on the rear ends of women attending the convention.  The behavior of the person who did this is reprehensible, but I can’t help feeling that Harris O’Malley, who blogs as Dr. NerdLove (his schtick is that he gives dating advice to nerds) and who originally created the stickers that the perpetrator used, made a misstep in trying to satirize the issue this way.  It probably speaks more to my own ignorance, but just looking at the sticker I couldn’t tell that it was meant to be making fun of the issue.

9. This one’s a downer, because it’s a story about how a child recently died after she had received a highly experimental trachea implant that was grown from her own stem cells.  The implant appears to have been a success, but other complications eventually killed her.  Despite the sad end to this story, I’m glad to know that treatments like this one are being researched and that the state of our healthcare technology is always getting better.

10. This couple had a Batgirl/Nightwing themed wedding, and it looks classy as heck.  Also, the photography’s really good.

11. Another brief post from Experimental Theology.  There’s something profound about boiling your understanding of the world to “sin and mercy.”

12. I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons in the past with some very good friends.  It never threatened to harm my immortal soul.  Mostly there was just a lot of goofiness and endless attempts to frustrate the DM.

13. This one’s mostly just a horror story, but it’s a true one.  I’d put it in the same category as the above link regarding the unfortunate girl with the trachea implant as something that saddens me because it happened, but also leaves me happy because people continue to expand and refine our scientific knowledge so that better, more effective treatments for all the malaise in the world can be found.

14. Striking a blow for gender equality, this guy’s taking a firm stance that he is not doing anything special by being a stay-at-home dad.  I love that he rejects the hero rhetoric by pointing out that he can’t lose no matter what he does while his wife can’t win with the same set of choices.  Kudos for writing the article, now get back to work; your children need you.

15. Following up on the last trailer for Sharknado we have this new one featuring a guy slicing a shark in half with a chainsaw.  The made-for-TV movie airs tonight, and for once, I regret that I don’t have cable.

16. I’m sharing this mostly because it references Watchmen heavily in its discussion of the different kinds of intelligences that humans display.  They make a good point that what we typically emphasize when we talk about intelligence relates to logic, while if we’re looking to enhance human capabilities in order to improve society, we should be thinking more along the lines of improving empathy.

17. Yet another post from Experimental Theology (just go read Richard Beck’s blog yourself; it’ll save me time sharing all this stuff), this time discussing the issue of gender dynamics within the Church.  Beck’s response to the whole mess is very thoughtful, and he cuts through the arguments to one simple question: are we grasping for power when we enforce gender roles, or are we seeking to serve one another as Jesus commanded?

18. And to wrap up, something amazing.  Rachael and I recently had our own personal experience with the awe and wonder of lightning, and I can say that seeing it this way is much cooler.


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