Daily Archives: May 17, 2009

What a Glorious Lake It is

I am at Lake George visiting my Father.

Update: There is still more there.

Lake George is without comparison the most beautiful water I ever saw. Its water is limpid as crystal and the mountainsides are covered with rich groves of fir, pine, aspen, and birch down to the waters edge.

–Thomas Jefferson

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Travel

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud

But listening aloud, valuable as it is, isn’t the same as reading aloud. Both require a great deal of attention. Both are good ways to learn something important about the rhythms of language. But one of the most basic tests of comprehension is to ask someone to read aloud from a book. It reveals far more than whether the reader understands the words. It reveals how far into the words ”” and the pattern of the words ”” the reader really sees.

Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.

Read it all. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking this is one of the things Anglican worship has right; and, what a vital ministry lay reading is! Do you know that the word for the reading of Scripture in the New Testament means to read it loud?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

Michael S. Malone: Young Eyes Look at a High Tech World

Technology in all of its forms – social networks, smartphones, the Web, instant messaging, on-line gaming – is a net loss for today’s young people. At least according to one group of Silicon Valley 8th graders.

“It’s bad for us, but it sure is fun,” says Eric Bautista, 13, one of the students in Sister Jolene Schmitz’s junior high school class at Resurrection School in Sunnyvale, California.

Admittedly, this informal survey offers, at best, only anecdotal evidence. Still, it is pretty shocking that a group of young teenagers, all of them technologically very astute, and living in the very heart of Silicon Valley, would come to such a conclusion.

These kids, born about the time the Internet became widely adopted, live within blocks of where the Intel microprocessor, the Apple computer and the Atari video game were all invented. They spend their days (and nights) surfing the web, playing on-line games and instant messaging. Most have cell phones in their backpacks. And many have at least one parent who works in the electronics industry.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth

Lehrer News Hour: In India, A School Principal Works to Change the Lives of the Poor

Watch it all–she is an inspiration.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Education, India, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

NPR Reporter Goes On Scientific Quest For God

The golden rule of journalism decrees that reporters take nothing on faith, back up every story with hard evidence, and question everything. NPR’s religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty kept that rule in mind when she decided to explore the science of spirituality. She was searching for answers to the questions: Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? What happens when we pray? And does consciousness depend on the brain, or can it operate when the brain doesn’t.

Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen talks with Hagerty about her research and what she discovered while writing her new book, Fingerprints of God.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Daily Pilot: LA Diocese won’t receive legal fees

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Friday lost its bid to recover attorneys fees and court costs from the church and some of its members who voted to break away from the Episcopal church in 2004.

The split led to a bitter legal battle over St. James’ Via Lido Campus.

“The local church is free of the specter of attorneys fees and the diocese suffered a significant defeat,” said attorney Daniel Lula, who represents St. James.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Another Lawsuit Filed Against Robert Duncan in the Diocese of Pittsburgh Dispute

Check it out (18 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Modest Successes and Missed Chances in Pope’s Trip

Pope Benedict XVI said that he wanted to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and experience the Holy Land first hand. So photographers waited eagerly by a turgid pool in the Jordan River for the pope to peer from a wooden promontory to a central spot in Christianity, where Christ is believed to have been baptized.

But Benedict declined to get out of the golf cart that brought him there.

Certainly an 82-year-old pope is entitled to remain seated if he likes. Yet the drive-by pilgrimage seemed to sum up his eight-day trip to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank ”” and indeed his entire papacy so far.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Middle East, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Astronomer Sings Hubble Telescope's Praises

Astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis went on their third space walk Saturday to repair the Hubble space telescope’s camera and install new equipment. Guest host Rebecca Roberts talks about how the Hubble has impacted the world of astronomy with astronomer Dave Rodrigues, also known as the AstroWizard.

Listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

A Picture of The Space Shuttle Against the Sun

The NBC Evening News had this on Friday–I just stared and stared. What a picture. Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

LA Times–Childbirth: Can the U.S. improve?

Once reserved for cases in which the life of the baby or mother was in danger, the cesarean is now routine. The most common operation in the U.S., it is performed in 31% of births, up from 4.5% in 1965.

With that surge has come an explosion in medical bills, an increase in complications — and a reconsideration of the cesarean as a sometimes unnecessary risk.

It is a big reason childbirth often is held up in healthcare reform debates as an example of how the intensive and expensive U.S. brand of medicine has failed to deliver better results and may, in fact, be doing more harm than good.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Roger A. Rosenblatt, a University of Washington professor of family medicine who has written about what he calls the “perinatal paradox,” in which more intervention, such as cesareans, is linked with declining outcomes, such as neonatal intensive care admissions. Maternity care, he said, “is a microcosm of the entire medical enterprise.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Four-Time Champions, and All Jaclyn’s Big Sisters

Two movements began that day. Northwestern began playing for Jaclyn, and soon after it started winning national championships, four in a row. The team is 20-0 this season and three victories from its fifth straight title. Northwestern will host Princeton in an N.C.A.A. quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon.

The players say they are just as excited about what they helped create off the field during their championship run. The team’s support of Jaclyn was a catalyst for her father, Denis, to start a charity that pairs pediatric brain tumor patients with college teams. Nearly 100 children have been “adopted” by teams like St. Bonaventure and Southern Mississippi. Three hundred teams are on a waiting list to adopt such children.

“Disney couldn’t make up some of the stuff that’s happened,” Denis Murphy said.

Jaclyn and Denis Murphy said the bond the Northwestern team formed with Jaclyn helped save her life. She is now a healthy 14-year-old freshman at Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, N.Y., where she plays junior varsity lacrosse.

I caught this one last night on the plane. Simply fabulous. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Sports

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: the Obama Notre Dame Controversy

Father THOMAS REESE (Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University): I don’t think it’s a scandal. Universities should be places where we have discussion, debate, where people of different views come together to argue, and when the bishops get involved in trying to censure people, ban speakers ”” I think it’s not helpful.

Archbishop BURKE: This is a Catholic institution which is bound by ”” its title is Catholic, its identity is Catholic ”” to uphold the moral law, and that’s the source of the scandal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Life Ethics, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Scientists solve the mystery of how the Earth was transformed

Of all the scientific mysteries, this is probably the greatest one of all ”“ how did life on Earth begin? We are not talking about how it evolved into the diversity of lifeforms we see today. We are talking about how it originated in the first place.

For all his immense insight into evolution, Charles Darwin himself was stumped. He suggested that whatever the mechanism was that had led to the first replicating lifeforms, it most probably arose in some “warm little pond”, a primordial soup of pre-biotic ingredients where the seed of life first germinated on the early Earth.

Now scientists have developed an experiment demonstrating how the very first self-replicating molecules may have formed about 4 billion years ago when the Earth was like any other lifeless planet that had yet to experience the radical transformation of living, breathing creatures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

The Bishop of Northern California Votes No On Consent to the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan