Daily Archives: March 9, 2014

(Economist Leader) Crisis in Ukraine: Kidnapped by the Kremlin

The West is not about to go to war over Ukraine, nor should it. Not enough of its interests are at stake to risk a nuclear conflict. But the occupation of Crimea must be punished, and Mr Putin must be discouraged from invading anywhere else.

Mr Putin expects a slap on the wrist. Sanctions must exceed his expectations. Shunning the G8 summit, which he is due to host in June, is not enough. It is time to impose visa bans and asset freezes on regime-connected Russians (the craven parliamentarians who rubber-stamped their army’s deployment should be among the first batch); to stop arms sales and cut Kremlin-friendly financial firms from the global financial system; to prepare for an embargo on Russian oil and gas, in case Ukrainian troops are slaughtered in Crimea or Russia invades eastern Ukraine. And the West should strengthen its ability to resist the Kremlin’s revanchism: Europe should reduce its dependence on Russian gas (see article); America should bin restrictions on energy exports; NATO should be invigorated.

Ukraine needs aid, not only because it is bankrupt, but also because Russia can gravely harm its economy and will want to undermine any independent-minded government. America and the EU have found some billions in emergency funds, but Ukraine also needs the prospect, however distant, of EU membership and a big IMF package along with the technical assistance to meet its conditions. A vital start is a monitored election to replace today’s interim government and the parliament, which is for sale to the highest bidder.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine, Violence

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–NYC Houses of Worship

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: New York has been called the most secular city in America. But don’t tell that to Tony Carnes. He has made it his mission to systematically document all the religious sites in New York’s five boroughs, as he puts it, block by block, alleyway by alleyway. He and his team of freelancers have found a lot to document.

TONY CARNES (Editor and Publisher, A Journey Through NYC Religions): New York is experiencing a religious surge.

LAWTON: The project is called “A Journey Through NYC Religions.” Since they began in July of 2010, Carnes and his team have visited nearly 7,500 houses of worship and other religious sites. He estimates that’s more than 77percent of them [Editor’s note: Numbers updated as of 2014]. They interview, photograph, videotape, even draw, and post their articles and other material on their website, nycreligions.info. Carnes says he launched the project because he believed a vital part of New York life was being given short shrift.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT) The Chain Fountain, Explained

The video, posted about a year ago, went viral, and John Biggins, a Cambridge physicist, saw it.

He had been talking with another physicist at Cambridge, Mark Warner, about a project Dr. Warner was working on, an online course to improve physics education in high school. Dr. Biggins brought the chain fountain video to Dr. Warner’s attention and they agreed it was an ideal problem to present to students because it involved Newtonian physics, not some extreme variant of string theory or quantum mechanics.

Then they realized that they didn’t actually understand it.

Read it all.

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

Stephen Mould–(Self Siphoning Beads or) The Chain Reaction Video

Watch it all.

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

(Scotsman) Row over Roman Catholic Church music takes a dramatic turn

There’s a musical stramash going on within the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.

In popular parlance it has been described as a battle between the “post-Vatican II hippies and the right-wing traditionalists”.

More seriously, it’s about the difference between respecting, protecting and reinterpreting the centuries’ old tradition of people-friendly Gregorian Chant within the context of congregational participation in the liturgical mass, and the banal sentimental dirges that have infested Sunday worship in most Catholic churches since the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s told its churches to open up to the modern world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Scotland

St. Michael's Charleston's New Director of Student Ministries, The Rev. Rich Giersch

Welcome Richard Giersch! As our new Director of Student Ministries, Rich will focus on transforming the hearts of our 6th-12 graders. Rich joins us with a wealth of experience and spiritual depth. Since 1988, Rich has been ministering to teenagers working with such organizations as Young Life and St. Andrews Church, Mount Pleasant. Rich was also ordained as an Anglican Priest and served as the interim Rector of Resurrection Fellowship Anglican Church in Greenville, SC.

Rich is married to Holly and they have two sons, Griffin and Oliver. Rich graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and has produced two Christian C-D’s of original songs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

More Detailed Information about the upcoming Diocese of South Carolina Convention

There are a lot of links including resolutions, workshops, etc.–read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Local Paper Article–Diocese of South Carolina to hold annual convention at Christ Church

The Diocese of South Carolina will hold its annual convention Friday and Saturday at Christ Church in Mount Pleasant using the theme “Move forward with strength.”

Nearly 400 clergy and delegates from 50 congregations across the lower and coastal areas of South Carolina are expected to gather for the two-day event.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina

Mental Health Break–A Drone-filmed dolphin stampede along with that of some whales

Captain Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, California, at great personal risk, has recently filmed and edited a 5-minute video that contains some of the most beautiful, jaw-dropping, footage ever taken with a drone from the air of a huge mega-pod of thousands of common dolphins stampeding off Dana Point, California, three gray whales migrating together down the coast off San Clemente, California, and heartwarming close-ups hovering over a newborn Humpback whale calf snuggling and playing with its mom as an escort whale stands guard nearby, filmed recently in Maui.

It is only about 5 1/3 minutes long– it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Photos/Photography

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.

–B. F. Westcott

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

–Psalm 63:3-7

Posted in Uncategorized

(NBC New York) Broadway Actor Dies 1,000 Times

(If you EVER get a chance to get near New York and see this play DO NOT MISS IT! We saw it last year and rolled in the aisles–KSH).

Jefferson Mays, leading man of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”, has died 1,000 times on stage — faster than any lead actor in Broadway history. His fellow actors marked that deadly landmark outside the stage door at the Walter Kerr Theatre on West 48th Street.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Music, Parish Ministry, Theatre/Drama/Plays

Pew Research Fact Tank–2 key trends looking at Generations in the Next America

In his new book, The Next America, Pew Research executive vice president of special projects Paul Taylor identifies two key trends that are already reshaping the United States and will continue doing so for decades to come. The first: far greater racial and ethnic diversity, driven largely by immigration. In 1960, the U.S. population was 85% white, 10% black and 4% Hispanic. By 2060 whites will be a minority (43%), while 31% of the population will be Hispanic, 13% black, 8% Asian and 6% other races or ethnicities. As Taylor puts it, “We were once a black and white country; now we’re a rainbow.”

But there’s also going to be a lot more gray in that rainbow. Not only are some 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day (and will continue doing so till 203o), but Americans are living longer and having fewer children than ever. Result: The nation’s “age pyramid” is turning into more of a rectangle. That poses challenges for, among other things, Social Security. In 1960, near the peak of the Baby Boom, there were 5.1 workers for every Social Security-eligible retiree. By the time the last Boomer retires, that ratio will be down to 2 workers per retiree.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(Telegraph) Assisted suicide moves closer as Government allows free vote

The legislation of assisted suicide has moved a significant step closer after the Government made clear that it would not stand in the way of a change in the law.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and peers ”“ including Coalition ministers ”“ will be given a free vote on a Bill that would enable doctors to help terminally ill patients to die, The Telegraph can disclose.

The proposed legislation will come before Parliament in the next few months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Theology