Saturday, April 23, 2011

Compendium of Links #8

Happy almost-Easter, everyone! I’ll be off to my grandpa’s house tomorrow for a wonderful day of extended family getting-together. I’m looking forward to eating up a good many of my aunt’s fantastic homemade rolls, too. So, without further ado, a number of links for your Easter perusal…

What I’ve learnt about Twitter after 1000 tweets – Since just one more tweet will bring my own tweet-count to 1000, I Googled “1000th tweet” and this was the first result. A rather interesting one, too, though written more from a business angle.

55 Ways to Have Fun with Google (PDF) – Gosh, somebody had waaaaay too much time on his hands. But the result, though now outdated, still contains some interesting ways to waste time, such as egogoogling (to which I’m no stranger—it’s the “Google your name and ‘is’ and see what comes up” game), making a pictorial alphabet from Google Images results, and googling random proverbs and seeing what they’ve been applied to. (This link if the first doesn’t work properly.)

Why We Buy: How to avoid 10 costly cognitive biases – “We all make mistakes with money… But many of these mistakes are avoidable if we can understand how we think about money. Here are 10 biases that psychological research has shown affect our judgment.” Of course, it includes “free!” as one of them. (Via my cousin.)

And, in honor of our risen King, who I’m sure has a sense of humor:

This has been shown multiple times, in class, by the same prof who showed “Darmok” in class too.

Bildungsroman

I wrote a related post on my college admissions/marketing blog earlier, but I think it warrants one more essay...

A recent blog post on Boundless passed on some "promises of life" that a Willow Creek Church youth leader had said "gives a person the ability to live in the world as a grown up." Those were:
1. Life is hard.
2. You are not that important.
3. Your life is not about you.
4. You’re not in control.
5. You’re going to die.

The list rings true, though it also sounds pessimistic.... and the idea was that, once one understood these five truths, one could really be called an adult.

I can tell you that "life is hard" sounds like "life isn't fair," what my parents have been telling me since I was old enough to understand spoken English. And frankly, though I may play a major role in certain people's lives (my sister, for example, or my roommate), my role in the lives of most others is minor--I'm not that important.

My life's not about me? Well that's an easy one. According to the Westminster catechism, man's purpose is "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." It's about God, which I've been taught for probably ten years so it's not exactly breaking news. And of course, God's also the one in control... not me. (I think I would be aware of the fact if I really were in control! Kind of hard to miss.)

And yeah, I'm going to die. The world's mortality rate is still 100%, always has been--everybody's going to die sometime. In light of everyone's approaching demise (the only difference is the rate at which that demise approaches), I've found it valuable to consider how I am living my life at the moment--whether I am loving God and serving others as I ought, and to remember what is really worth my energy. (I'd say family and friends, over trying to earn a ton of money or accumulate lots of clothes or whatnot.)

So I guess I can at least say I'm on the road to adulthood.

P.S. If everyone graduating with me next month were fully aware of these five realities, would it make a difference to the various places in which they'll end up?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Compendium of Links #7

As I posted earlier, my weeks have been busy… thus I have not posted links (or anything else). I shall attempt to rectify the omission starting today. (“Rectify the omission” is one of my favorite sentences.)

How little sleep can you get away with? – nope, not 5 or 6 (or 7). 8 it’s gotta be, unless you’re a mutant. (NYTimes Mag article)

Is sitting a lethal activity? – another article in the NY Times Magazine, but this one about the importance of fidgeting and not sitting down all the time.

This is your body on chairs: Electrical activity in the muscles drops — “the muscles go as silent as those of a dead horse,” Hamilton says — leading to a cascade of harmful metabolic effects. Your calorie-burning rate immediately plunges to about one per minute, a third of what it would be if you got up and walked. Insulin effectiveness drops within a single day, and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes rises. So does the risk of being obese.

Humility without heirarchy: How submission works for us – an egalitarian thinks submission is not all bad, but rather should be practiced by both husband and wife.

Downtown has become a magnet for young, educated residents – in Indianapolis, Indiana, lots of young, well-educated people (read: yuppies) are actually choosing to live downtown. (Indy Star) And it’s kind of cool. On a related note, the most romantic cities are the ones who did not redevelop their downtown using an interstate highway.

And for your musical enjoyment: the performer from my campus’s Saturday Night Live-esque variety show. Pretty awesome piano playing!

He’s now operating out of New York but he’s originally from Ohio.

Good morning!

I’m not dead! Can you believe it?

OK, so I know the whole “I’m not dead” bit is getting pretty old. You see, I’ve been finishing up my last semester of college. And you’ve heard how seniors are always the busiest, and yet the least motivated to finish their homework?

Fortunately I’ve not suffered much of the senioritis syndrome. Instead, I’ve just taken somewhat easy classes. Linguistics? Homework is done in five minutes. Rhetoric? I don’t even read the book anymore and I still ace most of the little quizzes.

That’s how easy some of these classes are for me. Case in point: in the rhetoric class, to illustrate the importance of metaphor and language in carrying meaning between people… we spent 3/4ths of the class time watching an episode of Star Trek. “Darmok” was certainly entertaining, but sometimes I question whether we needed to spend so much time (about 40-45 minutes) watching it just to illustrate this bit.

On the other hand, my co-curricular/extra-curricular activities have eaten up more time than they have in previous semesters. I’m working like four-ish jobs (one of which I’m getting practicum credit for). I just finished my senior honors project (thank goodness that’s done! though I did enjoy it). And I’m in the women’s chorus of the drama department’s spring musical, “The King and I.”

Thus I am rarely back to my apartment for good until about ten o’clock at night. (Except Wednesdays. Wednesdays are wonderful days.)