Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

Compendium of Links #22

Why is it that the only time I post anymore is when I’m sending up a plateful of links? Maybe because it’s Christmas, ergo, I actually have a life. Weird. And even the compendium is a little late! But enjoy the links on this fantastic celebratory day!The best bosses lead by failing—in other words, “humble leaders who embrace their failures are more effective and better liked, according to a new study.” No, duh. And why was this a study in the first place? Yes, I understand the importance of trust-but-verify. But this sort of thing seems like it should be left to philosophers, not social scientists.A quarter of Europe has never used the Internet. Never. Ever. I wonder what that stat’s like in the U.S.? It’s probably higher than you think. The internet doesn’t have much relevance if you’re poor in Kentucky, after all.If you need to write a sympathy card and have no idea what to say—and I’m with ya there—this guide might help. (Via Challies.)What was the world Googling in 2011? That link…

Breaking news archives

What would it have been like to write about the birth of Jesus in AP style?BETHLEHEM, Judea—Rumors about a baby’s birth in a stable have been confirmed. Jesus, son of Joseph son of Jacob and his betrothed Mary, was born early yesterday morning in a stable-turned-lodging in the city, according to the stable’s owner and census officials who stopped there mid-morning today. The couple journeyed here from Nazareth in Galilee to comply with Caesar Augustus’ census.Still unconfirmed are rumors that heavenly beings appeared to shepherds in a field outside Bethlehem. No other witnesses to the event have been found, but several sheep were discovered unattended late last night and their shepherds eventually located in the vicinity of the stable. They claim to have been sent there by the angels.The baby is destined to become the Jewish savior, according to his father Joseph. The royal priests and prophets were unavailable for comment.It is also unknown whether the bright star first noticed at th…

Compendium of Links #21

I’m writing this on Friday, after a good week at work: I’ve been working on improving the articles I write and realized I’d made some progress! Now just to maintain that progress… but in the meantime, here’s some intriguing links from the week:How rich are you? Really? This data is why I have never, ever been able to take the Occupy movement seriously.Janie B. Cheaney over at WORLD Magazine ponders the effects of telling every large-scale story from the launchpad of a personal tale.Is it racism? Tell the story of Reconstruction-era blacks through the experience of one woman (Beloved). Is it capitalism? Sketch the sweep of the Russian revolution through the tempestuous relationship of a single couple (Reds). Multiculturalism? Show one of the most brutal battles of World War II from the perspective of two soldiers—on the other side (Letters from Iwo Jima). This is a valid approach: the inductive method of starting from a single example and drawing larger conclusions from it. But the pro…

The six-month school of small-town journalism

About halfway through November, I finished six months at my first job after college, and the first job in my field. Here’s what my first six months of news reporting taught me:1. Sunshine laws. There are lots of things government entities can’t do in their meetings… for instance, they can’t hold impromptu meetings, except if a dire situation demands it and only then after notifying all the local media. And any quorum of a government body in the same place, discussing business, constitutes a meeting—so elected officials can’t get out of this by getting together for morning coffee and accidentally talking about what-have-you. There’s a whole book on the open meeting and public records laws—and the state will send it to you free, if you want to learn about them.2. Local government operations. I had no idea before I took this job how many branches there were of just a small city government—how many subcommittees a city council has, for instance. I’d only been to a couple city council meet…

I just can’t wait…

Tim Challies had this on his blog this morning. Oh my goodness, it’s the funniest video I’ve seen yet this winter. Yes, yes, I’m looking for a Mormon disco ball. The joke’s on me more than it’s on you.

What 50,015 words taught me

Last month, I learned I can write 2,000 words of fiction in an hour and a half if I don’t think too hard. It’s not good fiction, but it’s grammatically correct.I also learned that if I quit watching movies, reading novels and surfing the Internet, I can write a 50,000-word novella in one month, start to finish.This year I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, for the second time in my life. It comes every November and the goal is to write 50,000 words in one month just for the sake of writing. The first time I participated, I was a sophomore in college with nothing better to do besides watch YouTube videos. This time, I had an apartment and a full-time job. I even had to cook for myself. Was this really a good idea?So I made a bargain. If I could manage it, great. If I started to get overwhelmed, if I lost sleep or if my concentration at work started to suffer, I would give it up immediately without the guilt of quitting.But I hate to quit.I’m just about convince…

Top ten reasons Thanksgiving is better than Christmas

10. If you’re born on Thanksgiving, you don’t have to suffer sharing your birthday with a major holiday every single year, world without end, Amen.9. You can celebrate in October and nobody looks at you funny. Or if people do, you can tell them you’re Canadian. Visiting family overseas gets so much simpler.8. It’s more fun to whoop like an Indian for the class play than to pretend you’re scared of a short angel in the Christmas pageant.7. Sometimes it’s actually warmer than 45 degrees on Thanksgiving. On Christmas, the best you can hope for is snow to go along with the freezing temperature.6. It’s always a Thursday, so you’re practically guaranteed a five-day weekend. This year, Christmas is on a Sunday. Try figuring out your holiday then!5. The point of the holiday isn’t lost in the commercials.4. TURKEY STUFFING. Even better than hot cider.3. Nobody’s afraid to tell me to have a happy one.2. No gifts = no gift drama.1. People all over the country stop to thank their family, their fr…

Compendium of Links #20

Unfortunately my mom’s van died this evening as she was driving home from my little town’s Christmas celebrations. As she was driving. So, she pulled into the parking lot of a township garage and called me for a ride the rest of the way home. I figured that, since I’m back at my parents’ house anyway, I’d take advantage of the wi-fi there!Tim Challies wrote a loooong blog post about how to go about reading Scripture for a congregation, be it a congregation of five or fifty thousand. He’s got a lot of good stuff to say. One of my pet peeves is hearing Scripture read without any inflection.Challies also put me onto this article about how modern church growth strategies (ones based on sentimentality and pragmatism) flies in the face of the Gospel’s true call to churches.Sentimentality and pragmatism are the one-two punch which has the American Church on the ropes, while a generation of church leaders acquiesces to the demands of our consumer culture. The demands are simple: tell me somet…