Saturday, March 29, 2014

Compendium of Links #56

I'm such a baby when I get sick. All I have the energy to do is sit on the couch and read... if that. All I've got is a bad cold, and I slept till 11 a.m. today. I blame it on my sister. :P

A Japanese architect won an architecture prize for his beautiful temporary structures built in the wake of major disasters. Check out the photos of the buildings made of cardboard... paper... you name it! (HT: A cousin)

An addicting math-y game featuring Doctor Who! It's called 2048... I think because 2048=2^11 and there are 11 Doctors. So far I've only been able to get to the seventh doctor, I think.

A really neat GIF shows the progression of history through the borders of U.S. colonies, territories and states!

Tim Challies shares 8 ways to get more done this week -- very commonsense stuff but often overlooked or pushed aside! (I'm talking to myself here. :P )

Jon Acuff finally distinguishes between "haters" and sincere disagreement.

A quiz from Pew Research: How millennial are you? I got a score of 65, pretty close to the average millennial score. The spectrum also marks the general scores of Gen-Xers, Boomers and the Silent Generation.

How to make your own pop -- carbonation included! It takes a bit of experimenting to get it so it doesn't taste too bitter. I'd add a lime for flavor, too.

If you've seen the movie "Frozen" (which I recommend, by the way), you'll probably get a kick out of this parody.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Compendium of Links #55: Good advice edition

I took my Amiguita (my Little in Big Brothers/Big Sisters) to the YMCA pool today, but had the morning all to myself to get some chores done and take care of other fun things. Like blogging!

The Art of Manliness sounds off about what it means to pay attention and remain focused. Pretty good advice, too.

Speaking of my Amiguita, here's a list from of 20 ways to mentor in your 20's. This business about "finding yourself" and such isn't what life is all about. It's about finding God, and investing in others is part of that. You're never "too young" to start (unless you're, say,  9 months old).

A friend of mine is battling sterility and trying to have children. A blog she wrote a few months ago is a piercing insight into what she feels when she's surrounded by women with cuddly little ones, and how she must remain tenderhearted toward their joys.
Watching someone else live the life you thought you’d have is painful. You can easily become discouraged and even resentful. It doesn’t necessarily matter if the person or people living how you thought you would are deserving (which is arbitrary anyways because what we deserve, we don’t want!) or not, it can still feel like stinging reminder that something feels off.

The NSA had an advice columnist. Seriously! Apparently she went by the pseudonym "Zelda."

And for your entertaining video... a widely known pop-dance tune played... in a very country style!

First bike ride of the season

Yesterday I took my first bike ride of the year. Just a short one -- 3.5 miles was all I had time for -- but it was blissful to be back out on two wheels, taking in the fresh air and the gorgeous scenery in the setting sun!

This year I'm going to try to ride at least 6 miles on days when the weather is decent. And by decent, I mean at least 50 degrees out and not raining. There's a thoroughly shaded pathway I can take if it gets above, say, 85 degrees out -- in fact, you can see the general area of it in this photo (it's the part directly ahead with all the trees). Not the best when it's impeding snow melt, but great if you're trying not to dehydrate in summer.

Monday, March 03, 2014

A.W. Tozer on the necessity of creed

AMONG CERTAIN CHRISTIANS it has become quite the fashion to cry down creed and cry up experience as the only true test of Christianity. The expression “Not creed, but Christ” (taken, I believe, from a poem by John Oxenham) has been widely accepted as the very voice of truth and given a place alongside of the writings of prophets and apostles.

When I first heard the words they sounded good. One got from them the idea that the advocates of the no-creed creed had found a precious secret that the rest of us had missed; that they had managed to cut right through the verbiage of historic Christianity and come direct to Christ without bothering about doctrine. And the words appeared to honor our Lord more perfectly by focusing attention upon Him alone and not upon mere words. But is this true? I think not. ...

While we may worship (and thousands of Christians do) without the use of any formal creed, it is impossible to worship acceptably without some knowledge of the One we seek to worship. And that knowledge is our creed whether it is ever formalized or not. It is not enough to say that we may have a mystical or numinous experience of God without any doctrinal knowledge and that is sufficient. No, it is not sufficient. We must worship in truth as well as in spirit; and truth can be stated and when it is stated it becomes creed.

-- from "How Important is Creed?", That Incredible Christian by A.W. Tozer

My own two cents: That essay was published in the early 1960s. And it still seems like I run into lots of professing Christians who carry a disdain for theology, preferring ... I don't know what in its stead.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Compendium of Links #54

I woke up at 7 a.m. to shovel new-fallen snow off my driveway before heading to church for praise band practice. That's a good hour or two before my normal wake-up time. I think a traditional Sunday afternoon nap is in order!

But before I get to that, here's this week's Compedium of interesting stuff I found on the Internet. It's kind of like the questionable trinkets children come home with. "Mom! Look what I found!"

Ham on Nye: The high cost of winning an evolution/creation debate - A really interesting, long take on the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, published on the Ars Technica website. The reporter appears to have done excellent research.

Courtdate: A generation of courtship culture on trial - Benefits and unseen consequences of the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" culture, and how one may right the imbalances.

If men got the Titus 2 treatment - A hilarious reminder from Rachel Held Evans that we oughta be careful to exercise good hermeneutics when we're trying to make rules out of what the Bible says!

"I am still called by the God I serve to walk this out" - Lucia McBath's teenage son was shot and killed in an altercation over loud music. An Atlantic editor interviewed her recently, and the resulting article speaks volumes about forgiveness amid overwhelming pain. More of the quote that gives the article its title: "Forgiving Michael Dunn doesn't negate what I’m feeling and my anger. And I am allowed to feel that way. But more than that I have a responsibility to God to walk the path He's laid."

If you think you're anonymous online, think again - NPR talks with an author who says, basically, that in order to remain anonymous in the Internet age you'd pretty much have to live in a hut in the Yukon. Data is the currency of the decade.

What happens when placeholder text doesn't get replaced - Placeholder text, often starting with "Lorem ipsum...", is the gibberish that designers use as pretend-text when they're trying to see how a design would look when they're in the drafting stage. And... sometimes... they forget to make it real text. The results are hilarious.

Ask Dr. Boli - "The 'poem' your English teacher desires you to write, however, is a prose composition hacked into short lines. You will often find that what you are taught in school is the exact opposite of reality, but as you grow older you learn to adapt to it instinctively." Dryly amusing pseudo-advice on writing a poem for school!

For your video entertainment today, David Tennant talks about being the Doctor and his first three cars. Also how he picked his stage name (his real name's David MacDonald apparently!).

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Road trip to St. Louis

Since I moved to Indiana, I've been overwhelmed with the realization that I'm so much closer than I've ever been before to certain major national landmarks.

Like Chicago. When I realized Chicago was now within reach of a day trip -- not a 7-hour drive away or more -- it was a revelation, and I promptly convinced a friend to accompany me on just such a trip to see the city. I may or may not have gotten overly excited about a Bean.

Another friend of mine was interviewing at a university in St. Louis this week and invited me to visit her while she was there. I then realized that the city was a feasible weekend trip away -- again, not the daunting drive it's heretofore been. And I could even swing by the Illinois Statehouse to make it a circle. What could be more fun?

Thus, I present: An album, because everybody needs a road trip once in a while.

(Check the album for more photos!)