Weekly Meanderings

I am in Atlanta at the Annual Meeting of SBL. I will be giving a paper on the theology of the KJV New Testament translation, and the picture to the right is the title page (of the KJV, not my paper!). The KJV will be 400 years old in 2011.

Why I love church … by Fr Rob. Speaking of church, are you interested in kids ministries? (HT: HZ) More speaking of church, check this out with Dan Kimball and Deb Hirsch.

Rejoicing with April and Brian.

Andy Rowell gives advice on giving advice, and it’s wise. Whitney Jones on forgiveness: desired, choosy, difficult.

Patrick‘s taking some hits for me in Ireland. Thanks brother. And JR Briggs pondering how songs can get inside and transform.

You scientists, check this out. Wowzers. What does it mean? (HT: JT) Speaking of science and nature, Derek begins a series on CS Lewis and miracles.

Nobody but Karen can get by with this much snark: “If Mama Palin can manage to keep the Freshman 20 off and keep up the botox injections she might be in the limelight for the next six years. The American public will tolerate a lot of things – stupidity for one and loose jowls for another – but the one thing that sure as shooting will keep Hollywood from calling and Americans from electing a woman president is a big arse.” [By the way, Karen’s post is a commentary on the American public, not Sarah Palin.]

A quick sketch of the Church Calendar.

A quick sketch of where Illinois fits.

Mark Roberts on the deity of Christ.

Meanderings in the News

1. Ruby! “It’s that continuing inequity that spurred Bridges to pursue educational activism. She travels around the country giving talks at schools and now, as her hometown of New Orleans tries to build an education system better than the one it lost after Hurricane Katrina, she’s turning her attention local. “

2. Emily Pilloton and Bring back shop class! “In short, we believed we could bring back shop class, infuse it with design thinking, and build real community progress in a struggling rural place like Bertie County. Bertie has a total population of 20,000, with 27 people per square mile; one-third of the children live in poverty; and 95 percent of all public school students receive a free or reduced-rate lunch.”

3. Cell phone health dangers: “The 737 minutes that we talk on cellphones monthly, on average, according to the C.T.I.A., makes today’s typical user indistinguishable from the heavy user of 10 years ago. Ms. Davis recommends keeping a phone out of close proximity to the head or body, by using wired headsets or the phone’s speaker. Children should text rather than call, she said, and pregnant women should keep phones away from the abdomen. The F.C.C. concurs about the best way to avoid exposure. It is not by choosing a phone with a marginally lower SAR, it says, but rather by holding the cellphone “away from the head or body.”

4. Louise Knight, Jane Addams and a review by Ruth Graham: “It takes nothing away from Addams’ progressive bona fides to conclude that her views on peace, poverty and womanhood weren’t as tidy as we assume today. But maybe that makes her all the more a modern kind of saint. As she once told a “rough-looking” heckler during a speech in Chicago, “while I did not intend to be subsidized by millionaires, neither did I propose to be bullied by workingmen.” That would be a fine motto for independents everywhere.”

5. David Clark Scott: “Are night owls really more intelligent than morning larks? Does it matter? London School of Economics researcher Satoshi Kanazawa says that folks who stay up late have higher IQs than people who start their day early He also suggests that this is a relatively new phenomenon in the span of human history. Nocturnal activity was a dangerous thing prior to the advent of fire. He says today’s night owls are defying ancestral-genetic tendencies, according to his article in Psychology Today. Kanazawa is also writing a book, scheduled to be published next year, titled: “Escaping Biology: Why Intelligent People Do Unnatural Things.”

6. Robert Sapolsky: “What are we to make of the brain processing literal and metaphorical versions of a concept in the same brain region? Or that our neural circuitry doesn’t cleanly differentiate between the real and the symbolic? What are the consequences of the fact that evolution is a tinkerer and not an inventor, and has duct-taped metaphors and symbols to whichever pre-existing brain areas provided the closest fit?”

7. They earn it, they deserve it, they can have it.

8. We’re living longer: Saletan at Slate with some good graphs: “Like everybody before you, you’re going to die. But thanks to modern medicine and health practices, you’ll probably live much longer than your ancestors did. On average, at age 50, you have more years of life ahead of you than your great-grandparents had at age 40. Not just more years of decline, but more years of health. And these changes in life and health expectancy aren’t just happening in rich countries. They’re transforming the world.”

9. I don’t get the hullabaloo about the body scanning machines at the airport. That’s all I have to say about it.

10. Sad divulgences: “WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.”

Meanderings in Sports

Bears win, that’s incredible. Beat the Vikings, even more incredible.

NCAA basketball begins anew. Yah, baby!

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  • rjs

    NCAA Basketball – here’s the team to follow (UWGB)

    (So far they’ve beaten both Minnesota and Wisconsin)

  • rjs

    On “You Scientists Check This Out” – very nice graphic, qualitatively accurate. Don’t take the numbers too seriously, they are quantitatively off in areas of my expertise (although the orders of magnitude are correct).

  • Susan N.

    Quickly skimming links this Saturday, but the 4 that grabbed me:

    Dan Kimball & Deb Hirsch — still not sure what I think about this. This response seems to be a step in the right direction (at least compassion is involved!). But I’m still on the fence about my “responsibility” to confront the sin of H.S., albeit lovingly. I make judgments about people every day, I won’t try to spin myself any prettier than I really am. But, I am honestly reluctant to justify that as “right” Christian behavior?

    Andy Rowell — advice. Sigh… Sometimes I need to hear another perspective, hopefully coming from someone with a wiser “take” on the situation I’m in. I may not follow the advice I get, but I always consider it — especially when I have asked for it. 🙂 Unsolicited advice is a bigger problem. Giving advice to others, even when they have asked for it, is always a risk. I try to avoid throwing out pat, easy answers to life’s most perplexing problems, because I hate getting that kind of advice myself!

    Whitney Jones — on forgiveness: Heavy. Hard. Forgetting is more difficult. Getting past the pain and hurt and confusion of a betrayal, and trusting again is the real challenge. Forgiving is something one can do alone and apart from the offending party; reconciliation and trust can only happen when mutual commitment and respect are involved.

    Karen on Mama Palin — my favorite. I so needed the lighthearted humor and wit of this post today. Thank you! The comments were revealing. That’s all I’m going to say about that. (Except, you go, Karen!)

  • Debbie

    Saturday morning would not be complete without Weekly Meanderings. Thank you!

  • Daniel

    I wonder if there might be a post in our future about the theology of the KJV translation. It would be nice to have some serious academic interaction instead of politics and church problems so much.

    Too funny on how Sarah Palin evokes such a response out of some people – even when she’s not doing anything. I guess that’s what the “Bush-derangement syndrome” has morphed into.

  • Gloria

    Wow. The anger and sarcasm in the Sarah Palin piece are potent. That sort of writing turns me off.

  • RJS,

    Keep your specifics and quantitative results to yourself. We biologists like our yes/no questions… 🙂

  • DRT

    I have great appreciation for Sarah Palin’s ability to do what she is doing. It is quite sad that people like Gloria and kevin can actually think there is a shred of competence in being a Chief Executive in Sarah. Gloria, it seems to me that Karen is rightfully flabbergasted by america’s support for Sarah. It is appropriate to point out the idiocy of it.

  • Gloria

    If you read my words more carefully, I said nothing about my views on Sarah Palin. I pointed out that the sarcasm in the post is potent and I dislike that kind of writing. If the writer would have done the same with Obama, my opinion of that kind of writing would be the same. A little bit of sarcasm for me goes a long way. Sarcasm/satire is anger, and I don’t hear the words in that sort of writing well. Other people like it, that’s fine. Not me.

  • Christine

    In my work with children, we use Ruby’s story as it is such a powerful one. I’ve been in touch with her foundation as she will be coming to our neck of the woods, but the cost to book her for an assembly is sadly so out of reach for our cash-strapped schools, so we had to pass.

    I show the Norman Rockwell paining Scot posted of Ruby to my kids and then hold up a photo of Sasha Obama, surrounded by Secret Service, on her first day of school after her father was elected. It was Ruby who made the connection for me when she talked about how both little girls were surrounded by federal agents to protect them, but for vastly different reasons. How wonderful it must have been for Ruby to attend the Inauguration.

    Read Robert Coles’s writings on Ruby if you can. As a little girl, surrounded by hating adults screaming at her as she walked into school, she literally stopped and prayed for them.

    Sure wish we could bring her to my school as our children so much want to meet her.

  • Christine

    Tim #14, I agree with you. I’m disappointed that a link to Karen’s comments was even posted here. It’s beyond snarky and sarcastic. It’s one low shot after another, and nope, I’m not even remotely a Palin fan.

  • Christine

    Scot, respectfully I disagree. Sure Karen’s comments are about the American public, but how could you miss all the negatives about Sarah Palin. Of course it’s a commentary on Palin – it’s one negative swipe after another.

  • DRT

    OK Gloria, thanks. I am trying to be more sensitive myself….and it has its ups and downs. It appears that there is a wide range of sensitivity in people…

  • DRT

    Scot asks, “What does it mean?” Awesome vid, though I don’t think it actually helps people visualize the differences. It means that the universe is different from what most people perceive (big and small), we live in a protected and isolated space.

  • I am disappointed that you even chose to post Karen’s thoughts about Palin. I am not a Palin fan, but your choice in what is worthy to post here indicates that filter nees some retuning. If Palin was a candidate for ordination, I am guessing this post wouldn’t make it.

  • rjs


    I couldn’t resist (5 pm = 0.05 A is gamma ray not an x-ray, x rays are 10 pm (.1 A) to 10 nm (100 A) roughly; 300 nm is definitely not visible light, your eye cuts out 390-400 nm below this is ultraviolet (your eye stops being able to focus well more like 450 nm)…)

    Qualitatively excellent. Quantitatively could have used a little double checking.

  • EricW

    Re: the scale of the universe page, check out the short 9-minute film “Powers of Ten” by Charles & Ray Eames. It’s available on DVD, or here on YouTube:


  • Christine

    Weird . . . looks like several posts disappeared including the one to which I responded . . .

  • Daniel

    Christine@ 18, if you’d clean up your language …

    I’m only kidding. 😉

  • Christine

    Ha ha, Daniel, but it wasn’t MY posts that disappeared! 🙂