Weekly Meanderings, June 22, 2013

American Founders, their writings online.

Does reading make you a better person? Yes and No. “A battle over books has erupted recently on the pages of The New York Timesand Time. The opening salvo was Gregory Currie’s essay, “Does Great Literature Make Us Better?” which asserts that the widely held belief that reading makes us more moral has little support. In response, Annie Murphy Paul weighed in with “Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer.” Her argument is that “deep reading,” the kind of reading great literature requires, is a distinctive cognitive activity that contributes to our ability to empathize with others; it therefore can, in fact, makes us “smarter and nicer,” among other things. Yet these essays aren’t so much coming to different conclusions as considering different questions.”

Mariano Rivera, first class: “OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Posing as a pizza delivery man, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera surprised longtime Athletics employee Julie Vasconcellos by visiting her in the mail room where she has worked going on 25 years. Rivera carried in a pizza box Wednesday night and brought Vasconcellos to tears as he thanked her for 2 1/2 decades of hard work behind the scenes.”

Ladies, before you put on those high heels the next time… check this out.

Roger Olson’s fine lecture on Christian education: “From a pietist perspective, the main purpose of Christian higher education is the shaping of Christian character, helping students become “whole and holy persons.” Such transformation requires life-transforming encounters with God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Without setting aside critical inquiry or generous orthodoxy, it focuses on orthopathy and orthopraxy. The ultimate goal or telos of such Christian higher education is not mere knowledge or skill but character.”

Educated or born rich, which is better off? “So, you are 2.5x more likely to be a rich adult if you were born rich and never bothered to go to college than if you were born poor and, against all odds, went to college and graduated. The disparity in the outcomes of rich and poor kids persists, not only when you control for college attainment, but even when you compare non-degreed rich kids to degreed poor kids! Therefore, the answer to the question in the title is that you are better off being born rich regardless of whether you go to college than if you are born poor and do go to college.”

I don’t know but this sounds hokey to me: “New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told people for years that he gave Russian president Vladimir Putin one of his Super Bowl rings, but according to a report from the New York Post, Putin actually stole the $25,000 ring. Kraft explained the incident to those in attendance at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala, saying, “I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

Stephen Spielberg says the movie industry could implode: “Many movie fans consider director Steven Spielberg a visionary – but his most recent vision is one of doom for the movie industry. During remarks at the University of Southern California Wednesday, Spielberg predicted the “implosion” of the film industry, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Things could get so bad, according to Spielberg, that “you’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next ‘Iron Man,’ you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see ‘Lincoln.’ “He said the changes could come after several high-budget, high-profile film flops force the industry to be altered. “That’s the big danger, and there’s eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown,” Spielberg said. “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.”

A graphic, image-based history of classrooms.

Research on introverts and extroverts, showing extroverts connect satsifaction with experiences in a place: “Extroverts and introverts differ strongly in how their brains process rewarding experiences, new research suggests. The study, published today (June 13) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found thatextroverts are more likely to associate the rush of a feel-good brain chemical with the environment they are in at the time. The findings could help explain why extroverts seek the high of a wild party, whereas introverts may prefer a quiet cup of tea at home….  Extroverts and introverts differ strongly in how their brains process rewarding experiences, new research suggests. The study, published today (June 13) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found thatextroverts are more likely to associate the rush of a feel-good brain chemical with theenvironment they are in at the time. The findings could help explain why extroverts seek the high of a wild party, whereas introverts may prefer a quiet cup of tea at home.”

Seven easy-to-misspell words.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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