Weekly Meanderings 18 January 2014

Kristin answers why she permits her teenage daughter to pierce her nose.

“Why on earth did you let your eighth grade daughter get her nose pierced?!?”

To be fair, no one has actually asked me that nosy question (pun intended), but I can hear it resonating in their minds, bouncing around until it leaks out in polite ways—an unintentional double-take, a purse of the lips, the rise of an eyebrow.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to be someone who doesn’t imagine what others are thinking but not saying. And maybe, even if you do imagine it, you don’t waste time preparing a defense.

I, however, am not so lucky. I regularly have these imaginary dialogues in my head. Usually I keep them to myself, but I’ve decided this particular dialogue has broader merit in the realms of parenting, judging, and self-expression. So I’m going to present the hypothetical question, followed by a variety of answers I’ve silently composed since my daughter got her nose pierced a couple weeks ago. (That is not a photo of her, in case you’re wondering.)

Tony Campolo to slow down t0 200 speaking events in 2014!

(RNS) Tony Campolo, a progressive evangelical leader who counseled President Bill Clinton through the Monica Lewinsky scandal, announced Tuesday (Jan. 14) that the organization he founded nearly 40 years ago will close on June 30.

Campolo, 78, plans to retire with the closure of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, but he will continue to write and speak, with nearly 200 engagements scheduled for 2014. He said his health is fine and he wants to write one more book on how Christianity fits with the social sciences.

By June, Campolo said he anticipates there will be about $300,000 left to distribute to the offshoot ministries started by the larger EAPE. The 22 ministries that were started under EAPE now operate independently and will continue, including Red Letter Christians, where Campolo plans to spend most of his time.

You have a cat? Do you love your cat this much?

And the irony is that if you follow this guy’s theology you’ll get the deeper blessings, which itself is another version of the prosperity gospel.

Interesting article on dream research:

Do they predict the future or simply rehash the past? By figuring out why we dream, researchers are hoping to nail down what the nightly cavalcade of images and events means.

Ever since Sigmund Freud published his controversial theories about the meaning of dreams in 1900, we have been fascinated with the jumble of experiences we seem to live through while we slumber. Freud was convinced that dreams represent some unfulfilled desires or hoped-for wishes, while later investigators saw a more pragmatic quality to them, as reflection of waking life. None of these theories, however, have had the benefit of much in the way of solid, objective data.

At least, until now. Two new developments in research — brain imaging and big data — may offer some stronger answers. More detailed and timely snapshots of the brain at work, combined with the information researchers amassed about dreams from experiments in sleep labs, is gradually peeling away the mystery of dreams, and revealing their meaning.

Photos of Berlin in 1945, after Hitler.

Why do some birds fly in a V-formation?

Flying birds often arrange themselves into a crisp, perfect V, so why not an S?

Now the first extreme close-up of birds flying in a V formation is providing some answers. Scientists have found that birds position themselves and time their wing beats so perfectly that, according to aerodynamic theory, they minimize their energy use. It’s a task that requires each bird to monitor subtle changes in its wing mates’ flight and alter its own path and stroke accordingly.

Amazing photographs.

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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