Those Dandy Selfies

We often think of the “selfie” (the practice of taking self-portraits and posting them to the Internet on social media like Facebook and Instagram) as a sort of postmodern phenomenon for teenagers. But over at the Paris Review blog, Tara Isabella Burton suggests that the origins of the selfie can be traced to nineteenth-century dandyism — [Read More...]

Facing Anxiety and Depression

In an in-class discussion with my students a few weeks ago, I was startled to discover that many, if not most of them had been prescribed medication (often short-term) for anxiety or depression, or both. It seems it’s common now. We had a fruitful discussion about whether we were prescribing medication more, or whether there [Read More...]

What Happy People Do

I know happiness itself is a much-debated topic in Christian circles (should we seek happiness or joy? and so on). But I did find this article on “seven habits of incredibly happy people” very interesting: 5. Embrace Discomfort for Mastery Happy people generally have something known as a “signature strength” — At least one thing [Read More...]

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Writers are, apparently, the worst procrastinators, though they’re hardly the only ones. Procrastination is a widespread practice. (You’ve probably already procrastinated today.) Megan McArdle is looking at the surprising psychological reasons for procrastination at The Atlantic, through the lens of writers: This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on [Read More...]

Reading Alone, Together

I love Goodreads. I’ve been using the site for years – maybe five or more – to track my reading, which means I have lists of books I read, reviewed, studied, or taught that I can refer to easily. And I’ve used the site to find new books to read. Goodreads got even more successful [Read More...]

The Missing Ingredient At Work

This feels timely, for a Monday. Over at The High Calling, Leslie Leyland Fields reflects on the ingredient that can make all the difference at work: love. This is our winter work this year, building a house on a wilderness island in Alaska where no one has lived for 30 years. Now there are two. [Read More...]

Will You Pray For My Success?

Over at The High Calling, Jen Sandbuite asks a provocative question: why is it considered pride to ask for prayer that you’ll succeed in your work? I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am conditioned to “respond in prayer.”  Praying for the women in my online study seems natural.  I dream of a [Read More...]

What’s in a Village?

Here’s something interesting that I hadn’t thought about: the importance of villages, not just cities, to a culture. This comes up because China, apparently, is losing its villages at an exponential rate, as people move from farm to city – a loss of about 300 villages a day between 2000 and 2010: Why are villages so important? [Read More...]

Art for Free!

Calling educators, parents, and art-lovers: Getty Publication’s virtual library is making 250 virtual art books available for free online: The free collection includes titles from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. The collection includes books on Cezanne, Rubens & Brueghel, as well as titles on ancient metals [Read More...]

Gary Haugen Discusses ‘The Locust Effect’

Last week, Gary Haugen’s book The Locus Effect was released, and he did a half-hour interview with Gabe Lyons about the book. Haugen is the president of International Justice Mission, and his book explores why the end of poverty requires the end of everyday violence around the world. Interested in more? You can watch the video [Read More...]

Writing (And Other) Routines

I thought this blog post by Ben Sherman was really interesting. In it, he talks about bad writing routines – and good ones, too: There is a place I used to go in California that always seemed to be full of writers – students, professors, novelists, writers of screenplays and children’s books and humanitarian reports. [Read More...]

Practical Ideas for Church Leaders Encouraging Vocational Faithfulness

There’s a lot of talk about vocation these days. The church is waking up to the need to equip parishioners not just on Sundays, but throughout the week. But how can church leaders do this? That’s an ongoing discussion over at The High Calling, and Amy Sherman offers some very practical ideas: It’s critical for [Read More...]

Fair Trade . . . Sports?

The Superbowl is over, but sports keep going forever. And Zach Smith published an interesting piece over at QIdeas about “fair trade sports”: There has been tension in the relationship between sports and the Church for about as long as the Church can claim a formal existence. The early fathers of the Church were no [Read More...]

Documentaries and St. Augustine

I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but there were quite a few good ones released in 2013. Over at Christianity Today, Asher Gelzer-Govatos made the surprising connection between those docs and St. Augustine: Plenty of good documentaries are made in this style: it dominates the genre. But 2013 yielded a number of documentaries which push [Read More...]

Some Thoughts on Philip Seymour Hoffman

The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died this weekend of an apparent drug overdose – a tragedy, for anyone who saw any of his performances (I can’t list them all off, but some of his more spiritually-themed films included Magnolia and Doubt, and he most recently was in the second Hunger Games film as Plutarch Heavensbee). He may [Read More...]

The Allure of the Map

I remember that the copy of Winnie-the-Pooh I used to check out of the library when I was a child had maps in the front and back of the book, and I used to pore over them, intrigued by the placement of the Hundred Acre Wood among all the other locations. My brother was similarly fascinated by [Read More...]


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