Weekly Meanderings, 19 July 2014

Weekly Meanderings, 19 July 2014 July 19, 2014

Our week in Oxford included a number of connections to CS Lewis, including a fine talk by Alister McGrath who quoted (as he is wont to do) Lewis a number of times. But the highlight was a stroll Kris and I took on the grounds of Magdalen College on Addison’s trail, where Tolkien and Dyson convinced Lewis of the truth of Christianity.

Cody C. Delistraty, on the importance of eating together:

Sadly, Americans rarely eat together anymore. In fact, the average American eats one in every five meals in her car, one in four Americans eats at least onefast food meal every single day, and the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week. It’s a pity that so many Americans are missing out on what could be meaningful time with their loved ones, but it’s even more than that. Not eating together also has quantifiably negative effects both physically and psychologically.

Just in case you want to know how a full-time blogger works, Brett at The Art of Manliness illustrates how it is done. Here’s a clip:

Monday – Friday: 12PM – 6:00 PM; 9:30PM – 11PM

Since we work from home and for ourselves, we have the luxury of not working a standard 9-5 shift. When we thought about our family and our own desires, these unusual hours worked the best for us.

I wake up around 7 am. Mornings are for spending time with the kiddos, taking care of errands and chores, and going to the gym (one hour, 5X a week). At 12PM Gus and Scout get dropped off at Nana’s house, who lives just down the street from us.

My workday starts off with a quick daily meeting with Kate. We go over the editorial calendar, discuss the emails sitting in our various inboxes, discuss any open loops, and then get to work, generally within 15-20 minutes. I try to do most of my creative work first thing during the workday. About an hour before it’s time to knock off and pick-up the kids, I’ll answer email and take care of what we call around here “doodads.” After the kids go to bed, the “nightshift” begins and I’ll tackle a few more doodads before doing some reading and hitting the hay at about 11:30. (I’ll then usually wake up 1-2 times during the night, depending on Scout’s whims for the evening, who is still working on getting her sleeping-through-the-night act together. Come on baby! Get it together!).

Fridays are set aside for phone calls and podcast interviews for me, and for writing and researching for the rest of our team. We try not to publish anything too intense on Fridays, besides the weekly Huckberry giveaway and a video.

A splendid meandering through the publishing industry in the last four decades by Phil Yancey:

Frankly, I’m glad I’m as old as I am. It’s been fun living through publishing’s golden age. I’ll happily stick with the “deep reading” experience. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than browsing through the books in my office. They’re my friends—marked up, dog-eared, highlighted, a kind of spiritual and intellectual journal—in a way that my Kindle reader will never be.

Teens and their cell phones, and the family:

(CNN) — Ever feel like you’re losing the cell phone battle with your teenager? I did, too. But I’m about to share a genius move with you that will help you win it again.

When we first gave our daughters (now 13 and 15) cell phones for “emergencies,” we made them sign a contract, monitored every text and restricted where and when they could use their phones. In less than a year, we lost control of the situation.

There is the search activity for starters, and then the Snapchat stories, Vines, Instagram posts, Facebook messages, Ask.fm questions and Twitter feeds. There is the stunning reality that the average teen sends between 50 to 100 texts a day — some as many as 300 — and 70% of themadmit hiding their online behavior from parents.

Add to this that 84% of teenagers sleep with, next to or on top of their cell phones, according to a Pew Research Internet Study, and we get into the realm of health concerns. We may not be able to monitor our kids every online move, but this we could do something about. And here comes the genius move:

We recently adopted a “check in at tuck in” rule at our house, an idea I stole from a parenting expert. It is simple, and you must try it. At bedtime, when you “tuck in” your kids for the night, they must “check in” their phone for charging with you.

Joe Boyd, here’s a good one:

Then the strangest thing happened. At the age of 38, I had worked as the Teaching Pastor at two of the largest churches in the country and I had, indeed, planted my own church just as planned. Then at the time my “ministry career” should have come into its own, I elected to leave church work to enter the marketplace. 25 months ago I stepped down as a pastor to launch Rebel Pilgrim Productions, a full service film, TV, web media and stage production company. (It’s a long story as to how I got here.)


And guess what I’ve learned? The marketplace needs the Church. I don’t mean that in some sort of spiritual or salvific way. I mean it in a business sense. For as much as the business world has to teach the church, the church has to teach the marketplace. Over the next several weeks I will write about the lessons I learned within vocational ministry that have served me as an entrepreneur. For the purposes of this introduction to the topic, let’s just lead with what may be most obvious – mission.

Women and science, brought home to me again this week in Oxford at the BioLogos event where one of the lead scientists is RJS:

How do we get more women involved in science? This is an important and complex topic, but to some, it seems like an unnecessary question. They point to equal treatment under law and policies against discrimination. The opportunities are there, it’s just up to women to take them!

Or maybe they won’t, because as Mary Kenny recently wrote in The Telegraph, perhaps “females as a whole, are not hugely engaged by science.”

One would hope that Kenny obtained some decent data to support such a claim. But, unfortunately, she didn’t offer data worth supporting. Citing a single psychologist, Dr. Gijsbert Stoet, who (a) she never directly spoke to and (b) has distanced himself from the article, Kenny asserted a hodgepodge of strange proclamations on women’s affinities that tend to sway them away from “boring” science….

Others were equally unimpressed by the article.

Dr. Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist at Melbourne University and has written for SlateTime, and elsewhere. She told me, “Gender-based socialization, and messages LIKE THIS ARTICLE [her emphasis] that tell girls that science is an unnatural thing for them to do, are incredibly pervasive in our culture. If you want to discuss inherent differences between men’s and women’s brains, first remove all stereotypes, discrimination (subtle or explicit), biased parental expectations, media messages, pressure from teachers, and long-standing gender-based cultural norms, and then tell me about whatever differences you can find, if any.”

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