Monday, December 31, 2007

"Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten."

The Anchoress excerpts a great New Year's homily:

[T]his January first, I would challenge you to make a different kind of resolution.

Resolve to learn something from the woman we honor today.

Resolve to dwell in possibility. Resolve to see every day, not just this one, as a fresh beginning. Resolve to welcome every blank page, every new start, with trust that God will see you through it -- and then reflect on it in your heart. Just like Mary did.

Read the rest here.

Happy families

A great post about what makes for a happy family at DarwinCatholic. Also, I laughed out loud when I came across this unexpected point about the Holy Family:

[I]f anything the Holy Family often seems too distant to be much of a practical exemplar. I mean, you've got one person who's sinless, one person who's God, and even the weakest link, Joseph, always seems able to do God's will without question.

Read the rest here.

Top Seven Health Myths

These are very interesting -- I thought that many of these were true.

Best books I read in 2007

Posted over at my other site.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

For those who feel down during the Christmas season...

This is some great advice:

Maybe you have loved one who is sick or maybe God has taken a loved one from you at this time of year which is supposed to be joyful and you wonder "how can I make myself sing, Joy to the World?"

Let me remind you that that first Christmas too, looked nothing like the pretty pictures we see on the Christmas cards. That first Christmas a haggard Joseph was probably in a panic looking for someplace to stay in Bethlehem, and Mary was probably worried, asking herself, "will my child be born in a barn?" The shepherds were the lowest of low, despised and outcast. They weren’t all clean and shiny when they visited the manger.

But God still came in the midst of all that.


Fr. McNeil continues with some practical advice for bringing the joy of Christ into your life this season. Read the whole thing.

Preparing for prayer

I thought this was a very helpful tip from Muslim blogger Tradicionalista. Until I read this I hadn't realized that I almost never bother to prepare myself for prayer...which may have something to do with my difficulty concentrating:

There was something described to me a couple of weeks ago called the 5 minute rule. It means that if you were thinking of something other than Allah(swt) for about 5 minutes before the prayer, then it is pretty much a guarantee that you'll be thinking about that thing during the prayer.

Read the rest here.

Accomplishments

I enjoyed reading this post from Susan at Aspiring Homemaker. After some hard house reorganization work she came to a great insight:

I have discovered an important thing about myself. Rest is not all that restorative for me...Sometimes I don't need a break, I just need an accomplishment. A mother's life is full of repetition and maintenance. There is joy to be found there, and much meat for reflection, but it can get wearying and sometimes I need a little shot in the arm of accomplishment.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homosexuality and choice

Courageman has some really interesting thoughts.

Making room at the inn: Why the modern world needs the needy

I will be thinking about this fascinating article by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse for a long time to come. She brings up a lot of interesting stuff, one of them being the current trend of creating impersonal, bureaucratic systems for care of the poor. An excellent read.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On silence

I thought this was a good point from Fr. Thomas Keating:

Silence is so much an aspect of the spirituality of the old and New Testament. Everything comes out of silence and returns to it. So it should be a part of education...It is through the practice of silence that we begin to become vulnerable to the true self and the supernatural organism we receive with grace and baptism...We think that even preschoolers should be introduced to silence.

Read some more interesting thoughts in this post at Stranger in a Strange Land.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A guide to the 12 Days of Christmas

I only recently learned that the 12 Days of Christmas begin on December 25th. I found Tertium Quid's guide interesting and helpful.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The 2007 Christmas Tour of Homes

What a cool idea: BooMama has a set of links to all sorts of bloggers who have posted pictures of their decorated homes to share (scroll way down for the list). Anyone who read the latest post on my other site won't be surprised to hear that I did not participate since I'd only have a picture of this one Santa snow globe to offer, but maybe next year!

When engineers put up Christmas trees

Funny.

12 of the best blog posts I read in 2007

Posted over at my other site.

Let's put a stop to this

Nicole has a much-needed reminder to follow through on the promises that so many of us made to keep our focus on what matters this season.

The beauty of a home

Abigail has a wonderful post about seeing the fruits that have come of her dedication to homemaking, and having a house full of kids. I can relate to so much of this, especially when she writes:

I grew up in a world where I always worried about being a "bother" as a child...When I committed to becoming open to life, I worried about "inflicting" too many needy grandchildren on my parents and too many messy nieces and nephews on my two siblings. I'm so please to witness first hand what grace, ease and wonder my children add to our family gatherings.

My thoughts exactly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Association of Catholic Computer Programmers

I can always appreciate a site for Catholic nerds. :)

via St. Joseph's Vanguard And Our Lady's Train

Cute video by a homeschooling family

This video to the tune of "The Adams Family" made me smile.

via St. Joseph's Vanguard And Our Lady's Train

Converting under pressure

An inspiring story of a Muslim woman who is exploring Christianity in an area where conversion can mean death. The fact that she started the conversion process after witnessing the actions of Christians is a good reminder that the way we live our lives doesn't unnoticed -- for better or worse.

Keeping vigil for two very different things

Kristin has a beautiful post about something she realized after visiting a dying family member on Black Friday.

An obligatory "cute animal video" link

A furry paper shredder.

It really is "a wonderful life"

Rod Bennett has a fascinating article about what happened when he stumbled across the movie It's a Wonderful Life as a teenager. If you've ever written it off as an overplayed, overly optimistic movie, you must read this. An excerpt:

I was...rather badly shaken up by this old film that everyone else seems to find so mild and safe. I had no way of knowing, in my simplicity, that It's A Wonderful Life is old-fashioned, sentimental, and preaches an easy, cheap optimism. It seemed to me a rather horrifyingly costly optimism: take up your cross—for whoever clings to his life will lose it, but whoever lays down his life will save it unto life eternal.

Read the whole thing.


via Relevant Radio

An unusual role model

Though the circumstances are less than ideal, I'm really impressed that Britney Spears' sister, a 16-year-old up-and-coming starlet, is going to have a baby. Especially that she stars in a TV show for teens, she undoubtedly felt a lot of pressure to quietly have it "taken care of".

The best Onion headline I've seen in a while

Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement

via Simcha

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flannery O'Connor on the Eucharist

I just found this over at You Are Cephas:

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mary McCarthy said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the 'most portable' person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.

-Flannery O'Connor

The first Advent in the convent

Intothedeep has a thoughtful reflection as she passes her first Advent since entering a Salesian convent.

"Why must children by considered a curse?"

Catherine at Catholic Stewardship has some good thoughts on the Grameen Bank (started by a Nobel Prize winner) which has the very laudable goal of giving loans to the poorest of the poor. She notes that one of the things loan recipients must agree to is "We shall plan to keep our families small."

It's getting harder to sue, especially for employees

Glance through the comments to this post (scroll down). They echo what some of my attorney friends frequently say, that in the quest to avoid frivolous lawsuits the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

The prosperity gospel in Guatemala

From the Wall Street Journal:

For a growing number of impoverished Guatemalans, it is a matter of faith: God doesn't want them to be poor.

In a traditionally Roman Catholic country with one of the highest poverty rates in the Western Hemisphere, a conversion is afoot -- nearly 20% of Guatemala's population is now Pentecostal, the highest proportion in Latin America. The growth of Pentecostalism has come about thanks in part to a new entrepreneurial ethos being preached from the pulpit known as "prosperity theology," reports Sara Miller Llana in the Christian Science Monitor.

The movement is more often associated with middle- and upper-class worshippers at some North American megachurches, but it has caught on at even the more traditional Pentecostal churches in Guatemala. Worshippers are told that being poor isn't a blessing, and at churches like Showers of Grace, a megachurch in Guatemala City, worshippers are offered business classes and are taught how to manage their money.

Monday, December 17, 2007

USMC Silent Drill Platoon - wow!

Their precision is amazing. Really cool.

The history of gingerbread

I thought this was interesting, and appropriate to this time of year. Check this out:

In 2000 B.C. wealthy Greek families sailed to the Isle of Rhodes to get spiced honey cakes.

Whenever I hear stuff like that I marvel once again at how amazing our local grocery stores are.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some amazing rollerblading

Wow! This girl is so graceful -- very impressive. (The video takes a while to get moving. She starts her routine at 1:30).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

All of the universe is one big miracle

I loved this post by Rabbi Avi Shafron. He writes:

There is no inherent difference between nature and what we call the miraculous. We simply use the former word "nature" for the miracles to which we are accustomed, and the latter one for those we have not before experienced.

via From Burke to Kirk

8 Ways to Let Adultitis Ruin Your Holidays

Kim and Jason have some great tips for how to lose your childlike wonder at Christmas, like "Remember, this year the success and happiness of everyone's Christmas depends on you" and "When decorating your home for the holidays...pay attention to the details. Everyone will notice things like mismatched garland." So true!

via Here and Now

Friday, December 14, 2007

Professor advocates for "baby tax"

"Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime."

"Grandpa, tell me how you and Grandma met..."

"Well, way back in 2007 your grandmother and I both went to a DNA-based dating service which promised it would use DNA to find a date with 'a natural odor you'll love, with whom you'd have healthier children and a more satisfying sex life.' And the rest is history!"

Problem #836 with our culture's view of children as lifestyle accessories

People are surprised when parenthood is challenging:

My husband and I had six blissful years together before Tony was born, years of intimate dinners and holidays with lots of strolling hand-in-hand down cobbled streets soaking up the culture of some delightful foreign city. [...]

[A]fter all those years of trying for a baby and finally achieving my goal, his arrival made me somehow unhappier than I had been before.

Humans evolving rapidly

Human evolution has been moving at breakneck speed in the past several thousand years, far from plodding along as some scientists had thought, researchers said on Monday...For example, Africans have new genes providing resistance to malaria. In Europeans, there is a gene that makes them better able to digest milk as adults. In Asians, there is a gene that makes ear wax more dry.
Interesting.

What did you do right in 2007?

That's what I asked readers on my other site. Reading through the responses is really inspiring.

One of those games you want to hate...

...But keep playing anyway. The best I could do was 4.1 seconds. Somebody please come over to my house and make me stop!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

If we do contact extraterrestrial life, what should we say?

It never occurred to me that this could result in furious debate, but it figures. Oddly amusing.

An abortion doctor speaks candidly to medical students

Here's an article with some highlights, and here's the actual video. I watched almost all of it. The lack of conscience is stunning. At one point he remarks:

There is a doctor in Kansas who does abortions to 26 weeks...so when we have a patient like that we send them to Kansas.

As an OB, he's undoubtedly delivered babies at 26 weeks and knows that they are viable. He also smiles later as he talks lightly about seeing women who have abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy because their boyfriends left, and refers to women who wait until 24 weeks to have abortions because it takes them a while to collect the money. Here's another standout quote:

When I worked in Mexico doing some research in fetal physiology, because in Mexico I could do things with pregnant women that I couldn't do in America...

It's also interesting that throughout the video he repeats multiple times that it doesn't bother him to do abortions and that he's proud of what he does. Methinks the doctor doth protest too much.

Outsourcing wombs

This article about India's booming "reproductive tourism" industry is like something out of a sci-fi novel:
Customer service, tech support...these days we outsource everything to India. So why not pregnancy? Here is a report on the growing number of Indian women willing to carry an American child.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words

I thought this article was interesting. The summary:

Mary's command to the servants at Cana -- "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn. 2:5) -- represents her last recorded words in the Bible. And they serve as much more than an exhortation to obedience. They echo the Old Testament spousal covenant of love between Yahweh, the divine Bridegroom, and Israel, His bride.

Read the rest.

On hope

Catholic Mom has a beautiful post about Advent and Pope Benedict's latest encyclical on hope. A great read.

Faith and trust

In my conversion from atheism, this has been my experience exactly. An excerpt:

Ever since my conversion, I found the same thing over and over again: that the illogical or unfair parts of the Christian Dogma I was being asked to accept on faith, upon closer inspection, turn out to say, not what the world told me the Church said, but something more like what natural reason and supernatural love would be likely to say.

Anger is not a morally neutral emotion

I can't wait to get this CD that Leila of Catholic Moms Matchmaking mentioned in the comments to this post. She writes:

I have been dealing with just this same issue in the past four days! A friend and mother of eight had recommended a $3 CD to me that she (and then I) bought at our parish gift shop. It's called Anger and Forgiveness and it's by a wonderful man I had never heard of before (but "coincidentally" came across yesterday again), Deacon Dr. Bob McDonald. He is a permanent deacon and an M.D./psychotherapist. This CD taught me things on anger that I had never known. In fact, it completely debunked the notion that I had been "preaching" for years, that "the emotion of anger is morally neutral." Wrong! Boy, was it a wake up call for both me and my husband!

I'm looking forward to listening to this.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?

A good homily here (14 min).

How Tolerant and Compassionate Was Jesus?

An interesting post at A Shepherd's Voice.

Blog of the Week: The Great Deception

I always love to read The Great Deception. Blogger Jenny always tells it like it is, writing posts that are entertaining, concise and sometimes funny about everything from chastity to contraception to faith to politics. I liked this one and this one about some of the widespread lies in our culture, and here she has a good idea for celebrating Advent. And what a great quote at the top of her homepage:

"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." - C. S. Lewis

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rehearsing the history of memories

I loved this quote about Advent and the Church year from Pope Benedict:

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

via Melanie's comment to this post

Recipes from top restaurants

A ton of recipes for things like Applebee's French Onion Soup or Outback Steakhouse's Coconut Shrimp. (PDF)

Great confession advice

Fr. Martin Fox shares some great insights on the practical benefits on confession.

via Danielle Bean

Should we teach our kids that Santa is real?

That's what a reader asked Danielle Bean. As usual, she has a very good, reasonable response.

Breastfeeding in public

Matthew at Catholic Dads had a good point from a while back that I've been meaning to highlight. He says to people who oppose breastfeeding in public:

If you would like my wife who is breastfeeding our baby to go to the bathroom so that our baby can eat, then why don't you have your wife or daughter with their low cut or midriff baring top join her with their meal? I could probably say the same thing about your son with his unkempt hair and shirt that has a phrase I don't want my eight year old to read.

I thought this was a great summary of how crazy our culture's ideas about what is and is not offensive are.

via Catholic Pillow Fight

The Human Experience

The guys who made that stunning Fishers of Men video have a new film coming out called The Human Experience. You can see the trailer here, which looks amazing.

via The Order of Preachers blog

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Making a board for answered prayers

I love this idea of creating a board to post mementos that remind you of prayers that have been answered.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Hallie, a Catholic convert who grew up in a non-religious family, reflects on Christmastime without God. As a person with a similar background, I found this to be especially moving. Here's an excerpt:

Each and every year I spent Christmas in tears. That is not an exaggeration. It became a running joke in the family. I remember it so clearly. I felt such sorrow each Christmas. I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t know why I felt this way but my heart hurt. Even just remembering it makes me a little sad. I now know why.

Read the rest.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Help of the Holy Innocents

Abigail shares a touching story of faith in the face of the culture of death after she and her husband found out that they are both carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene.

16 ways being disorganized costs you money

Some of these sound familiar.

What is Advent?

Readers at my other site offer some brief summaries of the meaning of the season.

We wait for his return

Veronica Mitchell has a beautiful post about Advent. I loved this part:

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, during which we remember the long years before Jesus’s birth, and we prepare for him to be born again. The Christian calendar is a way of remembering, not as nostalgia, but as a celebration of God’s faithfulness in his saving acts, which have made us his family. In celebrating the holy days of the calendar, we defy our own loneliness.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

A reflection on parenting

These are some really great, really true thoughts (scroll way down to the paragraph that begins with "All my babies are gone now.") Here's an excerpt:

What those [parenting] books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations and the older parents at cocktail parties -- what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay.

Worth reading that whole section.

The beauty of homemaking

Mrs. Alexandra of Home Living has a new site for homemakers. There's a lot of nice stuff on there that's worth perusing. I thought this excerpt from her Restoring the Culture of Home page was interesting:

There are no heated political arguments in [Jane Austen's] novels, neither any romantic adventures, no crimes or scenes of violence. Her novels are not of a kind which could be described as thrillers. And yet they are amazingly popular nowadays. Can the reason be that we as a society have lost something precious and now we are desperately longing for its return?

We seem to nearly have lost the culture of home. It is the description of this culture which makes Miss Austen's novels and their adaptations so irresistible to modern audience. In fact, we can learn a lot from them. Take, for instance the novel "Emma". There is the character of Mr Weston, which is a perfect illustration to my first point. He went into trade to make money and when he earned enough, he retired, though he was quite young and healthy. There is no mention in the novel that he ever regretted this decision. He evidently saw his market activity as a means to an end, and not an objective in itself.

Read the rest of this excerpt here, or check out the rest of the content here.

Church bulletin bloopers

I got a chuckle out of these.

16th-century paining shows angel with Down Syndrome

Interesting.

via Canterbury Tales

Shakespeare was Catholic?

Some thoughts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Merry Tossmas!



via Domestic Vocation

The comfort of a home

Ouiz has a sweet, inspiring post about how wonderful it is to come home to the warmth and smells of a home-cooked meal.

Blog of the Week: I have to sit down.

OK, I was going to link to Simcha yet again, so I decided that I should either just make this site automatically redirect to hers, to just highlight her whole blog as a Blog of the Week. So here it is, one of my favorite reads: I have to sit down. I especially liked her latest post (that also has some great comments) about how she's still not used it, even after seven kids.

Adoration online

I found this webcame of the Blessed Sacrament through this interesting article at The Deacon's Bench. Neat idea.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celebrities' real names

Now we know that it was Alphonso D’Abruzzo who starred on M.A.S.H. and that it was Lawrence Tero who pitied all those fools.

via DarwinCatholic

Christianity, the inconvenient religion

I loved this post from former atheist John C. Wright:

To those of you who think religion is a self-delusion based on wish-fulfillment, all I can remark is that this religion does not fulfill my wishes. My wishes, if we are being honest, would run to polygamy, self-righteousness, vengeance and violence: a Viking religion would suit me better, or maybe something along Aztec lines.

Read the whole thing (some good comments at the bottom as well).


via Claw of the Conciliator

Warning: extremely addictive word game

I really wish Simcha hadn't linked to this.

30 beautiful blog designs

Some design inspiration for bloggers.

via Daily Blog Tips

What does it mean to be a "consecrated virgin"?

Deacon Greg has the scoop.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The touching story of the only Arctic football team in America

Video and text here. I saw this on ESPN this weekend and thought it was such a neat story. Don't miss Part II.

The Washington Post on the Nashville Dominicans

Cool article about the growth of traditional religious orders.

via Mary's Aggies

Dispatches from the culture of death

A 27-year-old woman has an abortion and then sterilizes herself to help save the environment, and a former UN official likens pregnancy to slavery. Really troubling.

via Mary's Aggies

The Theology of the Body according to Simcha

Don't have time to read Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body? Just read this instead. It's shorter, and more hilarious.

"A sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency"

I'd seen this article before, but somehow missed the most thought-provoking part, which John C. Wright recently highlighted on his site:

The thinness of the new atheism is evident in its approach to our civilization, which until recently was religious to its core. To regret religion is, in fact, to regret our civilization and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy. And in my own view, the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.

Matthew Jarpe imagines what the future will be like if nothing comes along to solve our current environmental problems

Some interesting thoughts. But, most importantly, I have a rule that any post that references flying cars full of killer pirate robots automatically gets a link.


via John C. Wright

The baby who wouldn't die

A disturbing yet ultimately inspiring story about a baby who doctors tried to kill multiple times (to "end his suffering sooner rather than later") who is now a healthy child.

via John C. Wright

Muslims fill pews of newly reopened Iraqi Catholic church as show of support

An inspiring story.

via Bettnet.com

Friday, November 23, 2007

The breakdown of families - when have we seen this before?

Abigail comes across something interesting in her husband's history textbook:

In the twenty years after 1917, all aspects of Soviet society came under the purview of the [Communist] party. The atomization of society, a prime characteristic of totalitarian government, did not permit such secret and trustful groups as the family to exist at ease...By and large the government worked to weaken the importance of the family. Initially after the revolution, divorces required no court proceedings, abortions were legalized, women were encouraged to take jobs outside the home, and communist nurseries were set up to care for children while their mothers worked.

Read her thoughts on it here.

Getting started with international adoption

Some helpful tips from a mom who has adopted multiple children from Africa.

"Religious relativism is founded on philosophical relativism"

Some interesting thoughts from Pope Benedict XVI.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Neat quote

"I render infinite thanks to God, for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries."

- Galileo Galilei

The five best books about journeys of discovery

These all look great. (It's written by Dava Sobel, the author of one of my favorite books, Galileo's Daughter.)

The most unbelievable lawsuit ever

Warning: this is a really disturbing story about some slave traders in 1781. I usually avoid linking to depressing stuff, but I think this is worth pointing out since it's such a glaring example of evil at work. It's exactly the type of thing I was thinking of when I wrote about the devil being the "Father of Lies". People can do almost anything if they have a story to tell themselves about why it's not wrong.

Our Father in multiple languages

This is neat.

I think it's interesting that the Latin version seems to say "forgive us our debts" (though I'm no Latin scholar, so I may be misunderstanding that). The concept of having debt forgiven makes that part really hit home, probably because it offers a concrete visual: how amazing would it be if some credit card company to whom you owed a huge amount of money called and told you that you no longer needed to pay it, that it's been taken care of. That's sort of like what God has done for us.

WWII Monopoly games had real "Get Out of Jail Free" cards

From the Wall Street Journal:

The board game "Monopoly" served allied prisoners as a real-life tool to get out of jail during World War II, says Brian McMahon in Mental Floss, a magazine of farflung trivia.

In 1941, the British secret service asked the game's British licensee John Waddington Ltd. to add secret extras to some sets, which the Red Cross delivered to prisoners of war. These included a metal file, compass and silk maps of safe houses (silk, because it folds into small spaces and unfolds silently). Even better, real French, German and Italian currency was hidden under the game's fake money. Soldiers and pilots were told that if they were captured they should look out for the special editions, identified by a red dot in the game's "Free Parking" space.

Of the 35,000 prisoners of war who escaped German prison camps, "more than a few of those certainly owe their breakout to the classic board game," says Mr. McMahon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why pray?

This is a really, really good post. An excerpt:

In a society that is so preoccupied with feelings, many expect that prayer will result in feeling close to God. In fact, though, the great fruit of prayer is virtue. Putting ourselves into the presence of God opens us to the power of the Spirit that orders our priorities to see as Jesus sees and to desire what He desires...Prayer gives us the grace to move beyond preoccupation with self and, little by little, to put on the mind of Christ.

I love that concept of prayer as "putting on the mind of Christ". Read the whole thing.


via Kiwi Nomad's comment to this post

Challenge your children with greatness

I really liked this post. Here's an excerpt:

We do our children a disservice by expecting them to do their duty day in and day out without a worthy reason. On the other hand, saying, "I'll take you to Six Flags if you do all your schoolwork and don't complain for a whole week," is a demeaning motivator. For, essentially, in extending such a carrot, we are assuming the child can only care for the temporal and fleeting pleasures of life.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

What a touching story.

How can I know for sure that I'll go to heaven when I die?

Red Neck Woman has a good answer.

Mind over matter, and the Master of matter

Jessica, who just found out that she is pregnant with monoamniotic twins, writes a beautiful post about a lesson she learned when she broke both arms in Karate a few years ago.

A Catholic woman's experience with IVF

A very interesting post from Anne Marie about her experience with IVF before she returned to the Catholic Church:

I was never really quite comfortable with IVF although I could not put my finger on why. It began to come into focus as we sat in the doctor’s office and she pressured us to sign a form to allow for selective reduction. I wouldn't do it, but we told her we would think about it. I could not believe that a doctor who knew I had lost every one of my pregnancies would ask me to abort my children. I was stunned, and she would not do the IVF with out us signing the form.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beautiful quote about conversion

I came across this comment from Margaret on this post at MommyLife.

After years of discernment and prayer, I joined the Catholic Church in 2000. The best way I can describe my conversion experience is this:

It was as if I had entered a beautiful and mysterious palace with hundreds, thousands of rooms. I had heard strange things about the palace and was warned not to go in. But I had been given false information and rumors. I had to see the palace for myself. Each room was full of rich treasures and I was in awe of the beauty, majesty, wisdom and peace there. The palace was lovely all along; I just needed the veil lifted from my eyes to see it and the courage to go in.

If "24" took place in 1994

Very amusing, and very well done.

Sometimes kids understand things better than we do

A little boy calls a radio station distraught at the loss of a beloved animal, but has some great wisdom to share.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Better off dead?

An excellent post from Chelsea about the mentality that we should end others' lives to spare them suffering. An excerpt:

I too have been pointed out as someone whose quality of life has been diminished as a result of my injury and have actually been told by another individual that they would kill themselves if they were in my position. I don’t know a single person who would want to trade places with me. But but does that mean that I would be better off dead? And who is this man to decide whose life is a living hell?

Read the whole thing.

Bloglines Top 1,000 Feeds

I don't dare look too closely at this -- I already have too many sites to keep up with!

via ProBlogger

Blog of the Week: Purify Your Bride

I wanted to highlight Purify Your Bride as my next Blog of the Week because it never fails to get me thinking. The author always brings up really interesting topics and manages to address them concisely. His recent posts about miracles and that mysterious human love of truth (and how atheists try to explain it away) are some good examples.

Paying it forward

A very nice post from Antique Mommy.

via BooMama

Leaving comments about your neighbors

Interesting concept for a site. I suppose something like this was inevitable.

Zillow - cool maps of how much houses are worth

I think most people have already heard of Zillow, but I thought I'd pass it on just in case. I had fun checking to see what some old houses we'd lived in were worth.

[Not an ad, just a site I like.]

Getting along with difficult people

I really needed to read this today. Great points.

When they don't come home

Get your kleenex ready for this beautiful, bittersweet post about failed adoptions.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Faith, reason and science

This article makes some great points:

[Richard] Dawkins’ understanding of religious faith as an irrational commitment strikes the Catholic as strange. The First Vatican Council condemned fideism, the doctrine that faith is irrational. It insisted that faith is and must be in harmony with reason. John Paul II developed the same idea in his encyclical on Faith and Reason, and Benedict XVI in his Regensburg academic lecture of September 12, 2006, insisted on the necessary harmony between faith and reason. In that context, he called for a recovery of reason in its full range, offsetting the tendency of modern science to limit reason to the empirically verifiable.

Read the whole thing at First Things.

Fr. Groeschel reminds us that detraction is a mortal sin

Good points.

via Tea at Trianon

A map that shows you where the planets are in the solar system on any given day

Neat!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whoa! What a way to get to school!

The kids in this video have to cross a raging river via a steel rope 1,200 feet in the air to go to school. Amazing.

Some pretty cool magic tricks

This guy's good.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oscar Wilde's fascination with the Catholic Church

Long but interesting. I didn't realize until recently that he converted on his deathbed.

How do we fully life our vocations?

Cortney shares some of the difficult situations she faces as a Catholic nurse practitioner, and asks some thought-provoking questions:

How do we "do" our vocations at work? How do we know how far to go, how zealous to be, how counter-cultural (and being Catholic, really Catholic, is certainly counter-cultural) to be? How do we "do" our vocations through blogs or websites or other forms of the written word? How often do we mistake what our vocations are, doing what we like or feel comfortable doing when God is waiting for us to do His will? How do we discern God's will for us?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Appreciating our troops

A nice video.

Blog of the Week: Reflections of a Paralytic

I'm going to start highlighting some of my favorite blogs roughly once a week. For the inaugural post, I want to highlight one of my favorite new-to-me blogs, Reflections of a Paralytic by Chelsea Zimmerman. Chelsea writes of the reason she started her blog:

If you have read my "about me" page, you know that I was paralyzed in a car accident almost 7 years ago. I have always been a pro-life advocate, but recently I have found myself at the forefront of the stem cell research debate in this country as someone who could theoretically benefit from such research. After testifying at a senate judiciary committee hearing in the state of Missouri in favor of a ban on human [cloning] I have made it my goal to research and educate people about stem cell research and human cloning. This blog is dedicated to promoting and building up a culture of life.

Go check out this great blog.

Mathematical fortune-telling

I'll be honest: I didn't read this whole thing. I didn't even read most of it. However, I realize that there are people out there (like my husband, who sent it to me) who find discussions of game theory really interesting, so I'm posting it. :)

Repair shops for broken DNA

A stray bullet rips through the command center, blowing holes in vital equipment and damaging the data archives. Repair teams spring into action. The damage must be patched up quickly or the control systems could go haywire. It's literally a matter of life or death, and a decision must be made: try to fix the damage in place, or move the broken parts to the repair shop.

This is a drama that unfolds every day in the microscopic world inside the cells of astronauts.

Read the rest.

Interesting stats about U.S. presidents

Which presidents fathered children out of wedlock, were related to one another, had adopted children, or were born before the U.S. became a country? Find out those answers and more here.

The current U.S. Poet Laureate on American-style poetry: "It's boring!"

The current U.S. Poet Laureate on American poetry:

[Charles] Simic points out some broader differences between American and European approaches to poetry. "In Europe poetry has always been a literary undertaking, it's really part of literature," Mr. Simic says. "If you write poetry in a serious way you are participating in a very long tradition, over a thousand years . . . they don't have, for example, the tradition of confessional poetry, they never had a Walt Whitman." He adds, "Surrealist poets broke a lot of literary taboos, they were irreverent, but they would never write a poem saying, 'this morning, I drove my kids to school. . .'"

In America, he says, poetry can play the role of a journal, or a record of one's life. And yes, there is a downside to this "raw, direct quality that allows us to write endless, endless poems in our culture." He explains: "One could say, this is all wrong, this is the trouble with American poetry, so much of it is about someone's life, there is a kind of a narcissism, me, me, me, me, me, this is what happened to me, and therefore I'm going to record it, put it down. And we all as readers shout: 'It's trivial! Don't bother! It happens to everyone! It's boring!'"

From The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A woman gives back her adopted daughter

Wow, this is a tough story. What a sad situation. It sounds like the adoptive mother might not have been given reasonable expectations about what the process would be like.

An edgy sex education podcast for teens

Hmm. Interesting idea, but I have mixed feelings about it.

A touching story behind the first 40 Days for Life campaign

Read this email from David Arabie, a pro-life activist, in which he reveals the events that gave him the idea that would play a large part in starting the first ever 40 Days for Life campaign. Here's an excerpt:

My Dad entered the last stages of his long fight with Cancer on Memorial Day weekend '04. He began hallucinating and such. During this time he prayed Rosaries nearly all of his waking hours. Doctors said he would be gone in days. So I stayed with him.

It wound up being months before he passed away. In those months, he was rarely the man I knew as my father. But he said he loved me all the time, several times per conversation. After a couple of weeks he would say, "Let’s pray this rosary to end abortion."

After several rosaries to end abortion in one day, I asked, "Let’s pray this one to heal your cancer, or ease your pain."

He said, "NO! we are praying to end abortion."

He then shared with me a story one evening about my own conception, and its inconvenience. A very long and complicated story made short.

They chose to have it, "taken care of." They went to the Abortion Clinic, he paid the money, and then my mother stood him up for the final appointment.

He didn’t speak to her for weeks, until finally his mother shamed him into marrying my mom.

He said, "Here it is 25 years later, and the baby I wanted to kill is by my side at my deathbed."

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shark break

Why does everyone think this is so cool? (And why did I just spend five minutes playing around with it?)

Encounters with the fertility police

A mom of a large family shares her thoughts (and some shocking stories) about the comments she gets about having six children. [Note that the article continues at the end, you have to click to get to page two. I missed that at first.]

Grace, because I asked

An elegant post, written by a mom who had stayed up all night with sick children.

via The Wine Dark Sea

How does a brilliant atheist become a theist...and then a Christian?



A very well-done, interesting video about C.S. Lewis. Definitely worth watching.

via From Burke to Kirk

Why are nerds unpopular?

An interesting article about kids and popularity (that Melanie referred me to in the comments to the post on my other site about peer orientation).

Great catechetics website

I'm enjoying reading through this site I just discovered called Catechetics Online, especially their apologetics section.

via Cow Bike Rider

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A brief history of Christmas and Advent

I thought this article was really interesting. For example, I didn't realize that Christmas wasn't widely celebrated in the early church:

Church Fathers such as Augustine didn't include a commemoration of Christ's birth in their lists of holidays at all. Early Christians focused their attention on Easter, the holiest day in the Church's calendar, the solemnity of solemnities....The earliest surviving record of a specific celebration of the Nativity is a sermon by St. Optatus, bishop of Mileve in Africa, from about 383.

The whole thing is worth reading.

Any other language nerds out there?

My husband sent me a Wall Street Journal article about Spain's Basque Country, and I was intrigued by its mysterious native language, Euskera, which is believed to be the oldest in Europe. I did some Googling and found this fascinating info.

The Basque language...is not an Indoeuropean language, and shows no resemblance to languages in neighbouring countries...Owing to some similarities with the Georgian language, some linguists think it could be related to languages from the Caucasus. Others relate the language to non-Arabic languages from the north of Africa. One of the most likely hypotheses argues that the Basque language developed "in situ", in the land of the primitive Basques. That theory is supported by the discovery of some Basque-type skulls in Neolithic sites, which ruled out the thesis of immigration from other areas. Many think it is a very old language because there are words, such as that for axe ("aizkora" or "haizkora") for example, that have the same root as the word rock ("aitz"> or "haitz").

I thought that last sentence was particularly fascinating. (I should have majored in linguistics.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

A beautiful post about adoption

Kristen has a really touching post about adopting after years of infertility.

Find jeans, pants and bras that fit

Zafu.com asks you a few of questions about how your pants / jeans / bras usually fit, then recommends a bunch of different items that should be a good fit for you. I can really appreciate this concept. I'm freakishly tall, so I can never, ever (did I emphasize EVER?) find pants that fit. On the plus side, there will be no harm to the hems of my pants if a flood comes through.

[This is not a paid ad, just a cool site I came across.]

UPDATE: Now I'm just depressed. They didn't show anything long enough. I guess I need to find a site that caters to yetis or something.

About those emails with the "praying bunny" animated gifs...

You know those Christian inspiration emails you sometimes get where the well-meaningness is directly proportional to the "logically flawed and doctrinally questionable"-ness? The ones with the animated gifs of kittens and/or bunnies? Yeah, those. Well, unfortunately someone has started tracking them. Doh!

via Toddler Dredge

Death and the materialist worldview

At least from my experience as a former atheist, Red Cardigan nails it:

[The materialist] believes that when he draws his last breath, he will simply cease to be.

And in his most private moments, the materialist is quite likely to be horrified by this thought. He is likely to be aware how much some force within him rejects it, turns in fear from it, weeps unseen tears over it. As tragic as he finds the deaths of those he loves, his own death looms like the greatest tragedy, clouding every bright horizon, drawing gray lines of terror over every future aspect.

Read the whole thing.

Brewers' yeast: proof of a loving God

Sean uses beer to prove God's existence. Who could argue with that? (And his blog was swiftly added to my Bloglines feed when I saw that he has a whole category called The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking.)

via Blog Nerd

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Historical Christian on why she became a Catholic

This is a really beautiful, inspiring and interesting post. A must-read.

Interesting thoughts on the limits of human comprehension of the universe

I thought the first comment to this post on DarwinCatholic was interesting:

[Carl Sagan] laid out a hypothetical world that exists only in two dimensions. The inhabitants of this world were flat pieces of paper moving about on a plane (a tabletop). One day an apple visits this world. Sagan dipped the bumpy bottom of the apple on an inkpad and set it down amid the flatworlders. To them, he said, the apple appears as four, distinct objects where the ink marks the tabletop. Their dimensionality prevents them from seeing the rest of the apple as it truly exists in three dimensions...One could argue that it also shows the weak spot of science if it bows to methodological materialism and only adheres to observations made with the five senses.

Cool idea: NaBloPoMo

I've been wondering what that crazy acronym/word thing stands for, and thanks to Google I found out that it's National Blog Posting Month. If you want to participate in NaBloPoMo you just have to sign up here and then commit to doing one blog post each day for the month of November, and your site will be linked to from the main site. Cool idea.

via Mighty Maggie

Friday, November 2, 2007

Exploding comet currently visible to naked eye

Cool!

Are the media biased? The debate is officially over.

A joint survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy -- hardly a bastion of conservative orthodoxy -- found that in covering the current presidential race, the media are sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans.

Read the whole thing.

The life of contemplative nuns

A fascinating video.

via The Wine-Dark Sea

Stories from an abortion clinic protester

Shelray talks about her experience in front of an abortion clinic as part of 40 Days for Life.

The human virus

Some interesting thoughts over at Cosmos - Liturgy - Sex about the mentality that fewer people = better. (It reminds me of Simcha's hilarious posts on the issue, here and here.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A quick and easy way to make your pictures pop with Photoshop

A few people complimented me on the Wordless Wednesday picture over at my other site, so I wanted to share how I did it. First, I used my camera's automatic close-up setting to get a nice, close shot. Then I used this really easy, really cool Photoshop technique (it's the first one listed). Check out the results:

BEFORE

AFTER

It works even better on people pictures! It's made some of my pictures of my kids go from looking like boring snapshots to professional portraits. I highly recommend trying it. Even if you don't have Photoshop you should be able to duplicate it in other programs.

via Lifehacker

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Uniqueness of Christianity

A good response to the "all religions are basically the same" idea.

via Catholic Pillow Fight

The Christmas Tour of (Blogger) Homes

What a great idea over at BooMama. Click here to see all the entires to the 2006 tour (link down at the bottom of the post). If I were able to deal with complicated things like decorating my home for Christmas, I'd definitely participate!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seeing the face of Jesus

A sweet post about how you can sometimes catch a glimpse of Christ himself in the people around you.

Top 87 Bad Predictions about the Future

Amusing.

via The Wine Dark Sea

A good analogy on suffering

The Mom writes about redemptive suffering. (Don't miss her amazing post I linked to a while back about her experience with RU-486.)

via Literacy-chic

Blogger's informal survey reveals interesting insights into healthcare workers' opinions on abortion

Check out the surprising results of this survey that Cortney created for the healthcare professionals at her hospital's women's clinic.

Catholic teaching and overpopulation

Peter makes some good points about the difficulty of getting people to listen to the other side of the "Catholic teaching leads to overpopulation" argument. When I was first considering Catholicism I looked into this issue, and was surprised to find some pretty compelling data (like this) that show that cultures without birth control are not automatically plunged into overpopulation situations.

Atheist evangelization in schools

Dinesh D'Souza on the "atheist indoctrination project":

This is how many secular teachers treat the traditional beliefs of students...[they] subject them to such scorn that they are pushed outside the bounds of acceptable debate. This strategy is effective because young people who go to good colleges are extremely eager to learn what it means to be an educated Harvard man or Stanford woman. Consequently their teachers can very easily steer them to think a certain way merely by making that point of view seem fashionable and enlightened.

Wow, did he actually sit in on my college classes? Because this is exactly what I saw.

via...somebody -- sorry, can't remember where I found this!

Compare the various translations of Bible verses

This is a neat site where you can compare the various English translations of any Bible verse, as well as viewing it in different languages.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why one family doesn't celebrate Halloween

I've never known anyone who didn't celebrate Halloween, so I thought this post at Mama Says was interesting.

Sexy Halloween costumes...for children

I saw some of these at my neighborhood Halloween party this weekend. Really, really disturbing.

Beautiful videos about the priesthood

Longtime readers of my other site have already seen me post this, but I wanted to add it here because I just love these videos so much.

Neuroscience and free will

Some good thoughts at a new blog.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The man who saved millions of lives

A fascinating article about how terrifyingly close we came to nuclear war. Via Red Cardigan, who has some interesting thoughts about it.

Some interesting thoughts on Muslim women, modesty and empowerment

An interesting perspective:

[T]he burqa can actually be empowering, by offering me the privacy and anonymity to just carry on with my work instead of worrying about whether my hips look huge in that dress...there are psychological effects of not wearing a burqa as well -- a tendency to get too caught up in trying to achieve the perfect look, for example.

via Tradicionalista

Friday, October 26, 2007

Close to God

Simcha on babies.

Feeling light

Matthew has a great post about his life when he was "enlightened" and didn't have faith. His experience was very similar to mine:
Yet somehow I was proud of my deep dark edgy miserableness. I consoled myself that everyone else wasn’t brave enough to face the nothingness. But I was. I laughed off everything and found myself dreadfully serious...Oddly enough, when I was enlightened I felt burdened...I didn't take life seriously but I thought of death incessantly.
Read the whole thing.

Famous trials

Some amazing stories here.

Seven clues that Dumbledore was gay

I may never stop laughing about this:
While the anagram to 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' is 'I am Lord Voldemort,' as my good friend pointed out, 'Albus Dumbledore' becomes 'Male bods rule, bud!'
via the comments to this post at DarwinCatholic

Thursday, October 25, 2007

15 famous photos of "ghosts"

Kind of creepy.

via Neatorama

Some thoughts on gratitude

Amber, who is temporarily living in a cramped trailer with no indoor plumbing and limited electricity, is trying to appreciate how many luxuries she still has. Yet she brings up an interesting point about comparing ourselves to people who have fewer conveniences:
It is easy to move from thinking about what other people lack to pitying them for lacking these "essentials"...it can almost start sounding like the only way to live a good life is to have running water, a warm, spacious, cozy home and easily accessible, easy to use laundry facilities. At that point, I’m about as ridiculous as some billionaire socialite who can’t imagine how all the little people live without an army of servants, a summer home, and a private jet.
Some good food for thought.

What if there's a chance there's a baby in the box?

A short, thought-provoking video. It's a good summary of the point that Jonah Goldberg recently made here.

via InsideCatholic

Playing with the numbers

A Ph.D. statistician looks at recent study by the Guttmacher Institute (a research wing of Planned Parenthood).

via Curt Jester

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The music delusion

When will the unenlightened masses give up on their silly ideas about music? Don't they know that science proves it doesn't exist?

via Claw of the Conciliator

A response to an angry NPR listener

A listener writes to a public radio show who featured a story about a Christian woman who runs a food pantry:
I wonder how an intelligent, intellectual woman can buy into such clap-trap...Isn't it time we gave up on the primitive ideas of an unenlightened time now two thousand years gone? Our future as a species lies in our intelligence and creativity, not in polarizing folk tales about invisible spirits and miracles. I wish NPR would resist indulging such weak-minded ideas with so little resistance.
Claw of the Conciliator has a great response.


via BlogWatch

Why the "Dumbledor was gay!" revelation is frustrating

I linked to that story a couple days ago, but I couldn't articulate exactly why I thought it was an annoying move on Rowling's part. Red Cardigan has some good points:
Truly great literature doesn't tie itself in such a slapdash way to an issue of the day...[She is not] playing fair with her readers to insert Dumbledore's gay-contemporary- political-identity into the works after the fact! This is the worst kind of cheating, when the author decides to pander to some political identity group when the final book has been published, and the readers think they know everything important about the characters that there is to know.

Slavery and the slippery slope of sin

Some very interesting thoughts on slavery and the Christians who participated in it (I'm definitely going to read this book).

Teen STD rate soars in California despite comprehensive sex ed programs

This isn't surprising. Does anyone really think that modern kids get STD's or have unplanned pregnancies because they just don't know what this elusive "contraception" thing is or how to get access to it? Sheesh, any kid who's watched MTV for more than 10 minutes is an expert on the subject.

Giving, even when it's tough

Sarah, whose blog is a beautiful, honest chronicle of her efforts to rebuild her life and her marriage after some devastating events, writes another touching post about generosity in tough financial times.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Amazing hot air balloons

Wow. I also liked the post about the world's largest swimming pool.

How Google maps the earth

An interesting article about the technology behind Google Earth.

via Geekpress

Brewing beer in a pumpkin

Heck, why not? Some more photos here.

The beautiful life

Hope has a really nice post from a while back about letting go of our perfect vision for how we want our lives to go, and trusting God.

Monday, October 22, 2007

How terrorists could use insects for weapons

Interesting article (though no mention of scorpions). Also, from the article, I didn't know this:
Armies have long used bugs to spread disease among their enemies. The Black Death arrived in Europe after the Mongols catapulted flea-ridden corpses into the city of Kaffa on the Black Sea...Those who fled from the city brought with them bubonic plague, which killed 75 million people in the 14th century.

When the continents come together again

What will happen in about 250 million years when the continents collide to form a new Pangea?
[T]he new supercontinent wouldn’t be a fun place to live for most plants and animals...Most of the future supercontinent would be desert, since no rain would develop over the vast interior. On the coasts between the tropical latitudes, the weather would vary from 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to minus 4 degrees in the winter, punctuated by hurricanes 50% stronger than the fiercest ones today.

56 roller coasters as seen from the front seat

Pretty cool.

via Metafilter

Interactive map shows spread of religions over time

Very interesting.

via The Atheocracy

Dumbledore was gay? Seriously?

Must homosexuality be discussed everywhere, all the time?

Evidently the answer is yes: J. K. Rowling Reveals Potter Mentor Was Into Wizards, Not Witches

via Metafilter

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Easy (and yummy) weekday dinners

Danielle Bean and I both had the same idea to ask our readers for their suggestions for quick / easy / yummy / healthy meals for weekday prep. Here are all the great recipes her readers suggested, and here are the ones my readers suggested. Tons of good stuff there!

Create your own chocolate bar

Create a picture of a chocolate bar with your own custom message.

via The Generator Blog

Why are pirates often shown with parrots on their shoulders?

Find out here. Also, check out this pirate keyboard.

Religions and the claims they're based on

Dr. Bob takes on the common secular mentality that goes something like, "all religions claim to have the truth, about things which are unprovable, so let’s just dismiss them all as fantasies and move on, shall we?"

Friday, October 19, 2007

A touching rap video I saw on MTV

Usually the words "touching," "rap video," and "MTV" don't end up in the same sentence, but this video by DMC (of the legendary Run DMC) is really beautiful. In it he chronicles the story of his own adoption, and it also features fellow adoptee Sarah McLachlan. Don't miss the story behind its creation.

Famous adoptees

A list of famous people who were adopted. Here's another, much longer list.

Fascinating: 700-year-old prayer book contains Archimedes' lost work

Why don't I ever find stuff like this in my attic?

via Geekpress

Thing we take for granted #2,867: air travel

People in some parts of the world will pay to sit in a broken plane on a runway just to know what it's like.

via Geekpress

For the first time in five years, I wish I had a job

Just for today, so that I could try this: Lifehacker shows you how to change the default message on any HP printer.

Various office workers have written in to announce that it worked and they changed the office printer's display to say stuff like "INSERT COIN", "OUT OF CHEESE", "FEED ME KITTENS"...and even the dreaded "PC LOAD LETTER". If anyone actually does this please let me know so that I can live vicariously through you.

One at a time

Mum2Twelve shares her secret to parenting 12 children.

via Karen Edmisten

Erring on the side of the accused

Jonah Goldberg has a really thought-provoking article in which he points out that it's deeply ingrained in the American conscience that we always want to err on the side of the accused -- meaning, when there's a gray area, we'd rather err by let a guilty person go free than by punishing an innocent person. ...Yet that mentality flies out the window when it comes to abortion. Read the whole thing.

via The Paragraph Farmer

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Faith and large families

Patrick Archbold shares his stories about the comments he and his wife get about their family size, and Danielle Bean offers some nice advice to readers who struggle with discerning whether or not they should have another child.

"Why am I Catholic?"

Mark Shea has a really short answer to the question, and shares some interesting insights into his conversion process.

via Cow Bike Rider

Take your Paper/Rock/Scissors game to the next level

Next time someone challenges you to do paper / rock / scissors with them, bust out with some of these handy moves like axe, dynamite and sponge. Be sure to see the image at its full size so you can see the hard work the authors put into figuring out the hierarchy.

via Memepool

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Every parent should know infant CPR

Suzanne tells the extremely scary story of how she found her newborn daughter unconscious and not breathing in her crib last Thursday. Luckily she was able to save her with infant CPR. A good cautionary tale to all of us parents! Check out this video she just posted describing the basic CPR techniques.

Disappearing human languages

Edith, OSB has an interesting post about the quest to record disappearing human languages and the wisdom they contain.

These kids have some good questions

A woman tries to explain Planned Parenthood to her confused children.

Chastity and the single woman

The blogger at Just Doing My Best, who is not (yet) married, recounts what happened when she told a bridal forum that she is 38 and waiting until marriage to have sex.

Awarded are the Peace Makers

DarwinCatholic on Al Gore, environmentalism and the global warming movement. Great stuff.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The miraculous conversion Claude Newman

This is a pretty amazing story. The events described are definitely spectacular, but I know some people who are researching this story and have found that the claims have checked out so far. Unfortunately there's an antiquated, offensive racial term at the beginning of the testimony, but the story is worth reading. Very intriguing.

A standing ovation for a phone salesman

Check out this great clip from Britain's Got Talent, and don't miss the follow-up final performance here. I'll admit it, I got teary-eyed.

Adoption and tough times

Heidi Hess Saxton, mom of two former foster children, offers an honest account of the tough times that adoptive parents sometimes face, as well as words of encouragement for how to get through them.

via My Three Sons

There are actually underwater post offices

Seriously.

via Neatorama

Five scandals that rocked art

Some crazy/cool/interesting reading over at Neatorama.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Forbes: God Goes Online

Forbes has an interesting article about the online presence of Christians. (Side note: that video of the little girl reciting Psalm 23 has been viewed 3.7 million times?! I thought it was cute, but...3.7 million times?) Anyway, I discovered the very cool video site God Tube through that article.

via The Deacon's Bench

Halloween: "I may be acting like a jerk, but at least it's not blasphemy"

Yet another hilarious post from Simcha.

Staying at home after the children leave

Lady Lydia has a nice post about older women continuing their roles as homemakers even after the children leave. I always love reading her and Mrs. Alexandra's reflections about the beauty of home living. Here's another recent post that brightened my day.

Another contender for the Nobel Peace Prize

I'm going to have to beg to differ with whoever decided to give Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize instead of this amazing woman. Read more about her here. What an absolutely incredible person.

via Simcha

Sunday, October 14, 2007

God never promised us tomorrow

Yet another touching post with amazing insights from Heather, a mom of three who is going through chemo to battle brain cancer.

Name that beer bottle

Can you match unlabeled beer bottles with their correct labels? Find out with this quiz. If you get them all right...is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Chick Flicks vs. Macho Movies

Hilarious.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ben Stein has a new movie and a blog

About the movie (from its website): "Ben realizes that he has been 'Expelled,' and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired -- for the 'crime' of merely believing that there might be evidence of 'design' in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance." Watch the trailer here.

He's also started a blog, which should be interesting to follow. Here's his first post (that received more than 1,800 comments!)