Saturday, May 31, 2008

You can't put a price on love

A great article from Danielle Bean. An excerpt:
Every Mother's Day, an annual study makes the rounds on the Internet that sums up the financial worth of a mother at home. This year, the estimated worth of an at-home mom was estimated at about $117,000 a year. I find it both amusing and sad that, as a culture, we fail to recognize the value of something until we can sum it up in dollar amounts.
Read the rest here.

Catholic fiction

The Top 5 Catholic fiction books. Also, this is a good article: What Happened to Popular Catholic Fiction?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The ultimate "had a bad day" post

I enjoyed this one from Mrs. Darwin. An excerpt:

A few weeks ago, I didn't beat my children, and it ranked as the major accomplishment of my day. We were having one of those days (and if that doesn't mean anything to you, just stop reading now). Energy levels were at polar ends of the spectrum -- I was exhausted and achy in a five-months-pregnant-with-varicose-veins sort of way, and the kids were bouncing off the walls and any other surface that happened to present itself...The noise level, the feist level, the mess level, and my irritation level were all rising at roughly the same rate...

Read the rest here.

Best game ever

A children's baseball game is turned into a major league event as a surprise.

via Grapevine

Top 10 Political Brawls of All Time

A fascinating list. Some of them were even captured on film and are now on YouTube.

via Evangelical Outpost

"Affect" vs. "Effect"

Not one of my more exciting links, I know, but I thought this short summary of the proper uses of affect and effect was helpful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I may never sleep again

I think everyone who has a blog, at some point, gets a comment that keeps them up at night. Yesterday I got a comment that not only kept me up last night, but may prevent me from ever sleeping again. It's currently the last comment to this post (left by Anonymous on May 26, 2008 at 2:32 pm). Oh well, sleep is overrated anyway.

Beautiful video of unusual penguins

via Evangelical Outpost

1,000 gifts

A photo blog of God's gifts by Kari.

via Holy Experience

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Can animals predict earthquakes?

A fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal. It requires subscription, but here's an excerpt:

The Chinese have long given credence to the role of animals in predicting earthquakes. In 1975, Chinese authorities evacuated roughly a million people from the city of Haicheng in northeastern China ahead of a massive earthquake, in part based on the odd behavior of dozens of animals, including snakes that mysteriously emerged from hibernation despite freezing temperatures...The next year, after an earthquake in Tangshan killed hundreds of thousands, a United Nations report found that residents of one nearby county had managed to evacuate after they noticed nocturnal animals such as rats running around during the daytime.

In the wake of the recent quake, Chinese Web sites and newspapers are buzzing with new reports about strange animal behavior leading up to the disaster. One of the most unusual reports comes from Mianzhu, a southwestern city battered by the quake. Prior to the quake, thousands of toads flooded the city streets in an event so bizarre a local TV news team reported on it.

"Could this be a sign that a natural disaster is coming?" asked a Chinese newscaster on May 10th, two days before the quake struck. The video is posted on YouTube.

I think this is the video they refer to.

The story behind the photo

I enjoyed reading the story behind this famous photo that's been forwarded all over the internet.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lost Civilizations Quiz

In which I discover that my knowledge of trivia relating to lost civilizations is sorely lacking.

The biggest drawing in the world

A man creates a self-portrait by sending a briefcase with a GPS in it all over the world.

via Metafilter

Outdated Gas Station Pumps Can't Sell Fuel Over $3.99

Times are changin':
Mom-and-pop service stations are running into a problem as gasoline marches toward $4 a gallon: Thousands of old-fashioned pumps can't register more than $3.99 on their spinning mechanical dials...Many of the same pumps can count only up to $99.99 for the total sale, preventing owners of some SUVs, vans, trucks and tractor-trailers from filling their tanks all the way.

via Geekpress

When plotlines from creepy sci-fi movies become real life...

Best Friends Again, sponsored by BioArts International, offers cloning services so that you can clone your family dog or cat.

via Metafilter

Parrot teaches autistic boy to talk

This is a neat story.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Human Space Invaders

For those of you who remember that Atari game Space Invaders, here's the human version. How nerdy. How hilarious.

They also did Pole Position, Tetris and Pong.

The Traveler IQ Challenge

Another really addictive web game (scroll down to see it). Sorry. Hope you weren't trying to get anything done this afternoon.

A virtual personal assistant

I found this via Dom and it seems like an interesting concept: it's called Sandy - your free personal email assistant. You can try it here and see an example here.

Basically, you can email your virtual assistant and write, "Remind me to tell Grandma happy birthday tomorrow evening" or "Text Suzy to remind her to pick up Ralph at the airport at 9:15 tomorrow morning," and she'll take care of it. Neat idea.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A walk along El Camino del Rey

I know a lot of people who would not have filmed this video for all the money in the world! More about El Camino del Rey here.

Losing sleep makes brain prone to 'sudden shutdowns'

This is an interesting article about a

Lock aluminum foil and saran wrap rolls in place

A handy little tip:

[Aluminum foil] can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, "Press here to lock end". Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place...I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran warp roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

The fastest gun in the world

Did Earth once have multiple moons?


via The Doctor is In

Dictators and sitcom characters

Think of a dictator or a sitcom character. Now go answer the questions here, and the game will guess who you're thinking of. Neat.

Portion Size, Then and Now

A fascinating look at how our concept what makes a reasonable portion size continues to get bigger (don't miss the next pages).

via Evangelical Outpost

This post published while I was sleeping

(Hopefully, unless my baby has other ideas.) I'm a little bit too excited about Blogger's new feature in which you can delay your posts to be automatically published later.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Lord of the Rings as a Humphrey Bogart movie

Impressive and clever.

Bookworm is back!

There was a time in my life when my family really should have staged an intervention to get me away from Bookworm (they probably would have, but they were too busy playing it themselves). Mercifully, the free version was taken offline for a while. But now it's baaaaack.

Interior Life Of Atheism

Mark Shea has an insightful article about atheism:

[A]theism is a very diverse phenomenon. Many atheists are, theologically, fundamentalists under the skin, often having the most childish and literalistic notions of what Scripture says...Some atheists are simply confirmed in cold hard pride. Some are honest people who just can’t, for the life of them, see what theists are talking about when they speak of their belief in and experience of the supernatural. And that just scratches the surface of the various causes of atheism.

So it’s important to have a handle, not just on the philosophical and intellectual reasons for atheism, but also on this pastoral dimension, as well. Very often, when somebody says, “I don’t believe in God,” they mean, “I am very angry at someone who hurt me.”

Read the rest here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Make way for ducklings

An officer stops traffic to help a mother duck and her ducklings cross the street. So sweet.

via Holy Experience

Fairness, idealism and other atrocities

P.J. O'Rourke's amusing hypothetical commencement speech.

via Evangelical Outpost

How Do You Love a Porn Star?

A thought-provoking musing from Joe of Evangelical Outpost, who realized that one of his acquaintances was a porn star:

How do you befriend someone who relishes what you despise? Can you show someone love while keeping your distance? If not, how do you draw near to someone who wallows in unrepentant sin? We're told to follow the example of Jesus in loving our fellow sinners. However, we are rarely provided with practical advice on how to carry out this duty.

Read the rest here.

The Crackpot Index

Do you have a theory that's going to revolutionize the world of physics? Do you think your work might just put Einstein's little Theory of Relativity to shame? You may want to follow this (hilarious) point system for figuring out if it's a crackpot theory. Some excerpts:
  • 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.
  • 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it. (10 more for emphasizing that you worked on your own.)
  • 20 points for naming something after yourself. (E.g., talking about the "The Evans Field Equation" when your name happens to be Evans.)
  • 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate.
Read the rest here, and forward this to all your scientist and/or academic friends.

via DarwinCatholic

Friday, May 16, 2008

The 'Evidence for Belief': An Interview with Francis Collins

This is fascinating. It's an interview with Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and convert to Christianity. His ideas on the inherent compatibility of science and faith are fascinating. Some of the questions he was asked were:
  • You write in your book...that God can be worshipped in a cathedral or in a laboratory. Elaborate a little bit...on that statement.

  • We have all of these famous stories in our history that pit science against faith [e.g. Galileo's trial]...And they have created this impression that there is an inherent conflict between religion and science. Do you believe there is such an inherent conflict?

  • Some Christians will say: “Look, you can’t pick and choose the parts of the Holy Scripture that you want to take literally. And so, if you’re going to call into question the literalness of some parts, you inherently call into question the literal truth of it all.” So how do you, as a scientist and a Christian, respond to that line of reasoning?
I highly recommend reading the whole thing. It's fascinating.

via Evangelical Outpost

Science & Faith: Different Ways of Knowing

A great post from Darwin from a while back:

Certainly, since the Big Bang is our current understanding of the physical origins of the universe, and since it has a certain "in principio" dramatic flair to it, we Christians tend to strongly identify the moment of creation with the Big Bang. However, if in another few decades some compelling piece of evidence were to come along for an oscillating universe or for some completely other cosmological model, I don't think one would be right in any way to say that the Christian understanding has been "disproved". While faith and science both provide us with knowledge about the origins on the universe, they provide us with very different kinds of knowledge.

Read the rest here.

How do you deliver a death sentence?

A gripping reflection from a Christian doctor about calling patients to deliver the worst kind of news.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It's like Tetris but with US states. They also have versions for different continents. My attempt at Stateris-Europe was just embarrassing.

via Memepool

Search old criminal court records

You can find some fascinating stuff at this site, which contains the records from Old Bailey, London's main criminal court from 1674 through 1913. Here's a search form where you can search by type of crime, year, etc. Lots of interesting insights into society at that time.

via Wittingshire

7 tips for giving to charities

Kelly's husband, who has worked at nonprofits for many years, shares what he's learned about how to give and how to decide which charities to give to. Really helpful advice.

25 of the Strangest Collections on the Web

Who knew there were collections of everything from weird fortune cookie messages to burnt food to sugar packets?

An interactive Bible map

This is a pretty amazing site. A great resource to keep handy for next time you read the Bible cover-to-cover.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Birth prayers

Bekah has a great list of the prayers to say at the beginning of labor.

Build secret passageways into your home

I have often been perplexed at how people could build custom homes and not include secret passageways hidden by moving bookshelves and fake walls. Maybe they just didn't know about this company.

via Dom

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

A beautiful video for the month of May

A great little video for Mary's month. Evidently this was the most-watched video in Spain recently.

Fairy gardens!

I am going to guess that my male readers won't share my excitement for this concept, but how cool would it be to make a fairy garden!

The Cathedral Builders

This one's been around, but it's great to read again as Mother's Day approaches.

via MamaBlogga

The Modesty Survey

This is fascinating. Over 200 Christian girls submitted questions about what guys find immodest (i.e. ways girls dress that lead them to struggle with impure thoughts), and over 1,600 Christian young men responded.

As a woman, I found the results to be interesting and surprising, e.g. that many men find it distracting when women wear purses diagonally across their chests or let their bra straps show (even accidentally), and that and that the men overwhelmingly agreed that women who choose to dress modestly do make a difference, even in our culture where immodesty is rampant.

The overview is here and the results are here. To view the results, choose a category under "Select a Category" and then click on one of the sub-categories and the results will appear below.

via A Second Generation of Homeschooling

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Worshipping God in truth, love and beauty

Barbara excerpts some eloquent thoughts on beauty and worship:

When a visitor comes into our worship, he might not see what we're looking at—in this case, not a bird in a treetop, but God in His heaven...He sees candlelight flickering on the gold of icons, and hears the bells on the censer. He tastes the antidoron, smells the incense, and is greeted by other worshippers with the kiss of peace. Every one of his senses is affected. Maybe he doesn't yet see the Lord we worship, but he see us, and sees that we see something; that we are being held rapt by the presence of something awesome, terrible, beautiful. He can tell that something is going on. And that mysterious beauty is a hook that pulls people further in.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A family is going to ride bikes from Alaska to Argentina

...And they'll be blogging about it. Wow. They leave on June 8 -- I will definitely be following this blog. (Also, their blogroll is an interesting list of other traveling families who blog about it.)

via a comment at MamaBlogga

The lonely generation

A fascinating article about how increasingly isolated people are in modern society. (It reminds me of the discussions about isolation and community we had over at my other site). An excerpt:

The bottom line: "The number of people who have someone to talk to about matters that are important to them has declined dramatically...we have gone from a quarter of the American population being almost half of the populations falling into that category."

Stop and think about that for a second. Almost half the people around you have at most one person they feel they can talk to about what is most important to them.

Read the rest here.

via The Anchoress

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The man who grew a finger

From the "sounds like something from a sci-fi novel but is actually true" files: a man regrew his finger tip by putting some kind of superpowder on it.

via Grapevine

They paused

A wrenching story from Kristen, who has struggled with infertility and would love to adopt another child, as she was praying in front of an abortion clinic:

The ache in my heart seemed to increase exponentially in proportion to the number of girls that continued up that staircase into the building. I hadn't realized how much more heartbreaking such a sight would be after having children of my own. [...]

As the young girls passed me and I felt that pain increase, I could help it no longer. I began to plead with them, "Please, my husband and I want to adopt your baby." "Please, we are longing for another child." "We adopted these two girls and we would love to have yours too." Each one of the young women paused, just for a moment when she heard my voice, and turned to see me. Each one looked into my eyes. But they all turned away, proceeding up the stairway.

Read the rest here.

Easily De-Seed Your Watermelon

A good little tutorial for summer (notice that you have to click Next Step to see the rest of the steps).

via Lifehacker

The Top 100 Productivity and Lifehack Blogs

It is ironic that I am going to be a lot less productive after having found this list.

via Evangelical Outpost

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Story of the "Hand of Hope" Photograph

This is an amazing story about that famous photo of the 21-week-old baby's hand holding the doctor's hand as he performed in-utero surgery [warning: incredible but graphic photo from the surgery at that link]. An excerpt:

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but no one's hands were near it. It was shaking from within. Suddenly, an entire arm thrust out of the opening, then pulled back until just a little hand was showing. The doctor reached over and lifted the hand, which reacted and squeezed the doctor's finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shook the tiny fist. Samuel held firm. I took the picture! Wow! It happened so fast that the nurse standing next to me asked, "What happened?" "The child reached out," I said. "Oh. They do that all the time," she responded.

Read the rest here. Also, here's a nice article with an update about how the little boy is doing today.

If poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names

Very creative, very amusing. I loved I Will Alarm Islamic Owls by William Carlos Williams.

A car with one horsepower. Literally.

A car that is actually powered by a horse on a treadmill in the back. I think I've seen it all now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Taking a chance on faith

The touching story of how Jim Caviezel (the actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ) adopted two children with serious medical issues. Really beautiful.

via Chez Ouiz

Online prayer

This is a neat idea for a site. From their intro page:

We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, and spend ten minutes, praying here and now, as you sit at your computer, with the help of on-screen guidance and scripture chosen specially every day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If at First You Don't Succeed, You're in Excellent Company

An inspiring article about people who kept going after setbacks:

J.K. Rowling's book about a boy wizard was rejected by 12 publishers before a small London house picked up "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." Decca Records turned down a contract with the Beatles, saying "We don't like their sound." Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor who said he "lacked imagination." Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school varsity basketball team sophomore year.

Read the rest here.

Gateway porn

This is an excellent article. Though it specifically addresses the recent scandal with the photos of Miley Cyrus, it makes great points about art and ads that sexualize young people in general.

via Danielle Bean