Monday, June 30, 2008

The aggressively inarticulate generation

An amusing comedy routine.

via Aggie Catholics

Bible reading plans

Get customized plan for reading the Bible (or just the New Testament, Old Testament, etc.) in a certain amount of time (e.g. a year, three months, etc.). Great resource!

Successful Christian parenting

Jess at Making Home has a great post about about what it means to be a successful Christan parent. I liked this part in particular:

If we spend our time making the outside *look* right, but we aren't actively stoking true faith, we are setting our children up for spiritual disaster. They KNOW when we are faking it. They KNOW whether or not we really believe God answers prayer. They KNOW whether or not Christ is permeating every part of our homes or just something we "do" on Sundays. They KNOW if our hearts are set towards eternal things or towards storing up our treasures here on earth. We have to let Christ do His work inside of us rather than focusing on getting all the outside things "right".

Read the rest here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

America's worst fonts and the people who use them

This is hilarious, even though I have been guilty of a few of these. A quote: "Curlz MT is not a font; it's a cry for help." (Some PG-13 language).

An encyclopedia of diet plans

There is potential for me to spend waaaay too much time on this site.

Cheap date night ideas

Simple Mom highlights her favorite cheap date night suggestions from readers. You can read all the entries here.

"We're On the Way to the ER With Your Husband..."

So much good stuff in this post by Michelle, whose husband is a police officer. He got stung more than 100 times by Yellow Jacket wasps in the line of duty and almost died from the reaction, and she reflects on keeping her eyes on what really matters. What a story!

Beyond same sex marriage

One of my favorite writer, Jennifer Roback Morse, talks about same sex marriage and the "de-gendering" of society:

The freight train of same sex marriage will not stop at the station called simple "equality." The legal equivalence of same sex couples with opposite sex couples means that marriage will no longer be society’s most reliable method of attaching mothers and fathers to their children and to each other. Marriage will become a gender-neutral creation of the state, which actively detaches children from at least one of their parents. Parentage will not flow automatically from the marital union, but will have to be assigned by the state. The final stop on this train is the complete de-gendering of society, along with the continual incursion of the state into civil society.

The state must hold that mothers and fathers are completely interchangeable. Biological parents married to each other become officially equivalent to one parent plus their lover. The state will be indifferent as to whether children have any connection with their biological parents.

Read the rest here.

via Aggie Catholics

The Rosary for Men

Some great Rosary meditations aimed specifically at men.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Knowing the ending

Anne Marie, who's going through a difficult time, has a beautiful post about how, as Christians, we can take comfort in the fact that we know how the great story of the world will end, and that all our earthly troubles are fleeting. An excerpt:

Slowing down the busyness of life to simply be with this child. To just listen to him or watch him learn how to pogo, or hold him while he cries telling me that he wishes he could have met the Governor when he was in the Capital so he could have discussed this law she signed that forces him to leave us for a night every ten days.

It's this time spent that reaches into the future, reaches all the way to eternity. The homes we build will crumble to the ground like so much dust, but my afternoon with my son, attending Mass and an ever so brief adoration, the quite time at home unplugged from the TV, the PSP, the internet and even the radio, these are the milliseconds that will resonate throughout time.

Read the rest here.

The bookshelf blog

A blog all about bookshelves!

via Catholic Bibliophagist

Top 10 geek pranks

You know you're a nerd when you've done a few of these.

via Grapevine

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Excellent tips for new bloggers

...Or, really, for anyone who has a blog. A summary of some of the talks at the SheSpeaks conference:
Some great info in these posts.

12 new 'necessities' that drain your cash

Some good points to watch out for, via this post about our expanding definitions of "necessities."

Six Thoughts About Jesus

A good post from Evangelical Outpost. I liked this one in particular:

Whenever I hear non-Christians say that they don't like the "Old Testament God" but that they admire Jesus I always wonder, "Have they ever read the Gospels?"...And you think OTG was a blood-thirsty war-monger? Jesus goes even further promising not only to pit nations but families against each other. "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth," says Jesus. "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." In other words, he ain't no Jewish Ghandi. If you don't like Yahweh, then you shouldn't be too fond of Yeshua either.

Read the rest here.

Don't mess with this baby!

Monday, June 23, 2008

How to keep the world's deadliest scorpion as a pet

I can't believe I'm reading this:

This scorpion is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous species. The venom from the Yellow Fattail Scorpion is strong enough to kill an adult man within two hours, and there is no anti-venom available in the United States. So handle with caution...Make sure the container it is in is escape-proof! The Yellow Fattail Scorpion is only for the most advanced keeper, and should not be regarded in any way a beginners' scorpion.

Get a chia pet, people!!

How to write your novel, and get it published

This is some excellent (and concise) advice for fiction writers (scroll down to see it all).

Religion and the new media

Kate shares some notes she took at the Catholic New Media Celebration. Some good tips there.

The world's best places to live

Cool list.

Summer miracles

Touching success stories about the success of a program where orphans from other countries can come live with U.S. families for a summer. More about the program here.

Dancing across the world

A former computer programmer takes 14 months to dance across the world. One of the coolest things I've seen in a while.

via Inside Catholic

50 Things Everyone Should KnowHow To Do

A good list.

Married on a crucifix

I linked to this excellent article about marriage last year on my other blog, but just wanted to highlight it again since it's so good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

20 Historical Oddities You Probably Don’t Know

Fascinating list.

Origin of the seven-day week

An interesting history of the time period that we call a "week."

Great advice for managing the family finances

Simple Mom has a great post that gives readers insight into the money management system that works for her family. As always, it's short, sweet and to the point.

I also liked her post about zero-based budgeting and am intrigued by the Pear budgeting program she was raving about.

Great advice for writers

Kelly has some great tips for writers. This was my favorite:

Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now...[T]he impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

Read the rest here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A family plans to give away all their stuff

Wow, good for them:

Like many other young couples, Aimee and Jeff Harris spent the first years of their marriage eagerly accumulating stuff: cars, furniture, clothes, appliances and, after a son and a daughter came along, toys, toys, toys...Now they are trying to get rid of it all, down to their fancy wedding bands. Chasing a utopian vision of a self-sustaining life on the land as partisans of a movement some call voluntary simplicity, they are donating virtually all their possessions to charity and hitting the road at the end of May.

via Loghome Up North

What would you do to prepare?

Katie asks: What steps would you take to prepare if you knew that five years from now everything would cost 10 times what it costs now? A great question to ponder.

The story of a big family

I just came across this blog called North of Reality and had to do a double-take when the writer casually mentioned in her profile that she has 25 kids! I found the story of how she came to have such a large family (written when she only had 19 children) to be interesting and inspiring.

via Always a Work in Progress

When office supplies attack!

A hilarious photo contest.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On being called "mom"

After an 18-year wait and a lot of heartache, Anne Marie writes of finally hearing the word she's yearned to hear for so long. The story of her new son is here.

"My Very Own Loaves & Fishes Miracle!"

A wonderful story of God taking care of us when we take care of others. Definitely worth reading.

via Like Merchant Ships

What about animal life before the Fall?

Brian Saint-Paul takes a stab at answering this question from a reader over at the Inside Catholic blog:

Before the Fall of Adam/Eve, there was a paradise on earth. Original Sin broke the harmony not only of humanity with God, but also in the natural world. But before Adam and Eve, there were dinosaurs which lived quite violent lives of eat or be eaten...But how to explain the seeming cruelty in having a world where lower creatures are devouring one another, with survival dependent on one's hunting prowess?...There seems to be something very cruel in all of this, and I want to get a better handle on how to understand God as He related to pre-humans and animals before Adam's Fall.

Don't miss the reader comments as well.

Steven Curtis Chapman's manager talks about the night of the tragedy

An amazing story from the blog of Chapman's manager.

I may never get up from my computer again

I blame Mrs. Darwin for introducing me to GraphJam, where nothing escapes quantification. A gem for those of you who remember 80's music:
song chart memes


song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If everyone is Super, no one will be

John C. Wright reacts to the news that all the soccer players in his sons' league got trophies.

Nightmare on Prom Street

Some disturbing trends in high school proms:

Should the high school prom be renamed the high school porno? They call it "grinding" or "freak dancing" when students grind their pelvises into each other to the beat of sexually explicit music, sometimes in chains of three or four or more. This kind of dancing is so commonplace with high-school students that some parents and cultural writers are suggesting all attempts at school dancing decorum should be abandoned.

Read the rest here.

via Middle-Aged, Not Muddle-Headed

How locusts perceive the signal to swarm

I randomly came across this video and thought it was really interesting (it's about three minutes long).

A simple, full-screen text editor

Good idea.

via Danielle Bean

Atheist summer camp

There are now summer camps specifically for children of atheist and agnostic families.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It gets easier

This post by Danielle Bean from a while back was just what I needed to read today:

Today I am going to try to respond to all the moms of one or two small children who praise me and wonder how on earth I "do it" with my six children– after all, they are overwhelmed with just one or two.

I know they won’t believe me, but here goes anyway: Having six is easier than having one or two little ones. I should know: I once had just two children, and though I loved them dearly, I would not in a million years trade the life I live now for the one I lived back then...

Read the rest here.

Time flies when you're sharing wine together

Sandy excerpts a sweet article from the Wall Street Journal.

America's most and least affordable housing markets

An interesting list.

via Amy's Humble Musings

Your birthday Bible verse

Get a special Bible verse for your birthday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

10 Surprising Side Effects to Money Management

What an inspiring post!

via Rocks in my Dryer

"The productivity book that changed my life"

I haven't read this book, but after this glowing review I'm thinking of buying it.

Search For Titanic Really Was Cover-Up Mission


The search for the Titanic's wreckage really was a cover-up operation to recover U.S. submarines.

[Bob] Ballard reveals he was hired to use his advanced robotic sub to check on the status of two nuclear submarines, the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion, that sank in the Atlantic in the 1960s.

"The Navy didn't want the Soviets to know they were looking for these subs," Ballard said on "Good Morning America" today.

The guise of searching for the Titanic's wreckage provided a perfect alibi for the intensified presence of U.S. ships on the Atlantic.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Buy office supplies from monks

A 900-year-old Cistercian order that sells office supplies online. Neat. Here's their "about us" page.

The only way we'll ever find happiness

A great quote from Adoro te Devote:

We have a God who knows us, who loves us, and who has created us entirely for Himself. He constantly extends this invitation in His gentle ways, beckoning us to turn from ourselves and towards Him, and that is the only way any of us will ever find true happiness.

The rest of her post, about her experiences praying the Liturgy of the Hours, is great as well.

Life with Hope

An inspiring story about the life of a young woman with Down Syndrom who is also deaf.

via Suitable for Mixed Company

Top Ten Grammar Errors that Haunt Web Pages

A helpful list.

via Danielle Bean

Friday, June 6, 2008

Quiz: find out when you should die to avoid harming the environment

The Australian Broadcasting Company has a "find out when you should die!" quiz (that seems to be targeted at children) where you can find out what your ideal lifespan is so that you can avoid using more than your fair share of the earth's resources.

via The Cafeteria is Closed

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Multi-Millionaire Throws Birthday Bash in Food Kitchen

What a great thing to do.

via My Journey Beings Now

Learn bird songs

A very well done, easy-to-use collection of the songs of various birds (click on the links to any of the birds' names at the bottom of the page).

via Chez Ouiz

The St. Monica League

A sweet post about supporting mothers of older children, especially when their children may be making destructive life choices:

I think there are a lot of mothers who wish that there were a St. Ambrose around to lift them up and say, "the son of those tears will not be lost." We may not have an Ambrose around, but we can be encouragers to the moms whose children seem to be very lost right now. We can offer our prayers for their children and for them. We can encourage them to continue to love their children, no matter what. And the other thing we can do is to not judge them. It's so easy to play the what if game...

Definitely worth reading the whole thing -- I love the last few lines.

Faith in the face of tragedy

A blogger who recently lost her own baby (whom she chose to carry to term despite knowing that the baby could not survive after birth), suddenly lost her seven-week-old nephew to SIDS last week. Here is her post about going to the viewing at the funeral home, a stunning testament of faith in the face of tragedy.

The Today Show on the rise in vocations to religious life

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When an 8 year old asks for baptism...

A sweet, touching story.

Lust leads to desire for immediate gratification in other areas of life

This is a very interesting study:

[Study authors] found that the desire for immediate rewards increased in men who touched bras, looked at pictures of beautiful women, or watched video clips of young women in bikinis running through a park.

"It seems that sexual appetite causes a greater urgency to consume anything rewarding," the authors suggest. Thus, the activation of sexual desire appears to spill over into other brain systems involved in reward-seeking behaviors, even the cognitive desire for money.

"After they touched a bra, men are more likely to be content with a smaller immediate monetary reward...Prior exposure to sexy stimuli may influence the choice between chocolate cake or fruit for dessert."

From a Christian perspective, it's interesting to see that controlling feelings of lust as we're called to do could lead to benefits in other areas of life as well.

via Evangelical Outpost

Tunneling under the rock

A good point from Darwin.

Training dogs to prepare for a new baby

An article about the increasing demand for trainers who prepare dogs for a new baby:

Christopher Reggio, a publisher of pet-care books, says demand for prenatal dog prep is rising because "dogs today are real family members. They aren't 'owned' by people, they're 'parented' by people." [...]

One recent day, [a dog named] Luca watched as Ms. Rivkin reached into her sport-utility vehicle, gently lifted a plastic doll in a blue "onesie" from the infant car seat and buckled it into a new stroller, then began pushing the stroller and doll through a local arboretum.

"Hey, that's not a real baby," yelled a passing runner. It was hard to know what Luca thought; she was busy nibbling grass.

Ms. Rivkin was doing her homework for Barks & Babies, a seminar taught to 10 couples at a local maternity store. Her instructor...suggests practicing with a fake baby four weeks before mom's due date.

Read the rest here.

Richer Than Rockefeller: Putting Wealth in Perspective

Some great perspective:

As wealthy as he was, Rockefeller might have had anything that money could buy. But what a few hundred dollars may buy today, couldn’t be bought with millions 150 years ago.

Today, we have central heating and air conditioning, cars, planes, Tempur-Pedic mattresses, iPods, and millions of other gadgets. Even Rockefeller in his day couldn’t buy air conditioning. Maybe he had fifteen people fanning him on a hot summer’s day (because he could afford it), but I would rather have air conditioning. He probably had chauffeurs to take him by horse and buggy all around town, but I would much rather be riding in a ten-year-old Chevy.

Read the rest here.

via Amy's Humble Musings

Obligation vs. Opportunity: Perspectives from an Adoptive Parent

A nice article about adoption.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tip for conserving gas

This is a great tip to keep in mind: "Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas."

Inside the Underground Chinese Church

An undercover film crew follows a Chinese Evangelical pastor who is on the run from authorities. It's about 11 minutes long and well worth watching. Really fascinating and inspiring. (At 7:10 they pray a Hail Mary -- it's neat to hear that in Chinese.)

via Inside Catholic

In Pictures: Inside The World's First Billion-Dollar Home


Shopper at grocery store stung by scorpion

A bad day at Wal-Mart. Here's the video with a picture of the scorpion. It looks like the ones in my house.