Wednesday, December 26, 2012

All about the planets

Here is a neat link that has a lot of information about the planets. It tells you what their density is, their temperature, how long a day is, and how long a year is. You can see on the density chart that Saturn would float on water!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Love and the disabled child

A powerful article by a woman who never wanted kids, whose life was transformed when she became a single mother to a daughter with Down syndrome who eventually developed cancer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maternal death rates in hospitals with pro-life policies

DarwinCatholic has a great post about the Savita Halappanavar tragedy, with an important clarification about Catholic teaching on abortion and the life of the mother. The most interesting part was this statistic:
In this regard, Irish law and medical practice are in line with a Catholic understanding of the principle of double effect, which is to say: Not only did Irish law not mandate that the hospital decline to treat Ms. Halappanavar, but Catholic teaching does not either.  And, indeed, Ireland is right to be proud of its record of caring for the health of both mothers and children. The percentage of women who die of pregnancy related complications in Ireland (6 out of every 100,000 pregnancies) is half that of the pro-choice UK and less than a third of that of the United States. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Writing Revolution

The fascinating story of how one principal turned her school's performance around by focusing on an often-overlooked area of education: the ability to articulate ideas in writing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bob Ross Remixed

A charming remix of the work of "happy little trees" painter Bob Ross:
 via Austin Kleon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What does your phone number spell?

Find out here. (Very useful for helping kids remember important phone numbers!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dear Melinda Gates

Lots of great data here. Definitely worth a watch.

Beautiful no-mow yards

I'm not familiar with this book, but these pictures are inspiring:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hundreds flock to "Manhattanhenge"

"Manhattanhenge, sometimes known as the Manhattan Solstice, occurs when the setting sun aligns with east-to-west streets of the main street grid."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Am I Married to My Brother?"

A post about sperm donation, and how it impacts the lives of people conceived that way. An excerpt:
It is clear that, at a visceral level, David Gollancz gets the foregoing teachings. He has drawn some good out of his situation by rejoicing in his long-lost siblings, but his feelings about his ancestry are mixed. He says: "It's rather uncomfortable, because artificial insemination was developed on an industrial scale for cattle and I don't like the feeling of having been 'bred.'"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Happiness is the longing for repetition"

A touching and thought-provoking essay by a young woman who found solace in the power of ritual after the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Billboard music milestones

Some fun stuff here, like the fact that Dark Side of the Moon spent 14 years on the Billboard 200 charts!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What writers can learn from ancient oral storytelling traditions

A powerful essay about Irish storytelling and what all writers can learn from it. An excerpt:
Lesson one: Dance with the language. There's a saying that "The English hoard words like misers, the Irish spend them like sailors." Those ancient storytellers were drunk on words. They arrested us with their language, they painted pictures. Storytelling, in print or speech, needs vital energy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The tragic story of a nun who lost her order

A heartbreaking and powerful piece by a man whose sister was called to life as a religious sister, then was left on her own as the order fell apart. Do take the time to read it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Anger and the Psalms

Most of us live in a world in which anger is not a completely acceptable emotion. We are nice people who believe in a religion of peace and we may not experience anything that really seems to make us angry. When our reality is then confronted with the reality of the cursing Psalms we experience a sense of dislocation. We feel that these are not acceptable sentiments for prayer.  
Once again, though, the cries for destruction of enemies and vengeance can become good news. To people who have lost everything, their families, their health, their possessions, their autonomy, anger is not a foreign emotion. For the victims of atrocities in our world anger is a healthy response. When people are able to feel anger rather than simply the emptiness of loss, healing can begin. The Psalms then facilitate this healing because they engender a reality in which it is God who is called upon to act. We are not called upon to personally destroy our enemies but we reaffirm our faith that God is Lord and will bring about justice. A cycle of violence is not being created but rather an affirmation that evil will not triumph.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Goes On in the Garden When You Aren't Watching

An astounding video. From an email I received: "This is sure and watch closely (around 2 min 40 sec) and check out the baby bat under its mama. Unreal."

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Track ships around the world

From a friend: "This link shows the location of every ship on the ocean, its name, heading and speed. To see something impressive work the map over to the English Channel and click on the square south of Southampton."

Friday, March 30, 2012

36,000 feet into the ocean...

A fascinating infograph. Don't miss the gadget on the right that shows you the pressure at any given point. (Also, per the note at the very bottom, I didn't realize that anyone had ever been to the deepest point in the ocean!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This is your brain on fiction

Some interesting data about how the human brain process fiction:

What scientists have come to realize in the last few years is that narratives activate many other parts of our brains as well, suggesting why the experience of reading can feel so alive. Words like “lavender,” “cinnamon” and “soap,” for example, elicit a response not only from the language-processing areas of our brains, but also those devoted to dealing with smells.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When magicians own iPads

A great video. (It's in German, but you don't need to understand the language to understand the coolness.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dinner in New York

I found this really fascinating. It's a photo essay with shots of how different people eat dinner. The pictures reveal a lot about their lifestyles. (Click on the arrow on the top right to begin the slideshow.)

via Slow Mama

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Middle Eastern parents comedy skit

I thought this was cute. It's funny to see how universal so many family struggles are.

via A Year in Skirts

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LOLspeak generator

An important tool that will turn normal text into LOLspeak, a la the famous "I can haz cheeseburger?" meme.