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Archive for March, 2010

What a wonderful old man Chalmers is. Or rather, he has all the buoyancy of youth. When so many of us are wringing our hands in hopeless despair over the vileness and wretchedness of the large towns, there goes the old man, shovel in hand, down into the dirtiest puddles, cleans them out, and fills the sewers with living waters. It is a beautiful sight.

– Thomas Carlyle

Brief bio by George Grant

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Vittles

Personal Study Tours

A fantastic sneak-peak into the personal libraries of the men associated with T4G. If you only watch one, see Mohler’s.

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Think Big

A look inside the fast-paced and fun corporate environment of Facebook.

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Waiting on Your Refund?

Mine is in hand and already gone, but follow the link to find out when you can expect to receive your tax refund. Wondrously, if you haven’t filed yet, you can use this link to find out when to expect it and how much it will be.

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Hockey Fever

A chart showing water consumption during the gold medal Olympic game.

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In Defense of Food

“You now have to eat three apples to get the same amount of iron as you would have gotten from a 1940 apple, and you’d have to eat several more slices of bread to get your recommended daily allowance of zinc than you would have a century ago.”

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Grooveshark

Live stream full-length custom songs and albums and make your own playlists. This is different from LaLa and Pandora and the others. I use it every day.

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Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel

If I were in the market for a $20 breakfast, I would so be here when I spend three days in Louisville next month.

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As a child C. S. Lewis attended a number of schools (which he hated), but in 1914 he moved to Bookham at Surrey to study privately with his father’s former tutor, William T. Kirkpatrick. Lewis homeschooled under Kirkpatrick for the next two years before receiving a scholarship to Oxford in December of 1916. In a letter dated October 12, 1915, Lewis described his typical day of schooling to a friend. (Lewis was 16 years old at the time, soon to turn 17.)

Typical Schedule:

  • Breakfast and a short walk
  • Thucydides and Homer
  • 15-minute break
  • Tacitus
  • Lunch at 1:00

Read the rest here at Ray Fowler’s site.

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Amazing On-Bird Video

What happens if you attach a camera to a peregrine falcon and a Gos hawk…and live to tell about it.

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Nature War

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Vittles

Books Should Be Free

Here is a source for lots and lots of free downloadable audiobooks.

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Uber-Compendium of BEAUTIFUL Libraries

Biblioteca Angelica - Rome, Italy

Many, many more in link.

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Fiverr

What will you do for $5. Some things are silly, some could be helpful.

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Doug and Nate Wilson tag team to free you from the stifled consternation that binds your conscience. Be free! Really good stuff.

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Brain Bent Toward God

Isaac Newton by Mitch Stokes (along with biographies of Jane Austen, Saint Patrick and John Bunyan and Winston Churchill) is part of a new Christian Encounters series released by Thomas Nelson on 3/2/10. About five more titles will be added in August, and I impressed with the affordable price that was affixed to them. About these important people, the publisher writes, “We are now living in a world they created and understand both it and ourselves better in the light of their lives.”

Alexander Pope wrote an epitaph that was carved above the fireplace of the room in which Newton was born. It reads,

Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;

God said, “Let Newton be,” and all was light.

Truly, Newton was an epic force in changing the way the world thought about a wide swath of subjects. Truths that we now carry as assumptions and consider almost innate knowledge, were first elucidated by Newton in the 1600s and early 1700s. At the same time, Newton was foremost a godward man. The common view of the day was that science and philosophy were meant to better man and his condition. “Newton believed that all knowledge–including knowledge of nature–was, in the end, knowledge of God. Knowing was worship.” And this permeated everything.

I do not have a deep background in science or mathematics, and those who don’t may struggle with portions of this book that describe the content and depth of Newton’s drive and study. But I do understand the fundamental and original nature of ideas that he laid out, despite obstacles and naysayers.

This book is a quality summary of Newton’s life, and I appreciate owning it.

(This particular copy had some differing depths of inkprint, which was a little annoying and hard on the eyes.)

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Vittles

Better Homes and Gardens TV

He’s not really from Kansas, but here is a video of Nate Wilson being interviewed by Better Homes and Gardens TV show.

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Picnik

Don’t you love Picnik? Google just bought it, so it should get even gooder.

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Walmart v Whole Food

I’m becoming a foodie by degrees. I’ve seen Food, Inc., read Crunchy Cons and have a Michael Pollan book on my sill ready to be added to the short docket.

So, I found this article interesting.

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Machine Mania

This music video has a crazy and impressive assortment of sequential machine works.

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This weekend we finished the last (6th) disc in Ken Burn’s series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The set is a treasure trove of Americanism and the vast variety and beauty of God’s created world. We enjoyed every drop, sometimes with our jaws hanging open. Every video made us want to go jump in the car and get going on our own National Park tour.

On this date in 1872, Congress made a brash and unprecedented move of creating Yellowstone National Park. It was an outlandish idea to all the world, and Yellowstone is called America’s First Park, but it could be called the first in the world. Today there are almost 400 National Parks in the U.S. and over 6,500 national parks worldwide.

Peter Coyote is the primary narrator for this set, and his voice and the music are very compelling in building a beautiful mood for telling the story. More than just landscapes, which are stunningly presented, National Parks is the compilation of stories of individuals who loved the parks and sought to preserve and expand them. There are a good number of villains, too.

There were a good number of wonderful quotations from the documentary, but the two words that best encapsulate the whole series are the ones that have been mulling through my mind since I saw it a week or two ago is the idea that being in the parks, experiencing the sheer vastness, experiencing our infinite smallness, promotes the reality of our own “atomic insignificance” as Charles Sheldon said as he stood face to face with Mount McKinley.

Available on Amazon here.

Here is one of many wonderful previews of the story:

There is also a book based on the series.

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Here is Nate Wilson sitting in the Random House Author Spotlight. It’s a very good chunk of paragraphs you should read.

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The truth of this poem has already maybe prevented you from being interested in actually reading it. You’ll love this poem if you will take the time to read it.

Television

by Roald Dahl

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set –
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink –
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

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