Away we go...
HD Photos of the Sun -- Obligatory Colossal Link
Alan Friedman photographs the sun from his own backyard. Amazing what the world offers us if we look:
Work Less, Save the Planet -- Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones
I already shared this on FB/twitter but it bears repeating:
A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research concludes that if we all worked fewer hours, we could cut future global warming by as much as 22 percent by 2100.
Sabbath has environmental benefits! Yee-haw!
I was on God Complex Radio recently, and the discussion between Derrick and Carol following my interview touched on this exact thing. Good on them for being all cutting edge!
Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday -- Presbyterian Church (USA), Shannon Kershner
It's humbling to be mentioned in the same article as the totally awesome Theresa Cho. Thank you Shannon.
The Evolution of Religion, According to Darwin -- Elizabeth Drescher, Religion Dispatches
Was the great scientist a “proto-None”?
Pleins argues that reading Darwin and the theories he developed through the lens of an uncompromising rejection of religion has prevented us from seeing the full scope of Darwin’s genius, which reckoned with religion in evolutionary terms every bit as much as it did with natural selection or adaptation.
..."I’d say that Darwin teaches us that it is quite natural for humans to be religious and that it is appropriate for Darwinians to be curious about why humans seek a religious purpose to their lives. That doesn’t require that we think that religion is entirely artificial. That it’s merely a coping mechanism. One can be a Darwinian without having to condemn religion or the sense—a sense that Darwin often explored—that there is something more."
The book is called Evolving God and it's going on my Goodreads.
Spirituality in the (Snow) Storm -- Brad Hirschfield, Washington Post
The spirituality of snow is a spirituality of repose. It offers the opportunity to celebrate simply being, not the doing which fills most of our lives most of the time. It literally creates a blanket which absorbs the noise that fills our ears during less snowy times.
I write in the book about Sabbath as a spiritual snow day. That said, an actual snow day would be nice, O DC area weather gods.
Labor of Love: The Enforced Happiness of Pret a Manger -- Timothy Noah, The New Republic
For a good long while, I let myself think that the slender platinum blonde behind the counter at Pret A Manger was in love with me. How else to explain her visible glow whenever I strolled into the shop for a sandwich or a latte? Then I realized she lit up for the next person in line, and the next. Radiance was her job.
In the three decades since Hochschild published The Managed Heart, the emotional economy has spread like a noxious weed to dry cleaners, nail salons, even computer-repair shops. (Think of Apple's Genius Bars—parodied by The Onion as "Friend Bars"—where employees are taught to be empathetic and use words like "feel" as much as possible.) Back when she wrote her book, Hochschild estimated that about one-third of all jobs entailed "substantial demands for emotional labor." Today, she figures it's more like half. This is, among other things, terrible news for men, who (unlike women) are not taught from birth how to make other people happy. Perhaps that explains why men are losing ground in the service economy.
How Parenting Became a DIY Project -- Emily Matchar, Atlantic
From home birth to homemade baby food to homeschooling, raising kids is a way for parents to express their individuality.
We see [the] principle of individualism writ large when it comes to parenthood. Parents often value individuality—both their own and their children's—above other concerns.
These main factors have led to the growth of what historian Stephanie Coontz calls "the myth of parental omnipotence"—the idea that parents can and should personally ensure their children's success through their own hard work and hyper-attentiveness.
I've been casting about for a Lent discipline. I finally settled on it: to do nothing extra. I will be content with good enough. That sounds a bit lame on the surface---I'm going to half-a** my way through Lent---but I think I'm on to something. That omnipotence stuff is very powerful in our culture, and not just with parenting. The myth of omnipotence seduces us into thinking we're in charge of our lives. We are not---and what could be more Lenten than that?
50 Sure Signs that Texas is Actually Utopia -- BuzzFeed
Texas politics are seven kinds of crazy, but I love this list. And the counter-list.
I'd remove the Bush twins though, and add this lady, of blessed memory:
Have a great weekend, everyone. Even if you're not from Texas.