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12
Sep

U2 continuing to work with Apple on music related projects, interactive listening experiences

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16
Sep

Appreciation of Mathematics

Most people cannot believe that I love the New York Times even though I disagree with its editorial positions on most issues and angrily yank what’s left of my hair out of my head when I see how story selection is spun against conservatives.

Without a doubt, the New York Times has been a stalwart of ideas and thought for decades, regardless of one’s political belief. The newspaper covers performance art, science, international news, and even sports with a deep and rich quality not found in other newspapers. Though it carries the locale “New York” in its title, its metropolitan section has been lackluster, even though it employs my favorite local columnist, Jim Dwyer. However, even as it minimizes local coverage, what they do cover locally is wonderfully composed and presented, a richness that other local newspapers cannot equal.

While some of its op-ed columnists I can do without, the best part of reading the Times is the ability to turn the page when you see their names that will make you angry. Paul Krugman leads my list of “Columnists I Will Never Read.” His presentation of economic thought is clearly couched in some odd Keynesian theory that, when found to be wrong time and time again, Krugman seems to double down and attacks supply side theory.

The great richness of the op-ed page of the “newspaper of record” is that you can never really know what you will find printed on those pages. This morning’s op-ed provides a wonderful example.

The title: “How to Fall In Love with Math.”

The op-ed, written by Professor Manil Suri of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, attempts to direct the reader to consider mathematics not as something that is just used to balance one’s checkbook, but as something grander and more thoughtfully complex than just adding and subtracting. Personally, I rarely think of math outside of looking at my bank statement each month. But what if we human beings can look at math at a deeper level, appreciating it for more than just digits on a balance sheet. As Professor Suri writes:

“Think of it this way: you can appreciate art without acquiring the ability to paint, or enjoy a symphony without being able to read music. Math also deserves to be enjoyed for its own sake, without being constantly subjected to the question, ‘When will I use this?'”

For me, I’ve never thought of mathematics outside of the adding-subtracting box. Though I use plenty of technology in my life that is heavily mathematical at its core, my personal thoughts have never considered the importance of how everything we see and think is deeply intwined with math.

No other newspaper would print an op-ed approaching this quality. The New York Post, a newspaper that is my favorite, would never run an article about math or the theory behind mathematical thought. But the Times would. I believe there aren’t many op-eds printed today on newspaper websites that will push me to think outside of the box.

14
Sep

Attacks Against Christians In Zanzibar Continue

At least this story made page A9 of the New York Times. Most of the time, stories dealing with attacks against Christians across the Atlantic or Pacific are missed by the media here in America. 

Priest in Zanzibar Is Burned In Another Attack on Clergy

          By Katrin Bennhold

 

LONDON — In another sign that religious tensions are on the rise in Zanzibar, a Roman Catholic priest was burned in an acid attack on Friday.

 

The attack was the latest aimed at Christian clergy members and churches in the last year on the Tanzanian island, which has a Muslim majority.

 

It also came a month after two British teenage girls volunteering at a nursery school had acid thrown at them in Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City, and had to be flown back to Britain for skin grafts…

11
Sep

Things I’ve Learned Today

Things I’ve learned from the 2013 Associated Press Stylebook:

1. It is still proper to use “the” before “Rev.”
2. The word “linoleum” is no longer trademarked. 
3. The use of the word “parishioner” is OK when speaking of members of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. However, for non-hierarchical Protestant denominations, use of the word is a no-no.

#grammargeek

11
Sep

Morning Prayer, September 11

The following were our readings from today’s Morning Prayer service at my church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran of New Milford, NJ:

Psalm 100

Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (verse 3)

Romans 2:1-16

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (verse 1)

10
Sep

Lunch, September 10

Lunch, September 10

Vegetables with lentils

What does a pastor professing to be a vegan eat for lunch? I say “professing to be a vegan” because I don’t care if you wear leather, idle your car for hours in the parking lot, or even if you eat pizza smothered in pepperoni. I eat a low fat, whole foods, plant based diet. Tasty. Very little fat. And vegetables taste wonderful!

The recipe is simple – I looked through the vegetable drawer and picked out a zucchini, the wrapped up half of an onion I put in the drawer on Sunday, a red pepper, a baby bok choy, and two cups of spinach. After dropping everything on the counter, I started a half-cup of lentils (makes about a cup when done) by dropping them in low sodium veggie broth. After the lentils were cooked, about 25 minutes, I started the veggie stir fry in a wok, using four tablespoons of veggie broth instead of anything containing oil. When those were cooked to the consistency I like, I dumped in the lentils, stirred everything, added a little black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. A few minutes later, I sat down at the desk here in the home office and typed this post.

If you eat the entire recipe, it will set you back a whopping 257 calories, or so says the MyFitnessPal app on my phone.

EDIT: I forgot to type it in above, I also added a quarter cup of corn (OK, a little less than a quarter cup; just poured in what I had left over from Sunday). The calorie count doesn’t change since that 257 count includes the corn.

10
Sep

Slaves to Righteousness

I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 6:19-22 ESV

10
Sep

One of My Favorite Hymns…

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

Hymn 709 in the Lutheran Service Book. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved this hymn. Two of the verses that really sing to my faith:

The King of love my shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His And He is mine forever.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, But yet in love He sought me

And on His shoulder gently laid And home rejoicing brought me.

And this weekend, we get to sing it.

10
Sep

Morning Prayer, September 10

The following were our church-appointed readings for Morning Prayer held at St. Matthew’s Lutheran this morning at 7:15am. Click on the individual links to see the entire reading:

Psalm 99

Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the Lord our God is holy. (verse 9)

Romans 1:18-32

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (verses 24 & 25)

10
Sep

The March of the Snow People

Snow People

Did you know that our Crafters have started up again after a summer break?

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