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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunspots 429

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Computing: National Public Radio reports that the NSA, which supposedly can look at lots of our personal e-mail and telephone calls, says that it is not able to search its own e-mails. Hmmm . . .

Gizmo's Freeware has updated its article on "How to Harden Your Browser Against Malware and Privacy Concerns."

Science: The New York Times reports on a study indicating that smokers continue to smoke because their self-control is not as good as that of non-smokers.

Sports: ESPN on why the national anthem is sung at baseball games. (Babe Ruth, and a player who ended up living close to where I used to, Fred Thomas, are mentioned in the article.)

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Prayer and Missions, by E. M. Bounds, part 1

Missions mean the giving of the Gospel to those of Adam’s fallen race who have never heard of Christ and his atoning death. It means the giving to others the opportunity to hear of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and allowing others to have a chance to receive, and accept the blessings of the Gospel, as we have it in Christianised lands. It means that those who enjoy the benefits of the Gospel give these same religious advantages and Gospel privileges to all of mankind. Prayer has a great deal to do with missions. Prayer is the handmaid of missions. The success of all real missionary effort is dependent on prayer. The life and spirit of missions are the life and spirit of prayer. Both prayer and missions were born in the Divine Mind. Prayer and missions are bosom companions. Prayer creates and makes missions successful, while missions lean heavily on prayer. In Psalm 72, one which deals with the Messiah, it is stated that “prayer shall be made for him continually.” Prayer would be made for His coming to save man, and prayer would be made for the success of the plan of salvation which He would come to set on foot.

The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the spirit of missions. Our Lord Jesus Christ was Himself the first missionary. His promise and advent composed the first missionary movement. The missionary spirit is not simply a phase of the Gospel, not a mere feature of the plan of salvation, but is its very spirit and life. The missionary movement is the Church of Jesus Christ marching in militant array, with the design of possessing the whole world of mankind for Christ. Whoever is touched by the Spirit of God is fired by the missionary spirit. An antimissionary Christian is a contradiction in terms. We might say that it would be impossible to be an anti-missionary Christian because of the impossibility for the Divine and human forces to put men in such a state as not to align them with the missionary cause. Missionary impulse is the heart-beat of our Lord Jesus Christ, sending the vital forces of Himself through the whole body of the Church. The spiritual life of God’s people rises or falls with the force of those heart-beats. When these life forces cease, then death ensues. So that anti-missionary Churches are dead Churches, just as anti-missionary Christians are dead Christians.

- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds. 

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, hereThe Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer. 

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How ideas spread from person to person

A recent article in the New Yorker discusses, with examples, how ideas spread. The article, written by a medical doctor, describes how some healthcare ideas, like the use of anesthesia, spread very rapidly -- and that was in the nineteenth century. It also describes how some ideas, like being as sterile as possible when you are going to do surgery, spread much more slowly, and indicates some of the reasons why this might be so. Then it discusses some healthcare ideas which should be spread to third world societies, for their own sakes, and how difficult that can be.

The bottom line? For at least some medical changes, technological aids don't do much good towards getting people to change. It takes one-on-one demonstration, showing how to do something, and explaining why it's important..

The article is fascinating, but I can't help but be reminded of how the gospel should be spread. Using technology is OK, but what's really needed is one-on-one demonstration, showing how, and why it's important.

Thanks for reading! Read the New Yorker article.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunspots 428

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:
Christianity: God and Nature magazine reports on how and why a mature Christian couple changed their beliefs about the age of the earth.
Health: (or ethics, or sex) National Public Radio reports on the question of "Can Elderly Patients With Dementia Consent To Sex?"
Humor: (sort of) A photo of what happens when you try to drive in wet concrete.
Science: In case you didn't know it, there has been some doubt that Tyrannosaurus rex was really a savage predator, but might have merely scavenged on dead animals. National Public Radio reports on good evidence that it was, indeed, a hunter of other dinosaurs.

Image source (public domain)

Monday, July 22, 2013

How much does the Bible say we should spend on sunglasses?

There seem to be some things that the Bible makes clear -- we should do them, or we shouldn't. Examples: love your enemies; don't commit adultery. But there are all sorts of areas where we have to make decisions on our own. There's no scriptural guidance.

One example: how should we dress? I happen to belong to a denomination (it's not the only one like this) that has a history with some legalism in it. People believed that they should wear certain types of clothing, usually no jewelry, and their hair should be prepared in a certain way, especially when they came to church. We're pretty much over that now, thank God. But why was it so appealing to some, in the past?

I don't know all the answers. One possible answer is that the Bible does say that we should dress modestly. But modesty is mostly a state of mind. It's possible to appear in public without being mostly covered, but with a modest attitude -- that is, without wanting to draw attention to yourself, or how you are dressed, made up, hair fixed, and otherwise ornamented. It's possible to cover yourself up rather thoroughly, but have a desire to show off your body, or your clothes, or your new watch, in a proud manner.

Another reason is that we like to conform. Even people who call themselves nonconformists like to conform.

But there's a third reason. Having a set of standards that can be followed, by anyone, regardless of the state of their relationship to Christ, is tempting. It tempts people to follow those standards, and not engage in the deeper walk that comes to us as the Holy Spirit draws us deeper and deeper into the attitude of conformity to Christ. And it tempts people to even think that there is no such conformity with Christ's attitude, but just a set of external standards. I'm not saying that those who did, or do, dress a certain way, and leave off some ornamentation, as part of their religious culture, cannot be also conformed to the mind of Christ. Some of them were, and some of them are. But it's too easy to think that conformity to a human standard is all that is expected of us, when it isn't.

What does all this have to do with the title of this post? Good question. Here's my answer. God leaves us to make decisions on all sorts of things, without explicit scriptural guidance? Why is that? Well, one reason has to do with the culture of Bible times. If Paul had spelled out what kind of sunglasses to wear, if any, and how much to pay for them, his contemporaries would probably have thought him crazy, and he wouldn't have understood what he was writing about, himself. But there's another, more important reason, spelled out above. If there was a 21st Century rule book on dress, and spending money, and how we can and can't entertain ourselves and eat, and it was comprehensive, we would think that we could redeem ourselves by our adherence to that rule book. But we couldn't. We can only redeem ourselves by accepting Christ's sacrifice for sin, and following Him as our Lord. Uncertainty on what to do in these matters should drive me to keeping a warm and living relationship with God, who can help me make such decisions.

Deciding how to spend money, what to wear, what to eat, and the like, should be informed by our relationship with Christ. We should pray, and try to think what He would do. And we should realize that we may get such matters wrong, or disagree with fellow believers about these things. (And we need to be tolerant of the behavior of other Christians.) Being wrong, or being different, should remind us that we aren't redeemed by following rules. We are redeemed by Christ's sacrifice!

Although I have spoken only of individual decisions on behavior, group decisions also should be made in this way. We should pray, and seek the mind of Christ, and Biblical guidance, if there is any, on important issues as groups of believers. And, when we do, we should recognize that different groups may come to different conclusions about ritual, doctrine, how a church building looks, church government, and many other things, without either one being sinful in their belief and practice.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The universality of prayer, part 5, by E. M. Bounds

Prayer runs parallel with the will of God, “who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Prayer reaches up to heaven, and brings heaven down to earth. Prayer has in its hands a double blessing. It rewards him who prays, and blesses him who is prayed for. It brings peace to warring passions and calms warring elements. Tranquillity is the happy fruit of true praying. There is an inner calm which comes to him who prays and an outer calm as well. Prayer creates “quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.”

Right praying not only makes life beautiful in peace, but redolent in righteousness and weighty in influence. Honesty, gravity, integrity and weight in character are the natural and essential fruits of prayer.

It is this kind of world-wide, large-hearted, unselfish praying which pleases God well, and which is acceptable in His sight, because it cooperates with His will and runs in gracious streams to all men and to each man. It is this kind of praying which the man Christ Jesus did when on earth, and the same kind which He is now doing at His Father’s right hand in heaven, as our Mighty Intercessor. He is the pattern of prayer. He is between God and man, the one Mediator, who gave Himself a ransom for all men, and for each man.

So it is that true prayer links itself to the will of God, and runs in streams of solicitude, and compassion, and intercession for men. As Jesus Christ died for every one involved in the fall, so prayer girdles every one and gives itself for the benefit of every one. Like our one Mediator between God and man, he who prays stands midway between God and man, with prayers, supplications, “and strong cryings and tears.” Prayer holds in its grasp the movements of the race of man, and embraces the destinies of men for all eternity. The king and the beggar are both affected by it. It touches heaven and moves earth. Prayer holds earth to heaven and brings heaven in close contact with earth.

- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds. 

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, hereThe Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 19, 2013

King David on offering things to God

1 Chronicles 21:22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar to Yahweh on it. You shall sell it to me for the full price, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people.”
23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes. Behold, I give the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal offering. I give it all.”
24 King David said to Ornan, “No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price. For I will not take that which is yours for Yahweh, nor offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
25 So David gave to Ornan six hundred shekels* of gold by weight for the place. 26 David built an altar to Yahweh there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on Yahweh; and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering.

*text note - this was about six kilograms of gold.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty! For all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all! In your hand is power and might! It is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all! 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name. 14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no remaining. 16 Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes from your hand, and is all your own.

- World English Bible, public domain

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunspots 427

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:
Christianity: Staci Johnson has a post on beliefs, and discusses the difference between a posture and a position.
Weekend Fisher considers Grace and the Trinity.

Henry Neufeld says that he is not an evolutionist, any more than he is a gravitationist.

Computing: Gizmo's Freeware has posted what they say is the best list of free security products in the world.
Philosophy: The Skeptical Zone discusses intelligence, as in Intelligent Design.
Science: Wired reports that the time of year when a baby is conceived (or born) influences how healthy the child will be.
National Public Radio reports on the ancestry of dogs. It turns out that some dogs in the Americas are mostly descended from dogs that were in the Americas before Europeans came here, bringing their own dogs.

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The universality of prayer, part 4, by E. M. Bounds

There is strong Scriptural warrant, therefore, for reaching out and embracing all men in our prayers, since not only are we commanded thus to pray for them, but the reason given is that Christ gave Himself a ransom for all men, and all men are provisionally beneficiaries of the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

But lastly, and more at length, prayer has a universal side in that all things which concern us are to be prayed about, while all things which are for our good, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and eternal, are subjects of prayer. Before, however, we consider this phase of prayer let us stop and again look at the universal prayer for all men. As a special class to be prayed for, we may mention those who have control in state or who bear rule in the Church. Prayer has mighty potencies. It makes good rulers, and makes them better rulers. It restrains the lawless and the despotic. Rulers are to be prayed for. They are not out of the reach and the control of prayer, because they are not out of the reach and control of God. Wicked Nero was on the throne of Rome when Paul wrote these words to Timothy urging prayer for those in authority.

Christian lips are to breathe prayers for the cruel and infamous rulers in state as well as for the righteous and the benign governors and princes. Prayer is to be as far-reaching as the race, “for all men.” Humanity is to burden our hearts as we pray, and all men are to engage our thoughts in approaching a throne of grace. In our praying hours, all men must have a place. The wants and woes of the entire race are to broaden and make tender our sympathies, and inflame our petitions. No little man can pray. No man with narrow views of God, of His plan to save men, and of the universal needs of all men, can pray effectually. It takes a broad-minded man, who understands God and His purposes in the atonement, to pray well. No cynic can pray. Prayer is the divinest philanthropy, as well as giant-great-heartedness. Prayer comes from a big heart, filled with thoughts about all men and with sympathies for all men.

- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds. 

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, hereThe Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sunspots 426

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: A fine review of a book I decided not to get, among the Amazon user-contributed book reviews: "Basically, my reaction to this book is this. Reading a book about the Bible is a lot like watching someone else play a video game. You can learn some things but you can't have the experience until you do it yourself."
"A . . . scholarship focus can set up a dangerous mindset that knowledge is the point of the Bible. When actually it is to get out and share the saving grace of Jesus with the world."

Science: Discovery reports that spider webs may attract prey because the webs, and the prey, are electrically charged.

Three National Public Radio reports on gut (that's a perfectly good biology word, meaning the apparatus between the mouth and the anus, by the way) bacteria and their importance:

Gut bacterial populations seem to be quite stable over long periods of time, and we may get much of that population from our mothers or other relatives.

Gut bacteria may produce a substance, after helping us digest meat, that increases risks for heart attacks.
Gut bacteria populations may cause some forms of malnutrition.

Image source (public domain)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Beauty and science: quotations from others

The quotations below are about the relationship between beauty and science. They were written, or said, by a variety of people, some overtly Christian, such as John C. Polkinghorne, some not, such as Einstein or Feynman. Most of the publications are secular, including those from Yale University Press and Cambridge University Press, Physics Today, and the New York Times.

Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate, wrote: “What is it about nature that lets this happen, that it is possible to guess from one part what the rest is going to do? That is an unscientific question: I do not know how to answer it, and therefore I am going to give an unscientific answer. I think it is because nature has a simplicity and therefore a great beauty.” “Seeking New Laws,” pp. 143-167, in Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law, New York: Modern Library, 1994. Quote is from p. 167. I have read all, or nearly all, of Feynman’s popular writing, and seen no evidence that he believed in God at all.

The world, you might argue, does not need yet another subatomic particle. But even particle physics has not been about particles for a long time, physicists say. Rather it is about the relationships between particles, the symmetries that nature seems to respect, in short, about the beauty that physical laws seem to embody. Dennis Overbye, "After Triumph and Disillusionment, Wonder Re-enters the Story," New York Times, July 27, 2004

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it; and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing and life would not be worth living. . . . I mean the intimate beauty which comes from the harmonious order of its parts and which a pure intelligence can grasp. Henri Poincaré, as quoted by S. Chandrasekar, "Beauty and the quest for beauty in science," Physics Today, July, 1979, pp. 25-30, p. 25. Source not given.

We live in a world whose physical fabric is endowed with transparent rational beauty. Attempts have been made to explain away this fact. No one would deny, of course, that evolutionary necessity will have moulded our ability for thinking in ways that will ensure its adequacy for understanding the world around us, at least to the extent that is demanded by pressures for survival. Yet our surplus intellectual capacity, enabling us to comprehend the microworld of quarks and gluons and the macroworld of big bang cosmology, is on such a scale that it beggars belief that this is simply a fortunate by-product of the struggle for life. Remember that Sherlock Holmes told a shocked Dr. Watson that he didn't care whether the Earth went around the Sun or vice versa, for it had no relevance to the pursuits of his daily life! John C. Polkinghorne, Belief in God in an Age of Science. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998. pp. 2-3.

Thus, the perception of the world's beauty as a reflection of God's glory is incomplete without the awareness that underlying the beauty and wonder of earthly nature is the omnipresent, restless operation of electromagnetic phenomena. These phenomena can be seen as a reflection, an analogue, of God's indwelling. This very thought, in itself, possesses an inherent aesthetic value.

Moreover, the appreciation of the beauty that the EMI [Electromagnetic Interaction] contributes to nature is wanting without the realization that the mathematical equations that describe the EMI have a timeless beauty. The elegant symmetry of Maxwell's equations and the inspired simplicity of Dirac's equation bestow an abiding aesthetic flavor to the texture of the microscopic underworld. Dirac and Heisenberg among many other theoretical physicists have throughout their careers expressed how they have been guided by the criteria of beauty and simplicity in their work.
- Lawrence W. Fagg, Electromagnetism and the Sacred: At the Frontier of Spirit and Matter (New York: Continuum, 1999) p. 120.

For the theist, the rational beauty of the physical world is not just a brute fact, but a reflection of the mind of the Creator. Aesthetic experience and ethical intuitions are not just psychological or social constructs, but intimations of God's joy in creation and of his just will. Religious experience is not illusory human projection, but encounter with divine reality. There is an integrating wholeness in the theistic account which I find intellectually satisfying, even though it must wrestle with the mystery of infinite Being.

The theist and the atheist alike survey the same world of human experience, but offer incompatible interpretations of it. My claim would be that theism has a more profound and comprehensive understanding to offer than that afforded by atheism. Atheists are not stupid, but they explain less.
- John C. Polkinghorne, The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker. The Gifford Lectures for 1993-4, p. 70. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994

That seems even clearer to us when we recognize that it is mathematics which gives us the key to unlock the secrets of nature. Paul Dirac spent his life in the search for beautiful equations. That is a concept not all will find immediately accessible, but among those of us who speak the language of mathematics, mathematical beauty is a recognizable quality. It is hard to describe but easy to recognize -- like most other kinds of beauty. Its essence lies in a certain economy and elegance that leads to the mathematical property of being 'deep.'… Time and again we have found that it is equations with that indispensable character of mathematical beauty which describe the nature of the physical world. - John C. Polkinghorne, Beyond Science: The Wider Human Context. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 79-80.

I asked him once about a theory and he said, "when I am evaluating a theory, I ask myself, if I were God, would I have made the universe in that way." If the theory did not have the sort of simple beauty that would be demanded of a God, then the theory was at best only provisional. (Banesh Hoffman, "Working with Einstein," pp. 475-478, in Some Strangeness in the Proportion: A Centennial Symposium to Celebrate the Achievements of Albert Einstein, Harry Woolf, ed. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1980. Quote is from p. 476.) 

The Psalmist said:  1 The heavens declare the glory of God.
The expanse shows his handiwork.
2 Day after day they pour out speech,
and night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19, Bible quotations from the World English Bible, public domain)

St. Paul said:  "For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity . . ." Romans 1:20a.

As far as we can tell, God created a universe that is understandable, and beautiful. Physicists, and others, have understood part of the way in which that universe is put together, and what they understand reveals a universe of pattern, of beauty, of, if you please, design. Hebrews 11:3 says that we understand that God created the universe by faith, and it is true that there is no scientific proof for God's creation, but, for those of us who look, even some who have not believed in a personal Creator, the evidence is there.

Thanks for reading. We live in a beautiful universe!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The universality of prayer, part 3, by E. M. Bounds

There is just this modification of the idea that one can pray everywhere. Some places, because of the evil business carried on there, or because of the environments which belong there, growing out of the place itself, the moral character of those who carry on the business, and of those who support it, are localities where prayer would not be in place. We might instance the saloon, the theatre, the opera, the card table, the dance, and other like places of worldly amusement. Prayer is so much out of place at such places that no one would ever presume to pray. Prayer would be an intrusion, so regarded by the owners, the patrons and the supporters of such places. Furthermore those who attend such places are not praying people. They belong almost entirely to the prayerless crowd of worldlings.

While we are to pray everywhere, it unquestionably means that we are not to frequent places where we cannot pray. To pray everywhere is to pray in all legitimate places, and to attend especially those places where prayer is welcome, and is given a gracious hospitality. To pray everywhere is to preserve the spirit of prayer in places of business, in our intercourse with men, and in the privacy of the home amid all of its domestic cares.

The Model Prayer of our Lord, called familiarly “The Lord’s Prayer,” is the universal prayer, because it is peculiarly adapted to all men everywhere in all circumstances in all times of need. It can be put in the mouths of all people in all nations, and in all times. It is a model of praying which needs no amendment nor alteration for every family, people and nation.

Furthermore, prayer has its universal application in that all men are to be the subjects of prayer. All men everywhere are to be prayed for. Prayer must take in all of Adam’s fallen race because all men are fallen in Adam, redeemed in Christ, and are benefited by prayers for them. This is Paul’s doctrine in his prayer directory in 1 Tim. 2:1:

“I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men.”

- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds. 

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, hereThe Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer. 

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

A poster on faith and trust, based on quotations from Morgan L. Busse and Eliza E. Hewitt

Faith quote from Morgan L. Busse, using lilacs

The poster above was inspired by a blog post by fantastic literature author Morgan L. Busse. She kindly gave me permission to use it in this way, and I thank her. There is also a quotation from the gospel song, "My Faith Has Found A Resting Place," by Eliza E. Hewitt, which song is in the public domain. The quotation says this:
My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

The flowers in the background are lilacs, on a bush in Superior, Wisconsin, near the college, now university, where I obtained my bachelor's degree, for which I thank God. The photo that the background is derived from was taken in June, 2013.

I thank my wife for helpful criticism of earlier versions of this poster. Thanks to you for looking, and reading. Examine the basis of your faith, and I'll try to do the same.

* * * *

Added June 17, 2014: Busse has written again about the situation that apparently led to the statements used in the graphic.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Sunspots 425

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: My church, The Wesleyan Church, has a position paper on homosexuality. A good one. (Note -- it was published in 2010, so is not just a reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision.)

Health: The Guardian says that the source of pain in fibromyalgia has finally been identified. It's nerve fibers in the hand.

The LA Times reports on a "reverse vaccine" for diabetes. It helps prevent the immune system from attacking the cells that make insulin.

Science: Linguistic science, that is. Business Insider has published over 20 maps of the continental US, showing differences in pronunciation (or vocabulary) by region. Interesting.

Sports: (Sort of) The Telegraph reports on an unusual group of football matches, being played between robot teams, with the, er, goal, of being good enough to beat humans in a couple of dozen years or so. (that's the football that everyone besides some North Americans call football -- we mostly call it soccer)

Image source (public domain)