1. Motherhood as Vocation
How should Christians think about the Mommy Wars? Vocationally. You may have heard vocation used as a synonym for occupation. But Martin Luther used it to talk about every Christian's calling to particular offices through which God works to care for his creation. We serve our neighbors as employees, yes, but also as citizens, parishioners, and family members. Through our web of relationships, we are the instruments by which God works in the world.

So, for instance, God heals us by giving us doctors and nurses. He feeds us by giving us farmers and bakers. He gives us earthly order through our governors and legislators, and he gives us life through our parents. God is providing all these gifts---but we receive them from our neighbors.

Parenting is one of the most important vocations we can be given. Yes, the obligations of childrearing are difficult, but when the duties are fulfilled with the knowledge that we are doing the will of God, our reward is great. Luther wrote that fathers should not complain when they have to rock a baby, change his diaper, or care for the baby's mother, but instead should view each act as a holy blessing.

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2. An "Interview" with the Apostle Paul on the Law, Life, and Death

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3. Norway goes secular, removes Lutheran Church as state religion
Norway, which is one of few developed countries to still have a state religion, passed a final hurdle Thursday to separate the Protestant Lutheran Church from the state, parliament said.

The move, which requires changes to Norway's constitution, was approved by parliament a second time Thursday, in what was a formality after lawmakers voted through with overwhelming support on Monday, with 161 votes in favour and just three opposing votes.

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4. 9 Tips for Eating Christianly

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5. The Most Comma Mistakes

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6. Why Do Paper Cuts Hurt So Much?

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7. History's Most Famous Black Sheep
Pauline Bonaparte - Where do we start? She used her servants as footstools (even for the time this was NOT normal) and sold the country Napoleon put her in charge of for a few million francs. Worst of all (in her brother's eyes) was the fact that Pauline was an unrepentant loose woman. Seriously, she could put most drunk college girls to shame. Her love affairs were so numerous and so obvious that Napoleon finally forced her to get married, hoping to stop this embarrassment to his greatness. When that husband died, he found a new one for her. Pauline was not put off. She had one of the most famous artists of the time do a sculpture of her completely naked, ensuring her "goods" were well advertised across Europe. A steady stream of admirers followed, and Napoleon was mortified.

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8. 10 Recent Space Discoveries

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9. Sherlock Holmes is the Most Portrayed Literary Human Character
Having been depicted on screen 254 times, GWR today announces that Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, has been awarded a world record for the most portrayed literary human character in film & TV.

Since his creation in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been played by over 75 actors including Sir Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Peter O'Toole, Christopher Plummer, Peter Cook, Roger Moore, John Cleese, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr.

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10. "Bloodless Duelling" with Wax Bullets, Circa 1908
There has been established in Paris a "School of Duelling," which is frequented only by the elite, one prominent member being ex-President Casimir Perier. This remarkable academy is conducted by Dr. de Villers, and combats frequently take place there by way of practice. In these mimic duels wire masks are worn to protect the face and bullets made of wax are used, so that no injury may be sustained by the combatants. In all other respects, however, the conduct of the affair is carried through as on the "field of honour," so that when the time comes --- if it ever does come --- for the scholars to take part in a serious duel they may acquit themselves with credit to themselves and disaster to their adversary --- although this latter point is not of much importance.

(Via: Neatorama)

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11. The Surprisingly Interesting History of Margarine
If you enjoy margarine, tip your cap to Emperor Napoleon III. Napoleon III saw that both his poorer subjects and his navy would benefit from having easy access to a cheap butter substitute, so he offered a prize for anyone who could create an adequate replacement.

Enter French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès. In 1869, Mège-Mouriès perfected and patented a process for churning beef tallow with milk to create an acceptable butter substitute, thereby winning the Emperor's prize.

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12. The art and science of carrying things on your head.

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13. Study of the Week: Maybe Parents Actually Are Happier Than Non-Parents
Age and marital status appear to influence parental happiness. Moms and dads who were older and married tended to be happier than their childless peers -- an association absent among most single or very young parents. Interestingly, fathers in particular expressed greater levels of happiness, positive emotion, and meaning in life than their childfree counterparts; and their scores were also more consistent than the mothers' scores.

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14. The 10 Greatest Fictional Inventors of All Time

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15. The Evolution of Home Economics Programs
[W]hen I talked to my former home ec teacher recently, her raspy 75-year-old voice conflating the three decades since she taught me how to make soup, she wondered aloud where home economics had gone. It's a common question.

But home ec has not disappeared, it's changed, evolving into classes focusing on child development, nutrition, family health, food service and hospitality. It hasn't been lost as much as translated. In 1994, the name of the course in most of the country was officially changed from Home Economics to Family and Consumer Sciences, or FCS, in an effort to dispel the impression that home ec was about teaching girls how to be housewives.

The number of secondary school students who take FSC classes has not substantially changed since the late 1950s, according to a 2004 national survey conducted by the National Coalition for Family and Consumer Sciences Education.

More than 5 million students were enrolled in secondary FCS education programs in the 2002-03 academic year, the study found, or about 25% of all students, almost the same percentage cited in a 1959 Department of Health, Education and Welfare study.

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16. Top 10 Pervasive Tech Myths That Are Only Wasting Your Time

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17. Busted Explanations for Karate Breaking
Martial arts breaking is filled with practices that, depending on your point of view, are either tricks for fooling observers or techniques for maximizing a strike's visible effect. You don't just strike with the power in your arm or leg: you organize the movement of your strike to bring in as much power from your legs, hips and upper body as possible, too. When breaking wooden boards, you use pine (not oak, not mahogany) that isn't marred by dense knots, cut ¾ inch thick and about 12 inches on the diagonal; you hit them to break along the wood's natural grain. (It's not playing by Hoyle but some breakers have been known to bake their boards in ovens before demonstrations to make them more brittle.) One good board, if held securely so that it won't move on impact, is so easy to break that even those with no training at all can be taught to do it in under five minutes.

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18. 10 Whimsical Upside-Down Houses

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19. What it costs to run Somalia
Somalia's $11 million budget is ....

- 20 times smaller than the 2010 budget of Topeka, Kansas

- A mere 1/2 of Derek Jeter's 2010 salary

- 890 times smaller than Starbucks' 2009 annual revenue

- About equal to the budget of "High School Musical 3"

- About equal to the amount that the Scottsdale, Arizona school district had to cut from its budget this year.

- But good news -- you could start between two and three franchises of the Hard Rock Cafe with that amount!

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20. The world's longest flights

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21. Inserting visual markers into prepackaged foods could help us avoid overeating
We've all been there. You start nibbling on some chips -- just a snack, you say to yourself -- and before you know it, you've reached the bottom of the bag. How does that happen? More importantly: how do we stop?

Researchers at Cornell University think they've discovered an answer to the second question. The solution involves colored chips that serve as an approximate visual indication of serving size. By slipping a colored chip every so often into a stack of normal chips, scientists found that study participants not only could report back how much they'd eaten with greater accuracy -- they also snacked less compared to control participants.

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22. A Stuntman's Guide to the Most Exciting Stunts in Film History

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23. The Podunk North Dakota Town That Is Now More Expensive Than Manhattan
One of the unfortunate side effects from the geyser of new wealth pouring out of North Dakota's oil rush has been the sudden, acute housing shortage within the state. Nowhere may be worse off than the once sleepy city of Williston, a boom-town, where, as the AP reports, a one-bedroom apartment now rents for $2,300 a month.

For some perspective, that's a hair more than a New Yorker would pay for a similar space in the heart of Manhattan's east village, at least based off a quick Craigslist search.

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24. The Russian city uses old Soviet tanks as playgrounds

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25. $1 Million Parking Spot
The private garage at 66 E. 11th St. costs six times more than the national-average price of a single-family home.

Buying it would be the same as paying a $115 ticket for illegal parking every day --- for 24 years.

For moguls or celebrities, however, the rare commodity of a Manhattan parking space inside their building, with a curb cut at the street, is a huge status symbol and selling point. [...]

The hot space is about 12 feet wide, 23 feet long and more than 15 feet high.

The spot could be "duplexed" if the buyer decides to install an elevator lift so he or she can slide both the Maserati and the Lamborghini in at the same time.

(Via: Neatorama)

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26. What does it feel like to be bitten by a black widow spider?

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27. China's "Two Flies Only" Rule for Public Restrooms
Authorities in the Chinese capital have set new standards for public toilets, including a stipulation that they should contain no more than two flies.

(Via: Neatorama)

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28. How-To of the Week: Easily Capture and Dispose of Bugs and Other Small Pests with a Lint Roller

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29. MIT and Harvard in battle to create life-changing product: Non-stick ketchup bottles
It's the world's biggest non-problemic problem: getting the last bit of ketchup out of the jar. Ketchup is so viscous, and it seems so eager to stick to glass and plastic. But leave it to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to solve the greatest non-issues of our generation: A team of engineers have designed the perfect condiment bottle --- one that ketchup simply cannot stick to.

The secret is in a futuristic substance known as "LiquiGlide," a non-toxic, FDA-approved coating that can be applied to the interior of bottles. According to MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith, it's "kind of a structured liquid --- it's rigid like a solid, but it's lubricated like a liquid." Regardless of what the bottle is constructed of, liquid or plastic, ketchup will flow out of it nearly effortlessly.

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30. What Constitutes "Good Behavior" in Prison?

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31. The Half-Ounce Artificial Heart That Saved a Baby's Life
Italian doctors successfully implanted the world's smallest artificial heart into a 16-month-old boy, keeping him alive for 13 days with a titanium pump until a heart transplant donor was found.

At 0.4 ounces, the astoundingly small piece of equipment weighed about 80 times less than a standard artificial heart for an adult human, Reuters reported. It can pump a little over 3 pints of blood a minute.

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32. 10 Surprising Things That Bacteria Like to Eat

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33. Ken Burns on Story

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Joe Carter


Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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