Category Archives: light reading

On Hoaxes

The Crystal Skull. Oy, don’t get me started.

Yes, it’s the centerpiece of a summer blockbuster opening this weekend. Yes, I’m going to see the movie because Harrison Ford is sexyOMG.

No, I do not want to hear about your whacked-out spacemen created the Pyramids and all life on Earth but the Gubernmint is covering it up story.

Why? I’m a trained historian, duh. I actually took this most awesome class called “Ancient Mysteries” where our final was to take one chapter of Chariot of the Gods and disprove it using historical fact. Which was really, REALLY easy, even in a pre-Google world. Every student in this class learned to read 19th dynasty Egyptian hieroglyphics so we could read documents WRITTEN BY EGYPTIANS about how, exactly, THEY BUILT THE M-F’ING PYRAMIDS!

(We also got photos of the graffiti left on the Pyramids and read those in the original Egyptian. After that, bathroom walls nowadays are boring.)

(By the by, I picked the chapter about the Spaceman cave paintings, wherein a human figure had either a really big head or another circle around the head, which CotG called a ‘space helmet’. I concluded in my final paragraph “In the future, fringe archaeologists will determine we all worshipped figures from space when they excavate Russian Orthodox churches and find all these people with circles around their heads, which are obviously 2-D space helmets.”)

ANYWAY! This wasn’t supposed to be a rant. But I get ranty when I’m smacked in the face with Bad History and Bad Archaeology. This was supposed to be a simple post pointing y’all to the mental_floss blog and their short, sweet, and AWESOME list of 10 Fake Archaeology Finds.

Included in the list:
1. The James Ossuary
2. The “oldest” star map
3. The Calaveras Skull
4. Etruscan terracotta warriors
5. Forged Persian Princess
6. Piltdown Man
7. Tiara of Saitaphernes
8. Mississippi State Capital Forgery
9. Cardiff Giant
10. Michigan Relics

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The Financial Generation Gap

This is a very important article I think needs to be presented to all folks, not just those of us sickos who think reading about 401(k)s is FUN. It has some implications for those of y’all who are in ministry, also, as this will kind of explain to you why you ain’t got so many of us youngins hanging around (we’re too busy working two-three jobs to make ends meet, we move jobs so frequently and that increases the number of times we move cities. Frankly, the current crop of college graduates getting outfitted for their caps and gowns in the next few months will NOT be middle-class. What can the church provide for us that’s worth our very precious and valuable ‘free time’?).

From Working for Rachel, an excerpt:

What’s a career? People who write careers love to trot out the statistic “you’ll have 7-10 careers in your lifetime” (or 10-12, or 12-15) as though it’s a new piece of information. I’m 27, and I’ve had at least a dozen jobs that have lasted three months or more. I have no idea how many “careers” that makes and couldn’t care less–all I care about is how I can combine and describe those jobs on my resume to make me attractive to someone who’s hiring for the next thing I want to do.

Whatever we do, and however short a time we’ve been doing it, we’re already thinking about what we’re going to do next. We do not relax into jobs and stay at them for twenty years. I have been at my job for five months, and while I have no intention of leaving anytime soon, I still keep track of job openings and have a sense of what my next step will be. The thirtysomething woman I supervise is much less ambitious than I, but she still keeps a foot in the freelance world and my boss predicts (rightly, I believe) that she won’t be with the company for more than three years.

This is mostly self-preservation–we know that company loyalty and job security do not exist. To succeed, we need to pay attention and plan ahead.

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Psychology of Ownership

This article popped up on my blogreader in the Personal Finance section. But I think it’s kind of important for those of us Christians who live in prosperous, capitalisim-driven nations where the desire to continually accumulate is almost as ingrained as the need to breathe.

A pertinent excerpt:

So the high price we tend to put on our own possessions is not just greed, we really do begin to perceive stuff in a different way once we own it. Unfortunately these biases open us up to all sorts of detrimental effects.

We might set unrealistic prices for things we’re trying to sell, resulting in us failing to sell them at all. Or, when buying, we can be suckered into virtual or partial ownership en route to full ownership of something we didn’t necessarily want in the first place.

The solution to these problems is trying to think objectively.Of course the solution to these problems is trying to think objectively about our own possessions and those that we’d like to acquire. But that’s easier said than done. It’s very difficult to be dispassionate when selling something that you treasure and it’s easy to form an imaginary relationship with something we want to own.

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So, I’m reading my RSS feeder, and I come across a post at Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good called Chaplain Rambo: A Mary Sue Fantasy.

I think to myself, “Oooh! My fantasies are pretty damn cool!” so I go to read it.

Um, yes, well… It’s a very good article that you should all read but as a survivor of abuse that never got that bad but could have easily if an ocean hadn’t intervened… I’m going to go curl up over here in the corner now and put the lid back on that emotional box that got opened up.

You know, this is why most fanfic writers who, you know, write Mary Sue stories, also include trigger warnings…

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Instructed Eucharist

Had to dig this out for a Ship of Fools thread, and figured might as well post it here for those interested.

Instructed Eucharist – In which one of the great liturgical minds of our times (whom you’ve probably never heard of), the Rev. Canon Grant S. Carey, goes step-by-step through the Eucharist. And I’m not just fangirling him ’cause he lead the Inquirer’s Class which I stumbled into that brought me into the Episcopal Church. Nope, he’s just that cool.

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Intuitive Eating

It’s not something that comes up a lot on this blog, but I’m fat.

And I don’t diet. And I don’t weigh myself. And I don’t subscribe to the notion that because I’m fat I cannot do *anything* except diet and weigh myself and whinge about how I’m not skinny. I’ve got more important things to do. 

A while ago now, I gave up on the idea that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. There’s just food, and I need food to keep my body running. God designed people in this fashion. You going to argue with God? ‘Cause I’ve tried it, and it’s kind of similar to arguing with a lamp post (something else I’ve tried before, don’t ask).

I thought it was quite a novel concept, really, when it solidified in my head; I eat what I want, when I’m hungry. Turns out, I’m not the great innovator I thought I was.

The Rotund has a post up: The Intuitive Eating Primer. There’s also linkies there for folks who want to learn more.

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Don’t skip this post!

Y’all need to read this, especially those of you taking part in the Rowan Williams and Sharia slapfights:

Abp. Rowan Firestorm Was Started By The BBC Before The Interview Aired

From the blog post:

After a bit of digging, it turns out that the Beeb was reporting inaccurate statements about “ABC says Sharia is inevitable” even before the interview was broadcast. Rowan (and a well-tempered debate) never had a chance – whether you agree with his line or not.

HT to Khanya for pointing me to it. Also over at Khanya is something I’m thinking about right now, after he brought it up: Why doesn’t the church have a liturgy of some sort for healing after rape/sexual abuse?

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I think all y’all need to go read the comments to this post right now.

Why? Here’s a bit from the post:

Is this just a “fourteen year old phase”?
What’ll it take for me to love my reflection?
‘Cause everytime I say to myself “You’re beautiful” it feels like a lie…

How do you do it? How can you just totally accept yourself exactly the way you are! What your secret? Will you share it with me?

I… I just. The comments on that post. They’re fantastic, and sad, and heart-wrenching, and funny, and inspiring and everything else!

Go read the 14-year-old’s response after all this, too.

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Hat tip to the Book of Joe.


In the Norfolk (U.K.) village of Cley Next The Sea, a white-crowned North American sparrow (top), a rare visitor to Britain’s shores, has become a magnet for pilgrimages by twitchers (bird spotters) and a fundraiser for the village’s Church of St. Margaret of Antioch.

Long story short: “The bird has made only four appearances in the U.K. in the past century.”

Twitcher tourists by the thousands are coming to view the seven-inch sparrow and so far have chipped in over $6,000 in donations to be used to mend the church’s 14-century roof.

Further on, Joe says:

Wrote Lewis Smith in a January 26, 2008 story in the Times (U.K.) Online, “It is the biggest sum yet collected by bird enthusiasts, for whom it is a tradition to make a collection when they throng at a village to spot a rare bird from abroad.”

 In other news, no, I haven’t forgotten that I declared today to be Revival Meeting. But I did forget that today is Tuesday, also known as “My Busiest Day at Work”, so you all get an 8 hour reprieve to think of something to write.

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Go. Read. NOW!

Tobias Haller is doing a lovely theological series he’s calling The Sex Articles (they’re over there on the sidebar, just scroll down a bit, you’ll see them). I always love reading Fr. Haller’s stuff, even if a lot of it makes a great whooshing noise as it travels far over my head. And the comments! Lo, how the comments are ever as interesting as the articles!

Hanyoldway, a recent post about-the-Sex-Articles -yet-not-in-the-series has something I felt needed highlighting, about why he’s writing.

Following Lewis, and as I said to the Anglican Evangelical, taking a position of judgment against sisters and brothers represents perhaps a far greater sin in the eyes of God than the sins against which one rails. The presumption of judgment, of taking the role of judge rather than as fellow defendant, is a poison which is racking the body of the church — as it has from the days of Christ himself and the apostles. The object of this judgment, in our day, is homosexuality, rather than in former times questions of circumcision, food offered to idols, gentile status, vernacular liturgy, episcopal authority, Trinitarian doctrine, the common cup, and any of the many points upon which members of Christ’s Church have attempted to distinguish themselves from other members of the same body. In this series of articles I am trying to raise awareness of the ambiguities and uncertainties that could render strict judgment on this issue less secure — to hold open the door of humility and charity that might allow some who seem very certain of the sins of others to understand that they might be mistaken.

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