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Why We Don’t Need Informed Opinions

You could try to disagree, but it wouldn’t work.

dilbert opinion argument ignorance is bliss

19 Emotions with No English Equivalent (infographic)

You know when you’re feeling something and you just can’t come up with the right word to describe the emotion. Apparently part of the problem comes from the limitations of the language(s) you speak. According to this infographic, English has no word equivalent for at least 19 different emotions.

And we definitely need to come up with words for some of these. I know I’d like to have a word for the feeling of “comfort and coziness of being at home, with friends, with loved ones, or general togetherness.” And why doesn’t it surprise me that Russian is the language with a word for feeling an “ache of soul, a longing with nothing to long for.”

I do have to register one disagreement, though. English has long had a word for “the bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love.” It’s called “twitterpated.”

Here’s the infographic from Pei-Ying Lin over at the Unspeakableness Project. You should also check out the infographic on new emotions created by the internet.

click to embiggen

Flotsam and jetsam (1/9)

Good Reads

  • The Millennial Generation’s Acceptable Sin: Every human institution and society has its own list of sins and virtues that contradict the law of God. With the rise of the Millennial generation in evangelical churches, a vice is creeping up into the realms of acceptance, indifference, or at least resignation: fornication (i.e. extramarital sex or unchaste living).
  • God is alive and well in America, says Gallup chief: Despite a deep drop in the number of Americans who identify with a particular faith, the country could be on the cusp of a religious renaissance, says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/7)

Good Reads

  • Why We Need More Churches in Small Towns: Few people question the legitimacy of church planting in major cities. Yet more than 62 million people live in rural America. Pockets of the unchurched and dechurched are scattered throughout rural communities and small towns. And the most effective means of reaching them is church planting. We must plant churches, then, both in metropolitan America and in small-town America.
  • 5 things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Learning Languages: I’m no great expert on this, but I have read and experimented a good deal with various techniques while learning languages. I’m often surprised that many people don’t know the sheer variety of resources that are available to them, or just the basics of how to go about studying a new language.

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A Prayer for Sunday (Basil the Great)

St. Basil, Saint Basil, Cappadocian fathersSaint Basil the Great was a bishop in Cappadocia (modern Turkey) and an influential supporter of the doctrine of the Trinity laid out in the Nicene Creed, along with his brother Gregory of Nyssa and close friend Gregory Nazianzus. Basil was also famous for his sermons, exegetical writings, impact on eastern monasticism, and his work on the liturgy. Indeed, his contributions were so important in the east that he is considered one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of the eastern church, along with Nazianzus and John Chrysostom.

The traditional date of Basil’s death is January 1, 379. So, in honor of his passing, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

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Saturday morning fun…Why Are Things Cute?

There’s a science for everything.

A Snapshot of American Perspectives: Compelling Survey Results from 2012

survey, questionnaire, clipboard, checklist, feedbackThe Week has produced a helpful compilation of survey results from 2012, providing a rather interesting snapshot of American perspectives on “key” issues.

Among the more interesting results:

  • “Given the choice, 21% would rather give up sex than their cellphones.”
  • 42% of Americans said the country was heading in the “right direction,” the highest number in almost three years” but “57% think America is on the decline as a civilization” and “31% say the challenges facing the country are so serious that America might not be able to overcome them.
  • “We’re increasingly gay-friendly. 53% approve of same-sex marriage, an all-time high; 61% say gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, and 91% of gays and lesbians report that their communities have become more accepting of their sexuality in recent years.”
  • 58% support the legalization of marijuana”
  • 12% of Americans also believed the Mayan apocalypse would end the world on Dec. 21 (Ipsos/Reuters). If the apocalypse did occur, 17% of men said they’d like to spend their final moments with Jennifer Aniston, while 23% of women would take comfort in the arms of George Clooney.”

Read the rest of the article for more interesting, and often worrisome, stats about American life.

Flotsam and jetsam (1/4)

Les Miserables, funny movie review

HT Trevin Wax

Good Reads

  • Biggest Moves in Religion and Politics 2012: Here are the 10 most important ways religion influenced politics and culture in 2012, trimmed out with findings from 16 surveys and over 22,000 interviews conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute research team in 2012.
  • How Religion Is Making a Comeback on College Campuses: One in three Americans under the age of 30 reports being religiously unaffiliated, so it may be a surprise to learn that religion is making a comeback on American campuses. It’s not that campuses have become holy places, and religious zealots are not calling the shots. But religion is no longer marginalized from campus life as it was in the late 20th century.
  • The Christian Introvert: Both introverts and extroverts will face particular temptations to sin. My temptation as an introvert is to run away from people instead of serve people. It is to be selfish instead of giving.
  • The Moral Animal: The irony is that many of the new atheists are followers of Charles Darwin. We are what we are, they say, because it has allowed us to survive and pass on our genes to the next generation. Our biological and cultural makeup constitutes our “adaptive fitness.” Yet religion is the greatest survivor of them all. Superpowers tend to last a century; the great faiths last millenniums. The question is why.

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The State of Social Media 2012 (infographic)

Here’s a great overview of what happened in social media last year. From the controversy surrounding Kony 2012 to the Facebook IPO and, of course, the election, these were some of the biggest social media topics of 2012.

social media, Facebook, Twitter, trends

HT David Murray

Theology Is Not a Leisure Activity

Some ideas never go away. They just circle around and attack from a new direction. One of those is the idea that theology is only for the specialists, the academics, those privileged few who have enough leisure time that they can sit around drinking coffee all day arguing about things that don’t really matter. Everyone else is too busy doing the real work of ministry to bother with such arcane issues. Focused on the pressing realities of everyday life, they don’t have time to hide behind a book.

bookworm, theology, academics, academic, study, research, read

On this view, ministry is a little like surgery. There’s a person dying on the table, and you have to get to work quickly if you’re going to save a life. Are you really going to go out for coffee with your surgeon friends and discuss the philosophical intricacies of various models of medical practice while that person’s life bleeds out? Of course not. That’s what you do during your leisure time, if you ever get any. Right now, real work demands your attention.

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