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The Difference Between a Decent Class Presentation and a Descent into Purgatory

presentation (300x300)Sometimes a class presentation challenges you with new ideas and inspires you to new heights.

And sometimes a class presentation achieves mild interest, offering something worth chewing on for at least a few minutes.

But sometimes a class presentation makes you want to stab yourself in the leg repeatedly so the pain will remind you that you’re still alive and that you have not in fact been consigned to the special hell God reserves for those he hates enough to punish with eternally bad class presentations.

If you can’t land in the first category, please, for the sake of the children, at least strive for the second.

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The Top 6 Reasons This Infographic Is Just Wrong Enough to Be Convincing


via SMBC


Flotsam and jetsam (11/11)


Good Reads

  • The End of Protestantism: Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can. (Peter Leithart)
  • 5 churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials: Here is what I can tell you about millennials: We grew up on easy answers, catchphrases and cliché, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that things are almost always more complicated than that. (On Faith)

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Saturday Morning Fun…Stan Lee vs. Superman

In a fabulous one-minute rant, Stan Lee explains why Superman annoys him.


The Average Length of a Dissertation

A doctoral student at the University of Minnesota crunched the numbers and put together this great little chart showing how long PhD dissertations are in various fields.

Two things. First, Bible and theology dissertations would almost certainly be near the top of the chart if they were included. Second, if student ever hands me a 500-page dissertation, I’m handing it back. And third, this is one of the most impressive examples of productive procrastination I’ve ever seen. The student putting this together openly admitted that this was done almost entirely to avoid working on their dissertation. And it looks like the mission was accomplished. Nicely done.

I am, of course, modeling productive procrastination myself by blogging about productive procrastination when I’m supposed to be working on my book.

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

Read the whole post if you’d like to hear more about how the data was gathered and compiled.

Flotsam and jetsam (11/8)


Good Reads

  • I’ve Grown Cynical of Cynicism: Among many young people, cynicism has become a badge of pride. It suggests we have a certain sophisticated kind of intellect and dry, satirical humor, just like the witty sharp-shooters Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and all those late night guys. (Hermeneutics)
  • Onward Christian Soldiers: Today, there is an extensive, well-financed network of for-profit missions, using shadowy front companies to evangelize in North Korea. Though precise numbers are impossible to pin down, missionary-businesspeople have set up a staggering breadth of enterprises, including tour agencies, bakeries, factories, farms, even schools and orphanages, all in the name of spreading the Good Word. (Slate)

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Flotsam and jetsam (11/6)

creepy dude

Good Reads

  • Does Worship Divide Or Unite? Can people of different religions, or different interpretations of the same religion, pray together? In religious history, that has been a very thorny question. (The Economist)
  • 6 Reasons Not to Abandon Expository Preaching: Puritan theologian William Perkins wrote that preaching “has four great principles: to read the text distinctly, from canonical Scripture; to give it sense and understanding according to the Scripture itself; to collect a few profitable points of doctrine out of its natural sense; and to apply, if you have the gift, the doctrines to the life and manner of men in a simple and plain speech.” (Gospel Coalition)
  • Multisite Evolution: Whatever your opinion of multisite may be, there can be no doubt it is the new normal. (Ed Stetzer)

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3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Turn Homework in Late

We’re rapidly approaching one of those times in the school year where it’s easy to fall behind. (Or, for many of us, fall further behind.) With syllabus deadlines rapidly approaching and the demands of your non-academic life refusing to go away, it’s easy to decide that maybe you’ll just hand a few things in late. What difference could a few late assignments really make?

deadline (500x389)

So you do the math. The syllabus probably says something about losing points for turning things in late. So you try to figure out how a little academic tardiness might impact your final grade. If your grade can handle it, why not hand that paper in a little late?

Grade impact should certainly be part of the equation when you’re faced with this situation. But it’s not the only one. I’d like to suggest a couple of other reasons to think twice before handing that assignment in late, reasons that may not immediately come to mind when you’re trying to decide if seeing Catching Fire on opening night is worth a little academic slippage.

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The Neuroethicist Strikes Again

neuroethics (550x3361)

via SMBC

More Saturday Morning Fun…The Star Wars Trailer: Derp Edition

Star Wars fans everywhere got a treat last week when a Star Wars blooper reel hit the internet (see below). But not content with just a random collection of bloopers, someone has now transformed that blooper reel into a fantastic Star Wars ”trailer.”


And here’s the original blooper reel. (The sound doesn’t come on until 0:48. So don’t think there’s anything wrong with your computer when you can’t hear anything.)