Friday, March 30, 2012

Various & Sundry

Whew! Lots to share.  Let's get to it.

The voting continues at Lent Madness, but more pressing matters are at hand: The Peeples Choice Awards for the Washington Post Peep Diorama Contest is on, and there's still time for you to vote for your favorite!

I saw this article courtesy of Word Boy Dave: memoirists' mothers review the memoirs written by their children! Brave mothers and children both.  And such good motherly advice, too! For example, when asked, "Any advice for Sara [Benincasa] about writing her next memoir?" the answer was, "I think she needs to put in more vulgarity in the next one; this one was way too innocent!" Coming right up, I'm sure.

If the book The Righteous Mind is anywhere nearly as informative as this review of The Righteous Mind, then I think it's something I'm going to have to read. Here's one snippet from the review:
To the question many people ask about politics — Why doesn’t the other side listen to reason? — Haidt replies: We were never designed to listen to reason. When you ask people moral questions, time their responses and scan their brains, their answers and brain activation patterns indicate that they reach conclusions quickly and produce reasons later only to justify what they’ve decided.
Here's another: "The problem isn’t that people don’t reason. They do reason. But their arguments aim to support their conclusions, not yours."  Isn't that amazing? And so obvious when you think about it. It makes me wonder what other insights I'll get if I read the whole book. And if it will change the way I talk and listen to others.

Speaking of reviews, PeaceBang wrote a perceptive review of the new Muppets movie this week that is worth a read for the critique that begins about a third of the way in.

In my ongoing resolution (now Lenten discipline) to give up shame, I appreciated this blog post on Perfectionism and Claiming Shame from Brene Brown from a few years back.  She defined perfectionism thusly:
Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: “If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”
Well, when you put it that way...

In contrast, take a look at 43 lessons from 43 years.  For example, lesson 31: "The perfect is the enemy of the good. Too many people never get started toward their goals because they don’t know that the “best” first step is. Don’t worry about getting things exactly right — just choose a good option and do something to get started."

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, here is the Red-Tailed Hawk Cam from Cornell University. I find it very soothing to keep this up on my computer screen for a quick break during the day. Enjoy.

Watch live streaming video from cornellhawks at

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