Friday, December 3, 2010

Various and Sundry, December 3

Not a whole lot going on this week, but at least it's more interesting than April 11, 1954 which, according to a Cambridge University researcher (who apparently had little else to do), was the most boring day in the 20th Century. Well, I wasn't there, so I wouldn't know.

I thought this perspective on Hanukkah was...kind of funny, actually. Judy Bachrach calls it

a wannabe holiday around 2,200 years old, which essentially venerates rabid orthodoxy over assimilation, conformism over individual choice, death over life, and begins this year on Dec. 1. Back in the day, the motivation behind the radicals’ revolution was to prevent Hellenism, a movement launched by Alexander the Great with traditions of rationalism, beauty, and learning, from infecting their group. You can imagine what the religious rebels, who called themselves Maccabees, would have thought of, say, universal health care coverage. Or the teaching of evolution in Texas public schools.

Ummm...OK. Hadn't thought of it like that, but since I know nothing about it, I can't possible assess it. A rabbi gives his response here.

Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess, writes a very moving article about the beauty of different, and asks readers to answer the very difficult question, "Tell me why you are beautiful." I certainly am having trouble answering.

Through a series of links, I finally found the origin of an amazing piece answering the eternal question, "How do we get young people to come to church?" Tamie Harkins answers that question in 20 simple statements which should be nailed to church doors around the nation. She calls it a fool-proof plan, and I believe it. I can't pick a favorite because they are all my favorite.

In obituary news, I loved this obit for Frank W. Lewis, cryptic crossword creator for The Nation for over 60 years. I was always hopeless at them, but you've got to admire someone for whom the clue "S" results in the answer "Largess." And can we just give a hand to his wife of 74 years who proofread all his puzzles?

Finally, I hope you will take a look at the fine selection of hats for choirs compiled by Dave Walker at his blog, CartoonChurch. This one has "secret compartments for biscuits, periscopes and strepsils. The points can be raised or lowered to access the oddments using a series of pulleys attached to the handle." But there are many excellent options. So hard to choose!


Buffy said...


Just had to pop in -- I've been following your blog for a while now and it was very fun to see this post in my google reader with Tamie's name in it. We've been friends for 20 years and I love seeing how viral her recent post has become! So fun!

LKT said...

It is an awesome post and deserves to be seen far and wide. Please tell her I think it's fantastic.