On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom. I welcome your suggestions. If you read something fascinating please pass it my way.
According to people who know such things, 374 is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of 3 positive squares 8 different ways: 374 = 1^2 + 7^2 + 18^2 = 2^2 + 3^2 + 19^2 = 2^2 + 9^2 + 17^2 = 3^2 + 13^2 + 14^2 = 5^2 + 5^2 + 18^2 = 6^2 + 7^2 + 17^2 = 6^2 + 13^2 + 13^2 = 7^2 + 10^2 + 15^2
Things Glen Found Interesting
- Inside “Stanford’s War On Fun”: Tensions mount over University’s handling of social life (Theo Baker, Stanford Daily): “The student said the University is ‘excessively bureaucratic’ and those trying to host events are ‘burnt out’ from trying to navigate a ruleset that ‘has expanded and [adds] challenges that don’t need to be there.’ Harris, who also responded on behalf of the Office of Student Engagement, wrote that the University has worked to expand social opportunities. ‘Student Affairs, student leaders, and campus partners have been working earnestly to provide many and vibrant social options for undergraduates this fall,’ Harris wrote.”
- Imposter student caught, removed from Crothers Hall (Cassidy Dalva, Theo Baker and Oriana Riley, Stanford Daily): “Students living in the dorm told The Daily Thursday night that the man, who identified himself as William Curry, has lived in the dorm since the second week of the quarter, socialized with the other residents and was let into the dorm regularly by sympathetic RAs.”
- The Review Interviews Dr. Scott Atlas (Stanford Review): “I want to highlight that lockdowns were not the standard pandemic prescription (neither in 2006, nor in earlier pandemics). It was known that they were extremely harmful. Also, I want to highlight that the university-side of science became highly politicized, possibly because it was an election year. I was warned by Stanford professors that I should not help the President. This was morally repugnant: to let people die simply because you didn’t like the current administration.”
- A Closed Discussion on Academic Freedom? (Colleen Flaherty, The Chronicle of Higher Education): “Conference organizers told FIRE that they’d invited numerous progressives to participate [in the conference at Stanford], Perrino also said, but over time ‘more conservatives said yes, and very few of the big-name progressives said yes. The political polarization and tribalism is dispiriting.’ Abbot said that organizers invited several dozen progressives who’d previously expressed a ‘negative view’ of academic freedom, who ultimately declined.”
- Don’t Even Go There (James Lee, City Journal): “A policy of deliberate ignorance has corrupted top scientific institutions in the West. It’s been an open secret for years that prestigious journals will often reject submissions that offend prevailing political orthodoxies—especially if they involve controversial aspects of human biology and behavior—no matter how scientifically sound the work might be.”
- The author is a professor of Psychology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Minnesota.
- Related: Blasphemy is dead. Long live blasphemy (Mary Harrington, Substack): “…if something looks a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. And when a movement with an instantly recognisable symbol, a distinctive metaphysics (identity precedes biology, all desire must be celebrated) and a calendar of feast days celebrated by governments, corporations, universities and public bodies acquires the ability to punish those who deface its symbols, the only possible thing you can call it is an emerging faith — one with a tightening grip on institutional power across the West.”
- Most trans children just going through a phase, advises NHS (Eleanor Hayward, The Times of London): “Most children identifying as transgender are simply going through a ‘transient phase’, new NHS guidance states. Doctors caring for youngsters distressed about their gender have been told that it is not a ‘neutral act’ to help them transition socially by using their preferred new names or pronouns.”
- Newsom vs. DeSantis Is Our Inevitable Culture War (Ross Douthat, New York Times): “…in general you need liberalism plus some overarching vision to sustain solidarity, energy and hope. And you definitely need the ‘plus’ to fully resolve questions like, ‘Is abortion a form of murder or a fundamental right?’ or ‘Is it child abuse to give teenagers puberty blockers or child abuse to refuse them?’ ”
- Woman: My Dad Was Serial Killer; I Helped Bury the Bodies (Arden Dier, Newser): “Studey says she long ago went to ‘law enforcement all over Iowa and Nebraska trying to get something done’ but ‘they couldn’t trust the memory of a child.’ Yet her memory is vivid. She says her father would kill sex workers and transients, often in the family’s trailer, then get his children to help move the bodies using a wheelbarrow or toboggan.”
- Mayra Flores Prevented From Joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (Julio Rosas, Townhall): “Flores is not only first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, but she also represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border that is overwhelmingly Latino.… The CHC’s website websites states the Caucus ‘addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. The function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda.’ The website does not state in its ‘About’ section that only Democrats can join the organization.”
- Later in the article we learn “Similarly, Rep. Byron Donalds (R‑FL) was prevented from joining the Congressional Black Caucus last year.”
- This is fascinating to me and I share it in an entirely non-partisan way. I sometimes hear statements from these caucuses and while I assumed they lean Democrat because their constituency overwhelmingly leans Democrat, I had no idea Republicans were literally forbidden from joining them.
- Nancy Pelosi: Intruder was searching for US Speaker in attack on husband (Sam Cabral, BBC): “Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken to hospital after a break-in at their California home on Friday morning. The suspect has been identified as a 42-year-old man and is facing criminal charges including attempted homicide. He broke a glass rear door and — after confronting Mr Pelosi — reportedly shouted: ‘Where is Nancy?’ ” Yikes!
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- Archery World Record: Most arrows through a keyhole (Lars Andersen, YouTube): one amazing minute, the title is not misleading
- The Answers To Life’s Questions (Pearls Before Swine)
- Turbulence (The Far Side)
- When The Beat Drops… in the 1800s (imgur) — this tickled me
- Mondrian painting has been hanging upside down for 75 years (Philip Oltermann, The Guardian): “A painting by abstract Dutch artist Piet Mondrian has been hanging upside down in various museums since it was first put on display 75 years ago, an art historian has found, but warned it could disintegrate if it was hung the right side up now.”
- Recommended by an amused alumnus.
- Bible App Implements Handy ‘Skip Genealogies’ Button (Babylon Bee)
- Hard nope (Imgur)
- A college wrestler fought a bear to save his teammate — and won (Maham Javaid, Washington Post): “Before this attack, I had thought that I could take on a bear easily,” Cummings said. “Now I know that a bear is pretty legit. They are tougher, stronger and bigger than I thought. It’s not so easy.”
- Less serious does not mean less impressive.
- ‘Women Are So Emotional,’ Says Man Whose Entire Mood Hinges On Performance Of Favorite Sportsball Team (Babylon Bee)
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have Are Mormons Christians?: A Review of “The Saints of Zion: An Introduction to Mormon Theology” (Tim Miller, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary): “He makes clear that Mormons are not Christians, but does so by pointing out that this has been the claim of the Mormon church itself throughout history (despite recent attempts to argue differently).” From volume 244.
Why Do You Send This Email?
In the time of King David, the tribe of Issachar produced shrewd warriors “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron 12:32). In a similar way, we need to become wise people whose faith interacts with the world. I pray this email gives you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar.
Chi Alpha is not a partisan organization. To paraphrase another minister: we are not about the donkey’s agenda and we are not about the elephant’s agenda — we are about the Lamb’s agenda. Having said that, I read widely (in part because I believe we should aspire to pass the ideological Turing test and in part because I do not believe I can fairly say “I agree” or “I disagree” until I can say “I understand”) and may at times share articles that have a strong partisan bias simply because I find the article stimulating. The upshot: you should not assume I agree with everything an author says in an article I mention, much less things the author has said in other articles (although if I strongly disagree with something in the article I’ll usually mention it). And to the extent you can discern my opinions, please understand that they are my own and not necessarily those of Chi Alpha or any other organization I may be perceived to represent. Also, remember that I’m not reporting news — I’m giving you a selection of things I found interesting. There’s a lot happening in the world that’s not making an appearance here because I haven’t found stimulating articles written about it. If this was forwarded to you and you want to receive future emails, sign up here. You can also view the archives.