The cover article for the current issue of Atlantic magazine (July/August) is entitled “Is Google Making Us Stoopid?” Hm. Is it?Author Nicholas Carr writes:“As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems … [Read more...]
Several Summer Solutions to "Mom, I’m Bored!"
To avoid hearing kids exclaim "I'm bored!" in the summer months, it's tempting to fill the weeks ahead with camps and clubs and outings and activities, isn't it? Maybe we think, Keeping them busy keeps them out of trouble. Or, They gain skills they wouldn't have time to develop during the school year. And although not everyone will admit to it, there's the argument, … [Read more...]
How Many Nonfiction Books Did You Buy Last Year? How Many Did You Read?
I grabbed a bunch of magazines from my tower of reading material to browse on the plane. One of them is a New Age-y health magazine called Body + Soul. There's some strange stuff in there, but I leafed through and got a recipe for baked beans that looks promising, and found on page 26 some interesting statistics: Last year, 85% of North American households didn't buy one … [Read more...]
6 Questions to Ask Yourself
I like to explore why I make certain choices or feel strongly about various issues. So I find that a few questions like these get me thinking and writing and praying. Sometimes I use variations on these questions with my friends, generating some interesting discussion. I'd love to sit and have tea with you so we could explore these six questions. They're not only great … [Read more...]
13 Tips for Finding Free Time for Mom (without multi-tasking!)
Finding free time for mom—at least, for this mom—used to seem impossible. People would suggest multi-tasking as a way to gain time, but multi-tasking simply doesn't work for me. Research reveals the inefficiency of multi-tasking; as quantity of work goes up, something suffers. A 2008 report called "Cramming the Most into Time" on ABC World News with Charles Gibson affirmed … [Read more...]
Multi-tasking Doesn’t Work for Me
Multi-tasking has never really worked for me. I've tried. Over the years, I've felt like there are many times when I've had no choice but to do a dozen things at once. But when I do that regularly—when multi-tasking is my mode of operation, nonstop, every day, from sun-up to sundown, I get agitated. I feel all frenzied and harried. I leave one of the two or seven … [Read more...]
Kathleen Norris, Acedia, and the Commonplace Book
Kathleen Norris's session at the Festival of Faith & Writing offered some good stuff, though my notes are spotty. She spent most of the time defining that word, "acedia," that has fallen out of usage. She's trying to resurrect it, because she thinks it captures our current culture's general boredom, apathy, or ennui. None of those words expresses the attitude and … [Read more...]
Yann Martel on Life of Pi, Interpretation, Stillness, and Art
A couple of years ago, urged by a friend, I read Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.It left me fascinated, and a little confused. I guess I'm not so good with obscure stuff. So I was quite interested that the Festival of Faith & Writing brought him to speak. Would he explain the book for the slow-of-brain?The evening began with an amusing glitch. Martel was introduced by a … [Read more...]
The Blessing of Boredom
"I'm bored," a child whines. Oh, no! Quick, pull out the paints or Playdough—heaven forbid the child actually sits with nothing to do. In our entertainment-obsessed society, we almost panic at the thought of having nothing to do, at being bored. The world seems to want to fill every spare moment with productivity or fun. But is boredom such a bad thing? Could boredom … [Read more...]
This weekend I'm off to a women's retreat.In preparation, I've been thinking about this well-known passage from Psalm 19--a prayer, really--and as I've prayed it, I realized how perfect it is for Christians who blog. I offer it to you today, especially for this coming week, Holy Week, but ideally, for every week.For every day.For every moment.For every post....a blogger's … [Read more...]
Virtual Pilot–Can You Land the Plane in the Right European City?
How well do you know your European geography?Let Lufthansa test you with this Virtual Pilot game.Each round is more challenging.First you're given 8 seconds to land the plane in the city cited after a ready-set-go countdown. They provide a map that shows countries outlined and dots representing city locations (but no labels).Next round: 6 seconds, countries only. No … [Read more...]
What do you do to enrich your times alone with the Lord?Are they quiet? Do you have enough time? Are you structured? Spontaneous? Do you follow a book that leads you through Bible study with guided questions? Do you meet with someone periodically for accountability?I'm asking because I'm collecting ideas for Quiet Times and Bible study.So far, here are some things I've … [Read more...]
Can Wii Ever Go Back to Pong?
One of my daughters received an invitation to a Wii birthday party. I mentioned it in passing to The Belgian Wonder as we were leaving church."A what party?" he asked."A Wii party," I said, swinging my arm around as if I were holding one of the handsets."Oh! I was thinking the other kind of 'whee,'" he said. "Well, I guess it's the hot new thing, isn't it?""They'll have a … [Read more...]
My Five Writing Strengths
I was once asked to make a list of five strengths I possess as a writer. Here's what I came up with. Five Writing Strengths 1. The ability to sit still for long stretches of time Not everyone can do this, you know. Some people get antsy, restless. After a few minutes of sitting still, they fidget and have to get up and make hot chocolate or call a friend. Writers need … [Read more...]
Adventures in Literary Outings: Encounters with Haven Kimmel, Author of A Girl Named Zippy
In 2007 I attended a colloquium at which Haven Kimmel, author of several books including a favorite of mine called A Girl Named Zippy, was the keynote speaker. It's been years since I read Zippy. Not long before I was heading to the colloquium, I happened across a post at Shalee's Diner reviewing it. The timing was fun, and I was glad she … [Read more...]
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