Archive for July 2010

St Augustine, Harry Potter and the definition of evil

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I found this amazing lecture while researching the issue of the church and pop culture for my college small group.


Written by neehi

July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm


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This is old news, but of such great historic importance that it is worth posting, even if it is late.  I meant to post this some time back but have had difficulty finding the time to get caught up on blogging.  Never the less, it is up now and if you have not already listened to or read Venter talk about what he and his team have done, please take the time to check it out.

FROM TED.COM: Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they’ve created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.

Written by Aaron Nee

July 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

I’m not a jerk, I just have a mild case of face blindness

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Can I wear a button that says that?


Does anyone else feel like they have this?  I know Aimee does.

In most cases, I’ve got to see a person about 8 times before I can conjure a visual of their face in my mind.  And while I am USED to seeing my own reflection in the mirror at this point in my life, for many years I was always surprised by it…the person looking at me never looked like who I expected to see.  My audio memory for people is uncanny though….but only for people’s voices, not for music or other noises.

So, your brain learns and memorizes visual and auditory information differently…..and it also processes HUMAN (vs objects, places, etc) information differently also.  So bizarre.

Does anyone have any favorite links to other interesting info on memory or brain processing?

Written by alisap

July 17, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

continuing the trend

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The following is a commentary inspired by this New York Times article that I received on the Catholic Worker listserv:

    “It all happened so long ago, it is, in many respects, America’s
    forgotten war, the terrible war in Korea. It ran from June of 1950
    until July of 1953. I do not, here, make any defense of the North
    Korean regime (nor, for that matter, of the authoritarian South Korean
    regime in 1950).  But simply note that one reason for the ability of
    the North Korean leaders to maintain control over an economy which
    long ago collapsed, is that the cost of the war was so terrible that
    it instilled a profound fear (and hatred) of the United States.

    Two million North Koreans were killed – half of them civilians.
    900,000 Chinese troops were killed. South Korea lost well over a
    million lives – many of them civilians.

    The American bombing of the North reduced the country to rubble. When
    the war ended, the Americans made substantial economic investments in
    South Korea, as did Japan, making possible a remarkable economic
    recovery and rise in living standards. But China in 1953 was far too
    poor to make huge investments. North Korea was on its own.

    The New York Times story is part of an ongoing report of US murder of
    civilians – some of them political prisoners, most of them simply
    civilians, which occurred during the war.

    1953 is so distant now that the records are open. The dead have turned
    to dust. But one legacy is the strange regime of North Korea, which
    cannot feed its own people, but found money to build nuclear weapons.”

      This put me in mind of another article I’d read recently on CommonDreams about civilian deaths and drone bombings.

    Written by amynee

    July 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

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    God of the Gaps

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    I’d go to this guy’s church every Sunday AND Friday nights.

    I like how he speaks like a minister….how he was “called” to do what he does, how he “did not have a choice”….using the same language as people who claim to be called by God to religious service.

    I have read articles that there is a ‘God gene’ sort of thing where parts of the brain in certain individuals get more activity, response (and reward?) with religious thought that is akin to the activity that occurs in the brain of a drug user.  Some people are simply wired to think and feel about God more than others.  So I think that part of the brain  in De Grasse Tyson would be shooting off fireworks when he thinks about science and the cosmos.  I hope someone DOES do that experiment on him.  I feel similar….an excitement or almost religious fervor where you want to share this amazing information with others.  I guess I am hardwired like my mother after all!

    I’m sure Neil has his critics, but I do love what he does for bringing science to the public at large.  He does a good job at breaking down barriers and prejudices…stating how even the most brilliant minds in the world went to “Creative Design” when they ran out of explanations…, don’t call your mother an idiot when she does it.   : D

    Written by alisap

    July 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Scientists please

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    I just saw this guy on the Colbert Report and he was so fascinating.

    Can everyone in the family promise to at least attempt to guide our kids towards science?  Theoretical Physicists are the coolest people at ANY gathering!!!

    “We are so arrogant.  We are so conceited……we think they (aliens) are going to visit us.  I don’t think so.”
    We are ants next to a super highway wishing the people building it would come and share their technology with us.  ha!!

    Written by alisap

    July 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Posted in Uncategorized