Posted by Kendall Harmon

Maybe RoboCop is closer to becoming a reality than you think.

Engineers at Clemson University are trying to get research moving to create a robot capable of responding to a violent attack at a school, such as what happened at Sandy Hook or Columbine.

"This will save lives," said Dr. Juan Gilbert, presidential endowed professor and chairman of the Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationScience & TechnologyViolence* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 24, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You spend anytime around the 44-year-old [Clemson Coach] and you are going to hear about Jesus, Scripture, and the power of it all. It isn't necessarily, or at least not always, done to proselytize. It's part of how he talks, how he lives. Faith, Family, Football – that's about it with him.

There is no delineation.

For the people at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit out of Madison, Wis., there needs to be or he shouldn't have his job.

In what is, if nothing else, an absolutely fascinating subject, the FFRF sent a letter of complaint to Clemson this week about "several serious constitutional concerns" over how "Christian worship seems interwoven into the Clemson football program."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at the borderline of church and state.

The board, whose district is practically in Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City backyard, agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.

For at least the first semester of the 2014-15 year, Mustang alone will employ the program, said Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development. In September 2016, he hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

CareerCast is out with their annual ranking of the 10 best and 10 worst jobs for 2014, and let's just say that math and science guys everywhere are about to high-five.

Nine out of 10 of the best jobs fell into the STEM career category (science, technology, engineering and math), with the "numbers guys," in particular, locking in 3 of the top 4 spots.

"This absolutely verifies the importance of STEM careers," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com and JobsRated.com.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 100 girls are thought to have been abducted in an attack on a school in north-east Nigeria, officials say.

Gunmen reportedly arrived at the school in Chibok, Borno state, late last night, and ordered the hostel's teenage residents on to lorries.

The attackers are believed to be from the Islamist group, Boko Haram, whose militants frequently target schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am (or try to be) a partisan of pluralism....But this respect is difficult to maintain when these institutions will not admit that this is what is going on. Instead, we have the pretense of universality — the insistence that the post-Eich Mozilla is open to all ideas, the invocations of the “spirit of free expression” from a school that’s kicking a controversial speaker off the stage.

And with the pretense, increasingly, comes a dismissive attitude toward those institutions — mostly religious — that do acknowledge their own dogmas and commitments, and ask for the freedom to embody them and live them out.

It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B. Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.

I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The final evening of Jack Chen’s life was indistinguishable from many others. The sophomore returned home from school, ate dinner with his mother and retired to his room. His mother asked him to turn out his light at midnight.

Inside his bedroom, anguish gnawed at him, a darkness invisible to friends and family: He maintained a 4.3 grade-point average at one of the area’s top high schools, was a captain of the junior varsity football team and had never tried drugs or alcohol.

But that hidden pain drove Jack from his Fairfax Station home early the next morning — Wednesday, Feb. 26. The 15-year-old, who pestered his father to quit smoking and wear his safety belt, walked to nearby tracks and stepped between the rails as a commuter train approached.

His death is one of six apparent suicides at Fairfax’s W.T. Woodson High School during the past three years, including another student found dead the next day. The toll has left the school community reeling and prompted an urgent question: Why would so many teens from a single suburban school take their lives?

Read it all from the Washington Post.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicinePsychologySuicideTeens / YouthViolence* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The thing about the wife issue is that it's near sexual ethics. There's no hotter topic in our culture right now than sexual ethics. If you can turn it around and say, "You [Christians] have been thinking for 2,000 years that Jesus was celibate, and you held that forth as an ideal. It turns out that he was married and very much interested in sex. Therefore, he didn't really care about sexual ethics they way modern-day Christians do."

Is there any reason Christians should be unsettled by documents like these?

The Wife of Jesus fragment should not at all be unsettling for the Christian faith. It reflects the belief of someone who was writing between the fifth and ninth century. That belief might go earlier, but when we know that there were all kinds of heretical beliefs cropping up around end of the first century, we also know this is nothing new.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyChristology

6 Comments
Posted April 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Weighing in at more than $1 trillion, student loan debt is now larger than total credit card debt. Morning Edition recently asked young adults about their biggest concerns, and more than two-thirds of respondents mentioned college debt. Many say they have put off marriage or buying a home because of the financial burden they took on as students.

William Elliott, director of the Assets and Education Initiative at the University of Kansas, says the burden of student loans isn't just a personal, short-term problem for individuals. Loans now make up too large a part of financial aid packages, he tells NPR's David Greene, "and they're too big of a part of how we finance college."

As a result, Elliott says, too many young people are spending years on loan repayment, instead of growing personal wealth through investments like real estate and retirement accounts. In the long-term, he adds, that can be a drag on the economy — and create a wealth divide between people who have student debt and those who don't.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 11, 2014 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Twenty-four people were injured — at least one of them critically — when a teenager wielding two 8-inch kitchen knives this morning attacked students at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville.

Emergency medical officials said 21 students and one security guard were stabbed and two students were injured in the aftermath.

The suspect, Alex Hribal, a 16-year-old sophomore, was taken into custody after being wrestled to the floor of a school hallway and disarmed by a security guard and a school administrator. The youth was taken to the Murrysville police station, where he was questioned by officers and Westmoreland County detectives before being taken to Westmoreland Hospital for minor injuries to his hands.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationTeens / YouthViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When LaTisha Styles graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia in 2006 she had $35,000 of student debt. This obligation would have been easy to discharge if her Spanish degree had helped her land a well-paid job. But there is no shortage of Spanish-speakers in a nation that borders Latin America. So Ms Styles found herself working in a clothes shop and a fast-food restaurant for no more than $11 an hour.

Frustrated, she took the gutsy decision to go back to the same college and study something more pragmatic. She majored in finance, and now has a good job at an investment consulting firm. Her debt has swollen to $65,000, but she will have little trouble paying it off.

As Ms Styles’s story shows, there is no simple answer to the question “Is college worth it?” Some degrees pay for themselves; others don’t. American schoolkids pondering whether to take on huge student loans are constantly told that college is the gateway to the middle class. The truth is more nuanced, as Barack Obama hinted when he said in January that “folks can make a lot more” by learning a trade “than they might with an art history degree”. An angry art history professor forced him to apologise, but he was right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Love of learning is the guide to life, Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης, is the motto of Phi Beta Kappa and a part of history too often forgotten. It makes me think immediately of The Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., a wonderful book about the Cistercians. It also brings to mind the whole book of Proverbs--KSH.



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophy* TheologyAnthropologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Diocese of the Central Province of Central Africa has revealed plans to build a US$120 million university in Chitungwiza, about 35km south-east of Harare.

Anglican Diocese of Harare Bishop Chad Gandiya said the church was looking beyond secondary education; “Anglican Diocese of Harare has its intention to build an integral university in Chitungwiza. It makes sense for the university to be placed in Chitungwiza, a city that is growing and a home to many institutions providing secondary school education”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Central Africa* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryAfricaZimbabwe

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A little boy, "Jesus", is walking carefully in his plimsolls across a sea of tables to save his diminutive disciples, who are grouped together in the prayer corner and unable to suppress their giggles at the re-enactment of the Biblical miracle. This is the surprising, if entertaining, religious scene I am met with when I stick my head around the corner of a classroom at St Matthew's Primary in Blackburn.

But the surprise is not so much the sight of a child walking on makeshift water. St Matthew's is, after all, a Church of England school, where the walls are adorned with crosses and religious drawings, and which regularly organises Christian activities, readings, prayers and songs. No, the surprise is that almost every child in the class is Muslim.

In fact, 97 per cent of the 265 pupils schooled in the 1980s-style building that is perched on a hill overlooking the Lancastrian city are from Muslim families. The head teacher, Julian Rogers, believes that the word of God should be spoken and Christian values and morals upheld at the school no matter what background the children are from. Indeed, during assemblies, his biblical stories hold his audience – of excited, intrigued and sometimes confused-looking pupils – captive.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New Zealand came first in a global index published on Thursday that ranks countries by social and environmental performance rather than economic output in a drive to make social progress a priority for politicians and businesses.

The Social Progress Index (SPI) rates 132 countries on more than 50 indicators, including health, sanitation, shelter, personal safety, access to information, sustainability, tolerance and inclusion and access to education.

The SPI asks questions such as whether a country can satisfy its people's basic needs and whether it has the infrastructure and capacity to allow its citizens to improve the quality of their lives and reach their full potential.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The cherished idea of the Twitter universe as a gloriously turbulent and fluid place for debate has taken a major hit, thanks to new research from China.

At the same time, findings from the United States have demolished another plank of common wisdom about digital communications. There is, it turns out, no relationship at all between the number of times an online article is shared and the number of times it is actually read.

In a paper published in March, two Chinese social scientists, Fei Xiong and Yun Liu, of Jiaotong University in Beijing, revealed unexpected results from an in-depth study into how opinions form on social media.

The pair analysed 6 million posts from almost 2.5 million Twitter users during a six-month period. In looking at how Twitter users are influenced by the thoughts of other micro-bloggers, the researchers came to what they termed a ''non-trivial'' conclusion, meaning, pretty much, they aren't.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bob Kuhn, Trinity Western University’s newly-named president, says the degree of outright opposition to its new law school could mark the beginning of “a new era of persecution” against the Church in Canada.

“It’s sudden and swift and very powerful,” says Kuhn. “Having practiced law for close to 34 years, I have never seen anything quite like it in terms of the sea-change, a tsunami of societal offence against Christians and Christian views.”

In December, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave the school the green light. Now, three of its member-societies (British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia) are in the process of debating whether to allow TWU law school grads to article in their provinces. At issue is the university’s community covenant, which upholds biblical values on sexual relations. Many in the legal community interpret that as “anti-gay.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Catholic primary school is to become a Church of England school because of falling numbers of Catholic pupils.

Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Lynwood Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, will become an Anglican academy, a spokesman for Blackburn Diocese said.

It will no longer come under the control of the council, and will be sponsored by the Cidari Trust, set up by the diocese to run academies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“There’s such a status thing here: ‘I went Georgetown. I want my kid to go to Georgetown or better.’ It’s such a rat race,” says Bowers, who has lived in McLean for 24 years. “Nobody is taking a step back and asking, ‘Is going to Princeton going to make me happier in the long run? Is this even right for my child?’ Because there are real consequences to living this way.”

Bowers knows it’s a high-stakes parenting arms race in McLean and communities like it. The obsession with grades and college résumés can overwhelm everything. She wants people to back off — and is trying to get them to, with film screenings, workshops, lectures and meetings with clergy and mental health professionals.

Many fellow parents think that disarming sounds good, in theory. The problem is, they’re reluctant to try it with their own kid.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & Family

1 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[My friend] Joseph also pushed me on the origins of the universe. I had always believed in the Big Bang. But I was blissfully unaware that the man who first proposed it, Georges Lemaître, was a Catholic priest. And I'd happily ignored the rabbit trail of a problem of what caused the Big Bang, and what caused that cause, and so on.

By Valentine's Day, I began to believe in God. There was no intellectual shame in being a deist, after all, as I joined the respectable ranks of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers.

I wouldn't stay a deist for long. A Catholic friend gave me J. Budziszewski's book Ask Me Anything, which included the Christian teaching that "love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person." This theme—of love as sacrifice for true good—struck me. The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. And Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Scientists say they have extraordinary new evidence to support a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.

Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.

It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes.

Read it all and you may also enjoy BBC explains Big Bang discovery using a sock (a video of about 2 1/2 minutes, watch it all).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are many varieties of fame. Jesus Christ was the first person to achieve it globally, Clive James wrote, “without conquering the world by violence.” The best kind for a poet to earn, W. H. Auden said, is like some valley cheese — “local, but prized elsewhere.” Yet if all fame, like all politics, is to some degree local, how thoroughly it has been transmitted across the planet and through the centuries has been difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Pantheon, a new project from the Macro Connections group in M.I.T.’s Media Lab, is giving that a stab. It has collected and analyzed data on cultural production from 4,000 B.C. to 2010. With a few clicks on its website, which just went live, you can swing through time and geography, making plain the output of, say, Brazil (largely soccer players) or Belarus (politicians). It also ranks professions from chemists to jurists to porn stars (No. 1 is Jenna Jameson; No. 2 is the Czech Republic’s Silvia Saint).

For now, you are legitimately famous, the M.I.T. team has decided, if a Wikipedia page under your name exists in more than 25 languages.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationGlobalizationHistoryMediaScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain’s failure to treat religious education seriously is storing up social problems, religious leaders have warned.

Jonathan Romain, a senior rabbi, warned that failure to make RE a core part of the school curriculum could prove not only an academic mistake, but also one that was detrimental to the health of society.

He was speaking as a report due to be published today by the all-party parliamentary group on Religious Education argues that the teaching of RE can be crucial in reducing tension in multifaith communities.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A devoted Chinese father who carries his disabled son 18 miles to school every day will be provided with government-funded accommodation nearby.

Yu Xukang walks the huge distance with his son, Xiao Qiang, strapped to his back in a specially constructed basket.

The 40-year-old, from Fengyi township in Yibin county in southwest China’s Sichuan province - 2,000 miles west of Shanghai - refused to give up on the boy now aged 12, despite the fact that both his arms and legs are twisted and his back is hunched.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyTravel* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishops of Newcastle and Winchester have championed the importance of excellent teachers for pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. They were involved in a debate in the House of Lords about the role of schools in improving social mobility on the 13th March.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Professors on University of Wisconsin System campuses occasionally get into trouble for what they say in class, on social media or on the Internet.

Rachel Slocum, a UW-La Crosse assistant professor of geography, urged 18 students in an online course last October to do whatever they could, despite limited access to data for an assignment, because the federal government had partially shut down as a result of a budget impasse.

The message didn't get her into trouble. The way she said it did.

"Hi everyone," she emailed the students "Some of the data gathering assignment will be impossible to complete until the Republican/Tea Party controlled House of Representatives agrees to fund the government."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationMediaScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation

0 Comments
Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jilly Dos Santos really did try to get to school on time. She set three successive alarms on her phone. Skipped breakfast. Hastily applied makeup while her fuming father drove. But last year she rarely made it into the frantic scrum at the doors of Rock Bridge High School here by the first bell, at 7:50 a.m.

Then she heard that the school board was about to make the day start even earlier, at 7:20 a.m.

“I thought, if that happens, I will die,” recalled Jilly, 17. “I will drop out of school!”

That was when the sleep-deprived teenager turned into a sleep activist....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicineTeens / Youth

0 Comments
Posted March 14, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The National Assessment of Educational Progress tests student knowledge in various subjects every few years. In 2010, only 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of high school seniors were considered grade-level proficient in American history.
--Andrea Neal (for more read the whole thing).


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

5 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeanina Jenkins, a 20-year-old high-school graduate from St. Louis, is stuck in a $7.82-an-hour part-time job at McDonald’s Corp. that she calls a “last resort” because nobody would offer her anything better.

Stephen O’Malley, 26, a West Virginia University graduate, wants to put his history degree to use teaching high school. What he’s found instead is a bartender’s job in his home town of Manasquan, New Jersey.

Jenkins and O’Malley are at opposite ends of a dynamic that is pushing those with college degrees down into competition with high-school graduates for low-wage jobs that don’t require college. As this competition has intensified during and after the recession, it’s meant relatively higher unemployment, declining labor market participation and lower wages for those with less education.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Legal definitions of insanity still focus on psychosis, the delusions of which are held to diminish responsibility. Medical conceptions include many additional bizarre behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. The legal definition has historically encompassed both questions of agency (he didn’t know what he was doing) and morality (he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong). The psychiatric profession doesn’t consider mass killers to be necessarily insane, which distresses Peter. For him, the crime defines the illness—as he said, soon after we met, you’d have to be crazy to do such a thing. He found the idea of Adam’s not being insane much more devastating than the thought of his being insane. Peter has searched the psychiatric literature on mass killers, trying to understand what happened to his son. He came across the work of Park Dietz, a psychiatrist who, in 1986, coined the term “pseudocommando.” Dietz says that for pseudocommandos a preoccupation with weapons and war regalia makes up for a sense of impotence and failure. He wrote that we insist that mass killers are insane only to reassure ourselves that normal people are incapable of such evil.

Crimes of passion are relational, whereas plotted crimes such as Adam’s are unsocial. But the dichotomy isn’t clear-cut; most crimes lie along a spectrum. So Sandy Hook was a culmination—neither sudden nor entirely calculated, at least until the very end. James Knoll, a forensic psychiatrist at suny, has written that Adam’s act conveyed a message: “I carry profound hurt—I’ll go ballistic and transfer it onto you.” That’s as much motive as we’re likely to find.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPsychologyViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheodicy

1 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The] Revd Duncan Myers has been appointed as the Church of England's Higher Education Advisor. His extensive and varied experience of university life includes serving as a Chaplain in four Higher Education institutions, most recently at London South Bank University. He has also held a number of management positions including International Student Co-ordinator at the University of Durham, Tutor for Postgraduate Students at Hatfield College, and Senior Pastoral Advisor at Nottingham Trent University.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[A recent study]...has found one in three girls and a quarter of boys are depressed, with many turning to violence, alcohol and unwanted sex to cope with problems.

The study of almost 4500 year 7 to 12 students, also revealed that 34 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys felt constantly under strain and unable to overcome difficulties.

More than half had low levels of resilience and of those, 43 per cent felt violence was an appropriate way to solve relationship issues.

A third were drinking at dangerous levels, and one in four lacked the confidence to say no to unwanted sexual experiences, while 16 per cent feel it necessary to carry a weapon.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicinePsychologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted March 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The video, posted about a year ago, went viral, and John Biggins, a Cambridge physicist, saw it.

He had been talking with another physicist at Cambridge, Mark Warner, about a project Dr. Warner was working on, an online course to improve physics education in high school. Dr. Biggins brought the chain fountain video to Dr. Warner’s attention and they agreed it was an ideal problem to present to students because it involved Newtonian physics, not some extreme variant of string theory or quantum mechanics.

Then they realized that they didn’t actually understand it.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology

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Posted March 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology

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Posted March 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Is God dead? Not in academia. As someone who teaches philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Vince Vitale is well placed to know what the top scholarship says about God. Vince shows how in the fields of philosophy and sociology, God is very much alive. If you think intellectual objections undermine belief in God, Vince suggests that you may be unaware of the arguments at the highest level.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophy* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted March 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The prominent SAT college entrance exam will return to its previous 1,600-point scoring system and the essay portion will be optional starting in 2016, the group that creates the test said Wednesday, the biggest makeover in almost a decade for an exam familiar to any high school student with an eye on college.

The group that makes the test, the College Board, also announced a unprecedented test-preparation partnership with the online Kahn Academy that could cut deep into the lucrative business of the existing test-prep industry. Under the new test format, which last underwent an overhaul in 2005, no points will be deducted for wrong answers, encouraging students to take a chance if they’re unsure of the answer. Students will be able to choose whether or not they complete the essay portion of the test, and for those who don’t, the top score will go from 2,400 back to the older 1,600. And vocabulary words will be more practical words like “synthesis,” instead of the archaic SAT vocabulary words that have long pained cramming high school students, but rarely occur in normal conversation. Students will also be able to take the test on a computer.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationTeens / YouthYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted March 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If the number of awards scooped up by George Marsden's 2003 biography of Jonathan Edwards is taken as the index of achievement, Marsden stands as the dean of living interpreters of American religion. With The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, he offers another compelling study, one that relates more to his own life and times than to a life from the past.

In six artfully crafted chapters, Marsden sketches the tectonic shifts set in motion in the years immediately following World War II. He looks at common assumptions held by the leading cultural analysts of the age, intellectuals writing for middlebrow Americans. The protagonists were mostly white, male, well educated (especially at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia), centered in New York City, and descended from old-stock Protestant culture. Alongside these were a fair number of Jews, many of them émigrés from Nazi Europe. Leading figures included journalist Walter Lippmann, poet Archibald MacLeish, historian Arthur Schlesinger, magazine tycoon Henry Luce, culture critic Hannah Arendt, and especially sociologists Vance Packard, Erich Fromm, and David Reisman. Taken together, their views constituted what might be called the liberal mainline consensus.

The two books bear important similarities. Both are beautifully written and reveal imposing erudition. But they also bear important differences. While Jonathan Edwards is long, richly detailed, and largely descriptive, American Enlightenment is short, elegantly interpretative, and strongly argued. Another difference concerns the reaction from readers and critics. The Edwards biography won virtually unanimous praise. This latest offering likely will provoke both sustained praise and spirited debate (sometimes both at once).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 5, 2014 at 8:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A long-simmering movement to scale back the use of standardized tests in K-12 education is beginning to see results, with policy makers and politicians in several states limiting—or trying to limit—the time used for assessments, or delaying the consequences tied to them.

In recent months, officials in Missouri have cut back on allocated testing time while New York capped it. Connecticut agreed to let districts delay, for a year, linking teacher evaluations to state test scores. Tennessee officials rescinded a plan to deny teacher licenses based, in part, on their students' growth on state tests.

Meanwhile, 179 bills related to K-12 testing—a number of them seeking to curb it—have been introduced in statehouses nationwide this legislative session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which hadn't tracked such bills so comprehensively until this year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican priests in Enugu State on Thursday blocked the entry gates of eight primary and secondary schools, preventing academic activities.

The schools are located within an environment known as Women Training Centre. They include Urban Anglican Girls Secondary School, Metropolitan Anglican Secondary School and City Anglican Secondary School, as well as five primary schools.

The clerics were protesting an alleged directive to authorities of the schools by the state Ministry of Education that they should cease dealing with the Anglican Church on the ground that government had repossessed mission schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As we report in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, a number of companies, including elite banks and consulting firms, regularly ask job applicants to list their SAT scores along with GPAs, extracurricular activities and work experience. Though the practice is most common for new college hires, some firms request scores from candidates in their 40s and 50s....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.

Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more.

“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamist militants from the group Boko Haram fatally burned or shot dozens of male students in an attack late Monday on a state college in northeastern Nigeria, officials said on Tuesday. It was the fourth school assault attributed to the group in less than a year.

The assailants, who have vilified public education as blasphemous, then burned down dormitories and other buildings and shot at anyone trying to escape. None of the women were reported to have been harmed.

Abdulla Bego, a spokesman for the governor of Yobe State, where the attacks took place, said the killers had traveled in nine pickup trucks to the attack site, the Federal Government College Buni Yadi, about 45 miles from the state capital, Damaturu. They staged the ambush when soldiers in a military garrison assigned to protect the school were absent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I don't suppose anyone today would say that the problem with our politicians is that they are too deeply immersed in humanistic learning. Even in Snow's time and in Britain, the picture was far more complicated than he let on. When Snow delivered his Rede Lecture, the prime minister of the United Kingdom was Harold Macmillan, an Old Etonian who read classics at Oxford (and received a first-class degree); Macmillan fit to a T Snow's picture of the "traditional culture," But by the time Snow died in 1980, the holder of that office was Margaret Thatcher, who often said that she was less proud of being the first female prime minister than of being the first with a science degree. I suspect that Snow, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, was not especially consoled by Thatcher's status as a chemist. Moreover, the P.M. who made Snow minister of technology and elevated him to the peerage was Harold Wilson, the most academically gifted of 20th-century British politicians, who read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and then became a lecturer in economic history there at the ripe old age of twenty-one. (Wilson's father was a chemist, though.) The arrows here point in many directions; they don't tell the coherent story that Snow would like them to tell. It is hard to discern what connects politicians' academic training with their political judgments.

Snow wanted to believe something like this: political decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions. But that's a syllogism without a minor premise. And before we fill in that minor premise, we might reflect on one little story, which I offer, though it's a true story, as a kind of parable. At the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had directed the American atomic bomb program during World War II, found himself under scrutiny for alleged Communist sympathies. He was interviewed at length, and at one point found himself reflecting on how he and his people had made their decisions. Oppenheimer said, "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you've had your technical success. That's the way it was with the atomic bomb."

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryPhilosophyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the cafeteria, through the door on the left, a 17-year-old boy who went by the inititals “TJ” was shooting to kill. He’d put 10 rounds in his gun and six letters across his shirt. “Killer,” it said.

Frank Hall: I saw a young man firing into a crowd. I just stood up, shoved my table out of the way and started after him.

It’s tough even now for Frank Hall to speak of it. But with the support of his wife, he told us what happened when he charged at the boy with the gun.

Frank Hall: He raises his weapon at me, I jumped behind a Pepsi machine, I hear another fire.

That bullet missed Hall, so he kept chasing the student down the corridor.

Yes, I know, you are busy--but this is a must not miss. Really. Read (or better watch) it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilySportsTeens / YouthViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KATE OLSON, correspondent: Since its founding by the Methodist Church in 1836, Emory University has had a commitment to “educate the heart as well as the mind.” This is just what educational institutions need to be doing, echoes a visiting professor—His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA (speaking at podium): You made me an honorary professor of this university. But I always describe hopeless professor. Mainly I’m a very lazy person. I never do homework.

OLSON: But the Dalai Lama has a serious message: how to address the urgent problems in society and the moral crisis he says the world is facing.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We think the groups complaining about the Koch Foundation gift are suggesting a litmus test that neither we nor they would want to apply to other cases. We welcome constructive criticism, but we believe it would be a mistake to stifle debate by pretending that genuinely controversial positions are official church teaching.

We're grateful for the $1 million, and we're keeping it, because it would be an unhealthy precedent for a university to refuse support for valuable research because the money, somewhere back up the line, once belonged to a donor whose views on other subjects were unpopular within the academic community.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For most people with ADHD, these medications — typically formulations of methylphenidate or amphetamine — quickly calm them down and increase their ability to concentrate. Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there. Studies indicate that the improvements seen with medication do not translate into better academic achievement or even social adjustment in the long term: people who were medicated as children show no improvements in antisocial behaviour, substance abuse or arrest rates later in life, for example. And one recent study suggested that the medications could even harm some children1.

After decades of study, it has become clear that the drugs are not as transformative as their marketers would have parents believe. “I don't know of any evidence that's consistent that shows that there's any long-term benefit of taking the medication,” says James Swanson, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine.

Now researchers are trying to understand why. The answer could lie in sub-optimal use of the drugs, or failure to address other factors that affect performance, such as learning disabilities. Or it could be that people place too much hope on a simple fix for a complex problem. “What we expect medication to do may be unrealistic,” says Lily Hechtman, a psychiatrist at McGill University in Montreal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineMediaPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Madison Holleran, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania freshman, died in Philadelphia Friday night in what police called an apparent suicide. Her father later said her death was linked to the “stress” of keeping good grades at her Ivy League school.

According to NorthJersey.com, Holleran jumped off the roof of a parking garage Friday night. Just an hour earlier, the Allendale, N.J., native reportedly posted a photo of the lights at Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia on her Instagram account.

Holleran was a soccer and track star in her hometown at Northern Highlands Regional High School and called a “perfectionist” by her father, Jim Holleran. He also said she had “grown depressed” while adjusting to college life away from home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last October, in between arguments over the debt ceiling, the federal government somehow found time to send me an email. My student loan payment was 70 days past due, the message read, so the government had negatively reported me to each major credit bureau and would continue to report me until my account was brought current.

I'm betting the government sent out a lot of those letters to people like me: college graduates from middle-class families who didn't qualify for much in the way of scholarship aid and had parents who couldn't afford to pay for their schooling.

Research published last month in the journal Sociology of Education shows that students from middle-class families are bearing the brunt of the student loan crisis. Jason Houle, a sociologist at Dartmouth College, analyzed the student loan debt of about 9,000 men and women, focusing on how socioeconomics, including family income and parents' educational background, influenced student debt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rob and Kelly Mitchell were prepared for their two sons to have a four-day weekend, but when nasty weather tacked on two additional days, they were caught off guard.

"We had a sitter set up for Friday and I'm off work Monday," said Rob Mitchell, a government contractor and father of Ellis, 7, and Jeremy, 5. "Those days were covered, but we had to scramble to cover the ice days" Wednesday and Thursday.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* General InterestWeather* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the autumn of 2012, a year after becoming president of Davidson College, Carol Quillen gave a lecture about the intimacy of relationships with the dead. A scholar of Italian humanism by training, she read Machiavelli’s account of his nighttime journeys into the "ancient courts of ancient men," where, among the authors of antiquity, he was "not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their kindness answer me; and for four hours of time I do not feel boredom, I forget every trouble, I do not dread poverty, I am not frightened by death; entirely I give myself over to them."

The lecture was part of Davidson’s undergraduate humanities curriculum, a program with its own long history that now struggles to compete for students’ attention. Quillen’s job is to make the classic American liberal-arts college prosperous and relevant in a time of accelerated expectation and high expense....

In her exploration of humanism, she told me, she discovered the "experience of revelation through reading the words of people from a distant, alien age." Quillen remains devoted to the close reading of canonical texts. "Life is short," she said, "and those guys were smart." Quillen has a talent for combining academic eloquence with candor and self-doubt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryPhilosophyPoetry & LiteratureYoung Adults* Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted February 9, 2014 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New York City is moving to close school for two Muslim holidays and the Lunar New Year — but Mayor de Blasio isn’t so sure about the Hindu festival Diwali.

Appearing on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday, the mayor said he hadn’t taken a position on whether Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated in India and other South Asian countries, should be a day off from school.

But he said he’d move forward with closing schools for Lunar New Year and for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Muslim holy days.

“It is complicated in terms of logistics and school calendar and budget. But it’s something I want to get done in a reasonable time frame,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 7:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Harvard professor Laura Nasrallah's edX online course "Early Christianity: The Letters of Paul," has been called the largest and most concentrated scholarly discussion of Biblical studies in history, according to edX.

Nasrallah told The Huffington Post via email, "The day the course launched was astonishing—like drinking from a fire hose. The edX discussion threads couldn't handle the amount of people who were commenting, and crashed and slowed down. More people participated on Poetry Genius that day than ever before—the apostle Paul beat out Beyonce!"

edX is a massive online open course (MOOC) platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. It's a non-profit that delivers university-level course material to a global audience for free.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationGlobalizationScience & Technology* TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As time passed, she underwent numerous surgeries. She wore diapers until she was 13. And she endured great pain - pain caused by her body and the pain of feeling different, abnormal, somehow wrong.

A word darkened over her life, forming a seemingly permanent label: disabled.

For so long, too long, she heard people's comments. And she believed them.

However, she also grew up in the small town of Boone, N.C., with good friends and a loving family, including a fraternal twin sister. Together, they instilled a strong Christian faith in her.

Read it all from the local paper..

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 9:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Harvard Law School, one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the world, has posted a verse of the Holy Quraan at the entrance of its faculty library, describing the verse as one of the greatest expressions of justice in history.

Verse 135 of Surah Al Nisa (The Women) has been posted at a wall facing the faculty’s main entrance, dedicated to the best phrases articulating justice:

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Tuesday (Jan. 28), the European Court of Human Rights found the government was liable in a case in which a principal sexually abused a student, then 9 years old, when she attended a state-funded Catholic school in the 1970s. An Irish court had rejected her claims on the grounds that the school wasn’t public, but the European court decided the government had failed in its duty to protect children.

The ruling touched on an issue that has taken on greater urgency in recent years as sexual abuse scandals have rocked the church and more nonreligious people have immigrated to the staunchly Catholic country: Who should run Ireland’s schools?

The Catholic Church runs 90 percent of primary schools in Ireland. The rest are mainly Protestant, and about 4 percent are managed by the nonprofit Educate Together, which is nonsectarian.

The arrangement is unsettling to some parents who have little choice in where to send their children.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck.

Since 1985, the price of higher education has increased 538 percent, according to a new study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that encourages trustees and alumni to foster improvement where institutions may be reluctant to go against popular trends.

For perspective, compare tuition increases to a “mere” 286 percent increase in medical costs and a 121 percent increase in the consumer price index during the same period, according to the ACTA.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Zac Gossage, 6, lost his hair to chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, he cried to his mother that he didn't want to go to school.

Luckily, he has a friend in 7-year-old Vincent Butterfield.

When Vincent's first grade teacher told their class at Central Elementary School in Union, Mo. that Zac had leukemia, Vincent told his dad he wanted to shave his head.

Read it all and if you have time the video is wonderful. Also, another link for the video if necessary may be found there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

..fidelity to Thomas also demands that a Catholic university teach theology as a divine science, and not religious studies, a human one dependent on rational inquiry alone. Even though the core beliefs of Christianity are revealed and held by faith, students have to be informed of what they are. Aquinas never suggests that explaining the content of the articles of faith will bring about a response of faith, but he does think that we need to be told them. Theology courses at a Catholic university propose sacra doctrina. They set out what Christ taught in the Gospels, since he "is the first and chief teacher of spiritual doctrine and faith". Consequently, a Catholic university should be a place in where special attention is given to ensuring that students learn from theologians who propose the teaching of Christ as historical and authoritative.

Authentic Christian faith does not fear reason "but seeks it out and has trust in it". Faith presupposes reason and perfects it. Nor does human reason lose anything by opening itself to the content of faith. When reason is illumined by faith, it "is set free from the fragility and limitations deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to rise to the knowledge of the Triune God". The Holy Father observes that St Thomas thinks that human reason, as it were, "breathes" by moving within a vast horizon open to transcendence. If, instead, "a person reduces himself to thinking only of material objects or those that can be proven, he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God and is impoverished". Such a person has far too summarily divorced reason from faith, rendering asunder the very dynamic of the intellect.

What does this mean for Catholic universities today? Pope Benedict answers in this way: "The Catholic university is [therefore] a vast laboratory where, in accordance with the different disciplines, ever new areas of research are developed in a stimulating confrontation between faith and reason that aims to recover the harmonious synthesis achieved by Thomas Aquinas and other great Christian thinkers". When firmly grounded in St Thomas' understanding of faith and reason, Catholic institutions of higher learning can confidently face every new challenge on the horizon, since the truths discovered by any genuine science can never contradict the one Truth, who is God himself.

Read it all from 2010.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchEducation* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A student who was shot outside a dormitory at South Carolina State University died on Friday as authorities searched for four suspects believed to be involved in the shooting, officials said.

Police said the male student was shot around 1:30 p.m. EST (1330 ET) on the campus of the historically black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Officials have not identified the victim or the suspects. Authorities are still investigating a motive for the shooting, said University Police Chief Mernard Clarkson.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationViolenceYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Just past midnight Indian time on 22 January, an astronomer at University College London and his students were taking a routine peek through their telescope when they noticed something odd: there was a new, bright 'star' at the edge of the Cigar Galaxy or M, some 11.4 million light years away. Before the London fog closed in and the view was lost, the group had taken photographs and contacted US astronomer friends. After a flurry of intercontinental activity, excited astronomers announced the discovery of a new supernova. The discovery has been announced in the scientific journal Nature.

A supernova is a star explosion. It throws out an enormous amount of energy, outshining a whole galaxy for a few days. It is estimated that mass is ejected from the exploding star at 30,000 kilometers per second. This one is of the type 1a, which happens when a white dwarf star which is old and dim, is loaded with excessive gas and dust causing a thermonuclear explosion. Two white dwarves colliding would also lead to a similar result.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted January 24, 2014 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tallulah, an aspiring dancer from West Hampstead in London, threw herself under a train at St Pancras Station on October 14, 2012. Her mother said she had been unable to prevent the troubled teenager from becoming increasingly withdrawn at home and at school, as she developed a fantasy cocaine-taking persona online.

Ms Wilson said: “Like any parent I sought to protect my daughter, seeking help from professionals at her school, the NHS and the Tavistock Clinic. Her sisters and I did everything we could to keep her safe, but she had fallen into a world of nightmares. She was in the c lutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her.

“I was shocked by the ease with which Tallulah and other children can access online self-harm and suicide blogs. Tallulah entered a world where the lines between fantasy and reality became blurred. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eastside Catholic prides itself on teaching acceptance. At the end of Crusader Way, by the school’s entrance, banners hang celebrating “relationships” and exhorting passers-by to “remember to take care of each other.” Students use a sign-language gesture to remind one another of the school’s emphasis on unconditional love.

But now the school is unexpectedly grappling with how it defines both love and acceptance. Last month, a well-regarded vice principal was forced to leave his job as soon as administrators became aware that he had married a man; in the weeks since, the suburban Seattle school has been roiled, first by protests in support of the vice principal, and then by the resignations of those who sought his departure. The chairman of the school’s board resigned last month, and on Tuesday, Eastside, a middle and high school with about 900 students, announced the resignation of its president.

The ouster of Mr. Z, as the former vice principal, Mark Zmuda, is known, comes amid a wave of firings and forced resignations of gay men and lesbians from Roman Catholic institutions across the country, in most cases prompted not directly by the employees’ sexuality, but by their decisions to marry as same-sex marriage becomes legal in an increasing number of states.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early childhood education advocates called out state lawmakers Wednesday to put aside their differences and reach a bipartisan compromise that invests in pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk children.

The call was made in the lobby of the Statehouse, where the heads of three organizations met to urge lawmakers to implement a statewide policy to measure the progress of children participating in early childhood education programs. More than a dozen organizations, including the United Way and Institute for Child Success, joined the effort dubbed South Carolina's Early Childhood Common Agenda.

"We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this state on early childhood education, and we haven't been able to prove that the way we're doing is effective in every case," said Tim Ervolina, president of the United Way, during the conference. "We're just asking the people upstairs spend the money smartly."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Embrace the Journey was developed because Anglicans for Life recognized this growing segment of our population and their unique need for ministry and advocacy. Parishioners also need to hear what Scripture teaches about aging, dying, and death. This Adult-Ed Curriculum educates the people in the pews about the role of heaven in their faith walk and provides assurance of heaven as their home for eternity.

Anglicans for Life also produced Embrace the Journey because the term “end-of-life” for the elderly and terminally ill means something very different in today’s culture than it did 20 years ago. Treating vulnerable people as second class citizens is not something we fear may happen, it is happening. And with it comes a growing disregard for the value of life, especially in the ‘golden years.’ Hastening of death via assisted suicide, the growing number of cases of emotional, physical, and financial abuse and the increasing fear of being a burden puts the elderly at risk. The Curriculum seeks to make people aware of these issues to help them be pro-active in preventing them from happening to loved ones or themselves.

The Embrace the Journey Curriculum includes video presentations by Anglicans for Life President Georgette Forney and interviews with Anglican bishops, parish priests, and experts in “end-of-life” issues...

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2014 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said a local Catholic school's requirement that the vice principal quit after it learned of his same-sex marriage was not discriminatory but held to church teaching and the school's Catholic mission.
According to a statement from Eastside Catholic School in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish, Vice Principal Mark Zmuda resigned in mid-December during a meeting with school officials "for violating his signed agreement to abide by Catholic Church teachings."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman may claim he’s "nobody special" but to the millions of people who know his life story, he’s an inspiration.

"I’m just a guy who has hearing aids and wanted to play football and found a way to do it," Coleman, 23, told NBC News.

As the first deaf offensive player in the NFL, his tough road to the big leagues was featured in a Duracell ad that’s been viewed more than 5.6 million times on YouTube.

Read it all (if you have time for the video it is very enjoyable).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineSports

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leading social network Facebook (FB) has lost some 59% of its college users in three years and teenagers are also leaving the platform, an independent research firm said Wednesday.

Teen users have fallen by about 25%, according to a triennial report from iStrategyLabs, a digital strategy and marketing firm.

The data that's backing the study come from Facebook's ad platform, says iStrategyLabs Chief Marketing Officer DJ Saul in a blog post.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPovertySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Near the end of my doctoral program in modern Western religion at Harvard University, I became convinced that the Internet was the most powerful platform available for global religious conversation. When I joined the team that was building Patheos.com, we had a vision for creating online a marketplace of religious ideas, attracting the world’s most talented writers to engage life’s most important questions. About five years later, we have four million unique visitors monthly and a vibrant multi-religious conversation that attracts a constantly growing number of participants from all religious (and nonreligious) backgrounds and all parts of the planet — and we are still only beginning to scratch the surface of what new media technologies built upon a global telecommunications infrastructure could mean for faith in the modern world.

In summary, then, the work of the technologist is meaningful from a Christian theological perspective for several reasons. It reflects the creative and constructive ingenuity of God, for we are created to be creators in the image of our Creator. The Jewish and Christian scriptures affirm the original goodness of the natural world, and technology can serve to repair the broken world and restore humankind’s capacity for stewardship. It helps us fulfill the creation mandate to subdue the earth and give it order. Technological development can be a form of neighborly love, as countless technologies — from the roofs above our heads to the vaccines that eliminate diseases to prosthetic limbs — serve directly to minimize human suffering and make the world more hospitable for human flourishing. From the perspective of the Christian theological tradition, the mental disciplines formed in the processes of technological innovation are infused with spiritual potential, cultivating the powers of attention and self-control that are intrinsic to prayer and obedience. And technologies can serve not only the interests of humankind generally but also the growth of the Body of Christ on earth. Thoughtful early adopters of emerging technologies have revitalized existing religious communities and planted more communities on fertile new soils.

We cannot travel from the garden to the heavenly city without crossing the tractor marks outside the walls.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationHistoryPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

1 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Ecumenical Patriarch said today he hoped for a continuing exchange of Orthodox and Anglican students to aid the two Churches' relationship.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church, was speaking today during his welcome of the Anglican Communion's spiritual head Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

He said, "In the past, the rapprochement between our two Churches has been greatly assisted by the exchange of students, and we trust that this will continue. Our Theological School at Halki used to offer scholarships to Anglicans, and when it is reopened – as will happen in the near future (so it may be hoped) – we shall certainly wish to revive this tradition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There should be more religious education in Australian schools, says one of the men tasked with reviewing the national curriculum.

Former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly says Australian education has become too secular, and the federation's Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum.

The review was announced yesterday by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne, after concerns the curriculum had become too left-leaning and was failing students.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

MUSC's online nursing degree program is one of the best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of online degree programs.

The Medical University of South Carolina's program was ranked No. 2, behind only St. Xavier University in Chicago. But MUSC was the top-ranked school among those that offer a doctorate of nursing online.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Texas has seen the future of the public library, and it looks a lot like an Apple Store: Rows of glossy iMacs beckon. iPads mounted on a tangerine-colored bar invite readers. And hundreds of other tablets stand ready for checkout to anyone with a borrowing card.

Even the librarians imitate Apple’s dress code, wearing matching shirts and that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie. But this $2.3 million library might be most notable for what it does not have – any actual books.

That makes Bexar County’s BibiloTech the nation’s only bookless public library, a distinction that has attracted scores of digital bookworms, plus emissaries from as far away as Hong Kong who want to learn about the idea and possibly take it home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksEducationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted January 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left and No. 1 Florida State beat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 to win the last BCS national championship game on Monday night.

Winston struggled much of the night but was near perfect when the Seminoles (14-0) needed it most, going 6 for 7 for 77 yards on the game-winning 80-yard drive. A pass interference penalty on Auburn’s Chris Davis gave Florida State a first-and-goal at the 2 and on the next play Winston hit his big receiver for the touchdown.

“I said this from Day 1 in spring ball. These kids are special,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “This group never faltered. They wanted to be elite. They wanted to go to the top and there’s so much character in this group.”

Read it all from AP.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody. A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, "30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education." Allowing for tuition, interest on student loans, and four years of foregone income while in school, the fictional student "Patrick Moorhouse" wasn't much better off. His years of stress and study, the article japed, "have been more or less a financial wash."

"Patrick" shouldn't feel too bad. Many college graduates would be happy to be $11 ahead instead of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, behind. The credit-driven higher education bubble of the past several decades has left legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects. To make college a good value again, today's parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I’m not making missionaries heroes,” said Richard H. Elphick, a historian at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the author of “The Equality of Believers,” a book about Protestant missionaries in South Africa. “Missionaries and other white Christians were alarmed by the idea that the equality of all people before God means they should be equal in public life. But the equality of believers is an idea they dropped into South Africa. And it was constantly reinforced in the schools. And that made it a dangerous idea.”

Olufemi Taiwo offered a similarly nuanced endorsement, and he did so from two perspectives: as the product of a mission education in his native Nigeria and as a Cornell University professor with expertise in African studies.

“Under colonialism, there’s a tension between the missions and the colonial authorities,” said Dr. Taiwo, author of the 2010 book “How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa.” “There was a missionary idea that black people could be modern. And most churches cannot come out and say some people are not human. So you might have a patronizing attitude, but if you don’t think Africans can benefit from education, why would you set up schools?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissions* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth Africa

0 Comments
Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shaw's 9-yard touchdown catch from receiver Bruce Ellington was one of five scores in his final game. He contributed to every touchdown in No. 8 South Carolina's 34-24 win over No. 19 Wisconsin before a crowd of 56,629 at Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

It was the Gamecocks' (11-2) third straight bowl victory over a Big Ten opponent, and their third straight 11-win season. For the Badgers (9-4), it was their fourth straight bowl loss.

It was also the storybook ending to Shaw's career - passing, receiving and rushing for a touchdown on his way to being named the Capital One Bowl MVP. Shaw completed 22-of-25 passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He iced the game with a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMenSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

@pastorbrady: God's peace and healing to the family of Claire Davis. #arapahoehigh Our hearts are broken at news of her death.” Lord, help.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyTeens / YouthViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEschatologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 22, 2013 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new federal report shows that the percentage of American high school students who smoke marijuana is slowly rising, while the use of alcohol and almost every other drug is falling.

The report raises concerns that the relaxation of restrictions on marijuana, which can now be sold legally in 20 states and the District of Columbia, has been influencing use of the drug among teenagers. Health officials are concerned by the steady increase and point to what they say is a growing body of evidence that adolescent brains, which are still developing, are susceptible to subtle changes caused by marijuana.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationLaw & Legal IssuesTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anyone seeking evidence of how the western mind is snapping shut and how insult is steadily replacing evidence and reason need only watch this instructive altercation on BBC TV’s Newsnight last night. Ostensibly a discussion about the efficacy or otherwise of drug courts, it fast descended into a row between actor and self-confessed former drug addict Matthew Perry and journalist Peter Hitchens over the nature of drug addiction itself.

Hitchens argued that addiction was not, as is almost universally assumed, a disease over which the sufferer has no control but a form of willed self-indulgence which drug users could end if they really wanted to do so enough. A controversial proposition, indeed, and surely one of which few have previously been made aware.

But Hitchens did not encounter scepticism and a reasoned counter-argument. Instead, an incredulous Perry scoffed at him as ‘Santa’ and frothed that his argument was crazy, ‘as ludicrous as saying Peter Pan was real’. All of this, however, merely served to highlight the fact that when asked for evidence to support his claim that addiction was an illness Perry could not do so, resorting instead to the lame response that ‘doctors say it is’, that he himself was proof of his own argument and that addiction was an ‘allergy of the body’ (eh?)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationHealth & MedicinePhilosophyPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"If the Lord told me I could redo two years of my life--if I could take a mulligan--I would choose the two years after Bible College. Hands down. I joke about it, but it really was the worst time. There was so much pride in my life...."

Go here, then to the table of contents, then to page 58 to read the rest.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With news bulletins popping up on my phone and airport TV monitors reporting the breaking news, I called my office and we decided to send a Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains who had years of fire, police and emergency management experience to assess the need for emotional and spiritual care.

As God would have it, these specially-trained chaplains were already in the New Jersey and New York region as part of our response to Hurricane Sandy.

As the chaplains arrived just a few hours later at a police checkpoint near the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the police immediately invited the chaplains in and directed them to the Incident Command Center to offer support to the first responders who were first on the scene at the school.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationRural/Town LifeViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The Rev. Simon] Tatton-Brown, who is due to retire shortly, has admitted that he was wrong to tell children that Father Christmas was not real. He also apologised for telling them how legend has it that St Nicholas, the historical figure on whom Santa Claus is based, resurrected three young boys who had been pickled in a barrel by a wicked butcher who was planning to sell them as ham.

He said that he inadvertently left behind the notes for his speech and had to extemporise.

Kerry Butler, whose daughter Kacey, 9, goes to the school, said that parents were “very upset” about Mr Tatton-Brown’s remarks.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 13, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The demonstration necropsy at the Charleston Animal Society was one element of a comprehensive program that is attracting attention nationally. The society’s education team developed the Veterinary Science Initiative, which is offered throughout Lowcountry classrooms in an effort to expose students to veterinary science and the shelter’s work.

“There aren’t a lot of resources in shelters, so if you’re going to invest time and money, you better make sure it’s effective and it hits multiple goals,” Tisa said. “The primary focus is getting kids interested in science.”

Read it all from the front page of yesterday's local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicineScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One memorable grade-school performance my wife and I attended six years ago included songs about dancing penguins and prancing polar bears sung by fifth-graders dressed in white polo shirts and beige pants, interspersed with poetic student readings about snow and ice (prompting visions of isolation, hypothermia and snow blindness). Imagine a GapKids commercial directed by Ingmar Bergman.

Now, these once-festive and joyous musical events have become monochromatic affairs—both visually and artistically—devoid of any seasonal context. At last year's high-school concert, all of the student performers were dressed in black—formal yes, but also funereal. Moreover, school music directors these days, overburdened by litigation-avoidance strategies, have committed the sin (if that word is still allowed) of not just erasing religion from these concerts but of basically abandoning musicality altogether.

Much of the music is simply bad: mindless melodies and meaningless lyrics, whether saccharine and syncopated or somber and staccato. To ignore the significant body of church music composed to celebrate Christmas—from English carols to Bach cantatas to the full oratorio of Handel —borders on musical malpractice, even if it is motivated by fear of the ACLU. No matter how technically well-executed, Broadway show tunes and "Glee" versions of pop standards will never inspire hope, goodwill and renewal. Wasn't that the whole point of these annual musical celebrations?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMusicReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A long-retired first grade teacher who died a couple of years ago in Simsbury, Connecticut, lived very simply and wasn’t aware of how many riches she had – not until her lawyer discovered she was actually quite wealthy. NBC’s Harry Smith reports that she gave it away to the institutions that mattered to her the most in the community.

There are two videos and they are both well worth your time: The first may be foundhereand the second there.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyEducationRural/Town Life* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

3 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Faith schools discriminate against the less well-off, a survey has suggested. Comprehensive non-faith secondary schools admit 11 per cent more pupils eligible for free school meals than would be expected given their areas, while comparable Church of England secondaries admit 10 per cent fewer, it was found.

The Fair Admissions Campaign, which wants schools opened equally to all children regardless of religion, said admissions of pupils eligible for free school meals fell below the level in the schools’ areas by 24 per cent at Roman Catholic, 25 per cent at Muslim and 61 per cent at Jewish secondary schools.

The campaign claimed a “clear correlation” between religious selection and socio-economic segregation.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some of the rarest and most fragile religious texts in the Vatican and Bodleian libraries, including ancient bibles and some of the oldest Hebrew manuscript and printed books, are being placed online in a joint project by the two great libraries, which will eventually create an online archive of 1.5m pages.

The website launched on Tuesday with funding from the Polonsky Foundation includes the first results of the four-year project, including the Bodleian's 1455 Gutenberg Bible, one of only 50 surviving copies of the first major book printed in the west with metal type.

The site will also host a growing collection of scholarly essays, and interviews with the Oxford and Vatican librarians, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said the digitisation was of huge international significance.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetBooksEducationHistoryReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEuropeItaly

3 Comments
Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. 15-year-olds made no progress on recent international achievement exams and fell further in the rankings, reviving a debate about America's ability to compete in a global economy.

The results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which are being released on Tuesday, show that teenagers in the U.S. slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which gathers and analyzes the data in the U.S.

The PISA is administered every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A representative sample of about 510,000 students took the exam in 65 countries and locales, representing 80% of the world economy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No. 10 South Carolina beat No. 6 Clemson, 31-17, before a crowd of 84,174 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks forced six turnovers, including three from Boyd in the fourth quarter. After Boyd’s fumble, he threw two interceptions.

USC (10-2) won its fifth straight game over Clemson for the first time in the rivalry’s 111-game history. It’s the furthest one team has extended a streak since 1940, when Clemson (10-2) won its seventh straight.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

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Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Between classes, they schemed and conspired. For weeks, the football players at Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Mich., secretly planned their remarkable play.

"Everyone was in on it," says Nick Jungel.

"But the coaches didn't know anything about it," Parker Smith says. "We were, like, going behind their back."

We've never heard of a team coming up with a plan to not score.

Read it all but also make sure to watch the Video.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationSports* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
“The great appeal that Lewis has today is that he has an extraordinary range of a diversity of genre in communicating truth,” said James Houston, one of the founders of the respected Christian institution Regent College in Vancouver, who ran in Lewis’ circles while they were both at Oxford.

“He used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories, scholarly essays. He used the whole gamut to communicate the depths of truth.”


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In less than three years, 13-year-old Quin Etnyre learned to programme electronics, created his own company, and began teaching MIT graduates in his spare time.

Read it all and watch the video report.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted November 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican schools are not the preserve of “white, middle class pupils” and should be allowed to expand to take in more children, according to the Church’s head of education.

New figures published by the Church of England suggest that its schools take as many pupils from poor backgrounds and ethnic minorities as the national average.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who is chairman of the Church’s Board of Education, insisted Anglican schools “fully reflect the society in which we live”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture

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Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are you kidding me? Wow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMenSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted November 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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