Links I liked, 4/27/15 – 5/3/15 (Evangelicalism, Vietnam, Exoworlds).

Hello after a long time – I have decided to reboot the blog in a low-key manner.  All of this stuff has been shared this week on my Twitter – but I realized that when I’m mobile, I generally find stuff to read via blogs through the Pulse app on my phone.  What about other people like me?  So I’m going to try sharing, once a week, links I found interesting the previous week, with some small comments from me.  In no particular order then…

1. All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Evangelicalism

Matthew Milliner, a former Wheaton College undergraduate, describes his disenchantment with some of the shallowness of evangelicalism (e.g., worship songs that feel like rebooted pop songs).  But then, reading old mystics of Catholic and Orthodox fame, he is surprised to find much of the same (e.g. finding words to express their praise of God in the secular poetry of the day) and comes to appreciate where he came from.  And now he teaches at Wheaton.

2. Last Days in Vietnam

A good, and sad, two-hour-long PBS documentary recommended by someone over at Ace of Spades blog.

3. 20 Exoworlds are now available for naming proposals

If you have an “astronomy-interested” club or organization, you can submit a name for one of twenty discovered exoplanets.  Proposals will then be voted upon (following some screening, I’d imagine).

4. The Wild Ideas of Social Conservatives

A nice piece by Russ Douthat.  He makes a point I’ve made before that we are now at a place where if something cannot be easily quantified, then it doesn’t exist to us (especially when it comes to setting public policy).  But his bigger point here is “isn’t it strange that we keep ridiculing the predictions of social conservatives when in fact they’ve built up a pretty good track record over the last 50 years or so?”

5. What if Students Could Fire Their Professors?

A little article via Sarah Brodsky mainly shared for its observation that students who have poorly rated (by them) professors often do better in later courses – nobody likes a taskmaster.

6. SpaceX mile-high escape test will feature ‘Buster’ the dummy

The SpaceX crew capsule will have an escape system – the Space Shuttle didn’t have that.

7. MI lawmaker pushes state home school registry

Interesting reasoning here I thought – essentially argues that one of the reasons we need public schools is because it gets children away from their parents for a time and we can may sure everything is OK at home.  Since we can’t do that for homeschooled students we need a registry.  (Never going to happen with the current MI legislature.)  Also I had not seen an estimate before – perhaps 3% of Michigan students homeschooled.  I would have put it higher.

Bec enjoying a flower

And now here is Bec enjoying a flower in East Lansing.

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