Thursday, August 14, 2008

Several Things

Life is hectic, so I am posting directly to the blog today.

My nine-year-old son is a dedicated follower of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. For his birthday he was set on a Nintendo DS until he saw a compendium of ever strip ever made on Calvin and Hobbes and he changed his wish to that, which I have ordered. Yesterday he found a site that allows you to make up your own comic strip called "Digital Calvin and Hobbes" and he made one up entitled: "world leader." Here is the URL of his creation:

His phonetic spelling is evident, since it starts off:

calvin: "i think i'l concor the planet todey."

He carries his stuffed tiger named Hobbes everywhere he goes. I have pictures. One of the few without Hobbes in it I selected as my entry in our fall fair photo competition under the category "children." It is called "Tracer Bullit, Private Investigator." It shows him with a rolled up paper "cigar," a plastic gun and a hat he borrowed from his grandfather. Cute. The photos are being judged today. I will share some of my other entries in due time.

Check out this article. It explains why I, at least, am an enthusiastic blogger. It keeps me healthy.

from: "The Healthy Type; June 2008; Scientific American, by Jessica Wapner.

"Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off. Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery. A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not.

"Scientists now hope to explore the neurological underpinnings at play, especially considering the explosion of blogs. According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the placebo theory of suffering is one window through which to view blogging. As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a "placebo for getting satisfied," Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.

from: Scientific American, "The Healthy Type; the therapeutic value of blogging becomes a focus of study." June 2008 p. 32

Yesterday I had to drive my sister-in-law to Toronto to talk to the immigration authorities, a long, boring drive. I relieved the tedium by listening to the old ipod, specifically to the podcasts. I tried several interviews with various Baha'is from the Baha'i Perspectives' podcasts.

Baha'is, I found, can be pretty boring, especially when the interviewer is obsessed with Christianity. Finally, I hit upon one interview that grabbed me all the way there. I highly recommend it:

Episode 100: A Baha’i Perspective: Jeff Hajibandeh
"In high school, Jeff was reborn as a Christian. When he went off to college he became the worship leader for the on campus Christian fellowship. Jeff tells his story on how he ran into the Baha’i Faith while at college."

Why do I recommend this interview, especially in view of my utter boredom with all things Christian? Because it proved to me that it is possible to teach these people, if it is done right. This interview shows that all the time we spend thinking about prophesy is not wasted, that it is actually possible to teach the Faith using prophesy, if it is done right. If you want to learn how to teach the Faith right, listen to this guy's story of how his teacher "Jacob" taught him the Faith. This guy knows how to do it right.

Here is an interesting teaching initiative by a Baha'i television star:

Rainn Wilson's "Show us your spatufist campaign"

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