Category Archives: Link Love

Ten for Tuesday

It’s been a few weeks–been busy with the Healthy Holiday Streak (not too late to jump in!).

1. How the ‘Shalane Flanagan Effect’ Works

Was so excited when Shalane won the NYC Marathon! This story just adds to the joy:

But perhaps Flanagan’s bigger accomplishment lies in nurturing and promoting the rising talent around her, a rare quality in the cutthroat world of elite sports. Every single one of her training partners — 11 women in total — has made it to the Olympics while training with her, an extraordinary feat. Call it the Shalane Effect: You serve as a rocket booster for the careers of the women who work alongside you, while catapulting forward yourself.

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2. Veteran who lost both legs completes 31 marathons in 31 days, runners trailing his every step

Marine Corps veteran Rob Jones wanted to change the narrative of the broken-down, wounded veteran struggling to transition to civilian life. So for the past 31 days, he kept running.

He ran to prove a point and to inspire. Jones, who had both legs amputated after being wounded by a land mine while serving in Afghanistan, ran the distance of 31 marathons over 31 days in 31 different cities.

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3. Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild by Kathy Fish

resplendence of poets.

beacon of scientists.

raft of social workers.

A short poem with a poignant twist at the end.

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4. Powerful [NSFW] Photos From The 2017 Birth Photo Competition Prove That Moms Are Badass

Raw, beautiful and fierce!

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5. Brave Enough to Be Angry–Lindy West

Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.

Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. Close your eyes and think of America.

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6. Since You Asked, Roy Moore, Here Is Why Victims Of Sexual Violence Wait Decades To Come Forward

Seventeen good reasons here.

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7. “I-Cut-You-Choose” Cake-Cutting Protocol Inspires Solution to Gerrymandering

Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates in Virginia received about 224,000 more votes than Republicans, out of about 2.4 million cast. And yet Republicans will probably end up with a 51-49 advantage. Why? Part of the answer is gerrymandering. I assume you’ve seen the maps–craziness!

I don’t have a lot of hope that our current partisan environment will be able to draw districts that are truly fair. But if we could, this article explains how it might work.

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8. At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions.

tl;dr — It’s fear.

I have seen similar evidence elsewhere. The question is, what quirk of the brain turns liberals into conservatives? I don’t like the frame that one side is more deficient than the other; we’re just deficient in different ways is all 😉

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9. Can a Democrat and Republican make a marriage work?

I find political “mixed marriages” fascinating. And ultimately hopeful.

Rather, [Professor] Duncan suggests couples try to understand each other’s point of view and respect the right to feel strongly about something, which is what Chris says he has tried to do throughout his 40-year marriage.

“When your partner is someone from a different viewpoint, you really have to try to appreciate that viewpoint and understand that everyone’s got a valid point,” he said.

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10. The Thirteen Questions That Lead to Divorce

Speaking of marriage… I missed the article in the Times two years ago that listed 36 questions that one psychologist says can “lead to love.” But this one appealed to the wicked side of my humor.

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Onward…

Ten for Tuesday

Let’s get right to it.

1. On “Thoughts and Prayers”

Another mass shooting, this time in Texas, means another mass of posts on social media from various perspectives. My friend Roy posted the following yesterday and it spoke to me:

Amen.

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2. “Thoughts and Prayers,” part 2

After the Las Vegas shooting–yes, that was only a few weeks ago–I read the following on a friend’s Facebook feed about “thoughts and prayers” in Islam. It spoke to me:

Today, my actions include spending a few hours at a nearby polling place, handing out literature for the candidate who I believe is the best choice to be our governor.

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3. Noticing Kairos Moments

My improv buddy David Westerlund reflects on time and presence:

In an improv scene if I’m worried about what I didn’t say five seconds ago; or overthinking what might happen, I’m missing what’s happening right now, I’m missing the dynamic now, of what is unfolding as I tune into my scene partner.

The now-ness of improv is one of the things I love best about it… and why I’m a constant student of it, because I often miss the now in my daily life!

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4. Press Play (TED Radio Hour)

Speaking of improv, this edition of the TED Radio Hour talks about the importance of play, for all of us. I suggest that in these fraught times, play is even more vital.

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5. Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon

Aging is harder for women. We bear the brunt of the equation of beauty with youth and youth with power — the double-whammy of ageism and sexism. How do we cope? We splurge on anti-aging products. We fudge or lie about our age. We diet, we exercise, we get plumped and lifted and tucked.

These can be very effective strategies, and I completely understand why so many of us engage in them. No judgment, I swear. But trying to pass for younger is like a gay person trying to pass for straight or a person of color for white. These behaviors are rooted in shame over something that shouldn’t be shameful. And they give a pass to the underlying discrimination that makes them necessary.

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6. Five Important Women of the Reformation

We recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, an event that has profoundly shaped history whether you are religious or not. Here are some women you should know.

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7. David Schwimmer praised in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal for offering female film critic a chaperone

David Schwimmer has been on my Nice Guy list for a while, since producing a series of thought-provoking PSAs about sexual harassment. But this was a very interesting story in the wake of #MeToo:

[Journalist] Nell Minow, in response to the disgust felt at Hollywood behaviour, has spoken of her meeting with the Friends actor in 2011, when he was promoting Trust – the film he directed, telling the real life story of a young girl preyed upon by an online abuser.

The restaurant they were due to speak in proved noisy, and so the Friends star hesitantly broached the notion of going up to his room. Schwimmer said he could ask a third person to be present in the room.

“I haven’t thought of that since it happened but the Weinstein stories made me not just remember it but remember it in an entirely different context as an indicator of the prevalence of predatory behaviour and as an indicator of Schwimmer’s integrity and sensitivity,” she said.

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8. Female Shark in Seoul Aquarium Eats Male Shark Because He Kept Bumping Into Her

Because sometimes you have just had ENOUGH.

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9. How to Build Resilience in Midlife

In honor of my ‘baby’ brother who turned 40 last week:

Remember Your Comebacks. When times are tough, we often remind ourselves that other people — like war refugees or a friend with cancer — have it worse. While that may be true, you will get a bigger resilience boost by reminding yourself of the challenges you personally have overcome.

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10. Astros!!!

It was so wonderful to watch the Astros capture their first World Series title in franchise history. I shared this video on my FB feed, which was my favorite moment from the celebration.

But this was a close second.

Ten for Tuesday

A little of everything this week. Some made the rounds, some I hope will be new to you. Onward!

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1. Guy Photoshops Himself Into Childhood Pics To Hang Out With His Childhood Self

These are oddly poignant, and if I were Conor’s mother I would absolutely treasure these.

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2. Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes

Fight back with beauty… and wiseassery.

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3. & 4. Don’t Yuck My Yum! and Now Playing: the Theo Tacos

A two-for-one deal–twin reflections from the wonderful Mary Beene about the recent workshop I co-led with Marthame Sanders at Columbia Theological Seminary on improvisation .

God is, in fact, quite playful. When you study Greek, you begin to see how Jesus was very funny much of the time.  There are so many little inside jokes in both the Old and New Testament, that I feel completely confident in saying that spiritual formation may be one of our most serious undertakings – and it is also one of the places where we are least served by taking ourselves too seriously.

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5. Turns Out, UPS Drivers Have A Facebook Group About Dogs They Meet On Their Routes, And It Will Make Your Day

UPS Dogs is a nation-wide network of canine-loving ‘big brown truck’ drivers who post pictures of the pups they become acquainted with along their delivery schedule. Some of them have known their clients’ dogs for years, and have worked out complex treat-exchange systems with them. The group has been going strong for 5 years now, and is still moderated by McCarren himself. “It’s a good example of the relationships our employees build with their customers, two- or four-legged,” a UPS spokesperson told Buzzfeed News.

I love it. Click through for some pics and stories.

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6. Technology Overuse May Be the New Digital Divide

According to a recent survey, children who come from low-income households spend 3 hours and 29 minutes a day on screens, on average. That’s almost double the 1 hour and 50 minutes of daily screen time that a child from a higher-income home experiences.

Big picture:

Clark cautioned against judging low-income families for allowing their kids so much screen time. “You need to understand what is actually happening. Is screen time a better option than sending them out to play outside where it’s not safe?” he asked. Higher income families can pay for more childcare, sign their kids up for activities or allow their kids to run around a backyard.

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7. Recipes Organized into Component Parts in Food Styling Photos by Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj

So satisfying, so enjoyable to behold.

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8. Tom Hanks Considers The Cosmos, Nora Ephron, And A Man Dressed As A Shrimp

This 30-minute interview is so worth the time. I love what he has to say about bucket lists. (He doesn’t have them. Instead he describes an approach to life and creative projects that sounds a whole lot like improv.)

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9. “Stop Following Others. Be More Like Yourself.” Dan Blank Interviews Windham Hill’s Will Ackerman

Along those same lines, this expansive interview with the founder of Windham Hill records is a treasure trove of wisdom about pursuing a creative life and following your own instincts and path. Also features a frank conversation about Ackerman’s bout with depression. If you’re a fan of Ackerman, but even if you aren’t, it’s a good listen.

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10. The New Yorker Cover That’s Being Replicated by Women Surgeons Across the World

Thank you ladies for being awesome.

Nevertheless she persisted.

Ten for Tuesday: “Clearing Out the Attic” Edition

It’s been about a month since my last Ten for Tuesday. I’ve been collecting links, but just haven’t gotten around to posting. Some of these are stale by Internet standards, but hey, it’s good to stretch our attention spans to two or even three weeks! Gasp!

1. I Walked 64 Miles Around the [DC] Beltway. What Was I Thinking?

You were thinking that is a dare-to-be-great situation, that’s what!

The one true moment of perspective on the actual city of Washington came when we crossed the Wilson Bridge over the Potomac and looked back up the river. It was the only time DC’s downtown and skyline were visible to us during our circuit, and from the bridge you could see how the city was nestled in the crotch of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers—in a way that made more sense from that vantage than from any other. As the bridge vibrated beneath our feet (much more than we had expected), we looked in toward the District and tried to imagine what it all had looked like before the city existed, when the port in Alexandria to our left was the biggest game in town.

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2. Losing My Hand: A Rant

I wish I could remember who first shared this, but it’s just darn good writing. And good improvisational theology:

People tell me I’m strong and brave—I’m not strong and brave, I didn’t choose any of this to happen. I claw my way back up the surface, only to be knocked back down again, and again, and again. Each time I wonder where and how will I find the strength to keep enduring this vicious cycle? And for what? With no end in sight of when and to what extent I’ll regain function, it’s so easy to slip into feeling overwhelmed and lost. Then, after all is said and done, why? Why of all things my hand? The one part of me that allows me to carry out what I love most.  I’d recognized that the only way out was through. It’s true. At some point, I learned to stop asking questions and wait it out. What other choice do I have?

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3. Praying

Speaking of good theology, this reflection by my fried Blair Monie, who is undergoing cancer treatment, is worth looking at. What happens when we pray? Are prayers answered, and if so how? “If the shrinkage of my tumor is an answer to prayer, what about those whose tumors have grown? Have they not been prayed for–enough or in the right way? I cannot believe that.” Deep good thoughts here. (You may need to log in to CaringBridge to read this one.)

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4. The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1

This story got shared like crazy a few weeks ago and I kept putting off reading it. If you too have been putting it off, now is the time. This is nothing short of astounding.

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5. Unendurable Line

An oddly satisfying video:

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6. Artist Debra Rapoport’s Powerful 111-Word Philosophy of Living

Click through for this simple whimsical wise statement. Want to be her when I grow up:

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7. 8. 9. Our “Hope for the World” Section. These three are related and all are must-reads:

Man removes Nazi swastika tattoos after unlikely friendship

I wanted to understand why racists hated me. So I befriended Klansmen.

and a call to action, from the Times of Israel:

When they kick in your front door, how you gonna come?

A meditation on the biblical king Saul and modern-day sacred resistance.

We learn in the Gemara (Shabbat 54b), “whoever is able to resist the sins of even the entire world and does not is implicated in the sins of the entire world.”

So, should we ever be faced with a paranoid and erratic ruler like Saul], who is quick to capitalize on divisions in our country and threatens vulnerable populations, we are called to resist.

How? Read the article. Again, I can’t remember how this came to me–I think it was through my Jewish friend M. Long and powerful.

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And sneaking in a personal #10, I’m in Atlanta this week, teaching about improv and playing Wednesday night in a show at the Basement Theater. Are you in town? Learn more and get tickets here.

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Until next time!

Ten for Tuesday: Fight Back with Beauty. Also Mom Jokes and David Brooks TP

The links are suuuuper random this week. And maybe that’s OK, in a week of hurricanes and earthquakes and 9/11 memories and more more more. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or the organization of your choice. Write a letter. Reach out to a neighbor.

Read. And yes, laugh. Onward:

1. In 8 Words, Uber’s New CEO Gave a Master Class in Leadership

Those 8 words:

I have to tell you I am scared.

Love it. As the article says, “Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill.” Indeed.

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2. Moms with a Sense of Humor

The other day I asked if there was a difference between mom jokes and dad jokes. No conclusions reached, but there is some silly, funny stuff here. Nothing particularly high minded, just enjoy:

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3. David Brooks Toilet Paper

This is similarly silly, but I’m sharing it because my disdain for NYT columnist David Brooks is so legendary that several friends sent me a link to this product. (It’s all in good fun, folks.)

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4. If you’re right about your fat friend’s health.

I just finished Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, which was beautiful and painful to read. This blog covers similar territory, in short form.

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5. A boy told his teacher she can’t understand him because she’s white. Her response is on point.

“We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before.

Empathy, empathy, empathy. It’s just that easy and just that hard.

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6. I Saw His Humanity: ‘Reveal’ Host On Protecting Right-Wing Protester

Speaking of empathy:

About 150 members of anti-facist groups — also known as antifa or black bloc protesters — also were there, marching in formation with covered faces. Then a couple of people from the right-wing did show up.

That’s when Al Letson, host of the investigative radio program and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, saw one right-wing man fall to the ground, and some left-wing antifa protesters beating him.

Letson jumped on top of the guy to protect him, because, he says, he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

“And you know, in retrospect, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t see my humanity, what matters to me is that I see his. What he thinks about me and all of that… my humanity is not dependent upon that.”

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7. The Confederate General Who Was Erased

Some years ago, I went to a conference in Charleston. During a free moment, I strolled down to an old marketplace where I browsed the shops — all of which, it seemed, specialized in Confederate memorabilia. In search of a small gift for my son, I wandered among stacks of toy rifles, piles of Confederate belt buckles, and displays of battle flag bumper-stickers. At some point my eye caught a large framed lithograph of Robert E. Lee and the officers of the Army of Northern Virginia entitled “Lee and His Generals.” Inspecting it, I saw that something — or rather, someone — was missing. I was looking for a tiny, bearded, Major General, a divisional commander who was with Lee at Appomattox and who shared in the decision to surrender that April day in 1865. I was looking for General William Mahone of Virginia, and I did not find him because he was not there.

A native Virginian, a railroad magnate, a slaveholder, and an ardent secessionist, Mahone served in the Confederate army throughout the war. He was one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s most able commanders, distinguishing himself particularly in the summer of 1864 at the Battle of the Crater outside Petersburg. After the war, Robert E. Lee recalled that, when contemplating a successor, he thought that Mahone “had developed the highest qualities for organization and command.”

How did such a high-ranking Confederate commander wind up missing in action in a Charleston gift shop? Not, I think, by accident.

Read more about this fascinating figure, and what his lack of prominence among the statues of the confederacy might say about the motivations behind their existence.

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8. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg re-enact sensual ‘Ghost’ scene (with cake!)

More silliness… BUT the friendship between these two gives me a giddy sort of hope for humanity.

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9. Huntsville woman fights hate left in disturbing driveway deliveries

This week’s Fight Back with Beauty story. If I’d written the headline, I would have put “swords into ploughshares” in there somewhere. Here’s a Facebook post about it:

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10. Top 10 Suggestions for Being Human

A top 10 list to close out a top 10 list. Thank you Jan Edmiston.

Be late for that next meeting if it means helping a stranger in trouble.  I love this story about the bus driver – risking his own job – who ensured a little girl wouldn’t be late for her first day of school.