Friday Link Love

Trumpet Fanfare and Away We Go!

40 of the Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken — Buzzfeed

A big hit on Facebook this week:

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the uprisings in Cairo, Egypt, in 2011.

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The Gospel of Stephen King — CNN

Who knew?

“People tend to think that Stephen King is anti-religious because he is a horror writer, but that’s completely mistaken,” says Zahl, a retired Episcopal priest who has written about King’s religious sensibility for Christianity Today magazine. “Several of his books are parables of grace in action.”

There is an actual body of literature devoted to King’s religious sensibility. Several pastors and authors say King displays a sophisticated grasp of theology in his books, and his stories are stuffed with biblical references and story lines taken straight from the Bible.

“If God brought lawsuits, Stephen King would face a charge of plagiarism,” says J.M. Rawbone, an English horror novelist who has written an essay about the Christian themes in “The Stand.”

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Time Flows Uphill for Remote Papua New Guinea Tribe — New Scientist

I adore this kind of stuff:

Núñez and his colleagues noticed that the tribespeople made spontaneous gestures when speaking about the past, present and future. They filmed and analysed the gestures and found that for the Yupno the past is always downhill, in the direction of the mouth of the local river. The future, meanwhile, is towards the river’s source, which lies uphill from Gua.

This was true regardless of the direction they were facing. For instance, if they were facing downhill when talking about the future, a person would gesture backwards up the slope. But when they turned around to face uphill, they pointed forwards.

The future is heavenward. That’ll preach.

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Modern Faith: Paying Paul His Due — The Daily

In “Paul Among the People,” Sarah Ruden, a classical translator and scholar, uses ancient sources to look at Paul as he would have been seen in his own time and context. She finds him to be neither the scourge of homosexuality nor the rigid puritan that today’s social right and left have seen in him. By the standards of his day, Paul was a progressive social reformer.

Oh no she DI-INT!!!!

“Rather than repressing women, slaves or homosexuals, he made — for his time — progressive rules for the inclusion of all of them in the Christian community,” writes Ruden. Ironically, the passages where Paul often seems most intolerant to modern readers are precisely the ones where he was trying hardest to reduce the appalling brutality of the Roman world he knew.

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All Men Can’t Jump — Slate

Subtitle–Why nearly every sport except long-distance running is fundamentally absurd:

Hear me out, sports fans—I’m a basketball nut myself, and so the joke is as much on me as anyone. To see where I’m coming from, you can’t do better than examining basketball’s most physically talented player, Michael Jordan. He was hailed as nearly repealing the law of gravity, and during his prime he made rival players look as if they were moving in slow motion. But Air Jordan wasn’t in the same league as a house cat when it comes to leaping. Consider how casually young cats can jump up onto refrigerators. To match that, a man would have to do a standing jump right over the backboard. And a top-notch Frisbee dog corkscrewing through the air eight feet up to snag a whizzing disc makes Jordan look decidedly human when it comes to the fantastic quickness, agility, strength, and ballistic precision various animals are endowed with.

There’s no denying it—our kind started substituting brains for brawn long ago, and it shows: We can’t begin to compete with animals when it comes to the raw ingredients of athletic prowess. Yet being the absurdly self-enthralled species we are, we crowd into arenas and stadiums to marvel at our pathetic physical abilities as if they were something special. But there is one exception to our general paltriness: We’re the right honorable kings and queens of the planet when it comes to long-distance running.

As a fledgling runner, this was an entertaining read. I used the M word in public for the first time this week, and a friend responded, “If God had intended for us to run that far…” Turns out… God did.

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And finally, Electionate.com

Any political junkies out there? This site is destined to be the 538 of the 2012 election. Mark my words.

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Peace be with you.

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