We’re officially in a season in the Dana household when there is so much going on it’s actually comical. My Lenten discipline of “doing nothing extra” could not come at a better time… though it’s often hard to figure out what’s “extra,” and even when one separates the wheat from the chaff, there is still more to do than time to do it.
So here’s a quick Friday Link Love. Maybe like me you need a little palate cleanser between must-do tasks. Hope these bring a little joy and inspiration.
First, the obligatory links of self-promotion:
Sabbath in the Suburbs was reviewed in the Christian Century. Who wins the cage match between MaryAnn McKibben Dana and Rachel Held Evans? OK, I’m kidding, but how wonderful is this:
MaryAnn McKibben Dana’s Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time will probably make a much smaller splash than Evans’s book even though it is one of the most helpful and well-conceived books on spirituality I’ve ever read.
Many thanks to Bromleigh McCleneghan, who wrote a pretty awesome book herself.
Seond link: here I am on God Complex Radio.
And finally, we’re having a giveaway on GoodReads—three signed copies of the book. I’d love to give one to a Blue Room reader!
Now on to the show:
National Day of Unplugging — Sabbath Manifesto
March 1-2 is the annual day to put away the cell phones. iPads and laptops, and savor the world of relationships right around you. Here are some ideas to get you primed for the big day.
Love your self. Love your body.
Using the Crowd to Save People after Disasters — Fast Company
Social media serves a powerful purpose:
In the aftermath of a major disaster, it’s hard for aid workers to know what’s happening on the ground, and to direct resources where they are needed most. That’s when text messaging and social media can help. By analyzing tweets and other snippets, it’s possible to see trends–say, where people are trapped, or where there are water shortages–and do something about them.
The issue is the analysis part, says Lukas Biewald, CEO of CrowdFlower, a San Francisco company that finds people online willing to do “micro tasks” (normally for commercial purposes). One, you’ve got a huge amount of data to sift through, and not a lot of time. And two, all the text might be in a language–or filled with local references–that you don’t understand. You need some way of crunching it quickly, using people who aren’t put off by colloquial or foreign terms.
Patrick Meier, director of social innovation at the Qatar Foundation’s Computing Research Institute, and a member of a group called the Digital Humanitarian Network, says crowdsourcing can help. Following last December’s Typhoon Pablo, in the Philippines, DHN identified 20,000 relevant tweets, and then called on CrowdFlower to find volunteers to make the first assessment. The groups identified, one, messages with links to photos and video, and, two, messages that referred to damage that could be geo-tagged. From about 100 tweets, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) could then build a map plotting damaged houses and bridges, flooding, and so on.
An artist posted photos of his artwork, starting when he was 2 years old. Lovely to see the artist emerge.
William Lowrey: Don’t Lose the Larger Vision — Faith and Leadership
A Presbyterian minister who helped resolve bloody conflicts in Sudan reflects on his long career of peacemaking in America and Africa.
Bill Lowrey is a friend and colleague here in the greater DC area an amazing inspiration. I love that Faith and Leadership saw fit to feature him on their site. People who think that Christianity is nothing but hate and intolerance need to read about this fine man who has quietly and humbly devoted his life to peace and justice.
Peace be with you all.