Friday, January 16, 2009


Article #1:

Do you remember that when Snoopy would sit on his doghouse, typing his novel, it always started, "It was a dark and stormy night..."? The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, inviting contestants to submit the worst examples of writing they can find, among other competitions, had this example of rewriting famous quotes:

"The 2006 runner-up, Stuart Vasepuru from Scotland, played with one of the most famous pieces of dialogue from the Clint Eastwood movie "Dirty Harry"-

"I know what you're thinking, punk,"hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' And to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement, but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' Well, do you, punk?"

Article #2:

A lot of people would agree that there is a tremendous amount of conflict in the world (and always has been) because of religion. I certainly agree with that. Here's Tim Keller's take on why that is:

Article #3:

At The Wonder of Creation blogger Dean Ohlman writes: "Wendell Berry is one who in his writing has taken me further than anyone else in understanding that one cannot really have or understand “community” if the natural world around us is not included in that community—deliberately included, not by necessity or by accident. Berry writes: “Without a complex knowledge of one’s place, and without the faithfulness to one’s place on which such knowledge depends, it is inevitable that the place will be used carelessly, and eventually destroyed.” Wendell Berry, “The Regional Motive” in A Continuous Harmony (1972), p. 67"

He goes on to describe the importance of a sense of place in his life, and points the reader to a few Berry articles that might be of interest.

Article #4:

"I don’t think I spend much more time reading than some of you. My calendar is full, my honey-do list is long, my kids are hyper, and my boss is active (or is it the other way around?). My running shoes are muddy, my weight bench is dusty, and my 10-foot front yard needs to be mowed at least twice a year."

I have made a vow to read more this year, but I have to retrain myself to find the precious time to do it. Tony Reinke has a great article on how to carve out reading time.

Article #5

Here's something I know we'll all want to try:

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

Article #6:

"The news was dire. A huge fire had broken out in the foothills of Montecito, which we can see from our porch. The Santa Ana winds, blowing uncharacteristically late in the season – and particularly ferociously – combined with unseasonably hot temperatures, and my town was in flames, my street under evacuation. Those winds change direction unpredictably; there was no way to know if we'd be OK. Ryan had corralled the cat and the dog, and wanted to know what to take from the house. I said I'd let him know."

What would you save if disaster was imminent? How would you feel if you lost everything? Shannon Kelley muses on the meaning, or lack thereof, of our belongings.


Rose said...

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest is so funny. I used to use this as an activity at the end of the semester with my seniors. They had a lot of fun writing the worst, wordiest sentence they could think of and then sharing them--quite a change from what I usually asked of them:)

The video was very interesting: when you look at history, it's disturbing to see how many wars have been fought over religion. In the end, though, it is not religion causing the wars, it is the people who feel superior in thinking their ideas are the only true ideas.

Joyce said...

tim keller would agree with you, Rose. The real problem is human nature- lack of humility.

matt said...

I'd like to see YOU try that wingsuit jumping someday!