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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘christianity

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes that ferry tickets for the Toronto Islands can now be bought online.
  • Discover‘s Crux considers SETI.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering habitable exoplanets around nearby red dwarf stars, defends the potential existence of exoplanets at Kapteyn’s Star, and looks at the Epsilon Eridani system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a second Scottish referendum on independence is possible, according to Alex Salmond.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Mormons are unhappy with the Scouts’ gay-friendly shift.
  • Language Hat considers the history of family name usage in Russia.
  • Languages of the World examines in two posts the argument that primitive peoples have simple languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the strategies of Spanish populist group Podemos.
  • Peter Watts considers the peculiar thing of people lacking large chunks of the brain who nonetheless seem normal.
  • Diane Duane, at Out of Ambit, is quite unhappy with an impending forced upgrade to Windows 10.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes how labour-saving technologies improved the lives of women.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers proposals to explore small solar system bodies.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers what would happen if Bernie Sanders won the nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to statistics on the population of Abu Dhabi.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the depopulation of South Ossetia and looks at the Russian Orthodox Church’s hostility to Ukraine’s Uniate Catholics.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes that although Labour apparently did a good job of convincing potential voters it was right, it did a worse job of getting them to vote.

[LINK] “Increasing tension over some Amish beliefs as communities grow”

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Al Jazeera America’s Kevin Williams notes growing conflicts between Amish and their non-Amish neighbours in the United States.

In this rural outpost near the border with Tennessee, Amish women park their horse-drawn buggies at the edge of town and walk in dragging wooden wagons behind them, returning with goods stacked high. Some avoid town altogether. They fear ending up like Amos Mast and Dan Mast, an Amish father and son who face the possibility of jail for refusing to pay fines for not attaching a bag behind their horse to catch manure. The Masts say the bags spook the horses and that paying the town’s fines would set an unwelcome precedent.

“I used to have a lot of Amish customers, but I haven’t had an Amish customer in the past three to four months. They used to come in every day. I don’t know how many dollars’ worth of belts I bought just for them that are now just sitting there. They power everything with gasoline engines, and they need belts for them to run,” said Glen Sears, the owner of Glen’s Hardware. He said many Amish now go to the town of Franklin, 13 miles away, for supplies.

Soon they may not even be going there. Most of the Amish around Auburn, according to Margie Reed, a friend and neighbor to many of the local Amish, are preparing to pack up and move to Pennsylvania, which has historically been very accommodating to the Amish.

Auburn, Kentucky is one of many towns where locals appear to be increasingly clashing with the Amish over traditional practices. Diane Umble, the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, has studied Amish culture extensively. She attributes many of these conflicts to the combination of a growing Amish population and a small group of Amish who are resistant to compromising on their traditions and balk at government rules.

[. . .]

With a historically high birthrate for the Amish and less and less available farmland, these issues will continue to grow, Umble said, as they keep moving to new areas. Most estimates say the Amish population in the USA doubles every generation. So with currently about 200,000 church members, more and more rural space is needed to accommodate the groups.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO suggests that the Pan Am Games are not turning out to be a disaster.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at innovative designs for fast small space probes.
  • City of Brass celebrates the end of Ramadan.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of Jupiter analogue HIP 11915, and links to a paper arguing that hot Jupiters could evolve into hot Neptunes.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that there are no more large impact craters expected to be found on Earth.
  • A Fistful of Euros notes the latest on surveillance in Germany.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the gay hints in late 1970s Wonder Woman.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the Yemeni capital of Sanaa is running out of water, looks at the hard time of immigrants on the Canadian job market, and notes Singapore’s public campaigns for manners.
  • Russell Darnely of Maximos62 makes the case for a return of the Elgin Marbles to the Parthenon.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell notes a new book on the historical Adam.
  • Torontoist reviews the Stratford Festival.
  • Towleroad notes how Scott Walker tried, pathetically, to backtrack from his anti-gay comments on Scouts.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Dagestani discontent with pollution allegedly produced by the Russian navy in the Caspian, looks at the awkward approach of the Russian Orthodox Church to Orthodox churches in South Ossetia, and argues Kazakhstan is a role model for Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the political economy of the BBC.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about breaking habits.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the detection of geological features on Pluto, shares the flyby schedule, and examines Charon.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on a brown dwarf found to have a Venus-sized world in orbit.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the atmospheric polymers of Titan, argues that worlds like Titan and Europa and Enceladus with shells of ice covering water are their own class of worlds, and wonders if Enceladus has a fluffy core.
  • Geocurrents compares Oman with adjacent Yemen, and looks at the Yemeni island of Socotra.
  • Languages of the World shares an atlas of the Dutch provinces in porcelain.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that bankers from Iceland and China seem to have been using shares as collateral, and argues aging in China is overrated.
  • The Planetary Society Blog focuses on Pluto and Charon.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Michoacán in Mexico fails to become a criminalized Sicily because the Mexican criminals were too violent.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell looks at the new papal encyclical on the environment.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the Russian baby bust.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that contrary the internet meme the Oregon bakers were not fined for doxxing the complainants.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian military desertion, the mistreatment of Ukrainians in Russian prisoners, and fears for the prospect of peaceful change in Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the roles of whips in the British political scene.

[URBAN NOTE] “Saving religious real estate from damnation”

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The Toronto Star‘s Allan Woods looks at how the religious archtiecturee of Québec is being repurposed for secular purposes.

Quebec’s religious real estate is being sold off and transformed for secular purposes at an alarming rate, raising concerns about the protection of the rich religious heritage of a province once partially run by priests and nuns.

Nurtured in the Catholic faith, Quebec has largely left behind religion in the half-century since the Quiet Revolution which, among other things, ended the practice of priests and nuns administering the province’s education and health systems.

Now the province is faced with a glut of under-used and expensive churches that can no longer be maintained or upgraded on the meagre donations of congregants. The result: a record 92 churches were sold in 2014, according to Quebec’s Religious Heritage Council.

Former churches in Quebec are now home to concert halls, circus schools, climbing gyms, public libraries, palliative-care centres, condominiums, community centres and daycares. One downtown Montreal church serves as a nordic spa and gym. Another in the town of Coaticook, near Sherbrooke, Que., has been turned into a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course.

While the idea of a putting green in a century-old place of prayer might displease purists, the alternative — leaving churches to rot and eventually face the wrecking ball — is worse, said the Université de Québec à Montréal’s Lyne Bernier, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage.

“If we don’t try to come up with plans to try to reuse these buildings . . . then we’re demolishing them to put up new buildings that are insignificant in comparison and I think a society would be poorer as a result,” Bernier said.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

[NEWS] Some Pride links

  • Christianity Today notes how the Bible verses used to debate same-sex marriage have changed over time.
  • On the subject of same-sex marriage, Lawyers, Guns and Money observes the differences between this court case and past cases involving interracial marriage, Savage Minds looks at the anthropological perspective, and the Tin Man reflects on the achievement.
  • Locally, Torontoist looks at the political history of Pride, the National Post observes the decision of Patrick Brown, Progressive Consrrvative leader, to march in pride as the first leader to do so, Elton John’s Torontonian husband David Furnish reflects on his history growing up gay in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s, and an epochal 1976 kiss-in at Yonge and Bloor is described in the Toronto Star in the context of LGBT activism.
  • Internationally, CBC reported on the police attack on a gay pride march in Istanbul.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes the heavy level of pollution in Toronto Harbour following recent rains, and suggests Toronto is set to get gigabit Internet speeds.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her recent vacation in Donegal.
  • Centauri Dreams revisits Robert L. Forward’s Starwisp probe.
  • Crooked Timber speculates that there is hope for rapid action on climate change.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on an inflated hot Jupiter orbiting a F-class star.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares a vintage supercomputer pamphlet.
  • Far Outliers looks at the collapse of the Comanche empire in the 1860s.
  • Language Log looks at the controversial English test in France.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reacts to an overly broad pulling of computer games with Confederate flags.
  • Steve Munro reacts to the state of streetcar switches.
  • Torontoist looks at a queer art exhibition at Bay and Wellesley on sex ed.
  • Towleroad shares a straight-married Scottish bishop’s tale of same-sex love.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that remembering the Civil War does not requite keeping the Confederate flag.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how few Crimeans identify with Russia and looks at Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian influence on Russia’s Finno-Ugric minorities.

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