Some who publish blogs are so together that they are able on a regular basis, like weekly, to post a rundown of their more interesting discoveries. They will point to essays they’ve read, or make quick notice of books they’ve enjoyed or interesting facts they’ve learned.
This sounds fun.
If only I were one of those ‘together’ bloggers.
So, as an alternative, I’m introducing “The Five.” My intention is for this to be a periodic feature in which I’ll post five interesting things I’ve run across in the past week or month or 37 days. That is, whenever I collect five interesting things, I’ll post.
These will be random because I am random. My interests often run toward the odd and eccentric. But I hope some will find a thread of interest.
The name (“The Five”) is a nod to my favorite recipe item at a Florida based breakfast and lunch chain, Maple Street Biscuit Company. It’s an odd pile of things (biscuit, cheese, chicken breast, bacon, and sausage gravy) that amazingly work well together.
This is the ‘pilot.’ If it goes well, we may pick it up for a full season starting in January.
Which came first – the doctor or the freshwater worm?
I recently read The Scarlet Letter (for the first time!). I was struck by how casually Hawthorne refers to the doctor as ‘the leech.’ I suspect that if I called my cardiologist a ‘leech’ she might take offense. So, I wondered, was Hawthorne being intentionally offensive?
Turns out, no.
Webster’s not only lists ‘leech’ as a (now archaic) name for a doctor or a surgeon, the word itself is derived from a German word meaning ‘physician.’ In fact, and this is where it gets weird, the worm is named because it was used by physicians.
Related to the above, one of the most interesting twitter accounts I follow is Websters, which just revealed that it’s word of the year is ‘justice,’ a word whose look up rate is up 74% this year.
Dictionary nerds can be fun as well as informative. You can follow them at @MerriamWebster.
A fascinating essay by Andrew Sullivan (New York Magazine / “America’s New Religions”) in which he makes the case that all people have a religion.
“Our modern world tries extremely hard to protect us from the sort of existential moments experienced by Mill and Russell. Netflix, air-conditioning, sex apps, Alexa, kale, Pilates, Spotify, Twitter … they’re all designed to create a world in which we rarely get a second to confront ultimate meaning — until a tragedy occurs, a death happens, or a diagnosis strike”
Finally, this interview with Anna Goff, the founder of Dove’s Nest, provides some very helpful and practical suggestions regarding how churches can be safe places for the survivors of sexual abuse.
As she says,
“Churches are places of high trust and therefore also places of high risk.”