Here is this week’s list of blog posts, quotes, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.
Guard against cynicism. The truth of the matter is, for all of the problems we face, if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is more tolerant than it’s ever been, more educated than its ever been. The only thing that stops that is people thinking they can’t make any change. – President Obama
Fairy Tales Are Women’s Tales. I was obsessed with fairy tales for several years during my childhood. The darker ones disturbed me sometimes, but they somehow seemed more true than the later versions of the same tales that were heavily sanitized.
Your Questions, Please via brucegerencser. Once a year my friend Bruce answer any questions his readers send to him. If you have any interest in Atheism, deconverting from Christianity, politics, living with a disability, or photography, I highly recommend checking out what he’ll be posting in the near future. (This isn’t an exhaustive list of the types of stuff he talks about, but they are a good cross-section of his interests).
Reasons Why I May Change My Opinion. This is great.
Over the River and Through the Woods. So is this. But everything I want to say about it will give you major spoilers, and it’s so much better if you start reading without any hints about the ending!
“Mom, I’m Bored.” Now What? via CarlgrodyliswS. My parents used to agree with us when my brothers or I told them that life was boring or unfair. We’d then talk about possible ways to make it less boring or unfair, but I always appreciated their willingness to be so honest with us.
From Masters of Love:
Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were.
Missing Microbes made me think of all of the deliciously morbid* stories I read and heard growing up about distant relatives who died or were seriously injured by things that we rarely fear these days: severe food poisoning, farm accidents, birth defects, childbirth, prematurity.
The world we lived in before antibiotics were invented was heartbreaking and dangerous. A scraped knee or sore throat could heal up without a problem. They could also kill you. What makes this book even better, though, is that most bacteria are harmless or beneficial to humans. We wouldn’t survive without them.
So what happens when overusing antibiotics begins to snuff out the strains that might be doing us the most good? Mr. Blaser has some very interesting theories about this. I don’t know enough about the topic to say if I agree or disagree with him, but I’d love to sit down and pick his brain one day.
*Yes, I was an odd kid. I found this stuff utterly fascinating, not scary. 😉
What have you been reading?