Rereading Letter to Birmingham Jail on MLK Day

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.

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Measuring Health in Quality of Life

1/3 low income adults say they avoid smiling because of their dental issues.
17% have trouble doing usual activities because of the condition of their mouth/teeth.
~1/4 low-income adults say their oral health issues cause them to participate less in social activities.
$1.6 billion, the amount spent on ER dental visits in 2015, is the same as the amount it would cost to add adult dental benefits to Medicaid Continue reading

Almost 2016 Media Dump

On colorblind casting, and specifically the weird tension that colorblind casting can cause, e.g. in Ex Machina:

“The fact that the film is so self-aware about its most brutalized characters being robotic women of color becomes even more unnerving considering the audience is expected to forget Isaac is himself Latino.” (Angelica Jade Bastién, The Atlantic)

just found out that Oscar Isaac is Latino! I feel a little sad for him as a fellow person of color…if I became famous and somehow the fact that I was Chinese got hidden in the process (not that this could ever happen, since I don’t have white-passing privilege anyway, but regardless) I would feel ashamed. Like Esther in the palace of Xerxes or something!

NPR has a really good and brief commentary on that.

In the day-to-day experiences of these two characters — notably both created by writers of color — sometimes race matters very little, and other times, it matters quite a bit. Just like in real life! Race is not the focus of Creed and Master of None, but neither is it treated as a coincidence without consequence — and both works are far more textured and richer viewing experiences for that honest, straightforward acknowledgment. (Gene Demby, Code Switch/NPR)

And on an utterly unrelated note, here’s another piece from The Atlantic from my friend Andrew on the “new warfare,” aka the information/propaganda war that’s going to be, the author proposes, the warfare of the future. Unfortunately, liberal democracies don’t do well at this kind of war:

While it is relatively easy for authoritarian regimes to fuse the efforts of military, media, and business entities, in democracies the interests of these groups are often diametrically opposed. For example: When the U.K. government signed a deal this fall allowing China to invest in a new British nuclear reactor, the money men at the Treasury were delighted; the moral men in the media appalled by the United Kingdom selling out on human rights; and the military men worried by Chinese penetration of British energy and telecommunications infrastructure. Of course, Western powers can unite money, media, and the military to devastating and diabolical effect when a war is declared (the lead-up to the Iraq campaigns being the most obvious recent example), but they are more at a loss when responding to not-quite-wars that are undeclared. (Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic)

This is especially fascinating to me, because of late I’ve been obsessively and guiltily cutting into my expensive London time to watch The Newsroom, a show that hubby introduced to me and which is honestly excellent. I’m really sad it’s over already! (And now that you know that, if you start watching and feel similarly, at least I didn’t pull a Firefly prank on you)

I guess John Oliver is the closest thing we have to this amazingness:

The most terrifying part of Gone Girl is your (plural) self.


Even as someone who tends to skip to the last page, I have to precede with a big fat spoiler warning and tell you that you will ruin a huge element of the movie for yourself if you read this without watching it.

That said.

Last night I saw Gone Girl with my fierce, flawless, fast-talking girlfriends.

2/6 of us had read the book before, and knew what was coming the entire time. 6/6 of us left the movie shaken.

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The Sixth Love Language

…and the most potent of all. For those unfamiliar, The Five Love Languages began as a book by Gary Chapman, based around the idea that a big part of communicating love in our relationships means doing so in one another’s respective “languages,” whether physical touch, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, or gifts.

At least, those are the five he names. Continue reading

Words of the Week – a catch-up

You will grow old. When you were young, you would go to institutions and gradually gather letters after your name: BA, MD, PhD. Now that you are old, you do the same thing, but they are different institutions and different letters. Your doctors will introduce you to their colleagues as “Mary Smith, COPD, PVD, ESRD, IDDM”. With each set of letters comes another decrease in quality of life.

From this essay, sad but too true. Reminding myself daily that behind each patient is a person, and that even behind all accomplishments and professional facades is a person too.


“Choices will continually be necessary and — let us not forget — possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline)

From Mary Ann’s gchat status. Too often I have been deceived into thinking that my feelings are stronger than the Holy Spirit, or more important than obeying God’s loving will for me.


 “You are not entering into a partnership. You are entering into a union. So forget that 50/50 split business; being in a union is about giving 100%.”

From R & E’s wedding. Lately God has been exposing to me my own self-centeredness and stinginess when it comes to truly meeting others’ needs at my own cost.


I’ve got more but I’ll save them until Sunday. 🙂



Weekly Quotation Roundup

It’s Sunday night, it’s the end of Holy Week, I’m sick of studying. All great reasons to start something which I hope will keep me on my blog even when I don’t have time to develop the list of actual entries I want to write– a weekly roundup of thought-provoking, funny, or interesting snippets from my “real life” and my just as real online life. Here goes!


Christianity is not just an optimistic pile of stories, but a power that emerges. (Pastor Um, Citylife Easter sermon)

Two, on the death of Christ, from a random sermon I found online which also quotes Tim Keller: Continue reading