I've decided to add another intermittent feature to And Sometimes Tea. Like all the occasional features I post here, it will appear--or not--on Fridays--or not. I'm sorry, but master of consistent memes I'm...not.
But this one occurred to me for two reasons. First, there are usually quite a few articles I collect over the course of a week or so which are possible blog post starters; news or events I think are interesting, or I want to comment about, but never manage to get to as other things arise.
Second, Fridays are tricky, especially during Lent. Sometimes I reach an hour much later in the afternoon than usual without having managed to give this blog much thought, and with the prospect of family Lenten devotions, chores, and dinner preparation still ahead. This makes it difficult for me to focus on doing decent writing.
So I thought it would be a good idea to combine these two negatives and make them a positive (yes, we have been doing lots of math lately; thanks for asking!). In the abridged edition of And Sometimes Tea, I'll put up the links to the interesting articles I haven't quite managed to get to, along with a sentence or two of brief commentary. We'll see how it goes, or if this is one of those one-time features that disappears quietly into the blogging void as a not-so-good idea.
Without further ado, then:
And Sometimes Tea: the abridged edition
1. Reasons to reconsider college: here's a cautionary tale of a doctor who owes a whopping $555,000 in student loan debts, a debt it may take her decades to repay. In combination with Ramesh Ponnuru's interesting essay about whether college is really necessary, this is food for thought for parents of high school students. My take: if your children want to go to college, and you're not independently wealthy, you need to find out what they plan to study and how they plan to pay. Working a year or two before college to earn tuition money is a good idea; borrowing insane amounts of money that will hinder a vocation is not.
2. From the "Keep an eye on it!" file: Democrats are pushing for a "Safe Schools" bill that would be a nightmare for traditional parents. Under the guise of protecting students who are "sexual minorities" as early as elementary school on, this bill gives a huge amount of control over education to the federal government and creates a legal pipeline for the most bizarre types of sexual indoctrination of schoolchildren. The bill, HR 4530, has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. My take: it may be that this will go nowhere, especially in an election year; but we can't afford to ignore it, either. It might be a good idea to let your House Representative know early on that you don't like the sound of this bill.
3. A beautiful, uplifting story in the Houston Chronicle tells us about the recent death of an elderly nun, Sister Damian Kuhn, and her loyal support for the Astros baseball team. The unlikely friendship of Sister Kuhn with the team's owner and the way Sister Kuhn's love for God and for her vocation shone through her life, even in her innocent love of baseball, makes for some compelling reading. A gem of a story!
4. Would you pay more than 26,000 for a virtual--not real, mind--island? A fascinating look at how the virtual goods market is growing. My take: I think there's a line somewhere between innocent fun and insane commercialism when it comes to purchasing something that isn't even real or tangible. I'm not too sure that too many people are ending up on the right side of that line, either.
5. The Christian Science Monitor asks the provocative question: did Woodstock hippies cause the present economic situation? Actually, the question is being asked by a producer of documentary films named David Bossie, whose film Generation Zero blames the narcissism and self-absorption of the hippies for the eventual economic collapse, as hippies-turned-yuppies-turned-Wall Street speculators brought their "me first" values and "never say no" morals to the world of high finance. My take: I'd love to see the movie; the hypothesis seems quite sound, to me.
6. Could we really get to Mars in 39 days? My take: if you were a rocket, and someone filled you with superheated plasma gas that's more than 51 million degrees (F) hot, you might be capable of speeds exceeding 35 per second, too. All kidding aside, sounds fascinating, and will be interesting to see if this works--a shot in the arm for space agencies, perhaps.
That's all for the abridged edition! See you next week!