Categories
Family Life

Moon moon moon, shining bright

I was playing soccer on the front lawn this evening with Mr. Two Years Old when the moon, waxing crescent, caught his curious eye in the encroaching darkness.

I asked him if he knew why the moon glowed. We’ve read books about it before, but he said he didn’t. I explained in the simplest language how it was sunlight he was seeing, and that it only hit part of the moon because it was round, like a ball.

After my brief lecture, he grabbed the ball and brought it next to one of the solar-powered lawn lights that illuminates our front walkway. “I want to make the soccer ball glow,” he said.

It was an excellent opportunity for an object lesson. We looked at how the ball was lit up only on one side, where the light was coming from.

I managed to photograph the view before he kicked the ball away for more scrimmaging:

I never know how much of what I explain actually makes sense to him or sticks in his mind. But I should know by now never to underestimate his intelligence and curiosity, because two year olds are made to be learners.

Categories
Religion Science

Laboratories of theology

Here’s two quotes I re-encountered while going through my reading notes.

From Lab Girl by Hope Jahren:

My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe. The machines drone a gathering hymn as I enter. I know whom I’ll probably see, and I know how they’ll probably act. I know there’ll be silence; I know there’ll be music, a time to greet my friends, and a time to leave others to their contemplation. There are rituals that I follow, some I understand and some I don’t. Elevated to my best self, I strive to do each task correctly. My lab is a place to go on sacred days, as is a church. On holidays, when the rest of the world is closed, my lab is open. My lab is a refuge and an asylum. It is my retreat from the professional battlefield; it is the place where I coolly examine my wounds and repair my armor. And, just like church, because I grew up in it, it is not something from which I can ever really walk away.

From Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane:

My sense is that the search for dark matter has produced an elaborate, delicate edifice of presuppositions, and a network of worship sites, also known as laboratories, all dedicated to the search for an invisible universal entity which refuses to reveal itself. It seems to resemble what we call religion rather more than what we call science.

Categories
Photography Science

Black hole stun from backwater bipeds

In case you haven’t been following the news (and who can blame you?), that’s the first-ever image of a black hole:

There’s plenty of writing out there on what it means, much of it going over my head, but here’s some grounding perspective from Scientific American:

It is also worth noting that in the two hours after the press conference, at least six scientific papers on the observation have appeared online. They almost certainly contain clues and new questions that will take more time to process than a 24/7 news cycle can tolerate. For now, though, it is worth pausing for a moment to consider the strangeness of nature, and the remarkable fact that these sentient, tool-using bipeds on a small world in a backwater solar system somehow managed to turn their planet into a telescope and take a picture of an exit chute from the universe.

Categories
Books Libraries Religion Teach Me How to Dewey

DDC 200-209: The R Word

A Teach Me How To Dewey production

This Is How We Dewey:

  • 200 Religion
  • 201 Religious mythology, general classes of religion, interreligious relations and attitudes, social theology
  • 202 Doctrines
  • 203 Public worship and other practices
  • 204 Religious experience, life, practice
  • 205 Religious ethics
  • 206 Leaders and organization
  • 207 Missions and religious education
  • 208 Sources
  • 209 Sects and reform movements

Y’all ready for this? It’s about to get contentious up in here. Religion has been and always will be a hot topic to tackle no matter where you’re from or what you believe. But the first ten-spots of the 200s is a nice way to ease into such a gargantuan topic, as it covers religion in the broadest way possible. Hence, a book about religion in Star Trek sitting comfortably near another about zen and mysticism by a Trappist monk. There’s a lot to enjoy and delve into in this section, and it’s diverse enough to appeal to many interests. That won’t necessarily be the case moving forward, so I hope you’re prepared for some spice…

The Dew3:

Religions of Star Trek
By Ross Shepard Kraemer
Dewey: 200
Random Sentence: “Is the Q Continuum Star Trek’s answer to the Force?”

Mystics and Zen Masters
By Thomas Merton
Dewey: 204.2
Random Sentence: “This pilgrimage, let us repeat it, does not end at the monastery gate.”

The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion
By Herman Wouk
Dewey: 201.65
Random Sentence: “What Dick Feynman needs is a swift kick in the arse.”