Posts Tagged ‘Atlas Obscura


2.25.16 … You are now entering the mission field …


“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 15/40), All Saints Episcopal Church -Gastonia  NC, Shakespeare and rosemary, Sandy Hook massacre: 


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Cold wind
Bright sunshine
Rosemary… Shakespeare quote
Butterfly motif
Brilliant blue sky with bright white clouds
Dead leaves on the path which rustle when you walk through
Prayers for the children of Sandy Hook to whom this labyrinth dedicated



As I walked I rubbed some rosemary in my hands and I thought about Shakespeare’s quote …


“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Source: Quote by William Shakespeare: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray …”

And I smiled  as I exited All Saints’ parking lot. 🙂



Fireball,  Atlantic Ocean,  Feb. 6, 2016:


On Feb. 6, at about 14:00 UTC, a tiny chunk of interplanetary material plunged into Earth’s atmosphere and burned up—likely exploding—about 30 kilometers above the Atlantic Ocean. The energy released was equivalent to the detonation of 13,000 tons of TNT, making this the largest such event since the (much larger) Chelyabinsk blast in February 2013. OK, so first, off: Don’t panic! As impacts go, this was pretty small.* After all, you didn’t even hear about until weeks after it occurred. Events this size aren’t too big a concern. Had it happened over a populated area it, would’ve rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don’t think it would’ve done any real damage.

Source: Fireball over Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 6, 2016.

Singing show tunes,  fight off dementia,  study – NY Daily News:


The hills are alive with the sound of music, which could help people with Alzheimer’s stave off the effects of the debilitating disease. A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes. Researchers working with elderly residents at an East Coast care home found in a four-month long study found that people who sang their favorite songs showed a marked improvement compared to those who just listened. Among the songs sung during 50-minute sessions were hits from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music.” The most improvement was among those sufferers with moderate to severe dementia.

Source: Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia: study – NY Daily News


Psychic Archeology, Atlas Obscura:



Despite its many skeptics, the concept of psychic archeology proved impossible to dislodge from the discipline’s fringes, reappearing in sensational cases every few decades with Frederick Bligh Bond cited as its founding authority. Archaeologist Philip Rahtz famously called Glastonbury “the mecca of all irrationality,” a paradise for “hippies, weirdos, drop-outs, and psychos.” The fringe practice pioneered at Glastonbury has spread to tourist sites around the world; countless cities promote entertaining ghost tours based on purported revelations from the dead. Encountering a “presence” from the past can be far more engaging for some visitors than reading a history book. The knowledge that it’s part of a rehearsed spectacle competes with the thrill of a first-hand experience to produce a tantalizing sense of possibility. Bond tried to bring that sense of expansive possibility into the realm of scientific fact. His standard of proof was different from that of spiritualists in his time, and probably from most modern ghost tours: psychic archeology was supposed to go beyond sensational apparitions to develop a deep and meaningful connection with “that greater field of thought and experience which we term the Past.”

Source: Psychic Archeology, Or How to Dig Up the Dead With Their Own Advice | Atlas Obscura


Justice Scalia, International Order of St. Hubertus, secretive society of elite hunters, The Washington Post:


After Scalia’s death, Poindexter told reporters that he met Scalia at a “sports group” gathering in Washington. The U.S. chapter of the International Order of St. Hubertus lists a suite on M Street NW in the District as its headquarters, although the address is only a mailbox in a United Parcel Service store. [How St. Hubert’s encounter with a deer inspired the society] The International Order of St. Hubertus, according to its website, is a “true knightly order in the historical tradition.” In 1695, Count Franz Anton von Sporck founded the society in Bohemia, which is in modern-day Czech Repu

Source: Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters – The Washington Post



2.19.16 … guide my path, fire my imagination, and open my heart to the deep and penetrating questions of life …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Labyrinth Walks (Walk 10/40), Mercer University – Atlanta campus, Atlanta GA:

Perfect weather … 62 and sunny.
Setting sun …
Crunch, crunch, crunch


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I read the first passage in the Meditations For Holy Week  and Walking the Labyrinth today because I just discovered it yesterday. It ended with the suggestion that you ponder who is this Jesus and what difference does he make in my life. In addition there was a prayer and in that prayer I was asked to pray that God would guide my path, fire my imagination. All good things to ponder while I walk.

We may not know the mind of Jesus, but we may trust the presence of God to walk with us through devastating moments and dark nights of the soul that disrupt and change our lives.

Walking the Labyrinth
Today as you walk the labyrinth imagine you are present at the first Palm procession. Put yourself into the story and see the crowds around Jesus walking toward Jerusalem on the way to the Passover festival (see John 12). As you walk along are you ahead of him or behind? What shouts come from your lips? Are you a follower, a reluctant watcher, or a studious observer of Jesus of Nazareth? Notice, as you enter the city, the impact of the processional. What is all the turmoil about? What turmoil has been part of your life lately? What turmoil have you witnessed in the lives of others? Where do you sense God’s presence in these circumstances? As you continue through the labyrinth ponder this question from the crowds with reference to your own life: “Who is this Jesus and what difference does my answer make?”

Prayer: O God, in this Holiest of Weeks, guide my path, fire my imagination, and open my heart to the deep and penetrating questions of life.

Warp Drive,  Atlas Obscura:  This pun was simply waiting to come to life, and one defense contractor made it so ..




Driving down Route 28 in Dulles, Virginia, those with their sensors on full might notice a road sign that promises to catapult them to warp speed, but really it is just a clever attempt by an aerospace company to get people to like them.

Source: Warp Drive | Atlas Obscura



Lent is for Presbyterians, too: Creative, connectional disciplines , The Presbyterian Outlook:

Disciplines. Some Presbyterians think of Lent not in terms of “giving up” something (Facebook, coffee, alcohol, sweets) but in becoming more committed to practicing a spiritual discipline — including the traditional ones of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. “This is not a forced discipline,” said Jennifer Lord, a professor of homiletics and liturgical studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, but discovering “What’s the gift in this?” of a consistent spiritual practice. Some focus on the contemplative — beginning and ending each day with a time of prayer or silent mediation, or praying the liturgy of the hours (set times of devotion throughout the day — done in communion with others praying around the world). Some congregations hold Wednesday night soup suppers with a different charity designated each week to receive donations. Westminster Presbyterian in Durham last year used the weeks of Lent to introduce congregants to six spiritual practices. Since then, some of those practices, particularly silent meditation, have been incorporated into other aspects of church life — such as an Advent study looking at opposites, including chaos and calm; making space and filling space; suffering and joy; darkness and light. “My sense is that sometimes these practices can get connected to a particular faith tradition that might not be our own faith tradition,” so Presbyterians don’t naturally consider them, said Heather Ferguson, Westminster’s director of Christian education. When they learn some of the history, they find “actually it’s rooted much more deeply in our tradition” — so some begin to make space. She has found that silent meditation practices resonate with “a wide variety of people — male and female, older, younger, those with children, those without, empty nesters.” Westminster offers a silent campus during Holy Week — with no committee meetings and with the staff practicing stillness, calm and quiet. Some (including one extrovert from her congregation who lives alone) find the experience of collectively being in centering prayer or sitting in silence with other people to be powerful. Lectio divina — a meditative focus on a particular passage of Scripture — appeals to some who fear they don’t know enough about the Bible to contribute much or feel comfortable in a discussion-based Bible study, Ferguson said. Her hope was that at the end of Lent, “they would walk away with just one little thing they might try” the rest of the year. “Invariably there are a lot of chaotic things going on, either in the news or the lives of people. We try to give them some options for practices they can do that fit with whatever they’re experiencing.”

Source: Lent is for Presbyterians, too: Creative, connectional disciplines – The Presbyterian 


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