Posts Tagged ‘macroeconomics

27
Jan
15

1.27.15 … “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.” – Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg (Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus), obituary, NYTimes.com:  I do not agree with his conclusions. but I do believe his work was important.

Marcus J. Borg, a scholar who popularized a liberal intellectual approach to Christianity with his lectures and books about Jesus as a historical figure, died on Wednesday at his home in Powell Butte, Ore. He was 72.

His publisher, HarperOne, said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Professor Borg was among a group of scholars, known as the Jesus Seminar, who set off an uproar with its very public efforts to discern collectively which of Jesus’ acts and utterances could be confirmed as historically true, and which were probably myths.

His studies of the New Testament led him not toward atheism but toward a deep belief in the spiritual life and in Jesus as a teacher, healer and prophet. Professor Borg became, in essence, a leading evangelist of what is often called progressive Christianity.

“His own vision was not simply derived from opposing fundamentalist or literalist Christianity,” Mr. Crossan said. “It was a very positive vision. He could talk about Jesus and he could talk about Paul and the positive vision they had.”

In his last book, the memoir “Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most” (2014), Professor Borg wrote: “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.”

via Marcus Borg, Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus, Dies at 72 – NYTimes.com.

religion before the modern period, civilization,  Karen Armstrong,  Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

First of all, there is the whole business about religion before the modern period never having been considered a separate activity but infusing and cohering with all other activities, including state-building, politics and warfare. Religion was part of state-building, and a lot of the violence of our world is the violence of the state. Without this violence we wouldn’t have civilization. Agrarian civilization depended upon a massive structural violence. In every single culture or pre-modern state, a small aristocracy expropriated the serfs and peasants and kept them at subsistence level.This massive, iniquitous system is responsible for our finest achievements, and historians tell us that without this iniquitous system we probably wouldn’t have progressed beyond subsistence level. Therefore, we are all implicated in this violence. No state, however peace-loving it claims to be, can afford to disband its army, so when people say religion has been the cause of all the major wars in history this is a massive oversimplification. Violence is at the heart of our lives, in some form or another

via Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity, OnFaith, lists:  Interesting list … something to think about.

“I am dedicated to unoriginality.” So said historical theologian Thomas Oden in his classic work, Classical Christianity. He goes on: “I plan to present nothing new or original in these pages . . . My aim is to present classical Christian teaching of God on its own terms, undiluted by modern posturing.”

I echo Oden. Because, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year is the year to go backwards in order to move forwards in our faith.

To regress, by rediscovering and retrieving the vintage Christian faith.

But what do I mean by vintage Christianity? Before we can explore it, let’s define it. And since everyone seems to be doing listicles these days, here are nine things you need to know about the vintage Christian faith …

via 9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity | OnFaith.

Modern Farmer Ceases Publication, NYTimes.com:  I hate it when I miss something good.

Modern Farmer Combines Serious Coverage With LambCam, Hits Jackpot – Businessweek.

The magazine itself was part of an emerging genre of food-related publications like Lucky Peach and Cherry Bombe, which offer readers a media experience that is as much tactile as it is about content.

“It is part of a genre of very niche publications that say one thing we can do is create this beautifully designed artifact,” said the author and magazine veteran Kurt Andersen.

The problem, he said, may simply have been one of audience and execution.

“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying, but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” he asked. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”

via Modern Farmer Ceases Publication – NYTimes.com.

Each issue of Modern Farmer, the stylish agrarian quarterly, has an austere portrait of an animal on the cover. So far, there have been six. The animals look remote and self-satisfied, as if nothing you said could matter to them, just like human models. The first cover had a rooster with an eye resembling a tiny dark paperweight. The second had a goat looking haughtily askance. The third was of a sheep whose gaze is so penetrating that she seems to be trying to hypnotize you. The fourth was of a pig in profile whose ears flop forward like a visor; according to a note by the photographer, a pig’s flopped ears trap smells as it searches for food. The fifth had a hulking farm dog with a ruff like a headdress, and the sixth has a serene-looking cow with a black face and a white forehead and nose. Ann Marie Gardner, the magazine’s founder and editor, says that she always thought she would have animals on the cover. The art director, Sarah Gephart, says, however, that she had nearly finished designing the magazine when Gardner told her that the cover would have animals. “We thought it would be people,” Gephart said.

Modern Farmer appeared in the spring of 2013. After three issues, it won a National Magazine Award; no other magazine had ever won so quickly. According to Gardner, though, Modern Farmer is less a magazine than an emblem of “an international life-style brand.” This is the life style of people who want to “eat food with a better backstory”—from slaughterhouses that follow humane practices, and from farmers who farm clean and treat their workers decently. Also, food cultists who like obscure foods and believe that fruits and vegetables taste different depending on where they are grown. Also, aspirational farmers, hobby farmers, intern farmers, student farmers, WWOOFers—people who take part in programs sponsored by the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms movement—and people who stay at hotels on farms where they eat things grown by the owners. Plus idlers in cubicles searching for cheap farmland and chicken fences and what kind of goats give the best milk. Such people “have a foot in each world, rural and urban,” Gardner says. She calls them Rurbanistas, a term she started using after hearing the Spanish word rurbanismo, which describes the migration from the city to the countryside. Rurbanistas typify the Modern Farmer audience.

via Modern Farmer Plows Ahead – The New Yorker.

Ann Clark, CMS, Davidson alumni:

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Veteran Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administrator Ann Clark was named superintendent Tuesday while the school board searches for a long-term leader – but Clark will not be considered for that job.

Instead, Clark said she plans to retire from the district in 2016 when a new superintendent is selected and ready to take office.

Clark’s new position will cap a three-decade career rising through the CMS ranks. Her selection also fills the void left by former Superintendent Heath Morrison, who resigned in November after an investigation into claims that he bullied staff members. The months since then have been marked by uncertainty among the district’s 18,000 employees and the Charlotte community.

“Ann will provide the stability and direction we need,” school board Chairwoman Mary McCray said.

Clark, who had been the deputy superintendent, said it was her decision not to be considered for the position long term. She said she had planned to file the paperwork Dec. 1 to retire this spring, but after Morrison’s departure she decided it would be in the district’s best interest for her to stay.

via Ann Clark to serve as CMS superintendent until 2016 | CharlotteObserver.com.

2015 NBA All-Star Game starters,  ESPN, Steph Curry: On a more cheerful note …

The star of the NBA-leading Warriors, Curry ended up with more than 1.5 million votes, more than 42,000 ahead of James, who had a 13,285-vote lead over the sharpshooter at the previous update. James was the leading vote-getter last year, preceded by Kobe Bryant in 2013. Curry, who just two years ago was an All-Star snub, becomes the first Warriors player elected to consecutive starts since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.

via 2015 NBA All-Star Game starters announced – ESPN.

9 Mystery Books , lists, Downton Abbey:

There’s a reason more than 10 million people tuned in Downton Abbey’s fifth season premiere — and it’s not because of the pretty costumes! From dark family secrets to untimely deaths to salacious gossip, Downton Abbey delivers an unparalleled level of mystery and drama week after week.

We rounded up nine mysteries set in the Edwardian period and beyond that promise all of the drama Downton Abbey fans have come to know and love! Check out the full list below, complete with publishers’ descriptions and reviews

via 9 Mystery Books to Read If You Like Downton Abbey.

C.S. Lewis, BBC Broadcasts During WWII:

During the second world war, people in Britian were facing life and death issues every day.  The director of religious programming, at the BBC, asked C.S. Lewis to give some “Broadcast Talks” about faith.

At first, Lewis was unsure – he liked neither the radio nor traveling to London.  He finally relented, because he thought it was his duty.  His first talks were so successful that the BBC wanted him to do more – and he agreed.

via C.S. Lewis – BBC Broadcasts During WWII.

Milton Friedman, macroeconomics:  Interesting.

Friedman’s negative income tax proposed that we eliminate poverty with one fell swoop by providing everyone with a livable income, no matter what their employment status is.

Wow, right?

Before we move forward, let’s acknowledge that there’s something not quite perfect about an old white guy coming in to save the “helpless poor people” (see The White Savior Industrial Complex). But Friedman’s idea of a negative income tax is worth discussing not because he’s such a nice guy; it’s worth discussing because it’s a valuable policy idea.

A variation of Friedman’s plan is often referred to as a guaranteed basic income.

via An Interviewer Doesn’t Know How To Handle His Guest Because He Got Something Quite Unexpected.

26
Jan
13

1.26.13 … fly on the wall …

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R – GA,  Political Insider:  Thank you for your years of service to GA and to the Nation, Senator. I would love to be a fly on your back porch!

“I’m going to have a life after this,” Chambliss said. “Sitting on a back porch drinking whisky with some of y’all is exciting to think about.”

via U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to announce retirement | Political Insider.

Paris, Best Friend in Paris: Small world!  My Charlotte friends “stalked” my FB page to find the name of my Paris guide and friend, Donna Morris.  i highly recommend her.  And loved getting this photo of them having a great time!  Best Friend in Paris: Custom, Personalized Tours of Paris.

Bussing back to Saint Germaine with D ‘s friends 🙂

Photo: Bussing back to Saint Germaine with Dennard Lindsey Teague 's friends :-)

Jane Austen, portrait, British Portrait Gallery, Jane Austen’s World:  I dragged my husband to see this portrait …

It is here , many of you will know, is the tiny portrait of Jane Austen attributed to her sister Cassandra and drawn in 1810 using pencil and watercolours. It is an unprepossessing little picture. It’s great worth is in who it is. But, if you stand back from the plinth with the perspex box on its summit containing Jane and view the whole vista you will notice that Jane is surrounded by a halo of super star writers. She is the centre of the group.

Bottom left is Sir Walter Scott. Moving clockwise next comes Samuel Taylor Coleridge, at the top is John Keats and then as you move down right of Jane, Robert Southey follows and last, bottom right, is Robert Burns. Quite a group, and there she is in the middle, our Jane. If you think I am imagining the halo metaphor, walk behind the plinth with Jane displayed and you will notice that there is nothing on the wall, there is a space. The halo metaphor works. The only thing behind Jane is a handwritten catalogue number on the back of the portrait itself. It reads; “NPG 360, Jane Austen.” It’s written in pencil in a reasonably legible hand. A scrawled note such as somebody might write as a memo to themselves on a post it and stick on their fridge door.

via Jane Austen’s World.

NYC, The Cloisters: If you get a chance while in NYC..

.“The Cloisters was assembled from architectural elements dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth century, and the collection comprises approximately 3,000 works of art. To add to the experience: the gardens at The Cloisters are treasures in themselves, and the views of the Hudson River are spectacular.” —Tom Campbell, The Director’s Tour http://met.org/WAKiItMade in, present-day France | Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa | ca. 1130–40

.Photo: “The Cloisters was assembled from architectural elements dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth century, and the collection comprises approximately 3,000 works of art. To add to the experience: the gardens at The Cloisters are treasures in themselves, and the views of the Hudson River are spectacular.” —Tom Campbell, The Director’s Tour http://met.org/WAKiIt</p> <p>Made in, present-day France | Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa | ca. 1130–40

wind turbines, UK, Ireland: How to create a conflict …

‘Giant’ Wind Turbines – British and Irish ministers will sign an agreement Thursday to build the world’s largest wind turbines across the Irish midlands, reports the BBC. Environmentalists have described the plan to build the 600 feet towers, which could generate energy for millions of U.K. homes, as “crazy” and believe that it will damage the Irish landscape. The proposed wind towers would transfer energy via cables under the Irish Sea back to the U.K. Even though developers claim that thousands of Irish jobs will be created, Andrew Duncan from Lakelands Wind Information said “it seems to be an Irish solution to a British problem … it seems they want to impose these wind farms on the Irish general public instead.” Irish energy minister Pat Rabbitte confirmed that the project is still in its infancy.

via Must-Reads from Around the World | TIME.com.

 “Friendfluence”, Carlin Flora, bookshelf, Sophisticated Dorkiness: Sounds like my friend group …

Review: “Friendfluence,” writes journalist Carlin Flora, “is the powerful and often underappreciated role that friends — past and present — play in determining the shape and direction of our lives.” Studies have shown that our friends help mold our identities and, as adults, subtly influence our beliefs, values and physical and emotional health. Our friends are both the most stable and the most flexible relationships we have, yet friendships are not nearly as well-studied or well-recognized as our relationships with our families and our spouses.

In Friendfluence, Flora takes a broad look at the research that is available about friendship, starting with our childhood pals, the benefits and dark sides of friendship, and how technology is changing the way we make friends and maintain friendships. In the book, Flora makes a convincing argument that our friends are more than just extras — they are vital relationships in our lives.

via Sophisticated Dorkiness — A bookworm journalist blogs on literature and life.

history, Britain, Jane Austen, Embarking On A Course of Study:

I happened upon this great series called Ian Hislop’s Emotional History of Britain. It’s in three parts but, alas, only part one is on YouTube. Still, it’s the part that covers Austen so, hurray!

Ian doesn’t only touch on S&S, but also P&P, and Emma. And the curator of the Jane Austen House Museum has some great advice for ladies to follow when choosing who to give your heart to. (Hint: Knightley to Emma: “If I loved you less, I could say more.”

Ian walks a bit through the house, which is lovely to see. There’s a wonderful peace to this six minute section. I miss her house!

But don’t just watch the Austen bit, watch the whole thing. It begins discussing how Brits used to be considered very emotional by other Europeans. And how a romantic sensibility was to be cultivated and prized, in the early to mid 1700s. Then he traces how the tide turned to the ‘stiff upper lip’.

The part related to Austen is 42:43 – 48:36.

via Embarking On A Course of Study.

SeinfeldToday, Downton Abbey, Twitter, LOL:

Jerry loses his phone contacts, doesn’t know which girl is texting.

ELAINE:”She mentioned Downton Abbey.”

J:”They all like Downton Abbey!”

via Twitter / SeinfeldToday: Jerry loses his phone contacts, ….

macroeconomics, The Economist:  As a college economics major, I am amazed at how much understanding of the subject area i have lost.

MAINSTREAM macroeconomics has a pretty poor reputation these days, both among the public at large and among economists in other fields. This is hardly surprising. There is little consensus on even the most basic questions in macro. Ask top academics why America’s post-crisis recovery has been so slow and you will get many different conflicting answers. But the most obvious reason for the widespread disdain is that the profession failed to predict that the biggest and most painful downturn since the Great Depression was even possible.

Now, several groups of economists are trying to rebuild macro, often melding previously discarded ideas with sophisticated new mathematical and computational techniques. This week’s print edition gives an overview of some of the interesting new developments, but in this post, I want to look more at the history of the field. The following slideshow by Markus Brunnermeier and Delwin Olivan of Princeton is a good place to start:

 

As this week’s article makes clear, however, a new generation of reformers and revolutionaries are figuring out how to realistically depict the financial system. Subsequent posts will discuss these and other worthwhile ideas that may reshape the field.

via A brief history of macro: How we got here | The Economist.

Super Bowl Ads,  YouTube,  AllThingsD:  Personally, I’d rather be forced to watch the game to see the ads …

Note that if you’re one of those weird people who wants to watch the Super Bowl on a browser instead of a TV, and you’re one of the people who wants to see the ads (smallish Venn overlap there, methinks), you’ll be in luck this year. CBS, which is streaming the game on the Web, says that it will also stream the broadcast ads on the Web — something that NBC didn’t do when it streamed last year’s game.

via Super Bowl Ads Run Early on YouTube – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD.

LOL, Princess Bride:

A man aboard a New Zealand-bound Qantas Airlines flight was asked to remove his “Princess Bride” t-shirt after other passengers reported that they found it intimidating.

A man aboard a New Zealand-bound Qantas Airlines flight was asked to remove his "Princess Bride" t-shirt after other passengers reported that they found it intimidating.

via “Princess Bride” T-Shirt Freaks Out Australian Airline Passengers.

NYC, man’s best friend, graphics, @brainpickings: An Interactive Watercolor Map of the City’s Canine Caucus…

New York City has a special relationship with its dogs — just look at the treasure trove that is The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs, one of 2012′s best art books. Now, the data team at WNYC — consisting of John Keefe, Stephen Reader, Steven Melendez and Louise Ma — has put together this fantastic map of NYC’s dog names and breeds, explorable by area, down to the ZIP code. The data is displayed over Stamen’s stunning watercolor map of NYC, one of the works featured in Art Pickings

LOL:

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.

He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

‘Al-Gebra is a problem for us’, the Attorney General said. ‘They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.’ They use secret code names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.”

Photo: A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.</p> <p>He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.</p> <p>'Al-Gebra is a problem for us', the Attorney General said. 'They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.' They use secret code names like "X" and "Y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns" but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."</p> <p>When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Davidson Basketball: Another great day to be a wildcat … Wildcats won! DAV(13):79 APP:56

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.




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