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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Well, first I was gonna post rose pictures, because I've been practising drawing them, but then it occurred to me, what with it being Year of the Rabbit & my last page-to-finish in Fran's sketchbook from 2020 being (more) bunnies, that would be awesome, except it's not going well & thus still isn't finished, not to mention the general downer the New Year has been for the US Chinese community...
But hey, we got some proper snow! I was beginning to think we weren't really gonna get any this season, but a couple of days ago we got 4–5 (perhaps even 6?) inches (100–150mm, for those of you with sensible measurement systems) and I got a chance to try out our new ‘teeth down’ snow shovel.
I rather enjoy shoveling snow by hand & would be perfectly happy to do my next door neighbors’ walks if they didn't feel so obligated to do it themselves. I mean, you get to go outside, enjoy the beautiful snow, get a bit of exercise and do something useful & kind for the local pedestrians (most of whom are dog-walkers, so we also try to use the plant and dog friendly salt, on those rare occasions when it's absolutely necessary.)
Just finished Kristin Du Mez's riveting book, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. None of the material is going to be a big surprise to people following progressive christian blogs such as Fred Clark's Slacktivist or the now defunct Libby Anne's LoveJoyFeminism (which the perennially flaky Patheos seems to have scrubbed, at least somewhat—her farewell post, in which she explains why's moving on to other things is gone, though some of the older posts remain) but Dr. Du Mez, a historian specializing in religion and gender at Calvin University, organizes that material into a coherent and snappy account to explain why (white) evangelicals and, eventually, other conservative branches of US Christianity found a “manly hero” in Donald Trump, despite his conduct, which at first glance should have horrified these folks.
But in the meantime, I have another floral doodle in the year series.
Ugh, the news. Eventually I will gird my loins and post my thoughts (not that they'll be any surprise...) but in the meantime, in the interest of getting my tabs down to under 25, here's a bunch of random linkies (from just about exactly six months ago—bonus, the news don't seem quite as awful...but in any case, I'm exhausted, so I'm digging this out of the archives in order to have something to post this week):
Did you know today is Ephiphany? Back in ye Olden Dayes, before corporate commercialism started the xmas hols sometime before Halloween (siiiiigh) the traditional xmas season ran from the 25th to Ephiphany —the 12 Days of Xmas in that Partridge in a Pear Tree song.
This year I managed for the first time ever to actually do our holiday dinner on the Solstice (which I think makes far more sense for atheists), which is about as ahead of schedule as I've ever managed personally, but as you see I failed completely to post any gift decorations between the Dec 25 and today, or even to do the third in a series of New Year's doodles for today.
But hey, I've finally—after 35 years of trying, on and off—to make what I consider is decent citron, (technically candied grapefruit peel), which I use exclusively for my family's xmas holiday breakfast—so that seems appropriate, not to mention handy, as grocery stores just don't seem to be carrying citron any more.
Hideho. I was in the middle of writing this long screed that among other things decried (organized) religion for its self-deceptive practises (i.e. believing in god(s), because I really don't think it's a good idea (though nowhere near as serious as actively hurting people), and how important it was to me as an atheist to be on the lookout for modern myths/just-so-stories/etc. And most especially stuff that science says are true.
Except so much of it's not. PZ's take from this article about debunked studies in the pyschology field is that even a lot of very smart people spend a great deal of time making up—and defending!—elaborate theories that simply aren't true.
Mine was psychology often gets a bad rap as a “squishy” field, but the compiler of unsupported research noted that