Friday, November 30, 2007

Culture of Media

My Pal, Laura Blankenship, posted this video on her (work) blog ETC@BMC:

It was done by a Cultural Anthropology class at Kansas State University. I work in academia, but was trained amidst the 19th C classroom ideals they talk about (we all were, I guess, right?). But it really makes me wonder "what's going to happen to education"? It's a totally different ball game now!

Many of the comments I've read on YouTube (for what they're worth) talk about "these whiny kids - how about living on the street for a while?". I'm not sure how many people who have posted those kinds of comments have lived on the street either - I think the point of the video is that the way that ideas are communicated now is MUCH different than it was when books were the main mode of education. But the teaching style has not changed to keep up with the new media.

Back in MY day, people we skipping class and writing letters in class too, but we got out of school when the printed page was still the standard. It's not the standard anymore. If students don't learn this in school/college, where and when ARE they going to learn this way? Food for thought.

Have a good weekend, all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From one of my favorite blogs

Art Blog by Bob. Bob just rocks the house!

After learning about Ulrich Zwingli, yesterday, I think this painting, "God as an Architect"by William Blake is right on topic. Bob describes Blake's artwork in relation to his poetry:

Blake’s spirituality earned him a reputation as a madman during his life. When a friend found Blake talking to a tree, he asked him if he was actually talking to the tree. “Of course not,” Blake replied. “I’m speaking with the angel in the tree.” However, Blake never blinded himself to the possibilities of science. Isaac Newton became one of his favorite subjects. In The Ancient of Days (God as an Architect) (above, from 1794), God himself assumes the role of a man of science, taking the measure of the universe he created. Just as there is always a balance between poetry and painting in Blake’s vision, there is always a balance between reason and imagination—a continual back and forth where neither side dominates for risk of losing the benefits of the other. Blake’s art intoxicates you when you first encounter his poetry or his imagery. Then it overwhelms you with his complexity. Because of this difficulty, a select handful of followers kept Blake’s memory alive and rescued it from the very real threat of obscurity.

Just like Zwingli, who worked on balancing reason and spirituality: Huldrych (or Ulrich which was his birth name in memory of Saint Ulrich von Augsburg) Zwingli or Ulricus Zuinglius (January 1, 1484October 11, 1531) was the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, and founder of the Swiss Reformed Churches. Independently of Martin Luther, who was doctor biblicus, Zwingli arrived at similar conclusions by studying the Scriptures from the point of view of a humanist scholar.

And then there's this beautiful painting, The Road to Calvary, Bob shares with us by an artist, Maurice Denis, that I'd never seen before - and I'm a fan of the Fauves! This is the kind of religious art I love. It's so dramatic, emotional and stark, but also beautiful. The colors, the light & dark, and the little details - the sweet yellow flowers, the Roman insignia, the shadows. Thank you, as always, Bob, for your blog!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quiz results: who knew?

Took a quiz, here is the result:

Eucharistic theology
created with
You scored as Zwingli

You are Ulrich Zwingli. You believe that bread and wine are symbols of the absent Jesus. You believe in interpreting Scripture reasonably.













Monday, November 26, 2007

It's all about me

I can't resist the meme:

Vampires: Josiah and I met at a vampire-themed party back in college. "The Hunger" was playing. Fuzzy navels were served. The rest is history.
I like blogging: it's a challenge for me, I'm trying to stay focused and DO IT, but it's FUN!
Religious Art: was the foundation of what I wanted to blog about. It still fascinates me, but I am often stumped by how to talk about it - and trolling the Patron Saint site, or other religious art blogs, doesn't really help me, because then I'm just trolling! If anyone has any suggestions about areas you think would be interesting to explore, or saints or symbols you'd like to learn more about or see more of, just leave me a comment!
Green: I'm an environmentalist, and a gardener.
I'm a mom.
Not a fashionista, but am struggling to define my "look" in my role as a 30-something mom.
International in my outlook in many ways - fashion, music, travel, reading, study, interests, you name it.
A bit of a culture vulture, Jane-of-all-trades-mistress-of-none.

Pass it on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Mommy, you're just like Strega Nona"

La Prima told me that this morning, as I stuck a band-aid (tm) on her big toe. "How's that?" I asked. "Because whenever anyone ever doesn't feel good, you make them feel better. Like Strega Nona takes away people's headaches."

It's just about the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me! I've never read Strega Nona, but apparently it's a fantastic book, written by a fellow Connecticutian (at least, that's what I call us!).

I have a lot I want to blog about, but haven't had the time, recently. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Separated at Birth?" and other crushes...

What do you think?

Similar, right?

Different hairstyles, I grant you.

But: The manly brow... the potential capacity for violence burbling under the surface. The suavity under pressure.... And Putin may even be able to get the Russian Constitution changed to allow him to be President for another term... I seem to remember Vorenus getting dispensations too!

I mean, Lu(s)ci(o)us Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd on Rome, has his bleak moments. But he is loyal, and sheesh can he kick butt! I don't know, but Vladimir (Vlady) Putin seems similar. At least from the photos, right?

Speaking of Russians and mobsters, another of my all-time crushes, Viggo Mortensen, will be in "Eastern Promises," a movie soon-to-be released! Can't wait.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Clotilde & Clovis

Lakshmi and I are both reading "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley, right now. I am fascinated by my reaction to it now, reading it again after 20 years from my first time.

The characters seem less robust to me now. But there also seems to be an agenda to the religious discussion - almost proselytizing for Wiccanism. I don't know if that was actually MZB's goal, but when Lakshmi and I talked about it, we realized how much has changed in the world since the book first came out [1987]. Now there are even Wiccan chaplains in the US military!

Much has NOT changed, of course.

It may sound backwards, but I came back to Christianity through paganism. I dabbled in Wiccan practice, but found that I missed the structure, ritual and readings (Bible stories) of the Church. It was too hard for me personally to create a practice. PLUS, as MoA shows, the basis of the European interpretation of Christianity is heavily influenced by paganism. Start to finish. So, when the seasons turn, as they are now in Philly (Fall has arrived here) I follow the Christian liturgical calendar, and begin to think about Advent. The preparation for the coming baby new year.

Lakshmi and I have also been talking (at length) about open adoption and the process and all the DECISIONS! I have been thinking and praying about the process a lot, and all those involved, and went to my handy-dandy Patron Saints Index to find out who is affiliated with adoption. Apparently it's Clotilde - patron saint of adopted children. I still can't figure out WHY she's the patron, but whatevs.

So, while I was reading about her, I looked up her husband - Clovis I - who she brought to Christianity, and the story sounds EXACTLY like how MZB portrays Arthur's religious conversion around a battle and subsequent struggles. Amazing!

This is a good time of year for adopting - a time of preparation for the joy of a new child.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Day of the Dead!

My favorite part of Halloween is the Day of the Dead/All Souls extravaganza that takes place in Latin America. I like the culture around Death in Mexico. I have a habit of getting sad and focusing on the loss of the people I've known who have died. But the tradition of remembering and honoring, and the GOOD times, the happiness we've shared with our loved ones who are gone is awesome.

Plus, the food, the flowers, the decorations, hanging out in the cemetery all night, that sounds like a lot of fun to me. Seriously.

Aahhhh.... the Food! Like, some mole, stuffed poblanos, flan, and of course, some tequila - what about a pomegranate margarita??