RSS Reader Roundup

For some reason in the last few days, there have been several stories in my reader that particularly interested me almost-but-not-quite enough to write blog posts about them. So instead I’ve been saving them, with the intent to write one post about the various almost-post-worthy topics. And now I am.

• I’m not sure if the person I’m stealing this from would want me linking back, so I’m not, but I liked what they had to say about less-frequent blogging as they’ve been focusing on personal matters — “And some of those thoughts I just don’t post online. There are all sorts of reasons for that quietude: the blog is an editorial board for me, not a journal. The journal is not for broad pubication. It’s none of your d@mned business, which is I’m sure a radical concept in the media-and-data-saturated environment in which we now live. Maybe I have unpleasant things to say. Maybe I don’t feel like hurting people a thousand miles away by broadcasting my irritation with them to strangers ten thousand miles away. In any case, I’ve got other things to do with my time.”

To which I say, bravo. It’s always been an interesting question for me. My previous blog was very impersonal, but this one is frequently personal. But then, there are other personal things that I don’t blog. When does it become too much? When does living out loud turn into pandering? On the other hand, when does it become dishonest to blog around stuff? I’ve written about similar subjects before, and it still intrigues me.

Astronomers are currently studying a nearby supernova, only 21 million light years away. The headline — “it’s exploding right now” — and a bit in the first paragraph — “scientists actually managed to catch the supernova within hours of its explosion” — are misleading. Yes, they’re seeing light from near the beginning of the event. But, based on the speed of light, they’re not seeing something happening right now, they’re seeing something that happened 21 million years ago.


And this is one of the big issues I have with young-Earth-creation theories — if the universe is less than, at a minimum, millions of years old, this star is a lie. It never existed. For years, scientists have been looking at a star that never really existed; God just put light en route to Earth to make it look like there had been a star where there never was. And I’m not comfortable with a deceptive God. I’m more comfortable believing the universe is the age God makes it look.

• Speaking of whom, I enjoyed this letter from Sojourn pastor Eric Morgan, excerpted in part:

Because the Lord was with her, Mary was highly favored by God. Because she walked with God and found favor with God, God in-trusted her with a very special gift and task. Mary was the chosen instrument God used to bring (birth) salvation into human history. Jesus, who is fully human and fully divine, came from womb of Mary…  How amazing is that to consider?
The beauty and mystery of the incarnation do not stop with Mary. They are very applicable to you and I. Like Mary, we too are bearers of God by virtue of the Spirit of God that lives within us. Just like Mary, who God used to bring salvation to humanity, God wants to use us, in the same capacity. Because the Spirit of Christ is within us, we have been highly favored to be God-bearers (theotokos) to our world. We are to bear witness of the light of the glorious gospel that will bring salvation to our world.

• I have to share this, too — Report clears NASA shuttle selection process, but doesn’t make Dayton or Houston any happier:

This report, while clearing NASA of any political meddling in its decisionmaking process, did little to assuage those denied an orbiter. An AP article about the decision with the headline “Report: NASA made right picks for retired shuttles” was retitled by a Houston TV station as “Bolden Overrode Retired Shuttles Decision”. That was based on a passage in the report where, in 2009, Bolden rejected a recommendation by a NASA team to award orbiters only to NASA facilities (KSC, Houston, and the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville), saying that he preferred that “the Agency choose locations where the Orbiters would be seen by the largest number of visitors and thus serve NASA’s goal of expanding outreach and education efforts to spur interest in science, technology, and space exploration.”