Those wild and crazy Vikings!
You may have learned in school that Vikings visited North America long before Christopher Columbus did, but I bet you never learned how they did it. Their marine tech wasn’t anything close to what Columbus had, but what they lacked in equipment, they made up for in chutzpah. To get to North America, the Vikings had to “surf” the north edge of nasty storms. As Glenn Sunshine explains in his book 32 Christians Who Changed Their World:
“We don’t often appreciate the difficulties the Vikings faced sailing west across the Atlantic. Their ships had square sales, which means they could not tack into the wind; the wind had to be blowing from behind them for the sails to propel the ship. Since prevailing winds in the north Atlantic blow from west to east, to sail west the Vikings had to rely on storms. Severe storms turn cyclonic, that is, the winds circulate counterclockwise around the eye. This means that by riding the north edge of the storms, the Vikings could take advantage of westward blowing winds to propel them across the ocean.”
Gary North on breaking your TV habit
Gary North (1942-2022) was a Christian economist and such a prolific writer he must have followed the advice he offers here and entirely kicked his TV habit.
“Put a piggy bank next to the couch where you watch TV. Every time you watch a one-hour show, put $2 into the piggy bank. If someone else watches, and you’re a free rider, have that person put in $2. Then break the piggy bank – or at least empty it – in the last week of December. Put the money in your bank account. Then write a check for this amount. Send it to a charity. In short, put a price on your time. Pay the price. Economics teaches: ‘When the price rises, less is demanded.’ You will cut your TV habit by 50%. If not, make it $3.”
Source: Gary North’s Tip of the Week, January 3, 2015
Those guys are right too?
It’s been a crazy few years, what with too many of yesterday’s conspiracy theories turning into the next day’s headlines. So when I heard that there was now irrefutable proof the earth was flat I didn’t know if I could handle it. Could it be possible? Could those guys be right too?
Well, prepare for your mind to be blown! As you know, most of the world is water – 71% of the planet is covered with it. But what they never told you, what you probably never thought about before, is the fact that none of it is carbonated. Not even a single percent. Ergo, the world really is flat!
Source: inspired by a Douglas Wilson quip
Learn the right lesson
The trouble with learning from experience is the inbuilt tendency to overreact. If drunkenness has ruined someone close to us, we could conclude Christians should abstain. A child who tries out for a basketball team and gets cut might think they’ll never be good at any sports. A young man mocked by the first girl he asks out will wonder whether he should bother with a second. That many a Hollywood movie is vile, has some convinced all movies must be. That 95 songs on the year’s Top 100 list are vulgar, could lead parents to conclude that rock and rap is purely the Devil’s domain. And that dirty dancing is a thing, will have some thinking pure dancing is not.
But Mark Twain has a warning for us to consider:
“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will not sit down on a hot stove-lid again – but also she will not sit down on a cold one either.”
Experience is quite the tutor, but we can learn too much from the lesson. That’s why we must test our experiences against the Bible. Then we can understand that despite the frequent abuse of wine, there remains a legitimate use (Isa. 25:6, 1 Tim. 5:23) and instead of banning it, we need to model right usage. Dancing might be dirty, but it can also be done to the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14). And the gun-shy young man can be assured that a good woman is worth risking rejection (Prov. 31:10-31).
4 thoughts on education
- “I am much afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which means are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt.”
– Martin Luther, in his Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
- “The surest way to keep a people down is to educate the men and neglect the women. If you educate a man you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family.”
– James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (1875-1927)
- “The family is the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents… we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now.”
– John Taylor Gatto (1935-2018), New York City’s 3-time “Teacher of the Year”
- “Education is the process of selling someone on books.”
– Douglas Wilson
That explains a lot
Who are smarter, men or women? A good test might be to ask this question in mixed company and see who’s dumb enough to answer. A case for men could be made by pointing to the greater number of males who win top prizes, like the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (183 to 8) or the Abel Prize for mathematics (25 to 1). But the case for women could be made by pointing out how men take many more unnecessary risks, like driving while drunk, which leads to 3 times more men than women dying, according to US stats.
So which is it? Well, according to the late Walter Williams, economist and educator extraordinaire, both cases are correct.
“Male geniuses outnumber female geniuses 7-to-1. Female intelligence is packed much closer to the middle of the bell curve, whereas men’s intelligence has far greater variability. That means that though there are many more male geniuses, there are also many more male idiots. The latter might partially explain why more men are in jail than women.”
Source: Walter Williams’ “Are We Equal?” posted to WalterWilliams.com May 27, 2013
If we really believed in recycling…
…why don’t we stop charging tax on recycled goods? They’ve already been taxed once, when they were new, so the government has gotten their pound of flesh. Should a good be taxed twice, just because it has been refurbished or in some other way made useful again? We live in a throwaway culture, and what an incentive it would be if used goods could be sold tax-free.
Giraffe necks are neat
Did you know a giraffe doesn’t need its neck muscles to hold its neck up, but rather to bend it down? As a ruminant (an animal that chews its cud) the giraffe has to be able to bring food back up its neck to chew again. It also has to have an enormous heart to create enough pressure to get the blood up to its head. And then it has to have shut-off valves of a sort, to relieve the pressure when it bends its head down to drink, otherwise the blood pressure would cause it to blow out its own brain. The brilliance of their design comes out more and more, the closer you look.