Here is my third post of mostly links to what I’ve found intriguing, compelling or convicting lately. Perhaps you’ll find something of interest in what I’ve been reading online and in print!
On the Internet
With works of chaos, paint analysis is really the only way isn’t it? New York Art Fraud involves the spurious sale of “previously unknown” works with Swiss and Spanish provenance by Modernist “masters” such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.
“Rosales’s most spectacular success came with the sale of a supposed Jackson Pollock painting known as “Untitled 1950″ to the Knoedler & Company gallery, at the time the oldest gallery in New York. In 2007, Knoedler’s then president Ann Freedman sold the work to London collector Pierre Lagrange for $17 million. Lagrange subsequently discovered that two paints used in the work were not invented until after Pollock had died and launched a lawsuit against Knoedler & Freedman in May.”
How personal is the customer service at your bank? Well, the Bank of America says “We are here to help, listen and learn” over and over and over and over.
We have a lefty in our family. It happens. Until one begins to purchase school supplies or teach shoe-tying, cursive, or how to use the KitchenAid or sewing machine (all the controls are on the right hand side), one really doesn’t grasp how very awkward things can be for the left-handed person. Here is one person’s list of The 18 Worst Things for Left-Handers, from Buzz Feed.
We love jars at the Garners! They hold flowers, colored pencils, Sharpie markers and highlighters, tea-light candles, eye-liner pencils and make-up brushes, paperclips, homemade air freshener, barrettes and hair elastics, safety pins, disparate Lego pieces, shells, acorns and more! Here are 31 Ways to Use a Mason Jar in Your Kitchen from Keeper of the Home.
Mr. Garner and I both clearly remember these 11 Sounds That Your Kids Have Probably Never Heard! from Mental Floss. My former voice teacher purchased a genuine antique rotary phone with the original bell in order to avoid “the pollution of digital sound” in her home! You can have one too if you like from Black Rotary Dial Telephone.
If you’ve ever endured the pain of a diet that goes against the Grain, or found the self-aggrandizement of celebrity-based cookbooks and magazines mildly amusing, this article will have you in stitches: I tried Gwyneth Paltrow’s Diet, from NY Magazine. Special thanks to Grass Fed Girl.
The Garners have endured two sets of motion picture previews thus far this summer. One set for Monsters University gave me an eye-candy headache from the frenetic color and forced zaniness. The other set for Pacific Rim offered nothing original, just another season of post-apocalyptic downers. There aren’t too many movies out there that meet our standards as parents regarding sex and language, and have an enduring story worth $30 (tickets for four plus tax at the matinée and no popcorn). For both movies the cavernous MacArthur Center Regal was largely empty, and fewer than twenty people were in attendance at each movie. David Outten at Movie Guide says Hollywood Needs More Love, He has a point, and not just to improve content, but to improve the bottom line.
More than half of the movies released so far by the major studios in 2013 (19 out of 37) have a Movieguide® language rating of LLL (more than 25 obscenities and profanities). Only two of these are in the Top 10 at the box office. Only four major studio releases had no foul language. Three are in the Top 10 at the box office! The numbers are similar year after year.
And then there’s this: Hymns on Broadway, from World Magazine.
The export of Abortion to other countries under the nauseating misnomer of “aid,” was the first of many heinous anti-life actions of the current administration. Glad to see the House GOP finally dealing with it: House GOP Backs Bill Restoring Pro-Life Mexico City Policy. Also from Life News, The Royal Baby: For Once the Entire World Knows a Baby is a Baby
Matt from Well Spent Journey speaks to the cowardice of men who support abortion in his post. I liked this quote in particular:
Some cowardly men will even argue that it’s “in the child’s own best interests” to be aborted. Which seems awfully presumptuous. In that case…why not just kill all infants, toddlers, and schoolchildren who are born into lives of poverty and crime?
From the Common Room Blog – If you’re upset about the Zimmerman Trial: A Quiz.
On the Bookshelf
Mr. Garner has been reading Swiss Family Robinson aloud to the family off-and-on over the summer. Despite a startling trend to kill all newly encountered animals, and the oddity of potatoes co-habitating with palm trees, we find it very diverting! GraceNotes has been sketching various designs for tree-housed structures and drafting matching plans. Most are drastically impractical for our backyard trees, but fun nonetheless. Mr. Garner has been alternatively amused and amazed at the wit and wisdom of C. S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity.
GraceNotes and I have been reading Kon-Tiki, aloud. Mr. Garner enjoyed this book very much in middle school, and used his grass-cutting money to purchase the book about Mr. Heyerdahl’s subsequent RA expedition. We are becoming curiouser and curiouser about the sea life we are reading about, and look forward to seeing the movie after we finish. Watery adventures seem to be a bit of a theme; GraceNotes is independently reading #1 Son’s copy of Huckleberry Finn, and for summer school H.E. Marshall’s children’s British History classic Our Island Story. #1 Son is reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, after his mother harassed him mercilessly. I’m delighted to report that he grudgingly admits finding it engaging and thought-provoking.
My Homeschool Mom reading has turned to pre-reading a few Fall Term items. I’ve been reading Ivanhoe, by Sir. Walter Scott, and perusing How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler. My personal reading time is limited but I am slowly journaling through the astonishing, almost classic Desiring God, by John Piper. Desiring God has been on my “To Read” list for years, and since GraceNotes will be reading it next year, I thought I would read it this year.
For more terrestrial fare I am thoroughly enjoying Oak: The Framework of Civilization. In fact I love this book so much, GraceNotes will be reading it during her fall term. I have been fascinated with Oak trees ever since last fall when we were learning the leaves and acorns of the oak, and were astounded at the tremendous variety of Quercus (Oak) that surrounded us in Virginia. Mr. Logan is a professional arborist, so he clearly loves trees, but he points out that there is a great deal that is unique to the oak, and how knowledge of the oak has been lost.
Until the last century, people understood the lives of trees, because people depended upon trees. They saw how persistent a young oak was, how it would sprout back again and again, even if an animal ate the entire shoot. They saw how a forest of oaks showed many differences in leaf, in bud, and in acorn among the individual trees, as though each had a name and a character of its own. They noticed that oaks put out leaves several times per year, not just once or twice. They observed that the oak seemed to be constantly full of birds and animals and insects and worms, yet it did not die of them. Indeed, the rest of a forest’s trees seemed to draw back and make room for an older oak, like courtiers stepping back and bowing at the entrance of the king. These people used every part of the oak, from wood to the leaves to the bark to the acorns to the galls.
Among the Celts, the Druids served as lawgivers and singers. The honorific name Druid is derived from two words: dru, meaning “oak,” and wid, “to see or to know.” The people who were thought fit to sing the tribe’s stories and interpret its laws were said to “know the oak.”
Mr. Logan speaks to the importance of Oak, in almost every aspect of human existence at various stages of history. This fascinating quote discusses the importance of the collier – the man who during the summers would go into the forest and make coal – to the military and economic aspirations of society:
It is hard to remember that until the middle of the nineteenth century, the collier’s work was not a marginal occupation but a central act of human culture. Without the collier, there was no man had his sword – not Sargon of Assyria or Alexander the Great or Charlemagne and Beowulf, not Henry V, not Hernan Cortez, not even King Arthur. Without the collier, no Viking had his longboat, nor castellan his cannon. without the collier, Notre Dame had no bells nor rood screens, nor did the doors have their hinges. Without the collier, there was no glass for windows, no iron for pots, no making of beer, no founding of wine bottles. Without the collier there was no gunpowder, nor coins of silver or gold. Without the collier there was no plowshare, no harness. Without the collier, no ring, no necklace, no crown.
I’ll let you know how it ends!
The post title I’ve chosen for these sorts of posts is obscure on purpose. Meaning “now I know in part,” the phrase is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians towards the end of chapter 13. It refers to the fact that our knowledge of God and His mysteries unfolds only in part during our human existence. We must wait for full disclosure. This should instill a great deal of humility in our thinking…