Add another city and country to the travel list: Kotor, Montenegro. Going through old emails, I found one from my sister Katie sharing a link for this amazing resort in Kotor, Aman Sveti Stefan. Secluded on its own island, the Aman resort in Kotor looks like paradise. Also worth looking at are the other Aman resorts, especially Amangiri in Utah. #goals
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Vincent Foster’s death was a suicide, that suicide may have been precipitated by abuse from Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, the FBI reports suggesting just that have gone missing. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Vince Foster was a mentor to Hillary when they worked together at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. When Bill was confirmed as the 42nd President of the United States on January 20, 1993, Foster took a role as his Deputy White House Counsel. 6 months later, to the day, Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park, along the Potomac River, of an apparent “suicide” resulting from a gun shot from a .38 caliber revolver.
Like a lot of things surrounding the Clintons, Foster’s “suicide” has always been shrouded in mystery. A few months ago, The Daily Mail interviewed former FBI agents Coy Copeland and Jim Clemente who…
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If you aren’t angry, you aren’t paying attention.
It’s a cliché of course, one of those tired phrases that appear again and again when the times merit it. But clichés keep showing up becuase they feel true. And as we approach the end of a summer that has been hot in too many ways, it feels especially true right now.
It doesn’t require much searching to discover we’ve had plenty to be angry about. It’s been a summer of loss – some of it fueled by prejudice, some of it enabled by our unwillingness to risk our comfort by living our convictions, but all of it heartbreaking.
It’s been a summer of anger – seen in the way we yell past each other, in the way we demand that everyone has it easier than we do, but most clearly epitomized in the depressing political moment we are living through that falls so…
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John Currin (JC) posted The new ship will replace two Navy ships – the HMNZS Manawanui, which is 40 years old and will be retired next year, and the hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution, which was retired in 2012 https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/B_Yf4WczLRUBtmeU0m6z-lRVcjaADz8xRIxplslY9Q3rc213GdEhxnCCKC9tSJIMJl0ZOdrkxcCJCfHtpQ_GbpfxGMC7ffKUNksrAcNMiFxhJGrgFccYE4rZoXBjMctxmn380BiUOd8eMXqhYIHkNVTg=w506-h910 The new ship will replace two Navy ships ? the HMNZS Manawanui, which is 40 years old and will be retired next year, and the hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution, which was retired in 2012.
New Navy ship confirmed by Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee ? National ? NZ Herald… on https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/115825952045606932363/communities/103957417019711849907
Today my youngest daughter starts her senior year homeschooling. (Although each child actually gets 13 years or grades of schooling before college – 12 normal grades and one year of advanced studies and special projects).
My oldest daughter is studying Marine Biology and she is minoring in Psychology but my youngest daughter wants to study Art and Media. Below are her homeschooling curriculum texts for the first semester of this year.
Science: The Biology Book plus the writings of Hippocrates
Religion: Dark Night of the Soul (Saint John of the Cross)
Philosophy: an excellent lecture series on Thomas Aquinas by Peter Kreeft (I took this lecture series myself.)
Literature: the short stories of Tolstoy and Chekhov
Business/Economics/Finance: The Road to Serfdom by Hayek
Mathematics: workbook plus the writings of Euclid
Art: she will be taking the FA Art and Painting Composition study course and reading from the book Stagecraft
She will also have her labs which will cover art, biology, chess, piano, and she has currently chosen to study Italian and Japanese. (She really likes Italian, and finds it easy, but Japanese she finds much harder than Korean. She says that so far Japanese is the hardest language she has studied or tried to master.)
She will also read one magazine per week and will watch a classic film about once every two weeks.
She will have her special projects for the year which we have yet to decide but will probably center around drama and theater.
Finally she is studying to take the SAT since the new state test hasn’t even returned her results yet and she took that test back in April I believe.
by contributing editor Jake Purcell
Several people have said to me that I would have made a good medieval monk. I never asked why: mostly out of self-preservation, but also because I’m fairly confident that they are wrong.
I like my things way too much. Examples include a bowl that a neighbor used to give out Halloween candy, a table I got from a friendly stranger on Craigslist, the several pieces of furniture that I have spent many days of my life building from rough planks of construction-grade pine.
I’m not a hoarder or a social climber or even that much of a consumer. Instead, that stuff represents social connections, remembrance, and investment of labor. According to a certain set of modern sensibilities, these attachments could be considered benign. There are at least two groups of who would disagree: hardcore minimalists and certain early medieval nuns.
I’m wary of suggesting…
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“What we do with our bodies manifests and expresses inner states, the sacred ground of our being. But bodily practices can also induce inner states. How we move, how we sit, how we breathe, can all make a difference in our spiritual life.”
The excellent podcast Archaeological Fantasies recently had me on as a guest for a wide ranging discussion on genetics. We covered everything from the genetic prehistory of the Americas to issues surrounding ancestry testing companies. Here’s a link to the episode (apologies for the fact that I kept cutting in and out–apparently our university wireless connection isn’t very good).
Since so much of our discussion focused on haplogroup X2a and models for ancient American prehistory, I decided to break from the normal tradition here at VM and actually re-publish a post to make it easier for people to get answers to any questions they might have. And if you have specific questions about content from the podcast, please feel free to leave them in the comments on this post.
This post was originally published last year to address some questions that Deborah Bolnick and I were getting about our paper…
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Keep up with quantum mechanics, renewable energy, and AI conversations at cocktail parties with this science blog from students Yanhao and Harvey. “It’s not what most people do in their free time, but then again, we’re not most people.”
“They’ve made a robot that moves like a dog, and another that can run sort of like a cat. But they haven’t built one like Simone Biles.”
In an attempt to better understand neuromuscular conditions like ALS, engineers at MIT have developed a quarter-sized chip housing a muscle strip and some motor neurons. The setup is designed to recreate the neuromuscular junction, the bit of chemical synapse where neurons and muscle fibers meet. The team has developed a method for creating muscle…
My wife can attest to many of these…
Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Stephanie Christie
Founder & Owner of: Making Time for Me
-Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member, Family & Mental Health Writer
I am 35 years old and will be 36 in August. Yesterday I was reflecting on some things about how my life is and how I feel about my body. It got me to thinking, nobody every told me about this.
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Charisma is easier to recognise than to define. Newspaper and magazine articles consistently identify charismatic leaders – such as John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama – but those same articles rarely describe exactly what charisma is. It is often debated whether charisma is necessary for a ‘transformational’ leader, while shelves of self-help books optimistically promise to impart the ‘secrets’ of charisma. Other people hold that charisma cannot be ‘unlocked’ or ‘discovered’ at all because it is innate and present only in the rarest of individuals. So, to ask anew, just what is charisma?
Charisma’s origins are found in the letters of Paul the Apostle, written from around 50 AD. This is the first written use of the word ‘charisma’, derived from the Greek ‘charis’ (grace). For Paul, charisma meant ‘the gift of God’s grace’ or ‘spiritual gift’. In Paul’s letters to the fledgling Christian communities spread around the Roman empire, he wrote of the ‘charismata’ or spiritual gifts available to each member of the community. He identified nine charismata, including prophecy, healing, speaking in tongues, interpreting that speech, teaching, and service – a range of gifts both supernatural and pragmatic.
For Paul, charisma was a mystical notion: the gifts were thought to alight on each individual without the need for church authority or institution. And there was no charisma of leadership: the interlocking charismata were meant to serve the community without the need for an imposed leader. By the fourth century, however, the Church had largely suppressed the notion of charisma deriving directly from the Holy Spirit. Conveniently, in its place was a hierarchy of Church leadership, with bishops at the top, interpreting the fixed religious laws inscribed in the newly authorised Bible. Charisma survived only in heretical outposts, such as prophets claiming direct inspiration without the mediations of bishop or scripture. Such heresies were forcibly repressed by the Church.
The idea of charisma then lay largely dormant for centuries. Only in the writings of the 20th-century German sociologist Max Weber was it reborn. In fact, we owe the contemporary meaning of ‘charisma’ to Weber, who took Paul’s religious idea and secularised it, placing charisma within a sociology of authority and leadership. For Weber, there were three types of authority: the rational-legal, the traditional, and the charismatic. Weber saw the charismatic form of authority as the revolutionary, even unstable, antidote to the ‘iron cage’ of rationalisation found in the contemporary ‘disenchanted’ world. He held that there was something heroic about the charismatic leader, who galvanised followers with great feats or with the ‘charisma of rhetoric’ found in inspiring speeches.
Weber defined charisma as ‘a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is considered extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities’. He traced charismatic leadership through history, in the person of great military or religious leaders – and also held out the hope that charismatic leadership would continue to emerge, even in the highly regulated bureaucracies of the modern world.
Weber died in 1920, and did not live to see the application of his idea to contemporary politics and culture. Perhaps that’s a good thing, since the first political leaders to be described as charismatic were Mussolini and Hitler. For many European intellectuals, this created the sense that charismatic authority had a sinister dimension. That same dark side of charismatic leadership long remained: 1960s cult leaders such as Charles Manson, with their spellbinding hold on followers, were readily termed charismatic. By this point, Weber’s works had been translated, so that ‘charisma’ was popular in the English-speaking world from about the 1950s.
The first politicians that the media identified as charismatic in a positive, rather than demagogic, sense were JFK, and his brother Robert F Kennedy. After the 1960s, ‘charisma’ moved more into mainstream usage as it was applied to outstanding individuals other than political leaders: the late Muhammad Ali, for instance, was perhaps the most charismatic of all.
Today, charisma is used to describe a range of individuals: politicians, celebrities, business leaders. We understand charisma as a special, innate quality that sets certain individuals apart and draws others to them. It is considered a rare, specially endowed quality: in US politics, for instance, Bill Clinton was thought to have a charismatic presence, as is Obama – but nobody else in recent political memory earns the accolade. In business, Steve Jobs is the archetypal charismatic leader: visionary, driven, but also volatile and unstable. And in celebrity culture, charisma is regarded as a sign of rare authenticity when much of the entertainment industry is devoted to the plastic manufacture of fame in the manner of Idols or The Voice. Charisma cannot be created by reality TV.
Is charisma even desirable in contemporary politicians? The political biographer David Barnett has called charisma ‘one of the most dangerous concepts in a democracy that you can find’. Charismatic leaders can inspire followers with soaring rhetoric – which can also prove divisive and damaging to a party’s (or a nation’s) fortunes. Political parties are generally content with popular, unthreatening, folksy leaders who appeal to ordinary people. In Australia, Paul Keating was a charismatic, visionary prime minister, but also a schismatic leader who alienated much of the Labor Party’s traditional ‘heartland’ with his perceived arrogance. His successor, John Howard, was universally regarded as charisma-free, but his very ordinariness turned out to be his greatest asset: it was a reassuring rather than threatening style of leadership. Meanwhile in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi was a populist leader whose tenure as prime minister was deleterious for democracy. The charismatic leader might be thrilling, even captivating, but the success of that leader might not leave a political party, or a democracy, in a healthy state.
‘Charisma’, as an idea, spans 2,000 years. Is there a link between contemporary charisma – considered a special form of authority – and the religious charisma of Paul’s time? It lies in the notion of innateness, of the gift. Paul said that no bishop or Church required the blessing of charisma: it simply lighted on the individual, as a spiritual gift. Charisma today is enigmatic, an unknown or X factor, somehow irreducible. Nobody knows why rare individuals are blessed with charisma: it remains, as ever, a mysterious gift.
A Rio native photographs life in the deadly slums of the 2016 Olympic host city. “And stuck right in the middle of it, you’ve got the residents of the slums, 99 percent of whom are honest, hardworking people who have nothing to do with the gangs.” Editor’s note: graphic content.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Relate: Here in the city of Gaziantep there is a deep rich history that extends back nearly six thousand years. Just a few blocks from where I have been staying there is a hill. On this hill there has been a fortification that has extended back to 3,600 BC. Some say it predates the Hittites, others claim it was them who first…
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Josh Rozbruch from Getty Images compiles unforgettable moments and iconic photographs from Summer Olympics past.