So, I had one of my songs featured on a podcast recently. Oddly enough it is actually a literary podcast rather than a music podcast. This author, Daniel Pinkwater, puts a lot of his books up online as free audiobooks. It is really cool and you should check it out.
Nice profile in the NY Times on Marshall Scholar Pete Orszag, who we met during orientation:
“Mr. Orszag is the youngest member of President Obama’s team holding cabinet rank, a 40-year-old with what colleagues call a graybeard’s knowledge of how the government spends money. But he has little interest in merely keeping fiscal house. His animating passions are far grander..”
Living abroad, it can get easy to feel apart. I know I often get a little homesick, or have an interaction or even a couple of days that remind me that in some subtle but key ways I am an outsider. But a group of friends and I have somehow managed to become part of the British Pub “Lock-In” culture.
The Royal Blenheim is a perfect British Pub for American students. To start, it is one of the few pubs that has multiple televisions for sports viewing. It retains its British character with wood panelling and a wide selection of hand-pulled ales. And we are always made to feel welcome for a game of darts or cards, often joined by the pub-manager, his wife, and other members of the staff. The past two weekends, we have heard last call, watched as other patrons were shooed out the door, and smiled as the bar has been re-opened just for us.
Living abroad can be lonely, intimidating, or maybe just a little uncomfortable. But certain events remind you that you are really here, a part of it, locked in.
On the way out the door to Ireland – and this one caught my eye.
“See the world / find an old-fashioned girl”
Up ’til 4 discussing what makes a Catholic a Catholic. Here’s Bishop Weurl, who I once met in Philly on the topic. Obviously, for more detail, read the whole thing. This is just one of my favorite clips:
“Every Catholic is called to be an active member of the Church. This involves us as missionaries and evangelists. We are challenged to live out our faith where we work, live, recreate — among people with whom we come into contact regularly or even on a casual basis. Our personal faith is supposed to be a leaven that changes society, making it more clearly a world of peace, justice, truth, kindness and love. We do this not just as individuals but as members of Christ’s family in the active process that our Holy Father calls the “new evangelization.””
I have a couple of thoughts/posts on the way, but this is one that’s been simmering for a while.
Here’s the heart of it — we have a tremendous bias towards speaking. When you put two or three people together in a room, they feel an obligation to talk to each other.
That’s so basic that it never really occurred to me. Or, it didn’t until the other day.
I’ve been attending an Ignatian prayer group — based on meditation and imaginative contemplation. Our meetings often last 2 hours, and have long stretches (up to 20 minutes often) with no speaking. None of that is particularly noteworthy, it just fits with the style of prayer.
What is interesting is that when that group of people is having tea before the prayer meeting, there are prolonged periods of silence. I’m not talking 10 second pauses. I’m talking about having 4 or 5 people in a room, and having 2-3 minutes go by without speaking. It’s almost as if the meditative prayer has taken away the obligation to speak. Or, at least taken away the bias against silence.
Interesting article in the Washington Post:
“But when Freddie Mac’s executives concluded a few weeks ago that they had to disclose that the government’s management of the McLean company was undermining its profitability and would cost it tens of billions of dollars, the firm’s regulator urged it not to do so, according to several sources familiar with the matter.”
Tip of the hat to Instapundit, who added:
“Remember, when a private company wants to cover up billions in losses and the responsibility for them, that’s a major scandal and proof of the evils of capitalism. But when a government regulator does the same thing, that’s just how people are, these things happen, whaddyagonnado?”