Simplicity | the ultimate sophistication.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -Albert Einstein

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. -Confucius

Things are not quite so simple always as black and white. -Doris Lessing

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -Leonarda da Vinci

What does it mean to pray?

My blogging buddy Mike wrote a good (and short) piece on prayer [here] on his blog yesterday.
Here is something that I wrote in response to his post.
"I frankly struggle in this area Mike. Especially in the areas of petition and intercession. I agree with what you write but wonder if prayer is simply a word we use to describe our relationship with God? Perhaps praying without ceasing is a way to describe our walk with God? I am not saying that we should not intercede or offer petitions but wonder if those are just small facets of what it means to pray?"
I wonder how you might describe the concept of prayer. Maybe you can share a few sentences in the comments?

Re-Elect No One

I think that this H. L. Mencken quote is more appropriate than ever:

"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office."

I am tired of professional politicians who have been in office for most of their lives. We really need to find a way to limit their "service" to us.

Good Distractions

In our success oriented culture, distractions are often painted in a very negative light. I think that is unfortunate because we need relief from the stressors of work, child rearing and our varied responsibilities. Music is something that can be a good distraction. So are long walks. And watching a silly movie or TV show. Consider this from actor Danny Aiello.

"I need distractions. Good distractions, not bad ones.
A good distraction for me is a great play."

Can you relate to what Danny is saying? What are your good distractions? Please share!

Caffeinated Real Estate

Buying near a Starbucks has benefits beyond easy access to your
double-tall, non-fat, bone-dry cappuccino.

Between 1997 and 2014, homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96 percent, on average, compared with 65 percent for all U.S. homes, based on a comparison of Zillow Home Value Index data with a database of Starbucks locations.

Some areas brew even frothier returns, as Julie Lerch can attest.

A little over a year after she moved in, a Starbucks opened less than two blocks from her Chicago condo. Three years later, she sold the 2-bedroom unit for $100,000 — or 53 percent — more than she paid for it.

“Everybody was all excited, because our property values did go up,” she said. “It was a sign that the neighborhood was changing, and people who normally wouldn’t have chanced that neighborhood said, ‘Oh, that’s a Starbucks.'”

Lest you think all java purveyors have the same effect, the data showed that homes near Dunkin’ Donuts locations appreciated 80 percent, on average, during the same 17-year period.

Congressional Technophobia

[A luddite is a person who is opposed to new technology.]
Saw this absurd image on Meet the Press this morning. Apart from Senator Carper, these congressional leaders do not do email. It is hard to think of email as "new" technology as I have been using it for 20+ years. Small wonder that leaders like these cannot relate to average Americans. That said, perhaps congress is the only place for professional luddites?

Pi Day Redux

What do you get when you cut a jack o’lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin Pi!

What do you get when you take green cheese and divide its circumference by its diameter? Moon Pi.

The roundest knight at King Arthur’s was Sir Cumference.
 He ate too much Pi!

In Alaska, where it gets very cold, pi is only 3.00. As you know, everything shrinks in the cold. They call it Eskimo pi.

-the lame Pi Day Jokes are from the My Town Tutors site.

Training the Mind to Think

This image reminds me of not only my early education years but the time spent listening to teachers and preachers speak from the bible. Rarely did I hear a topic on how to think like God or how to develop a godly world view. Many times the message du jour was either topical or a factual exposition of something biblical.

When Jesus lived he seemed to teach in such a way as to challenge the way that his listeners thought. Unlike many today, he taught using stories instead of expounding on the scriptures. Often when he did speak of them he turned them inside out.

So perhaps Einstein was on to something? Maybe education should be more about the training of the mind than a learning of the facts? Seems like the teaching of history could facilitate such training? Maybe classes in ethics could preempt sex education. And who knows, maybe Sunday morning would look more like a training session?

Really Hot Junk Food

Which Popular Convenience Food Carries A Fire Hazard Warning?
  • Digiorno Pizzas
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Hot Pockets
Think you know the answer? Click here to find out.