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Oriental Print and Wind by Maja Pi

photo of the week by Maja Pi

This week – a study in contrasts.

::Is Algebra Necessary? (New York Times)

“Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.”

::A Wealth of Words by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. (City Journal)

“Simply put: knowing more words makes you smarter. And between 1962 and the present, a big segment of the American population began knowing fewer words, getting less smart, and becoming demonstrably less able to earn a high income.”

::The End of Premarital Sex (Acculturated.com)

“Does anybody still have premarital sex? It sounds like a crazy question, in a country where 40 percent of births in 2010 were out of wedlock. But 2011′s Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, And Think About Marrying, by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, begins by noting that the common meaning of their title has shifted since the early twentieth century. Back then premarital sex was often expected to be pre-marital: You’d met your future spouse, but were feeling a little more hasty than wise. Nowadays when unmarried people have sex it seems like their coupling is simply non-marital, unrelated to the prospect of future marriage.”

::Modern Lessons from Arranged Marriages (New York Times)

“In an era when 40 to 50 percent of all American marriages end in divorce, some marriage experts are asking whether arranged marriages produce better relationships in the long run than do typical American marriages, in which people find each other on their own and romance is the foundation.”

::10 Reasons Not to Work Out (Our Nourishing Roots)

“Working out is generally a great idea, whether it’s lifting weights, going for walks and hikes, practicing yoga, joining an ultimate Frisbee league, or doing high-impact aerobics. But sometimes it is the worst thing you can do to your body.” (Let’s just say that I feel [legitimately] vindicated.)

::Mr. Potato Head Theology (MyYearofFaith.com)

“I have a cartoon brain, and so whenever I’ve read this passage from First Corinthians, this is what has always come to mind. Doesn’t it for everyone?”

Oops. No contrast between those last two posts. Two potatoes in a row…

And three book list posts:

::The Deliberate Reader’s “Books Read in 2012” (quite a list!)

::“Life-Changing Books” from The Peace Filled Life

::Top 10 Reading List for Spiritual Directors” (& those interested in Catholic spirituality) from Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction