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St. Peter's Basilica

photo of the week by Victor Iglesias

No conclave links here – see the sidebar if that’s what you’re craving. Just three links on different aspects of life in the modern West, two read-aloud resources for families, and Audrey Hepburn back from the dead.

:: How about a little more sophistication in modern discussions? Here’s one simple rule to help. (Msgr. Charles Pope)

“There are subtleties of language and in argumentation that I’m convinced many of us moderns fail to appreciate. And the loss of appreciation for these subtleties often leads to a shrill quality of or a coarsening of modern discourse. This in turn least to misunderstanding and the tendency to take personally many things which are not intended as so.”

:: Is There Life After Work? (New York Times, via Acculturated)

“I didn’t start out with the goal of devoting all of myself to my job. It crept in over time. Each year that went by, slight modifications became the new normal. First I spent a half-hour on Sunday organizing my e-mail, to-do list and calendar to make Monday morning easier. Then I was working a few hours on Sunday, then all day. My boundaries slipped away until work was all that was left.”

:: We Aren’t the World (Pacific Standard, via Peace and Pekoe)

“It is not just our Western habits and cultural preferences that are different from the rest of the world, it appears. The very way we think about ourselves and others—and even the way we perceive reality—makes us distinct from other humans on the planet, not to mention from the vast majority of our ancestors. Among Westerners, the data showed that Americans were often the most unusual, leading the researchers to conclude that ‘American participants are exceptional even within the unusual population of Westerners—outliers among outliers.’ Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.”

:: Cozy up with a good book – with booklist links (Simple Homeschool

“Books, and specifically family read-alouds, have been a unifying thread in the fabric of our family since my eldest was about three years old. He’s always been a good listener and back then while I nursed his baby brother we read through The Little House books and Narnia. Ever since then I have always felt more “at one” with my children when we have a chapter book going.”

:: 1000 Good Books List (Classical Christian Education Support Loop)

“This 1000 Good Books List is by no means exhaustive. It is a listing of the books that 25 homeschooling mothers have come up with over the course of a year’s time through discussions of criteria to use in choosing a good book, and many other discussions about individual titles to include or exclude. If you know of books that are good that are not included in this list, by all means, do not let their exclusion stop you from reading them with your children. And similarily, if a book is included on this list that you just plain don’t like for whatever reason, then don’t read it.”

:: Audrey Hepburn Cruises By The Uncanny Valley (the creators project)

“Without artistic leeway, most experiments end up like this infamous popcorn commercial that resurrected Orville Redenbacher—more creepy than appetizing. But unlike Redenbacher, Audrey Hepburn™ may well have breezed past the uncanny valley in a sleek, silver convertible.”