Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday miscellaneous (5/25)

Here's a site where you can test your speed reading abilities.

This week saw two more reviews of The Hunger Games. One, by N.D. Wilson, argues that it is flawed to the core because it doesn’t understand story. Mark Mitchell also finds the plot artificially shallow. Oddly enough, however, while Wilson critiques it for having the heroine participate in the slaughter Mitchell argues that her ability to stay above the fray was too neatly contrived.

And speaking of children in bad places, parents, be very very careful of the remedial “christian” camps you consider sending your kids to. Some can be beneficial. Others are, well, very much not.

This week Notre Dame University and other Catholic organization filed suit against HHS to protect their religious liberty. Mary Ann Glendon (also a Romney advisor for judicial matters) explains the suit. But the best statement comes from PowerLine:

It was only three years ago that the University of Notre Dame invited President Obama to appear as the speaker at its commencement ceremony. There is no need for us to ask how that hopey changey stuff is working’ out for Notre Dame and its sister Catholic institutions. The complaint definitively answers that question.

And speaking of Catholics, President Obama seems to be doing a pretty good job of alienating them, which isn’t good for him in an election year. He’s also losing ground in the tech world. And although running unopposed, that hasn’t kept him from losing significant votes to nobodies (or anybody else) in some primaries:

So far, Obama has had weak showings in Louisiana (76-24) and North Carolina (79-21), and squeakers in Oklahoma (57-43), West Virginia (59-41), Arkansas (59-41) and Kentucky (58-42). And Barack Obama had no credible opposition in any of these races. In some instances, his only opponent was an incarcerated felon!

Romney’s image, in contrast, appears to be on the rise despite the harsh primary season. And Philip Klein has advice for conservatives still worried about Romney as president:

Critics of Romney who argue that he’s really a liberal and boosters who claim that he’s a true conservative both err by attempting to understand Romney through an ideological prism. In reality, he’s a businessman who wants to apply his well-honed management skills to the public sector. If one is to be successful in the business world, the important thing is to satisfy customers and maximize profits.

If Romney is convinced that conservatives will enthusiastically support him no matter what, then he’ll make the calculation that he has room to migrate left during the general-election campaign and throughout a potential presidency. But if he feels uneasy about his support among conservatives, he’s much more likely to run and govern from the right.

And turning to culture, here’s an article taking theological issue with the art of Thomas Kinkade. Along the way the author makes worthwhile insights on christianity and the arts.

The world ended last May. Or at least it was supposed to. Apparently God doesn’t listen to Harold Camping. But what about all those who did? One journalist tracked several of them down.

Are we raising a generation that cannot learn?

They have never learned to listen to criticism, to recover from disappointment, or to slog through difficulties with no guarantee of success except commitment. The person who is never challenged is also never refined, never learns to cope with the setbacks that come on the way to high endeavor. And it is not only in the academic realm, of course, that they may be hampered: a full life outside of university also requires the ability to confront one’s weaknesses and recover from defeat. Despite the admittedly important emphasis on character formation in our schools — on tolerance, anti-racism, refusal of bullying, and so on — it seems that we have failed to show students what real achievement looks like and what it will require of them.

Eric Metaxas didn’t like Avengers: “For over two hours I stared at the screen and saw, well, nothing. I left the theater not knowing what to make of what I had just watched. There was nothing particularly offensive about the film. Nor were there any ideas that I needed to discuss with my daughter afterward. In fact, there were no ideas at all”

And finally, here's a unique use for the ipad I hadn't seen yet (this is a whole new level of fruit ninja). Apparently the question is something along the lines of "are you enjoying your new ipad?'

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