Thursday, December 19, 2019


Baby Yoda cookie, from link #2.
1. Treating Food And Exercise Like A Zero-Sum Game Is Peak Eating Disorder Culture (posted December 12) "Putting the number of minutes required to ‘work off’ a food is peak eating disorder culture because food and movement are two different aspects of life that should not be presented as prerequisites for one another. You deserve to eat whether or not you exercise. You deserve to enjoy exercise without verging on the brink of collapse."

YES. 100% agree with this blogger. This whole "putting the amount of exercise to work off the food" on food labels is a TERRIBLE idea. Because what's the objective? Do you want people to literally go out and exercise for that exact amount of time after they eat the food? That's called having an eating disorder. Or do you expect people will go ahead and eat stuff just like they normally do, but feel a little more shame about it, like there's this mountain of exercise debt they're never going to work off?

None of this is a healthy way to view food.

2. Baking hack: Chop off angel head for a homemade Baby Yoda cookie cutter.<**> (posted December 14) This is the way.

3. A Bethel Leader Is Asking the Church to Pray for Her Daughter’s Resurrection (posted December 17) [content note: child death] I have many many feelings and opinions about this. Not going to post them right now though.

4. sometimes I wonder / if Mary breastfed Jesus. / if she cried out when he bit her / or if she sobbed when he would not latch. (posted December 16)

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Nativity set figures of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus, in 3 separate cages. (From link #2 in this list.)
1. Regulators: Healthcare Sharing Ministries Can Only Scam Christians (posted December 4) "In effect, federal and state regulators have struck a bizarre bargain in which they have decided to let healthcare sharing ministries sell a subpar, shitty product, without requiring them to meet the typical quality standards for this product … so long as they only sell it to Christian individuals and families."

2. Church's nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as a family separated at the border (posted December 9) Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.

3. What would happen if we randomly gave $1,000 to poor families? Now we know. (posted December 4) "Their findings are significant: Cash transfers benefited the entire local economy, not just direct recipients. As money made its way through the area, both families who did and did not receive cash ended up substantially better off."

4. Deaf Actor Makes Star Wars Debut In The Mandalorian (posted December 8)

5. Harry Potter Theory: Snape Killed Hedwig?! (posted December 5) [content note: spoilers for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

"The Wise Men Came 2 Years After the Shepherds" Is Just a Fan Theory

A Nativity set, with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, 3 wise men, a shepherd, and some animals. Image source.
I was raised in the evangelical church. I was a good Sunday School kid. A bible nerd. And therefore, I knew that Nativity scenes, as they are commonly designed, aren't accurate. See, the wise men weren't there at the manger the night Jesus was born. (And the bible never says there were 3.) No, see, the wise men came later, when Jesus was around 2 years old.

I always knew this, and I was always proud of myself for having this bit of knowledge about a common misconception.

Well. I just realized, that's not what the bible says.

The bible does NOT say "the wise men weren't there at the manger with the shepherds the night Jesus was born; they came 2 years later." No, let me tell you what it says:
  1. Luke says Mary gave birth in Bethlehem, and put baby Jesus in a manger because there was no room in the inn. Then angels appeared to tell a group of shepherds, who came to see Jesus.
  2. Matthew says wise men followed a star, which led them to a house in Bethlehem, where they found Jesus. Later, King Herod killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem who were 2 and under, based on the time frame the wise men had told him. (Jesus was not killed because his family had moved to Egypt.)
Notice what it doesn't say?

Luke is telling one story, and Matthew is telling a different story. The idea that "well actually, Nativity sets aren't biblically accurate because the wise men came 2 years after the shepherds" only makes sense if you add inerrancy and the idea that everything is taking place in the same universe. The bible doesn't say that.

To put everyone there together in one Nativity scene is no less "biblically accurate" than "the shepherds came when Jesus was born, and then the wise men came 2 years later." In both cases, we're not showing the story that Luke is telling, and we're not showing the story that Matthew is telling, we're showing a fan-made crossover.

[spoilers for "Spider-Man: Far From Home" and "Spider-Man" (2002) in the next paragraph]

It's EXACTLY like this: Let's say you watch "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (where Tom Holland plays Spiderman), and you see that Mary Jane finds out Peter Parker is Spiderman while they are high school students. Then you go watch the 2002 Spiderman movie (where Tobey Maguire plays Spiderman), and both Peter and Mary Jane are older than high school. So all throughout the movie, you think to yourself "ah, so she already knows Spiderman's real identity." You feel so proud of yourself for having this bit of insider knowledge which the movie didn't say directly- BECAUSE IT'S JUST NOT TRUE. In fact, the 2002 Spiderman movie has Peter deliberately hiding his identity in order to protect Mary Jane. Ah but you don't notice that subplot. You "know" that Mary Jane already knows. And so you miss out on the actual story that the actual movie is actually telling.

I now believe we have to read Luke's story for what it is, and Matthew's story for what it is. Don't take elements from Luke and add them to Matthew because of a fan theory that says they both happened in the same universe.

Yes, I'm saying that things in reality did not happen exactly the way the bible says. The bible is not inerrant. The stories are still valuable though. And we should be asking why Matthew and Luke chose to write the way they did, to include some parts and leave others out, rather than asking how we can fit them together so they're both telling the same story. I believe that trying to "harmonize" them misses the point.


The Bible Stories As I Read Them Were Never Actually In The Bible
The Bible and the Pixar Theory

Friday, December 6, 2019


A cat tree that's green and shaped like a Christmas tree, with 3 cats enjoying it. Image source.
1. How Blind People See With Sound… feat. Molly Burke! (posted August 10) Wow this is amazing! People can learn to use echolocation to map their environment. I thought only bats could do that.

2. Do Kids Really Learn Languages Faster Than Adults? (posted November 29) "This all adds up to not just the perception but the reality that adults who attempt to learn new languages often fail while their kids succeed, despite studies showing conclusively that adults are actually better at learning new languages when they actually put the effort in."

Highly recommend this video. I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese, which I started studying when I was about 20. At the beginning I genuinely believed that perhaps no matter how hard I worked, I might never be able to speak Chinese, because I had always heard white Americans talking about "I tried to learn a new language, but I guess my brain just can't" or "if you're not exposed to it as a baby, you can never ever learn to understand it." That's total nonsense.

Yes, learning a language is hard. It requires a lot of time and effort. You need to practice speaking, and that means you need to accept that you're going to make mistakes, and just learn to laugh at yourself rather than be too scared to try.

Because it's so hard, I completely understand if you choose not to do it. That's totally fine. People who speak multiple languages aren't superior; people who speak 1 language shouldn't feel ashamed. But I want people to accept the reality that the reason they only speak 1 language is because they have other, higher-priority things going on in their lives, and therefore they don't spend time on studying, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Don't go around spreading myths like "my brain just can't" and discourage those of us who really want to learn a second language.

3. ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan (posted November 27) What on earth? The Department of Homeland Security made a fake university and then arrested the international students who came? For real?

4. 'Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams Uses Both Male and Female Pronouns (posted November 30) Cool~