Disce aut Discede

"The question is this: Which comes first, the faith or the feeling of transcendence? Is the former really a rococo attempt to explain and romanticize the latter, rather than a bridge to it? Mightn’t religion be piggybacking on the pre-existing condition of spirituality, a lexicon grafted onto it, a narrative constructed to explain states of consciousness that have nothing to do with any covenant or creed?
I’m not casting a vote for godlessness at large or in my own spiritual life, which is muddled with unanswered and unanswerable questions. I’m advocating unfettered discussion, ample room for doubt and a respect for science commensurate with the fealty to any supposedly divine word. We hear the highest-ranking politicians mention God at every turn and with little or no fear of negative repercussion. When’s the last time you heard one of them wrestle publicly with agnosticism?”

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
Hannah Arendt

Wow, I had no idea programs like this were going on.

"Almost 40 percent of the world’s population lives in countries, primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Persian Gulf, where abortion is either banned or severely restricted. The World Health Organization estimated in 2008 that 21.6 million unsafe abortions took place that year worldwide, leading to about 47,000 deaths. To reduce that number, W.H.O. put mifepristone and misoprostol on its Essential Medicines list. The cost of the combination dose used to end a pregnancy varies from less than $5 in India to about $120 in Europe. (Misoprostol is also used during labor and delivery to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, and global health groups have focused on making it more available in countries with high rates of maternal mortality, including Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Cambodia, and South Africa.) Gomperts told me that Women on Web receives 2,000 queries each month from women asking for help with medical abortions. (The drugs are widely advertised on the Internet, but it is difficult to tell which sites are scams.)
Most studies show that two or three women out of 1,000 need follow-up care for serious complications after a medical abortion, with a death rate of 0.5 out of 100,000. (The death rate for childbirth is 14 times as high.) A 2013 study tracked more than 230,000 women in the United States who went to a Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinic, took mifepristone there and then took misoprostol at home. Only 0.65 percent had serious problems like bleeding or infection.”

SEEING UNDERGRADS RETURN TO CAMPUS

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

credit: mccluester

An epidemic of beauty sickness: Renee Engeln at TEDxUConn 2013

Yes. Yes yes yes.

mentalflossr:

How Much Is $100 Really Worth in Each State?

samjoonyuh:

Perspective. 

In truth, I didn’t become a writer the first time I put pen to paper or when I finished my first book (easy) or my second one (hard). You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.
Junot Diaz

mentalflossr:

The lammergeier, or bearded vulture, looks like a real-life dragon. 

Eighty percent of the bird’s diet consists of bone and bone marrow. Its stomach acid has a pH of about 1, so the dense material can be digested in under 24 hours. 

Lammergeiers are naturally black and white, but they are known to rub red soil into their feathers to distinguish age and status.