Friday FaithPost (Part 2): Psalm 35 and Colbert’s Journey

Tuesday morning, as I was unloading the dishwasher at 5:30 am, I discovered a clip from Colbert’s show the night before. Apparently starting a Leap Day tradition (which won’t have a “2nd Quadrennial” version until February 29, 2020), Colbert’s guest, director Spike Jonze shot a moving opening segment for the show. Before you view it below, read these verses from Psalm 35:

But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,

they gathered together against me;

ruffians whom I did not know

tore at me without ceasing;

they impiously mocked more and more,

gnashing at me with their teeth…

Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me,

or those who hate me without cause wink the eye.

You have seen, O LORD; do not be silent!

O LORD, do not be far from me!

 

Here’s the video. I particularly like the re-imagined version of the show’s theme.

Do you see the “ruffians?” How about the God-figure who frees him and leads him to paradise?

Stuff You Should Know: One Global Time Zone and Permanent Calendar

In place of the usual Friday FunLink and since it’s been exactly a month since I’ve offered a Stuff You Should Know post, I’m shifting gears today.

A short while ago I saw an interesting article today in the Washington Post entitled “The Radical Plan to Destroy Time Zones.” It fits into the category of the SYSK feature because Johns Hopkins professors Hanke and Henry are seeking to implement this unification of global time as well as a permanent calendar (see above for a screen shot of it) on January 1, 2018.

The WaPo interview doesn’t quite flesh out the day to day changes that a single time would require except to observe:

While it may ultimately simplify our lives, the concept would require some big changes to the way we think about time. As the clocks would still be based around the Coordinated Universal Time (the successor to Greenwich Mean Time that runs through Southeast London) most people in the world would have to change the way they consider their schedules. In Washington, for example, that means we’d have to get used to rising around noon and eating dinner at 1 in the morning. (Okay, perhaps that’s not that big a change for some people.)

One of the first shifts would be to go completely to 24 hour time as “am” and “pm” would just be confusing. With this in place, the mind-shift would take time (pun intended) but it wouldn’t be impossible. To translate the example above, our rising time would be about 1200 (6am) with dinner time 13 hours later at 100 (7pm) and bed time 3 hours after this at 400 (10pm). Most digital watches can already be set to show 24 hour time and adding a second set of numbers to analog clocks is commonly done as well. Clocks would still run at the same rate with the only shift at 0000 UTC on 1 Jan 2018 in which every clock in the world would jump simultaneously to 0000. Back end tech work would have to be done on computer clocks, but we already showed something similar could be achieved a decade and a half ago with the Y2K fix.

As the proponents in the article note:

I (Henry) recall when my elderly mother in Canada said to me, oh, it was hot today, 30 degrees! If she could change [from measuring temperature in Fahrenheit to measuring it in Celsius], everyone can change!

Yeah, we tried that Imperial to Metric switch back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s and how did that work out for the U.S.? Yet, ambitious people with websites keep trying…

The proposal for a new calendar, dubbed the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar has it’s own Wikipedia page, running example of the new time/date, and articles in Live Science and Wired dating back to the end of 2011. And since the proponents acknowledge that there isn’t any world governing body to implement these changes, this massive (but sensible) shift would have to come through a global on-line/social media campaign. So, here I am doing my part.

Two advantages that I see – no more Friday the 13th ever again and my birthday (Jan 20th) would always fall on a Friday (yes, bummer to all of those whose birthdays would forever fall on a Monday!).

And a disadvantage for some – Halloween would have to be moved to a different date as 31 October would cease to exist. This is not as hard as one might think as we already regularly do it here in Central Ohio – to the bewilderment and ridicule of even people like Stephen Colbert:

 

Friday FaithPost -“Break My Heart Sweetly”

Faithful readers of this blog know that every Friday I try to offer a Friday FunLink to end the week with some levity. As we approach Lent, I wanted to begin with a more somber, faith-oriented post on the Fridays until Easter arrives. Of course there is a long tradition in the Church reserving Friday for the remembrance of Christ’s death. Sunday is the day for celebration of Christ’s Resurrection and even during Lent it is a day for celebration.

Today’s post is a short video which I’m showing to my classes today. Prior to praying with the saint for the day, I like to share with my classes something which struck me in the previous 24 hours. Sometimes it’s a news story, an image, a fact, a prayer or reflective quote. My goal is to show either a prayer need for which we will communally pray and/or an example of how God is present in the world around us.

As I shared/am sharing today, I discovered this video as well as the performer this morning at 5:30 am while I was unloading the dishwasher. Readers know that I am a huge Stephen Colbert fan and that I’ve watched every episode of his show thus far. I often do this by propping up my iPad on the kitchen counter and watching while I do the dishes. And this was the segment from last Monday’s show which was next in my watching queue:

 

I am moved by the simple power of this song. “Break my Heart Sweetly” is a title rich with irony and sorrow. Moreland, who doesn’t look like your typical singer, carries the lyrics of altars, prayers, halos and demons, with grace and depth. I’d not encountered this artist previously and immediately I did some searching.  He has a religious (Baptist) background which is apparent in the respectful wrestling with faith he does in his music.

And a tip of the hat to Colbert for having this and many other interesting, diverse, and rising artists on his nightly national showcase.

Break My Heart Sweetly by John Moreland:

I swore the days were over, courting empty dreams
I worshiped at the altar of losing everything
And the guard I held together is losing all its shape
And in my head you look so gorgeous, it’s keeping me awake

There’s a scar on my soul, so let me down easy
Break my heart sweetly, like you always do
I guess I can’t let go til you wreck me completely
Break my heart sweetly, drape me in blue

I was never scared of nothing, I thought I had a home
Life went and broke me open, cause I carried it alone
I’m finding all this well worn sadness I never knew I kept
And I still chase you into heartache every time you take a step

I swore the days were over, courting empty dreams
I worshiped at the altar of losing everything
And you had a halo made of diamonds, resting on your head
I should be dealing with my demons, but I’m dodging them instead

 

 

Sun(Fun) Day Night – Colbert, Star Wars & the Vatican

Just as I resumed the Friday FunLink a couple of days ago,  I’m getting back to this feature as well.

Last week, I had much work to do for my return to teaching last Monday. Sorry to say, Dear Reader, posting here was not at the top of my HabitRPG “To-Do” list.

A week later, it’s a different story. On Friday, during an assembly celebrating the clinching of the Ohio Division IV HS Football State Championship by our team, our bishop granted us a day off of school tomorrow. So, it’s not a pre-school Sunday afternoon for me and I don’t have grading, lesson planning, creating of presentations/assignments, etc. to do for tomorrow. And why do today what I can put off until my day off?

Incidentally, if you’d like to see photos of our celebratory assembly, check out #earned over at Twitter.

Last week was not only the return from vacation for most teachers but also the return of Stephen Colbert to “The Late Show…” Before I continue with this post, I need to be clear about one thing – I will not turn this blog into a fanboy site committed to lauding Mr. Colbert. Although I greatly like and respect Colbert’s work, place him on my list of Top Ten Current Catholic Heroes,” and have watched (with the exception of last Thursday and Friday) every episode of his “The Late Show…” I will keep this blog (more or less) focused on topics and themes of interest to Catholic school teachers – especially those of us who teach Religion.

That being said, here’s a funny, brief clip from last week which combines four of my favorite things – the aforementioned Colbert, Star Wars, Catholicism, and humor. Enjoy and may this bring a smile to your face on this early January Sunday!

Friday FunLink: The League of Kitchens & Colbert

Yes, the FunLinks are back b/c this is the first Friday in a few weeks that isn’t Christmas or New Years Day. And, I’m back at school after a long week needing a bit of levity now that winter has truly arrived.

Stephen Colbert had a great guest on Monday night. She’s the creative founder of The League of Kitchens – an idea whose time has come.  I won’t spoil the fun of the two segments linked below. I will say that Stephen has found a worthy comedic partner in the hostess of his workshop. Bon Appetite!

 

Friday FunLink – Trio of Funny Star Wars Videos Edition

Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for – my daughter’s 12th birthday!

OK, so if you don’t live in my home, you’ve likely been counting down to this day as the first time in a decade we’ve had a brand new “Star Wars” film. Maybe you’ve already seen it by now?

I have my tickets in hand (on my phone actually) for the 9:05 pm showing this evening. VERY excited that just 12 hours from now my son (who was four years old when “Revenge of the Sith” was released) and I will be back in the fun and fantasy of this beloved film universe.

While there’s no shortage of funny “Star Wars” videos in cyberspace (in fact I posted one here last week), I discovered these three which I find pretty funny:

Steven Colbert (yes, I’m a fanboy) makes no secret of his mad love for “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings.” But until the other night, no one knew of his personal involvement in the casting of “The Force Awakens”

 

He’s also begun a Twitter campaign to muddy the waters of the spoilers flooding the internet:

 

Here’s a clever variation on a theme from a rival late night show:

 

And speaking of clever, here’s a panoply of puns from across the pond:

 

Finally, for some non-video inspiration, here’s “57 Inspirational Quotes from George Lucas and Star Wars” One of my favorites, since it relates to mindfulness:

16. “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind…. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.”

“-Yoda notes how Luke simply cannot keep himself focused on the present moment, but is instead always looking to run before he can walk. (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)”

Happy Jubilee Year of Mercy! Great, Short Lego Video

It’s another celebration of a new year in the Church as Pope Francis opened the doors to the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

While there’s no shortage of educational materials available to aid in celebrating this jubilee, I take a moment to share a fun little video that came across my Twitter feed (@HartleyRKRelig) this morning:

And while you’re at it, check out the first and second posts of videos by Stephen Colbert to celebrate Hanukkah:

 

 

Friday FunLink – James Taylor & Stephen Colbert Update “Fire & Rain”

Stephen Colbert has been busy singing with his guests and posting videos of it. A couple of nights ago, he had the legendary James Taylor on The Late Show.

They made this funny bit together. The premise is that when Taylor wrote “Fire and Rain” back in 1970 all he knew was, well fire and rain. Today, he knows about much, much more (including calzones) and thus his lyrics have changed. Even if you’re not a fan of Tay-Tay (as Colbert calls him), it’s worth a watch for the sheer randomness (and clever rhyme scheme) of their song.

Happy Friday!

Happy 1 Year for Us! – Birthday Wishes from Stephen Colbert

It’s hard to believe it’s one year ago today that we launched this blog! During those 365 days, it has grown to nearly 215 posts and hopefully educated, entertained, and inspired our readers.

One thing you’ve likely learned is that I’m a big fan of Stephen Colbert. A week or so ago, he offered a birthday song and video to his awesome band-leader Jon Bautiste. And it is a birthday song for almost everyone as it is customized at a special YouTube channel. Here’s the generic one (in case the person of your birthday wishes is not represented in their extensive playlist of videos):

In case you’re wondering why I chose the name above – my wife (Erin) celebrates her birthday on Monday. If she reads this, I guess I now can’t surprise her with it!

Friday FunLink 2: Sheryl Crow & Stephen Colbert Songs on This Week’s Debate

OK, so maybe the Friday FunLink on the words used by the candidates in the debates wasn’t really that much fun or funny.  So, here’s a bonus post- complete with music too!

Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow sang the national anthem at the debate, so The Huffington Post ran an article summarizing the debate through Crow’s songs.  My favorite paragraph, with some (maybe too) obvious connections is:

Senator Sanders frequently and importantly mentioned the issue of climate change starting in his introductory statement. Senator Sanders stated that “climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and we have a moral responsibility” to address it. Later in the debate, he deemed climate change “a major crisis.” “All [he] wan[ts] to do” is develop sustainable energy. In fact, when considering the candidates’ debate remarks on the environment as a whole, all seem ready to get out those solar panels to “soak up the sun.”

Stephen Colbert, on his Late Show, the other night, had a funny segment about campaign songs. After listing popular musicians who didn’t want candidates using their songs in rallies and similar, he offered a song that candidates from either or both parties could use as desired:

I think my favorite part is when Colbert and Jack Black rattle off the incongruent elements of “Americana” ala “We Didn’t Start This Fire.”  Since they offer this song to any candidate with no strings attached, I wonder if anyone will take them up on it?