Links to Think: 04.02.12

Insane Posed Ant Photography – “Russian photographer Andrey Pavlov takes insane macro pictures of LIVE ants by spending hours and hours playing with them and posing them to get the perfect shot.”

There are a lot more pictures, here, by the same artist. Although, it would help to know Russian in order to read their titles.

The Afghan girls who live as boys - very interesting look into a part of Afghan culture

“For economic and social reasons, many Afghan parents want to have a son. This preference has led to some of them practising the long-standing tradition of Bacha Posh – disguising girls as boys.”

“The tradition has existed in Afghanistan for centuries. According to Daud Rawish, a sociologist in Kabul, it may have started when Afghans had to fight their invaders and for this women needed to be disguised as men.”

A Slow-Books Manifesto - Read books. As often as you can. Mostly classics.”  I missed out on reading most of the literary of classics for the first two-and-a-half decades of my life. But I’m finding that it’s a welcome break between my more academic and theological reading.

“In our leisure moments, whenever we have down time, we should turn to literature—to works that took some time to write and will take some time to read, but will also stay with us longer than anything else. They’ll help us unwind better than any electronic device—and they’ll pleasurably sharpen our minds and identities, too.”

“Literature doesn’t just make us smarter, however; it makes us us, shaping our consciences and our identities. Strong narratives—from Moby-Dick to William Styron’s suicide memoir, Darkness Visible—help us develop empathy. Research by Canadian psychologists Keith Oatley and Raymond Mar suggests that reading fiction even hones our social skills, as Paul notes. “Dr. Oatley and Dr. Mar, in collaboration with several other scientists, reported … that individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them, and see the world from their perspective,” she writes. “This relationship persisted even after the researchers accounted for the possibility that more empathetic individuals might prefer reading novels.”

With empathy comes self-awareness, of course. By discovering affinities between ourselves and characters we never imagined we’d be able to comprehend (like the accused murderer Dimitri Karamazov), we better understand who we are personally and politically; what we want to change; what we care about defending.”

HT: Kristen @ This Classical Life

Born in the Gulag: Why a North Korean Boy Sent His Own Mother to Her Death – the tragic and telling tale of a North Korean born man (essentially born into slavery), to whom “love and mercy and family were words without meaning.” This article is also a heavy reminder of the mostly unknown, often forgotten world of horror that exists in North Korea.

“Nine years after watching his mother’s hanging, Shin In Geun squirmed through the electric fence that surrounds Camp 14 and ran off through the snow into the North Korean wilderness. It was January 2, 2005. Before then, no one born in a North Korean political prison camp had ever escaped. As far as can be determined, Shin is still the only one to do it.

He was 23 years old and knew no one outside the fence.

Within a month, he had walked into China. Within two years, he was living in South Korea. Four years later, he was living in Southern California.

Stunted by malnutrition, he is short and slight — five feet six inches, about 120 pounds. His arms are bowed from childhood labor. His lower back and buttocks are scarred with burns from the torturer’s fire. The skin over his pubis bears a puncture scar from the hook used to hold him in place over the fire. His ankles are scarred by shackles, from which he was hung upside down in solitary confinement. His right middle finger is cut off at the first knuckle, a guard’s punishment for dropping a sewing machine in a camp garment factory. His shins, from ankle to knee on both legs, are mutilated and scarred by burns from the electrified barbed-wire fence that failed to keep him inside Camp 14.”

 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Keren, the story of the North Korean man is a chilling reminder of the fallen nature of this world. The Ant pictures, on the other hand, are wonderful illustrations of God’s grace still evident in his creation. Thanks for bringing them together here.

    Tim

    P.S. I followed you over from Kristen’s This Classical Life when you link to her post got pinged there.

  2. 3

    says

    I always love your links, Keren. I am curious. Do you have a specific list you are going through to read the classics? I, too, have a poor background in literary classics.

    I am currently reading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928). One thing I am enjoying is the beautifully crafted sentences and language that you do not get reading my more typical reading list. It has taken me awhile to get into it, but I am really benefiting.

    • 4

      says

      Thanks! Nope-nothing too specific in my “plan.” Daniel is the opposite of me in his literary background–he read so much as a child, so sometimes he gives me suggestions (since there are so many to choose from). I just read Dickens’A Christmas Carol at his suggestion. I also recently read Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde because they have been frequently mentioned in a lot of other books (and sermons) I’ve read/listened to recently.

      Part of it is just what is available (Librivox has some free recordings of classics, sometimes there are free Kindle versions), what length I may be able to read, or what I may encounter in illustrations and references in other reading.

      Same here–I love the language and formal style that is especially present in some of the British works. Wish I would have read these earlier! :) I read a few in college, but beyond that I am severely deficient! Do you have a list you are going through?

      • 5

        says

        My mom read aloud to us a lot when I was younger, so I am familiar with the young kids “classics,” but she wasn’t as on top of me in high school. I think my older siblings were more well-read, but by the time she got to me (youngest of 5) I think she forgot to make sure I was getting it all! (Note to self: remember to reread those classics to the younger siblings.) :)

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