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The Work of King: A Panel in Sioux Falls

20 January 2014

If you’re local, please attend!

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The Work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King’s politics had real depth, driven by a keen awareness of socio-economics, theology, and the human condition. Please join Sioux Falls Seminary as it celebrates the legacy of the great civil rights leader through a panel of esteemed commentators:

Mark Blackburn, Augustana College
Ceca Cooper, University of Sioux Falls
Robin Duncan, Sioux Falls Psychological Services
Christina Hitchcock, University of Sioux Falls
Gary Strickland, Sioux Falls Seminary

WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 7:30pm
WHERE: Sioux Falls Seminary, 2100 S. Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, SD

Refreshments will be served.

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Move over, Chuck Norris…

5 January 2014

In the field of New Testament studies, N.T. Wright is practically omnipresent. Somehow he seemed to take over every relevant theological conversation while baptizing babies and curing poverty and wisecracking on The Colbert Report. Accordingly, Url Scaramanga’s post on the new Chuck Norris cannot not be shared.

Here’s a teaser: “N. T. Wright doesn’t parse nouns. They decline themselves before him.”

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My Grandfather, the Engineer

12 December 2013

He’s 87 years old and going strong. This month Progressive Engineer features John Ebbinghaus as the inventor of a line of electrically conductive pastes that could affect a number of industries. See more about my impressive grandfather here.

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Men Who Stop Rape

7 November 2013

Women have made considerable gains worldwide in calling attention to rape, whether it be the victims of American party-culture to Indian gang-rape atrocities to the pre-teen molestation culture in Papua New Guinea. In 2011-12 the United Nations conducted the largest worldwide study of rape, covering six nations. When taking into account non-consensual sex in marriage, or an inability of a partner to refuse sex, about one in four men surveyed reported committing some kind of rape. The issue is on the table.

But are the solutions being set forth clearly? One that must be put forward in any discussion, in my opinion, is the importance of raising up male anti-rape advocates. Because sexual force stems so much from a sense of entitlement to gratification, and because entitlement derives from cultural norms, men must be vocal in stating that rape is not normative or acceptable. More specifically, important men, “normative” men, must step up to the microphone and air this message.

A friend here in Sioux Falls was commissioned with the leadership of a domestic violence rehab group. He was surprised to find how resistant men were to admitting that they were in control of a situation involving physical or sexual violence. “I couldn’t help myself” or “She was asking for it” became common mantras to avoid personal responsibility. The leader had to walk the men through the decisions they had actually made: “Did you attack her?” “Did you choose to hit her with your fist or kick her?” “Which clothing did you try to take off her?” And so forth. Ultimately, these men hoped that male sympathy for “natural” passions would override personal responsibility. A group like this undid the hope. And it started with a strong male leader. Once multiple men took responsibility for their crime, others followed.

The same sort of thing has been happening in Nairobi, Kenya. After some rapists were released after receiving a sentence of mowing the lawn, the Men to Men program of FEMNET showed up to protest. Kennedy Otina was one of those in attendance, publicly demonstrating. “When there is a case in court,” Otina said, rapists “tend to think or assume that we [men] will be the ones to defend them, to support them in court, but you know when they get to us, we help them understand that violence against women is not acceptable.”

The crimes occurring in bedrooms start with the attitudes born in public forums. Fortunately, key men around the world are taking a stand.

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Manly Candy Flavors

4 October 2013

Candy companies have for a long time marketed to boys. Aside from rockets and bombs and superhero packaging, confectioners know that boys can’t resist gross-out foods from the innocuous gummy worm to candy boogers to the all-important barf-flavored jelly bean. More recently, products have been rolled out that cater to grown men – well, men who straddle the line between hobbyist gourmand and playground kiddo. Here are a handful of the more creative candy efforts:

1. Gummy Bacon
A bac candy

The 6.75″ strips are savory, smokey – and to be served raw.

2. Tequila Worm Lollipops

A teq worm

Tequila flavored (naturally) with actual worms imprisoned in the sugar shell.

3. Ugly Raz-Stout Fudge Balls

Chocolate chips, almond bark, and frozen raspberries congealed in Alaskan Brewing Company oatmeal stout. Find the recipe here.

4. Breast Milk Lollipops

A breastmilk lolli

While the company Lolliphile does not use the actual product, they swear their own flavor went through rigorous testing to make it taste as authentic as possible. Designed for children? Not at $2.50 a pop. Surely they are targeting those men willing to regress to Freudian simplicity for the sake of culinary science.

5. Mustache.org’s Manly Jelly Beans

Alright, so they never went through with it, but Mustache.org came up with a whole line of hypertrophied flavors: leather, chili dog, rattlesnake, war medal, gravel, hot wings, and (my favorite) headbutt. See them all right here.

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Meditation for the Beginning of the School Year

28 August 2013

“The good way must be clearly good but not wholly clear” (Martin Buber, I and Thou).

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Light Weight for Distance

29 July 2013

I’m training for my third Heavy Games competition (also known as the Scottish Highland Games). The light weight for distance is a 28 lb. implement, thrown after accelerating it a couple of times with spins in a 9 ft. trig. I’m up around 50 ft. in practice this week – but check out these international competitors launching it in France: