The Common Good

Blog Posts By Joshua Witchger

Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
Today is my last run of "Links of Awesomeness." And rather than ending with a mediocre list of new links, I went through the archives to compile some of my favorites from this year. Enjoy the links and expect a fresh new batch from the next intern in early September.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
Today is my last run of "Links of Awesomeness." And rather than ending with a mediocre list of new links, I went through the archives to compile some of my favorites from this year. Enjoy the links and expect a fresh new batch from the next intern in early September.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
Today, Gawker answers that question by extensively evaluating the candidates in sports, fashion, education, bro-pinions, and, most importantly, beer. Which one’s got the best bro traits? Our current beer-loving commander-in-chief? Right-hand man and University of Delaware graduate, Bro Biden? Or might the title go to the skinny-jean wearing, M.B.A. Mitt Romney? Or the young, newly chosen running-mate who loves Rage Against the Machine?CLICK HERE TO SEE WHO IS THE BIGGEST BRO IN THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
Neighborhood Film Company reaches out to homeless people in Philadelphia --- interview with The Book's founder Nick Zammuto --- This American Life's "The Convert" --- Pixar's new short film "Partysaurus Rex" --- musicians Silversun Pickups vs. the Romney campaign --- Stride gum parodies Apple --- Over the Rhine documentary from Nowhere Farm in Ohio. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest selects 11 winners out of 12,000+ entries --- Kirby Ferguson's TED talk on originality, creativity, and remixing --- billboards play on Shell's slogan, stick it to the corporate oil giant --- world's first all-female Street Art conference kicks off --- pickin' tunes from the Milk Carton Kids. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 47 weeks ago
This week the Discovery Channel celebrates its 25th Shark Week, its most popular week of television. It has been gaining steam each year as one of the biggest weeks in all of television, and numerous parodies and odd bits have appeared since its inception. Today we're presenting some favorite ocean/shark-related bits of pop culture for you to enjoy. 
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 48 weeks ago
U.S. gymnast McKyala Moroney is not impressed with much in this new Tumblr page --- four sisters recreate childhood photos --- designer public toilets in New Zealand --- remembering author and journalist David Rakoff --- vintage photos of bulldogs wearing human clothing in the early 1900s. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 48 weeks ago
Usain Bolt vs. a cheetah --- Beck plans to release new album entirely in sheet music --- Longform launches debut podcast --- Shark Week finds rival with "animals that act like sharks week" --- fascinating infographics on Olympic bodies. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness... 
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 48 weeks ago
Album covers recreated with socks --- internet-themed child onesies --- first look at New Yorker rejected story by F. Scott Fitzgerald --- lulling an ill pet to sleep in Lake Superior --- green screen cooking show with David Cross. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 48 weeks ago
Peter Jackson releases a second trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey --- feminist Ryan Gosling to become coffee table book --- animals forming their own bands --- Conan O'Brien's "Clueless Gamer" --- Sesame Street minimalist art --- Stephen Colbert's music performance festival Setphest Colbchella. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
A 14-year-old kid meets John Lennon and interviews him in I Met the Walrus --- creative ways to re-purpose labyrinths and skeeball machines --- P is for Pixar --- indie rock music's Trade Deadline Day. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
Break out the tambourines and rise up singing! A hymn revival is happening … again.This month, The Lower Lights continue to shine as they release a second stand-out collection of hymns, aptly titled, “A Hymn Revival II.” And this time around, the group of 20+ musicians expands their repertoire outside of the “American Protestant” catalog, and into the wider collection of folk music, including country classics like Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” and “Calling You,” the African-American spiritual “Go Down Moses,” and the familiar Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”  Each of the 16 tracks on “A Hymn Revival Vol. II,” glow with intention. Whether it’s the soft but steady pulse of the song “Nearer My God to Thee,” or the call-and-response elicited from snappy chorus of “In the Sweet By and By,” The Lower Lights’ sophomore album presents another authentic look at the joy of the Christian life found in community and comradery, all propelled by the sacred art of making music.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
A monkey finds hidden camera at the zoo, photographs self --- big slumber party hits IKEA --- Peter jackson confirms The Hobbit will be three films --- and check out some of the funniest faces in the Olympics. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness... 
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
A wealthy Dutchman builds a replica of Noah’s Ark, following the measurements outlined in the book of Genesis.Johan Huibers, who lives in the Dutch town Dordrecht recently opened a public “Bible museum,” inside his 300-cubit wooden vessel. The massive boat, known as “Johan’s Ark,” not only includes life-size plastic animals, but also a theater, restaurant, sleeping quarters, and conference facilities large enough to seat 1,500 guests.He tells CNN that inspiration for the project came in 1992, after the low-lying Netherlands were flooded by the North Sea. "The next day I bought a book about Noah's Ark. That night while sitting on the couch with my kids, I looked at it and said: 'It's what we're going to do,'" reports CNN.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
Big Olympic news today from Reutuers:China has vehemently rejected suggestions of doping as a growing row over the astonishing performance of a Chinese swimmer threatens to overshadow Michael Phelps’s bid to become the most decorated Olympian of all time on Tuesday.For those of you who don’t speak in sports lingo or Britishisms, that translates to “Chinese coaches reject claims that their star swimmer, Ye Shiwen, has been taking illegal, performance-enhancing drugs.”Here’s the context. Yesterday, Ye Shiwen, a 16-year-old Chinese woman swam the 400 meter medley faster than all-star swimmer Ryan Lochte, a man from the U.S.A.WHAT??!! Throw up the red flag! Women can’t be better than men at sports! Call in the drug dogs and blood tests. (The Twitterverse and other social media quickly echoed similar sentiments, rolling their collective eyes at outrage that a woman could break a man's speed.)According to the report, Ye Shiwen went through "extremely thorough" tests from the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the British Chairman of the Olympic Association said she’s clean. "That's the end of the story. Ye Shiwen deserves recognition for her talent." 
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 49 weeks ago
Arrested Development filming continues --- recap July entirely in charts --- the wonders of a felt-tipped pen --- hairchitecture. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
Olympic enthusiasts beware: here's a video of slow motion, French music, and men throwing rocks with their non-dominant hand --- 2012 Newport Folk Festival --- the wisdom of Ralph Wiggum --- Arrested Development script revealed --- what's happening to all the watermelon seeds --- Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, and Jon Hamm stop by The Daily Show. See the complete list of today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
Step aside Reinhod Bieber — there’s a new 20th century philosopher/pop star in town: Justin Buber. That’s right, the Bieb’s popular songs and tweets and Martin Buber’s existential Jewish thought combine in a way that would have the renowned thinker pulling the hairs out of his mountain-man beard.One of Buber’s notable contributions to modern Jewish thought centers around the distinction of I-Thou (a holistic, infinite relation shared between people or God) and the I-It (a disconnected objectified relation). But if you’re Justin Buber , it might look something like this:“Tonight I’ma be with u, shawty with u. For the space between two beings is where God may occur.” -  October 26, 2011
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
Highlights of the 2012 Euro tournament are reenacted with string --- Tim Heidecker beats Bob Dylan in releasing a song about the Titanic --- Philadelphia to open world's first Pizza restaurant and museum -- Wilco delivers a powerful performance on Late Night. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
The 2012 Olympic games are approaching quickly. This Friday, more than 10,000 athletes will gather in London to celebrate athleticism and competition in 26 sports. While the hype of an event like this may drive athletes to revel in the spotlight, others find it’s the best avenue for an intimate connection with God.At this year’s games, the United States boasts a plethora of athletes, but alongside incredible athleticism, some are gaining attention for their personal faith.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
Watch the 30-minute documentary Baseball in the Time of Cholera --- NASA's vegan food plans for 2030 mission --- edible cookie cup for coffee --- which Bryan Cranston character said it? --- new form of social media art. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
Bruce Springsteen surprises memorial concertgoers in Oslo with a performance of "We Shall Overcome" --- Banksy's controversial Olympic art raises questions in London --- Lord Voldemort's Super PAC --- Ben Gibbard sings ode to ex-Mariners right fielder, Ichrio --- Saturday Night Live plans presidential election specials. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 50 weeks ago
The ONE campaign’s mission to fight AIDS has grown wildly since its inception in 2004, and recently, the organization began a new initiative striving to "begin the end of AIDS" by 2015. It’s within our reach, they say, if only we would lend a hand.In their latest promotional message, they enlist help from the folks at Funny or Die, along with bigger names like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, and Tracy Morgan. In a video that seems like a sketch straight out of the "internet absurdity" vault, the celebrities take turns musing on the innovations that might be possible in a future age, the year 2015. After dreaming of hybrid animals roaming the planet, cars that fit into your back pocket, they close by mentioning that in the not-so-distant future, AIDS can be on its way to nonexistence, if only people would wake up.See the video at ONE (but be forewarned, it includes some slightly unseemly language).And CLICK HERE for more details on ONE's 2015 campagin.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
What's in the water? A crocodile or a log? — Dancey tune to begin the weekend, from Hot Chip — the art of local coffee — children judge books by their covers — and women are dropping "the F bomb," and hint, it's not what you think. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
Five guys + one piano --- photo project helping battered women --- The Mirror, a short film on aging --- wine glasses with pitch indicators --- comedians read starting line up at Chicago Cubs game --- cats and Star Wars. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
Carpenter Nick Offerman takes another break from his workshop to read tweets from young celebrities --- Pete Seeger stops by WNYC to talk about his new book --- Fictitious Dishes photo gallery features meals from novels -- documentary on bird watching in Central Park. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
In Mandela: An Audio History, the voices of activists, artists, and ordinary citizens unite to tell the powerful narrative of overcoming apartheid through strength and solidarity in South Africa. In this five-part audio documentary, hosted by Desmond Tutu, the weaving of personal interviews, newsreels, and found sounds from Mandela and those around him (both for and against) are highlighted to showcase the watershed story of a 50-year struggle.CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL SERIES OF AUDIO DOCUMENTARIESTake a listen to Part One: 1944 –1960
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
Last month, Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, traveled to the Vatican to discuss the not-so-favorable assessment of her group.If you’ll remember, the verdict was that the LCWR – which represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the U.S. – undermines Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality and birth control, while promoting “radical feminist themes.”Today on WHYY’s Fresh Air, Sister Farrell talks with Terry Gross about how to deal with conflict. She tells Gross that as the sisters prepare for the national assembly in August, they are busy dialoging and gathering perspectives, hoping to “somehow, in a spirited, nonviolent strategizing, look for maybe a third way that refuses to define the mandate and the issues in such black and white terms.”
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
Sax Grams, adventures of a traveling saxophone player --- indie drummer releases solo music --- Detorit native golfs across his city --- wine cork portraits --- Tom Waits narrates life of artist John Baldessari. See these and more on thday's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
If you’re like me you probably haven’t been following the latest scientific discussions about Higgs Boson (a.k.a. “the God particle"). But today I came across a 7-minute video in which Daniel Whiteson, a physicist at the prestigious European research organization CERN, walks through what the particle means, what it is, how it can be found (if it can be found at all).But the best part about the whole discussion is that it is animated! The folks at PhD comics “a grad student comic strip,” break down the entire talk with clever visuals and an engaging presentation style.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
This summer I’ve been a little lax on monitoriing my musical radar as closely as I usually do, but one album that’s been in constant rotation around my turntable is Here, the first of two albums that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros –  a 10+ member collective from Los Angeles – plans to release this year.As I listen to Here,  flowery vibes flood my mind with peace and goodwill. It's the psychedelic dream of a bygone era I never knew. But as a Millennial pursuer of peace, justice, and equality, these tunes perfectly fuel my endeavors and also, I believe, the larger work we do at Sojourners. And they’re pretty damn catchy, too.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 51 weeks ago
Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and others protest fracking in new song --- kites identify pollutants in Chinese sky --- artists gather in radio studio to play and honor Woody Guthrie on his 100th birthday --- animals with misleading names --- indie star creates African mixtape. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 1 year 52 weeks ago
How to prepare for an outdoor movie – famous people caught wearing Bill Cosby sweaters – Abraham Lincoln band aides – famous art recreated from torn magazines –how to impersonate Barack Obama. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 hours ago
95 seconds of 90s television nostalgia – Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass prepare for the release of their first feature film Sleepwalk With Me – Arrested Development set to film in one month – Earnest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms releases with 47 alternate endings. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 1 day ago
John Hodgman reads a story of aliens buying the rights to all of humanity's music – Face Math – The United Shapes of America – rising R&B star Frank Ocean – 1,000 parachuting teddy bears for free speech – super heroes spoof the Golden Girls – and Cookie Monster parodies the hit of the summer "Call Me Maybe." See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 1 week ago
"Sun Boxes" a solar powered outdoor art installation of music – life size Hot Wheels track earns World Record –belt buckle flask –summery fruit sculptures –man plays typewriter in symphony –realistic names for common snack foods – and eleven months of hard work finally pays off in this stunning video of a used engine rebuilt. See today's Links of Awesomeness for all the details...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 1 week ago
We’ve reached the halfway point of the year, which means states across the nation are adopting a variety of new laws at state and local levels. While most of the new provisions and amendments were about taxes, health, education, bullying, sexual harassment, etc., a few may cause you to raise an eyebrow. Here for your amusement, we present ten of the quirkiest new laws that we’ve stumbled upon… 
Posted by Anne Marie Roderick, Joshua Witchger 2 years 2 weeks ago
As we attended workshops and concerts, met new people, and tried to make sense of the larger impact this gathering might have beyond us, we kept coming back to that statement we heard early on about Walter Wink. What is Christian imagination? How do we imagine Christianity? Whatever it means, imagining Christianity is exactly what happened at Wild Goose.Here's an example: Throughout the weekend, Fullsteam, a craft brewery in nearby Durham owned by an alumnus of Wheaton College (yes, that Wheaton) sold selling beer to quench the thirst of Goosers during late night sessions and performances (a la Homebrewed Christianity, etc.). And on Saturday afternoon — call it an early evening happy hour — a group of rag-tag musicians, armed with a few folk instruments, a trumpet and percussion, led a jolly crowd of more than 100 in Sunday School choruses and old-timey spirituals. They called it, “Beer and Hymns."There, caught up in a holy wind of hops and hope, we reimagined what church might be during an ad hoc version of “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands.” We the motley worshippers alternated “He’s got the whole world” with “She’s got the whole world,” proudly singing at the top of our lungs, “She’s got the liberals and conservatives / the gays and straights / and a big ole mug of beer/ in her hands.”
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 2 weeks ago
Nick Offerman reads more tweets from young female celebrities — Amy Poehler answers odd questions in front of a large audience — 10 nerdy bathrooms — Star Wars family car decals — Ira Glass on Car Talk reruns — and Oreo cookie comes out in favor of gay rights. Click trough to read today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 2 weeks ago
A load of links to counter those mid-week blues ... a video of Wild Goose performers Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets -- an Arrested Development art show -- Alec Baldwin interviewed by Terry Gross -- lists of summer music and movies to know -- the Bill Muarry coloring book (and baseball speech) -- Van Gogh recreated with dominoes -- The Avett Brothers, and more. Click through to today's Links of Awesomeness... 
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 2 weeks ago
Perhaps you’ve tried to circle the rim of a wine glass with your finger to create some high pitched tones (often times I’d be scolded for doing it in restaurants). Well, in this video, you can take a look at a rendering of “Hedwig’s Theme,” one of the most recognizable scores from the Harry Potter series, performed on a plethora of wine glasses. There’s no telling how this person stumbled upon this idea, or what potion lies in the water glasses, but if you’re a fan of Harry Potter and quirky music, do yourself a favor and press play below.   
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
Watch the new trailer for the Monsters, Inc. prequel, Monsters University. Plus a man with no legs climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro and CNN streams a new documentary on Bruce Springsteen. Read these in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
Pizza in a vending machine? That’s right! The franchise Let’s Pizza is opening up an office in Atlanta later this year, which means that their infamous pizza vending machines shouldn’t be too far behind.In their advertisements, they boast a speedy and delicious product, one that comes ready to eat in 150 seconds and will only cost $6. And in case you’re a germaphobe, they assure you that these pizzas are completely untouched by human hands.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
Seven summer camp movies to set the tone for your summer adventures —  watch the craft of making flamenco guitars — children spraying dads with a hose — people behind their cereal mascot — new track from Childish Gambino — and video technology meets street art in Berlin. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
With the SCOTUS ruling on the future of U.S. health care still pending, filmmaker Peter Nicks provides an inside look at one American hospital struggling to care for its uninsured patients. In this New York Times Op-Doc (opinion documentary), Nicks shows the reality for many hospitals in the country in low-income areas. It is estimated that facilities like the one profiled, receive over 16 million emergency room visits a year from low-income or uninsured patients.
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
Duck flash mob takes over a street in China – Pictographic rock band posters –Jack McBrayer learns insults at a hot dog shop – and San Diego's annual dog surfing tournament. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 3 weeks ago
Happy Father's Day Weekend! Here's a few tips from children on how to be a good dad. Plus... "That's my dad" hash tags with Jimmy Fallon –emergency dance technician storms New York City –TastemakerX is a stock market for up-and-coming musicians – Burger King's bacon sundae = calorie overload – Saved By the Bell's bathroom products –new music from David Byrne and St. Vincent. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 4 weeks ago
Cats in the NBA -- Story Corps' animated short -- Inforgaphic of Jack White -- Stephen Colbert on cyberwar and monkeys -- and more nonsense from Conan O'Brien. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 4 weeks ago
The girl with the mobile garden dress -- cover songs by Iron & Wine -- kid reacts to first sip of root beer -- art from wine stains -- and Conan teaches first-graders how to sing the Chicago blues. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Posted by Joshua Witchger 2 years 4 weeks ago
God told Noah to build an ark, and God told Horace to build a tree house. That’s pretty much how this story goes.In the 1990s, Tennessee landscaper Horace Burgess discovered a tall mass of trees near the road, and decided he wanted to turn into the world’s largest tree house. After years of working on his epic project, just as he was running out of steam, he became a Christian and then later a pastor.Compelled, he says, by the Spirit of God, Burgess finally finished his project in 2004. And, to put it lightly, it’s pretty divine.