“The poet is not a man who asks me to look at him; he is a man who says ‘look at that’ and points.” – C.S. Lewis
Brandon hopes to pay attention. He wants to be like Ricky Fitts in the film American Beauty, who marvels at a plastic bag dancing with the leaves in the breeze (as cliché as that may be). From what he knows, Brandon is not crazy. Rather, little things hopefully remind Brandon that God is present in a world littered with beauty—and Brandon simply wants to point and say, “Look at that.”
Brandon hopes to see where God is speaking and working in all of life: in nature, movies, music, people—specifically what Jesus calls “the least of these” in Matthew 25—himself, and even politics, which he still has a lot to learn about. Brandon found this passion for the intersection between faith and culture at Azusa Pacific University, a small school in Southern California.
Brandon also cultivated a lifelong love for travel in college. He spent a semester studying the humanities at Azusa Pacific’s High Sierra campus near Yosemite, Calif. Brandon flew off to South Africa the next year, serving a local community called Haniville, living with locals near Cape Town, traveling the coast, and doing some studying in between. His last adventure before the “real world” sent him to study C.S. Lewis and poetry at Oxford University in England. There he thoroughly enjoyed a Christmas party at C.S. Lewis’s house.
Brandon is not originally from the Golden State. He hails from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Among many other things, he loves his family, friends, photography, seasons, and nostalgic movies that try to pin down the elusive concept of home.
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QUIRK: PBS CEO Paula Kerger Addresses Big Bird Craze
OK, the @firedbigbird tweets have been hilarious.
And it's almost understandable that America has given so much attention to the Big Bird comments from Tuesday's debate. (@Firedbigbird had more than 31,000 Twitter followers as of late Friday afternoon.)
I mean, Romney's comment was definitely a "zinger."
We get it. It's funny. But come on.
On Thursday, Public Broadcasting System (PBS) CEO Paula Kerger talked to CNN about the issue, and she couldn't believe the iconic children's TV star has gotten this much attention either.
Priorities of the First Presidential Debate: Q & A with Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson, a bestselling author and convener of the upcoming Sister Giant conference on women and politics, has called on President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney to address “a meaningful array of topics” – including poverty, money in politics and incarceration rates in the U.S. – tonight during the first presidential debate.
Williamson talked to us earlier today about these issues, which are particularly pressing for Christians who take Matthew 25 seriously.
The interview was edited for length and content.
Q: What are you doing to get these issues out there?
A: Having a voice and creating your own platform is not all that difficult with today’s technology. I think what’s happening now is that, firstly, people are realizing that. Secondly, people are realizing that there are certain things that need to be said that simply are not being said as loudly as other things being said. When it comes to a politics of conscience, why wouldn’t we expect that during the debates there would be a conversation about the 23.1 percent of America’s children living in poverty, or the 34 percent of poor children, or the 46 million Americans living in poverty?
Links of Awesomeness: October 2, 2012
Sufjan and Bon Iver reveal some cool projects. LEGO movies are everywhere. Disney Princesses are hipsters. People are dancing to get Cokes. And — shocker — some dogs feel the same way humans do about getting out of bed. These links are awesome.
Words of Wisdom from The Donald: "Get Even"
It seems like the Bible is the one piece of real estate Donald Trump is unfamiliar with. Or maybe he’s just never read any of that “Jesus” stuff in the New Testament.
Last Monday, the Donald told Liberty University students not to turn the other cheek but to "get even" with adversaries, particularly in business.
"I always say don't let people take advantage — this goes for a country, too, by the way — don't let people take advantage,” Trump said. “Get even. And you know, if nothing else, others will see that and they're going to say, 'You know, I'm going to let Jim Smith or Sarah Malone, I'm going to let them alone because they're tough customers."
Links of Awesomeness: September 28, 2012
Apparently even Tim Cook doesn't use the new maps app on iPhone 5. Shocker.
Also, some Grandmas meet Star Wars, Algae gets fed by an opera singer, someone took some sweet Iceland photos, and some Portland people have created a cologne that can make hipsters with beards smell like campfires! These links are awesome.
QUIRK: Why Metaphysics Matters
Most of us know what physics is, but what in the world is metaphysics? One might first recall Meta World Peace, who currently plays for the Lakers. So, metaphysics is just another one of those guys who adopted some sort of weird name, right?
According to John Cobb, a theologian who played a crucial role in the development of process theology, metaphysics asks, "what is it in and of itself that constitutes what is truly real and actual"? In physics you don't quite get to that. Metaphysics deals with ousia, which is substance in Greek. The world is made up of substances and the questions of metaphysics are to understand what substances are.
Woah. That sounds intense.
You can hear more and hopefully understand a little more (via the "substance" of your brain) HERE, as Cobb talks theology during the Emergent Village Theological Conversation at Claremont School of Theology in California.
As the radio emcee at Homebrewed Christianity describes it, "It's time to nerd out with your geek out."
Links of Awesomeness: Sept. 27, 2012
The world's most dangerous hiking trail, some underwater streets, skyscrapers cleaning our air, and having a cold brewski with President Obama. And then 2,601 people collaborated on a song. Today's links of awesomeness are pretty awesome.
Mumford & Sons Stick to Their Guns
“Are Mumford & Sons as big in America as they are here?” my English friend asked me a year ago over a pint at a pub on High Street in Oxford, England.
“Uh … yea,” I replied, astonished that their popularity was even in question. “They’re huge.”
Turns out that English friend is Marcus Mumford’s cousin, and he eventually got to see how big they are in the states, spending this past summer in Arizona and scurrying over to Colorado for their show at Red Rocks. (I know I’m jealous.)
But has that popularity and success translated into a decent sophomore album? Absolutely. One way to avoid the perilous “sophomore slump” that plagues many musicians and bands these days is to stick to your guns. And that’s exactly what English quartet Mumford & Sons did with their second album Babel.
“The idea was always, ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’” producer Markus Dravs told Rolling Stone.
And that’s almost exactly what audiences get on Babel. It’s as if Mumford took all the good things from their first record, Sigh No More, and channeled them into Babel.
Who blames ‘em? Their foot-stomping, banjo-plucking signature folk-rock sound has sent them to the far corners of the earth and back. It also shot Sigh No More up to platinum status, selling five million copies and nominating the band for two Grammys.
Links of Awesomeness: September 24, 2012
The biggest prank ever, some insects covered in dew, an iPhone that eliminates scrolling, and James Franco's latest musical endeavor. Oh yea, and this kid and his dad sent their toy train into space. Nothing like good 'ole afternoon fun with Dad.
Links of Awesomeness: September 20, 2012
A cat runs for mayor and may or may not try out a new electric skateboard or a bike made out of cardboard. Some of the Pixar staff could've used some free coffee courtesy of GOOD when they studied for their graduate-level final exam in ichthyology for Finding Nemo. Oh, and the second trailer for The Hobbit came out too.
Links of Awesomeness: September 17, 2012
Want to make a tattoo for Justin Vernon? Now you can! The Bon Iver singer-songwriter is holding a contest for fans to design a tattoo. The ink will go on his left forearm and has to be inspired by the early '90s TV series Northern Exposure. Check out some of the finalists. [via Paste]
Hungry? Need a good laugh? Like Cheetos or Takis? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you're going to like this music video.
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a way to use sound waves to levitate individual droplets of solutions containing different pharmaceuticals. Trippy.
QUIRK: London Theater Employs Ninjas to Silence Cell Phones (No. Seriously.)
No matter how many times we see the little advert (as the English say) before the movie telling us to silence our phones, the temptation to go for our smartphones — to look up, for instance, the name of the other films that one actor (with the butt chin and beady eyes) was in before he became a superhero — is too much to resist.
Or maybe we just can't not text a friend to tell her how the ending of the Dark Knight legend picked up our expectations and pulled a Bane on them (i.e. broke their huge backs, shattering them entirely).
Whatever the reason for putting down the bucket of popcorn and reaching for the squawk box, the fact remains: cell phones are a nuisance to everybody around us — in a cinema perhaps more than anywhere else.
Which is why a London movie theater recently started employing ninjas to combat rogue cell phone use during screenings.
Links of Awesomeness: September 13, 2012
This week's links feature a filmmaking seagull, degrees of Kevin Baconness, 137 origami pigs, and the realization that the iPhone 4S is lighter, faster, and more durable than the iPhone 4S. Wait. What?