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.
A Day of Video + Song: Pomplamoose pumps out a fun new tune -- upcoming song from Sigur Ros -- turkeys and dubstep -- stop motion paper cut-outs -- Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday 2" -- and Will Smith rapping the Fresh Prince theme song. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...
Marveling at Mr. Smith's world of peach pit figurines. Plus, Jack White and the Guiness Book of World Records -- LEGO art from PBS -- literary maps of the U.S. and U.K. -- how to tattoo a banana. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
All videos on today's Links of Awesomeness. Watch a legless skateboarder show some incredible tricks at a contest in Tampa. OK Go debuts a new colorful music video, Improv Everywhere shows some impressive video editing, Jimmy Fallon and Charlie Sheen advertise a new cologne, and Admiral Ackbar becomes a singing wall fish.
Take a few minutes to catch up with some of the newest and funniest videos circling around the internet (and the Sojourners office). Improv Everywhere's prank at a TED talk, Darth Vader on a unicycle with bagpipes, pigs chase a dog around a living room, Willy Wonka, Rube Goldberg, and dueling banjos... Click to see today's Links of Awesomeness, video edition.
A loop of 19 television shows referencing one another. Interfaith musical collaboration on the old hymn, "The Lord Will Provide." Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie talks to Terry Gross about his work on The Muppets film. The first look at the new trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. An amazing trick performed with an excavator, and more!
The disturbing footage of the monks fighting in Bethlehem’s Nativity Church has been seen around the world. This is not the first time such a fight has erupted. The natural reaction any Christians should have upon seeing this footage is shame. It is difficult to even describe in words what one feels when he sees Christian clerics involved in such violence and rage!
This incident reflects at least two major deficiencies within the Palestinian Christian community. The first is the status of the church and how it is still controlled by foreign powers. Palestine and the "holy sites" have always attracted Christians who want to control these places. Everyone wants a share of the place. This is the story of the church in Palestine in a nutshell. Though we have called this place home for centuries, we have never in reality governed ourselves, as a people or as a church. Wars have emerged over control of the sites, from the crusaders, through the Crimean War, to our modern era, where a fragile "status quo" from the days of the Ottoman Empire governs the relationship between the different church families and who controls what in the holy sites.
Whether it's variations on familiar holiday tunes, cartoons prancing around on screen, or watching kids open terrible presents, treat yourself to a break from the day to take in a little holiday cheer.
(+Video may contain coarse language+)
Indie music darling, Jeff Mangum, who rarely plays in public, surprised #OccupyWallStreet protesters in New York City earlier this week with an impromptu concert. A New Jersey singer-songwriter pens two songs for revolutions. And an order of Catholic nuns offer free mp3 downloads of a protest song inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
We've compiled a list of links where you can learn more about the genesis of the #OccupyWallStreet movement, including links to news reports, organizations involved in formenting the movement and local groups in every state where you can get involved close to home (if you don't live in Lower Manhattan.)
This Friday, October 7, 2011, marks 10 years since the United States invaded Afghanistan in the name of the "War on Terror." Sadly, this summer President Obama announced he'll continue our military presence in the country until 2014, and Congress has agreed to follow his lead.
Where do we go from here?
Did you know 98 percent of poor households in the U.S. (those with an income of about $22,000 or less for a family of four) own a STOVE or OVEN? Or that 84 percent of poor households have AIR CONDITIONING?
Shocking! An outrage!
At least that's what some of our colleagues in the media appear to believe, as Jon Stewart documents in the following "Daily Show" report:
I'm sure it will end on September 12 when the news media go back to reporting the most urgent question of our time -- which GOP candidate will win the tea party debate on Monday night? -- but this past weekend's coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was relentless. (I know I could just turn off the TV, but when you write a blog on religion, culture, and politics, you gotta do the research).
The packaging of the 9/11 narrative, with its stunning visuals, has been masterful these last 10 years -- compelling, emotional, inspiring. And ratings gold.
But it strikes me that grieving-through-media does not serve us well, individually or collectively.
The recent British film In Our Name is a returning-soldier drama featuring a married woman, Suzy, who leaves her husband and little girl to fight in Iraq. Because she's involved in the killing of a little girl during her tour-this part is based on a true story, but it happened to a man -- she returns home only to steadily fall apart under the stress of soul-destroying anxieties.
Do yourself a favor and watch this. It's 7:15 minutes long but well worth your time.
Such a substantive leadership lesson in itself by Bill Hybels as he explains why Howard Schultz withdrew his commitment as a speaker at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit (held on August 11-12). And furthermore, how he and Willow Creek are responding