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Resistance is the Only Human Way to Live

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A temptation you face as a teacher when you talk about the stories of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the White Rose is that their stories can come across to students as legends of moral heroism, which can seem divorced from their quotidian lives. So I spend a lot of time talking about resistance as non-conformity.

I'm taking a cue here from William Stringfellow. In his book An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, Stringfellow describes visiting with members of the various Nazi resistance movements after WW2. What Stringfellow discovered in their stories is how members of the resistance took enormous risks to do very small things, things that, realistically speaking, weren't going to do all that much to stop Hitler. Still, they took the risk. Here's Stringfellow describing this risk/reward imbalance:
[T]he Resistance, undertaken and sustained through the long years of the Nazi ascendancy in which most of Western Europe was conquered and occupied, consisted, day after day, of small efforts. Each one of these, if regarded in itself, seems far too weak, too temporary, too symbolic, too haphazard, too meek, too trivial to be efficacious against the oppressive, monolithic, pervasive presence which Nazism was, both physically and psychically, in the nations which had been defeated and seized. Realistically speaking, those who resisted Nazism did so in an atmosphere in which hope, in its ordinary connotations, had been annihilated. To calculate their actions--abetting escapes, circulating mimeographed news, hiding fugitives, obtaining money or needed documents, engaging in various forms of noncooperation with the occupying authorities or the quisling bureaucrats, wearing armbands, disrupting official communications--in terms of odds against the Nazi efficiency and power and violence and vindictiveness would seem to render their witness ridiculous. The risks for them of persecution, arrest, torture, confinement, death were so disproportionate to any concrete results that could practically be expected that most human beings would have despaired--and, one recalls, most did. Yet these persons persevered in their audacious, extemporaneous, fragile, puny, foolish Resistance.
So, why did they do it, given that the risks were so high and the possibility of success so small?  Here's Stringfellow's answer:
The answer to such questions is, I believe, that the act of resistance to the power of death incarnate in Nazism was the only means of retaining sanity and conscience. In the circumstances of the Nazi tyranny, resistance became the only human way to live. 
Resistance became the only human way to live. That's the message I'm preaching to my students.

In the imagination of the Bible, the world is ruled by the devil, who is described as the "god" and "prince" of this world (John 12.21; 2 Cor. 4.4). All around us, we see this force of dehumanization constantly at work.

Resistance, therefore, is refusing to be conformed to the dehumanizing pattern of this world (Rom. 12.2).

Resistance is non-conformity, rehumanization in the face of dehumanization.

Resistance is living in this world as a human being.
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lelandpaul
49 days ago
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San Francisco, CA
toddgrotenhuis
49 days ago
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Indianapolis
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Jordan Peterson Refuses to Use God’s Preferred Pronouns

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TORONTO, ON

Controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson has been become infamous in his efforts to battle so-called “political correctness,” and has resolutely refused to use the preferred pronouns of many individuals, including, apparently, God.

“I’m sick and tired of God’s refusal to state a gender,” said Peterson. “All this ‘thee, thy, thou’ nonsense in the King James Bible is absolutely ridiculous. It’s unnatural.”

Peterson, a clinical psychologist by training, dogmatically believes in binary gender, including for the Christian deity.

“Either God’s a man or a woman. There’s no other way to look at it,” said Peterson. “I don’t need the PC police to tell me ‘Oh, God’s neither male nor female!’ Come on! Make a decision for once!”

Peterson says he will never give in to the Creator of the Universe’s decision to remain gender neutral and will spend the rest of his life trying to assign God a gender.

“Everyone must fit into my tiny little box,” said Peterson, “and God is no exception.”

After the news became public, Peterson received debate invitations from every theologian alive.

(photo credit: Adam Jacobs/CC)

The post Jordan Peterson Refuses to Use God’s Preferred Pronouns appeared first on The Daily Bonnet.

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toddgrotenhuis
70 days ago
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Indianapolis
lelandpaul
78 days ago
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San Francisco, CA
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It’s always a delight to see the jungle house on Church St.

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It’s always a delight to see the jungle house on Church St.

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lelandpaul
80 days ago
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I (tangentially) knew someone who lived here in high school!
San Francisco, CA
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Fine China: 4 Types of Porcelain Clay

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Chinese pottery has a long history, and is an integral part of the foundations of modern China. One of the greatest early achievements of Chinese potters was the development of denser clay materials that could be fired at extremely high temperatures, resulting in stronger finished pieces. While Chinese tradition calls all of these high-fired clays ‘porcelain’ even today, English speakers typically think of porcelain as a bright white, fine-grained clay, distinctly different from more common ‘stoneware’ pottery. When used in teaware, this type of porcelain offers a white background that makes it easy to see the color of the tea and leaves, along with a light, easy-to-handle weight and a sharp pouring edge that prevents dribbles.

When Europeans first saw this type of clay during the Ming Dynasty, it came only from China, resulting in the nickname ‘china’ or ‘fine china’. Unable to replicate the material locally, European collectors paid extraordinary amounts for pieces made of the “white gold” from the exotic east. Even within China, this particular kind of clay was quite rare, coming mainly from the town of Jingdezhen, which grew rapidly with the fame of its white clay. Within China, the only clay called “fine china” is from Jingdezhen. Over time, imitation and experimentation have produced several different kinds of clay with a fine grain and white, translucent fired body - the key characteristics of high quality porcelain.


White, thin-walled porcelain is ideal for tasting and testing teas, thanks to precise details.

Hard Paste Porcelain

The original formulation of “fine china” was a specialty of Jingdezhen: a mixture of kaolin and petunse (pottery stone), both found locally in large quantities. While kaolin is now a primary ingredient of almost all porcelain clays and mined all over the world, the un-tinted white kaolin of Jingdezhen is still a rarity. A simple 50/50 mix with petunse fired at around 1400°C made the best white, translucent porcelain in the world.

Learn more about the unique porcelain of Jingdezhen >>

The high firing temperature made finished pieces in this clay extremely strong, despite their delicate appearance. The frenzy to replicate it in Europe continued for at least 150 years, until the Meissen factory in Germany started production of a hard paste porcelain in 1710. High firing temperatures help to vitrify the clay, making it more glass-like and resistant to staining, but they also make decor more difficult, as most pigments burn off in the kiln.


loading a kiln with glazed pottery for a high temperature firing that will vitrify the clay.

Soft Paste Porcelain

Early European iterations of porcelain, developed in Italy, France, and England, sought to imitate the characteristic translucency by mixing ground glass with clay. While these formulations imitated the look of Chinese porcelain, they were hard to work with and prone to collapsing in the hot kiln. Firing temperatures for this type of clay only reach 1100°C, and the surface of a finished piece is easily scratched.

Later versions of soft paste porcelain improved with the inclusion of hard paste ingredients like kaolin, and new additions like quartz. Today, many of the same ingredients are used in both types of porcelain, but they are easily distinguished by firing temperature. The lower temperatures used to fire soft paste porcelain still typically leave a surface that is more easily scratched and stained, but they also allow for more range in decorative color.


translucency is highly valued in porcelain, as it demonstrates the strength of the clay and the skill of the maker.

Bone China

In England, experiments with soft paste porcelain eventually led to a formulation that included local kaolin, petunse (locally called Cornish stone), and a new ingredient: bone ash, derived from cattle bones. Though the earliest documentation of this recipe comes from the 1740s, it would not become a commercial success until 50 years later, when the process for producing bone ash was streamlined. Today, bone china is typically made up of 25% kaolin, 25% petunse, and 50% bone ash.

Despite firing at lower soft paste temperatures, the proportion of bone ash makes this type of porcelain extremely strong, resistant to both chips and scratches. It is also strong before firing, allowing for extremely thin and delicate  pieces to be formed. But the laborious multi-step process of making bone ash, along with the cost of other high-quality ingredients, also makes this the rarest and most expensive type of porcelain.


<mixing porcelain clay with pulp or fiber makes it easy to work with, but not stronger after firing.

Paper Porcelain

To improve the workability of the clay before firing, potters working in both hard paste and soft paste porcelain often use pulp or cellulose fibers to make ‘paper’ porcelain. By mixing in fibrous material, they add significant strength to the wet clay. Though this technique can be used with any clay, it is commonly used for porcelain, a notably difficult clay to work with. The extra strength allows potters to achieve thinner walls and more delicate shapes without risking cracks or slumping during the forming process.

It is extremely easy to make a crude yet functional version of paper clay, and it can dramatically improve success rates, especially during the drying process, when delicate clays can crack under invisible stresses. Unlike bone ash, however, fibrous materials burn out of the clay during firing, and have no effect on the look or durability of the finished piece.

pure white porcelain makes beautiful and extremely practical teaware.

Porcelain teaware can often seem too delicate to handle, but in fact, it is the strongest clay formulations that allow for such thin walls. Good quality porcelain, whether it is rare bone china or a simple hard paste recipe, gained its reputation not only for its aesthetic beauty, but also for unmatched durability.

Do you brew in porcelain? What do you like (or not like) about using porcelain teaware? Let us know in the comments below!


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lelandpaul
91 days ago
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San Francisco, CA
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ruffled milk pie

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I first learned about ruffled milk pie from Vefa’s Kictchen, a substantial Greek cooking volume that first came out in 2009. A type of galatopita (“pie made with milk,” aka a baked custard pie), this is more striking in appearance than most due to wound and rumbled sheets of pastry, which also providing texture and crunch. It’s so pretty and it sounded so simple — there are 7 ingredients and I bet we keep 6 of them around — it was absolutely, unequivocally something I could get into and want to tell you about immediately save one thing: it uses filo. And would rather do almost anything than work with filo. And I have! I’ve had two kids. I’ve written two cookbooks. I’ve moved apartments. I have planted gardens and taken up running and gone on vacations and okay, maybe I didn’t do all of these things just to avoid using filo in one single recipe, but I can tell you that when the top two items on my to-do list sifted out last week as 1. Purge too-small clothes from kids’ overstuffed dressers, and 2. Make ruffled milk pie, I at last found something I hated more than more than I dreaded working with filo. I am pleased to tell you that my kids clothes are still an unmitigated disaster but this pie is fantastic.

first sheetmessily ruffled filostart your rufflesready to bake

“Geez, Deb, what did filo ever do to you?” Fair question and, in short, it stresses me out. It tears and cracks. It likes to dry out before you can blink and it’s unforgiving once this happens. You’re supposed to keep a piece of plastic on the open package of sheets followed by damp towel on it but when I run a towel under faucet and wring it out, it’s always too heavy and wet and manages to glue all of the sheets together at the edges. I’ve opened up boxes that were nothing but shards. I know, I know, way to sell a recipe, Deb. [Don’t worry, I’ll share some tips for the filo-averse below.]

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lelandpaul
100 days ago
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I've just been watching GBBO and saying to myself that I will never, ever make anything with phyllo. And then this goes and happens, damn it.
San Francisco, CA
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fxer
99 days ago
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holy butts this looks good
Bend, Oregon

linguisticsnerd: When a syntax article throws shade at your life...

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linguisticsnerd:

When a syntax article throws shade at your life choices

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lelandpaul
231 days ago
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San Francisco, CA
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