January 20, 2015

Finds Found on the Web and Elsewhere

Here's the thing about biomechanics. Everything is interrelated. How we move at the ankle affects the knee and the hip, then the pelvis and the spine. How we sit affects the pelvis, then the spine above and our legs below. How well our spine moves affects how well our arms move. Beginning to correct things in this chain brings about changes you would not expect. One of the books that I've been reading is Move Your DNA. I absolutely love the point that it makes that what we perceive as normal (because everyone around us moves the same way) is not actually optimal. It's not how we were made to move, and it's not the best we can do. We can do better....I don't know if I can fully explain this on a biomechanical level, but it is a cascade of effects. 
Fully understanding the dignity of the human person is not easy, but it is so important. I can't help but think that some of this horrible violence is because people do not understand their own dignity and worth, much less someone else's. Certainly, there is a chaos that is happening with regard to what we consider "okay" in terms of relationships and having children. We are not even certain what all effects these are having on people in day to day life. 
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Fascinating thoughts from art historian Kenneth Clark on the history of the female nude:
Since the earliest times the obsessive, unreasonable nature of physical desire has sought relief in images, and to give these images a form by which Venus may cease to be vulgar and become celestial has been one of the recurring aims of European art….
Following Plato's example, we might call them the Vegetable and the Crystalline Aphrodite. These two basic conceptions never quite disappear, but since art involves the application of laws, the distinction between the two Aphrodites grows very slight; and even when most unlike one another they partake of each other's characters. Botticelli's Venus 'born of the crystalline sea of thought and its eternity' has a piercing strain of sensuality; Ruben's Venus, a cornucopia of vegetable abundance, still aspires to the ideal. 
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Who's up for an international conversation about Islam?  Because, you know, if we just had a national conversation on race it would clear everything up.

Bill O'Reilly made a trenchant point the other day:
Mr. Abdul-Jabbar [writes]:
“Knowing that these terrorist attacks are not about religion, we have to reach a point where we stop bringing Islam into these discussions. I know we aren't there yet because much of the Western population doesn't understand the Islamic religion.”
That's true. But here's what Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is missing: Much of the Muslim world does not understand the Islamic religion. Take Pakistan, for example. It allows the Taliban – major human rights violaters – sanctuary. Is that permissible under Islam? Apparently, the government of Pakistan believes it is. How about Turkey? It will not assist the West in fighting the ISIS killers on its border. Does Islam condone the beheading of innocent people? Doesn't the Koran state that a good Muslim protects the innocent and fights against injustice? Apparently the Turkish government does not understand the Islamic religion either. I could give you dozens of other examples from wealthy Islamists funding al Qaeda and ISIS to Sharia law being used to abuse women on a massive scale.

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