More on Hobby Lobby…

The New York Times Editorial Board present a cogent, succinct argument why this decision limits rights, instead of upholding them. Just a snippet, but read the whole thing, it’s short (emphasis mine):

It was the first time the court has allowed commercial business owners to deny employees a federal benefit to which they are entitled by law based on the owners’ religious beliefs, and it was a radical departure from the court’s history of resisting claims for religious exemptions from neutral laws of general applicability when the exemptions would hurt other people.

Updated to add this useful article: 5 myths about the Hobby Lobby case, debunked. This addresses the most frequent arguments I’ve seen supporting the ruling.


Why You Hate Work –

Does this sound familiar?

Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway.

This terrific article not only will explain Why You Hate Work, but it provides practical suggestions to improve work. Here’s the key learning:

Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.

Living your own dream…

I spotted this beautiful minimalist home in the New York Times.

Source: Freedom in 704 Square Feet –

It’s gorgeous and well-designed to meet the specific needs of the couple who live in it. But what struck me most about this article was the animosity on display in the comments. Is it possible that some readers felt threatened by this couple choosing to live differently than the norm?

How would our world look if we all tried to do this? I don’t mean living in a 700-square-foot house–clearly, that would not work for everyone. What I mean is, what if each one of us thought about what we needed and wanted for our living spaces and our life, and then tailored them–as much as was feasible–to suit? We are all different individuals, so why are cookie-cutter houses and mcMansions the norm?

Books by color…

I have nothing to say today, so I’m sharing this photo spotted in the New York Times Style section yesterday. It is true that some people arrange their books by color! It looks nice, but how do you find the particular book you’re looking for?

Source: Hollywood Royal Family Member Liz Goldwyn Takes to Filmmaking –

The New York Times’ Lens blog tried an experiment…

Our moment in time

Our moment in time.

On Sunday, May 2, the New York Times’ Lens blog tried an experiment. They asked readers to take a photograph of wherever they were or whatever they were doing at the same moment on May 2 (11 a.m. for us) and send them in. Then they compiled the photos into a worldwide (and extraterrestrial — the Mars Rover sent in a photo, as well) moment, which you can interactively play with here.

Our son and our dog is in there, somewhere. (That’s the photo we submitted above — a little blurry, but so are our Sunday mornings.)

A Moment in Time, a selection of submitted photos and read more about the experiment (Lens Blog)

Update: Here is our photo!

Update 2: Here is the Mars Rover photo!

The endless quest to live forever

The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosopher’s ...

Image via Wikipedia

There was a story in the New York Times Science section this week about testing beginning on drugs that may slow aging. (Please read the article for all the science stuff — I’ll wait.)

Obviously, this is the Holy Grail of medical science — literally. Since humans first comprehended their own mortality, they have been searching for the Fountain of Youth, the Philosopher’s Stone, the secret to eternal life. I don’t think I’ll see it in my lifetime, but I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to imagine a time when the effects of aging can be slowed or reversed so as to extend human lifetimes to hundreds of years.

But is that what we really want? Science fiction writers have tackled the issue many times. Virtual immortality would certainly help the human race advance technologically, as we would have plenty of time to amass knowledge and innovate based on that knowledge. But what about human relationships — wouldn’t we feel a profound disconnect from one another over time? How would we address the pesky overpopulation problems that are bound to arise? And perhaps more funadmentally, maybe we need the ultimate stakes of mortality to make life really worth living.

Of course, I fantasize about having a prolonged life — with excellent mental and physical health, it goes without saying. But might there come a point when you just get tired of the repetition, the sameness of it all? I don’t know, but if we are seriously hoping to extend life, then shouldn’t we also allow people who want it to choose death?