Quick Takes – 11/24/2007

More on Amazon’s Kindle: check out the Newsweek article, The Future of Reading. “Books are the last bastion of analog … Music and video have been digital for a long time, and short-form reading has been digitized, beginning with the early Web. But long-form reading really hasn’t. Yet.”

Visual Dictionary Online. “When you know what something looks like but not what it’s called, or when you know the word but can’t picture the object, The Visual Dictionary has the answer. In a quick look, you can match the word to the image.”

Real Clear Sports. New sports information site. “RealClearSports, a sister site of RealClearPolitics and RealClearMarkets, is a sports page of sports pages. Everyday the RealClearSports team finds and selects the best sports news, opinion and analysis from publications in over 100 media markets.”

Tony Woodlief  reflects on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prison letters. Quoting Bonhoeffer: “I believe that even our mistakes and shortcomings are turned to good account, and that it is no harder for God to deal with them than with our supposedly good deeds.”

Tony Kummer at Gospel Driven Children’s Ministry shares links to free Christmas craft ideas for kids. “Are you looking for a great craft idea for your children’s Sunday school class? Then check out these websites. They list many great kid’s Christmas crafts, ideas and projects … Try these for your Sunday school lesson, children’s church, or at home with your children.”

Comedian Steve Martin shares his memories of doing stand-up comedy at Knott’s Berry Farm on November 22, 1963 – the day John F. Kennedy was shot. “We assumed the performance that night would be canceled, but as show time neared, word came down that we were going on. We couldn’t fathom why; we believed no one would show up, much less enjoy us. I still can’t explain the psychology, why the very full house that night was able to roar with laughter. The obvious must be correct: our silly show was providing some kind of balm that soothed the ache.”

Tim Ferris tells you how to learn (not master) any foreign language in 1 hour. “How long does it take to learn Chinese or Japanese vs. Spanish or Irish Gaelic? I would argue less than an hour. Here’s the reasoning … Before you invest (or waste) hundreds and thousands of hours on a language, you should deconstruct it. During my thesis research at Princeton, which focused on neuroscience and unorthodox acquisition of Japanese by native English speakers, as well as when redesigning curricula for Berlitz, this neglected deconstruction step surfaced as one of the distinguishing habits of the fastest language learners.” (HT: Copyblogger)

Joe Carter shares the following facts about the importance of family dinners. “The more often teenagers have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs. In fact, compared with teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have dinner with their families only two nights per week or less are at double the risk of substance abuse. Compared with teens who have dinner with their families only two nights per week or less, those who have family dinners five or more nights in a typical week are more likely to report that they have never tried cigarettes (85 percent vs. 65 percent), almost 50 percent likelier to report that they have never tried alcohol (68 percent vs. 47 percent), and more likely to report that they have never tried marijuana (88 percent vs. 71 percent).” [Source: Family Facts]

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