My friend Nathan went skydiving for the first time earlier this month. He reports:
What a trip . . . you hop out of the plane and just plummet for thousands of feet -- cheeks waggling madly, clothes flapping, buffeting in the wind, quick glance at the altimeter gauge wheeling around to zero, then a tap on the shoulder, time to pull the rip cord, can't find it, instructor tugs it, quick deceleration as you get out of the cloud cover and then hanging free, moving slowly over an enormous quilt of grass fields and plowed fields and power lines and train tracks and houses and farms . . . pull on the togs to turn this way and that, practice the landing form, then coast in for an easy landing, standing up . . . people rush in to grab the parachute . . . and it's over. The only problem: it wasn't long enough. I definitely want to do this again.
More adventures: his on-the-scene report from a supersized human funnel at a mall in Edmonton this past winter. I think it appeared in the Edmonton Journal.
Also, a professor of mine on Robert Putnam and individualism post-Sept.11 and my friend Will on religious freedom and moral order (links aren't working, just scroll through for them here)
And here's one from Phil on women in office:
i think we get an idea of jesus'
feelings on the matter when we compare his treatment
of women to that common (as i understand it) in
first-century rabbinic judaism. as far as the early
church, it looks like women were taking their freedom
in christ so far that paul had to write and ask them
not to "lord it over" (the verse is commonly
translated "have authority over") a man.
and in another way, i agree [that] to some extent the proof of spiritual claims is in the pudding. if i experience what i
can't help but understand as spiritual growth under a
woman's tutelage, that OUGHT to affect my position on
women in office. the bible safeguards us from
deriving wrong lessons from experience, but in some
ways too our experience must safeguard us against
wrong interpretations of the bible. for example, the claim that "god is love" only means something to people who have some idea what love is. ... i have to import something from my life in this way in order to be able to read the bible
without going #E$ing insane.