On Being Blog

Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 15:06

In this SoundSeen video not heard in the program, Jonathan Greenblatt tells Krista how his grandparents' flight from Nazi Germany informs his sense of service today — all from behind the glass.

Monday, July 28, 2008 - 16:26

If you didn’t know it, each member on our staff, including Krista, pretty much reads every piece of e-mail that’s sent to our inbox. And we receive a healthy amount of correspondence! But we’re also aware that there are many more conversations and responses to our show taking place in the greater online world, especially in blogs and social networking forums.

I thoroughly enjoy reading the increasing number of blog posts and articles about SOF, and commenting on others’ sites. Sometimes they’re simple observations or recommendations about a particular show, or entries that gave us new insights and ideas for future shows, as well as feedback on our productions. With a little link love, I thought I’d point out a few:

In her blog, Experiments in Physical Chemistry, Dawn Dennison wrote a gritty post about the power of play in her own life. She has a wonderful sense of the importance of play, and some good humor to boot:

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Monday, July 28, 2008 - 15:00

Being alive to the present moment, which Ram Dass gave us decades ago as the injunction to "Be Here Now" isn't a new idea, but it's back in a big way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 12:27

Our online editor retraces the long tail of this program and the unexpected path leading up to the initial broadcast.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 11:05

"The Dead Sea Scrolls" of Chinese theological history uncover an emotional side of Confucianism.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - 05:46

This sentence in The New York Times yesterday nearly made me choke on my organic lettuce (purchased at the coop):

“The highest form of luxury is now growing it yourself or paying other people to grow it for you,” said Corby Kummer, the food columnist and book author. “This has become fashion.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 06:08

New Scientist’s headline “‘Ten Commandments’ of race and genetics issued” possibly falls into the overly-clever-but-unnecessary category of journalistic wordplay. They took the easy way out; ashamedly, it grabbed my attention.

Mapping the human genome has raised many ethical questions about choices — controversial issues ranging from designer babies to personal privacy rights. But, the issue of using this greater level of genetic detail as a basis for racial stereotypes and discriminatory policies, well, that’s a quieter issue that perhaps has more pervasive reprecussions.

Stereotypes, such as the native physicality of African-American athletes, may be born out by such data, but we may not be taking into account the cultural and social factors that contribute to these conclusions. Because the data may feed our preconceptions and appear to be logical, the scientific methodologies may not be scrutinized as critically as they could be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 15:43
Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 15:30

So we’ve been trying to finally find someone to interview about the human animal bond, a show topic that’s been in the works for quite a while now. I was shocked to learn in my research just how much the relationship between humans and animals had changed over time. About 100 years ago, dogs in this country were primarily used for work on the farm, and rarely allowed inside the home. Today, 60-80% of dogs sleep with their owners at night in the bedroom, either in or on the bed.

Why have we gotten so much closer to these creatures? Is it our growing sense of displacement from nature that makes us want to form a bond with something non-human? Is it the same longing many people for natural places that a recent guest talked about in our show Pagans Ancient and Modern?

Friday, July 11, 2008 - 13:44

"crosswords" by m_m_mnemonic

After a group conversation about which Star Wars movie was the best one (discounting the new trilogy, obviously, my favorite The Empire Strikes Back has a strong following), I went out for lunch. In the food court nearest to our building, I saw at a distance a man sitting at a table, pencil in hand, his palm squeezing his forehead. He was looking down at some paper, and looked like he had to figure out a way to balance his finances or die. As I got closer, I saw what he was working on: a crossword puzzle. He was completely taken.

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