Worth Reading - 2/27

1. From Joe Carter, some time tested methods for memorizing almost anything:

Before we learn to memorize the narrative of Bible, though, let’s practice using the tips mentioned in this series to memorize another list of item. Choose a list that suits your particular interest. For example, a movie buff can practice by memorizing all of the Best Picture Oscar winners for the past 20-30 years; history buffs can memorize the U.S. Presidents or the monarchy of Britain; literature buffs can memorize the titles of Shakespeare’s plays, etc. The key is to choose a list that you have an interest in rememmbering and that have between 25-50 times. It may take 30-60 minutes to come up with the images and put them in your memory palace. Then you’ll want to practice by going through your memory palaces and reciting the items in order.

If you do a practice run like this over the weekend, you’ll be completely prepared next week to quickly and easily memorize the events of Genesis.

2. Read Trevin Wax's critique of H. Richard Niebuhr's classic work, Christ and Culture. It's a book you should read if you have not already:

What should we make of such a landmark work? First, Niebuhr is to be commended for laying out various historical postures Christians have adopted toward culture. These approaches are so memorable that, more than a half century later, scholars who consider the task of Christian ethics feel they must interact with them in some measure. Niebuhr’s breadth of knowledge is on display in his attempt to summarize and point out the strengths of each position, as well as his decision to illustrate his work with biblical or historical examples.

3. Writing and mothering as a vocation. It's all meaningful work according to Courtney Reissig: 

We elevate at-home motherhood because we want to show the watching world that we matter, too, in the same way that Hatmaker makes the argument that her kids need to see her doing meaningful work elsewhere. Both are coming from the idea that this work is mundane, needing validating or escape. But God provides us with another way. It’s all meaningful, from wiping bottoms to writing sentences. We can all work, mothers and non-mothers, and find great meaning in what we do on any given day—not because the world tells us it is meaningful work, but because the God who created work tells us so.

So write on, fellow writers, there is meaning in your work. But let’s not forget there is meaning in doing the dishes, too

4. Along with the llamas on the loose, which enlivened the internet yesterday, there was also a raging debate over the color of a dress. Here is the science on why that controversy was possible:

Not since Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern has one blue dress been the source of so much consternation.

(And yes, it’s blue.)

The fact that a single image could polarize the entire Internet into two aggressive camps is, let’s face it, just another Thursday. But for the past half-day, people across social media have been arguing about whether a picture depicts a perfectly nice bodycon dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe. And neither side will budge. This fight is about more than just social media—it’s about primal biology and the way human eyes and brains have evolved to see color in a sunlit world.

Light enters the eye through the lens—different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. The light hits the retina in the back of the eye where pigments fire up neural connections to the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes those signals into an image. Critically, though, that first burst of light is made of whatever wavelengths are illuminating the world, reflecting off whatever you’re looking at. Without you having to worry about it, your brain figures out what color light is bouncing off the thing your eyes are looking at, and essentially subtracts that color from the “real” color of the object. “Our visual system is supposed to throw away information about the illuminant and extract information about the actual reflectance,” says Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington. “But I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.” (Neitz sees white-and-gold.)

5. In the press of the here and now, we can often get distracted from the weight of history. Recently the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima was celebrated. Here are pictures from the Smithsonian Magazine of that monumental battle:

Seventy years ago, U.S. Marines secured Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, beginning a long and bloody fight for control of the World War II Japanese outpost. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s image of soldiers planting an American flag atop Mount Suribachi has lived on as a symbol of the battle, winning the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for photography and inspiring the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

The United States eventually secured the 8-square-mile island, located approximately 760 miles south of Tokyo, but not without sacrifice. American troops would fight for a month more after taking Mount Suribachi and the first of two Japanese airfields. Capturing Iwo Jima was of strategic importance to B-29 air raids on mainland Japan. It also demonstrated to the Americans that the Japanese army would defend their lands at all costs, something which influenced United States’ decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki later that year.