links to 10 items worth your time

1. The cofounder of Casper wants to make home renovations less hellish

“Block Renovation won’t just redo your bathroom for you. The new startup will finish it in three weeks, for 25% less than you’d pay a regular contractor. … Right now, the service is only available in New York and New Jersey, but it will soon be available around the country. And the plan is to quickly expand beyond the bathroom to other rooms, like kitchens.”

2. A New Connection between the Gut and Brain

“… there is a growing body of work showing that there is communication between the gut and brain, now commonly dubbed the gut–brain axis. The disruption of the gut–brain axis contributes to a diverse range of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. …

“… the research unveils a previously undescribed gut–brain connection mediated by the immune system and indicates that excessive salt might negatively impact brain health in humans through impairing the brain’s blood vessels regardless of its effect on blood pressure.”

3. Here’s How Much Added Sugar You Should Eat in a Day

“The American Heart Association says men should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar (… 36 grams) and women should cap their daily amount at (… 25 grams). The World Health Organization and the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines are slightly more liberal: added sugars should take up less than 10 percent of your daily calories. For an adult that’s about 50 grams … To put all this in perspective, one 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 41 grams of added sugar.”

4. 22 Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10

“Think you know Windows inside and out?”

5. Microsoft PowerPoint is getting real-time captions and subtitles for presentations

“The subtitles and captions are designed to help support the deaf or hard of hearing community, and even allow speakers to include a translation of a presentation. Live captions and subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display on-screen in more than 60 different languages.”

6. The privacy risks of compiling mobility data

“A new study by MIT researchers finds that the growing practice of compiling massive, anonymized datasets about people’s movement patterns is a double-edged sword: While it can provide deep insights into human behavior for research, it could also put people’s private data at risk. … We need to keep thinking about the challenges in processing large-scale data, about individuals, and the right way to provide adequate guarantees to preserve privacy.”

7. How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

“Hundreds of apps can follow your movements and share the details with advertisers, retailers and even hedge funds. Here’s how to limit the snooping.”

8. Facebook Wants to Know Where You are Going

“… if you want to keep using your Facebook account since it’s still your main way to keep in touch with your friends, you can turn off the Facebook’s location tracking features by following these steps …”

9. ACLU slams ‘nightmarish’ Amazon patent application to bring facial recognition to your front door

“‘It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about,’ said Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU. ‘Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future, with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people’s doorbells.’

“Amazon declined to comment for this story.”

10. 12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

“Making your devices, online identity, and activities more secure really doesn’t take much effort. In fact, several of our tips about what you can do to be more secure online boil down to little more than common sense.”

this went thru my mind

 

Attitude & thinking: A Critical Mind vs. A Critical Spirit by Trevin Wax

“… it’s common to hear pastors and scholars bemoan the lack of critical thinking in many evangelical churches today.”

Church: Seven Things in the Church That Will Not Change by Thom Rainer

” I can tell you seven things in the church that will not change. In the fast pace of change in local congregations, these seven constants are good reminders of what really matters. … The Bible is still the Word of God. … The gospel still changes lives. … Small groups are still vital. … The mission field still needs workers. … Prayer is still powerful. … Hurting people still need ministry. … God is still in control.”

Parable: A Lost Parable: The Sugar of the Earth by Chaplain Mike

“And Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘You are the powdered sugar of the earth.'”

Parenting: * Having ‘The Talk’ With Your Teen by Kim Komando; * Why Should a Mother Pray for Her Children with Her Children? by Brian Croft

* ” No, I don’t mean that talk. But there’s another one that is almost as important these days. I’m referring to the talk about staying safe with smartphones and social-media activity. Haven’t done that yet? If you’ve been putting it off because you don’t know what to cover, I’m here to help. … It’s never too early to bring up the subject of online safety. As a parent, you no doubt realize that kids do far more texting than talking. What you might not know is that kids are also doing a lot more mobile messaging through online social platforms, and this often includes sharing their location with friends.”

* “… here is a word of encouragement to all Christian mothers to press on in your daily tasks to serve you families; to remain steadfast in those spiritual disciplines with your children that appear to have little effect. This word of encouragement comes from the great Charles Spurgeon as he reflects on the impact his praying mother had on him as an unconverted boy …”

Same sex marriage: The Church and Politics: Responding to Gay Marriage Proposals by Jay Guin

“I’ve not really had much time to ponder the profundities of President Obama’s decision to support gay marriage. … However, others have, and I thought it might be worthwhile to point out some thoughtful — though disagreeing — posts on the subject.”

Self-designation: 51% – ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’: When Labels Don’t Fit [PewResearch survery results]

“When asked whether they prefer either “Latino” or “Hispanic,” half (51%) of the respondents say they have no preference for either term. When a preference is expressed, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino” by more than a two-to-one margin — 33% versus 14%.”

Shopping: Amazon Strikes Deal to Collect Texas Sales Tax

“Come July, Texans will start paying state sales tax at Amazon.com.”

this went thru my mind

 

Amazon: 9 Astonishing Facts About Amazon

American history: Lincoln and the Mormons by Ted Widmer

Church & the future: Snapshot: The Next 10 Years in the American Church by Mike Breen

Consumerism: Reflections on Black Friday by Roger E. Olson

Drinking: Making Choices About Alcohol by Michael Harbour

Evolution: Misconceptions About Evolution parts one and two.

Feedback: There’s No Such Thing as Constructive Criticism by Tony Schwartz

Gospel: * The Problem with Our Gospel #1: The Self-Centered Gospel by Marc Cortez and * The Problem With our Gospel # 2: The Individualistic Gospel by Marc Cortez

Homelessness: * Homeless children and youth. . .our response??? by Larry James and * On Shopping Carts, Thanksgiving, and Homelessness

Humor: The Ninja Nod-off by Jon Acuff

Insecurity: Kathy Escobar: Insecure Christians

Movie illustrations & reviews: * Wisdom, Stories, & “No Country for Old Men” by Tim Gombis * An Egalitarian Examination of “Courageous” the Movie

Phariseeism: As Perfect as I Supposed Myself (a quote from Alexander Campbell)

Thankfulness: Practicing the Attitude of Gratitude by Michael Hyatt