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

 

Compassion: Cost-Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor by Bruce Wydick

“… what are the best ways to help those living in developing countries? By ‘best,’ I mean most effective: things that actually help people rise out of poverty, and that carry with them a sizable ‘bang for your buck’—programs in which the impact on the poor is significant per donated dollar. … A World Health Organization study estimates that the availability of clean water in a rural village reduces infant mortality by 35 to 50 percent, at a cost of roughly $10 per person per year. … Of all the long-term development interventions, child sponsorship received the highest rating.”

Fellowship: Chairs of Fellowship by Rick Atchley [10 min. video excerpt]

“… this video excerpt … illustrates the folly of basing fellowship on doctrines generated by man.”

Growing up digital: American Families See Tablets as Playmate, Teacher and Babysitter

“According to a Nielsen survey of adults with children under 12 in tablet-owning households … seven out of every ten children in tablet-owning households used a tablet computer … Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said children play downloaded games on their tablets and 57 percent said children used tablets to access educational apps.”

Leadership: Basic Church Leadership Instinct by Terry Rush

“Marginal leadership neuters church ambition and potential when it is declared that we go by the Bible; yet truly monitor most closely the collection plate. It is not unusual that church doctrine is not first determined by biblical authority; but rather by the big givers who may opt to leave if not pleased.”

Marriage: Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

“Young parents spoke of an economy that was fundamentally different from in their parents’ time, and that required more than a high school education for fathers to be stable breadwinners. They talked of how little they trusted each other to be reliable mates, and of how the government safety net encourages poor parents to stay single.”

Miscarriage: Naming the Loss by Jonathan Stormented

“Because the emotions swirling around inside me were so hard to define, I sat down a couple of nights after we got the news and wrote a letter to Mary (our little baby who would never be born). I never planned on sharing this publicly, but I am doing so in hopes that it might bless others who are going through, or have been through, similar situations. Here’s how we named our loss. I hope this helpful to some.”

Parenting: 35 Things I Hope My Kids Will Say About Their Dad by Joshua Becker

“Children learn more from watching their parents than from listening to them – more is caught than taught. As parents, this puts great weight on how we conduct our lives. It requires us to be intentional about how we live. It requires us to self-reflect and evaluate if our lives match our words. And it requires us to be intentional about identifying the lessons we hope our kids will take from us.”

Sugar: Should Sugar Be Regulated Like Alcohol? [Ira Flatow’s interview of UCSF pediatrician Robert Lustig]

“Americans consume 450 calories of added sugar every day, and that is not counting fruit. … all that extra sugar, especially fructose, can be toxic and hard on your liver, just like alcohol.”

Theological training: Theological Education and Tomorrow’s Church by Mark Hamilton (parts one, two & three)

“There is a problem here, and we must name it.”

Unwed mothers: For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

“After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. … The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree … Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change. One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children.”

Weddings: Some Thoughts for Young Couples Who are Planning Their Weddings by Dave Barnhart

“Before we get into wedding season, I want to share some thoughts and opinions that I hope will be helpful to couples doing wedding planning. This is from a pastor who has done more weddings than he can count, and who has given pastoral care to people before their weddings and after their divorces.”