Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | August 20, 2020

A Museum with a World of Wonders

Boston science museum demonstration

The Museum of Science Has It All

The Museum of Science has been fascinating visitors since 1951. What started off as a humble meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History in 1830 has become one of the leading museums in the United States. Visitors of all age groups can come here to learn more about science and technology in innovative ways, complete with member tickets and hotel packages if you so choose. Over 700 exhibits offer something for everyone.

Museum of Science, Boston, MA - IMG 3282

Exhibits

Many fun exhibits are featured at the museum. A few of the permanent exhibits are:

  • A Bird’s World, a tour of Acadia National Park, complete with authentic bird sounds
  • New England Habitats detailed dioramas of New England wildlife and habitats in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont
  • The Live Animal Care Center features over 50 diverse species that are stars of traveling programs and presentations
  • The Butterfly Garden,  featuring free-flying butterflies in an enclosed setting with tropical plants
  • The Discovery Center provides hands-on activities for children from live animal interactions to assembling skeletons to examining fossils
  • Mathematica a way to interact with with math, in ways you probably never imagined
  • To the Moon a celebration of where we’ve come with the space program and where we’re going

The Charles Hayden Planetarium

The Charles Hayden Planetarium has long been a favorite attraction at the museum. The Planetarium offers an ideal setting for seeing your favorite stars and constellations. Regular shows are run that offer fascinating glimpses into events in our universe. Some of the shows have even included music from top pop artists.

Mugar Omni Theater, Boston MA

Mugar OMNI Theater

The OMNI Theater features a five-story IMAX screen. This theater uses the latest digital technology, for a fully immersive experience. Some of the movies shown include popular nature-related documntaries.

4-D Digital Cinema

The cinema uses 4D adds touch and smell to the audio/visual experience. A projection system with a polarized light provides a clear picture. Documentary-style nature films and fun kids’ movies are examples of what you might be able to see here.

Simulator

The simulator is full-motion, allowing you to easily feel like you’re actively involved in the scenario that you’re simulating. The highlights include a roller coaster ride, including an option where you can custom-design the track that you go on. Another exciting choice includes a virtual flight over Boston

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Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | August 3, 2020

Soul Questions: Intrinsic Goodness

Wangari Maathai in 2001

Doesn’t that smile just radiate instristic goodness?

Author June Maffin recently posted a blog post about radiating intrinsic goodness.  In this post, June highlights the life of Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathi (1940-2011).

The following quote is attributed to Dr. Maathi: “We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.”

Here are June’s Soul Questions that I’ve decided to answer:

1. What does “intrinsic goodness of humankind” mean to you?

For me, this phrase finds all its meaning in one of the parts of the Episcopal Church’s Baptismal Covenant:

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God’s help.

While this concept obviously has a spiritual meaning, there is also a humanistic meaning that stands out. Every person born on this earth has value, both as a child of God and a member of the human family. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I’ll admit it can be hard to keep this in mind, as politically polarized as things are today. It’s easy to see why many have harsh thoughts against those whose idea of “rights” conflicts with the fundamental right of others to live their lives and work without needless illness risk because of others’ selfishness.

We can all do better as a species, and I think respecting everyone’s basic humanity is a good place to start. Som people will still be intent on bring others down, but this doesn’t give the rest of us license to do so.

2. How can “intrinsic goodness” be radiated?

I think intristic goodness can be radiated by acknowledging what types of unselfish acts they perform or what special gifts they have to offer others. No, I’m not talking about “gifts” in the physical sense, either.

Think about the people you know who always make others laugh, or know the right things to say when things are going badly. Whether they know it or not, they are using their instristic goodness to change their part of the world for the better.

Even when we’re not on the same page religiously or politically, working together toward a common good is still possible. The intrinsic goodness is what makes doing this even possible.

One real-life example I can think of is when pet rescue networkers from diverse political, religious (or not), ethnic,  or financial backgrounds find common ground to help animals in need. I see this as an example of instristic goodness that can play out in other ways.

3. How can spirituality be expressed in environmental, economic, political etc. activism?

I think a belief in instristic goodness underpins much of our activism. Although caring for the environment for its own sake is something to expect, we can also care for the environment because it is a way of showing love and concern for all our neighbors.

A belief in the intristic goodness of others can motivate our quest for economic justice. Our belief in others’ essential goodness can encourage us to want to make sure that nobody has to be in want through no fault of their own.

Political activism of all kinds often has a motivation in the belief in intristic goodness. When you think about it, how much political action has its roots in attempts to correct injustices?

Our activism can be an expression of the belief in the goodness of all creation. When our activist activities have a spiritual base, what we do for the good of these people fully expresses these beliefs.

4. How can you work with others who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind “for a better world”?

There are steps that all of us can take, no matter how powerless we feel we might be in the grand scheme of things:

  • Make respecting others’ value and worth an actual part of your lifestyle, not just an abstract concept that only gets lip service
  • Never allow cruelty to others you disagree with to overtake your sense of decency, no matter how maddening or frustrating dealing with them may be for you personally
  • Remember that old adage about everyone fighting some type of battle – yes, some people will take advantage of your willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt, but your kindness might be the light they need in a dark area
  • Make sure your activism has its roots in pursuing the common good, not giving yourself license for self-congratulations

Intristic goodness is something that is all too easy to lose sight of in these somewhat dark, difficult times. However, this is one of the things that can also give us all hope for a better future.

Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | July 20, 2020

A Nice Surprise for Dogs at Odessa Animal Control

via A Nice Surprise for Dogs at Odessa Animal Control

Fix West Texas speaks for themselves, but I wanted to highlight the important work they do.

Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | July 7, 2020

About What You Thought Were Useless Skills in College….

woman in red t shirt looking at her laptop Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

About Those Skills You Thought Were Useless in College: Think Again

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A perspective from Professor Robert Kelly of the Asian Security Blog. Nobody denies the important role that law enforcement plays, but we must ask ourselves whether militarized police forces are the best option. This comparison between how the US deals with protests that spin out of control versus South Korea’ handling of such situations is worth a read.

via The Floyd Protests: The South Korean Police are Far Less Belligerent than US Departments

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Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | May 28, 2020

The “Covidiocy” Must Stop – Lives Are at Risk

black and white picture of a crying child Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

From Every Form of Covidiocy, Good Lord Deliver US!

The top buzz words of 2020 are probably going to turn out to be “covidiot” or “covidiocy”, or some variations thereof. The pandemic has dominated so much of the news cycle that I’m hesitant to ride that particular wave. However, examples of people’s disregard for others are rampant.

  • Spreading misinformation, including comparing CoVid19 to the flu
  • Failing to hold elected leaders and pundits calling for people to sacrifice themselves for the economy to account
  • People attacking the immunocompromised and elderly for keeping themselves safe

Stop the Misinformation

The 2019 coronavirus isn’t the flu, folks. Yes, we all know that there are some similar symptoms and that the common influenza virus also kills. However, we’re in some uncharted territory with this pandemic and false information benefits nobody.

The more accurate the information we all have about this pandemic is, the better. When the information we have is correct, we will be a better position to resume some amount of normalcy. Most importantly, we and those closest to us will be safer.

By the way: you are not going to take the “mark of the beast” and/or be microchipped if you get vaccinated. Face masks do not cause hyponexia, either.

These types of hoaxes and misinformation campaigns are spread by charlatans, fraudsters and those who otherwise have an interest in causing trouble (sadly, too many such types exist). Please use your common sense and stop letting memes and statuses with debunked and/or disproven information do your thinking for you!

Hold Leaders or Pundits Accountable

It didn’t take very long for certain pundits and politicians who have wrapped themselves in a “pro-life” label to show inconsistency – by lauding the notion of older adults sacrificing themselves for the benefit of the economy. Somehow I suspect that if the “sacrificial seniors” were the parents, grandparents or other relatives of those who follow such people, said followers might be singing a different tune.

When people in the public spotlight toss around such notions, they need to be held accountable. Boycott media personalities who promote such ideas, as well as their sponsors and let them know why. In the case of elected officials with poor regard for human lives, vote them out!

Stop Attacking the Immunocompromised/Those Trying to Keep Themselves Safe

People with compromised immune systems can put up with a lot of stuff they shouldn’t have to. One thing they shouldn’t have to cope with is fighting a constant battle against people too selfish to maintain proper space and/or wear a mask. Many of the immunocompromised do work outside the home and have to leave their homes for essentials sometimes.

The very least that people without health issues can do is respect their neighbors/fellow churchgoers/co-workers, etc. and at least not be a serious burden to them. At some point, people need to realize it’s not all about them. Someone with immune issues who must leave their home sometimes deserves the same respect as anyone.

Just somethings to think about in the light of this pandemic.

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Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | May 7, 2020

From a friend of a friend of a friend of another friend –

adult alone anxious black and white Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

“You guys… I can’t. I just can’t. I just logged on… and the first thing my eyes saw was a post about Costco requiring patrons to wear a mask or other face-covering starting next week. There were over SIX HUNDRED comments with (people) having an absolute meltdown. I mean… I’m dumbfounded. Like boycotting/canceling memberships/pouting/foot stomping meltdown. So, I’m just going to give my friends fair warning. I’ve had enough with this trend of self-pity disguised as patriotism.

Things to consider before you clutch your pearls, stomp off indignantly, or get a case of the vapors over this intolerable assault on your human rights…to shop at Costco.

You are not the center of the universe.
-Our supply chain is struggling. Retailers are spread CRAZY thin and can not handle more of their staff being out sick or quarantined if they can help it.
-Hourly retail workers have parents and children and spouses who are medically fragile. And they simply want to work in the safest possible environment. I know, HOW DARE THEY!
-Costco, in particular, has a long history of paying its employees a better wage than any competitors and provides really solid benefits. They are probably a company worth supporting.
Your medically fragile friends and neighbors can stay home to a point. They do need to eat. They do need to pick up prescriptions. No one is asking you to wear a mask at a night club. Of course, medically fragile people don’t NEED to be at a nightclub. They DO need to get groceries and prescriptions.
No business owner wants to end up being sued when an essential retail worker gets sick or infects a bunch of people. Because let’s face it, the government’s promises to handle the financial impacts of this hasn’t exactly panned out for businesses so far.
-There are far bigger assaults on one’s ‘freedom’ and autonomy. Did you know that many adult women can’t get their tubes tied without their partner’s written consent? Blink. Blink. Blink.

Just imagine the amount of privilege and comfort one must live in to be so insulted or tortured by what is, at worst, a mild inconvenience.

So, before you get all Scarlet O’Hara, just stop. Ask yourself if of allllll the battles to pick in this whole wide world, this … THIS … is going to be the cross you choose to bear.

Maybe this is all for nothing. Maybe face coverings aren’t as efficient, or foolproof, or comfortable as we’d like. But, you aren’t being tortured or oppressed. Do those hard-working supply chain workers a solid and get over yourself.

And before I see one more smug, “Well they better be handing masks out at the door then.” Ask yourself why you, a retail shopper, deserve a handout from Costco. We are asking many of our healthcare workers to wear bandanas and t-shirts as masks. You aren’t above it. There are school children all over this country who are sewing masks to give away. If a 7-year-old can be a decent person and choose to make the world a little more comfortable or safe, then so can you.

The bottom line is, don’t be a jerk. Just put a mask on your mouth breathing face and let the greeter see the smile in your eyes as you head off to buy your cases of bottled water, pool floats and cheap premixed margaritas. You’ll be fine.”

*please copy & paste to share – Author unknown to me

Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | March 30, 2020

A Great Blast from the Past

green black yellow round window Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’re not familiar with the term, “Via media, via modem”, you’ve missed out on what was probably one of the most interesting places on the ‘net of the time – Anglican List, also known as St. Sam’s. Having reconnected with a lot of the list members on Facebook over the years has been a real blessing.

Doing Church Online Before It Was a Thing

Way before there was a worldwide pandemic that made many churches temporarily suspend services, a group of Anglicans and Episcopalians met together on an email list. I joined in 1998, not long after being confirmed. Meeting this group of people was an exciting experience for an 18-year-old eager to learn more about the wider Anglican world.

Even though being part of an email list isn’t the same thing as attending physical services, it helps provide a greater sense of connection with like-minded people. When I found myself temporarily in between parishes due to moves, Ang-L helped provide me with friends who were people of faith.

Discovering St. Sam’s

I’ll admit that my first couple of attempts to get involved on message boards or email lists that included people of faith left a bit to be desired. One of my first such encounters involved a board geared general discussion for students that had a crop of angry evangelicals who were out to convert everyone and weren’t fond of mainline church members – I made a friend there I’m still in touch with on Facebook, but exited that board quickly.

My second online faith-based encounter involved an Episcopal-based email list where the hot-button topics generated discussion that often crossed a line into incivility. However, one bright spot was when a few fellow list members introduced me to St. Sam’s, or Anglican List.

Of List Babies and Lasting Friendships

When I joined St. Sam’s, I had the distinction of being the “list baby” (youngest list member). Being that involved with Church-related things at such a young age gave me a perspective that was unique in a setting with a lot of other adults mostly older than me. (Indeed, I set up an Episcopal FAQs website early on that still exists in a section on this blog).

The biggest takeaway from my time being part of this list was how much of a sense of community there was and still is. In this time of social distancing due to coronavirus, our connections with people both near and far are all the more important. From once having had the opportunity to take part in a list meet with another member years ago to most of us finding each other again on Facebook, these friendships do matter.

May we never forget about how much others matter.

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Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | February 8, 2020

I Changed Majors in my Late 30s – Here’s What I Learned

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A contribution of mine that appears on the front page on Contena 🙂 Read on at this link:

I Changed Majors In My Late 30s–Here’s What I Learned

 

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Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | January 5, 2020

A Little Announcement

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You might be seeing slightly fewer original posts here for awhile – there’s nothing to worry about, it’s just that the non-blog pages of this site have been in need of some updates.

The liturgical/Episcopal Church-related pages, as well as the hymn-related pages will be getting an overhaul. I’ll also be adding to the Oasis of Hope and Healing section, as well as creating an Anthropology section.

There isn’t a specific timeframe, as I’ll be working around work/academic and caregiving schedules. However, look for continued regular contributions to my blog on Spiritual Abuse’s website, as well as Beyond Crossposting and the blog for CelticAnglican Shop.

I’ll post an update as each area is revised.

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