- Why add a leap day?: Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.
- Hail Caesar: Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C., but his Julian calendar had only one rule: Any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. That created too many leap years, but the math wasn't tweaked until Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later. There's a leap year every year that is divisible by four, except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. The year 2000 was a leap year, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. The added rule about centuries (versus just every four years) was an additional fix to make up for the fact that an extra day every four years is too much of a correction, according to ScienceWorld.
- Leap months in other countries: A whole leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every three years. The leap month's place in the Chinese calendar varies from year to year, and 2015 was a leap year in the Chinese calendar. A leap year in the Ethiopian calendar occurs when an extra day is added to the last month of the year every four years.
- Leap year traditions: It's acceptable for a woman to propose to a man on Feb. 29. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.
- Leap year babies: People born on leap day are often called "leaplings" or "leapers." Most of them celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.
- Leap year capital: The twin cities of Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico, are the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World. They hold a four-day leap year festival each leap year that includes a huge birthday party for all leap year babies.
- Famous leapers: If you were born on leap day, you share a birthday with composer Gioacchino Rossini, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, jazz musician Jimmy Dorsey, actors Dennis Farina and Antonio Sabato Jr., and rapper/actor Ja Rule.
- There's a leap year club: The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies is a club for people born on Feb. 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.
- And a leap year movie: Amy Adams and Matthew Goode starred in the 2010 romcom "Leap Year." It's about a woman who travels to to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition says that men cannot refuse a woman's marriage proposal.
- Leap years in history: During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and and gold was discovered in California (1848).
Monday, February 29, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
According to Hesiod's Theogony, when the Titan Cronus castrated his father Uranus and threw his genitalia into the sea, the Erinyes as well as the Meliae emerged from the drops of blood when it fell on the earth (Gaia), while Aphrodite was born from the crests of sea foam. According to variant accounts, they emerged from an even more primordial level—from Nyx, "Night", or from a union between air and Mother Earth. Their number is usually left indeterminate. Virgil, probably working from an Alexandrian source, recognized three: Alecto or Alekto ("unceasing"), Megaera ("grudging"), and Tisiphone or Tilphousia ("vengeful destruction"), all of whom appear in the Aeneid. Dante followed Virgil in depicting the same three-character triptych of Erinyes; in Canto IX of the Inferno they confront the poets at the gates of the city of Dis. Whilst the Erinyes were usually described as three maiden goddesses, the Erinys Telphousia was usually a by-name for the wrathful goddess Demeter, who was worshipped under the title of Erinys in the Arkadian town of Thelpousa.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
We aren't talking telephone number either. Can anything good come from telling your partner(s) how many people you've slept with before you met them? Many people would say, "no way." The very idea of revealing that number can be terrifying because they're afraid that they'll be judged for having had too many intimate encounters -- or too few -- and they worry that the information could harm their relationship. It's also probably not a good answer when you say, "Um, I lost count. The orgy in Italy threw my numbers off a bit." Yeah, not a good answer, but some of us were sluts when we were younger, had more hair, and were better looking.
"[What happens when you reveal your number] depends on what are the attitudes and values of the people involved and what their reactions are going to be," Dr. Zhana Vrangalova , a sex expert and professor at New York University, told the co-hosts of HuffPost Love+Sex Podcast, Carina Kolodny and Noah Michelson . "My husband has actually had that experience with a couple of his friends and girlfriends. They would share the number and he would be so accepting of whatever the number was that they walked away thinking, Oh my God — I’m not this dirty slut that everyone has been telling me I was. So if you have a positive reaction to that, or your partner has a positive reaction to that, it can be a really empowering and really anti-slut shaming that I think a lot of [people] could benefit from it.”
To hear more about what can happen when you share "your number," as well as questions about everything from the above question about "numbers" to "what should I do if I only want to date 'daddies' and they all think I'm too young for them," listen to the podcast go to iTunes to download it.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
How Do You Feel About Your Nether Regions?
A new study found that regardless of sexual orientation, people who either feel good about their genitals look or are not self-conscious about them are more likely to have good sexual self-esteem and feel sexually attractive. The study examined the relationship between perceptions of genital appearance and self-perceived sexual attractiveness. The study sample included men and women aged 18-45 who identified as heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or bisexual. Participants responded to an online survey assessing their self-perceived sexual attractiveness, genital self-image, genital self-consciousness during sexual activity, and sexual esteem. Based on previous findings, the study hypothesized a positive link between genital self-perceptions and self-perceived sexual attractiveness, with sexual esteem acting as a mediator. Analyses revealed a significant association between both genital self-image and genital self-consciousness and self-perceived sexual attractiveness. However, these relationships were at least partially mediated by sexual esteem, across both gender and sexual orientation. The findings suggest that, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, individuals who maintain a positive genital self-image or lack genital self-consciousness, are more likely to experience greater sexual esteem, and in turn, feel more sexually attractive. The findings have implications for the importance of genital appearance perceptions and improving individuals' sexual esteem and self-perceived sexual attractiveness.
Freud would agree. I think that when someone is confident in the way their genitals look, then they are overall more confident and have greater self-esteem. The same i believe is true of people who are happy with their body image. It gives the person more confidence and self-esteem. The problem is that for some of these people who are happy with their bodies become overly conceited and obnoxious to deal with overall.
Science: Gay Dudes Like Muscly Hunks
Yeah, this is real: researchers recently counted and analyzed the photos and comments posted on Queerty.com, a blog mostly for gay men. The overwhelming majority of pics and comments celebrated hunky, muscly men with basically zero body fat. The downside: not critiquing these images might be reinforcing an unhealthy body image among blog visitors. This study conducted a content analysis of 243 photographic images of men published on the gay male-oriented blog Queerty.com. The study also analyzed 435 user-generated comments from a randomly selected one-year sample. Focusing on images' body types, the study found that the range of body types featured on the blog was quite narrow-the vast majority of images had very low levels of body fat and very high levels of muscularity. Users' body image-related comments typically endorsed and celebrated images; critiques of images were comparatively rare.
First of all, Queerty is the worst place on the net to read comments. Their commenters tend to be the bitterest queens on the planet. However, if you look at this from an evolutionary standpoint, those with less body fat and nice musculature look healthier, meaning that our minds perceive them to be people who will live longer. Attraction often has to do with having a male partner who will love a long time. When it comes to women, heterosexual men tend to find a woman with large breasts and nice hips to be seen as more fertile, just as healthy men are seen as more virile. So when we look at what we find attractive, it comes down to who the evolution of the human species will take the best care of us and who will be the best at procreation. While this may seem to exclude homosexuals, it does not. We still want virility. Whatever sex we are attracted to, we still have the evolutionary genes that tell us the same things about the same sex we are attracted to as it does when opposite sexes are attracted.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
Sunday, February 14, 2016
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
Do we really believe that scripture?
I believe this verse would serve us well to consider in its literal simplicity: God is love.
I love how this verse opens up my ability to see God in the flesh, in the here and now.
See the love around you and there it is: there is God, in the flesh.
A father buying his daughter an ice cream conethere! An elderly couple holding hands–there it is again! A woman playing with her dog in a field–Again! God being love. A day care worker leading a crowd of children to the playground–there too! A group of friends enjoying an evening around a table of food and drink. There! There God is again! God being love, in the flesh.
And even better, whenever I myself experience a loving act, I know that God is there loving me.
When my partner comes home after a day at work and I get a hug and a kiss hello, God is there, loving me in the flesh. When my best friend and I hang out together and we get to talk about what’s been going on in our lives, there God is, loving me, loving us, in the flesh.
As a gay man I especially treasure these moments. For many years I was taught that my love is sick, sinful, disgusting, and abomination. I’m guessing the same is true for many of you. I treasure loving moments all the more because it took a lot of work to shake off those teachings, well, for the most part, I have shaken those teachings out of my head, and I have come to believe that my loving acts, yes–my loving acts–fully participate in the love that is God.
What a marvel that is! First John doesn’t add any restrictions or caveats: God is love. Not: God is mixed gender love; Not: God is white people love; Not: God is cis-gendered love; Not: God is highly educated love.
Simply and fully: God is love.
We are all invited to shake off those teachings we learned from society: God loves dark skin less? No! God loves accented English less? No! God loves women less? No! God loves trans and bi and lesbian and gay less? No!
It can be difficult to remember that God loves me without qualification. As a gay man, even after more than 30 years of being out, even after finding many safe and affirming places in my life, there is always–always!–the awareness that not everyone around me knows that I’m gay, the awareness that I am participating in my own oppression in the closet balanced with trying to remain safe and secure balanced with simply being. This is a balancing act I’m too well practiced at.
The need to struggle with that balance is deep in the bones, buried deep in the flesh of any queer person who grew up taught that same gender loving flesh and transgender flesh is an abomination. Perhaps you can relate as a woman or person of color or person with an accent.
For me, that struggle has been so deeply embedded for so long that I rarely notice it anymore.
Though I’d rather not think about it, it remains a costly struggle. And, if we ignore that cost the price can be dear in terms of self oppression, internalized homophobia and their companions depression, addiction, dysfunctional relationship, and other unhealthy destructive behaviors.
For many of us, we have reduced the struggle with oppression by finding safe places. We have reduced that struggle by finding healthy loving committed relationships. Many LGBT people have reduced the impact of our oppression with 20 or 30 years of being out, by claiming God’s love, by living openly and courageously. We have reduced our oppression and struggle, but we still struggle. As much as we want to forget, as much as we want to ignore it, we still live with our oppression.
And it serves me well to remember how precious is this knowledge: that God is love, that my love participates in God’s love, that God loves me in the flesh, that my flesh participates in the love that is God.
Too often, I have seen what happens to people who don’t know that God is love.
When I worked as a psychologist, I worked with too many young adults who spent their adolescence bullied daily. I worked with too many young people who were kicked out of their Christian homes because their parents’ church taught that this was the loving thing to do to LGBT teenagers.
I have read too many statistics about the number of homeless lgbt youth on the streets of our major cities, not because they want to be there, but because the emotional and physical abuse of their home life was worse than living on the streets of cities like New York.
Can you imagine? Worse than living on the streets of New York City–in the winter? homeless? hungry? These young people didn’t start out as homeless youth on our streets. They were, they are, typical everyday kids, usually from the suburbs, usually with no idea of what life is like on the streets of a big city–would you survive a day living homeless on the streets of New York City in the winter?
They are kids who ended up on the streets because of what the church, our churches, have taught about sexuality and gender identity.
Most parental rejection of LGBT youth is based on religious belief, and that must stop.
But, you might be tempted to say, we’re making progress. Look–Will and Grace! Look–marriage equality! Look–Glee!
You think it’s getting better?
That esteemed journal of modern life, Rolling Stone, had an article last September, describing the rising–yes, the rising–tide of homeless lgbt youth today.
Here is a quote from that article, from the founder of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth: “The summer that marriage equality passed in New York, we saw the number of homeless kids looking for shelter go up 40 percent.”
Wow. Up by forty percent? What happened? The article goes on to explain that these kids, hoping that it’s getting better, seeing marriage equality come to our states, watching TV and YouTube videos, these youth are finding the courage to come out younger–and when youth come out younger, they get kicked out of their religious homes younger.
This is why, my friends, it is so important that we love in the flesh, that we embody God in the flesh to our neighbors and their children.
This is why it’s so important that our Open & Affirming churches name that affirmation and love out loud and visibly, in the flesh, so that everyone grows up believing that God does love them, so that every parent knows that every child is loved by God.
This is why, for me, the "open" in Open & Affirming is so important. We don’t proclaim our churches Open & Affirming for ourselves–we do it for our neighbors. We do it so that our neighbors know that there are churches that affirm LGBTQ people. We do it so that our neighbor’s children know there is a love that may not be present in their parents’ church, that there is a loving church different from the ones they see in the news on TV.
This is why it is so important that we continue the work to bring all our Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations to a welcoming place, to proclaiming openly their affirming welcome of all people regardless of gender expression and sexual orientation as well as race, ethnicity, gender, class and, well, all people.
Let us build a church where no person grows up lacking the knowledge that God loves them, her him and trans, queer bi gay and straight, that God loves all, in the flesh.
Let us build a church where no person grows up encouraged to hide in a closet and participate in their own oppression.
Let us build a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and let us build Christian Churches across the US and Canada where all know that all are welcome.
It’s time to be God in the flesh for all our neighbors, openly, clearly, out loud. Amen.
Originally published by GLAD Alliance and was written by Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston, Executive Director of the Open & Affirming Ministry Program of Gay Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance.
The churches of Christ and the Disciples of Christ have a mutual founding in the Stone/Campbell movement. If anyone knows of a Disciples of Christ in central Vermont please let me know. I think the Disciples of Christ is probably the only denomination I'd feel truly comfortable in.
I'm sure I've posted this hymn before, but the verse above always puts this hymn in my mind. It's called "God Is Love":
GOD IS LOVE
Come, let us all unite to sing:
God is love!
Let Heav’n and earth their praises bring,
God is love!
Let every soul from sin awake,
Let every heart sweet music make,
And sing with us for Jesus’ sake:
God is love!
God is love! God is love! Come let us all unite to sing that God is love.
O tell to earth’s remotest bound,
God is love!
In Christ we have redemption found,
God is love!
His blood has washed our sins away,
His Spirit turned our night to day,
And now we can rejoice to say:
God is love!
How happy is our portion here,
God is love!
His promises our spirits cheer,
God is love!
He is our sun and shield by day,
Our help, our hope, our strength and stay;
He will be with us all the way;
God is love!
In Canaan we will sing again:
God is love!
And this shall be our loudest strain:
God is love!
Whilst endless ages roll along,
We’ll triumph with the heavenly throng
And this shall be our sweetest song:
God is love!
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! May you feel God's love, the love of friends and family, and my love for each of you.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Josh McDowell, a well-known evangelist and apologist, commissioned a new study to expose what he calls the “pervasiveness of pornography in the church and among Christians” and to his disbelief, the statistics proved what he had already feared – “pornography has infiltrated the church, especially among young adults.”
“Of young adults 18-24 years old, 76 percent actively – and these are Christians – actively seek out porn,” McDowell lamented to OneNewsNow.
Here are some additional key findings from the church commissioned study titled: “THE PORN PHENOMENON: A COMPREHENSIVE, GROUNDBREAKING NEW SURVEY ON AMERICANS, THE CHURCH, AND PORNOGRAPHY: Impact of Internet Pornography on American Population and the Church.”
- 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
- About 12% of Youth Pastors and 5% of Pastors say there are addicted to porn
- 87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it
- 55% of pastors who use porn say they live in constant fear of being discoveredOneNewsNow reports on McDowell’s one man crusade to turn the tide on all those young Christian’s addicted to playing with themselves.
McDowell tells OneNewsNow young people have a cavalier attitude towards porn.“Of 13- to 24-year-olds, 96 percent would say that when they talk to someone about porn – their friends, which most of them are Christians now – they do it in either a neutral, positive or encouraging way,” he says.McDowell is putting together what he calls the most comprehensive conference for Christian leaders about Internet pornography. Called “Set Free Summit,” it will take place in April in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Source: The Daily Grind, February 5, 2016
Read more: http://2anothercountry.blogspot.com/2016/02/church-funded-study-finds-76-of-young.html#ixzz3zOufwhQs