Infographic of the day: What are the darkest parts of the Bible? — from by Suzanne LaBarre; also charts the Bible according to positive and negative sentiment–with some surprising results.



What you end up with is a snapshot of the relative cheeriness–or gloom–of different sections in the Bible. As the designer tells it:

Things start off well with creation, turn negative with Job and the patriarchs, improve again with Moses, dip with the period of the judges, recover with David, and have a mixed record (especially negative when Samaria is around) during the monarchy. The exilic period isn’t as negative as you might expect, nor the return period as positive. In the New Testament, things start off fine with Jesus, then quickly turn negative as opposition to his message grows. The story of the early church, especially in the epistles, is largely positive.

In short, it gives you a bird’s-eye view of the tone of each book, something that’s easy to miss in a line-by-line reading. You could also use it as a guide of sorts to the darkest, juiciest parts of the Bible.

The second economy — from McKinsey Quarterly by W. Brian Arthur
Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible—thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution.


We could look for one in the genetic technologies, or in nanotech, but their time hasn’t fully come. But I want to argue that something deep is going on with information technology, something that goes well beyond the use of computers, social media, and commerce on the Internet. Business processes that once took place among human beings are now being executed electronically. They are taking place in an unseen domain that is strictly digital. On the surface, this shift doesn’t seem particularly consequential—it’s almost something we take for granted. But I believe it is causing a revolution no less important and dramatic than that of the railroads. It is quietly creating a second economy, a digital one.

Data Visualization: Journalism’s Voyage West — from Stanford University
This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress’ “Chronicling America” project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers.


A fabulous history blog — from Maggie Koerth-Baker

Excerpt from Maggie’s posting:

If I had the time, I could probably spend the bulk of the next two days just trawling around the blog Wonders and Marvels. Curated by Vanderbilt professor Holly Tucker, the site features excerpts and tidbits from a wide variety of historical scholars.

Excerpt from Wonders & Marvels blog:

Wonders & Marvels is now a place for specialists and non-specialists to revel in the stories of the past.  It is provides learning opportunities for the college students who are involved on a daily basis in building the site.  Working closely with Professor Tucker, student interns have a chance to interact with scholars and other experienced authors, as well as with publicists and editors at the major publishing houses.

Wonders & Marvels is proof of the enduring links that exist between teaching and research, readers and writers, past and present.  We hope you will enjoy this site as much as we do!

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Telepresence in the classroom: Enhancing breadth and depth of learning — from Cisco by Kerry Best


All of a sudden, the classrooms lost their walls, and prior geographic and instructional limitations ceased to restrict learning.

  • …[telepresence] can bring in teachers for important subjects in which current instructors may not have specialized expertise
  • …take students on virtual field trips
  • …for teacher education
  • …bring historical figures to life


Also see:

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From DSC:
First, a word of caution. Due to the content of some of the stations available herein, I would recommend that only those people who are 18 or older visit this site.

All That Jazz … and Humor, Opera, Dance Music … — from The Library of Congress

[On May 10, 2011] the Library of Congress, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, launched a website – “the National Jukebox” – that streams 10,000 sound recordings from the historic Victor Records collection.  It’s a fun and fascinating ramble for anyone who loves American music and wants to dig down into the roots of jazz, opera, a vast range of popular music, famous political speeches — even early sound effects.  The collection launched today (which will expand over time) is the soundtrack of our grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ early lives – music from the dawn of sound recording just after the turn of the 20th Century to the eve of the Great Depression.  The url is

The Hyperbook by Mollat editions: When 18th century meets 21th — from Total Immersion and Axyz



Also see:

The Resurrection Mural by Ron DiCianni


About the mural:
“The Resurrection” is a 12’ x 40’ mural, oil on canvas. It is a depiction of the moment of Jesus emerging from the tomb, with waiting angels, fainted roman guards, and a crowd of Biblical notables excitedly waiting for His exit. They include, on right of Christ, Moses, David, Isaiah & Abraham. On the left of Christ are, Elijah, Noah, Esther, John the Baptist & Daniel. These are part of the ones referred to in Hebrews 12:1 as “the great cloud of witnesses.” On the upper right of the painting is the remnants of the place Jesus was earlier crucified, namely Mt. Calvary, also known as Golgotha, the place of the skull.

Addendum -4/26:

What happened after the Resurrection? — from Bible Gateway Blog

Christians around the world have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks pondering the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection (and here at the Bible Gateway blog, we spent plenty of time discussing them too). During Easter week, we read the familiar stories of the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, the crucifixion… and then with the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the story ends. Right?

Not quite. While the Gospels of Matthew and Mark end shortly after the Resurrection, Luke and John provide extra detail about what Jesus did during the time between his resurrection and his ascent into heaven. If your Gospel reading stopped at the Resurrection, you’re missing out on several interesting stories…

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Easter is coming — from

Today is Good Friday, when Christians around the world reflect on the arrest, trial, and execution of Jesus Christ. In the Christian worldview, it’s one of the most important dates in all of history, trumped in significance only by the glorious events of Resurrection Day a few days later.

On the surface, the story of Good Friday describes something historically unremarkable (although certainly terrible): the unjust martyrdom of a visionary. Certainly many religious leaders and idealists have met undeserved death at the hands of brutal establishments throughout history, all the way up to the present day. But as you read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final hours before crucifixion, you cannot escape the sense that this is different. This is injustice on a cosmic scale; this is humanity literally spitting in the face of its loving Creator.

But we can read this story without despairing because we know how it ultimately ends. The God who works all things for the good will bring unimaginable glory and grace out of even the murder of his own son.

Have you read the story of Good Friday recently? So much happened on Good Friday that it’s easier to just read it in its entirety rather than isolate the individual stories. It’s told from four different perspectives in the Bible: Matthew 26:47-27:61, Mark 14:42-15:47, Luke 22:47-23:56, and John 18-19.

It’s a bleak story, but we know a truth that puts even this in perspective: Easter is coming.

From DSC:
I was reading this morning about a pastor (who I’ve heard preach before and is a wonderful person) who had to go through a seriously dark time — brought on by prostate cancer — which led him into a painful journey through his own desert before he was able to reach a deeper level of spirituality with God. Suffering, it seems, is a part of the Christian’s journey — even if it’s unwanted.

I have to admit, that often times, I wish it were not so. I wish I/we all had the ability to listen better and to learn from others; I wish that inclination was more a part of human nature — especially learning from others’ experiences in the past. I wish that we didn’t need 2″ x 4″‘s onside our heads in order for us to wake up and to change our ways. (Brief tangent: People don’t like to hear bad news. We humans have never liked to hear bad news; ever. Think of global warming. Think of the U.S. Federal deficit — and the growing ramifications that astronomical debt brings with it.)

I was reflecting on the story of Jonah the other day…thinking, I’ve missed the whole point of Jonah. Instead of focusing on the large fish and how Jonah at first rebelled/ran away from God and then later obeyed (which is also a valuable part of the story), I should have also focused on the more important lesson. That is, that the people of Nineveh actually listened, heard the message, heeded the warning from the LORD, and then actually changed their ways! What a concept….and one that we Americans need to re-learn before our feet slip even further.


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There’s an app for that class at Va. universities — from by Karin Kapsidelis


VCU and other universities are exploring the uses of
smartphones and mobile applications in and outside classrooms.


With the help of his smartphone, D. Kirk Richardson taught a class last summer on Edgar Allan Poe’s last hours in Richmond. The walking tour took on a different dimension for his Virginia Commonwealth University students when he augmented his lesson with vintage images from the poet’s day. On his iPhone, they could see Poe haunts that no longer exist and even a menu from a restaurant where he dined during his last 30 hours here in 1849. For Richardson, who teaches focused inquiry classes at VCU’s University College, it was a way of adding context to Poe’s life and “moving history out of books.” He has since adapted that mobile lesson plan to a application and is showing his students this semester how to use the app to create their own walking tours. Later this month, the class will set out to digitally explore the Civil War prison camp on Belle Isle, famous hotels and the last days of Jefferson Davis.

Originally saw this at
Ray Schroeder’s Online Learning Update blog

When textbooks and social media collide — by Bridget McCrea
A professor at a Christian liberal arts college in Michigan puts textbooks together with social networking to get students jazzed about historical events.

Right around the time that the term “social networking” was starting to roll off the tongues of school administrators and teachers, Christian Spielvogel was already deep in the throes of a project that would combine the next concept with traditional textbooks.

The year was 2007, and Spielvogel, now an associate professor of communication at Hope College in Holland, MI, was experimenting with the idea of implementing gaming and computer simulations while on sabbatical at the University of Virginia. Having conducted intensive research into the public memory of the Civil War period, Spielvogel wanted to “un-romanticize” public perception of the conflict and create a more realistic, engaging, and even risky learning experience for high school and college students.

Using the University of Virginia’s Valley of the Shadow digital archive as a guide–and funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for financial support–Spielvogel developed an online reenactment and multiplayer role-playing simulation that takes place during the American Civil War.

Little did Spielvogel know at the time, but his creation would become an early example of how computer gaming can be successfully combined with education. “At the time, there had already been some efforts made to develop games and simulations with most of them based on single-player models,” said Spielvogel, “but the whole idea of a multiplayer experience that allowed a group to become involved in the game and interact online was still pretty new.”

Art though time -- a global view

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From DSC:
Not only is this a slick way to learn about a musician and about history…but it made me think…how about having students create something like this? Project-based learning with a great splash of creativity!

— apologies…I can’t recall where I first saw this.

© 2021 | Daniel Christian