Dinomania - A Short Review

Most people enjoy a good work of fiction, and this book is no exception if encountered with that expectation in mind. Unfortunately, the author attempted to write more of a sociological commentary on our relationship with dinosaurs. Most of the book addresses the Western perspective on dinosaurs, but there are sections which show global development.

Where Boria does well is inviting the reader to re-imagine our relationship with dinosaurs in such way that are not just over-commercialized kitsch.  He also invites the reader to view dinosaurs through different historical-cultural lenses which show up most readily in artistic renderings of dinosaurs from the last two hundred years.  Prominently, the Crystal Palace dinosaurs show how Imperial Britain viewed dinosaurs as an extension of her own place in the world.

There are a few areas where to book fails. It is obviously influenced by post-modern constructive views which leave you wondering what exactly a dinosaur actually is without eve…

This is America

My heart was heavy again last night* as I watched two fresh, but not uncommon news stories unfold. First, the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand mosques. Second, another video of police using what appears to be unnecessary force has reached national attention.

Let's start the narrative off with this: I am a capitalist. I believe in the power of free markets and hard work to accomplish a lot. Supply and demand can create wealth that is not limited and does not necessarily take from others.

We do not enjoy capitalism equally today.

The problem comes when those who already have access to resources, land, or other assets are given additional legislative or societal power to gain leverage over other people. This is not a free market. This is crony capitalism with unbridled free markets.  Capitalism separated from morality is a beast ready for blood. It tears the fabric between people and lifts a few while simultaneously and necessarily squashing many people.

You might disagree with …

Brainless Sameness - A Brief Review

Despite the fact that I home school my two boys, I believe in public education. I think that public education is fundamental to the well-being of our country, and our lack of care and attention to many districts throughout the country is a disservice towards a thriving republic. Local taxes and national taxes should support children of all backgrounds, regardless of what the local community provides back in instant return on investment.

Brainless Sameness by Bob Sornson tackles the inefficiencies in much of American education. It is more of a survey book looking at what brought us to our current state where both children and teachers are failed in education. He also offers ideological shifts met with practical solutions to navigate the path toward better education. The broad solutions he encourages us are proven solutions which could translate into a healthier society.

Sticking to an antiquated adaption of Horace Mann's educational system lies at the root of our problem in educatio…


Photo by Louie Castro-Garcia on Unsplash
Like most people, there are time when I want to check out mentally and stop listening when someone is talking.  Last night I had one of those experiences. I was ready to go home, my eyes were tired, and it had been a long day. 

Then I asked a question. 

One of the guys I had played games with suddenly became far more talkative to me than he ever had been. I had already wondered that night if this person was capable of saying something that wasn't sarcastic or negative. I found out he was capable of this simple feat!

He began to passionately share with me about his daughters, and then one of his favorite games. He talked for at least fifteen minutes without saying a single negative thing. I was amazed. I struggled to contain my tiredness, but I made a mental note to stay close physically to the conversation and to continue to make eye contact. By the end of the conversation, I could tell he had shared most of what he wanted to and was in a bette…

The Anxious Experience

There are moments when the world feels overwhelming. The inside feels as if it will make the outside come crashing in through your skull, or at least through the cavity of your chest.
That’s where you feel the longing to connect with other people.
It’s acute. It’s a pull toward community and authenticity and rawness. But the more you feel it, the more you are afraid of sharing and reaching out to anyone. Those buzzwords rear back more like buzz saws.
You already feel as if your failures are defining you. If you reach out one more time, you may just be proved right. The self-fulfilling prophet will rear back his ugly head, shaking his mane in approval of the self-doubt and loathing you feel. If you’re lucky, he’ll eat you alive instead of just gnawing on you constantly.
After all, you already doubted whether any of it was true. Social media, the plethora of choices, and the mistakes of other people have cloaked you in the drape of apprehension.
It feels as if nothing good will come. All t…

This - A Review of Michael Gungor's new Book.

In the same way writing about a song never fully shares the experience of hearing the song, writing about this particular book seems like it will be woefully inadequate. Maybe it is just the phase of life I am in, but there are parts of this book that reached me as few books have lately.

I received the book from my father in law while attending the Gungor concert at Hope College last Monday night (February 18th). It was a touching gift, and you could tell me father was excited to be there. Soren, who is ten now, immediately started to consume the book. There was nothing necessarily unusual about this as he has loved the song "Beautiful Things" since he was very young.  However, there were a few things that I immediately noticed about the book that drew me in.

First, Soren was making furtive glances at his mother and me while reading. Always means there might be something worth discussing in the text. Secondly, it quickly became clear we were among the first people outside of t…

Friday Nights

I'm not good at being smart.

More than once in my life I have had people call me smart. I have even had people say that I am one of the smartest people they know. 
I don't feel smart. I don't even feel average. There are plenty of times when I feel dumb. I feel really dumb. I feel like I am failing at everything I do. 
This is not a "pity me, plea." I just know a little bit of how big the world actually is at the present time. I know how little I know right now. 
The world is a big place. I am a small person. I am small in my emotional responses. I am small in my ability to figure everything out. I am small in terms of my ability to respond to other people. I am small in terms of my impact. I wish I weren't. 
I wish I had a huge impact. I wish I had could speak on huge stages with huge online impact. I wish I could measure my market share and do things that made a difference in the world. 
I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way. I feel like I wan…