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Quote of the day for Friday, September 26th

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I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them 

Mark Haddon

Happy 52nd birthday, Mark Haddon! Before the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time began writing, he had a career as an abstract painter.

Where are all the women? What my bookshelf says about the continuing effects of patriarchy

Ben Irwin

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The other day, I did one of those “10 books that stayed with me” status updates on Facebook. It’s a thing that’s been going around for a while now. (After more than 130,000 such lists were tallied, Harry Potter came out on top, in case you were wondering.)

For my list, I chose to highlight 10 books that had a lasting theological impact. Later that day, one of my friends gently pointed out what, in hindsight, seems like a glaring omission:

There were no women on my list.

I have to be honest. I was a little embarrassed when I realized this. And alarmed. What bothered me even more than the fact that there were no women was the fact that I hadn’t even noticed my failure to include any.

I’m committed to gender equality. I’ve written about my theological journey from complementarianism to egalitarianism, and how…

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If Walls Could Talk, Concrete Confess

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City Jackdaw

If walls could talk.

If concrete could confess.

If soul could seep through cement.

If only one of those monochrome apparitions could reach out and take me by the hand, leading me into a world of smoke and ale and revelation.

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The woman stood by the door on the right of the picture is my great grandmother. The two little girls are my grandfather’s older sisters. The guy on the far left, in the bowler hat, is my great grandfather. The other two younger men could be family, I don’t know. Will probably never know. Posing with a football and a trophy of an unknown triumph, they remain silent, anonymous ghosts. Enigmas of imagination.

The building itself, its very brick and mortar, contains more than can be revealed in a two dimensional image. It contains that which is valued in meaning.

Ancestors of mine dwelt in that place between 1901…

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Quote of the day for Thursday, September 25th

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Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth. 

William Faulkner

When William Faulkner (born September 25, 1927) won the Nobel Prize, he donated part of the award money to establish a fund encouraging young writers, which became the PEN/Faulkner award, and the rest to a scholarship for black teachers at a Mississipi university.

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Quote of the day for Wednesday, September 24th

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As soon as I take down her book and open it…My skies rise higher and hang younger stars. 

Eavan Boland

Happy 70th brithday, Eavan Boland! The award-winning poet often addresses issues faced by women in both poetry and prose.

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Quote of the day for Tuesday, September 23rd

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The weariest nights, the longest days, sooner or later must perforce come to an end. 

Emmuska Orczy

Hungarian born author Emmuska Orczy (born September 23, 1865) is best known for her Scarlet Pimpernel series about a British aristocrat who dashes in to rescue his fellow noblemen during the French Revolution.

The Tironian et (⁊) in Galway, Ireland

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Sentence first

Over the door of the Warwick Hotel in Salthill, Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, sits a very old and unusual typographical mark. Between Beár (bar) and Bialann (restaurant) there is a Tironian et (⁊), Latin for and.

stan carey - warwick hotel, salthill galway - tironian et

The Tironian et is a remnant of Tiro’s shorthand system, which was popular for centuries but is now almost entirely discontinued. The mark lives on in just a couple of writing systems, one of which is Irish.

Even Irish people who respond to the phrase Tironian et with blank looks are familiar with it from bilingual street signs like this one:

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Quote of the day for Sunday, September 21st

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The road to hell is paved with adverbs. 

Stephen King

Happy 67th birthday, Stephen King! The master of horror says that the day he found a copy of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Lurker in the Shadows was the day he “found home.”

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Quote of the day for Saturday, September 20th

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Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. 

George R.R. Martin

Happy 66th birthday, George R.R. Martin! Is there any book as hotly anticipated as the next installment in his Game of Thrones series? Write, George R. R. Martin, write!

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Quote of the day for Friday, September 19th

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Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules. 

Mario Batali

Happy 54th birthday, Mario Batali! The orange-Croc-wearing chef and cookbook author also appears as a character in the role-playing game World of Warcraft as Bario Matalli.