Four Articles and a Poem

9:34 PM

Weekly, I post four articles that I found significant and a poem accompanied by some comments about what we can learn from them. Our lives are enriched by seeing better. Each week, one article comes from the world of photography, a discipline that is about seeing. Another article comes from the world of technology, hence seeing something of the future. Another article takes up an aspect of our life together, seeing more clearly the other. Another article refers to faith, seeing the unseen. Finally, the weekly post concludes with a poem, because poetry is about seeing words whose arrangement allows us to see anew.

This week, in technology, we will look at a new metric for relationship compatibility: the credit rating. In our life together, we shall look at a graphic detailing shifts in immigration to the U.S. In faith, given the shooting in Oregon, we'll revisit some words of the Holy Father regarding arms. In photography, David duChemin offers some lovely images and reflection upon the intention of those images. Finally, as we begin a new month, we shall take up a poem from Robert Frost that hails this month.

  1. Credit scores and committed relationships. Forget about internet dating and personality tests, the new science in relationships is around your credit score.New research from the Brookings Institute suggests that credit ratings at the beginning of a relationship indicate a great deal about the likelihood of long-term success in the relationships. The research is a great starting point for things that we know intuitively. Couples with strongly divergent money management skills are likely to face greater stress in household financial practices. Similar credit scores, according to this research, suggests a starting point for greater trust between the couple. In other words, knowing the credit score is a better predictor than knowing the Zodiak sign.
  2. From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How America’s Source of Immigrants Has Changed in the States, 1850 – 2013. U.S. migration patterns changed plenty from 1850 to 2013. An interactive map, created by the Pew Research Center, visualizes these shifts by showing the origin of the dominant immigrant group in each state for every decade during this time period. The map is a part of a comprehensive report on past and future immigration trends, the main point of which is to highlight the impact of the Immigration Act of 1965. But the map reveals the events, policies, and trends before and after 1965 that shaped the waves of U.S. immigration.
  3. Standing Before Congress, Pope Francis Calls Out the ‘Industry of Death’. Pope Francis called out war profiteers and demanding an end to the arms trade near the end of his address. Pope Francis asked a critical question: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?” This week, a portion of our lawmakers were willing to shutdown the federal government over abortions, but the institution is inert when it comes to the massacres occurring in our elementary and high schools (45 in the U.S. so far this year), college campuses, movie theaters, shopping malls, military installations, and churches.
  4. The Great Bear Rainforest. David duChemin asks great questions. Tis post from his blog does not disappoint. He struggles with what his images mean, what they convey. In these photographs of bears, he raises issues of intimacy with the animals as well as the whether or nor such images may help protect such species.
As we begin a new month, let us conclude with a poem from Robert Frost.

By Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

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