Links for May 4 2016

* How the world’s leading authority on the English language used Google to write the most comprehensive treatment of English usage ever published

“Even the editors of the “Oxford English Dictionary” were having to guess based on the few citation slips in front of them. But now we can apply big data to English usage and find out what was predominant until what year.”

* Dearly Beloved; a Sermon on Shutting Up the Accuser

“Yes, I am familiar with that accusing voice. The one that tells me that I am what I’ve done. The voice that accuses me of already forgiven sins. The one that repeats harmful things said to me as a child. For some of us, those voices don’t ever really shut the hell up. That voice makes us eat less than we should or more than we should. Sometimes we try and shut that voice up with alcohol or dope. That voice can make us spend more hours at work than we should. It makes us go to ridiculous lengths to try and prove it wrong. Or try to prove it right.

But that accusing voice is not God’s voice. It’s not God’s voice.

There’s a reason that in parts of the Hebrew Bible, the devil is called ha satan….which translates The Accuser. The Accuser. It is the voice of The Accuser that tells us lies about ourselves and other people.”

* ‘Normal America’ Is Not A Small Town Of White People

“We all, of course, have our own notions of what real America looks like. Those notions might be based on our own nostalgia or our hopes for the future. If your image of the real America is a small town, you might be thinking of an America that no longer exists.”

* FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades

“Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, commended the FBI and department for the collaboration but said, “The FBI’s three-decade use of microscopic hair analysis to incriminate defendants was a complete disaster.””

* Cults, conspiracies and the utterly bizarre history of Sleepytime tea

““After studying the teachings in The Urantia Book, I knew that it would feel selfish and wasteful to simply focus on material success,” he said. “So, as a young man, when I began thinking of what I could do to make a living, I immediately turned to the health food industry…The ideas [in The Urantia Book] were the inspiration for the uplifting quotes we print on the side of our tea boxes and on our teabag tags!””

* The Criminal Heroes Of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK And THE WARRIORS

“In the early 1970s, crime is blamed for the city’s woes. By the late 1970s, after people understood the full extent of Watergate, the realization set in that corruption within the system is at fault. In the universe of The Warriors and Escape from New York where criminals are heroes and villains are corrupt authority figures, heroes do not unite against villains — villains pit heroes against each other. The Warriors follows the traditional hero’s journey, it seeks to find what can be saved. This version of reality is a comic book, it presents gangs with the purity of children, and the city is a playground. Escape from New York is the story of an antihero, the city a literal prison, where survival is a heroic act and the world’s only hope is to destroy it and start anew.”

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