Lights Out for Birds: Millions of birds die each year by slamming into illuminated skyscraper windows at night, according to the aRocha blog. John Humphreys writes:
There are a number of projects across the continent that are trying to do something. The problem is particularly bad at the time of peak migration, when – of course – birds are doing a lot of flying over and through cities at night. New York City Audubon has, for the last five years, asked the owners of skyscrapers to switch lights off at night, and has requested that late workers ‘draw blinds or use desk lamps rather than using ceiling-mounted lighting’. The problem is that these poor birds get dazzled, baffled and disoriented by artificial lights, especially when flying lower than normal in bad weather. Happily, such initiatives really work – there are far fewer carcasses found at the base when the suggestions are heeded (of course, predators tend to vacuum up dead and dying birds really quickly, so researchers have to patrol the ground below when studying the problem). If you are interested, read about Audubon’s work.
Describing Autumn Color: Catherine Larson paints with words on the Common Grounds blog:
God has begun the gradual metallurgy of fall. Outside my window, down to the left, He’s refining one tree into pure gold. It quivers ever so slightly each day as it moves from one degree of gilded glory to the next. Just beyond the edge of the dark green forest, I can see touches of copper and bronze. But the furnace of change heats so gradually, I cannot perceive exactly how the vista has altered from the day before. Like most things God does, it’s subdued, unhurried, and steady.
Luther’s Bible Translation: Andy Crouch highlights an interesting blogpost by Andrew Wilson, traveling in Germany, about the contribution Luther made by making an affordable and accessible Bible available to the masses. An excerpt:
It’s well-known that Luther translated the Bible into German, and it’s often thought that he was the first one to do so. But that’s not true at all. In fact, there were 17—that’s right, 17—other translations of the Bible into German before Luther’s! . . .
Gutenberg’s Bible was the first book printed in the West using movable type. But while the technology was new, the social system was still old. We have in the Gutenberg Bible a classic product designed for the nouveaux riches. His Bible promised to up-and-coming classes the same access to written culture afforded previously only by ecclesiastics and nobility.
We can see that in even in its style. Gutenberg’s work left the intial letters unprinted with space left for illumination. His printed Bible was meant to simulate the great illuminated Bibles owned by the nobility and rich monasteries, but for a bargain-basement price. That’s not to say they were cheap. Gutenberg’s Bible would have cost the average worker a fortune. It was still a prestige piece, not meant for study but to decorate the collections of those who wished to be identified with book culture.
What we see in Luther’s work is an entirely different kind of thing. Here was a whole Bible meant for study, for reading. It was designed to be printed en masse, to be bought and distributed to many people below the nobility, used in churches and schools for catechesis. We can see the difference in the design. Older Bibles were large, folio-sized objects, printed in small numbers. Luther’s was was small, mass-produced, and affordable.
School Lockers as Billboards: This proximity of learning and marketing just doesn’t feel right. But maybe it’s just me.
Budget woes in U.S. municipalities and states are creating a newly aggressive attitude towards novel ways to raise money — and one of those ways could impact public schools.
Now under debate and consideration by the Centennial Public School District, a cluster of seven schools north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, is whether or not the schools will accept advertising in their hallways.
Colorful vinyl ad wraps featuring large graphic decals could appear on as much as 10% of school lockers, walls, and floors if the school board approves the plan on November 1, reports the Star Tribune. The income (and temptation) from such an ad program could put an additional $184,000 into the school’s pocket each year.
In St. Francis district schools, near the Centennial district, the ad program has been approved and ads are appearing already. The ads will result in school income of around $200,000 annually. School districts in Colorado and Southern California are said to be considering similar programs.