Getting over the hump


Jeremy:

I thought this advice from Photographer Ming Thein was a good reminder in the event of a photography advancement slump.

Enjoy

Originally posted on Ming Thein | Photographer:

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There comes a point in the growth of every photographer where they reach a ‘hump’ which appears to be insurmountable in any obvious way: you just don’t think you can get any better, no matter what you do. This may be at a very low level, or a very high one; depending on your natural visual aptitude. But it happens to everybody – it’s happened to me several times in the past. Today I’d like to talk about things you can do to move past it and up your game. After all, everybody wants to make better images, right?

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Oh NO!!! Tea Party Patriot, 46, Charged With Receiving And Distributing Child Pornography


From the Smoking Gun and arrest report:

After President Barack Obama posed for a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, Tea Party patriot Brian Schwanke raced to his Facebook page to post a story about how Michelle Obama was purportedly infuriated by her husband’s impromptu shoulder-to-shoulder snapshot with Denmark’s fetching Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

“What a classy president we have. His wife has to sit between him to make “lil Barry “behave,” wrote Schwanke, whose Facebook page reports that the United States “WAS founded on a CHRISTIAN foundation, and the progressive, atheist left is running us into the ground to create a Socialist country that will fall like all the others.”

But Obama’s self-portrait and the left’s treachery are the least of Schwanke’s troubles these days.

The 46-year-old Michigan resident was named today in a federal criminal complaint charging him with distributing and receiving child pornography. Schwanke, pictured above, allegedly used the e-mail account hornypastor@outlook.com to trade hundreds of revolting photos and videos.

Read on. 

Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the doors, and here’s the, wait, where’d everybody go?


The American Scholar’s Jim Hinch wrote this article about the decline of Evangelical Christianity in America. Here’s a snip:

Just 10 years ago, evangelical Christianity appeared to be America’s dominant religious movement. Evangelicals, more theologically diverse and open to the secular world than their fundamentalist brethren, with whom they’re often confused, were on the march toward political power and cultural prominence. They had the largest churches, the most money, influential government lobbyists, and in the person of President George W. Bush, leadership of the free world itself. Indeed, even today most people continue to regard the United States as the great spiritual exception among developed nations: a country where advances in science and technology coexist with stubborn, and stubbornly conservative, religiosity. But the reality, largely unnoticed outside church circles, is that evangelicalism is not only in gradual decline but today stands poised at the edge of a demographic and cultural cliff. The most recent Pew Research Center survey of the nation’s religious attitudes, taken in 2012, found that just 19 percent of Americans identified themselves as white evangelical Protestants—five years earlier, 21 percent of Americans did so. Slightly more (19.6 percent) self-identified as unaffiliated with any religion at all, the first time that group has surpassed evangelicals. (It should be noted that surveying Americans’ faith lives is notoriously difficult, since answers vary according to how questions are phrased, and respondents often exaggerate their level of religious commitment. Pew is a nonpartisan research organization with a track record of producing reliable, in-depth studies of religion. Other equally respected surveys—Gallup, the General Social Survey—have reached conclusions about Christianity’s status in present-day America that agree with Pew’s in some respects and diverge in others.)

Unlikely heroes: The Tank Dogs of WWII


What are Tank Dogs, you ask?

They are lovely pets, known as man’s best friends, which “… were  trained to carry explosives on their bodies to enemy tanks, where they would then be detonated.”

Pretty sweet, right? Nothing wakes me up better than dog guts kicking a tank’s ass in the morning.

Well, it wasn’t exactly the best way to blow a tank:

There were several reasons that these methods didn’t work. To drop the bomb, the dogs had to pull on a belt with his teeth to release it. This proved to be too complicated, and often the dog would simply return to its handler without releasing the bomb. Secondly, remotes were too expensive at the time to be used practically, so timers would be used more often instead. If the dog returned to his handler with the bomb still attached, he would have killed the handler and himself.  Even if the bomb was released under the tank, if the tank was in motion and the timing wasn’t set just so, the bomb would simply explode without doing any damage to the enemy tank.

Read more.

Ex-Louisiana pastor hunkers down in the Yeshua Fog™ and rides the storm


From this Daily Beast article, “Atheist Ex-Pastor Jerry DeWitt’s Mission to Red America:”

But far away from the hype cycle of social media and the cultural freedom of metropolitan America, a former Louisiana pastor is struggling with a similar project deep in the small towns of the evangelical South. On June 23, Jerry DeWitt led the first service of the Community Mission Chapel in Lake Charles, Louisiana—a product of his own painful journey from beloved local pastor to abandoned outcast. His decision to stay in a hostile rural environment sets him apart from most other clergy members who embrace atheism—and from the burgeoning atheist church movement.

“Everyone else who did what I did left where they lived,” DeWitt said, referring to other Christian pastors he’s met who took public positions of atheism. “Someone had to stop that. Someone had to be the first not to move, so that the next person doesn’t have to move.”

Read on.