Friday, January 29, 2016

Worth a look ~ 4 sets of twins, why ostriches stick their heads in the sand, and sinking ships


Do I ever feel guilty about not "using" my college education?  This article was EXCELLENT on the topic of motherhood and careers, especially for those who have yet to choose a major or a college.  Planning ahead for more family-friendly professions and considering your debt load is definitely important.  I especially appreciated the many, many good comments that weigh in on different careers and experiences.

Why we might actually WANT to keep our heads in the sand

A 90-year-old mom talks about her nine kids, including four sets of twins and how parenting has changed (via Clover Lane)

Super fun:

So Funny:  7 Quick Takes about Trashy Obsessions

I love this mash-up of classical classics:

(via Like Mother, Like Daughter)


This week's sacrament:
"From the outside, it's just a piece of bread and tiny cup of water. In the hospital, of course, it's also a short visit from kind strangers, but a swallow of bread and a sip of water seem like odd gifts to bring a cancer patient.
For those who know, though, this is what my visitors will bring:
It's Jesus, who--after wearing himself thin walking the length of Galilee and Judea teaching, healing, warning, and loving--now lies flat on his face in Gethsemane suffering with me. It's his promise that whenever two or three gather,  remembering, he'll be.

My friend recently toured the Vasa Museum in Sweden and reminded me of this devotional address by Elder Renlund from 2014 (read, watch, or listen at that link).  The story of the Vasa ship is fascinating:

In the early seventeenth century, Sweden was a world power. Sweden’s king, Gustav II Adolf, commissioned a warship that would be christened the Vasa. The ship represented a substantial outlay of resources, particularly the oak from which the vessel would be built. Oak was so valuable that cutting down an oak tree without authorization was a capital offense. Gustav Adolf closely oversaw the construction process, attempting to ensure that the Vasa would fully realize his expectations.
After construction had begun, Gustav Adolf ordered theVasa to be made longer. Because the width supports had already been built from precious oak, the king directed the builders to increase the ship’s length without increasing its width. Although the shipwrights knew that doing so would compromise the Vasa’s seaworthiness, they were hesitant to tell the king something they knew he did not want to hear. They complied. Gustav Adolf also insisted that this ship have not simply the customary single deck of guns but cannons on three decks, with the heaviest cannons on the upper deck. Again, against their better judgment, the shipwrights complied.
Over the course of several years, shipwrights, carpenters, rope makers, and others worked diligently to build theVasa. Over one thousand oak trees were used to complete the ship. It had sixty-four cannons and masts taller than 150 feet. To give the ship the opulence befitting a king’s flagship, several hundred gilded and painted sculptures were added.
On August 10, 1628, the Vasa began its maiden voyage. In view of countless spectators, the ship left its mooring directly below the royal castle in Stockholm. After being pulled along by anchors for the first several hundred feet, the Vasa left the shelter of the harbor. A stronger wind entered its sails, and the ship began to tip. The Vasa righted itself slightly, but only temporarily. Before long, as recorded by an observer, “she heeled right over and water gushed in through the gun ports until she slowly went to the bottom under sail, pennants and all.”1 The Vasa’s maiden voyage was about 4,200 feet.
The Vasa rested at the bottom of the Baltic Sea until it was recovered three centuries later in 1961. It was successfully raised from the seabed and towed back to Stockholm. Today the Vasa rests in a temperature- and humidity-controlled museum in Djurg√•rden, an island in central Stockholm. I have a model of the ship in my office at Church headquarters as a reminder of several lessons that underlie its short, tragic history.
Despite the Vasa’s magnificent appearance, the ship was not seaworthy. The alterations in its construction resulted in it not having sufficient lateral stability to enable safe seafaring. Gustav Adolf’s desire for an extravagant status symbol ruined the design of what would have been a magnificent sailing vessel, the mightiest warship of its time. The shipbuilders’ reluctance to speak up—their fear of the king’s displeasure—deprived the king of their knowledge and insight. All involved lost sight of the goals of the enterprise: to protect Sweden and to promote its interests abroad. A ship that attempts to defy the laws of physics is simply a boat that won’t float.


Some of my favorite landscapes from last week's trip to California:

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