Friday Favorites is a weekly round up of my favorite stories and products from around the web. See what I’ve loved in the past here.
- I listened to the talk “Moral Discipline” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson this morning, and although it was given in the October 2009 General Conference, I found that much of what he said resonated deeply with my thoughts in the aftermath of the shooting in Florida last week. I will say nothing about the gun control debate here, but I think Elder Christofferson hits the nail on the head when he talks about the real reasons behind why tragedies like this keep happening:
The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as “value judgments.” As the Lord describes it, “Every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god” (D&C 1:16).
As a consequence, self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior. …
“Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.”
- Here is another beautiful story about a young missionary who used his artistic talents to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a family in need of the Savior’s light.
- This scripture was a tender mercy for me this week:
- Hudson Valley Seed Company packages their seeds in gorgeous “art packs” designed by contemporary artists. See some packs designed Will Sweeney and Sarah Snow on Modern Farmer.
- Schools in England are starting to use arts education to teach principles of sustainability to primary school children. Read the article on The Guardian.
- Meet Mare Simmons, the Utah-based artist of vibrant pieces that pay homage to the natural world in a riot of color and patterns. Read about her on Empty Easel, and follow her on Instagram.
- It’s about time! One of my greatest frustrations in the agriculture industry is the disparity between research funding for conventional agriculture versus organic agriculture. But earlier this month, the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2018 was introduced. The bipartisan bill proposes increased funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), the “only federal program focused specifically on research for the organic sector.”
- I am a huge fan of biogas digesters, and I think they will play a significant role in reducing our waste and reducing our dependence on synthetic fertilizers. It’s no wonder, then, that this story about Mexican markets using biogas digesters to create electricity from prickly pear waste makes me giddy in my little ag nerd heart.
- You might want to think twice before starting your own beehive. Researchers say that domestic bee colonies can have a strong negative impact on native pollinators.
- I’ve always been a fan of Swiss Family Robinson, and dream of someday having a tree house as grand as theirs. And apparently, I’m not the only one with that dream—way back in 1848, a French restaurateur built a restaurant in an elaborate tree house just outside of Paris.
- REI has an inspiring article about how to overcome the barriers that often keep us from getting outside and improving our health, both mental and physical.
- The rider in the incredible video below is BLIND. Remember him the next time you feel like you can’t do something.
- In a fun mix of creativity and naturalism, Brain Pickings has a great article about Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Anatomy, and the Arts, a manual of color designed to help naturalists name the many colors of the animals, plants, and geological specimens they observe.
- And to end on a really funny note, here’s a story about a police chase involving a car packed to the gills with—wait for it—oranges. You can’t make this stuff up.