Christ in Combat: Defense by the Spirit | Desiring God

I enjoyed this short article about how Jesus combatted temptation by being filled with the Spirit.

With that fullness the Holy Spirit led him into solitude for forty days. He went away from family and friends and crowds and lived in the desert for forty days. That’s almost six weeks. No radio. No television. No computers. No billboards. And this wasn’t the only time: Luke 5:16 shows that other times Jesus went away alone. It must be that preparation for ministry demands significant times of solitude. We simply can’t maintain a radical God-centeredness under an unbroken barrage of human interaction. The depth and value of what you bring in your heart to other people will depend on what you do with your solitude.

via Christ in Combat: Defense by the Spirit | Desiring God

Suicide now leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan | The Japan Times

Suicide has become the leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan for the first time in the postwar period, an analysis of government demographic data has shown.

While the total number of people across the country who kill themselves has declined remarkably in recent years, statistics released by the health ministry for 2017 showed that 100 children in that particular age group took their own lives, accounting for 22.9 percent of all deaths in their generation.

Cancer came second for the age bracket, at 22.7 percent, followed by accidents at 11.7 percent.

Suicide more deadly than cancer? Now that’s a sign of a problem.

via Suicide now leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan | The Japan Times

Ethan Lindenberger: Facebook’s anti-vax problem intensified in Congressional testimony – The Washington Post

If it weren’t for the misinformation his mother saw on Facebook, Lindenberger told The Washington Post, “my entire family could’ve been vaccinated.”
— Read on

What all this really shows me is that people only want to hear what confirms their own thoughts. It’s really difficult to convince someone, no matter how educate they are, that they are wrong about something that they’ve believed all their life.

As a Christian that’s doubly obvious because evangelising someone who has always thought that Christianity was practiced by kooks, is really really impossible. In fact no one can do that, only God can.

City in Japan uses AI technology to analyse cases of school bullying | South China Morning Post

AI will be used to analyse 9,000 suspected bullying cases reported by elementary and junior high schools in the city over the six years through fiscal 2018. It will examine the school grade and gender of the suspected victims and perpetrators as well as when and where the incidents occurred.

What’s more worrying to me, other than the fact that they have 9000 suspected cases to feed the AI for analysis, is that the intent is to detect cases that tend to escalate and require particular attention. This, rather than eliminating bullying itself, shows that the bullying problem is so large and the resources to deal with it so limited that the authorities can only make targeted efforts to deal with the most extreme cases.

— Read on

The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

This is an interesting article, one that gels with my own beliefs about exposure to the sun.

How did we get it so wrong? How could people with low vitamin D levels clearly suffer higher rates of so many diseases and yet not be helped by supplementation?

As it turns out, a rogue band of researchers has had an explanation all along. And if they’re right, it means that once again we have been epically misled.

These rebels argue that what made the people with high vitamin D levels so healthy was not the vitamin itself. That was just a marker. Their vitamin D levels were high because they were getting plenty of exposure to the thing that was really responsible for their good health—that big orange ball shining down from above.


When I spoke with Weller, I made the mistake of characterizing this notion as counterintuitive. “It’s entirely intuitive,” he responded. “Homo sapiens have been around for 200,000 years.

Until the industrial revolution, we lived outside. How did we get through the Neolithic Era without sunscreen? Actually, perfectly well. What’s counterintuitive is that dermatologists run around saying, ‘Don’t go outside, you might die.’”

When you spend much of your day treating patients with terrible melanomas, it’s natural to focus on preventing them, but you need to keep the big picture in mind. Orthopedic surgeons, after all, don’t advise their patients to avoid exercise in order to reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Read the article here

A giant indoor farm in China is breeding 6 billion cockroaches a year. Here’s why

This is truly, TRULY, the most disgusting article I’ve read in a long time.

The world’s largest cockroach farm is breeding 6 billion adult cockroaches a year and using artificial intelligence to manage a colony larger than the world’s human population – all for medicinal use.

It is part of the production process for a “healing potion” consumed by millions of patients in China, according to the government.

There are many cockroach breeding facilities in China, for use as an ingredient in medicine or as a source of protein for livestock feed. But no other facility can match the productivity of the farm in the city of Xichang, in southwestern Sichuan province.

Read more here: A giant indoor farm in China is breeding 6 billion cockroaches a year. Here’s why | South China Morning Post