“When a mosque burns, a Texas town defies national divisions”

“Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them,” Robert Loeb, the president of Temple Bnai Israel, tells Forward.com. “When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together.”

“Jewish community members walked into my home and gave me a key to the synagogue,” Shahid Hashmi, a surgeon and one of the founders of the mosque, told the New York Times.

And therein lies the key to defying the divisiveness of America. Everyone knew each other.

By Bob Collins of MPR

Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet — Howie Chong

But let’s not believe that helmets are the panacea of bike safety. It’s probably far more helpful that cyclists learn how to assert their road rights while also safely interacting with traffic. Understanding how to navigate your bike through the streets is far more important to a cyclist’s safety than the helmet on their head.

Interesting article on whether or not helmets make for safer cycling.

Source: Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet — Howie Chong : Howie Chong

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Why I set out to lick 10 American monuments

Almost two years ago now I found myself in Chicago’s millennium park in awe of a giant metallic bean. So in awe that, however ill advised, I decided the experience wouldn’t be complete unless I licked said giant metallic bean. This was the beginning of an awesome journey.

Jon’s my hero.

Source: Why I set out to lick 10 American monuments | zirt life

Kindness wins in all kinds of relationships

Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife—a sign of interest or support—hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.

The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.

[. . .]

Much of it comes down to the spirit couples bring to the relationship. Do they bring kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and hostility?

“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”

“It’s not just scanning environment,” chimed in Julie Gottman. “It’s scanning the partner for what the partner is doing right or scanning him for what he’s doing wrong and criticizing versus respecting him and expressing appreciation.”

So much of this resonates with my experiences. I’ve done well, and I’ve really messed up. Read the whole article below.

Source: Masters of Love – The Atlantic

I have an interesting September coming up for myself

September is coming and I know I will circle around the hurts of my past. I know September will be interesting, but I can hope that interesting won’t also mean so overwhelming that I can’t find a way to smile every day, hug my loved ones a bit more, and spiral more like Maria on a mountainside than like water going down a drain.

Source: Living In Interesting Times | Ten Minute Missive