This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What a difference a tree makes

Every time I go past St. Augustine's I am struck with how different it looks. A few weeks ago a large tree next to the school was removed, and the space looks very different.
Maybe I should have led with the shot below, which shows some of the snow we got overnight. It was only about an inch, and the March sun is melting it rather quickly.
I think it was a ash tree. The stump is still there, along with a lot of sawdust.
St. A's is in the process of putting in some new gym windows, and you can see that above.

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a bit late this year. We must be having a full moon next week, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, so to get a late full moon in spring we need a full moon just before spring.

Lent is an under-appreciated tradition. One can value it from a purely secular point of view. All of us have self-control problem--it is the human condition. As children we learn self control, some of us better than others and Lent is a refresher course in practicing self control. Self-control problems have even caught the attention of economists in the past couple decades as they have begun to develop what is called "behavioral economics." Behavioral economics argues that we are not the logical and rational creatures of mathematical theory, but that we make systematic errors. One of the sources of those errors are self-control problems. Here is an example on youtube. (The professor is Dan Ariely, and you might notice that he has significant scarring on his face and neck. The horrible accident that gave him that scarring was what led him to his interest in human behavior--be warned, the video can be a bit disturbing.)

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