I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to thank me for these awesome links, so:

I wasn’t surprised when my Open Letter to Breaking Bad and Flannery O’Connor inspired other posts, but now I’m going to go ahead and take credit for the existence of a whole new blog.

Kathryn’s blog, Through a Glass Brightly, is really, really smart. Her post about Breaking Bad and Flannery O’Connor references Dante, Faust, Gollum, Shakespeare’s Richard III, and The Passion of the Christ. All of them. In one post.

I, personally, remain unconvinced, but all you Breaking Bad enthusiasts and Flannery O’Connor-ophiles should get right over there and give her some love.

Hey, speaking of intellectuals . . . 

ThoughtCatalogue asked people to share “The Most Intellectual Joke I Know”

These are a few of my favorites:

It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
Entropy isn’t what it used to be.
A Photon checks into a hotel and the bellhop asks him if he has any luggage. The Photon replies “No I’m traveling light”
A Buddhist monk approaches a hotdog stand and says “make me one with everything”.
C, E flat, and G walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, no minors”
The barman says, “We don’t serve time travellers in here.”
A time traveller walks into a bar.
The first rule of Tautology club, is the first rule of Tautology club.
And my favorite of the bunch:
What do you call two crows on a branch? Attempted murder.
How about you? Know any nerdy jokes?

update: There is a shirt. Want.

found here

Some of these 99 Life Hacks that Could Make Your Life Easier are pretty brilliant:

But this one is just troubling:

Food should not be “great for kindling.” Are Doritos made of wood? Is nacho cheese powder flammable? So many questions.

Hey, you know how you proof read your emails, and Facebook status updates, and blog posts, and term papers, and job applications and stuff, but you never seem to quite be able to catch that one last spelling error until after it’s sent/posted/submitted?

I’ve got good news: Spelling errors make things MORE VALUABLE.

The Vatican recently issued a commemorative medal in honor of Pope Francis, but had to recall the 6000 that had already been minted after it was discovered that the word “Jesus” was misspelled as “Lesus.” While the mistake was embarrassing for the Vatican, it was thrilling for collectors. A spelling error like that is rare indeed, and the few medals that were sold before the rest were pulled are sure to command a hefty price. When it comes to collectibles of any kind, spelling errors always add interest and value. 

Check out MentalFloss for 12 other spelling errors that have really paid off.

Folks have sent me some great links in response to my recent posts here, here, and here about my support of Halloween and scaring children.

I thought you might like them too . . . 

The Fun of Fear by Hallie‘s husband Dan Lord

Some people worry about the idea of dressing up as scary things. But we are scary things. We are substantially good, because we are made by God — but then we all proceed to disfigure that goodness by our sins, making our spirits ugly. Halloween gives us a creative, theatrical way to express this: We are made ugly by sin and become participators with evil; consigned to a kind of purgatorial state, we go from house to house receiving the grace of God that will purify us, symbolized by treats. We bring the treats home, take off our masks, and enjoy the taste of Heaven.

The Holiness of Pretending by Karen Ullo

How sad that on Halloween, the one day of the year when society openly celebrates pretending, our costume shops are stocked to the rafters with pimp hats and fishnet stockings.  We have so glutted our imaginations with exploitation, we have left ourselves little else to explore.  Oh, the ghosts and vampires and witches are still there—the dark forces within ourselves with whom we are better able to contend after we look them in the eye and call them by their names—but it seems their aisle gets smaller and cheaper every year.  No one wants to be ugly anymore, not even for an hour.  We have forgotten that pretending is about seeing the whole world through others’ eyes, not just ourselves.

and I loved this from Stephen Greydanus, my favorite Catholic movie reviewer, in his review of The Nightmare Before Christmas

Like the gargoyles and grotesques on medieval cathedrals, these kitchy flattened hags evoke for me what I think of as the best sort of Halloween spirit: a kind of satiric defiance. “The devil,” St. Thomas More tells us, “the prowde spirit… cannot endure to be mocked.” Properly viewed, a jack-o’lantern or a child’s monster mask, like a Gothic grotesque, is not a concession to superstition, but a dismissal of it: It proclaims that we are not afraid. Far from glorifying evil, it caricatures it in such a way as to pay oblique tribute to the straight and true. Think of the upside-down values of the Addams Family, or Far Side cartoons that deal with the grotesque or uncanny. Real evil isn’t anything like that. Of course real good isn’t anything like that either; but it’s real good — not real evil — that provides the point of contrast that makes the skewed caricature interesting. No one looks at the Addams Family thinking about how the Addamses compare or contrast with the Manson family; the point is how they compare and contrast with an ordinary family.

So, this Halloween, let’s all get out there and mock the devil!

Speaking of scary — really scary, there’s a post wending it’s way through the homeschooling community called Homeschool Blindspots by Reb Bradley.

In it, the author details his own failings as a parent, and how the mistakes he made contributed to rebellion and loss of faith in his children. The piece is touching in its honesty and humility. And his main advice: to avoid focusing on sheltering, mindless discipline, and outward appearances over love and relationship, is one to remember.

But, in reading a post like this it’s easy to start falling into self-doubt and despair. After all, anyone who homeschools has probably been treated to a story about someone’s brother’s neighbor’s cousin who homeschooled and her kids ended up atheist pot heads who are living with their boyfriends and don’t like Flannery O’Connor.

And yes, that could happen to you. It could happen to me. But it’s not a homeschooling problem, it’s a human nature problem. We can do the best we know how for our children and still fail. But that doesn’t mean we should just stop trying, or not do the things we feel are best for our kids.

So, I’m going to take note of his shortcomings and try to learn from them. But mostly, I’m going to . . . 

‘Cause all I can do is love my children and trust God and follow my gut and hope for the best. And worrying about the future isn’t going to help one bit. Besides, God says not to do it.

And, finally, Matt Walsh did it again. He wrote a post, which I believe he intended as a defense of his wife’s vocation to stay-at-home motherhood against some rather tactless acquaintances of his. It has elicited well over ten-thousand comments.

Many people really appreciated his post, but many others were offended by the vigor with which he asserted the nobility and difficulty of his wife’s “job” and his stance that no matter what, the thing that’s best for children is to be with their mothers as much as possible and everything else is lesser, if not downright tragic.

As someone who chooses to stay home with my children, and who was raised by someone who chose to work outside the home, I have some thoughts . . . 

I believe that staying at home with my kids is what’s best for me and for them. I think it’s my vocation and God’s plan for me. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t be doing it.

But I also happen to think it’s the easier and more fun thing to be doing as well. And I am very grateful to God and my husband that I’m able to do it. The moms that I know who have to work for financial reasons seem to me to have it a lot harder than I do. Sure, we stay at home moms have our rough days, but I read about Colleen’s day, and I wouldn’t trade places with her. She’s making the best of a challenging situation and really doesn’t need to be told that her kids are suffering because she needs to work.

Especially because I don’t think it’s true. Obviously, I can’t speak for all children. But I can speak for me. Our family could have afforded for my mother to stay home with my sister and I, but my mom liked her job as a flight attendant and she chose to keep doing it. My dad was a pilot, and he really liked his job too. Most of the time one or the other of my parents was home overnight, but we also had a live-in nanny.

Even as a child, I understood that my mother chose to work and it did not make me feel less valued. I knew that my parents loved me. My mom showed her devotion to her children in many other ways. I made plenty of bad decisions as a teenager and young adult, but there’s no guarantee that I wouldn’t have made those same bad decisions if my mom had stayed home with us. If you think staying home with your kids is a guarantee that they won’t end up screw-ups, then you didn’t read take number 6.

My home was filled with love and both my sister and I have very close relationships with my parents today. And, despite feeling that I was not screwed-up up by my mom’s mothering choices, I have made pretty much opposite ones. Here’s hoping mine work out as well for me as my mom’s did for her.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!