Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: Linux Mint 9 Isadora

Linux Mint 9 (codenamed Isadora) was released just two days ago, on May 18th. You can read the official ANNOUCEMENT from their site, which explains what the main changes/improvements are, as well as highlighting the most notable new features.

To begin with, I want to stress that Linux Mint 9 is derived from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. As a result, it gets the best from the latest Ubuntu improvements, but also suffers from its shortcomings. This is something to keep in mind before installing Linux Mint 9 and something I have also taken into account when putting together this review. In other words, I won't go into those issues explicitly, but I recommend reading the full LIST OF KNOWN ISSUES, which is part of the Ubuntu 10.04 Release Notes.

The good news is that Isadora makes up for many of Ubuntu's mishaps while keeping the best of its strengths very much alive. Before you start reading the review, though, make sure you are ready for a healthy overdose of GREEN!

Read more at The Linux Experience

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage: an interview with Alan Dunn

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

Alan Dunn is a good friend, and one of the pastors of the Grace Covenant Baptist Church, Flemington, New Jersey, and has been since the church’s inception in 1985.  He is married to Patricia, and they have three sons and one daughter.  He has recently authored the book Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage: A Pursuit of Godly Romance (Pillar & Ground Publications).  He has previously written a book on masculinity and femininity called Headship in Marriage: In Light of Creation and the Fall.

Gospel intimacy . . . hmmm.  To borrow a phrase: “Is this a kissing book?”

 No, and yes.  It is a “wuv, twue wuv” book.  I use the term “intimacy” to speak of the all-inclusive nature of the one-flesh relationship.  Marital intimacy entails a profound knitting of soul.  As we pursue soul intimacy with our spouse, we will inevitably foster physical intimacy as both kinds of intimacy feed into each other.  The book focuses on relational intimacy.  However, sexual intimacy, which is integral to marriage, will emerge from a wholesome relational intimacy.  If you’re asking, “Is this a book about sex?” I would say, “Yes, but it will improve that area of a relationship only as a result of cultivating a deeper intimacy of soul.”

Thank you for the explanation.  That being so, please can you give us a prĂ©cis of the book?  What can we expect to find?

I’ve attempted to look at marriage in the light of who we are as men and women created in the image of God and as those redeemed by Christ and indwelt by His Spirit.  I consider marriage against the backdrop of the Bible’s large emphases on God, Creation, the Fall, and Redemption.  After I define the couple in terms of creation and redemption, I then consider the greatest challenge to marital intimacy: our sin.  Only the gospel can address the threat that sin poses to our marital intimacy, so we need to learn how to give each other “gospel love.”  We face other challenges to intimacy as well, such as who will take the lead, how to overcome our innate selfishness, how to cultivate wholesome communication patterns, and how to grow more intimate as we age and face the prospect of death.

Read more at Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Monday, May 17, 2010

Reinventing Date Night
By: Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times

Long-married couples often schedule a weekly "date night" — a regular evening out with friends or at a favorite restaurant to strengthen their marital bond.

But brain and behavior researchers say many couples are going about date night all wrong. Simply spending quality time together is probably not enough to prevent a relationship from getting stale.

Using laboratory studies, real-world experiments and even brain-scan data, scientists can now offer long-married couples a simple prescription for rekindling the romantic love that brought them together in the first place. The solution? Reinventing date night.

Rather than visiting the same familiar haunts and dining with the same old friends, couples need to tailor their date nights around new and different activities that they both enjoy, says Arthur Aron, a professor of social psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The goal is to find ways to keep injecting novelty into the relationship. The activity can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or something a little more unusual or thrilling — like taking an art class or going to an amusement park.

The theory is based on brain science. New experiences activate the brain's reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. (They are also the brain chemicals involved in drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.)


Saturday, May 15, 2010

3 Tips To Enhance Your Interview Audio With Audacity

by Ryan Dube on May. 6th, 2010

I use the Audacity audio recording software to record and edit all of my interviews. My recording setup is about as simple as it gets – an Olympic earpiece that doubles as both a microphone and an earphone, so that I can hear the person on the phone while the microphone feeds the conversation into the laptop and Audacity. This works well, and produces high quality conversations, but like anything, there are flaws in the setup that produce less than optimum conditions.

The beauty of Audacity is that you have the capability to “fix” those flaws. The three most common problems that I’m going to touch on in this post are removing background noise, amplifying voices, and integrating quality introduction with music.