Best Of The Web
“Jesus was not born in a stable. That’s not to say the birth wasn’t attended by farm animals — the Gospel of Luke tells us twice the baby’s first bed was a feeding trough — but rather that the animals lived in the house.
Peasant homes in first century Bethlehem were designed with what we would today call an “open concept.” They typically had one large room with the nicer living space in an open loft or on the roof, while the main floor area was where the family’s animals would be brought for safekeeping at night. The guestroom that was unavailable to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was that loft or roof space, and the big room where they stayed instead served as the kitchen, living room, dining room, and farmyard all at once. The defining feature of Jesus’ birthplace was not isolation, as we often tend to think, but an utter lack of privacy: Mary delivered in a crowded farmhouse with few, if any, interior walls.
And that was perfectly normal, if not exactly desirable, for our modern fixation on the open floor plan is a historical anomaly. It flies in the face of literally millennia of consensus that more rooms is better, and it is a dreadful mistake. The last 70 years of open concept construction and remodeling has left us with dysfunctional houses, homes that are less conducive to hospitality, less energy efficient, and more given to mess.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."