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Archive for September, 2013

Skyline, and not coneys.

Friday, September 27th, 2013

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Puffy like coney buns, clouds are ethereal but not tasty….

Shot on an iPhone by Paul Bell.
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The Liberal Pope?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

It’s been quite a busy six months for Vatican City’s most well known resident. The election of the first pope from the Americas, Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, introduced the new face of Catholicism, a reinvention of the dual millennial-old community. Taking the papal name of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope quickly began a mission to reinvigorate the Catholic population after years of controversy. Bringing a fresh and modern spin to the traditional role, Pope Francis has been spending his inaugural year redefining the papal legacy. His mission lies in rediscovering the core values of Catholicism, encouraging love, empathy, and acceptance in a faith that has been so recently associated with judgment.

The Pope’s first official trip took place at the end of July when he visited Rio de Janiero, Brazil for World Youth Day. Reaching out to the youngest members of the faith speaks to his strong efforts revitalizing the Catholic community through youth empowerment and religious appreciation. In addition to his appearance at World Youth Day, he has improved visibility of his role via social media in hopes to connect to more aspiring religious believers. The official Twitter page of His Holiness Pope Francis, @Pontifex, garners over 3 million followers.

There is no doubt that Pope Francis is going through the motions, but is it really making a difference? Arguably, actions speak louder than words; however in this instance the words are drawing a large amount of attention and respect. This soft-spoken and compassionate man seems to be quietly leading a revolution in the Catholic faith through his messages challenging the members of the faith community to look beyond the controversial topics hovering over the religion’s portrayal in the media. Last week, Pope Francis spoke to the importance for Catholics to steer focus away from abortion, birth control and homosexuality. His interview outlined four themes of reformation that also included the crucial role of women in the Catholic community.

Immediately following Thursday’s interview, CBS News reports that Pope Francis denounced abortions as a ‘symptom of today’s throwaway culture.’ This declaration establishes that although there might be a change in tonality, there is not a particular shift in ministry. Of course, this brings about both admiration and ridicule from the community, as does the nature of most decisions made by one in authority. But does the world want to hear the old phrase: ‘hate the sin, love the sinner”?

‘Best Pope Ever’ and ‘World’s Greatest Father’ are just some of the tag lines associated with Pope Francis. Overseeing thousands of bishops and over 1.3 billion people makes his direction and leadership particularly influential and his leadership appears to still be a hopeful and promising step for the Catholic faith. With such a vast following, is it possible for his vision to turn into reality? There is no denying that Pope Francis has entered into his role with vigor and passion to inspire the community-at-large, how it will continue to be received is left to be determined.

The Framework of Life.

Friday, September 20th, 2013

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Spider webs, highways, subways, bridges ….. all strong in their own right and carry their intended passengers with grace and surety.

Shot on an iPhone by Jon Keeling.
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Prost!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to turn, it is beginning to feel more like fall, which means that the 37th Oktoberbest Zinzinnati is just around the corner. This weekend, the masses will descend on Fifth Street where six blocks will be cleared for beer tents, German food vendors, and the world’s largest chicken dance.

The origins of Oktoberfest can be traced to Munich for the marriage festivities of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810. The couple’s wedding reception was such a hit that the people of Munich decided to create an annual event of splendor and merriment that eventually transformed into a two-week outdoor festival celebrating the harvest.

Oktoberfest was first held in Cincinnati in 1976 as a small block party near Fountain Square. This event has grown to be the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the country, attracting more than 500,000 attendees who travel from around the world to Ohio’s river city.

This year, the Chicken Dance will be led by George Takei from Star Trek. Takei has been a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and is a strong gay rights advocate. While Cincinnati tends to be known for maintaining conservative practices, the city appears to be taking quite a leap forward by putting Takei in the spotlight at this renowned event. Takei joins a prestigious list of former chicken dance leaders including Weird Al Yankovic, Davy Jones, Vince Neil, Chad Johnson and Joe Nuxhall.

The celebration kicks off at noon on Friday with the Hillshire Farm Running of Wieners, when 100 dachshunds will race to the finish line. Given the city’s deep German heritage, this event invites families and friends to remember and celebrate their German roots. This authentic display of the city’s early settlers highlights Cincinnati’s many successes over the past century. The event continues to draw people eager and proud to celebrate the past, present, and future of the city of Cincinnati.

Farewell to summer.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

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In some parts of the world, summer never ends….

Shot on an iPhone by Paul Bell.
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