Fathom Mag

Conduits of Conversation

This is the second of our bi-monthly Conduits of Conversation from your editors at Fathom.

Published on:
March 24, 2017
Read time:
9 min.
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Can I treat exhaustion with a pill? I hope so. Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s divine timing, but just days after completed my fourth spring break from the position of a parent the goop email newsletter brought word of a supplement pack named “Why am I so effing tired?” Seriously. That’s its name. And I felt like the small prepackaged vitamins got me. I know with a certainty that “spring break” is a misnomer, but how likely is it that I can find rest for my weary head in a bottle and not on a pillow? Please, someone tell me this could work. 

Is it bread if there isn’t any grain? I just completed a Whole15—by that I mean I made it halfway through a Whole30 before I quit. I convinced myself that quitting was fine because I was sure to carry on some better habits. Habit number one is Legit Bread. This is a gluten free, grainless concoction that has managed to mimic actual bread in a remarkably convincing way. I bought it because I felt I had fifteen days of grainless eating to atone for but now I’m a breadless-bread evangelist.

Did you listen to anything today? Spring break is good for me in that it’s a reminder of how hard it is to take care of children all day long. The occupation/exhaustion of full-time child rearing has put a major hold on my literary consumption. But I have been listening. A brand new podcast helped me keep my brain going these last couple weeks. The perspectives from Truth’s Table, a podcast hosted by three black Christian women who love truth and seek it out wherever it leads them, are a needed addition to the podcast landscape. I’m two in and totally hooked.


Know anything about servers? Along with my job at Fathom, I also work at a church where I run the media and occasionally do a bit of teaching. This week, however, our entire server crashed, which meant I had to talk on the phone for four straight days with computer engineers and listen to how they have no clue what went wrong with it, and it’s a really serious issue. If I never saw another computer in my entire life I would be happy. I did learn a ton about computer networking though.

Love March Madness? I haven’t been able to keep up on March Madness too much this year and I think my life and sanity is better for it. There were years when I filled out ten brackets and was obsessed with beating my friends and family and was angry when my teams didn’t perform and grumpy for weeks as a result of complete chance. It was exhausting. This year, however, my three-year-old niece is beating me and I couldn’t be happier for her!

Remember The Office? In the spare time that I did have over the past few weeks, I’ve been rewatching a few episodes of The Office. Sheesh. I understand why it was the best show on TV for a few years. 

I like reading. I’m also reading a few books (this one and this one) on typography, which has been immensely fascinating, and some poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Sylvia Plath.


Are we too busy? I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately—how quickly it goes, how little of it we have. I don’t even want to talk to others at work because I want to make the most of my time. Lately, there’s a growing swell of AI robots, like Clara or x.ai, and personal assistant companies, like Second and Magic, to make up the time we’ve lost. Or is it that we’re just too busy? I’ll be exploring time in the future, writing about a time planner Think Time.

Are we saying too much? I’ve also been thinking about story and simple communication. We humans are not built for complex things. Our brains can’t handle too much information at once. Two companies have inspired me lately to slow down the way I talk and write: StoryBrand and Duarte. StoryBrand is a company started by writer Donald Miller, helping businesses focus their branding and messaging to communicate one simple idea to their customers. Duarte does this but on a much larger scale, honing in a company’s entire communications strategy to unite their customers around a single vision.

Isn’t it obvious? Sometimes non-Christian culture says the thing that Christians have been saying for a long time. One such occasion is Alain de Botton. He is a writer and philosopher who had the most read story in The New York Times throughout the politically-filled 2016 season: “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.” His videos, like the one on why humans are destroying themselves, make utterly plain what Christians have been saying for a long time: we’re filled with sin, and we’re destructive creatures. Instead of calling humans “nuclear armed rodents,” we prefer to be called the image of God—with a twist. We call it sin. (The School of Life is cool though.)

Is global warming a real thing? I saw a great video called “Elegy on the Ice.” Pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays a graceful piece floating atop the Arctic Ocean as ice crumbles all around him. It’s a very moving way to explore the concept of global warming.

Ludovico Einaudi with Greenpeace

When people protest about “justice,” do they know what they’re asking for? This might be a little controversial. There’s an interesting part in Radiolab’s February podcast about Bernie Madoff called “Ponzi Supernova” that talks about how complex justice is. Sometimes it’s really difficult and messy. Another example of this complexity is in their podcast “Playing God,” a story about triage during Hurricane Katrina. How do you decide whom to save? Justice is not something humans can do well. Taking a listen to just these two podcasts will slow down the waters of justice that churn through the mind.


It’s a sports themed conduits for me. ’Tis the season.

Have you heard of the UTTC Thunderbirds? There are upsets, and then there’s what happened in North Dakota in 1998. Chuck Klosterman writes about the most unlikely upset you’ve never heard of.

Why do we love the underdog?

Who has the perfect bracket? This guy. Matthew Pierce made a Christian pop-culture bracket for the ages that will take you back to the age when Christian bookstores were as cool as Blockbuster. Veggie Tales ALL DAY! To pique your interest, here is his Elite Eight: Flannelgraph, WWJD Bracelets, Psalty the Singing Songbook, Bibleman, Lecrae, DC Talk, The Farewell Rob Bell Tweet, and Whit from Adventures in Odyssey—remember that one?

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