The “Indefensible Hope” of Baseball

Why baseball fans like Chris get so excited about Opening Day — and why it’s so hard to explain that excitement to non-fans. [Read more…]

Indiana’s Other Claim to 2016 Fame

A big day is nearly upon us.  Not as big as Christmas, but not small either.  December 11 marks the 200th birthday of the state of Indiana.  Some Hoosiers have been celebrating all year already, but the rest of the country might whoop it up too. If you weren’t thinking that a state bicentennial was [Read More…]

Amish Innovation

In 2004 the Kempf family farm in northeast Ohio was devastated by blight. Half of their crops, which included tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and cantaloupes, were wiped out. There was one productive area on the farm though: a new section that yielded some beautiful cantaloupes. The family’s 16-year-old son John wondered why. He hypothesized that the [Read More…]


Religions are not always what they seem. A colleague once told me of his experience teaching a course on cults and small sects in the 1980s, when he had required his students to go out and actually spend time with one of the then-controversial groups. (Something I would never have done, for reasons of legal [Read More…]