Why Syrian Intervention Should Be More Complicated for Christians

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If we've learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan, it's that intervening in the Middle East is never clear or simple. What is clear right now, though, is that the majority of American citizens do not want this country to get militarily involved in Syria, be it via missile strikes, boots on the ground, or some other method.There are a number of reasons why getting involved in Syria may not be the best of ideas for the United States, ranging from doubts concerning the rebels our actions … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Your Life Is Even More Meaningless Than You Thought

Science has done much to improve humanity's lot in life, but it's done an awful lot to humble us, too. (For example, highlighting our puniness in light of the scope of the universe, or revealing that maybe we're not as different and unique from other animals as we thought we might be.) And now Dave Goldberg offers us several reasons for why we shouldn't even exist, claiming that we're "nothing but impurities in an otherwise beautifully simple universe." … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, three psychiatrists ask, "Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?" While acknowledging the question's troubling nature, due to the potential ramifications it has for free speech, they also point out that numerous agencies and organizations do hold that media violence is, indeed, a risk factor for real violence. Obviously, this question won't be going away anytime soon, especially in light of tragedies such as this one. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Why Do People Pay Money To See A Movie They Don’t Plan To Watch?

Over at The Dissolve -- and excellent new film site you should be reading, by the way -- Matt Singer has written two pieces about a "strange and alarming trend": people who claim to love movies but don't actually like to watch them. In other words, people who pay money to sit in a theatre, but don't think it a big deal to spend time tweeting and texting on their phone. … [Read more...]

“Finding Nemo” didn’t lie to your kids; Pixar just chose to focus on deeper truths

Still shot from the rumored Finding Nemo/Cars crossover, "Finding Geo." Image- somewhat bohemian via flicker (CC BY 2.0)

Finding Nemo is easily one of Pixar’s most successful and acclaimed films. The story of a father clownfish trying to find his lost son in the ocean’s vast expanse is incredibly entertaining, aesthetically beautiful, and more than just a little moving. However, The Fisheries Blog’s Patrick Cooney thinks it could’ve been even better, if only Andrew Stanton,Lee Unkrich, et al. had been a little more scientifically accurate in their depiction of the film’s main characters.In a cheeky post with th … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Doesn’t Get Religion

Netflix's prison comedy/drama Orange Is The New Black is the service's latest hit, following on the heels of House of Cards and the resurrected Arrested Development. (It currently has a score of 79 on Metacritic.) However, for all of its strengths, B. D. McClay argues that the show fails when it comes to representing religion: it presents a deeply caricatured version of religion (and religious adherents) even as it "depends heavily on the residual weight that religion’s cultural trappings can giv … [Read more...]

Shaming Sexists and Racists Online as a Form of Justice?

Image- Rochelle, just rochelle via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Earlier this year, tech consultant Adria Richards was attending a programming conference when she overheard two male developers make what she considered to be sexist comments. She tweeted a photo of the men to call them out, and sparked what would come to be known as "Donglegate." As a result of Richards' tweet, one of the developers lost his job, as did Richards. Meanwhile, blogs, Twitter streams, and comment sections discussed the affair with language that was frequently obscene in its hatred, … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Injustice Piles On Top Of Injustice At Guantánamo

When popular author John Grisham found out that Guantánamo detainees were asking for some of his novels, and that they were being denied, he began to learn more about one of the detainees who was a fan of his work -- a man named Nabil Hadjarab who, despite being held in Guantánamo for 11 years, has never been charged with a crime. The result is a heartbreaking and disturbing story of injustice piled on top of injustice. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Will G.K. Chesterton Become A Saint?

Earlier this month, it was announced that G.K. Chesterton—author of such influential works as Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man, The Man Who Was Thursday, and the Father Brown series—had come one step closer to being canonized. Chesterton, or at least, the supporters of Chesterton's cause even have a potential supporter in Pope Francis, who had expressed support for Chesterton's canonization back when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: And The Twelfth Doctor Is…Capaldi?

This past weekend, the BBC held a major TV event to announce something of great import for geeks and nerds everywhere: the name of the actor who would be portraying the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor. Peter Capaldi, known for his foul-mouthed role in The Thick of It, will be the one at the TARDIS' controls when Doctor Who's eighth series premieres August 2014. … [Read more...]


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