ELSEWHERE: Hacking Your Life Just Leads To More Work

Last week, I posted a piece on the "self-quantification" movement, which seeks to use technology and data analysis to improve the quality of one's life. And now, Slate's Evgeny Morozov has posted an article on "lifehacking" that questions whether or not it makes us better and more efficient, or if it just makes us work more. Or, as Morozov puts it, "Is there anything more self-defeating than using technology to free up your time—so that you can learn how to do an even better job at it?" … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Is Reza Aslan’s “Zealot” As Revolutionary As It Seems To Be?

I'm sure you've seen by now links to the recent Fox interview with author Reza Aslan regarding his new book about Jesus titled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. However, according to The American Conservative's Alan Jacobs, the real news should be that Aslan's views are not nearly as new or revolutionary as they seem. Or, as Jacobs puts it, "Reza Aslan’s book is an educated amateur’s summary and synthesis of a particularly skeptical but quite long-established line of New Testament … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Like Most of Us, Pope Doesn’t Hate Gays

The media doesn't know what to do with Pope Francis. In an interview with Vatican journalists, he reportedly said, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" It would be easy to confuse this with bland affirmationalism - you're okay, I'm okay jingoism - but that is a mistake. The media - and the secular public - should take this opportunity to learn that many Christians endorse traditional marriage and hold to a Biblical model of sexual purity while regarding gays a … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Get a Katy Perry Wig for Your Pet

Pet costumes aren’t new, but designer Leah Workman has put a new twist on it for so-called “pet-parents” who want to nurture the inner pop star of their “pet-child.” Her handmade fashion wigs turn your beloved cat or dog into Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. Squint your eyes as you look at the slideshow to see if you can spot the famous idols these pets are striving to emulate. This is how we spend $55 billion on pets in 2013. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Bob Dylan’s Worth

In words I affirm, Mike Hogan at HuffPost writes on the value of seeing Dylan in concert at the age of 70, listening to song arrangements you hardly recognize. Whether or not Dylan's music is a staple to you, his career can teach us what it means to be real, to be vulnerable, and to be ourselves. Giving insight to the mundane moments of life, Dylan is worth more than a casual turn of our musical ear. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Wire Hangers and Angry Filters

The internet's been aflutter lately with a lot of talk about anger, tone-policing, 'hate-watching',  and the church.  In the midst of it all, Elizabeth Esther wrote a very poignant, honest reflection on the way real, understandable anger at evil can lead down an exhausting road, where the weapons that were used against her, she began to use against others. It's worth checking out. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Black-and-White Flight, or, Where Have All the Nuns Gone?

As the "nones" rise, the nuns decline. So it goes in America, where an increasingly irreligious culture seems intent on dropping the cloister like a bad habit. A new VICE Magazine piece describes the plight of American nuns in some detail, focusing on a handful of elderly sisters who live together in a nursing home after the shuttering of their nearby convents. Their unhappy story is important for those who wonder about the future of religious orders in the U.S. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Shorn of Porn

As the English Prime Minister orders blocks to household access to internet pornography, Russell Moore, newly appointed President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, urges Christians to block it from their eyes, minds, and hearts. Pornography erodes marriages, undermines human dignity, and counteracts healthy sensuality. God designed your sexuality for more; read why here. … [Read more...]

Benny Hinn, The Street Fighter

What do you get when you add Street Fighter nostalgia with the Pentecostal Power of Benny Hinn and crew? Pure awesomeness and the best parody of forehead slapping preachers you have ever seen. I know that's a high bar, but seriously, the bonus rounds alone are worth the three minutes it takes to watch this. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: “Dear Mr. Watterson” Explores The Ongoing Legacy Of “Calvin & Hobbes”

I think that for people of a certain generation, the comic pages have been forever ruined because of Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson's clever, whimsical, imaginative comic strip won millions of fans during its 1o-year-run, and its legacy hasn't dimmed one bit since it ended in 1995. An upcoming documentary titled Dear Mr. Watterson explores this legacy from the perspective of fans and other comic artists. The film premiered at the Wisconsin Film Festival to solid acclaim, and opens in more c … [Read more...]