A Matter of Enormous Personal Excitement for Me

Overlooking the Traunsee, near Gmunden, Austria

  I had a deeply exciting experience this morning, one that testifies to the really miraculous power of the Internet and social media to bring far distant parts of the world together. I've referred previously, on this blog, to my father's experiences in World War Two and, very specifically, to a 1945 portrait of him that was painted in the beautiful Austrian lakeside town of Gmunden by Theo Detter.  (See, for example, here and, with an actual iPhone image of … [Read more...]

A Physicist Testifies

  Finally, another new entry on the "Mormon Scholars Testify" website.  I've let the project slide quite a bit, under the pressure of other obligations (including, beyond the usual teaching, such time-consuming items as the launch of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture and The Interpreter Foundation), a lot of travel, and some extremely unpleasant university politics.  But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.  I would like to post a new entry roughly every we … [Read more...]

Immanuel Kant and Salt Lake City’s Deseret News

"The Pillars of Creation," in the Eagle Nebula

   My article for this morning's Deseret News, on "the starry heavens above . . . and the moral law within." It was inspired by Kant.  That's Kant.  With a k.  Not with a c.   … [Read more...]

Obamacare: Will It Even Ruin Pizza?

Professor Thomas Sowell, of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University

 This item came across my computer screen earlier this morning, from Steve Burke via Jim Geraghty: Any day now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to rule on Section 4205 of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare), a one-size-fits-all menu labeling regulation, that requires restaurants, including franchised chains with 20 or more locations, to post calorie and nutritional information for all of their products on in-store menu boards … [Read more...]

Advent, Day 4

The New Jerusalem

  Today's readings for Advent: And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of hi … [Read more...]

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Needed today more than ever.

   5.5 minutes of musical and visual beauty dedicated to the very heart of the Christmas season and the Christmas spirit, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   … [Read more...]

“Lincoln”: The Sequel

  Abraham Lincoln hoped to take a relatively gentle approach to the former Confederate states after the conclusion of the Civil War, but, of course -- I'm trying not to spoil the ending of Mr. Spielberg's excellent film -- he was, um, called away soon after it ended and, thus, was unavailable to preside over Reconstruction.  Instead, that job fell to Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans, whose zealous opposition to slavery (represented in Lincoln by Tommy Lee Jones's … [Read more...]

Advent, Day 3

Celestial city

  Today's readings for Advent: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing o … [Read more...]