“How to Search for Life on Mars”

One artist's vision of Lewis's "Mars"

  I guess I have ET on the brain right now.  (Actually, it's mostly just coincidence.) Anyhow, there's a fascinating article in the June 2014 issue of Scientific American that's been lying about the house since its arrival.  It's entitled "How to Search for Life on Mars." (Sorry, but I can't provide a link to the whole piece.) Anyway, the upshot is that the question of life on Mars is still . . . well, a live one. There is … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Dad

Theo Detter's painting of my father

  My father would have been 101 years old today. There isn't a single day that goes by without my thinking about him, missing him, wishing I could talk with him. For some reason that I cannot fathom, nights when there's a bright moon among clouds always remind me of him. In solitude, when I'm simply thinking, looking over the ocean or at the mountains, even sitting quietly in my back yard and glancing up from a book, I think of my … [Read more...]

“Democrats’ push to criminalize dissent”

What is the problem with censorship?

  I regard this as really quite appalling: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/387877/democrats-push-criminalize-dissent-kevin-d-williamson   … [Read more...]

1 Nephi 14

Based on 1 Nephi 11

  It's conceivable, although admittedly unlikely, that a few members of the human race have not been following this blog with sufficiently slavish attention to realize that I've recently begun a series of brief daily comments on scripture, chapter by chapter. I commenced on 1 September with the Title Page of the Book of Mormon, and followed that the next day with 1 Nephi 1.  I intend to continue with the Book of Mormon until sometime around 1 January 2015 (or p … [Read more...]

C. S. Lewis on signs of God, everywhere

University of Cambridge, Magdalene College

  "We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God.  The world is crowded with Him.  He walks everywhere incognito.  And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate.  The real labour is to remember, to attend.  In fact, to come awake.  Still more, to remain awake."  C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer, chapter 14    … [Read more...]

“Covering up with the hijab may aid women’s body image”

A pretty woman in a hijab

  This article, brought to my attention by my friend Mike Parker, is striking for several reasons: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/15/347083281/covering-up-with-the-hijab-may-aid-womens-body-image Please note, before accusing me of being a misogynistic Mormon patriarchal oppressor, that I'm not demanding that women be forced to wear the hijab nor even any Mormon equivalent thereof.  In any case, the British study in question was l … [Read more...]

“11 movies to watch out for this fall”

Charlie Chaplin, with camera

  A handy list of upcoming family-oriented films, by one of the bright lights at the Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865610742/11-movies-to-watch-out-for-this-fall.html?pg=all   … [Read more...]

“How beautiful upon the mountains”

Judea's "plains"

  In its just-posted eighty-ninth (89th) scripture roundtable, The Interpreter Foundation focuses -- by means of discussants Cassandra Hedelius, Daniel Peterson, and Stephen Smoot -- on Isaiah 50-53.  These are the chapters to be covered for Lesson 39 in the 2014 Gospel Doctrine lesson manual in the adult Sunday School curriculum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day … [Read more...]