“The Most Interesting Star in Our Galaxy”

    Michael De Groote has kindly brought this intriguing article to my notice:   http://www.theatlantic.stfi.re/science/archive/2015/10/the-most-interesting-star-in-our-galaxy/410023/?sf=lrebok   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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Hateful ethnic stereotyping at a young age

    I know a pair of relatively young Muslim parents from Egypt who studied at BYU and who have chosen to remain to live and work in Utah.  I think very highly of them.  They’re fine people, gentle and good people, and assets to our valley.   I’ve just learned that a fellow student at the [Read More…]

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Some quick journalizing notes from Andalucía

    I like a stroll on the beach as much as anybody, and we’ve done a bit of that here.  But the real point of coming to southern Spain was to spend some time poking around the remnants of the Islamic golden age in al-Andalus.   On Friday, as I’ve already noted here, we [Read More…]

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Will the 3-hour Sunday meeting block soon be shortened?

    The Church issues a statement on the issue:   http://www.ldsliving.com/Church-Responds-to-Speculation-About-Shorter-Sunday-Block/s/80640?utm_source=ldsliving&utm_medium=email   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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“LDS Church to release ‘A Savior is Born’ Christmas initiative on Nov. 29”

    This is a chance for members of the Church to join in proclaiming the message of Christ’s birth for Christmas:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865642256/LDS-Church-to-release-A-Savior-is-Born-Christmas-initiative-on-Nov-29.html?pg=all   I’m intending to participate in the effort, and I encourage you to do so, too.   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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Thoughts for Thanksgiving (3)

    Here’s a column that I published in the Deseret News on Thanksgiving 2013:   It’s the season of Thanksgiving, and, so, minds like mine turn naturally to etymology, to word origins. Please be patient. There is method in my madness.   The origin of the word “religion” is obscure, and has been much [Read More…]

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Best not to sharpen THIS tool.

    A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.  (Washington Irving)   Posted from Marbella, Spain   [Read more…]

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“Taking the Quran Back from Radicals”

    It was Jabra Ghneim, I believe, who called this item to my attention:   http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/11/20/study-quran-commentary-combat-extremism-daniel-burke-orig.cnn/video/playlists/digital-studios-topicals/   I’ve been a reader of Seyyid Hossein Nasr for decades, and have had some slight contact with him over the years.  I hold him in enormous respect, and I look eagerly forward to seeing this new book.   [Read More…]

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“New York Times overplays ‘mass resignations’ from ‘harmful’ Mormon Church”

    Thanks to Cody Quirk for calling my attention to this item:   http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/melissa-mullins/2015/11/23/new-york-times-overplays-mass-resignations-harmful-mormon-church   It reminds me of a conversation that Bill Hamblin and I had with the American feminist Gloria Steinem many years ago in Cairo, when we were both graduate students there.  She had come to Egypt to deliver a major [Read More…]

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“Is Islam a primary cause of international violence?”

      You may think the answer obvious.   And understandably so.   But the book that I discussed in this 2014 column for the Deseret News might cause you to see things quite differently:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865610336/Is-Islam-a-primary-cause-of-international-violence.html?pg=all   I myself was prepared to resist Graham Fuller’s thesis, but he’s surprisingly persuasive.   And it [Read More…]

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