“Earthquakes could be triggered by sound waves that ‘fluidize’ faults”

Post-earthquake Haiti

  http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2015/sep/22/earthquakes-could-be-triggered-by-sound-waves-that-fluidize-faults So please whisper, and turn your sound system down.  Posted from Nauvoo, Illinois    … [Read more...]

Billionaire Saudi prince to give away his entire $32 billion fortune

Kingdom Tower, Jeddah

   You want impressive?  Consider this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/11712286/Billionaire-Saudi-prince-to-give-away-32-billion-fortune.html Thanks to Charles Steinman for bringing it to my notice.  Posted from Nauvoo, Illinois    … [Read more...]

At Carthage Jail

The last moments of JS.

  Solemn reflections today, as we visited Carthage Jail, due east of Nauvoo, and particularly as we sat in the room where Joseph and Hyrum Smith, respectively the President and Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were attacked along with John Taylor and Willard Richards of the Council of the Twelve. It's a privilege to be traveling in company with Gary Ernest Smith, who has created some memorable art responding to the martyrdom of the … [Read more...]

Joseph Smith and a religious litmus test for the American presidency

The original Red Brick Store

  I had to find just the right blade of grass to stand on, and then to remain absolutely motionless, in order to do an interview with KSL Radio's Doug Wright yesterday on the continuing uproar about Ben Carson's remark that a Muslim shouldn't serve as president of the United States. I'm frankly appalled that at least a few Latter-day Saints -- and so closely following Mitt Romney's candidacy! -- seem to favor a religious litmus test for full participation in … [Read more...]

Joseph Smith’s lack of pretense and affectation

One of many depictions

  It was the palpable genuineness of Joseph Smith’s accounts of his experiences that brought the British literary critic and educator Arthur Henry King into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1966. “When I was first brought to read Joseph Smith’s story,” he wrote,I was deeply impressed. I wasn’t inclined to be impressed. As a stylistician, I have spent my life being disinclined to be impressed. So when I read his story, I thought to myself, this is an ext … [Read more...]

“Discovering Joseph Smith’s cave in Miner’s Hill, Manchester, New York”

primitive painting of JS and Moroni

  http://archival.link/mormoncave/story Well . . . There seem to me some real problems with the historical sources on this, such as they are.  But I suppose it's not inconceivable that there's some connection to Joseph Smith and, perhaps, to his activities as a treasure-digger.  Maybe. I'll be interested in feedback from historians and other experts out there, and from LDS readers more generally. Feel free to weigh i … [Read more...]

Dinosaurs living in a COLD environment? Hmmmm.

Brontoburgers on the hoof

  Granted, Alaska then wasn't like Alaska now.  But, still, it was scarcely tropical: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/b2f0ca3a594644ee9e50a8ec4ce2d6de/Article_2015-09-22-US-Alaska-Dinosaur/id-ffb2704d3ee64a3e894acab9b682d786 The notion that some dinosaurs may have been more bird-like, even more mammal-like, than we've long imagined is very interesting.  It's certainly not what I was taught, back in my dinosaur-loving childhood.  Posted f … [Read more...]

Elder Richard G. Scott: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”

The late Elder Scott

   I don't believe that many who knew of him were surprised, and I suspect that he himself was delighted -- he had yearned for his beloved Jeanene for more than twenty years, he's been quite ill for some time, and he was (so I've heard) entirely willing, even eager, to go  -- but it was still sad to hear of the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott: "Elder Richard G. Scott Dies at Age 86" "Elder Scott: The Mind of a Scientist, the Soul of an … [Read more...]