A bit of scientific background for understanding the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore

Seneca capital

  How do you sever a human spine? It's apparently rather difficult: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/take-sever-human-spine/  Posted from Victor, New York    … [Read more...]

The Joseph Smith Sr. family in Palmyra

Smith family cabin, Palmyra

  Whenever the neighbors wanted a good days work done they knew where they could get a good hand and they were not particular to take any of the other boys before Joseph either. We cleared sixty acres of the heaviest timber I ever saw. We had a good place, but it required a great deal of labor to make it a good place. We also had on it from twelve to fifteen hundred sugar trees, and to gather the sap and make sugar and molasses from that number of trees was no lazy job. We … [Read more...]

I feel so safe!

TSA on the job

  For our flight early this morning from JFK to Rochester (or whenever it was!), I was TSA Pre-Approved while my wife wasn't.  (Usually, for some reason, it's the other way around.) That meant that I was going to be able to whiz through Security without the intrusive searches that usually occur in post-‘Usama American airports. So she let me carry her bag through (with the computer in it). Unfortunately, she'd forgotten to take a bottl … [Read more...]

“Religion poisons everything!” (11)

Musa b. Maymun, US Capitol

  A few days ago, while we were in Tiberias, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Tracy Hall Jr. and I decided to walk over to see the tomb of the Rambam (Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon, aka Musa b. Maymun and Moses Maimonides), which is located there. I've wanted to do that for years, during each of my last several stays in Tiberias, but I've never pulled it off.  And this trip was no exception.  The tomb area was closed, and … [Read more...]

“Why the Oxford English Dictionary (and Not Webster’s 1828)”

OED cover

  In this week's article from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Stanford Carmack continues the remarkable work that he and Royal Skousen have been doing on the language of the Book of Mormon: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/why-the-oxford-english-dictionary-and-not-websters-1828/h Properly understood -- and, thus far, the mockers haven't even tried to properly understand or engage it -- their work constitutes a stunning and quite u … [Read more...]

“Site of deadliest Native American massacre found in Idaho”

A home in Preston ID

  In southeastern Idaho, to be more exact.  Which is to say, within the general area sometimes termed "Mormon country": http://westerndigs.org/site-of-deadliest-native-american-massacre-identified-in-idaho/ Sadly, though, for some critics, I think it will be fairly difficult to lay this infamous crime at the feet of Brigham Young or to blame it entirely or even largely on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Life is … [Read more...]

“Going up to Jerusalem”

Three of the Hulda Gates

  I'm a bit tardy in announcing this one; it's difficult to find much computer time for blogging from the Garden of Gethsemane, the first century steps up to the southern end of the Temple Mount, the Garden Tomb, Israeli airport security, and a Boeing 747 over the North Atlantic: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865627563/Going-up-to-Jerusalem.html  Posted from New York City    … [Read more...]

On sleep

Starry night sky

  "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," wrote Shakespeare, "and our little life is rounded with a sleep." Last night, though?  For me, at least, not so much.  Posted from New York City  … [Read more...]