Agnus Dei

a photo in Po‘ipu

   If you have eight minutes for music of extraordinary beauty, here's a recommendation:  Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei (in which some will recognize the melody of his Adagio for Strings and which perhaps more will recognize from the soundtrack of the film Platoon):   The text, familiar also as part of the Latin Christian liturgy, is based upon John the Baptist's reference to Jesus at John 1:29 ("Behold the Lamb of God that t … [Read more...]

“The Osmonds meet Led Zeppelin: A secret history of Mormon heavy metal”

Donnie and Marie (Osmond)

  Okay.  Here's an aspect of Mormon history that you've probably never even wondered about:  Posted from Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii    … [Read more...]

Nordic pride

Viking blister

  My sense of humor is probably pretty warped, but I think this is funny: And it's a tribute to my cuddly Viking ancestors, too.  Posted from Koloa, Kaua’i, Hawai’i    … [Read more...]

Jen Psaki’s losing case

Poor Ms. Psaki

  Leon Panetta, the former Democratic congressman who served as Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama, has recently criticized Mr. Obama rather sharply for contributing substantially to the current mess in Iraq by overruling the advice of his military advisors and insisting that absolutely all U.S. troops be pulled from that country. I've just watched an exchange between Fox News's Megyn Kelly and Jen Psaki, the professional … [Read more...]

Objective peer review? Objective hiring in the sciences?

Two scientists

  Did you know that "Symphony orchestras have found that they are more likely to hire women when musicians audition from behind a screen"? Would you be surprised to learn that analogous bias occurs -- commonly -- in science-related hiring and publishing? There are more than a few people out there -- few of them. in my experience, actual practicing scientists -- who fetishize science.  They regard it (or claim to regard it) as the sole source of … [Read more...]

2 Nephi 9

The Mouth of Hell (Congo)

  I could devote several days to today's wonderfully rich chapter, 2 Nephi 9.  Certainly I could write much more than I'm going to write here. True to my constraining but (for me) life-saving rule that I will only comment briefly on each chapter, I'm going to restrict myself to 2 Nephi 9:10: O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call th … [Read more...]

Few such people, alas, are this candid.

The closed-mind sign.

   Posted from Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii    … [Read more...]

“October’s Feast of Tabernacles”

A "sukkah"

  Today's offense against reason, decency, and good taste has been published: I feel as if I may have let some of my readers down a bit today.  Commenting negatively on my articles seems to be the raison d'être for some of them, but this column seems not to have inflamed and irritated them as much as others have.  I need to try harder.  Posted from Koloa, Kau … [Read more...]