I’m speechless

What so many of us have been waiting for — and in an election year, no less! Details: Japanese researchers have invented a speech-jamming gadget that painlessly forces people into silence. Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University, developed a portable “SpeechJammer” gun that [Read More...]

56 years later, priest survivors of Andrea Doria tell their story

An ambitious undertaking by a seminarian is throwing new light on a dramatic moment of history: It’s been almost 60 years since the Andrea Doria sank 200 miles off Nantucket Island, but retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert hasn’t forgotten that day or his journey on that ship. And if Mundelein seminarian Kyle Lee has his [Read More...]

Davy Jones, and his neighbors the nuns

Turns out the recently deceased Monkee was chummy with the sisters who were his neighbors in Florida.  Details: Jones and The Monkees created hits such as “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer” but were always fighting for more creative freedom to produce and create their own music. The tensions between the cast and producers caused [Read More...]

RIP, Davy Jones

The teen heartthrob from the 1960s, and lead vocalist for “The Monkees,” died of a heart attack this morning.  He was 66. Read more here. A classic flashback from my youth, below. [Read more...]

And now for something really important: world’s longest paper airplane toss

We all need to dream, don’t we? Joe Ayoob has long dreamed of setting a world record for paper airplane throwing.  And he did it the other day in California. 226 feet, 10 inches.  Watch.  And read more here. [Read more...]

The “alternate universe” of Wisconsin’s Holy Wisdom Monastery

This group of disaffected Catholics got a big spread in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday: Alice Jenson’s faith took an irreversible turn six years ago. It was Nov. 5, 2006, and she was contributing to Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Madison as a lay person, reading Bible passages from the lectern. The [Read More...]

How’s this for a Lenten fast: nothing but beer and water

Yep. J. Wilson did exactly that last year, and reflects on what the experience taught him: About this time last year, I set off down a path that hadn’t been traveled for centuries. I fasted on beer and water for the duration of Lent. While that sounds like a frat boy stunt, my “Diary of [Read More...]

Seeing red

In tribute to New York’s new Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the city’s other new landmark — the soon-to-be-finished One World Trade Center — is wearing red.  (Take that, Empire State Building…)  A tip of the red biretta to Rocco for the snapshot.  Read more about it here. [Read more...]

Now playing: holy medals at the movies

From the In My Backyard Desk — and this really is in my backyard, just four blocks from my apartment and three blocks from my church — comes this story about a local movie theater mixing holiness with Hollywood: Among the Pikachu and Spider-Man charms that roll out of vending machines at the Midway Theater [Read More...]

“Pizzas de Cuaresma”: Texas chain offers special pizzas for Lent

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about Wendy’s suddenly ubiquitous fish sandwich comes this story about a Dallas pizza chain offering vegetarian pizzas as a way to battle what has become an annual Lenten slump in sales: The folks at Pizzeria Patron have nothing against Catholicism, really, but every year, starting after Ash Wednesday [Read More...]


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