“Is it too much to ask that grown-ups act like grown-ups?”

Over at the NCR Today blog, Heidi Schlumpf notices a trend in the Catholic blogosphere and observes: It is true that the anonymity and immediacy of this new medium makes it easier to engage in behavior many of us would never consider if we had to face the person we were talking to. (As an [Read More...]

Welcome to another boy from Queens!

That would be a longtime FOB (Friend of the Bench) Pat McNamara, who is bringing his superlative historical self-titled blog to Patheos. Elizabeth has the scoop: I’ve been pestering him to do it for a while, and today he does, so ladies and gents, may I introduce you to McNamara’s Blog, at Patheos — a little [Read More...]

Egregious Twaddle is here! Awright!

That picture pretty much sums up my feelings right now. The terrific Joanne McPortland (longtime Friend of the Bench and frequent commenter, back when I had such things) is here at Patheos, at long last, with her blog Egregious Twaddle. I’ve been a fan of her twaddling for a while now, and after I read [Read More...]

All about Eve

That would be Eve Tushnet, who has just arrived at Patheos with her self-titled blog. As Elizabeth Scalia notes: I think Eve Tushnet’s name became much more widely known in 2010, when the New York Times profiled her, identifying her in the opening graph as that (to them) most exotic of all creatures, a “the celibate, [Read More...]

Anatomy of a viral video

How does something uploaded onto YouTube turn into a sensation? Travel blogger Joel Oleson can tell you. He shot and posted online this quirky little video about a baby penguin encountering a person for the first time.  Take a look: Then he started noticing it was getting more interest than usual.  Traffic began going a [Read More...]

Happy blog-o-versary

Last Saturday marked the five-year anniversary of my ordination; this week marks the five-year anniversary of “The Deacon’s Bench.” Flipping through the archived scrapbook of memories, I found this warm appreciation of the diaconate by Rocco Palmo, who was an early booster of the blog.  Others began dropping by and mentioning The Bench — people [Read More...]

Turn off the computer and go to bed

Because it turns out that social networking is increasingly breaking up marriages: More than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a  legal services firm. And over 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of cases using [Read More...]

Encouraging intelligent conversation in the comments

A comment about comments, from the Washington Post: I think the problem with commenters isn’t so much a technology issue as a social one. Somehow we’ve rewarded, or at least learned to tolerate, a world where the drive-by insult is the norm. As we crank up the ease and pace of our “social” interaction while [Read More...]

Think your parish doesn’t need an app? Think again

The digital world is changing – and fast: For a while now, tech pundits have talked about mobile as the future of computing.  Many non-tech-pundits have responded with skepticism.  Sure, there are a lot of people with iPhones.  But the best web browsing experience is with a desktop computer, right?  And besides, why should we [Read More...]

Another cardinal launches a blog

It’s Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who this week introduces his contribution to the blogosphere, “Seek First the Kingdom”: While I have enjoyed for many years writing articles and even doing a weekly television program, this is my first venture into the world of blogs. What I would like to do in this blog is to talk [Read More...]


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