Thanks, Google

A student pointed out to me that, if you ask Google “Who wrote the Pentateuch?” you get the answer, in big, bold letters, “Moses.” I decided to click the “feedback” button and indicate that this is incorrect. Here’s what I wrote as explanation for why I thought so: There has been extensive research on this [Read More...]

THE James McGrath

My friend and colleague Chad Bauman mentioned on Facebook about someone else who shares his name, but who has chosen – how shall I put it? – a different path in life. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what would happen if I typed in my name, with no added middle initial or other [Read More...]

All-Time Least Popular Posts!

I got the idea from Fred Clark. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Patheos, we were asked to list our top posts. But everyone does that, and so it seems so uninteresting – especially when a list of the most popular posts on this blog are always visible in the sidebar. And so I thought [Read More...]

Saddest Search of the Internet Age

One of the reasons I focus so much attention on information literacy skills, and require students to not merely say “I found it on JSTOR,” is that it is important to know how to cope without resources that we normally rely on. The best example of this in our time is relying on Googling for [Read More...]

Is the Internet a Library?

The meme image above has been circulating a lot lately. It reminded me of a discussion I had a couple of years ago about the difference between the internet and a library. The former is a disorganized jumble of information. What it lacks is curation. Search results, whether in a card catalogue or a browser [Read More...]

Old Jerusalem on Google Maps Street View

I was struck to discover how much of not merely the city of Jerusalem, but even┬áthe old city of Jerusalem, can be explored on Google Maps’ street view. Click through and enjoy!   [Read more...]

Navigating the Internet’s Wastelands

This post started with my coming across this XKCD cartoon (HT Marc Cortez) after having had some information literacy discussions in class just before, and having gone in class onto the second page of Google results: I had used our desire to win arguments and prove others wrong using our smartphones and other devices as [Read More...]

Googleful vs. Google-free Digital Bible Literacy

Brian Bibb recently shared the final exam from a course he teaches called “The Digital Bible,” as well as providing more information about the course on his blog. Daniel McClellan also mentioned it. My own course on the Bible focuses on information literacy, and yet there are some significant differences between Brian’s course’s final and [Read More...]

Recently Biblical

I’m grateful to J. K. Gayle for drawing the data graphed above to my attention. It shows just how recently the obsession with being “biblical” and all things “biblical” began to take off. There is a lot that can be learned by looking at how the frequency of a word changes over time in publications. [Read more...]

AAR SBL Annual Meeting App Available! #sblaar

For those of us who’ve long been waiting, there is good news: the mobile app for the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in November is now available! ANNUAL MEETING MOBILE APP IS AVAILABLE! Plan Your Meeting with the free Annual Meetings mobile app! AAR and SBL introduces the use [Read More...]

According to Google, Literally Literally Means Not Literally

I learned today via IO9 that Google has made it as official as Google can make things: “Literally” now means “literally” but also the opposite. Actually, perhaps I should ask whether literally now literally means “not literally,” or whether literally now still means “literally,” but means it figuratively as well as literally. When people misuse [Read More...]


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