Donald Trump gave a stemwinder of a speech in accepting the Republican presidential nomination.  Promising to make us safe, add millions of jobs, defeat terrorism, fix our economy, solve poverty, and relieve all of our grievances, Trump said “I alone can fix it.”  He repeated, “I am the law and order candidate.”  “I am going to make our country rich again.”  He said, in all-caps in the text of his speech, “I AM YOUR VOICE.”

Did you hear the speech?  You can read it after the jump.  What do you think about his speech?  What does it tell us about this candidate and the kind of president he would make? [Read more…]

What Mary Magdalene looked like?

Saint Mary Magdalene - Digital facial reconstruction


Brazilian scientists have been using digital technology on the skulls of saints, so as to reconstruct their faces.  They used their technique on a relatively well-attested relic of Mary Magdalene.  This is what she may have looked like.

Details of the reconstructions after the jump.  Go here for the Mary Magdalene project.




Image by Cicero Moraes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)


[Read more…]

Japan flirts with World War II ideology again

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has just won a 2/3 majority in both of its houses of legislature, enabling it to amend its Constitution, which had been imposed by the United States after World War II.  The party wants to change the Constitution because it enshrines “the Western European theory of natural human rights,” including the freedom of speech.

Many in the party, including the Prime Minister, belong to a group that believes Japan was in the right during World War II.  These lawmakers want to rebuild Japan’s military capacity and to return to worship of the Emperor. [Read more…]

Ted Cruz speaks at convention, but refuses to endorse Trump

Ted Cruz, who came in second to Donald Trump, was given a speaking slot at the convention, in the name of party unity.  Cruz gave a speech, but he did not endorse Trump.  

Cruz told his listeners to “vote your conscience.”  The crowd booed him loudly.  Another convention stage-managing fail.  And a major fail in achieving party unity. [Read more…]

The nun who faced down Billy the Kid

Sister Blandina Segale was a nun who served in the wild West.  Her exploits in frontier New Mexico are legion, including when she faced down Billy the Kid.  Twice.  She also battled the cruel treatment of Indians, worked with prisoners, tended the sick, and fought the sexual trafficking of women.

Now she is being considered for sainthood.  Also for a TV series. [Read more…]

Fox News is coming apart

Roger Ailes, who runs Fox News, is set to be fired by Rupert Murdoch, owner of the network, over charges that he sexually harassed TV journalist Gretchen Carlson.  Megyn Kelly has also said that Ailes harassed her, though other Fox News employees are defending their boss.  In fact, three of the network’s biggest stars–Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren–are threatening to quit if Ailes leaves.  This would mean, for better or worse, the end of Fox News as we know it. [Read more…]