U.S. giving up control of the Internet

What do you think of this?

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web. [Read more…]

The missing plane kept flying

The plot thickens in the mystery of the missing Boeing 777.  After the transponder went silent, automatic signals from the plane’s engines kept functioning for several more hours, revealing abrupt changes in course and altitude.  Then those shut off, but the satellite that receives the data kept its “handshake” with the plane.  That, plus a couple of possible radar sightings from the Malaysian military suggest the plane may have stayed in the air for 7 hours.

Investigators are now saying that all of this can only be accounted for  by “deliberate action” from the cockpit.   That means the plane was hijacked or stolen by a crew member.  There are countless little islands with WWII-era landing fields that could hide the plane.  This means that someone has 239 hostages, if they are still alive.  And that someone has a massive flying weapon.

UPDATE:  The pilot is looking really suspicious.

[Read more…]

Crimea votes to join Russia

The plot also thickens in the Ukraine.  Crimea, the heavily ethnic Russian section of the Ukraine with the warm-water port, voted to secede from the Ukraine and join Russia.  The new pro-Western government claims that is illegal, as is the European Union and the United States, which are considering sanctions against Russia, which had already moved troops into the region. [Read more…]

George Herbert on prayer

We blogged about Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who wrote about how  she was converted from atheism in part through the poetry of George Herbert.  She is following that up with a series of articles in the London Guardian about specific Herbert poems.  That’s literary scholarship as it’s supposed to be–not a mere academic exercise but an exploration of literature for the purpose of illumination.

Read her take on Herbert’s poem “Prayer (1)”.  Read the poem at the link, and then read her discussion, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Baseball’s new replay rule

When the new baseball season gets underway at the end of the month, managers will get to challenge certain calls, which will be reviewed by a high-tech outfit in New York.   But managers will just get one challenge a game–two if the first one is upheld–though umpires can review plays after the sixth inning.

After the jump, an explanation of the new rule, including a list of the plays that are reviewable.  Also an excerpt from famed sportswriter Thomas Boswell defending the changes on the grounds that it will make for more strategy on the part of managers and more second-guessing on the part of fans.  What do you think? [Read more…]

Should the NSA revelations win the Pulitzer Prize?

One of the biggest stories in journalism last year had to do with the revelations from Edward Snowden about the extent of the National Security Administration’s surveillance program, which includes harvesting data from the cell phones and internet usage of non-accused American citizens as well as foreigners and their leaders.

Now the Pulitzer Prize committee is agonizing over whether to give the prestigious award to the newspapers that broke the story–the Washington Post and the London Guardian–even though it was illegal for their source to leak the classified material.  What do you think? [Read more…]