Todd exposes the war photo from space

The internet, newspapers, and television news have been showing this photograph of Israel and Gaza from outer space, purporting to show the explosions from the war in that region:

View image on Twitter

You know tODD, a super-commenter on this blog who specializes in throwing cold water on over-hyped and misinterpreted claims (including those I make in some of my posts, which I actually appreciate!).  He did some sleuthing and found that the photograph is showing nothing more than ordinary city lights!  He sent his findings to Mollie Hemingway, “the scourge of lazy journalists,” who then exposed the mistake, though I’m not seeing any retractions. [Read more…]

The most popular Cranach posts

The most embarrassing Cranach post. . . .Asking your help in identifying the 5 best posts, whereupon no one could think of ANY!  (Well, towards the evening there were a few.)  So let’s approach this in another way.  Here are the top 20 posts on this blog based on the number of page views.  (That comes largely from posts getting linked to at different sites, as well as being the subject of searches.)

The Devil’s intervalMore stats
How Dutch legalizing of prostitution, drugs, & euthanasia is working outMore stats
Pepsi’s use of aborted fetal cellsMore stats
Ranking states by how corrupt they areMore stats
No more Narnia movies?More stats
Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before meMore stats
The two kinds of warriors: Hector & AchillesMore stats
Will Pope Francis be the last pope?More stats
New global religion statisticsMore stats
Easter did NOT come from a pagan holiday

Merry Christmas vs. Happy ChristmasMore stats
First sleep, second sleepMore stats
The Unitarian controversy over polyamoryMore stats
The last pope before the End Times?More stats
From Moral Majority to Prophetic MinorityMore stats
Can Christianity survive gay marriage?More stats
VeggieTales creator repents of moralismMore stats
Fasting for 40 days before EasterMore stats
“Radical” Christianity vs. regular ChristianityMore stats

So what can we learn from this? Some thoughts after the jump. [Read more…]

The best Cranach posts on Patheos

I’ll soon be going on my second year of this blog being hosted at Patheos, where we’ve built up our audience considerably and been bringing in some income to pay the bills.  Patheos  is celebrating its 5th year anniversary and, in conjunction with that, is asking its bloggers to send in links to their 5 best posts, which the company is going to make use of somehow.   I don’t know what the best posts on this blog have been over the last year.   That’s a question for you readers.  Could you give me some suggestions?  I’d be much obliged.

Fixing my technological fix

Friends, there has been some good discussion about yesterday’s post regarding the comments on this blog.  No sooner, of course, did the Patheos tech people implement the changes but, before I could even explain them, someone started flagging everything, resulting in a “flagocalypse.”  So to prevent any one person from doing that, or from flagging comments just because they disagree with them, I have asked the Patheos tech people to require THREE flags before the comment disappears, leaving behind only the “Comment Awaiting Moderation” line.  True, a sinister cabal could still banish innocent comments, but an individual will not be able to.  Also, this will enlist the virtual community that we have built up here in protecting itself and enforcing its rules of decorum. [Read more…]

A technological fix for my New Year’s blog resolution?

So, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolution to monitor the comments on your blog and establish a higher tone of discourse?   That was the gist of what one of this blog’s readers put to me, making the point that the personal insults, hi-jacking of threads, and offensive comments have come back in force.   I told him that I was keeping my New Year’s resolution about the same way that most people have been keeping theirs by this time of the year (not even getting out of January)–namely, not keeping it at all.  I can offer excuses–another death in the family requiring unexpected travel, the press of other projects coming due, expected travel for professional commitments, classes starting, etc.–but I have not given up.   In addition, there have been other problems with Disqus, the discussion software this blog is stuck with, with comments disappearing and re-appearing, flagged comments sometimes going into moderation and sometimes not, and probably others.  So thanks to you readers who alerted me to these problems, and I apologize for the annoyances.  Anyway, I talked with the Patheos tech people, and let me explain what we have come up with. [Read more…]

New Year’s resolutions for this blog

I haven’t had time to monitor comments very closely, but I resolve to do so.  I also resolve to bring back this blog’s reputation for friendly, thoughtful, and welcoming discussions.  I resolve to delete comments that are off topic.  I resolve to delete personal attacks, mean-spirited cuts, and vicious asides.   If you find a comment offensive, flag it, whereupon my general policy will be to automatically delete it.   I don’t want to ban anybody if I can avoid it, nor will I censor substantive ideas.  You can disagree, but you are going to have to be kind, non-offensive, and on topic if you want your comments to go through.

I’ll probably fail at these resolutions as I do with others (especially when I’m really busy), but I’m going to give it a try with your help and co-operation.