Pun control

The Chinese government is forbidding the use of puns in state-supported media.  Alexandra Petri objects.  (If you are one of those, like Chinese communists, who can’t stand puns, do NOT read her punitive words after the jump.  I invite you, though, to respond in kind in the comments.) [Read more...]

Party riots

An essay in the Washington Post about the non-spontaneous riots in Ferguson, Missouri, included a digression on another kind of uprising:  the “party riot,” what some college students do when they lose or win a big game or what breaks out at Mardi Gras or other festivals when revellers just want to have a good time. [Read more...]

Human ecology

A useful concept and a clarifying name from Pope Francis:  People worry about the state of the natural environment, he observed.  But they also need to worry about the social environment.  Family breakdown, rampant immorality, and materialistic hedonism damage what he calls the “human ecology.”  [Read more...]

Not naming the holidays on the school calendar

The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D. C., has voted not to name the holidays associated with religions on the school calendar.

School will still be dismissed for Christmas, Easter, and the major Jewish holidays.  But when Muslims wanted time off for their holidays, the school board decided to think about holidays like this:  We aren’t observing the religious holidays; rather, we are dismissing classes when large numbers of students are likely to be absent.  So on the school calendar, instead of so much as mentioning “Christmas,” there is just a notice of “no class today.”

Is this silly, does it make sense, or should the schools dismiss classes for Islamic holidays too? [Read more...]

1,000 Bible translations on your phone

In church, when you seem people staring at their smart phones, they aren’t necessarily texting, surfing, or playing games.  They may well be using their Bible apps, allowing them to read the Scriptures and follow along with the text of a sermon on their mobile devices.  They can also switch translations so that they can use the one the pastor is using.  The one I use, YouVersion, gives me access to 41 Bible translations in English.  But YouVersion also allows you and people around the world to access the Bible in other languages–over a thousand of them.  The app, which is free, now offers the Bible in (at last count, a few minutes ago when I checked) 1,030 languages.

You can download the app here or at your phone’s app store.  See details about YouVersion’s achievement after the jump, including which languages are most popular and what percentage of the world’s languages this covers. Do any of you have other Bible or devotional apps that you would recommend? [Read more...]

Borderism

We have racism (1932), sexism (1936), classism (1971), speciesism (1975), heterosexism (1979), ableism (1981).  (See this discussion of “ism.”)  Now someone is proposing “borderism,” for discriminating against people based on what side of a border they were born in. [Read more...]


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