Supreme Court takes up Facebook threats

Does this message from an estranged husband to his wife after she filed a restraining order against him sound like a threat to you?

“Fold up your PFA [protection-from-abuse order] and put it in your pocket.  Is it thick enough to stop a bullet?”

Does it matter that it was posted on his Facebook page?  The poster is claiming that rants posted on social media should not be taken seriously and should have free speech protection.  The poster argues that his violent fantasies about killing his wife are no different from what his hero, Eminem, raps about and so deserve protection as artistic expressions.

The Supreme Court has taken up the case.  Oral arguments begin December 1.  What do you think about this?

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The New York Times on World Magazine

The New York Times, of all publications, has an appreciative article on World Magazine, where I used to be cultural editor.  It lauds the conservative Christian publication for investigating and exposing wrongdoing among conservative Christians. [Read more...]

Tappett brother dies

I have a thesis that anything can be made interesting, if it is just presented in the right way.  I’m not all that interested in cars, but I love Car Talk, NPR’s auto repair call in show, in which “Click and Clack, the Tappett Brothers” solve mechanical mysteries in a most hilarious and interesting way.

One of the brothers, Tom Magliozzi, died on Monday of Alzheimer’s disease.  Car Talk stopped its live programming in 2012, but the re-runs may go on forever, or at least until the internal combustion engine fades away. [Read more...]

I’m interviewed for Reformation Week at Issues, Etc.

It’s Reformation Week at Issues, Etc., the syndicated radio program that you can hear online both live and on demand.  I’ll be interviewed today  5:00-6:00 p.m. ET on the Reformation on the Visual Arts.  Other topics this week will be the Reformation and Education, the Reformation and Government, the Reformation and Music, and the Reformation on Science.  See the week’s lineup after the jump.

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Reading on Kindle vs. reading on paper

The London Guardian reports on a study of reading on a Kindle as compared to reading a traditional book.   Readers of the paper version performed significantly better when it came to reconstructing the chronological order of incidents in the plot.  The story cites another study that found 10th graders had significantly higher comprehension rates when they read the paper version, as opposed to a digitalized text.

Read the findings after the jump.  I then give my experience (which is rather different from what the study finds) and ask about yours.

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Stupid person tricks

One of the  latest YouTube “challenges” is to rub alcohol on yourself, set yourself on fire, and then put yourself out before you get burnt up.  All the while filming yourself so that you can post it on video.  Needless to say, this is resulting in serious injuries across the country, including at least one death.

But setting yourself on fire is not the only abysmally stupid and potentially dangerous “challenge” on the internet.  People on social media are challenging their “friends” to do other idiotic behavior.  After the jump, a link to other self-destructive trends and why no one should try them. [Read more...]


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