Top 10 blog posts countdown

There are 10 blogging days until New Year’s, so as part of our year-end, look-back observances, we will count down the year’s most popular blog posts (by pageviews) here at Cranach.  The reason some posts get far more views than others is that they get picked up by Reddit or the equivalent, get linked to at numerous other blogs and websites, are topics lots of people search for, and I’m not sure why else.  (I suspect some teachers are assigning posts, giving me a captive audience.)  It’s interesting that large numbers of page views do not always translate into large numbers of comments.

Person of the Year

Time’s Persons of the Year are the Ebola fighters.  I think that’s a pretty good choice.  A good many of them are missionaries, who, in the accompanying story, explain their faith and why they risk their lives to help those who are suffering.

Our custom at this blog is for commenters to propose other people for Person of the Year.  Who would be some good candidates? [Read more...]

Cooking for your family as “tyranny” or as “vocation”

Slate has published a column by Amanda Marcotte on “the tyranny of the home-cooked family dinner.”  She cites surveys that show how hard and stressful it is for women to live up to the ideal of the whole family sitting down together for a home-cooked meal and concludes that cooking –a task that falls disproportionally on women–is “expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway.”

Mollie Hemingwaywho just joined the First Things stable of web columnists–answers this column, slicing and dicing its feminist assumptions.  But she does acknowledge that cooking and other domestic tasks can be frustrating, tedious, and challenging.  Whereupon she then  gives her readers a crash course in the doctrine of vocation, including one of Luther’s best quotations on the subject, how the trials of family life are connected to the blessings of God. [Read more...]

Accounting for the “pause” in global warming

Scientists admit that there has been no global warming between 1998 and 2013, even though the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continued to increase.  A new study claims to account for this so-called “pause” in global warming.  It turns out, there are “natural fluctuations” in the climate.  Who knew?

The scientists claim that a little cooling blip has cooled things off in the last decade or so, but that the global warming will soon resume.  Read about the findings after the jump.

But doesn’t this research miss the point?  Does invoking “natural fluctuation” really give us a cause?  What causes the fluctuations, and if they are “natural,” might they account for other temperature phenomena, including those blamed on human agency?  More fundamentally, if greenhouse gasses can increase without making the temperature of the earth go up, doesn’t that suggest that there may be problems with the assumptions behind the computer modeling that give us the dire global warming forecasts? [Read more...]

Targeting the taboos against pedophilia & incest

Michael Avramovich writes about efforts in academia, psychiatry, and the law to normalize pedophilia and incest; that is, to make them morally and socially acceptable. [Read more...]

Your one-stop Superbowl blog

We must celebrate our national holiday, Superbowl Sunday, so use this blog to make predictions, comment on the game, and complain about the half-time show.  You can live-blog the commercials.  We will even modify our newly-minted blog rule to allow for trash talk, as long as it’s related to sports, since that seems to be an issue in this particular game. [Read more...]