World’s Largest Shakespeare Collection Going Digital

STC 22328 title page

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC is the largest Shakespeare collection in the world, and beginning next month it’s going online. The Library will be releasing scans of their collection, as well as publishing an app called The  Luminary Folger Shakespeare for accessing it all. The project eventually will make 50,000 digital images available to the [Read More...]

Dick Cheney’s Unhackable Heart

cheney

Let’s take the cheap “Dick Cheney has a heart?” jokes as read and move on to the story at hand, viz: Dick Cheney had the software for his implanted defibrillator altered to prevent remote hacking. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Cheney admits to asking for wireless features to be disabled: Cheney says that he [Read More...]

The Congressional Stenographer and the Holy Spirit UPDATED

reidy

When I first heard that a congressional stenographer had grabbed a microphone and started ranting about Masonic conspiracies on the floor of the House, I assumed she’d had some sort of mental break. That’s always a safe guess when people deviate from the script in public, and it wasn’t helped by the lack of clear [Read More...]

A Bluegrass Legend Regains His Voice

rice

Tony Rice is giant in bluegrass music, as famous for his innovative guitar picking as for his voice: clear and strong and high, like a bluegrass voice should be. If you want to know what this means, here’s a taste: That’s how it’s done, folks. Tony has been through tragedy, and 19 years ago his [Read More...]

Stunning Jeweled Saints

Saint Deodatus in Rheinau, Switzerland, by Paul Koudounaris (Thames and Hudson)

Smithsonian has a long, heavily-illustrated piece on photographer Paul Koudounaris and his amazing work cataloging the heavily bejeweled skeletons and corpses of saints. He’s gathered them in a book called Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (Thames and Hudson), and they are simply astonishing. Here’s a taste: You should read the entire [Read More...]

The Church Gets dotCatholic

CATHOLIC

The Church has taken control of the top-level domain .catholic, which has been in the works since they applied for it last summer. The decision was the anticipated result of ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) radically expanded the number of “dot” extensions, which they are awarding based on consultation with entrails. [Read More...]

Defleshing Rituals and Boiled Brains

Ancient brain (Halic University Istanbul)

It’s Monday morning, and we all know what that means: stories about ancient defleshing rituals and 4000-year-old brains. Let’s start with the defleshing, since it’s a word I just don’t get to use enough any more: Archaeologists have recently published in the International Journal of Osteoarcheology, a full report on the discovery of early Holocene [Read More...]

HealthCare.gov In Three Images

funny-gif-cute-dog-seriously-guys

So first my screen was all like… And then it was all like… And then I was all like… Here’s something you should know: I.T. is not frigging rocket science. It’s no cakewalk to create a system for a nationwide program based on a law so complex no one who voted for it ever read [Read More...]

The People of God in Joy and Sorrow

gray

The sky early this morning was a terrible-beautiful slate gray, shot through with black. A cold mist seemed to hang in the air, threatening rain. I don’t complain about days like this. Incessant sunshine is intolerable. Blue skies and spring flowers are sweet and lovely, but give me the grays and ambers of autumn any [Read More...]

Cutting the Cable: Why to Do It, How to Do It

Season_2_promo_pic_4

Last May, we cut cable TV service to the house for the first time in 22 years. I was going to crow about it then, with an “Oh look at me, how unworldly I am” kind of post, but then I realized that a summer without cable really isn’t that big a deal, and decided [Read More...]

Giant Nazi Rabbits

AngoraBunny

Look, it’s Monday morning. You don’t really want to read my meditations on Habakkuk or the umpteenth “Pope Francis Says Stuff, Much of It Quite Awesome, Some of It a Bit Daffy” post. You want to hear about Heinrich Himmler’s plan to use slave labor to breed giant rabbits in order to provide fur to [Read More...]

Who Is the Most Least-Privileged?

neighbor

And the Winner of the Check Your Privilege Tournament is … … the homeless. They got my vote. No one in this country is regarded with as much contempt and fear as the homeless. Since it’s an economic and social state, I assume you can stack your lack-of-privilege. Black, Muslim, gay, and homeless might seem [Read More...]

Balzac on Coffee

That's one large Balzac (by Rodin)

Something light for Friday: Honore de Balzac offering a brisk, entertaining little essay on the vile yet beautiful bean. Having pushed through a coffee-fueled jag in order to finish a large magazine supplement last month, I can relate. It left me weird and irritable. Since I’m not sure how long the hosting site will remain [Read More...]

The “Jesus’s Wife” Hoax: One Year Later

papy

One year ago, I was writing about a scholar who had produced a fragment of papyrus that allegedly contained a reference to the “wife” of Jesus. The fragment was of dubious provenance and even more questionable content, and the professor–Karen L. King of Harvard University–had produced a singularly unimpressive body of work, largely on Gnostic [Read More...]

Daniel Mitsui Needs Your Prayers

The Nativity of Christ, by Daniel Mitsui

Daniel Mitsui is a Catholic artist I’ve admired for years, and now his family could use your prayers: My daughter, Alma Hildegard Mitsui, was born at 7:14 on Wednesday, 25 September. She is in the Neonatal Intenive Care Unit, and will likely remain there for a long time. She was born at 25 weeks and [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X