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

Hulu

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

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?

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

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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...]

Parsing Francis, Shepherd of a Lost Sheep UPDATED

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Another week, another Pope Francis interview to set the internet atwitter. I liked it better when a quiet little German scholar issued clear and carefully structured catechetical lessons instead of free-ranging, off-the-cuff interviews with a hostile press. But then, the church isn’t here to make me comfortable. In fact, she’s here for the opposite purpose.  [Read More...]

“Check Your Privilege”: The Tournament!

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“Check Your Privilege” is the modern rebranding of political correctness, which in turn was an aggressive rebranding of “consciousness raising,” and THAT was just plain old cultural Marxism. It’s the idea that society is inherently homogeneous, and therefore automatically represses those who are–to use the modern word–”others.” Certain people, so the theory goes, accrue privilege [Read More...]

Chaput on Francis: “Our Witness Matters”

I’m fighting a nasty cold, but I thought this column from Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput was well worth a full read. Like everything from +Chaput, it’s a very balanced and sensible reaction to the Pope Francis interview: Some people grasped at the interview like a lifeline – or a vindication. One person praised the Holy Father [Read More...]

Iranian Games Weirdness

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This video popped up in my news feed this morning, and it was odd enough to merit a share. (Sorry, no embedded video.) It offers a small glimpse into the world of Iranian game production, as filtered through the lens of Press TV, the official English-language propaganda wing of the Iranian ruling council.   It [Read More...]

“Autumn Day” (Rilke)

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Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by. Now overlap the sundials with your shadows, and on the meadows let the wind go free. Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine; grant them a few more warm transparent days, urge them on to fulfillment then, and press the final sweetness into [Read More...]

The Mainstream Media School of Religion Reporting …

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… most recently on display in the awful reportage about the Pope Francis interview, is illustrated by an old, old joke: A man goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Help me, doc! I can’t stop thinking about sex!” The doctor puts him on the couch and begins to show him ink blots. “What does this [Read More...]

Francis and Benedict, Peter and John

John and Peter

I’m fortunate to have read Pope Francis’ interview before reading any of the fooforaw. Reading him cold, I saw not a single thing out of line with the papacy of Benedict XVI, which is why I was surprised at all the gnashing of teeth going on about a few words taken out of context by the [Read More...]

Human Organs On a Chip

Testing new drugs and treatments is challenging, expensive and time consuming. DARPA is investing $24 million in researching a promising bioprinting project that could create a “body on a chip” that simulates organ functions to shorten the testing process: The 2-inch “body on a chip” would represent a realistic testing ground for understanding how the human [Read More...]

Little Kids Just LOVE “Call of Duty”!

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And, as if on cue, Activision once again shows its utter tone deafness by releasing children’s toys based on Call of Duty. The sets feature locations, figures, weapons, and vehicles from the games, which should not be played by anyone under age 17. These aren’t collectible action figures, which might be said to have an adult [Read More...]


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