Stoker at 165

dracula

There is some debate about what is truly the first horror, Gothic, or vampire novel, but there’s no debate at all about the most important: Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Vampires have become so ubiquitous and cliched that it’s difficult to read Stoker’s tale with a mind unsullied by Buffy or sparkling or other nonsense. It [Read More...]

“Be content to trust in the Lord”

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No profound thoughts or gnashing of teeth this morning. There’s simply relief that this is all over at last, and that we can get back to living and worshiping as we shiver in the shadow of tyrants. Our faith was forged in the shadow of tyrants: a shadow that fell upon the ground in the shape of [Read More...]

Planned Parenthood is the Right Hand of Satan

“Dear mommy, please vote yourself the right to kill me.” Perhaps the sickest ad of a sick election season, in which the “products of conception” (to use the “choice” movement’s terminology) beg mommy for the right to get rid of any potential little brothers or sisters. Nothing like having cute little moppets who managed to [Read More...]

How Prayer Works, And How It Doesn’t

god

After posting on prayer in the wake of our experience with Sandy, I got a chance to see it work up close. Two days after writing that post, my wife was struck with symptoms which everyone (GP, EMT, and ER personnel) thought were classic signs of a heart attack for a woman: nausea, pressure/pain in [Read More...]

Things I Learned in the Storm

the-warden

  Seaside Heights, NJ Sandy was as bad as advertised. Here in South Jersey, we got our butts kicked. It wasn’t too bad around my neighborhood, but it was bad enough. Power was out, which meant we also lost water since we’re on a well. Trees were down in the area and took wires with them, [Read More...]

The Lord Was Not in the Wind

breezypoint

In the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. Prayer works. No, I don’t mean “I prayed fer The Lord ta spare mah family/life/house/pets/car and bah gum He did! Not a branch scratcht a so much as a winder!” That’s not what I’m talking about. Because, you [Read More...]

It’s Quiet … Too Quiet

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We’re just waiting for the storm to hit, watching old Universal horror movies until the power goes out. The wind has been gusting most of the day, and we’re ready for the worst. I may be offline for a while, so mind the gap and I’ll see you soon. Probably. Update: Monday 12:15pm: Still have [Read More...]

XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Game Review]

xcom main 2

I’m still kicking around the idea of doing one straight-up game review a week, with some material at the top with content warnings for parents. We’ll call it Fun Fridays and have cupcakes and lemonade! This week, we turn to a remake of the third greatest PC game of all time, a little something called… [Read More...]

But Will It Have an Austrian Accent?

petproto

I’m starting to get fed up with creepy new robots that look like they were designed solely to smash through walls and tear John and Sarah Connor apart piece by piece. DARPA’s Robotics Challenge has yielded this potential Cyberdyne Systems T-101 hunter-killer prototype. It’s called “Pet-Proto” and it’s the work of Boston Dynamics. The critter is [Read More...]

We Have a New Weapon

champ

And it’s a doozy. In the tradition of giving cute names to terrifying weapons (eg, Fat Man and Little Boy, Bubble Girl, Busy Lobster, etc.), this one is called CHAMP. Remember the neutron bomb as the ultimate symbol of man’s depravity, because it killed people with a powerful blast of radiation, but left buildings standing? (And [Read More...]

Frank Moore Cross, Requiescat in Pace

frankcross

It’s impossible to have even a cursory knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls without encountering Frank Moore Cross, who died last Wednesday at age 91 from complications from pneumonia. His work on Semitic languages and Canaanite myth informs a great deal of what we know about the development of Hebrew writing. Cross retired from a long and distinguished [Read More...]

Is Print Really Dead?

PCGamer-May1994

My mother says she always knew that I’d be a writer, which is odd since I assumed I’d be a filmmaker, or maybe Indiana Jones. (I hedged my bets in college and got degrees in both film production and English, after dropping out of the Anthropology program, thus ending my Indy dreams.) I worked for [Read More...]

Beautiful Tech

google-4

These photos from inside Google’s data center are making the rounds of the interwebs today (ht to Joseph Susanka for the link). They’re a startling glimpse inside the beauty of elegant technology, with a little help from the photographer’s art. You can take a self-guided walking tour, or just check out this gallery of photographs. [Read More...]

Truesound: Trying to Recreate the Original Baroque Organ Sound

organ

Europe has some 10,000 medieval and baroque organs. These monuments to the organ-makers’ art reflect the liturgical needs that gave rise to the organ. In order to be worthy for use in the liturgy, an instrument needed to be created which would use pipes and reeds to accompany and mimic the human voice. They’re also [Read More...]

Warhol: His Catholicism, His Celibacy, His Art

warhol's-factory

There’s a bit of a contretemps in la Casa Patheos today between the Bad Catholic (Marc Barnes) and the Feast of Eden (Dawn Eden). In brief, Marc’s post on Andy Warhol (Catholic, gay, possibly celibate) offers some striking observations about the pop artist: According to the wonderful book The Religious Art of Andy Warhol, by Jane Daggett [Read More...]


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