“Person of Interest” Becomes Real

So the TV show Person of Interest just became real in the city where it’s set. In the show, Michael Emerson (Ben Linus from Lost) plays a computer programmer who created The Machine for the government. This black box system sorts all the data feeds from all the CCTV cameras, cell phones, computers, and other digital detritus looking for [Read More...]

The Oxyrhynchus Project: Desktop Papyrology

ancientlives

el-Bahnasa is a sand-blasted village about 100 miles south of Cairo. Once known as Oxyrhynchus (“City of the Sharp-Nose Fish”), it prospered under the Greeks, and became largely Christian under the Romans and Byzantines. It had a gradual decline until about the 7th century, when Arab invasions finished it off. Its structures–including a number of churches and monasteries–were [Read More...]

British Veterans Discover Remains of Ancient Soldier

Remains of Anglo Saxon warrior

Operation Nightingale is an innovative program designed to help soldiers learn new skills while recovering from injuries. The soldiers, who had been wounded in Afghanistan, were performing a routine excavation to learn the techniques of archaeology. Instead, they turned up something more significant and, for them, meaningful: a warrior like themselves, buried 1400 years ago. Mike [Read More...]

Pakistan: Christian Nurses Poisoned Because of Their Faith

It’s a horrifying story, and the details are still sketchy: Eleven Pakistani Christian student nurses were allegedly deliberately poisoned with mercury on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at the Civil Hospital in Karachi. According to one of the affected nurses, a colleague had made the tea for them and after 10pm they immediately fell ill after [Read More...]

Get Offa My Cloud!

Cloud

Put all your eggs in one basket — and watch that basket! Mark Twain, “The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson” It was only a matter of time before the holes in the grand dream of cloud computing and data sharing began to appear. I’ve been a bit concerned about this move towards reliance on the cloud [Read More...]

Lost Leonardo Painting Found in Farmhouse?

ttt image 1b.jpg

I’m going to go ahead and say, “Not a chance.” Look for yourself: If that’s from the master’s own hand, I’ll eat my laptop. The numbers on the painting point to the following “proofs“: 1. A similarity between the boy and child in his famous piece Madonna of the Rocks, 2. A distinctive ‘v’ shape [Read More...]

Half of US Counties Now Disaster Areas

drought

In case you had any doubts that we’re spending too damn much time going on about the wrong subject, consider the following: Google search results for “Chick-fil-A gay” returns 240,000,000 hits, while “US drought 2012″ returns 12,700,000. Don’t ever chuckle about Nero fiddling while Rome burned. It’s human nature. The story: Nearly 220 counties in [Read More...]

Monday Morning Chicken: Protest Edition

DiamondChick

This is Diamond, enjoying an extra side of “hate” with today’s Monday Morning Chicken. (Because we’re all about the “hate“.) Memo to the gay “marriage” militants: you’ve officially jumped the shark. When you attempt to transform a perfectly mild statement of support for traditional marriage–an opinion held by every rational human on the planet for [Read More...]

Game Review: Dear Esther

Dear-Esther

Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, PC/Mac/Linux: $10, Rated: NR) is a game without gameplay. It’s essentially a short story that unfolds though first person navigation of a 3D environment. (It started life as a Half-Life mod.) The superb score and atmospheric visuals provide an emotional canvas which is filled gradually with disconnected slices of narrative as [Read More...]

The State of Games

In The Darkness II, you can kill enemies using a hell-spawned imp, who then urinates on his victims.

As I mentioned last week, late summer tends to be The Busy Season in long-lead media, since we’re working on our Christmas issues, which traditionally are larger. Ours contains our annual game awards and buyer’s guide. so I’ve been deep in the gaming world for a while now, looking at the whole range of mobile, [Read More...]

Amber the Quisling Chikin Says…

EatMoreChikina

Every day is chicken day around here, but today people are making an effort to eat at Chick-fil-A in order to offset the boycott directed at the chain because its owner opposes gay marriage. As I pointed out here, I don’t really object to people exercising their right not to spend money somewhere for some [Read More...]

Transcript: Remarks by Hillary Clinton on the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report

Here’s another giant wad of transcription about the 2011 report on religious freedom, this time featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments on the report. She acknowledges the ongoing persecution against Christians, and notes the dangers in the current political upheavals rocking the Middle East, but it doesn’t seem like a particularly strong message of [Read More...]

Transcript: Press Conference for the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report

This just arrived on the White House press list, and I’m in the middle of a large piece of writing, so I’m going to put it out there in toto as an “FYI.” It’s the press briefing from Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook on the release of the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. [Read More...]

Seal Depicting Samson Discovered (Or Maybe Not)

samsonseal

It’s hard to know what to make of this story at this point, so I’m just going to put it out there as reported. Excavations at Tel Beit Shmesh have turned up an interesting stone seal at a level dating to about the 11th century BC. This is the seal: It’s about 1.5 cm and [Read More...]

Monday Morning Chicken

12FarmFairDiamond

Diamond, on display at the county fair. I know you’ll think I’m making this us, but they were actually posing for people. They were also the only chickens that didn’t go insane when dogs came into the tent. Here’s why. [Read more...]


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