Custom Organs and Co-Creation

artificial-trachea

I write about these stories from time to time, and with each new headline the ball seems to be a little further down the field. I was particularly taken with a line in this article about Andemariam Beyene, who received a new windpipe to replace one ravaged by cancer. The windpipe was “grown” on a plastic scaffolding using [Read More...]

The Panopticon Awakes

I wrote some quick reactions to New York’s and Microsoft’s new spy computer when the news first broke, and the National Catholic Register asked me to expand on these ideas in a column. An excerpt:  ”The head of Argus (as with stars the skies) / Was compass’d round, and wore an hundred eyes.” So writes [Read More...]

Google-mapping Ancient Mexico

The ruins of Uxmal.

Blogging will remain light while I soak up the last two weeks of summer with my kids. Besides, there’s a giant black hole in the internet from about now until after all the kids are back in school, so traffic is very low in late August. I’m not even sure you’re reading this right now. [Read More...]

eGuns: 3D Printing a Firearm?

worlds-first-3d-printed-gun

When rapid prototyping and 3D printing first started to emerge, few people dreamed that one day we would be printing bones and human organs. Now a group is claiming it’s possible to print guns. The Wiki Weapon Project is an effort by a group calling themselves Defense Distributed, and they claim to have succeeding in printing and testing a functional [Read More...]

Scripture Study During the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Glossed medieval manuscript.

Andrew Jones, of Logos Bible Software’s Catholic division, has written an excellent pair of posts about the way Christians of the Middle Ages and Renaissance approached scripture study. Although medieval Christians were known for striking feats of memory (some of them achieved using techniques I still teach to my own students), Jones points out that [Read More...]

“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...]

When Disability Becomes an Unfair Advantage

120718074317-oscar-pistorius-story-top

No, this isn’t a cue for me to start complaining about how the disabled are so lucky because they get all the best parking spaces and cool motorized chairs and awesome things like that.* What I’m talking about is this man: Oscar Pistorius, who I admire tremendously, and about whom I’ve written before. Pistorius was born [Read More...]


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