Japan: Giving well, planning ahead

This advice comes from the GiveWell Blog (via Ezra Klein): The situation in Japan is tragic and worrying, and our hearts continue to go out to those affected and responding. … We believe that: Those affected have requested very little, limited aid. Aid being offered far exceeds aid being requested. Charities are aggressively soliciting donations, [Read More...]

Bracketology, trailer park heroes & ghosts

I’ve got my brackets filled in. Here’s my Final Four: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BP, UnitedHealth. I’ve got BofA edging out BP in the final, but this is a really strong tournament field with lots of great contenders, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of March Madness, it’s that anything can [Read More...]

The paradox of pitchforks, a devilish problem

I want to turn here away from the doctrine of Hell in itself to explore briefly a bit of the folklore that has attached itself to it. Specifically I want to look at the odd notion that Hell exists as a physical location that is also the workplace of hordes of devils and demons. That [Read More...]

Rob Bell vs. Team Hell (cont'd.)

Rob Bell’s book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived went on sale yesterday and the backlash and criticism hasn’t yet peaked. The more I read of this criticism, the more I’m struck by the way everything Team Hell is upset with Bell about, or [Read More...]

Learning to drive

In one of the early meetings of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard spoke about the need to help congregants “sacralize” their everyday lives. If we want people of faith to care for creation as part of their faith, the rabbi said, then we need to help them think of things [Read More...]

Heavenly exegesis

So I wound up thinking a bit more about that hypothetical debate between Dr. Kroeger and my grandmother (who believed women were forbidden to preach) in the Heaven we sometimes imagine (which surely isn’t right, but maybe isn’t wholly wrong) and I realized that the idea didn’t make much sense. If that’s anything like what [Read More...]

Massive earthquake, tsunami strike Japan

Give. Pray. Hope. Remember. Love. News item: “Red Cross responds: region on tsunami alert” The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies describes the situation: A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake – the seventh largest recorded in history – struck the eastern coast of Japan at 14:46 local time today, 11 March. The earthquake’s epicentre [Read More...]

Robots and stylebooks

That video, created and posted to YouTube by lonzo625, perfectly captures not just the retrofuturistic theme of the song  — “(It’s the ’80s, Where’s Our) Rocket Packs,” by the band Daniel Amos — but the way its own “futuristic” sound itself now seems like a time-capsule relic from the early 1980s. I’ve thought of that [Read More...]


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