Confirmed: Yes, the “Fire Challenge” IS Real!

the-fire-challenge

So, the other day, I posted here about this "fire challenge", wherein teenagers set themselves on fire for fun and Facebook Fame.And then I learned that the page I'd linked to calls itself a satire site, and did the full "mea culpa" for being taken in about it.Then someone on Facebook sent me a YouTube video of someone aflame and I threw up my hands to heaven, wondering what was true or not; when Glenn Reynolds linked from Instapundit, I welcomed his readers and asked them to help me … [Read more...]

Sometimes you just have to say, “okay, fly away…”

Mama Bird Waves Bye Bye

So, Max Lindenman, one of our earliest bloggers here at the Catholic channel, has folded up his tent, for now. He's gone all Bedouin on us, and is going to be wandering the heated deserts of the secular freelance world:After a long hiatus and a lot of hard thought, I’ve decided to close up shop here at Patheos. With all the loyalty and generosity you’ve shown, you’ve earned an explanation, so here it is:I’m not enough of a Catholic to blog about being a Catholic. At best, my faith is an o … [Read more...]

The Carmelite Nuns of Compiègne Wore Priestly Collars

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As with the Martyrdom of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions we today remember a group of martyrs whose story is not nearly as well-known as it should be. And as with Lwanga and the Ugandan martyrs, the martyrdom of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne speaks urgently to our own age, and offers instruction:After the fall of the constitutional monarchy and the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792, Maximilien Robespierre created rituals to honor the Cult of the Supreme Being even as he led the … [Read more...]

Before October’s Synod on the Family, Read this Book!

Eberstadt book

When the Patheos Book Club told me they were going to be featuring the paperback release of Mary Eberstadt's How the West Really Lost God, I wondered what else I could possibly say to recommend the book? I had brought it up -- not once, but twice -- at First Things, and referenced it here on the blog a number of times -- always with the recommendation that people read it for themselves because How the West Really Lost God gives us a fresh, and very wise, perspective on how we as a society (and … [Read more...]

Life Hack Tips Number 1 and 2 from the Anchoress

Tullamore-Dew-glasses-up

I have decided, since it's so easy to do and the internet can't get enough of it, that I am going into the advice-giving business:Life Hack tip #1:Buy a pack of spearmint gum that you will never use because it sticks to your bridgework. Tear it open, but not all the way, so the gum stays inside the packaging, and then leave it in your handbag.Whenever you open your purse, you will get a nice big whiff of freshness, and this is really the only good and practical use for chewing gum … [Read more...]

A Value of a Sickly Pope and 5 Other Thoughts

bosc triptych detail

1) Over at his new blog, David Mills (who appears to be having quite a jolly time of it, over here, and we had him first!) responds to Marc Barnes' notion that Popes should resign more often.Writes Mills:I agree with everything he says, with one qualification: It would also be a good thing, a thing in the proper order, for a pope to continue as pope till he died, even if he suffers years of declining ability. . . His public endurance of suffering might be a needed witness, or the … [Read more...]

Mrs. Obama is ProChoice, Except for Schools, Lunches — UPDATED

irst Lady Michelle Obama talks to Head Start students during lunch as she visits New Hampshire Estates Elementary School on May 19, 2010 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Look, I am not a big detractor of Michelle Obama. I mostly like her fashion choices, and I think her mission to encourage garden growing and healthy food choices is, on its face, an excellent focus for a First Lady, and something I can really get behind.And yet, for a woman who possesses (as she often notes) degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law, Mrs. Obama's arguments for her cause are clumsily executed, specious, and (one hopes) unintentionally insulting. Her school lunch program needs an … [Read more...]

“The Eye of a Samurai Knows No Tear”

Samurai with Sword, Circa 1860

The cruelest, most violent Samurai in Japan decides he wants to become enlightened. He bursts into the home of an esteemed Zen Master and demands that the Master teach him how to become enlightened.The Zen Master looks deeply into his eyes and says, “No. You are a dirty, vicious Samurai. I will not teach you.”Enraged, the Samurai yanks out his sword and places it right at the Zen Master’s neck. He hollers, “Do you have any idea who I am? I am the cruelest Samurai in the world. I c … [Read more...]

Perhaps Oculus Rift Will Restore Us to Ourselves

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds links to a letter from the editor that may be cause for both delight and concern.The version of the Rift I tested felt like a pair of heavy ski goggles, and it did seem a little dorky to be fixing and tightening the various headbands and supports. But an amazing transition happened as my eyes resolved a new field of vision. I blinked, and while my brain remembered (for a moment) that I was sitting in my office, my eyes told me I was somewhere completely … [Read more...]

Douglas-to-Dust: Feeling Helpless About the Homeless

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

New York City is such a microcosm of every aspect of the human experience -- and the human condition in all its vagaries of darkness and light -- that if one is halfway awake and paying attention, it is impossible not to, at some point, have your world-view challenged, or your spiritual bell rung. I recently related how getting clocked at Penn Station has changed everything for me, though not always in a good way.Recently, Tom Zampino, a lawyer working in the city, had one of those moments, … [Read more...]


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