7QT: Faces back from the dead, Anxieties outside your head

(h/t Flowing Data)

 Don't forget, if you're in the Bay Area, that I'll be speaking at St. Dominic's this Monday night -- tell your friends!  And for those of you not near San Francisco, you can catch me on the radio at 5pm on Saturday or 1pm on Sunday.  --- 1 --- I was really pleased to find, in the NYT artists imitating life (my life specifically).  The paper interviewed Emma Stone and Eddie Redmayne in tandem, and, when asked how she persuaded her parents to let her try to be an actress, St … [Read more...]

When Public Religion is Rare, It Gets Weird

(A Corpus Christi procession in Sanok from Wikipedia Commons)

 Although every Saint Patrick's Day, streets shut down for a quasi-Catholic-related march, the American St. Paddy's Day has about as much to do with Christianity as it does with Ireland these days, and is mostly an excuse to dress up and drink.  A lot of public festivals have been watered down in this way.  And the ones that remain strongly tied to a particular religious identity tend not to be public.  For example, I once attended Mass at a parish that did have a Corpus Christi proc … [Read more...]

When has a book in one field helped you in a seemingly unrelated one?

quantum computing

I've just finished Scott Aaronson's Quantum Computing Since Democritus this week (making a list of the books I wanted to read has really helped me prioritize them!), and I'd like all of your help in prepping what's going to be a segment I do on it this week for my radio show.Quantum Computing Since Democritus falls into the same category for me as Flatland -- it's a book about a technical field, where most of the benefit I get out of reading it is not the increased knowledge of/mastery of … [Read more...]

I’m speaking on “Openness to Truth” in San Fran, Feb 2nd

(St. Dominic's Church by David Yu)

I'm pleased to announce that, on Monday, February 2nd at 7:30pm, I'll be speaking at the very beautiful St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco.I'll be tackling the topic "Cultivating Openness to Truth" and discussing ways to make it easier for an opponent (or you!) to have the chance to notice that s/he is in error.  (And I'll be giving some examples from my own life and conversion story).The talk plus Q&A (heavy on the latter) will take place in St. Dominic's Parish Hall (2390 Bush S … [Read more...]

Wrong Identities, Chosen and Imposed [Radio Readings]

("Conic Sections" by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Magister_Mathematicae - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Secciones_c%C3%B3nicas.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Conic_Sections.svg#mediaviewer/File:Conic_Sections.svg)

You’ll be able to catch “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  And the audio this week is already up at the archive page!Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, articles, songs, (and, this week, mathematical figures!) that I cite on the show.  So, without further ado, here’s what I’m talking about this week.  Letting your "enemy" define your identity  "The Case for C … [Read more...]

7QT: Terrifying Fish, Lightning-Quick Archers (and some cussin’)


Two housekeeping notes: you can still vote for me in the "Smartest Blog" category in the Sheenazing Awards, and my weekly radio show will be streaming tomorrow at 5pm and again on Sunday at 1pm, --- 1 --- Folks, this archery video (found via Deadspin) has made my day.  Based on nerdy examination of historical art of archers, Lars Anderson overhauled his shooting technique and, well, let me let Deadspin summarize, since I prefer only to swear in direct quotations: What if I told you that the … [Read more...]

When Discerning, Fewer Relationships are “Failed” Ones

(image from SceneSisters)

Ilana Yurkiewicz explained, as a doctor, how she has to make an active effort to avoid learning callousness from the occasional deceptions of her patients.  Meanwhile, in the Federalist, Teresa Mull is tackling a similar problem in modern dating.  She's worried about the danger of being emotionally overextended, and would like to see folks engage in fewer high-turnover, emotionally-intense assignations. The practice of bonding and staying close until one partner arbitrarily changes his or her mi … [Read more...]