My version of the ball drop starts 1600 feet in the air

Over at FiveThirtyEight, I did a little high school physics math to see how high you'd have to start to really drop the New Year's Eve ball.  And what would happen when it hit the ground.The ball drop in Times Square happens too slowly for my taste. Just before midnight, the LED-studded ball will inch down its pole at a speed of 1.2 feet per second. That’s slower than the CDC-defined moderate walking pace of 3 miles per hour, or 4.4 feet per second. Call me a woman of exacting standards, but … [Read more...]

Lewis, Chesterton, and Card on Our Tolerance for Mystery

I had the pleasure of speaking at Doxacon (a scifi/fantasy convention for theology nerds) in November, and the audio of my talk ("Chesterton, Lewis, and Card on Worldbuilding and Our Tolerance of Mystery") is now available for streaming!  Here's the prècis: When a reader picks up a fantasy or science fiction novel, he or she trusts the author to reveal enough of the new world and its laws to be able to follow the stakes of the plot, but not so much as to wind up closer to a DnD rulebook rather t … [Read more...]

Praising the Little Way of Pratchett’s Heroes

As the year comes to an end, I've written an appreciation of Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, who passed away this year, for Aleteia.  He wrote fiercely moral characters, several of whom were icons of ethics for me.But the kind of sin that Granny talks about isn’t an indulgence in something harmless, luxurious and secret. And it’s not the world-shaking evil of a monster or a murderer. It’s a seemingly small rejection of creation and the particular place our fellow people have … [Read more...]

“The Opposite of Kicking People In the Shins” and more from my Crossroads talk

I had a great time visiting the Crossroads Cultural Center last night to talk about my conversion and the witness my friends offered me.  And now they've got the video of the talk up!Part 1:Part 2: And they've got the Q&A up too!Part 1:Part 2: … [Read more...]

I’m in NYC to talk about explaining your faith

This Wednesday, I'll be at the Crossroads Cultural Center in New York City to talk about my own conversion and ways to answer questions/have engaging conversations about the Catholic faith.  The event is free and open to the public, and here are all the details: When: Dec 16, 7pmWhere: Crossroads Auditorium (125 Maiden Lane, 15th Floor, NY, NY) I'll be giving a talk on my conversion (and how the Catholics in my life invited my questions and showed me their … [Read more...]

My Favorite Books of 2015

I've put together a list of my favorite books I read for the first time this year (here's last year's list).  I've shared five of my favorites as part of First Things's favorite books of the year, and I've got the remaining seven favorites listed in chronological order of my reading below.(And, of course, as you guys think about gifts for family and friends, I'd be remiss not to ask you to consider getting someone my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers Even I Can Offer, if you r … [Read more...]

Demands for Diverse Faculty and Trigger Warnings At Colleges

I've done two recent pieces for FiveThirtyEight looking at activist movements on college campus. Here Are The Demands From Students Protesting Racism At 51 CollegesA list of formal demands made at 51 U.S. campuses has been collected on a website called The Demands. FiveThirtyEight sorted through the list, categorizing each request and looking for patterns in the students’ priorities. The results, which offer a fuller portrait of this new movement, are shown in the following chart:Read … [Read more...]


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