Dispatches from Irish Prisons, Pubs, etc


--- 1 ---   My favorite part of my trip to Ireland avec ma mère occurred on our last full day when we visited Kilmainham Gaol, a prison built in the Benthamite style and used to incarcerate (and execute) many of Ireland's most famous political prisoners.  As you can see above, the panopticon design of one of the prison's wings lets guards observe all of the prisoners as easily as possible.The museum and tour were excellent.  I wish I'd gone earlier in the trip, since this was the stop that … [Read more...]

Strange Cricket Pairings and Invisible Classes


--- 1 --- I can't believe I have two entertaining cricket links to share this week.  (Is this World Cup hipster counterprogramming?).  First up. our boys in white and gold are taking on their Anglican counterparts in an ecumenical cricket match: On 12 September a party of Vatican priests, deacons and seminarians will leave Rome for what is arguably the papacy's most daring incursion on English soil since St Augustine arrived in AD597 – a four-match tour of the country that gave the world cricke … [Read more...]

Suspicious Hermits, Gruesome Creativity, and Just Enough E Coli

euclid game

--- 1 --- There's a bit of luck in my starting this week's quick takes late, because it meant I had time to spot this article from Marginal Revolution about a Swiss town trying to hire a hermit.  Naturally, I was reminded of this exchange from Tom Stoppard's Arcadia: LADY CROOM: You surely do not supply an hermitage without a hermit?NOAKES: Indeed, madam --LADY CROOM: Come, come, Mr Noakes. If I am promised a fountain I expect it to come with water. What hermits do you have?NOAKES: … [Read more...]

Misguided Maps, Unbalanced Games, and Deadly Dresses

extreme mercator

--- 1 --- When my mother read yesterday's post on peer mediation and restorative justice, she was surprised I had left out a story from my own childhood.  In fourth grade, I was a peer mediator, and, one day, after school, our doorbell rang, and my mom found a classmate who had looked up where I lived and walked over to ask if I would mediate an out-of-school fight.According to my mom, I walked outside and started going through the mediation script ("Do you agree to listen to each other" … [Read more...]

Empathy, Vitalism, Alzheimer’s, Physical Paradoxes and other things found in dictionaries


--- 1 --- When I was little, one of my favorite things to read was the science magazine Muse, but I've finally found a suitable substitute for adults.  After poking around on the Nautilus website, I finally became a subscriber, and had a wonderful time reading my first print magazine.  A number of their articles and blog posts have turned up in my Quick Takes over the last few months, and I strongly suspect a bunch of my readers (and your children, if applicable) would really enjoy this science … [Read more...]

7QT: Cats that are not on fire, and more spiders than you’d expect

spiders georg

--- 1 --- My facebook friends are the kind of people who are patient with me when I post things like, "Oy, where is that quote about the problem with cat burning not being that it's bad for the cat but bad for the spectators?"But even their patience has a limit.  One friend supplied the quote I was looking for ("Macaulay said that the Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators." - G.K. Chesterton, All Things Considered.) … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/23/14)


--- 1 --- I'm delighted by how many of you wrote in to tell me that "modern stylites" exist, after I referred to them hypothetically in the post on Orthodoxy and eating disorders.  Here's one of the best links you guys found: Shortly after the collapse of communism and the resurgence of religion in Georgia, former "bad boy" Maxime Qavtaradze (now 59) decided to live atop the pillar in the way of the old stylites. “When I was young I drank, sold drugs, everything. When I ended up in prison.... I … [Read more...]