What’s Wrong with the Cuddling App?

squeeze box

I've been trying to work out exactly how I feel about Cuddlr, the new app that connects partners for a bout of platonic cuddling.  On the one hand, I keep trying to find ways to promote more non-sexual touch.  On the other hand, this particular solution gives me a wiggins, and I've been trying to put my finger on why.  Here's how Salon describes the app: You log on, link up with your Facebook profile and start browsing for nearby cuddle partners. If someone looks especially smush-able, you send … [Read more...]

Debunking the NYT’s Numbers on Contraception

graphs

You may have seen the New York Times's much shared infographic on contraception failure rates, and I'm here -- statistics cop badge in hand -- to tell you that it ain't necessarily so.  There are some huge methodological flaws in the way that the NYT chose to model the risk of unplanned pregnancy over ten years, and I'm explaining just how badly they went wrong at The American Conservative. The NYT generated these graphs by looking only at failure rates for contraception over one year, and then … [Read more...]

And a little child shall lead them (for the lack of anyone else) [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. In this week's chapter, Pope Francis praises the way that David follows God during the chaos of Absalom's rebellion: David places his liberty at the service of God's designs and cooperates with God's desires.  In so doing, … [Read more...]

Til we’ve all of us been burned a bit, and burnished by the Son [Pope Francis Bookclub]

sandblaster

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.At the beginning of this week's chapter, Pope Francis refers to a theologian who argues that prayer exists because we are imperfect and separated from God.  If we weren't sundered by sin, there would be no need to ask for objects or … [Read more...]

Friendzones and Fairness

finish line

When people talk about Nice Guy problems and friendzone problems (both on the internet and in my immediate environment), the conversations sometimes sound really similar to the kinds of things I would have heard on College Confidential or in a set of job interviewing tips.People are talking in terms of tricks they've learned from others, discussing what actually goes on inside the decision-making black box, and laying out a sequence of moves that are likely to succeed.  The unspoken … [Read more...]

Enclosing Ourselves in False Infinities [Pope Francis Bookclub]

Torus_from_rectangle

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter, Pope Francis contrasts Abraham with Lot, the latter too willing to cling to his present place and moment to follow the Lord where he leads.  In the course of his exegesis, he draws this distinction: Those who set … [Read more...]

Enemies of the Sacred Heart

Margaretha_Maria_Alacoque

I've never encountered Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque before her name came up for me today on Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator.  It looks like she is best known for her devotion to Christ's Sacred Heart (and for pioneering that devotion before it was general Catholic practice).  But, when I looked over her saint's page, I was most struck by this line: Received a revelation from Our Lord in 1675, which included 12 promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whos … [Read more...]


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