Flash Boys and Patent Ploys

amcon burke

This week, all my posts for The American Conservative had a slightly tech-y bent, starting with coverage of a software patents case, then CIA snooping, and wrapping up with a review of Michael Lewis's Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.  (Of course, the best recommendation for Lewis as a writer is how invested he got me in a book about baseball.  I still get excited when I spot a mention of Nick Swisher in the sports section.)  SCOTUS Debugs Software Patents First, a brief patent prim … [Read more...]

Felix Aprilis Stultorum Dies!

In all seriousness, this was my first google image result for "dominicans and jesuits"

There are two very amusing April Fools' Day jokes that I've run across that are particularly appropriate to this blog.  First, is the story, via New Zealand, about Pope Francis's decisions to develop the New Ecumenical English Missal Project. Like other surprise announcements of Pope Francis, this one goes totally beyond expectations. In the document entitled (still surprisingly in Latin!) Aprilis Stulte Dies(translation of the Latin here), the pope reveals that a board will oversee a com … [Read more...]

World Vision, Bad Science, and Living Death Sentences


Here's the round-up of the posts I've done this week at The American Conservative, starting with the most timely one.The Perils of Workplace Purges Two organizations stumbled into controversy this week over employment and gay marriage. World Vision, a Christian organization that provides humanitarian aid, announced it would hire staff in gay marriages (previously, this was a violation of the employee code of conduct) and then, two days later, reversed the decision. Meanwhile, at Mozilla, t … [Read more...]

Hope without Sentimentality

shape note

This past weekend, I was feeling low, but, very luckily for me, I had tickets to a Capitol Hill Chorale concert that one of my friends was performing in.  The concert was titled "Rivers of Delight" and comprised traditional shape note songs, and more modern songs with a link to the shape note tradition.  As you might guess from the image above, shape note takes its name from the way the solfege syllables are marked out with distinct shapes on the musical score, to make it easier to learn and s … [Read more...]

The PEG who dwells with us


I'm pleased to announce that Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has joined the Catholic team here at Patheos with his new blog "Inebriate Me."  He explains, in his first post, why he named his blog after a line from the Anima Christi: I chose this line, specifically, because it’s perhaps the effect of Christ’s grace that’s most overlooked, and perhaps most important: Christ, make me drunk on your grace.To get drunk is to get happy. It’s also to get a little reckless. It’s also to be–and it’s not good wit … [Read more...]

Math, Moolah, Meddling Spies, and Monarchs

Richard III (Drew Cortese) / Teresa Wood

Here's the roundup of my most recent writing for The American Conservative, which includes math nerdery, political science research, Snowden coverage, and, best of all, a theatre review.  Teaching Math Under Common Core: Fact and Fiction, Part V When I learned my times tables, the kinds in my class used the fingers trick for remembering the nine times table. Just hold up all ten fingers, palms in, and then, counting from the left, put down the nth finger (where n is the number you’re m … [Read more...]

Post-CPAC Roundup: Crime, Race, Religion, and Women

cpac banner

Earlier today I wrote about the how of my CPAC coverage, and here's the what: all the stories I filed for AmCon based on the speeches I heard and the questions I asked at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  I tried to stick to the criteria of "Kind, honest, and necessary" throughout:Conservative Atheists Speak Up About CPAC Shunning Less than 24 hours passed between the American Atheists‘ announcement that“Atheists March Into Lions’ Den at CPAC” and the follow-up “CPAC Boots Ath … [Read more...]