7QT: Answers to Questions I Didn’t Think to Ask

geneva drive

--- 1 --- When I was in school, it wasn't uncommon for my teachers to have access to smart whiteboards and computers, but it was seldom that there seemed to anything useful to do with them.  But dy/dan, a math teacher and blogger, has a great project for students, where they designed their own vases and then tried to plot the rate at which the water level would rise in their classmates' designs.  Reading his post makes me want to putter around with the problem. --- 2 --- Meanwhile, in other fa … [Read more...]

We Can’t Be ‘Sanctimonious’ About Torture


I'm at First Things today, discussing the unpleasant rhetoric that still surrounds the United States's torture program, and the way the President managed to acknowledge its existence while minimizing the gravity of the abuses:As the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program comes closer to publication, truths are finally being extracted – not from suspected terrorists, but from publishers and politicians. The New York Times announced last Thursday that the paper will finally drop th … [Read more...]

Not A Gotcha God


Less than an hour after I wrote yesterday's post on patience, I was at Daily Mass, and, during the prayers of the people (a moment in the liturgy when the whole church prays for specific, spoken intentions, and people meditate on their own, private petitions), I had a particularly uncharitable kind of prayer come into my mind.It was, in fact, an unpleasant enough thought, that I almost expected Anya (the wish granting demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer pictured above) to appear and say … [Read more...]

Parallel Meltdowns at Burger King


There's been a (possibly apocryphal) story flying around the interblags about a confrontation between a man and a child.  In the anecdote, the man is waiting in a long line at a Burger King and becomes more and more frustrated with the tantrum-throwing child in line behind him, who kept shrieking for an apple pie.So, when he finally got to the front of the line, the man bought all of the apple pie snacks in stock, and lingered to watch the meltdown when the mother and kid found out that t … [Read more...]

Happy Churches are All Alike [Pope Francis Bookclub]


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.We're nearly at the end of the "Letters to the Seven Churches" section of Pope Francis's book, and most of the letters discussed have had an air of fraternal correction.  However, this week's letter to Philadelphia and the discussion t … [Read more...]

“That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends”


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Mass of Solemn Profession of twelve of the Dominican Friars at DC's House of Studies.  This is the moment where they make their permanent promises to remain in the Order.  Earlier in their formation, they make temporary vows to live in community, under the community's rule, but, when those vows expire, they're free to go, unless both they and the order would like to see them become a member of the community until their deaths -- and sort of after, s … [Read more...]

7QT: Flipped Journals, Fake Football, and Finite Tragedy


--- 1 --- I've gotten to coast on my university's JSTOR access for alums, but the NYRB has an interesting proposal to make research journals accessible to anyone:The entire system of communicating research could be made less expensive and more beneficial for the public by a process known as “flipping.” Instead of subsisting on subscriptions, a flipped journal covers its costs by charging processing fees before publication and making its articles freely available, as “open access,” afterwar … [Read more...]