7QT: Remixes, Underwear, & Fake Fingers

--- 1 --- I'm not going to make you wait for it (wait for it).  The video of the Hamilton cast doing their relyricized opening number to tell the tale of Sweeney Todd is up! (Part of the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit)--- 2 --- And, in another interesting bit of Hamilton reworking, there's a nice article on the alternate posters they considered for the show.  (My favorite is below)--- 3 --- And one more charming reenvisioning: the Page F30 blog rewrote an article … [Read more...]

Mercy, Justice, and How To Tell The Difference

I haven't blogged at all about Pope Francis's Apostolic exortation Amoris Laetitia, for the simple reason that I haven't yet read it! So I'm not in a position to analyze it myself or to evaluate other people's takes on it. But Eve Tushnet wrote a reflection for First Things which opens with a good analysis of plain ol' human nature, no pre-reading required: Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Ca … [Read more...]

Running the Stats on Shakespeare!

Shakespeare's 400th death day comes up this weekend, so I've done some analysis for FiveThirtyEight on which of his plays wind up taught outside English class (and offered a few recommendations of my own): Psychology students most often encounter Shakespeare’s great madmen: King Lear and Hamlet. Perhaps they’re the ones to blame for the more sexualized stagings of Hamlet’s confrontation with his mother. Oedipal productions of the play are such a trope that, in Jasper Fforde’s modern lit-nerd com … [Read more...]

When a Wedding Guide Leaves Out The Wedding Night

I'm at First Things, covering the unexpected gap I've found in the wedding planning books I've been reading. I became engaged at Easter, and, as I’ve started planning our wedding with my fiancé, I’ve noticed a suspicious lacuna in the wedding how-to's I’ve picked up. I would have thought, after one magazine’s handbook covered strategies for getting your pet turtle to join your wedding procession (they won’t walk down the aisle quickly enough, so you must tow its tank in a tulle-swathed wagon), t … [Read more...]

Fighting Weaponized Acedia

Commonweal has my double review of Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire by R.J. Snell and Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas by Natasha Dow Schüll.  Why review those two book alongside each other? I'm so glad that you asked. Slots, video poker, and other gambling machines are often described as games, but Schüll’s description makes it clear how completely play is lacking from these terminals. Some machines allow gamblers to “autoplay”: they simp … [Read more...]

I’m Speaking in NYC on Fights and Statistics

I have two speaking gigs coming up in New York City, if you're in town or have friends who are interested in arguments, statistics or both!  Theology on Tap: "Fighting in Good Faith" April 11, 7:30p121 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036How to avoid "agreeing to disagree" while still engaging with curiosity and love.  World Communications Day: "Counting Catholics: A Guide to Telling the Truth With Statistics" May 11, 2:10p333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201Making … [Read more...]

Engagement, A Bibliography

On Easter Sunday, my boyfriend proposed to me at Belvedere Castle in Central Park.And I feel the best way to invite you all into my joy is to share the bibliography of our courtship -- the favorite books we asked each other to read, the books we read for the first time together, the books it turned out we had both already loved. A Sense of Direction by William BallA Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanaukenArcadia by Tom StoppardBed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage by … [Read more...]


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