Breaking Strains for Robots and Women

human perri

The ever-excellent cultural critic Alyssa Rosenberg has written a great essay today titled "Want to understand what it means to be a woman? Look to robots."  The gist: I haven’t seen anyone acknowledge the obvious point that so much of pop culture is making, and has been making for more than half a decade: Robots are an excellent metaphor for contemporary womanhood. Women are expected to declare ourselves flawless, but no matter how much we claim our perfection, we’re still forced to offer evid … [Read more...]

A Dominican Invitation to Witness [Saints Bookclub]

(The Dominican Blessed / Fra Angelico)

In 2015, I’m reading and blogging through Ronald Knox’s collection of sermons on Christian exemplars, Captive Flames: On Selected Saints and Christian Heroes.  Every Monday (kinda), I’ll be writing about the next portrait in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Maybe I wouldn't have been slow to get back into blogging through Knox's sermons on the saints if I had noticed that the next chapter was on St. Dominic -- after all, I owe a lot to the Dominicans in DC. … [Read more...]

What I Read On My Book Tour

bed of nails

Sorry for the low posting volume, folks -- I've spent the last two weeks in New York City and Boston, doing book talks, radio, science museum trips (ok, that last is not technically related to *publicizing* Arriving at Amen, but it is totally in the spirit of the book), and I've been a little tuckered out.The train trips did give me a lot of time for reading of my own, though, so here's the rundown of what I read while trying to entice people to read my book:Excellent Women - Barbara … [Read more...]

Good Fights, Like Good Friendships, Are A Long-Term Promise


Monique Ocampo runs a series of interviews with Catholic women on Wednesdays and I'm her guest this week.  I've posted a snippet of our discussion below, but you can read the full Q&A at her place.How do you balance working in news with apologetics? Most of the time, there’s no balancing act at all — I don’t write apologetics at work; I cover statistics-heavy facets of the day’s news.  The biggest way that my faith impacts my writing is that I try to reflect on the effect my pieces will … [Read more...]

Concussion Tests and a Voting Mess [538]


Here's the roundup of what I've been working on at FiveThirtyEight over the last week:  The ‘One Person, One Vote’ Case Relies On Statistics That Nobody Has The plaintiffs are challenging the usual method (counting total number of people living in a district) and are asking that states use the total number of eligible voters instead. The trouble is, we don’t have robust statistics on the number of eligible voters. If the Supreme Court were to set new standards for districting, we would … [Read more...]

Letting Prayer Lead from Self to Other

cry woof

Tonight I'm speaking in NYC at First Things at 6p.  I hope to see some of you there or next week when I do a Theology on Tap in Boston on June 2nd.As part of the Patheos Book Club, I got to do a Q&A with Will Duquette about Arriving at Amen.  Will's a great guy, a third order Dominican and the kind of person who titles his blog "Cry Woof! And let slip the dogs of whimsy..."Here are a few excerpts from our conversation:  Cry Woof: Your use of the examen started out narrow and even … [Read more...]

The Publishing Milestone that No One Mentions

pg 45 meme

This might be the most exciting thing that's happened to me in the midst of launching my first book.  Last week, I reposted one of those perennial facebook memes:Since I was reading The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr, I typed up the appropriate page 45 sentence: To use an image that is more organic, we might diagram restorative justice as a flower. My friends added quotes of their own, and then one of them posted this! The request for light in the second part of the … [Read more...]