7 Quick Takes (3/28/13)

--- 1 --- Lo, a miracle has occurred.  I enjoyed an article that in some way pertained to March Madness.  (Unsurprisingly, it's by Nate Silver).  Over at 538, he's got an explanation (with simulations and graphs) of why a team might prefer a lower seed, what they could do with the perverse incentives, and how the NCAA could patch the problem.  --- 2 --- Ok, in fact there were two articles about college basketball that caught my eye this week.  I also enjoyed seeing Travis Waldron call … [Read more...]

Famine in a Time of Feasting


This past weekend was the one year anniversary of my conversion (well, according to the liturgical year, anyway). I changed my mind in the night between plain old Saturday and Palm Sunday. And, as one friend joked, this meant I got to skip Lent and come in right during Holy Week.But one of the things I felt most acutely during my attendance at Triduum services that week was a sense of distance. It was one thing to not participate in the liturgy as an atheist, but if the Eucharist was … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (3/22/13)

cfar planning monster

--- 1 --- It's March!  That month when people care particularly intensely about sports I am indifferent to, but make brackets about all kinds of things that do catch my fancy.  Like this Shakespeare Showdown bracket, which has prompted a number of fights about the rankings to the point where we might soon to say "Oh, what a falling off was there!"  --- 2 --- Passover starts this week, and the Maccabeats have a delightful new song which is also a Les Mis medley.  Too bad it's still abo … [Read more...]

Would you rather be wrong than boring?

bored dandy

In a post titled "The sad, sad tale of the philosophical meta-game" Eli of Rust Belt Philosophy does a useful job calling out our fascination with outrageousness and impatience with obvious sounding truth. Plus, his frame metaphor is awesome: Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. (Don't worry, you don't need to know what that is to follow his point. Let me block quote a little: Now, Marvel is a game - I mean, a paradigmatic game, the kind where there's really nothing significant on the line except what … [Read more...]

Now we shoot through a screen, darkly

b17-flying-fortress (1)

Via Mark Shea, Time has a lovely story about a German pilot who couldn't find it in his heart to shoot down a crippled American bomber during World War II. As Stigler's fighter rose to meet the bomber, he decided to attack it from behind. He climbed behind the sputtering bomber, squinted into his gun sight and placed his hand on the trigger. He was about to fire when he hesitated. Stigler was baffled. No one in the bomber fired at him.He looked closer at the tail gunner. He was still, his … [Read more...]

“A Week?” Tell me you’re a _____

a week

If you cross-read the atheism portal here at Patheos or have atheist friends who are heavily engaged with the movement, you may be seeing images like this pop up across Facebook this week.It's 'A' Week, which, as Hemant Mehta explains at his blog, is a challenge to atheists to come out and give their friends a chance to know they know atheists.  This year's celebration seems particularly well-timed, falling right after Rob Portman's rapid about-face on gay marriage demonstrates that people m … [Read more...]

The Great Divorce… the musical


So, remember that atheist friend I had the The Great Divorce bookclub with?  There were a number of unexpected benefits to that fight, but perhaps the most delightful is the fact that my friend likes songwriting and Sondheim, and relyricized a number from Into the Woods to be about the Dwarf and the Tragedian.You can google around for a summary of the scene (I don't see the text up anywhere) but, given how often I recommend it and that my friend with a wildly different belief system agreed it … [Read more...]