For the 800th Post, a Blast from the Past

Hurrah!  And I'm even more delighted by the nearly 18,000 comments you lot have posted since this blog started in the summer of 2010.I've been going back through the archives, five posts a day, to finally fix the tags that got mangled in the Patheos move, and I found a preconversion 7 Quick Takes that I thought would be fun to rerun today.Take it away, past!Leah...I started this blog over the summer as a way to try to clarify my thoughts on religion and morality, especially after I … [Read more...]

Costuming Collapse

This week, I was working on making a new muslin draft of my corset pattern for my Dryad costume.  Unfortunately, once again the fit was quite off, so the test fit pictures are NSFW.  With Halloween drawing on apace, I'm caving and looking for a commercial pattern this week.  While I wait for it to arrive, I'll start working on  the mask (since I only need to run to a hardware store to pick up wire).  Next week you should expect a mask draft (hopefully a complete one!) and the arrival of the patt … [Read more...]

Who Can Blaspheme?

Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day, spearheaded by the Center for Inquiry.  It's pretty much Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, but with a broader focus.  I fully back CFI's fight against blasphemy laws (remember, just in the past few months, Alexander Aan and that girl in Pakistan).  I'm a little more dubious about the practical use of having people in the U.S. and other relatively free nations blaspheme as a way of drawing attention/funds to the fight against blasphemy laws.  But neither of … [Read more...]

Contra Pangloss et Oprah

I recieved a comped copy of Glorious Ruin as part of the Patheos Book Club.This may be a matter of taste, but I thought Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free was too peppy for a book on the theology of suffering.  I like small, tightly focused books, and I thought returning again and again to Job was an interesting idea, but there was a weird quality of breathlessness (and too many exclamation points) throughout.The best part of the book contrasted the Theology of Glory with the Theo … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (9/28/12)

--- 1 --- If you read no other Quick Take today, read this one and do me a tremendous favor. My housemate Alex (co-creator of those philosophy t-shirts) has been nominated for "Best Viral Song/Video about DC" by Express Night Out.  Can you all pop over and vote for his "The Ballad of Pepco" under the DC Life tab?Here's the background: Pepco is the utility company for the DC area, and it's terrible.  We had a lot of blackouts this summer, some of which went on for days with few progress u … [Read more...]

Erga Mortuos, Nihil Nisi Caritas

Chris Hallquist is asking whether there's any reason to read the works of the dead charitably.  When it comes to the living, he can see the following advantages:Charity helps avoid flame wars It’s good to be careful not to unjustifiably damage someone’s reputation From a Machiavellian point of view, it’s nice to close off responses of the form, “what I meant was…”But he doesn't think any of them carry over when the author is dead.I've got a couple objections, so let me list t … [Read more...]

Happy Petrov Day! Celebrate by not annihilating everyone!

Taken from the description of Petrov Day on LessWrong: The story begins on September 1st, 1983, when Soviet jet interceptors shot down a Korean Air Lines civilian airliner after the aircraft crossed into Soviet airspace and then, for reasons still unknown, failed to respond to radio hails. 269 passengers and crew died, including US Congressman Lawrence McDonald. Ronald Reagan called it "barbarism", "inhuman brutality", "a crime against humanity that must never be forgotten". Note that this was … [Read more...]