The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown
is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn
to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf)
by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 8, 2014 -
Written for the dedication of The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in 1971, Leonard Bernstein created MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers
as a memoriam for John F Kennedy and as a thoroughly modern theater musical piece to reflect both its current times and universal questions of faith and existence. A recasting of the Tridentine Mass (in Latin)
, featuring additional lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a brilliant lyric quatrain from Paul Simon, the full staging requires multiple choruses, a full stage performance company (including ballet cast), a marching band, a rock band, and many others. The 2012 BBC Proms featured a concert performance
[1h56m, including introduction sequences]. MASS has had very few full theatrical stagings since its premiere, although now, over 50 years after its creation, it is beginning to find new acclaim and appreciation. [more inside]
posted by hippybear
on Mar 31, 2014 -
The deep philosophical differences between the two main conservative factions of the Catholic Church, pitting adherents of John Courtney Murray against the followers of Alasdair MacIntyre is the root cause of the mixed messages being put out by the Church on public policy matters. It is the fight worth watching.
posted by reenum
on Feb 11, 2014 -
In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 6, 2013 -
A relic hunter dubbed 'Indiana Bones' has lifted the lid
on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe.
posted by empath
on Sep 7, 2013 -
Later this year, the Vatican will canonize Káteri Tekahkwí:the, a/k/a Catherine Tekakwitha, a/k/a "Lily of the Mohawks."
Born in 1656 to a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother, some are celebrating the canonization of the first North American indigenous saint.
For others, the news is bittersweet, inciting mixed reactions derived from complex emotions
, especially to those of American and Canadian Native ancestry, for whom the news represents a painful reminder of the dark history of European colonization of North America.
The compelling survival story of Tekakwitha (or "the Clumsy One") has long been cherished as a religious conversion story by non-Natives of European descent, particularly Catholics, who claimed her as one of their own and held her out to the world as a model of piety and Christian values. In her classic 1890 biography of Kateri, The Life and Times of Kateri Tekakwitha, The Lily of the Mohawks, 1656-1680
, Ellen Walworth documents Kateri's ascetic lifestyle - which included self-flagellation, frequent fasting and even sleeping on a bed of thorns - in vivid detail. Describing her interest in Tekakwitha as sparked by "the thought of a mere Indian girl reared in the forest among barbarians," Walworth's spin on Kateri's tragic life seems to echo the pro-Indian assimilation line which was typical of the Assimilation era of federal Indian policy
. However, in more recent years, some authors have attempted to reclaim her story by digging deeper into her dark history from more diverse secular and non-secular perspectives. For example, Mohawk author and biographer Darren Bonaparte argues for painting a more complex portrait of a future saint which more fully incorporates and appreciates her Mohawk roots.
posted by Dr. Zira
on Feb 10, 2012 -
Both an ingeniously choreographed crime film and a moral drama influenced by Dostoyevsky’s
Crime and Punishment,
Pickpocket marks the apotheosis of Bresson's stripped-down style. There’s little or no psychological realism or conventional drama at work in Martin La Salle’s portrayal of a master thief who plies his trade at the Gare de Lyon and easily outwits the cops who seek to ensnare him. See it once to appreciate the spare elegance of the pickpocketing scenes, and then a second time to appreciate how subtly Bresson accomplishes the story of a man’s self-willed corruption, his liberation through imprisonment and his redemption through love, all in less than 80 minutes.*
posted by Trurl
on Jan 6, 2012 -
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.
posted by Trurl
on Dec 29, 2011 -
"So I admire those artists that are actually spiritually concerned. And have the balls to be concerned about that, and not concerned with fuckin’ George Bush’s dick. It’s very hard to sing when you’ve got someone’s dick in your mouth.”
She shoots a mischievous grin before adding, 'I’ve tried.'" Sinéad O’Connor
on the pope, her music, dating, buying condoms, and everything in between.
posted by the young rope-rider
on Dec 12, 2011 -
In October 1963, the Brazilian movie writer, director, and actor José Mojica Marins was having trouble with a movie he was working on, and fell asleep at the dinner table. He dreamed of being dragged to a cemetery by a creature in black, who showed Marins his own tomb stone, with the dates of his birth and death (YT: 9 min)
. That dream lead to the creation of Zé do Caixão
(anglicized as Coffin Joe
), the main character in Brazil's first horror movie, and Marins' first big movie success: À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma (YT: 1hr 22min w/English subs)
(At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
). This was one of the up-ticks in a life of some ups and lots of downs for the South American Roger Corman or Ed Wood
(NYT), and the birth of a character who would become Marins public persona. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 28, 2011 -
A scathing grand jury report accused the Philadelphia Archdiocese of providing safe haven for as many as 37 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
Most of those priests remain active in the ministry. 'The possibility that even one predatory priest, not to mention three dozen, might still be serving in parishes — “on duty in the archdiocese today, with open access to new young prey,” as the grand jury put it — has unnerved many Roman Catholics here and sent the church reeling in the latest and one of the most damning episodes in the American church since it became engulfed in the sexual abuse scandal nearly a decade ago. The extent of the scandal here, including a cover-up that the grand jury said stretched over many years, is so great that Philadelphia is “Boston reborn,” said David J. O’Brien, who teaches Catholic history at the University of Dayton, referring to the archdiocese where widespread sexual abuse exploded in public in 2002.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 4, 2011 -
ReturnTheDVD.org "Dear Archbishop Nienstedt,
We write to you as a small group of faithful Catholics. This letter, however, represents the voices of thousands of families who were as disheartened as we were by the DVD Preserving Marriage in Minnesota..." [more inside]
posted by jillithd
on Dec 10, 2010 -
The source Fr. Amoth refers to
, according to Fr. Fortea
, is the demons who are being exorcised
. Of this, the Spanish priest wrote that knowing whether or not the demon
is telling the truth "is in many cases impossible." "We can know with great confidence when a demon tells the truth in the subject directly related with the exorcism. That is, the number of demons, their name and similar things. But we cannot be confident in what regards concrete news relating to people." [more inside]
posted by ServSci
on Mar 16, 2010 -
When I was growing up, I did not dress up as a nun for Halloween. When I was a young, impressionable Catholic school girl, I did not secretly (or otherwise) pine for the veils, habits, odd religious names, and overall mystique of the nuns who taught me. The whole “nun” thing kind of snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying much attention. A Nun's Life
is the eclectic personal blog of Sister Julie
, a Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
and a Star Wars fangirl
posted by amyms
on Oct 4, 2008 -
(google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
posted by empath
on Oct 2, 2008 -
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town.
posted by swift
on Jun 19, 2008 -