Rags of Light

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2021-01-17: Phil Spector, dead in prison. This is an emotionally complicated post. Phil Spector produced some of the greatest music of my …

2021-01-16: A probably crazy suggestion that smartphones themselves, not just their content, are messing us up.

2021-01-15: Current reading: I’m learning about T. C. Boyle. Read Riven Rock (excellent), now on …

2021-01-15: Damon Linker dreads “the first fully postmodern civil war in history.” Yikes. Thanks, …

2021-01-14: Today we commemorate the (fairly obscure) St Maximos the Hut-Burner, a personal favorite. We talk …

2021-01-13: "then God have mercy on us." Russell Moore on “Christian” treason: People are watching. People are overhearing. Some …

2021-01-12: FYI: There is no such thing as a Christian flag.

2021-01-11: How is it that the same person wrote Moby-Dick and Bartleby the Scrivener?

2021-01-09: Pray Now. Via email, I just read some bad news about an acquaintance, and remembered something I’ve …

2021-01-09: My County Health Department had worked out, and announced, a smooth, efficient plan for distribution …

2021-01-08: Everybody loves a winner, but when you lose, you lose alone. A lot of people who backed DT as long …

2021-01-07: Theophany. In other news, it was the Great Feast of Theophany in our corner of the Orthodox Church yesterday. …

2021-01-06: Пресвятая Богородице, Спаси нас!

2021-01-06: Our monstrous approach to the elderly. You know this is a theme of mine. Here’s this from a good Atlantic reflection : “When we look …

2021-01-05: Normalized scams. I concur.

2020-12-31: Help, Spanish! This past year, I’ve been working through DuoLingo’s Spanish course, and I can see ahead …

2020-12-31: Is UBI getting more acceptable? That would be good.

2020-12-31: A dry run? A few strands of conversation today led to my wondering if God, in his mercy, has sent us this mild …

2020-12-31: The screen world… (photo from the Roden newsletter.)

2020-12-30: Currently reading The English Patient and re-reading Lord of the Rings. If novels could be put in …

2020-12-30: Stimulate someone. It seems that, here in the US, we’ll all be getting “stimulus” checks of $600 or …

2020-12-28: Yet another interesting substack newsletter, at another $100/year. Not willing to do this…

2020-12-28: Be still.

2020-12-25: Divine Liturgy, Christmas morning.

2020-12-24: Own the Tools. This prompted me to order a replacement physical dictionary on the spot.

2020-12-24: "The flaming sword withdraws from Eden's gate." COME, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord, As we sing of this present mystery. The wall which divided …

2020-12-22: The president leaves the White House. (from Ran)

2020-12-18: Not virulent enough? I had a conversation with a friend who thinks that COVID19 is either a scam, or that a minor …

2020-12-18: A little update on the ultra-minimalist Light Phone, of which I’m a happy owner: Of course you …

2020-12-18: Very cool: A coast-to-coast US bike trail!

2020-12-15: The web crawler monopoly. I learned a few things, though I didn’t come up with a brilliant …

2020-12-14: My grandson doesn’t like Mac&Cheese, and my granddaughter doesn’t like Cheerios. …

2020-12-14: Rise of the Nominals. This: So, Why is Evangelicalism Not Declining? Because Non-Attenders Are Taking On the Label. …

2020-12-12: The two parties. Anyone who discerns Donald Trump, Ibram X. Xendi, Xavier Becerra and Rush Limbaugh …

2020-12-11: Then there are days with this kind of mood.

2020-12-10: Somehow, being angry makes people feel good. I mean, makes people feel that they are good. Hard to …

2020-12-07: Labyrinths. Shirley du Boulay’s The Road to Canterbury has a section on medieval mazes/labyrinths as …

2020-12-07: On why social media self-policing isn't possible It is because a universal public square cannot be a community that the parameters of the online …

2020-12-07: Blogging, email newsletter? Not enough! Start a printed magazine not available online. This article …

2020-12-02: I had a tele-medicine doctor’s visit today. Neither of us wore a mask, so in an odd way it …

2020-12-01: The Sower. The many homilies that I’ve heard about Christ’s Parable of the Sower usually focus on …

2020-12-01: Angels. I came across this amazing painting, Angels Appearing before the Shepherds, on Gracy …

2020-11-30: Techie! I’ve been shifting toward using the Brave browser, and today did something pretty …

2020-11-28: "Christianity is not an intellectual system, a moral code, or a political stance." Here are perhaps the three most widely held interpretations of Christianity: Christ as the spokesman …

2020-11-28: Stuff From this interesting collection of statistics on how much stuff we own, I’ve picked out a …

2020-11-28: Trend: Neo-feudalism.

2020-11-25: COVID19: Many approaches, all failures. The Economist maintains a chart of cumulative COVID19 deaths in countries around the world. The …

2020-11-22: A good trend. A few news news sites offer plain-text versions of their content, stripped of the …

2020-11-21: Front Porch Republic is a site you might want to look into if you care about sustainability, modest …

2020-11-20: A sizable portion of the American public appears to crave enemies. – Damon Linker, …

2020-11-20: Just plain harmful. Despite its conveniences, the internet is catastrophically harmful. We’d be much better off if …

2020-11-19: I need to get over being furious whenever some media source misuses “exponential.” It …

2020-11-18: First snow. We have a family tradition of reading James Joyce’s beautiful story “The Dead” on …

2020-11-18: I just looked up Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes on Amazon, and they told me that a …

2020-11-18: If you’re a Jacques Barzun fan, you might be interested in this.

2020-11-17: The temperate techie. In my long-ago techie days, the name of Edsger Dijkstra (d. 2002) was familiar to anyone who was at …

2020-11-16: Found by the wife on FB. Couldn’t resist posting it.

2020-11-13: Phones! I’m part of an online community that gets very excited about new phones. All these phones make …

2020-11-10: Hoping for the collapse of the attention economy Reflections on how the sale of identities to advertisers has molded our whole conception of online …

2020-11-09: How to walk across a parking lot. I enjoyed this. I always aim for an area with few other cars. …

2020-11-06: The news monkey. Working on this, with limited success so far. Further, reading or watching the news gives us the …

2020-11-05: Reading now. Great cover image.

2020-11-05: My Blue State’s presidential vote map. The rural-urban divide as always. Every blue county …

2020-11-04: Surveillance begging. I graduated from college almost 50 years ago, have moved many times, and have …

2020-11-03: Remembering Metropolitan Maximos Metropolitan Maximos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America reposed yesterday, and I want to …

2020-11-03: For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But …

2020-11-02: Vileness and regular people. An installment of Nick Cave’s fine newsletter (read it, even in you don’t especially …

2020-11-02: C. S. Lewis on the news. ‘It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to …

2020-10-31: A short history of "woke"? Does anyone use “woke” in a positive way now? I only hear it used it …

2020-10-31: Peggy Noonan isn’t voting.

2020-10-29: The Blues and the Greens, revisited. Factions that aren’t really firm about what they believe, shift positions, but are dead-set in …

2020-10-28: On Praying in an election season. Here is a good reflection by Fr Ted Bobosh, on prayer for the civil authorities. A couple of …

2020-10-27: A predictor of social unrest? “Overproduction of elites.” If you know, or are, a PhD …

2020-10-24: Vanity Fair improvements... Many passengers stop to take their pleasure or make their profit in the Fair, instead of going …

2020-10-22: “On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and …

2020-10-22: 5G will probably remain a pipe dream for some time to come. Huge energy cost (about 3x that of 4g), …

2020-10-22: The other pandemic. Overdose deaths, largely driven by fentanyl, are still soaring, and in many …

2020-10-21: Favorite movie openings? I think Paris, Texas and The Godfather (pt 1). Also the slow dawn in First Reformed, which is …

2020-10-20: Pandemic fallout: The Triumph of the Scold, paper-cutout relationships From a thoughtful essay by Mo Perry, discovered thanks to @patrickrhone. For most of my life, …

2020-10-19: Interesting times. I feel that I’m living through the end of the Republic, or maybe a final …

2020-10-17: Today’s mail. What’s the opposite of junk mail?

2020-10-17: Thanks to COVID (and quieter streets), San Francisco’s birds are singing more, and singing …

2020-10-13: Incisive article on the emerging “Brahmin Left.” I sometimes say that I’d be a …

2020-10-12: “I think you are starting to see a lot of what has preserved US democracy is decorum, not …

2020-10-08: Sports viewership is way down across the board. This discussion offers a few possible reasons, …

2020-10-08: Light Phone II: comments Earlier, I said I’d report a few things about my Light Phone II after using it for a while. …

2020-10-05: Entrance Requirement. [At] the Moscow Seminary in the seventies… The young man at the opening interview was not …

2020-10-05: If you’re a regular consumer of California wines (like me), you might want to study up on …

2020-10-05: How Hatred Came to Dominate American Politics. Many good observations, not much optimism.

2020-09-30: Car seats as contraception. Boy can I appreciate this study. Upcoming grandchild #3 is causing a scramble for a mini-van to …

2020-09-29: Language geekery department: A guy is writing his doctoral chemistry dissertation in Welsh, …

2020-09-28: Books light and heavy. I’m reading Jacques Pepin’s autobiography The Apprentice: my life in the kitchen with …

2020-09-28: The local political campaigns are ramping up, and so far I’ve seen nothing but attack ads. The …

2020-09-27: Hardcore minimalist phone, at a price. I like it! I’ll post a longish review when I’ve …

2020-09-24: Fun read: Abandoned skyscraper; illegal residents have turned it into a functioning town. …

2020-09-21: Just read a recommendation that this be our new national anthem. Excellent, except that dreams of …

2020-09-19: Not Apocalytic... Calm down, people! Matthew Walther offers these consoling words. Regardless of who wins in November …

2020-09-17: For the most part I don’t have opinions about the metric system, but I do wish the US would …

2020-09-16: Cookbook Peeves. I got a new (old, really, ordered a used copy) cookbook that I’m enjoying very much. One of …

2020-09-10: Against Originality. From maybe my favorite cookbook, Viana LaPlace’s Unplugged Kitchen: In my family we basically …

2020-09-06: Reflections on "dialect" and "language". I’m reading Elena Ferrante’s truly great Neapolitan Novels, which follow the lives of a …

2020-09-05: Began the day with the Epistle reading about “the wisdom of this age… the rulers of …

2020-09-04: A big day in music. Today (Sept. 5 2020), the ongoing Halberstadt performance of John Cage’s As Slow as Possible …

2020-09-04: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels (really one long novel in four installments) are so great. …

2020-09-03: On the folly of political endorsements by church leaders. Recognizing the eschatological nature of the Church and that her citizenship is in heaven …

2020-09-01: I’m appreciating Gracy Olmstead’s wonderful Granola newsletter. When I get one, after I …

2020-09-01: Human Protection. Two verses from our services that I especially appreciate these days: Put not your trust in princes, …

2020-08-31: marriage & faith: ecstasy, discipline, bondage, freedom. Many misconceive religious life in the same way they misunderstand married life: They expect …

2020-08-30: Maybe our decisions should be guided by cuteness. What have we got to lose?

2020-08-30: The Rise and Fall of the Corporate R&D Lab. I link to this article because it brings back many memories. I grew up in New Jersey, and my dad was …

2020-08-29: The Non-Voter. The Non-voter. Each election there are three choices and the winner is always not voting. In 2016 …

2020-08-26: Two Thousand Years. “I have thought very much about the effectiveness of nonviolent action — how it is that one …

2020-08-24: when I read statements like “I hate Instagram and Facebook, but I have to stay on them to be …

2020-08-23: Listening to Morton Feldman, For John Cage. Have you ever listened to that interval? Let’s …

2020-08-23: China's War on Religion China’s War on Religion. A very good (grim) summary of where things stand. “First they …

2020-08-21: Difficult books aren’t out to manipulate us. Writing that grabs your attention, is accessibly …

2020-08-19: Are you voting for the War Party, or the War Party? The Anti-war Wing of Both Parties is Dead. Not that either had much power or influence to start …

2020-08-18: “When we start to speak what the world wants to hear, the critiques of the Church will …

2020-08-17: Happy Birthday, "Kind of Blue" It’s the anniversary of the issue of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue in 1959. It’s so …

2020-08-16: Happy birthday to Charles Bukowski. Here’s his poem “Nirvana”.

2020-08-15: How to deface a book. I’ve gotten more into marking up the books I read, with lots of underlining and notes in the …

2020-08-14: The Gandalf Option From an interview with Alan Jacobs (aka @ayjay): (edited a bit) Question: In the midst of our …

2020-08-14: Medieval Death Pits, continued... …in which I find support in this piece in The Nation: It’s time to abolish nursing …

2020-08-12: The good that lies at hand. We turn to Christ and wonder, “What should we do?” The answer, I think, is simple and immediate: Do …

2020-08-11: Times change, songs change, ears change. This morning I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s lovely song “Across the Border”. …

2020-08-11: Faith, Death, Pandemic. A remarkable reflection by a priest’s widow.

2020-08-08: From the internet: There’s a sign in the grocery store checkout line telling me to stand on …

2020-08-08: Stop Moralizing about COVID. I say again, it’s amazing to me what we don’t know.

2020-08-06: Social media peaked at Listserv.

2020-08-03: Wrong about Crime From FiveThirtyEight: Many Americans Are Convinced Crime Is Rising In The U.S. They’re Wrong. …

2020-08-01: A gripping book about fungus? It’s true. Lively writing, full of amazing things.

2020-07-31: Signs of the times: Creedal yard signs.

2020-07-28: Pop quiz: What country has had the highest rate of COVID19 deaths per capita? Belgium! Lots of other …

2020-07-27: To my amazement, moderated blog comments can be pleasant and helpful. But I can only think of one …

2020-07-27: Reading a book using the NOOK app on my phone. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me …

2020-07-26: Print and screen. I came across a long, intriguing article online that I wanted to read carefully. I found that, try …

2020-07-25: Ethiopia's Church Forests. Ethiopia’s Church Forests. Beautiful & encouraging. The video is part of a long essay with …

2020-07-24: 68 Life Lessons. I liked some of these 68 Life Lessons from Kevin Kelly. (Thanks Rebeccah Toh) Snippets: Trust me: …

2020-07-24: What would be cool: Today the Turkish state reconverted the Great Church (Agia Sophia) in Istanbul into a mosque, and …

2020-07-23: Medieval Death Pits, continued. Again: If COVID19 does one good thing, it will be to make us look at the state of elder care, …

2020-07-23: Holy Bees. Our friends at Holy Cross Monastery in the wilds of WV have a bee-keeping business that includes …

2020-07-20: Outside the Box. I love this tiny record player. It drives around on the surface of the record like …

2020-07-16: The No News Challenge, continued. Yet another call to quit the news. In the late 1980s, this was my news consumption: I bought a copy …

2020-07-15: Fewer babies. BBC addresses, pretty well, one of the under-reported world trends, the global fertility crash. It …

2020-07-12: I’ve started working on DuoLingo Spanish. It’s surprising how much Spanish an …

2020-07-12: Confusing religious liberty and religious power. Good thoughts.

2020-07-10: My wife was going through some old boxes…

2020-07-08: Orthodox Numbers. Some interesting Orthodox numbers from this generally interesting piece, How Many Orthodox …

2020-07-08: War. A statue of Emperor Haile Selassie was torn down in London. I thought this might be an especially …

2020-07-08: I still can’t tell the difference between udon noodles and store-brand linguine. Ignorant, but …

2020-07-06: Parties are now tribes. Truer now than in the past? In the essentialist theory, ideologies are …

2020-07-06: Here is a review of books entirely about the ampersand. Image: the 62 distinct ampersands included …

2020-07-04: And in other news, they found Atlantis. Now, back to riots and viruses.

2020-07-02: Out for a walk this evening. We triggered the speed warning sign. I don’t think we were really …

2020-07-02: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1969: The Church will become small. Beautiful.

2020-07-02: Found in a pocket notebook from last year. All I know is that I must have been sitting in a meeting.

2020-06-27: We spent the day moving to a new place with the help of kind, younger people. Observation about …

2020-06-26: Myth, science, and racism. This should prompt us to consider the respective roles of myth and science in offering a guide to …

2020-06-26: Remembering a statement by Robert Downey Jr (paraphrasing): Quitting isn’t that hard. …

2020-06-25: The art of speaking Don’t speak unnecessarily. When speaking, think carefully and be concise. Be …

2020-06-25: An allegorical approach to life. This fully Christian way of living requires a kind of allegorical approach to life and to people: …

2020-06-24: The No News Challenge: Update. A week without checking the news went surprisingly smoothly. Just being mindful never to check a …

2020-06-23: Fun with dentistry. I got a tooth pulled today, a return to the origins of dentistry. It didn’t hurt, though now I …

2020-06-22: Samuel Johnson, anti-racist pioneer His life (1709-1784) was more or less bookended by the beginning and end of the British …

2020-06-19: The world is a burning bush of God’s energies. – St. Gregory Palamas

2020-06-19: RIP Ian Holm, one of our most versatile and hard-working actors ever. A few of his roles that come …

2020-06-19: Definition of a hard-core gardener: We’re getting ready to move, and my wife is planning to …

2020-06-18: The No News Challenge. I’m doing a one-week project of trying not to check the news online. So …

2020-06-17: Happy birthday to poet Ron Padgett. You should watch Paterson.

2020-06-15: I’m pondering how to translate this wonderful advice into online-news language. To be …

2020-06-15: It’s another fasting season. “Fasting of the body is a feast for the soul.”

2020-06-13: How Internet Debate Works with instructive graphic showing how most paths lead to “Zombie …

2020-06-13: Follow your bliss? Here is an entertaining and thoughtful account of how Joseph Campbell helped to mainstream the …

2020-06-13: Happy Birthday to William Butler Yeats, still my favorite poet after all this time.

2020-06-12: Surrender playlist. Today I was musing about some of my favorite “Spirituals,” – a word I’m using …

2020-06-12: On Peer Review. Funny but sadly true. “The problem with peer review is the peers.” More …

2020-06-11: Still waiting for a nice looking, platform independent return of HyperCard. I think they just …

2020-06-09: Silence is a mystery of the age to come, but words are instruments of this world. – St Isaac …

2020-06-08: Pentecost O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art everywhere present and fillest all …

2020-06-03: In an earlier post (way back when CV19 was at the top of our worry list), I wrote If society …

2020-06-02: A Service for the Increase of Love and the Uprooting of Hatred and All Animosity – From the …

2020-06-02: This might be a good time to read Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. Helps a bit if …

2020-06-02: The more the world is in apparent crisis, the less benefit you get from the news. …what we …

2020-06-01: Here’s an excerpt from an essay by Fr Stephen Freeman, The Violence of Modernity The whole …

2020-06-01: A large city playground, of all things, was burned to the ground sometime last night. Our city is, …

2020-05-29: In my reading today (Epistle of St James, it happens) I was struck again by how often, and how …

2020-05-27: Critical Thinking Cheat Sheet. We all need a lot more of this. I’ll admit that I’m …

2020-05-26: On Giving. This C S Lewis Quote was on my mind for a couple of days. I tracked it down to his Mere …

2020-05-26: On Systematic Theology: Such reasoning is rare in the Fathers. They did not think of theological …

2020-05-26: Peace. Peace is the integrity and health of the soul; to lose peace is to lose spiritual health. …

2020-05-25: You laugh. (source: xkcd).

2020-05-25: Grace apart from Faith. (For the Sunday of the Blind Man)

2020-05-25: On the conspiracy theory miasma: I don’t really think the fundamental issue here is gullibility …

2020-05-24: Postmodernity right and left. “[W]hile Christians rightly feared the crumbling of moral absolutes …

2020-05-22: Cal Newport on The lost satisfactions of manual competence: There’s great fulfillment in applying …

2020-05-19: For reasons I won’t go into, we ended up with a packaged school lunch. Such nostalgia! In case …

2020-05-15: On the Unreality of Money: A reflection on the fact that one American will soon be …

2020-05-15: Rule of Thumb: When a recipe calls for a “clove of garlic,” obviously that’s a …

2020-05-15: Austin Kleon, “If You are Having Trouble Reading.” I’m not, right now, but …

2020-05-14: In this present time of verbal inflation that only aggravates loneliness, only the man of prayerful …

2020-05-09: There’s good stuff on TV: Beaver Dam Webcams! I laughed when I read this paragraph in a …

2020-05-09: RIP Little Richard, aged 87, which, boy does that make me feel old. The link will take you to his …

2020-05-08: We watched The Rise of Skywalker. Nice scenery. Edited like the world’s longest trailer. Done …

2020-05-08: Reading Edith Wharton has been a great discovery. I read through this handy volume of three of her …

2020-05-08: Happy Birthday to Gary Snyder, who is 90 today. “Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to …

2020-05-08: It’s May, and snow is in the forecast for tonight here in upstate NY. I read today that apple …

2020-05-07: Ongoing math rage: Our lives are being determined by models none of whose inputs are established …

2020-05-05: Best movie theme ever. Crank it up.

2020-05-05: Some powerful words, I thought, on grief and bereavement, from someone who’s been there. We …

2020-05-05: I know the feeling. (H/T Messy Nessy).

2020-05-04: Here’s a powerful testament to writing actual letters, from a plain-text advocate: Q: Is …

2020-05-04: Quirky marketing (or literary?) strategy: A new novel comes out in three superficially identical …

2020-05-04: The opiod epidemic (remember that?) is still raging.

2020-05-01: Alan Jacobs, Against the Common Good: Wendell Berry once wrote, “Community is a concept, like …

2020-04-30: A window into what? All sorts of celebrities are appearing on video these days, backed up by their …

2020-04-29: Small pleasures: 1. Actually getting in the car to drive to the grocery store. 2. Finding an old CD, …

2020-04-28: Cooking a lot at home these days? Here’s a great list of pet peeves of chefs. I’d go …

2020-04-27: A possible long-term outcome of the COVID19 economic crisis: … it’s not hard to envision a …

2020-04-22: Sitting safely at home (retired) knowing that I’m being supported by an army of working-class …

2020-04-22: P. D. James’ Children of Men is set in 2021! I read the book after being impressed by the …

2020-04-21: The Amish Health Care System. Fascinating, subversive. Things could be really different in a society …

2020-04-19: It’s Pascha here in Orthodox world. CHRIST IS RISEN!

2020-04-17: Pet peeves (one in an ongoing series): Confusing “Axiomatic” with …

2020-04-17: Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Tree. He who is king of the angels is …

2020-04-17: I’ve been trying to learn lap steel guitar. Fun and challenging. Some of my existing guitar …

2020-04-16: Come, O faithful, let us enjoy the Master’s hospitality, the Banquet of Immortality! In the upper …

2020-04-16: Getting old? Looking for a job? Multiple state government systems still run on COBOL, and the people …

2020-04-15: For a numbers person, it’s frustrating to read “The spread of the disease in the U.S. …

2020-04-15: On the huge disparity in COVID19 risk between rich and poor. Not happy reading.

2020-04-13: A webcomic explanation of how modeling COVID19 (which right now means modeling a good part of our …

2020-04-12: Very strange times. No political or sociological commentary here. But I wonder if there’s been …

2020-04-12: Here in Orthodoxy, it’s Palm Sunday. As I heard one of our bishops say today (on video of …

2020-04-11: No place like home. I’ve been realizing how much, spiritually, the Church – the physical …

2020-04-08: Does everyone know E. M. Forster’s 1928 story The Machine Stops? If not, this would be a great …

2020-04-08: Best face mask approach if you have a full beard is probably the Cowboy Bandana?

2020-04-07: We took a long walk today in the spring weather. In addition to the blooming flowers and budding …

2020-04-06: Anger vs. Hatred, along with other good observations. Really to reject hate is a job most of us do …

2020-04-05: I listened with gratitude to Queen Elizabeth II’s address to her nation on the coronavirus …

2020-04-04: Choral singing for our new Lockdown Life: Down in the River to Pray. 36 voices, recorded at …

2020-04-02: Politicos. I loved this bit from an appreciation of recently departed Senator Tom Coburn: Both …

2020-03-31: I enjoyed Tom Standage’s The Victorian Internet, a short, engaging history of the development …

2020-03-31: Kitchen reform. This from the good Roden Newsletter moved me to take a hard look at the kitchen. I …

2020-03-29: The Liturgy of the heart. A good message always, but especially as many of us try to work out life …

2020-03-29: Church etiquette. Almost all of our Orthodox parishes are closed to the faithful, but continuing …

2020-03-28: Snail mail. I try to send a postcard to my (2 ½ year old) grandson every week or so. Lots of …

2020-03-26: "In the time of the influenza..." A few years ago we lived in a small town in southeastern Ohio, on the fringes of Appalachia, a town …

2020-03-25: "Today is the beginning of our salvation..." Today is the beginning of our salvation… – Troparion for Annunciation I sometimes feel …

2020-03-21: “General Calamities.” See item 4.

2020-03-21: Two Book recommendations, now that you have the time. Since so many of us are in a place of opportunity to read more, here are a couple of not so well …

2020-03-20: While you’re stuck at home, memorize a poem. Or several. I’ve memorized some poems and …

2020-03-20: Headline of the Day: Baltimore Mayor Begs Residents To Stop Shooting Each Other So Hospital Beds Can …

2020-03-19: Happy Spring Equinox! (if you’re in the northern hemisphere). This is the earliest spring …

2020-03-18: Remembering Fr Thomas Hopko, who reposed five years ago today. Memory eternal!

2020-03-16: Memento Mori Since the current contagion has slightly increased my wife’s and my chance of imminent death …

2020-03-14: Happy Pi Day. The mnemonic I learned for remembering the first 15 digits of pi: Now I want a drink, …

2020-03-12: Time to accept foreign aid from Senegal?

2020-03-12: The Voice of Siri. Here is a fun interview with the woman whose voice is behind the robotic Siri. …

2020-03-12: I finished Camus’ The Plague. What a book. I’ve read various speculations about it being …

2020-03-11: My COVID-19 theme song: Blind Willie Johnson, “God Don’t Never Change” (1929). …

2020-03-11: Ugly coinage of the day: Harvard announced that it is sending students home to …

2020-03-09: We are Cain. Fr Silouan Thompson offers some words on the path to reconciliation for all .

2020-03-09: COVID Funnies. My wife volunteers at one of the meal programs in our city. Word is that …

2020-03-09: Escape to nowhere. (via Messy Nessy)

2020-03-07: This artist collected 1-star reviews of our National Parks and made them into posters. Excellent.

2020-03-06: Predatory technologies. Addiction as a business model. This article gave me some useful ways of …

2020-03-05: Always carry a handkerchief. I’ve been doing this for years. The world is catching up!

2020-03-03: Tulips!

2020-03-02: In defense of 'passivism'. In a probing, quirky essay, Alan Jacobs joins reflections on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park to …

2020-03-02: Planning to re-read Camus’ The Plague. My wife is going to one-up me by reading it in the …

2020-03-01: Leaving Paradise for a while. Forgiveness Sunday ends the pre-Lenten season by commemorating Adam’s expulsion from Paradise. …

2020-03-01: Now why would this quote have crossed my mind? “On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and …

2020-02-28: The Eucharist and the Virus. As churches panic over The Virus, I’m grateful to see the Church of Romania remind us: …

2020-02-28: Entranced by Erling Kagge’s Walking. All my walks have been different, but looking back I see …

2020-02-27: Copyright hijinks. Remember the “My Sweet Lord”/ “He’s So Fine” copyright case? There are …

2020-02-25: Lenten reading? An approach to cravings.

2020-02-24: Exciting batch of mail today:

2020-02-24: Grim realization: Even with standard protocol - Try the library first, then buy used, then buy new - …

2020-02-23: Latest issue of our diocesan missions publication has a piece by our son, on his NY mission parish. …

2020-02-22: A loss worse than a win? Reading the increasing number of pundit pieces about the authoritarian risks of a likely DT second …

2020-02-20: Garbage Language. I’ve been there, in a big insurance company where I once worked. “Do …

2020-02-18: Converts and “cradle” believers. Sometimes I feel a little envious of those who came to …

2020-02-18: RIP Charles Portis, “America’s least-known great writer.”

2020-02-17: What is a merciful heart? This by St Isaac of Syria gets quoted out of proportion to the rest of his …

2020-02-17: Eye Candy of the week: For 30 years a Japanese chef made beautiful drawings of everything he ate. …

2020-02-17: Pop songs are getting sadder and angrier. Fascinating little study of the Billboard Top 100 from …

2020-02-16: The smell of freshly-ground black pepper…

2020-02-16: Open Hiring. I enjoyed thinking of ways to extend this to non-entry-level jobs, college admissions, …

2020-02-14: Today’s mail, oh boy!

2020-02-14: Here I learned that Uranopolitan is what I want to list in response to all requests for national, …

2020-02-14: Still reveling in my discovery of Edith Wharton. She’s everything you love about Henry James, …

2020-02-14: Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides …

2020-02-13: This engineer wanted a rotary-dial mobile phone because, really, who doesn’t? So she built …

2020-02-12: I’m just discovering, at this late date, Edith Wharton. She is wonderful. Everything you like …

2020-02-12: “I can’t believe I lost to these people.” Here’s a nice tribute to …

2020-02-10: Cloud Neutrality? For all our concern about “net neutrality”, the massive physical …

2020-02-10: We Orthodox have entered the period of the Triodion, whose odd name is explained here. The book …

2020-02-08: I learned that there are exclusively B&W digital cameras! Extremely crisp images. Really …

2020-02-08: Contrasts. (Rev. Gary Davis and Phil Ochs’ daughter. The 60s!)

2020-02-08: xkcd on voting software. A timely re-run.

2020-02-07: Analysis of why comment threads deteriorate. I liked points 2 & 3.

2020-02-07: The Red Wheel From a review of the latest-to-be-translated volume of Solzhenitsyn’s Red Wheel epic: …

2020-02-06: Alert! You can now buy whole jars of Kraft Mac & Cheese Yellow Powder! Sure, you can make …

2020-02-02: Every Holy Church is a piece of Heaven upon the earth. And when you are in Church, you are truly in …

2020-02-01: This past week we commemorated Sts. Ephraim and Isaac of Syria. When I read their works, I think …

2020-01-29: Startlingly realistic portrait of the son and his family.

2020-01-28: Netflix carries half the titles that it did ten years ago. In a few years, if I want to watch an old …

2020-01-23: Campaign kickoff.

2020-01-22: Partly prompted by this, I thought today that, with some care, the clothes I own may be all I need …

2020-01-20: Dot-grid file cards (from Nock). Surprisingly life-enhancing in the back pocket.

2020-01-20: I’m sure I’d support this if I had any idea what it was about.

2020-01-20: All ready for the annual house blessing!

2020-01-20: Consumer update: I’ve tried Impossible Burger, and yes, it’s a very convincing ground …

2020-01-20: Rise of the "Nones" as part of a wider trend toward social isolation. Thanks to @ayjay’s Pinboard feed for this article. Excerpt: Before the 1960s, say, it was …

2020-01-18: I’ve been working my way through Richmond Lattimore’s translation of the New Testament. …

2020-01-14: Blessing the Waters. Photos from the Outdoor Blessing of Waters at Cayuga Lake, NY. Celebrated by Fr Joel Brady (our …

2020-01-13: “Yes, comic book movies really have penetrated Hollywood at every level, including the Oscars …

2020-01-12: Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber. A choral setting of his more famous Adagio for Strings. I don’t …

2020-01-10: Polenta for Breakfast. Polenta has a reputation for taking a long time to prepare, so I was glad to come up with this easy …

2020-01-10: How to think about time. I loved this image in Austin Kleon’s newsletter.

2020-01-06: Our church by candlelight, Theophany morning.

2020-01-04: O earth and ye that are born on earth, leap for joy and adorn yourselves; the Torrent of Delight is …

2020-01-02: I just finished reading A Canticle for Leibowitz – for the first time! Everyone else in the …

2019-12-31: Strong and useful counsel from Cal Newport, along with some helpful challenges. when it comes to …

2019-12-30: A fun time: At our church yesterday, the substitute priest was the very priest who appeared in the …

2019-12-28: A college philosophy professor got students to live without their phones for a week and write about …

2019-12-27: The quest for equality: Swedish school lunch cook’s meals were too tasty, unfair to students …

2019-12-26: Setting up my edgy new journaling app.

2019-12-26: Hand-crafted. For most of my life I’ve loved and admired hands-on animation: either hand-drawn, as in most …

2019-12-26: A Christmas Prayer From St Tikhon’s Monastery’s Orthodox Christian Prayers: On Christmas Day: To be Said at …

2019-12-23: A new reality. The classic example of this comes from German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who …

2019-12-23: Listening to Martynov’s gorgeous Beatitudes. Sounds simple till you listen closely. I wonder …

2019-12-23: Where’s My Flying Car? An interesting take on our national stagnation: Silicon Valley has …

2019-12-22: Prepare, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened to all! Adorn thyself, O Ephratha, for the Tree of …

2019-12-21: Sunday before Nativity The never-setting Sun presses forward to rise, enlightening all things under heaven. Let us hasten …

2019-12-21: Darkest day of the year = brighter and brighter days for six months.

2019-12-20: The real Benedict Option: Benedict. A line from a fellow-supporter of monastic life: >As I always say about MacIntyre’s …

2019-12-19: I’m reading an odd, intriguing book: Uncontained by Robert Hassan. The author did a dramatic …

2019-12-18: Current phone home screen

2019-12-18: Eccentric site of the day: Klein bottle paraphernalia. “These are the finest closed, …

2019-12-16: The Daily Apocalypse Father Thomas Hopko, of blessed memory, liked to point out that, when we pray the “Our …

2019-12-10: Google theodicy.

2019-12-09: “Someone should write a book called Christianity: The Next Ten Thousand Years.” Alan …

2019-12-08: Just read Martin Mosebach, The 21: A Journey into the Land of the Coptic Martyrs. A powerful book, …

2019-12-08: +Elder Ephraim of Arizona (1927-2019). Memory Eternal.

2019-12-06: Think how different modern Christianity would be if we accepted that ours is inescapably an ascetic …

2019-12-06: Finished The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry. Berry is someone we all need to listen …

2019-12-05: Our windowsill rosemary plant is blooming, something I haven’t seen before. Beautiful!

2019-12-05: Watched Die Hard (1988) for the first time! (Excellent). And since by all accounts its the best of …

2019-12-03: The Apostrophe Protection Society shuts down: ““We, and our many supporters worldwide, have …

2019-11-30: Thanksgiving 2019.

2019-11-30: Xi Jinping will be the 21st century’s Stalin. Meanwhile we waste our anxieties on declining …

2019-11-30: Here’s a sad, interesting look at The Last Shakers (there are two of them). For a sect that …

2019-11-26: On following the media: This story, “Why a Certain Priest Refused to Read a Newspaper”, spoke strongly to some …

2019-11-22: there can be more genuine fellowship among those who share the same disposition than among those who …

2019-11-22: Interesting experience today: an Orthodox funeral service with a sign-language interpreter.

2019-11-18: Holy Virgin “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Cathedral, San Francisco.

2019-11-18: Voting: parties of death My thoughts this morning turned to voting after I read, and mostly agreed with, this manifesto by …

2019-11-16: Digital Feudalism.

2019-11-14: You think you’ve read the New Testament, then you find something like this. Hmmm… For …

2019-11-11: More and more, I realize that the superficially different pieces of music that I gravitate to have a …

2019-11-06: Memento Mori. At St Tikhon’s cemetery. No immediate plans to move in.

2019-11-04: The "News" . In the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about news consumption and what it does to us, so …

2019-11-04: Exploring the cutting-edge world of plain text.

2019-11-02: Eek, a mouse! Not long ago, our household cat died, and I’ve been easing into the idea of a …

2019-10-31: I was just reminded that Blade Runner is set in November 2019. Just sayin’.

2019-10-30: Found in a cookbook. “A duty of fellowship.”

2019-10-30: Kitchen window.

2019-10-29: A couple of possible homilies, and social observations, in one cartoon.

2019-10-29: Spiritual joy is not an emotion.

2019-10-24: Robert Alter on his preference for the King James Bible: The faults in the KJV come from inadequate …

2019-10-23: Divine Liturgy, St Tikhon’s Monastery.

2019-10-23: A book to encourage us to write actual letters. May I not just read it, but actually write letters.

2019-10-21: Latest from the Sourdough Project. Can’t wait to taste it.

2019-10-18: Can Local Food Feed an Urban World? In Cleveland, for example, converting 80 percent of every …

2019-10-18: “Our society tells us that pleasure is bad and sinful…” What? Source of this …

2019-10-17: American de-churching. More on the rapid decline of Christian practice in the US, from a Pew Report, In U.S., Decline of …

2019-10-17: Nick Cave grieves: This is not for our eyes After learning about it, for a while I became a bit obsessed with the story of Nick Cave’s …

2019-10-16: Revisiting Wendell Berry. I’ve always appreciated his thinking, but I’d forgotten what a …

2019-10-16: Grid Adjacent? Like so many people, I spend time pondering the “right” level of engagement with the …

2019-10-14: The Saint. The Saint shows us a human being purified from the dross of all that is less than human. In him we …

2019-10-12: What is worship for? What is worship for? in the Scriptures (and through church history) worship was intended to be …

2019-10-10: Reading now: Wilding: returning nature to our farm. A thematic child of the earlier Wendell Berry …

2019-10-10: Wendell Berry, still ahead of us. A good portrait of the thinker who’s had it right all along.

2019-10-09: Smoking caps! I would almost take up smoking to wear one of these. The two men had taken off their dress coats, …

2019-10-08: Media bubble? Maybe not. The sort-of myth of the media bubble: Consider, for instance, the simple math of TV ratings. There …

2019-10-08: Kitchen voodoo. Getting back into my sourdough experiments. Somehow the idea of making bread using …

2019-10-06: Well, that could make certain people feel old: Ginger Baker dies, aged 80.

2019-10-01: Today’s commemoration: Protection of the Mother of God (Pokrov). Пресвятая Богородице спаси …

2019-09-30: This post, Stop Watching the News, articulated something I think about a lot. I’d love to be …

2019-09-30: Slow Food!

2019-09-27: Our departed cat. We’re pet-less for the first time in decades. :-(

2019-09-25: cucina povera I’m making a batch of bean and celery soup, based on an italian recipe. In the notes I noticed …

2019-09-24: RIP Robert Hunter, The Grateful Dead’s long-time lyricist. I was interested but not surprised …

2019-09-24: Everyone but me!

2019-09-21: The Mower This poem has come to my mind several times in the past few days. The Mower by Philip Larkin The …

2019-09-20: Remember usury? The collapse of Christian society follows from the church’s embrace of the world. “the …

2019-09-18: Micro.

2019-09-17: No such thing as "secular." Fr Stephen Freeman on “Make it to be” vs. “Show it to be”: Fr. Alexander …

2019-09-17: Here’s a great profile of one of the dwindling number of human fire lookouts. He stands in the …

2019-09-16: Provocative swap. I ordered a vegetarian Chinese cookbook that turned out to be mostly disappointing at the recipe …

2019-09-13: The Cross is the guardian of the whole earth; The Cross is the beauty of the Church. The Cross is …

2019-09-13: So good. First paragraph: For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must …

2019-09-12: The Medieval peasant diet. A cookbook reconstructs 12th-century commoners’ diet. Bread, beans and ale were the foundation …

2019-09-12: Prayer is Plural. From Our Fathers’ Bible: There isn’t any great chasm fixed between “Bible Times” and today. …

2019-09-10: I was reminded this morning of this wonderful book, one of the handful that I’ve read …

2019-09-07: How Malls Die by a chronicler of dead malls. Our local mall is on life support, so I found this …

2019-09-06: St Tikhon’s Monastery church, 6:30 AM

2019-09-04: It’s a good day. Science says I can slouch all I want to.

2019-09-04: Fall down seven times, get up eight.

2019-09-02: Garden volunteer.

2019-09-01: This lovely video on a man who has devoted his life to restoring Senegal’s mangroves reminded …

2019-09-01: If it's not worth doing... Someone has translated James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake – all of it – into Latin. In his own …

2019-08-31: Are we healers or destroyers? A message for the Church New Year.

2019-08-31: Considering monastic life? Probably not, but you might still appreciate these comments by Abbot …

2019-08-28: Smudges. I’ve been reading the new Orthodox Christian Prayers from St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press. …

2019-08-28: Oligarchs. Yesterday I read an article mentioning how many of the newer churches in Russia have been funded by …

2019-08-27: It seems Michel Houellebecq wrote a book about H. P. Lovecraft. What?

2019-08-26: I’ve been into noodle bowls for lunch. If there’s a real difference between udon noodles …

2019-08-25: I think I understand the idea of a hub system, but it’s frustrating to see my package moving …

2019-08-24: What Modern Churches are missing. The problem is our unbelief… more than almost anything …

2019-08-22: Bishops. From the good people at Orthodox History: There are a shade fewer than 1,000 Orthodox bishops in the …

2019-08-21: Airships return! There’s a move to bring back lighter-than-air craft, which has been a fantasy of mine for a …

2019-08-21: A moving experience. A beloved deacon in our church died. The coffin rested in the church overnight, …

2019-08-20: At the doctor’s office.

2019-08-18: If you think we’re not in a tailspin, it’s because you haven’t read this: The …

2019-08-17: You probably don’t need air conditioning. We’ve mostly done without it for decades. In …

2019-08-17: Katydid on the car steering wheel.

2019-08-17: I ordered something not from Amazon, then spent a moment feeling all sulky that I’d have to …

2019-08-15: Our neighbor’s amazing (unsprayed) peach tree.

2019-08-15: Fun portrait of an Amish vacation spot in Florida.

2019-08-14: Grandparenting.

2019-08-13: Not even disordered as we wish. “The world is not ordered as we wish it were. It’s not even disordered as we wish it …

2019-08-13: The not-tragedy of missed possibilities @ayjay’s real blog reflects on how Middlemarch is (among other things) a story of just-missed …

2019-08-13: I’ve been really looking forward to New Men, a documentary about Holy Cross Monastery in WV. …

2019-08-12: Humbling myself: going through a beginner’s method book page by page and exercise by exercise.

2019-08-11: Gentle. Small. Humble. Slow. Simple. The author’s summary of principles in the book I just …

2019-08-09: A musical challenge. I love the sound and feel of playing a recorder, but I find the standard soprano sort of shrill. So …

2019-08-08: Well, I guess that if you’re a politician your proposals have to assume a functional society. …

2019-08-07: Vegetarians who became butchers. It’s all about ethically sourced critters.

2019-08-07: I’ve been seriously wondering why I read the news.

2019-08-05: с праздником!

2019-08-05: Loving this. What a beautiful discovery.

2019-08-05: We’ve had this little framed quote in our house for a long time. Today I noted that my beloved …

2019-08-03: Make money at home in your spare time! Be a bot! Grimly interesting.

2019-08-03: A hidden gem in the city. A visit to Cutler Botanical Gardens, a little gem tucked away in Binghamton NY. I look much like a …

2019-08-01: It’s chicory season. These tough, beautiful flowers seem to be on a mission to beautify the …

2019-08-01: Just discovered Pinboard. It’s likely to become part of my increasingly cranky internet …

2019-07-31: Apocalypse now: Coalnado, Elkhorn WV. Yes, that’s coal dust.

2019-07-31: Admission Lotteries. Do College Admissions by Lottery. Colleges would set admission criteria that applied to everyone, …

2019-07-30: Not even bad science: non-science. Here’s a good rant about the state of nutrition ‘science.’ The nutrition world has …

2019-07-29: Good news: Rampaging herds of escaped buffalo in my neighborhood!

2019-07-29: Here in Orthodoxy, we’re coming up on the two-week Dormition Fast, which means basically a …

2019-07-29: Mind-bending article of the day. From Chaos Makes the Multiverse Unnecessary: There is another, more interesting, explanation for …

2019-07-29: Years ago I went through a very enjoyable phase learning to tie knots with my son. So I liked …

2019-07-25: The iconostasis & the storm lamp. Recently I had the pleasure of proofreading the autobiography of a friend who had been active in …

2019-07-25: Cultural Compatibility. There’s more talk of limiting immigration to those most able to assimilate. Are Europeans the …

2019-07-24: I just learned that France has a breeding population of wallabies. It’s going to be a good …

2019-07-22: St Andrew’s Camp on Oneida Lake in NY. The lake is really big but shallow: if you jumped off …

2019-07-20: Expensive Virtue. We’re trying to get away from factory farmed stuff, and it’s really going to cost us. …

2019-07-20: Wake up first! Archimandrite Andrew Konanos has a powerful account of his encounter with St Porphyrios (+1991): I …

2019-07-19: Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we …

2019-07-18: Home: feels like a city when you walk/drive around in it, but step back and it’s just a …

2019-07-17: One of the great things about this book is that it has not a single photo. More and more …

2019-07-17: Hybrid. The image is of the “Our Father” in Resian, a dialect spoken around the border …

2019-07-16: One of the most engaging books I’ve read in a long time: I got sucked in and read the whole …

2019-07-15: I don't know about Thomas Wolfe. Well, I finished Look Homeward, Angel. As I’d been told, there are passages of sublime …

2019-07-14: Music: another purpose This piece, The Story Behind John Cage’s 4’33”, reminded me of my earlier post on …

2019-07-14: The visiting priest this morning had us working to remember our Church Slavonic. Подай, Господи! …

2019-07-13: Coffin Clubs This little article describes the rise of Coffin Clubs in New Zealand: a mix of woodworking class, …

2019-07-12: Here’s an interesting-looking book that continues the theme of an earlier post: that the …

2019-07-12: More nuns. The number of young women seeking monastic vocations in the Roman Catholic church is increasing …

2019-07-10: Cosmic, man. I’ve been reading a new translation of the sayings of the Desert Fathers, Give Me a Word. In …

2019-07-10: More Friction, please. Good observation: The Internet Needs More Friction. It was pointed out a long time ago that setting …

2019-07-10: Certain activists like to ask “Where is the religious left?” Ross Douthat suggests that …

2019-07-09: Very good. Orthodox Church in Russia may ban blessing of weapons.

2019-07-08: I got summoned for jury duty. I feel so civic!

2019-07-07: Altar flowers by brilliant wife.

2019-07-06: I had a good time dusting off my statistics to work through this: A math equation that predicts the …

2019-07-04: Mad magazine is ceasing regular publication. I was a faithful reader in my tween years, the ideal …

2019-07-03: Listening to Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. My aversion to high drama in music …

2019-07-03: Wow, someone other than me thinks the American Revolution was a mistake.

2019-07-02: We made a good all-day visit to St. Andrew’s Camp on Oneida Lake, NY. There’s a great …

2019-07-01: From @richardleis: How to read and understand poetry. Yes! I’d add: try to memorize some.

2019-07-01: Boots: Grandpa and Grandson.

2019-06-30: Applied Beatitudes. A verse from the commemoration of All Saints of North America: Today, as we celebrate the memory of …

2019-06-29: The geopolitical bonfire of the vanities. Here, for once, is a very good, detailed look at the sorry state of US-Russian relations, and how it …

2019-06-28: Learning a lot from this contrarian but well-documented book.

2019-06-28: I cook a lot of rice. Over the years my water:rice ratio has shrunk steadily from 2:1 to 1:1. I …

2019-06-27: Accomplished a big step in my deGoogleization project: migrated all the photos I want off of Google …

2019-06-26: The big, and essential business of rent-a-bees. No bees, no produce. Fascinating.

2019-06-24: The Enchanted Hour is richer and more interesting than I expected. Read to your kids! Read aloud as …

2019-06-23: Anti-information. Following the news, and higher education, can make us less well informed, at least about our …

2019-06-22: Adjunct hell. Good story.

2019-06-22: Can you remember your mental pictures of the Lord of the Rings characters before you saw the movies? …

2019-06-22: Excited about today’s haul from the library. @ayjay, a better person would have bought the …

2019-06-22: Our second grandchild Isidora’s baptism yesterday. A very beautiful day.

2019-06-20: Yes, the “mindfulness” fad is awful. But in my own experience I’m struck over and …

2019-06-20: The odd, new meaning of "elopement." This discouraging article talks about the trend of couples (often already massively in debt from …

2019-06-19: Anti-suspense. I’ve been on an extended Anthony Trollope reading kick, so I enjoyed this essay comparing him …

2019-06-18: The night the lights went out. Drew Magary, one of my antisocial self’s favorite writers (who’s another? Charles …

2019-06-18: Hiking through books My days of hiking ridgelines, or much of anything beyond my neighborhood, are past. But I’m …

2019-06-17: Legal commercial surrogacy is an abomination, which ought to be obvious, but apparently isn’t. …

2019-06-16: Pentecost Vespers.

2019-06-15: Pentecost O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all …

2019-06-14: What is it to read a book? In a conversation last year, a (Facebook) friend wrote about having read a book. Then it came out …

2019-06-14: Working Colleges. According to This NYT article, there are only 10 working colleges in the United States: colleges at …

2019-06-13: Church of the Good Shepherd, New Zealand. National Geographic’s “Your Shot” …

2019-06-12: The way of broken rice. Today I ate a bowl of white rice for lunch. (Not quite that simple – I jazzed it up with soy sauce …

2019-06-12: Succinct advice for new internet users: “Welcome to all the new users! Don’t click the ads, …

2019-06-11: Home sweet home.

2019-06-10: An apple a day. XKCD comes through again.

2019-06-10: Pskov community. Here’s a nice Russian video (with English subtitles) on volunteer work by the people of Pskov …

2019-06-09: A phrase that tied a lot of things together for me: America as the world’s first rich failed …

2019-06-09: Today it was pointed out to me that Joan Armatrading is an amazing acoustic guitarist.

2019-06-09: Faith, fertility, and the future. This very interesting piece by demographer Eric Kaufman predicts a demographically-driven shift in …

2019-06-08: At Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Syracuse NY.

2019-06-07: Momentary venture into political punditry: Defeating Trump in 2020 should, for many reasons, be like …

2019-06-06: Prayer and Joy I loved this passage by Elder Aemilianos of the Holy Mountain on joy as the criterion of true …

2019-06-05: For the Feast of the Ascension, this old American hymn, “Bozrah,” Performed by Rose …

2019-06-05: Accents: phones take the lead. I enjoyed this essay, In the future, will the English language be full of accented characters?, on …

2019-06-04: Candy bars and Peak technologies. Drew Magary meditates on why there have been no fundamentally new candy bars in decades. It’s …

2019-06-04: Downsizing higher education Rachel Lu points out a fact we don’t talk about: American higher education is facing a …

2019-06-03: Garden Therapy. The Brain Pickings blog explores Oliver Sack’s thoughts on the therapeutic side of gardens, …

2019-06-02: Church flowers today. Marilyn exercising her gift.

2019-06-01: On the "Female Diaconate." I want to recommend This post from Matushka Constantina Palmer’s Lessons from a Monastery …

2019-05-31: When you know you’ve gotten old. Yesterday I spoke with a young woman, a Canadian, who had …

2019-05-31: I ordered this the moment I saw it. Jean-Claude Larchet is a treasure.

2019-05-30: No one told me. After a lifetime of issues with parallel parking, beginning when I failed that …

2019-05-27: Now Reading: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the attention economy, by Jenny Odell. It looks to be a …

2019-05-27: Memorial Day at Church. After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday we had an outdoor memorial service for …

2019-05-26: The "Collective Attention Span" and the attention economy. A study reported in Vox, Yes, the internet is destroying our collective attention span, finds that …

2019-05-25: It made my day to know that there are hedgehog dentists.

2019-05-24: The Case for the American Solidarity Party Matthew Walther makes the case for the American Solidarity Party. It’s the only American …

2019-05-24: Awed by the beauty Awed by the beauty of thy virginity and the exceeding radiance of thy purity, Gabriel stood amazed …

2019-05-23: The community garden is taking off.

2019-05-23: In praise of kitchen shears. Kitchen shears are the most under-appreciated tool in the kitchen. For a long list of uses, …

2019-05-21: Downgrading Orthodox unity. This piece, on Patriarch Bartholomew’s exhortation to the new Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox …

2019-05-21: Read! If you would like to read more than you do, here’s some useful advice. Its main point: when …

2019-05-20: Terrence Malick returns. I’m really anticipating his latest movie, A Hidden Life, a portrait of Franz Jägerstätter, an …

2019-05-20: Women and men on abortion. This Vox article, Men and women have similar views on abortion establishes an important point: In …

2019-05-20: In a nutshell. I wish I could find an exact source for this from Yuval Hariri: Modernity can be …

2019-05-20: Too many children? No. This from a post on the Earther blog, Is the World Really Overpopulated?: We live in an era of …

2019-05-19: Micro.blog makes the New Yorker! Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us?

2019-05-18: Mexit: Americans moving to Mexico. I loved this man-bites-dog story on the surge of Americans emigrating to Mexico. Some just like …

2019-05-18: The obsolescence of repentance. Alan Jacobs remembers John Profumo, a British politician whose career was destroyed by a sexual …

2019-05-17: I keep trying to tell ya. Birth rate in U.S. falls to lowest level in 32 years One of many …

2019-05-16: St Theophan the Recluse on establishing a prayer rule. Saint Theophan (+1894) was a rare thing among Orthodox teachers: he could present the Faith in …

2019-05-15: Finally some good news: Parrots are taking over America. Needless to say, our local Cornell …

2019-05-14: Coptic Icon of Tobias and the Archangel Raphael. Oddly, in the icon, Tobias is incorrectly …

2019-05-12: Grandparents again! In church this morning, after learning of the birth of our grand-daughter, I heard this hymn and …

2019-05-10: Trying out the new Old Man Hat. At Nanticoke Gardens, buying plants for the community garden bed.

2019-05-10: Two stones. Writing about the “Rags of Light” title of the blog, I remembered an old Rabbinical …

2019-05-10: Climate Change and Democracy: Uh oh. In a bleak article, Damon Linker looks at the likely effects of climate change on liberal democracy, …

2019-05-09: Rags of Light. The new title is a phrase from Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your …

2019-05-09: Saints Alive. An attractive video about Diveyevo Convent, founded by St Seraphim of Sarov, still a …

2019-05-08: "Asking myself why I breathe" Wim Wenders, director of some of the most interesting movies (Wings of Desire; Paris, Texas) asks …

2019-05-07: Beautiful. Greek artist Meni Chatzipanagiotou uses wooden eggs to draw/paint these designs. See more …

2019-05-07: Archbishop Demetrios. Archbishop Demetrios, chief hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has resigned. He …

2019-05-06: But… (from XKCD, the best web comic ever)

2019-05-06: Divine Liturgy: "Byzantine" or Universal? We sometimes hear or read that the usual Orthodox liturgical cycle is culturally foreign even to …

2019-05-04: Lighten Up Department: Mathematical Chalk. Here’s a wonderful video about the brand of chalk loved by professional mathematicians. The …

2019-05-04: Bright Saturday. Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the Leavetaking of Pascha, at Dormition Orthodox Church, Binghamton …

2019-05-03: Jaron Lanier is too optimistic. In a recent post, I mentioned Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Media Accounts …

2019-05-03: Reading now: Hieromonk Alexander (Golitsin), The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain. Informative, …

2019-05-03: You keep using that word... Two of the most degraded words in conversations today may be “culture” and …

2019-05-02: Cranky quote of the day: Matthew Walther, writing about online shopping’s amazing ability to get almost anything …

2019-05-02: Is our political divide really all about abortion? This CSM essay notes that, while abortion has been a contentious issue for a long time, it’s …

2019-05-01: Pascha in Georgia. More Georgian harmonic amazingness

2019-05-01: Taming the Octopus, Part 2. Today I de-activated my Facebook account. This turned out to be emotionally more difficult than …

2019-04-30: Nothing beats Georgian harmonies. Here’s the Paschal Troparion in Georgian.

2019-04-29: Further Up and Further In: a few words to a new convert On Holy Saturday we were blessed to witness the reception of five catechumens into Holy Orthodoxy. …

2019-04-29: Bright Monday at Dormition Church. The doors to the Altar stay open for all of Bright Week: “Their proclamation has gone out into …

2019-04-28: Our Pascha Basket

2019-04-28: Spring, Chechia.

2019-04-28: “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered… Christ is Risen!” (Resurrection …

2019-04-27: The Holy Fire, traveling from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to bless Christians …

2019-04-26: Holy Friday

2019-04-25: Better Hearts than Mine I’ve come to love some of the comments that people post in response to songs on YouTube. The …

2019-04-25: Taming the Octopus, part 1. Like many people, I’ve been increasingly concerned about the sharing of data in the online …

2019-04-25: Cow cuteness: An album of cow photos.

2019-04-24: The Service of Holy Unction (Holy Wednesday) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone …

2019-04-24: Alan Jacobs has an interesting comment on the various proposals for student loan forgiveness. …

2019-04-23: This evening’s Bridegroom Matins service includes the powerful “Hymn of Kassiani.“ …

2019-04-23: At the Divine Liturgy on Pascha, it’s become customary to read the Gospel in a variety of …

2019-04-23: An icon for Holy Week.

2019-04-22: Barsetshire! Current reading: The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope. I’d read the Barsetshire …

2019-04-22: No, Neither Easter nor the word “Easter” have at any time in history had anything to do …

2019-04-22: Library Hand. I’m a fan of Wanda Gag’s classic children’s book Millions of Cats (which, among …

2019-04-22: The Upside of Social Media Blackouts. Sri Lanka imposed a social media blackout after the massacres. This piece reflects on the risks …

2019-04-21: For the Sri Lankan martyrs: “You can kill us, but you cannot harm us.” St. Justin Martyr

2019-04-21: End Race. From an interview with the author of a memoir by a “mixed-race” author: It ended as an …

2019-04-21: Report from the trenches: “I have a friend who teaches philosophy. They have a student who …

2019-04-21: Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated Palm Sunday at St Tikhon’s Monastery