Nothing To Fear Except Water and Socks

Bruce Schneier points to an article that suggests (absent any specific examples) that terrorists have taken advantage of bomb anxieties to heighten fear and waste resources by leaving fake bombs in public places. Since security mania requires citizens always to be vigilant (or paranoid) about the possibility that anyone’s backpack might be full of C4,…

Cures Your Asthma, Too

It turns out that my dear colleague Doug Gay has inveigled me into giving a talk at the SOLAS Festival in two weeks. I’ll rehearse my survey of problems relative to the theological criticism of popular music; should be fun to present that to a less sober-sided audience than at the SBL meeting last year.…

Twenty-Four Hours Of Lecture

Well, two lectures and a seminar over the course of a day, not 24 solid hours (even Jack Bauer isn’t that cruel). I’ll give a capsule summary, and perhaps add details later.   Monday evening I went to W J T Mitchell’s talk about idolatry and the examples of Blake, Nietzsche, and Poussin. I’d been…

Latest From Glasgow

• I’m really enjoying living here. It’s another grey, damp day, but the plain fact is that Glasgow is sunnier than we admit, and it’s green, and friendly, and home.   • Margaret and I have been fascinated and impressed by seeing urban foxes, but the news over here for the past few days has…

Best Ever?

The fact that I know Tom Coates (digitally) makes it even better, but even for strangers — is this not among the greatest wedding pictures ever?     It’s even better at larger sizes on the photographer’s Flickr page. I can’t look at Tom’s intense concentration without laughing.

Relics of Obsolescent Technologies

A few weeks ago, the hard-to-believe he’s Rev. Richard Easterling posted a query to his Facebook account, asking which recordings truly demanded the purchase of the whole album, rather than just selected tracks. Ah, these youngsters and their mp3s!   His question, though, intersects with my hobbyhorse about the arbitrary nature of the commercial-technological-ideological construct…

Pre-Gifford Seminar

One of the unanticipated benefits of working at an ancient university in Scotland is the opportunity to attend the fabled Gifford Lectures. Last year’s Glasgow series of Giffords was given by Charles Taylor (would have been great to see him!); this year, they’ll be given by Gianni Vattimo, an Italian philosopher who’s been working in…

Under Pressure

The ideas and arguments that I’ve been advancing here for longer than anyone cares to remember have begun to realise themselves willy-nilly, and I ache to see the engine of this change kick over and roar. On one hand, the Wall Street Journal acknowledges the effects that digital (self-)publishing has on the established industry of…

Bechdel Test Part Two

After I pointed to the Bechdel Test video a few days ago, Liz Lawley explored further and came up with a Bechdel Test website, where movies are rated by how many of the Bechdel Critera the film fulfils. This, to my mind, takes away some of the fun, since the Test gives you something additional…

Hurts ’Cos It’s True, Again

OK, I have to admit it, I’m an email snob too. I have my own email address at disseminary.org (and have been thinking off-and-on about buying another domain to have for the family); I use my gmail address most often, to cut down on spam; and I tend to judge people’s tech competence by the…

Stromateis Salad

• I thought I posted this last week, so (for instance) it’s no longer true that Margaret hasn’t seen the LOST finale. I’m not going to fuss with correcting it. Here’s the salad as I tossed it last week:   • Had a great lunch with my new colleague, Professor Richard King. I’m delighted to…