May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
March 6, 2015
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
This story emerged before we published last week’s breifing. So, this week, we trace the history of “the dress” and remember how a debate took over the Internet:
Between 6pm yesterday and now, the entire internet lost its collective mind over a dress. Here’s exactly how the mass hysteria played out, timestamped for your enlightenment. Behold: the Tumblr post that started it all.
The making of the Vulcan Salute:
You can rest assured that you have lived a good life when the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind when you die is the phrase “live long and prosper.” Leonard Nimoy, who died today at the age of 83 from a pulmonary obstruction, can boast such a life. He was an actor but he had the good fortune, or the misfortune depending on how you look at it, to transcend performance. As Spock, he was one of the icons of American popular culture. His invention of the Vulcan greeting was his legacy, one of the most optimistic gestures of the twentieth century.
A death-row inmate becomes friends with theologian Jürgen Moltmann:
A lot of convicted felons find God while in prison. Some of their stories rise to the level of literature — Oscar Wilde, Malcolm X. Others are less sincere; parole boards around the country are treated to a lot of conversion stories. Few are anything like Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, who is scheduled on Monday to be put to death by lethal injection. She became pen pals with one of the world’s most prominent theologians.
A review of the Dardenne brothers’ film Two Days, One Night:
It’s hard to find words enough to praise Two Days, One Night, the latest film from the extraordinary Dardenne brothers of Belgium. They have won two Palme d’Ors at Cannes, numerous other important awards, and the wide respect of the entire film community. They only lack an Oscar, which may be to their credit. They were contenders in the Academy Awards this year because for the first time they used an international star, Marion Cotillard, who “disappeared into” her utterly unglamorous role. (She was nominated as best actress but lost to Julianne Moore in Still Alice, a film about Alzheimer’s that raises a lot of questions which I may comment on at a future date.)
Finding comfort in Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope:
Were you to ask a reader for the name of the greatest Victorian novelist, they might well say Dickens, or George Eliot or the Brontes or Thackeray – and in terms of literary art you might well agree with them. If, however, you were to ask whom they turn to for comfort, entertainment, refreshment and even guidance then the answer, quite possibly, would be Anthony Trollope, the bicentenary of whose birth in 1815 falls on April 24 this year.
Christian convert regrets his decades-old book The Anarchist Cookbook—-a guide to making bombs and drug:
On September 10, 1976, during an evening flight from New York to Chicago, a bearded passenger handed a sealed envelope to an attendant. The note began: “One, this plane is hijacked.” In the rest of the letter, the passenger, a Croatian nationalist named Zvonko Busic, explained that five bombs had been smuggled onboard, and that a sixth had been placed in locker 5713 at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Busic added that the pilot should radio the authorities immediately and that further instructions would be found with the bomb in the locker. “[It] can only be activated by pressing the switch to which it is attached,” he added, “but caution is suggested.”
Karl Barth on revelation and history:
Here is a bit more of a technical theological discussion. You are forewarned! In a post from last year, “Barth chastises the early Barth,” I briefly discuss and provide an excerpt from Church Dogmatics II.1 where Barth criticizes the exegesis of Romans 8:24 in his Romans commentary. In the commentary, he claims that “Hope that is visible is not hope. Direct communication from God is not communication from God” (p. 314 in the English translation of the Römerbrief). In the CD, Barth is discussing matters of eternity and time, recognizing that this earlier account did not do justice to the biblical material and was too influenced by his reaction to liberal optimism on the convergence of God and creation in the here and now.
The most interesting man in baseball—-who lives out of a Volkswagen van:
The future of the Toronto Blue Jays wakes up in a 1978 Volkswagen camper behind the dumpsters at a Wal-Mart and wonders if he has anything to eat. He rummages through a half-empty cooler until he finds a dozen eggs. “I’m not sure about these,” he says, removing three from the carton, studying them, smelling them and finally deciding it’s safe to eat them. While the eggs cook on a portable stove, he begins the morning ritual of cleaning his van, pulling the contents of his life into the parking lot. Out comes a surfboard. Out comes a subzero sleeping bag. Out comes his only pair of jeans and his handwritten journals. A curious shopper stops to watch. “Hiya,” Daniel Norris says, waving as the customer walks away into the store. Norris turns back to his eggs. “I’ve gotten used to people staring,” he says.
A review of Michael Arditti’s Widows and Orphans:
Duncan Neville is an unlikely hero for a novel. Approaching 50, divorced and the butt of his teenage son Jamie’s utter contempt, Duncan is also the eloquent yet mild-mannered editor of the Francombe Mercury, a local newspaper on its last legs. Francombe too has seen better days, not least since its pier burnt down in 2013 (an event covered fulsomely in the Mercury).
Charlie Chaplin’s grave was once dug up and his body held for ransom:
Almost forty years ago, on March 2, 1978, Oona Chaplin got a call from the local police. Three months earlier, her husband Charlie Chaplin—the British star of silent films and early “talkies”—had died peacefully at their home near Corsier-sur-Vevey, by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. He was 88. Oona, his fourth wife, and their eight children had buried him in a quiet cemetery by their home. That was what the police were calling about.
David A. Garner