Names, Property, and Other Things Worth Arguing About

The Vatican and Lima’s archbishop feel that Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) is not sufficiently Catholic or Pontifical, and the administrators of Pontifical Catholic University of Peru feel that the Church should mind its own damn business. But is that all it’s about?


The Smart Alecs at the Economist

Put positively, the writers at the Economist have a very high esteem for their readers. To put it negatively, the writers love to point out how much they know (and never allow the implication to stand that there is something these lads don’t know). Plus: the origins of the phrase “smart alec”.

Mitt Romney, Muslim Conspiracy Theories, and the Many Ways to Read a Poll

Which is more newsworthy: idiots still thinking Barack Obama is a Muslim or idiots still thinking Mormonism will make Mitt Romney a bad President? Turns out, it depends on where you write.

Shabbos links

A rap video. Black Jews. Oprah Winfrey’s “ignorant show”. Psy-ops. Kosher food in Moscow. Asian-Americans. A yuppy monastery. Ex-gays give up the ghost.

Actually Learn a Language for Free

Duolingo is really, really cool.

Everyday Religion and a 1,000-Year-Old Book

The New York Times Magazine published an article on the Aleppo Codex, a 1,000 year old copy of the Hebrew Bible. What’s the mystery of its missing section? How would you describe the ancient relationship between the book and its community?

Shabbos links

Hasidic feuds and local politics. What to do when you’ve been accused of witchcraft. Fun physics. What we can learn about the Fourth Amendment from Jay-Z. “Every Idea in History”. The ASA and Zombies.

Books that Can’t Wait and Books that are Worth Returning to.

What’s the point of a book that disappears after two months? What’s the point of reading and rereading?

Evaluations of Turkish Democracy

Is Turkey’s democracy moving forward? As the moderate Islamist AKP nears a full decade in power in secular Turkey, what can really be said about them?