Category: Science & Technology

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

The New York Times’ redemptive use of virtual reality

The thick bundle that is the Sunday edition of the New York Times arrived in our driveway as usual last weekend, but this time it had an extra pouch attached. Inside was a Google Cardboard — a small, rectangular, virtual reality viewer. After downloading a video from the Times onto your smartphone and then sliding your phone into a notch on the viewer, you could look through the lenses and watch a 360-degree,…  [more]

Embracing the mystery of Biblical miracles

A recent Slate article reflects on the problem of how to understand Biblical miracles in our modern world. One possible solution, taken to extreme by Thomas Jefferson some 200 years ago, is to simply ignore any mention of miracles. The third president of the United States actually excised from his Bible anything he considered too mysterious to be truth, resulting in what's known as the Jefferson Bible. At least…  [more]

The WHO bacon scare and a theology of enjoyment

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) tried to take our bacon away. Or at least that’s how some news organizations first interpreted the announcement that processed meats have been classified as carcinogenic to humans. The real news was less dire, only announcing that the evidence confirms a link between colorectal cancer and certain eating habits (such as eating two strips of bacon a day). Over at…  [more]

Power, community and the rise of ad blocking

Depending on where you stand, the increasing ability of Web users to block advertisements either means the end of the free Internet or a new era of personalized browsing. For those of us who grew up as the Web was just taking off, the possibility of blocking ads represents yet another paradigm shift in the relationship between content providers and users. In the 1990s, browsing the Web included the inevitable fight…  [more]

What Peeple gets wrong about people

Few startups have been met with as much instant animosity as Peeple. Originally described as a "Yelp for people," the proposed app would allow you to rate and comment on your acquaintances in three categories: personal, professional and dating. (There are even plans for a five-star rating system.) When news of the startup broke last week, the backlash was so immediate and widespread that some have speculated Peeple…  [more]

Bitmojis: a bridge toward authenticity?

Few situations in life have prompted as much internal dialogue as the creation of my Bitmoji. My love handles - did they really disqualify me from the athletic body shape? Was it truly necessary to choose a nose that actually matched the crooked shape of my own? Why are there so many eyebrow choices? And, more importantly, why was I so tempted to downplay the actual size of what I have always referred to as my…  [more]

Sins of emission: playing my part in the Volkswagen scandal

This past spring, my husband and I purchased what we thought was the perfect family car for an environmentally sensitive but fun-loving family of five. After months of research, we ruled out larger SUVs (too environmentally destructive) and minivans (gas guzzlers and a little too frumpy for our taste). We narrowed our choices down to three wagons with sufficient backseat width and good stowage capacity. Among those…  [more]

Bringing grace to the first-person industrial complex

In an essay on Slate, Laura Bennett implicated herself, along with many editors on successful web magazines, in the phenomenon she called the “The First-Person Industrial Complex.” By this she means the growing popularity of essays based on the most harrowing or shocking or difficult experiences of the writer. Of course, the relationship of vulnerability to writing has always been close. A frequently…  [more]

Google’s Deep Dream and spiritual perception

When Google showed a group of its computers images and asked them to visually describe what they saw, the results were full of vibrant color and kaleidoscopic patterns, resembling something from a dream or a hallucination. Indeed, the name given to the code that was used is Deep Dream. The human race has long been fascinated with the content of dreams and the ability of the mind to invent impossible landscapes and…  [more]

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