Category: Entertainment

Lattes with Leia and Women in the Church

Podcasts are far from new to the Star Wars universe. In fact, they abound. Every nook and cranny of the fandom seems to have a podcast to match: collectors, original trilogy purists, fans of the expanded universe and legends. Each of these has its own following. When I found a podcast entitled Coffee with Kenobi—Discussion, Analysis, and Rhetoric, I thought I’d discovered my little corner of the fandom.…  [more]

Stephen Colbert’s Witness

Although it’s a 2015 interview, Stephen Colbert’s conversation with Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt + Light Media still applies to the current comedic landscape, where pointed political satire is even more the order of the day. In the video, which you can watch in full below, Colbert reflected on a number of questions, including the relationship of his Christian faith to his role as a late-night entertainer. He…  [more]

Harry Potter and the Spell of Christian Friendship

“Those books are witchcraft.” My first memory of Harry Potter dates back to elementary school, where we were called to a special chapel devoted to denouncing the evils of J.K. Rowling’s books. Not only did Harry Potter do wicked spells, we were told, but he also had a certain disregard for the rules and for adults. These were terrible things for children to be reading about. Naturally, my interest…  [more]

Board Game Shelfies and Learning That More Can Be Less

You’ve probably taken your share of selfies, but have you ever seen a “shelfie”? Shelfies are panoramic images, posted on social media, of elaborate shelving systems stuffed with board games, sometimes along two, three, or even four walls of a room. These are not the game closets of your childhood, where Monopoly and Easy Money happily commingled in the same box. Shelfies feature highly organized…  [more]

On Being with Krista Tippett—and Jesus?

If you’ve followed faith podcasts for any length of time, you’ve heard of the award-winning On Being with Krista Tippett. Depending on your comfort level with discussions of religion in general, you’ve responded to the show with appreciation or apprehension. I swing back and forth between the two. I’m grateful that in a post-Christian world, someone provides a public space for discussions of…  [more]

Seeking Escape—and Enlightenment—in Popular Culture

I’ll admit it. Sometimes I use popular culture to distract myself from reality. I want to spend some time in a fantasy world where everything is just a little bit too pretty and the problems are low-stakes and easily resolved in 20 to 60 minutes. (A recent choice for me has been Supergirl). Especially during a time when politics and world events seem uncertain and high stakes, it’s nice to use pop culture…  [more]

The Ear Hustle Podcast and Remembering Those in Prison

The first rule of prison life is to mind your own business. In a world without secrets, eavesdropping on another's conversation—“ear hustling,” as it's known in prison-speak—can get you in serious trouble. But audiences have nothing to worry about when they tune in for Ear Hustle, a new podcast produced from behind the walls of San Quentin State Prison in California. Listening in on…  [more]

Rails & Sails and Echoes of Home

I love board games. So when I heard about a new title in the hugely popular Ticket to Ride series, I couldn’t wait to try it. Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails jumps the tracks and introduces seaway routes to the classic railroad-themed gameplay. I expected another fun installment in the series. What I experienced, however, was a game that reconnected me spiritually to my roots among generations of merchant…  [more]

S-Town’s Limited Understanding of Empathy

“John B McLemore lives in Shittown, Alabama.” So read the subject line of the email that first caught the attention of This American Life producer Brian Reed and would become the seed for the podcast S-Town. Upon further engaging with McLemore, chief malcontent of Woodstock, Ala., Reed found himself navigating a maze of complicated characters, rumors of corruption, unrequited love, and a downward spiral…  [more]

Do Zoos Have a Future? Should They?

On a hot, humid, July afternoon I took my daughter to our local zoo. The air was thick and chewy and the thermometer neared 100. We pushed through the turnstiles in pursuit of lemonade and her favorite section: the polar bear exhibit. On this particular day, the polar bears were in the shade, sleeping off the heat, rather than splashing into the pools and wrestling one another as they normally did. My daughter tugged…  [more]

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