Saturday, April 28, 2007

This is Your Brain on God

Two good pieces in Slate on neurotheology: an overview by George Johnson ( and John Horgan's piece on being an experimental subject at Laurentian University ( And, in another vein, The New York Times reports on the Noah's Ark children's museum at the Skirball Cultural Centre in Los Angeles; the article has an accompanying video and slide show: And, finally, a Florida bar is the location for Sunday church services for bikers:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Music

Listening to CBC Radio 3 lately ( and getting the podcast of new Canadian music. And Feist has a new album - The Reminder - and she's profiled in The New York Times arts section ( with an interview audio track and the video for 1234.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Virtual Religion

William Saletan's column in Slate ( deals with churches in the virtual reality world of Second Life ( It's worth reprinting in full - I sense a possible thesis topic:

Virtual churches are sprouting in Second Life. Many are online branches of real churches, with streaming video of live sermons. Rationales: 1) Cyberspace is another frontier for evangelism. 2) Where better to reach the unsaved? 3) It's no weirder than the current practice of broadcasting to real-life satellite churches where congregants watch services on screens. Secular critique: Second Life should be for fantasies like sex, not drudgeries like church. Religious critique: Church, like sex, is more exciting in the flesh. Social critique: Real religion consists of good works in this world, not pretending to worship in another. Half-cynical view: Conversations in Second Life churches are less fake than the "good-sermon-nice-weather exchanges" in real churches. Fully cynical view: Most churchgoing is fake, so why not let your avatar do it for you, like sending your kids to Sunday school.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Eve

What am I reading today as I prepare for Easter?
A frightening piece on the chemical Bisphenol A, which is present in plastic bottles and other food packaging:
Design for the other 90% - design that is not about tea kettles and chairs, but helping 90% of the world's people live:
And an article on the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes de Rocha: