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The Aporetics of Baptism

Peter Lupu wrote me yesterday about baptism, I responded online, and today he is back at me again: In your response you say: " As for the change in metaphysical status wrought by baptism, the main change is the forgiveness...

What Was Gay?

As a member of Slate Plus, you’re reading this Slate story before anyone else! This story is exclusive to Slate Plus members until Tuesday morning. Be sure to check out the special Slate Plus exclusives related to this story, including a full audio version of the piece, a behind-the-scenes conversation with J. Show More Summary

Evelyn [Evelina] Petrova

She has been my most significant musical discovery of the last year, and these days it is rare when I find something new in music which truly surprises me. Dave Gelly put it this way: At the Queen Elizabeth Hall, I found myself listening open-mouthed to a Russian woman playing the piano accordion while making […]

Crash Course Astronomy: Jupiter

If you go outside after sunset and look to the southwest right now, you’ll see Venus low in the sky. And above it, not too far away, is another bright object: Jupiter, the mightiest planet in the solar system. It’s very pretty, but if you look with binoculars you’ll see it has moons. Show More Summary


My sister bloggers Historiann (who has spent part of her sabbatical creating a snazzy new design) and Madwoman with a Laptop, now a fancy dean, could tell you this farewell has been coming for a while. I’m hangin’ up my template. It had to come someday. Show More Summary

Suicide: Passing Each Other in the Flood

May 8, 1995, was the date of a massive flood in New Orleans. I remember us leaving for school in the rain. We drove the family van because it was high enough to get through the swampy streets. Dad said we had to look out for manholes; the […]

Reich Is Wrong on the Minimum Wage

Watching Robert Reich’s new video in which he endorses raising the minimum wage by $7.75 per hour – to $15 per hour – is painful.  It hurts to encounter such rapid-fire economic ignorance, even if the barrage lasts for only two minutes. Show More Summary

How the long American campaign can make candidates more extreme

As 2016 presidential hopefuls begin announcing their candidacies, Americans are readying themselves for more than a year and a half of political campaigning.  That’s a long time. Long enough to perhaps cost $5 billion. However, there are benefits to a long campaign season. As Calvin Coolidge said, “The purpose of a campaign is to send an intelligent […]

Sail on, sweet ship - flooding on Oak Creek

The USGS posted a short video on YouTube showing flooding on Oak Creek on March 2, 2015. Note the trash dumpster floating by.

Bones - Season 10, Episode 16 (Review)

The Big Beef at the Royal Diner Episode Summary A woman who scales a wall at an exercise boot camp falls over, onto a decaying body. Based on the narrow pelvic inlet and flat profile of the skull, Brennan identifies him as a Caucasian male. Show More Summary

Video of SpaceX Pad Abort Test Flight

It was an almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it event: SpaceX tested its “pad abort” system for the Dragon capsule this morning, with the launch occurring right on time at 09:00 EDT. Within minutes, SpaceX had video (note: check your volume...Show More Summary

Do Baltimore Schools Need More Money?

Is the problem with Baltimore’s district schools a lack of funds? The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart argued as much during a recent interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “If we are spending a trillion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan’s schools, we can’t, you know, put a little taste Baltimore’s way. Show More Summary

North Carolina Forfeiture Case Reveals Limits of Executive Reform, Government Defensiveness

In March, we detailed reforms announced by Attorney General Eric Holder to federal asset forfeitures under the Bank Secrecy Act’s “structuring” law.  Those changes mirror an earlier policy shift by the Internal Revenue Service.  Unfortunately...Show More Summary

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