The politics of porn are discussed here.
There has been a push among historians the last few years to reappraise the Crusades. It is not just apologetics, since the defenses are not total and absolute. But there is increasing evidence the popular contemporary idea of the Crusades as a nasty bit of imperialism is wrong-headed.
A man vows to fast by living on beer alone. Sounds odd (and it is), but apparently the fellow is an avid home-brewer and is using the occasion to recover some medieval brewing traditions (brewing stronger beer so they could subsist on a mostly liquid diet while they fasted from food).
Speaking of Lent, why do Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays?
John Allen writes on religion and diplomacy. The article reflects on some comments from Miquel Diaz (former theology professor and not ambassador to the Holy See).
An article reflecting on the old Godzilla films and the long memory of nuclear disasters in Japan.
Joe Carter writes about the “global war on girls.” The natural sex ratios in childbirth range very slightly from 100 to 106 boys born per 100 girls. But in China in 2000, some parts of the country had nearly 140 boys per 100 girls. This international phenomenon is sure to have widespread social consequences.
The second volume of Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth is out. I have not read it yet (my copy is on the way), but I can say that the first volume was brilliant. The second volume is also receiving rave reviews all around. See here and here and here and here.
A nice nbc story on the long road to the major leagues.