On Being Blog

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 13:27

Will the transcendent possibilities of "the singularity" invade our spiritual domains too?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 06:37

Finding the line between doing good and crippling those one's trying to help — at home and abroad.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 06:19

What do you get when you search the term "heschel" — a surprising image and a moment of insight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 10:47


“An Ojibwe Language Society Calendar” (photo: Hanson Dates/flickr)

Working on an upcoming SOF show about endangered languages, I called a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University to get recordings of Ojibwe speakers for the radio program and website. His answering machine message was delivered first in Ojibwe and then in English. Then this week I called someone who works at an Ojibwe immersion school in Wisconsin, and his answering machine message was Ojibwe only.

It was a little disorienting but also inspiring to hear the language in this modern context, especially considering that Ojibwe is one of only a handful of Native American languages now spoken in the United States and Canada that is expected to survive beyond 2050.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 10:05

What is it about Bible stories? For me they can be like catchy music; I’ll get one stuck in my head and then, while I wait for the bus or cut up vegetables or fold laundry, the story will run on repeat, offering its melodies, harmonies, dissonances. These ancient stories — so full of existential drama — can become obsessions.

I’ve been thinking constantly for the past year or so about the Book of Ruth.  (Read the whole book yourself here.) Naomi, her husband and sons all dead, is in mourning. She’s planning to move home to Bethlehem. She tells her newly widowed daughters-in-law to go back to their families; they can remarry in their native towns. But Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, insists on moving with Naomi back to Judah. We don’t know exactly why.

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Friday, May 23, 2008 - 12:13

A gripping photo from the 2008 earthquake.

Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 16:26

We use a third-party service, Disqus, for our commenting engine on our blog. Due to some changes from our blog service (Tumblr), older comments submitted before today are not showing up on our site. We haven’t lost them though; they just aren’t reconciling with the permalink for each blog post.

So please keep the comments coming — and your suggestions for the Webby five-word acceptance speech. The new ones will display and the older comments will show up as soon as the issue’s resolved.

[UPDATE] It looks like everything is back to normal now. Please let us know if you’re experiencing any difficulty or noticed one of your comments is missing in action. Cheers. 


Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 17:19

The classic Eames Office video about the Powers of Ten is likened to a "a low budget 70s era educational filmstrip."

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