On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY Trent Gilliss January 09, 2017

From a perennial favorite on busyness to hard conversations to help us understand each other — a round-up of the most-read blog posts of the past year.

On the Blog

BY February 10, 2011

Douglas JohnstonAs we pulled together this week’s show with Scott Atran, I was reminded of my conversation a few years ago with Douglas Johnston on “Diplomacy and Religion in the 21st Century.” He is a quintessential diplomatic and military strategist who, at 27, was also the youngest officer in the navy to quality for command of a nuclear submarine. And he is, in my mind, one of the wisest and most pragmatic thinkers (and actors) on the role of religion in the modern world.

BY February 08, 2011

Statue of Gertrude Stein
Raindrops pour down the statue of late U.S. author Gertrude Stein in New York’s Bryant Park. (photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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BY February 07, 2011

A reminder to look for stories coming out of Egypt that are "outside the bubble" of Tahrir Square.

BY February 06, 2011

Afghan Family
Akbar, Rahima, and children two years after emigrating from Afghanistan. (photo courtesy of the author)

In 2001 my husband approached me about hosting an Afghan refugee family of four. I was hesitant. But my reservations — lice, tuberculosis, loss of solitude — seem petty and insulting now. In the end, they were outweighed by his enthusiasm.

So our family arrived one evening just before Memorial Day, exhausted from long travel. We stood outside nodding, smiling, shaking hands. Akbar wore a dark suit, Rahima a blouse and skirt and heels, the children ribbons and a bow tie and shined shoes. We had pizza and soda and very few words.

BY February 05, 2011

Chinese New Year in SpainParading in Puerta del Sol, Spain. (photo: PepeZoom/Flickr)

One of the most important Chinese holidays is Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year. Following the lunar calendar, this year the celebration fell on Thursday, February 3rd, which is also the year of the rabbit. The rabbit is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Images of the rabbit become part of the celebration. The theme for festivities is to spread luck and good fortune, and the rabbit (remember your lucky rabbit’s foot?) is symbolic for both.

BY February 05, 2011

This story has us all mystified. It resulted in this "thought experiment" among our staff, which led to wildly varying interpretations. Take a listen and tell us what you think.

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BY February 04, 2011

Our aggregated tweets of Krista's interview.

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BY February 04, 2011

An art exhibition meters terror and co-opts colors with Swami Vivekananda's 1893 speech in Chicago.

BY February 03, 2011

"So, you know, these issues of above ground testing, nuclear testing, being a down-winder, a Hibakusha as the Japanese say. They're not abstractions. You know, we live with them every day. The personal becomes political." ~Terry Tempest Williams. A look into the history and heartbreak behind the word "Hibakusha."

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BY February 03, 2011

Williams introduces us to the word "ecotone" as an analogy from nature to describe a clash of cultures. But what does it mean?

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BY February 03, 2011

Christians protecting Muslims during prayer and the mundane act of picking up the trash. Great on-the-scene photos of the Tahrir Square protests from Nevine Zaki.

BY February 02, 2011

Students Volunteer
Students volunteer to clean up a riverfront property in Hartford, Connecticut. (photo: Laura Ouimette/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

Service and volunteerism by young adults is at an all-time high in U.S. history, according to a story in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

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BY February 02, 2011

A video primer on the Muslim Brotherhood — its history and potential role in Egypt — with Haroon Moghul.

BY February 02, 2011

A new radio doc untangles the little-told history of white Mississippians who tried to preserve segregation.

BY February 01, 2011

A magnificent reflection capturing the sentiment many of us are experiencing as we watch the protests in Egypt from afar.

BY February 01, 2011

One of the pioneering teachers of Buddhist thought and meditation in the U.S. answers our in-house "wannabe" mindfulness practitioner's questions on techniques and focus, and the balance of new technologies with human connection.

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