On Being Blog

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."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 14:31

It’s hard not to see life as utterly random and meaningless in the face of disasters like the recent cyclone in Myanmar or the earthquake in China. And this is an issue that comes up again and again in theological circles, referred to as as the theodicy question: How could a just god let innocent people suffer and die?

Monday, May 12, 2008 - 16:31

Our senior editor traces the atypical path of developing and producing this program and its Web elements.

Friday, May 9, 2008 - 13:13

What do you do when an interview on AJH is too good to be cut? Be merciless.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 21:32

Preparing for this program was like putting lighting in a bottle. Armstrong travels the world, writes voluminously, and continually develops her ideas. Video of her TED Talk helped us mind the gap.

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