On Being Blog

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Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 11:21

With high hopes come far falls. Here, we embedded a live stream for people to view real-time. In the end, a wired Ethernet connection wasn't enough.

Friday, February 13, 2009 - 13:19
Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 15:38

juxtaposed:religion[Editor’s note: I was combing through a test blog for SOF that never made it into production. One of the entries I posted I regretted not publishing. The piece is timeless, so I thought I’d re-post for you design lovers.]

The design house of mike and maaike developed a wonderfully elegant and simple bookshelf for a curated series of bookshelves. Its title: “religion.” Niches for seven influential religious texts are carved out of a three-foot-long piece of hardwood and reverently cozied up to one another. Included are the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Qur’an, Confucius’ The Analects, the Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell), The Discourses of the Buddha, and the Torah.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 10:44
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 15:31
Monday, February 9, 2009 - 05:34

An enigmatic history flow diagram tracking the editing path of the term "evolution."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 08:57

A found image adds a layer to the relationship between Darwin's theory and religion.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 00:19

A Buddhist teacher provides methods for coping with uncertainty, and our senior editor finds community and respite in music.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 12:15

"I think the downtown artistic community is realizing we don’t really have the option of dismissing [evangelical Christianity] anymore. This is a force in our world."

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July 17, 2014

Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

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One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

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For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

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We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.