He’ll Have Nun of It

From First Thoughts

While trawling the comments on a Volokh Conspiracy post on the voting ID requirements for nuns in the Indiana primary, I stumbled on this remark: “Presumably the nuns would vote Republican, so the ID requirement may help Democrats after all.” Something tells me the commenter . . . . Continue Reading »

Papal Music

From First Thoughts

One of the best bits of reporting I’ve seen during the coverage of the Holy Father’s visit is this fantastic Hank Stuever piece in the Washington Post . It’s an exposé on the giant clash within the American Catholic Church—is schism too strong a word?—over . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Immortality and Other Aggravations

From First Thoughts

Having recently attended Jody’s Georgetown lecture on death and politics , I was primed for this Wired piece on Ray Kurzweil, who believes in AI, the singularity, and immortality. There’s all sorts of Skynet-ish goodness in the piece, but the most interesting (by which I mean . . . . Continue Reading »

Resurrection at the Times

From First Thoughts

I tend to maintain that, despite everything, the New York Times is a tremendous civilizational achievement. Yet sometimes (often?) it publishes bits of such revealing self-parody that you almost think the paper is pulling your leg. Exhibit #14,576 is this Peter Steinfels piece , headlined . . . . Continue Reading »

Missing the Big Population Picture

From First Thoughts

Wired has the most (un?) intentionally funny line I’ve seen all morning in this interview with Paul Ehrlich: Ehrlich, now head of Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology, has always had a knack for seeing the big picture, even if his specific predictions haven’t always panned . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: Fun with Excel!

From First Thoughts

Anthony, you’re clearly on to something in noting that one of the key aspects of success, historically, with Best Picture winners is some modicum of box-office success. The great William Goldman summed it up best when he likened the Academy Awards to the American automotive industry. Imagine, . . . . Continue Reading »

Fun with Excel!

From First Thoughts

I don’t know when they launched it, but the New York Times has put a very nifty graphical representation of box office returns up on its website. If you’re looking to waste an hour—and get a sense of how longevity and opening weekend have changed in importance in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: Is Obama a Cult?

From First Thoughts

Stephen Webb amusingly asks whether or not the High Church of Obama is a cult. At least Paul Krugman thinks so. Yesterday he said that the Obama campaign “seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality.” Mind you, almost all presidential campaigns are, to some degree, cults . . . . Continue Reading »

Note to Editors: Don’t Settle

From First Thoughts

The Farrelly brothers are known for their profitable, occasionally droll, gross-out comedies, notably Kingpin , Dumb & Dumber , and There’s Something About Mary . In 1999, they wrote and directed the disastrously earnest, and bad, film Outside Providence , based largely on their personal . . . . Continue Reading »

Reexamining the Catholic Vote

From First Thoughts

Over at The Campaign Standard, Jody seems to think that the Super Tuesday numbers on the Catholic vote leave his thesis that there is no distinct Catholic vote in tatters . I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Jody is being overly harsh on his own thesis. There’s actually much in the . . . . Continue Reading »