"This is Water"

David Foster Wallace on deciding how to see the people around you.

Ancient History

Historian Philip Jenkins on events in Iraq:
"We often read of the birth and growth of churches, very rarely of their deaths. In Mosul, however, we may be seeing the end of an astounding example of Christian continuity that lasted nearly two millennia."
Full article...

The Last Photo

Ivan Cash asks people near Auburn, Alabama, to tell about the last photo on their phone:

Behind the Curve

A beginner-level introduction to elliptic curve cryptography (which is what will be keeping your information safe online for the immediate future).  Nick Sullivan:
"Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is one of the most powerful but least understood types of cryptography in wide use today. An increasing number of websites make extensive use of ECC to secure everything from customers' HTTPS connections to how they pass data between data centers. Fundamentally, it's important for end users to understand the technology behind any security system in order to trust it. To that end, we looked around to find a good, relatively easy-to-understand primer on ECC in order to share with our users. Finding none, we decided to write one ourselves."
Full article...

Web Typography

An excellent introduction to various principles of typography and how they relate to web design.   Richard Rutter adapts Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style to a web context.    If you do any CSS work at all, you have got to check this out.

Link:  webtypography.net ...

That's no moon...

"How to Identify that Light in the Sky", a handy flowchart from NASA:


ht: Jay Ryan (@JayRyanAstro)

And yet so far away...

A few quotes from recent reading on the subject of falling short:

"There will always be a gap between who we are and who we want to be." — Todd Pickett

"We have met the enemy, and they are partly right." — Tony Campolo

"That we act different in private than in public is everyone's most conspicuous experience, it is the very ground of the life of the individual. Yet curiously this obvious fact remains unconscious, unacknowledged [...]" — Milan Kundera

"Sin is not the worse thing in the world. The worse thing in the world is the denial of sin." — Fulton Sheen

DC area in a sentence

"The place always makes me feel 15 minutes late, even when I'm early."

— Mike Rowe, on Washington, D.C.

Quote Pack

An assorted bunch of quotes I've come across in the last week:

"The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law."

— Frédéric Bastiat

"Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed."

— Richard John Neuhaus

"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." 
— ​Philip K. Dick

"[W]hen the officials trusted to execute law faithfully violate laws regularly, they lose their presumption of legitimacy."

— Andrew McCarthy

"Consequences that are not sufficiently painful or sufficiently scary aren’t consequences[.]"

— Jonah Goldberg

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

— usually attributed to Lee Segal (Segal's Law)

Quote Grab Bag

"When people lose sight of the proper objects of religious passion, they do not necessarily lose their religious instincts. Many will fill that hole in their soul with things of this world."

— Jonah Goldberg

[On Postmodernism:] "We should not be surprised at your inability to stand if your argument is that you have no legs."

— Douglas Wilson

"In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience."

— Oscar Wilde

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

— George Orwell