Author: David Schaengold

Sometimes, G-d Speaks

A kitschy 62-foot statue of Jesus outside of Cincinnati was destroyed by lightning last night.

We need to use less oil so we can keep using oil longer

This bizarre Jeff Jacoby column argues that we shouldn’t hurt oil’s feelings. He quotes: Americans consume oil not because they are “addicted’’ to it, but because it enriches their lives, making possible prosperity, comfort,...

Grids and Neighborhoods

The urbanist blogosphere, for those of you who don’t follow it, has been chattering about street grids of late, prompted by this fascinating comparison of the standard block size in various American cities. The...

Paragons of Marital Excellence

Rod Dreher asks a good question: “… the Clinton marriage, however hollow from the inside, still honors the “till death do us part” formality. Besides, if there is no deceit or abuse inside the...

Running into a jello cube

This is a silly question. For an 8 by 8 by 8 foot cube of jello to stand up under its own weight, it would have to have much higher surface tension than regular...

The Supposed Tyranny of New York

Conor Friedersdorf has written a disastrous post about New York over at the Atlantic. His specific complaints — that Manhattan transplants who spend the holidays back in Dubuque complain about how sorry Dubuque is...

The Establishment, Still Doing Its Thing

While the difference between Comedy Central’s treatment of Muhammad and every other religious figure is certainly striking, it’s worth noting that Ross Douthat’s recent column on the subject makes a wildly false claim that...

More Pedestrianization in Midtown

Janette Sadik-Khan and her posse continue to reclaim Manhattan streets for the people who actually use them. Three cheers!

Who is the Intended Audience of the Nuclear Posture Review?

The Obama administration has declared publicly that the United States will not retaliate with nuclear weapons against a nation that attacks us with chemical or biological agents, provided that nation is also in compliance...

Throwing the baby out with the veal calf

Over the last year or so, bloggers at First Things have taken the position that the animal rights movement represents a unique threat to the dignity of human life and especially the unborn. While I...

Blond at Georgetown, II

Like Will, I was at Philip Blond’s Georgetown lecture on Thursday. Unlike Will, I was predisposed to agree with everything Blond said. I came away a bit disappointed, though. I find little to argue...

The insignificance of the wunderkomputer

Much ado has been blogged about Emily Howell, the computer program that writes Bach chorales , Mozart sonatas, and other kinds of pieces in the style of various composers. You can listen to two...

Slum Urbanism

Somewhat belatedly I’d like to link to this piece about slum urbanism: how environmentalists and other city-lovers can learn from the way slums are pieced together.  “Slum” here is used to mean an informal...

Of Course it Matters

“Does it matter where you see a piece of art?” Jed Perl asks at the New Republic, in an article about the imminent and ill-conceived move of the Barnes Collection from its original home...

Desire and Deviance

While reading Megan McArdle’s interesting pair of posts on “non-practicing” pedophiles, I was struck by the thought that the tone of the posts perfectly captured the attitude of a certain segment of society perhaps...

Torture Fatigue

Is the GOP really becoming the party of torture? For the past several years I have been assuming that the torture would eventually stop for good, that both parties would disown what had been...

The Banal Sublimity of Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, Shutter Island, opened today. It received a decidedly negative critical reaction. A.O. Scott writes representatively: “Nothing is as it seems. Something TERRIBLE is afoot. Sadly, that something turns out to...

Times Square to Stay Pedestrian

Not that we would go there ourselves, mind you, but today’s announcement that Broadway will remain closed to vehicle traffic is a great victory for tourists and a boon for the occasional Brooklynite who...

Should We Preserve Modernist Buildings?

Urbanophile has posted some thoughts on preserving buildings from the mid-20th century: “Mid-century modern architecture is now in the same danger zone chronologically that late 19th-century buildings were in during the urban renewal period....