Why ‘Serial’ Season Two Was Such a Flop

BLINDED TRIALS: Religion, Stories, and How We Carry Truths

Stories have power. They stick to us in a way that facts simply do not. We humans are fairly cavalier with our facts. We dispose of facts when they they bore us, or when we simply decide we don’t care for them, or when they rub up against things we’d prefer to believe in their place. Like the burs that you unwittingly bring home after a long hike, however, stories sink their teeth into us and hold on tight, even when we are unaware they are doing so. And when they do, they carry their truths with them.

Take, for example, the myths of the native American tribes that lived near my hometown of Portland. The Multnomah, Yakama, Klamath, Puyallup, and Klickitat tribes all have remarkably similar stories regarding the Cascade Mountains that run from Washington to Northern California. Specifically, they have stories about Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainer and Mt. Adams. In these myth-stories, the mountains are not natural formations but rather great gods. These stories are not rational to our modern ear, yet they carried truths with them for generations that more rational narratives could not sustain.

From: Religion, Stories, and How We Carry Truths – Blinded Trials II

Princeton Holocaust scholar grilled by Polish policy for saying Poles killed Jews | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

A Polish prosecutor interrogated a Jewish historian who researched Polish complicity in the Holocaust to determine if he had criminally insulted the nation. Jan Tomasz Gross, a Polish-American professor based at Princeton University, published an article in the German newspaper Die Welt that said Poles “had killed more Jews than the Germans” during World War…

German intelligence head admits ?misjudgment? on ?Islamic State? strategy | DW.COM

Security officials initially believed it was unlikely that “Islamic State” terrorists would use the recent influx of refugees to enter the country, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) head told a Sunday newspaper. “We thought that the risk was simply too high,” Hans-Georg Maassen told the German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag.” “Although they did not need…

The Heaviness of Just War | USIH

First, as the organizers of this conference well-know, there has been a vigorous contest over interpreting and applying just war doctrine by American Catholics, from Dorothy Day and John C. Ford, S.J., in World War II, through Gordon Zahn in the early Cold War, the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference after Vietnam, and more recently Andrew…

Everyone mistook a priest for a KKK member

Rumors of a klansman on campus have proven false after a priest innocently made his way through Bloomington. Last night around 9:15 PM, social media became a furious storm of confusion regarding a man in white robes roaming along 10th St. and purportedly armed with a whip. Students thought the white robes indicated Klu Klux…

Former Russian Prime Minister Caught Having Sex With Opposition Leader | Observer

On Saturday morning, a number of British newspapers—including Daily Mail and Mirror—broke the story to the West that some hours earlier glued millions of Russians to their television sets. Mikhail Kasyanov, the former Minister of Finance and Prime Minister under Vladimir Putin, is a chairman of the opposition party, PARNAS (Party of People’s Freedom)—created long…

BLINDED TRIALS: In Which I Take the Free Scientology Personality Test and Become Even More Insuferable

Though it is 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, the Church of Scientology visitors center I am exploring is bustling with activity. It’s so full of people that I have to serpentine my way around bodies to get to my test-taking station. Still, it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

The test-taking stations are spartan, just a row of desks agains the wall, each with a small electronic timer and a jar of #2 pencils. Surrounding these desks are a myriad of sales displays, offering hundreds if not thousands of books and videos by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — any of which, I have been assured by the nice woman at the front desk, would make a great gift. As I said, it’s mid-afternoon on a workday, but all of the test stations are filled will people who, like me, are busy filling out scantron sheets.

The test we are all taking is the Oxford Capacity Analysis™, the proprietary “free personality test” Scientologists use to both rate and entice new members. (If you have ever passed a Scientology Church, you’ve likely seen a sandwich board inviting you to take this test.) When I signed up to take the test an hour prior I asked about the name, and the nice woman at the front desk explained to me that the test was developed by a team of scientists at “the university.”

From: In Which I Take the Free Scientology Personality Test and Become Even More Insuferable – Blinded Trials II

The ABCs of the Craziest Election of Our Lives — Paradox

Kasich. The GOP candidate everybody basically ignored until he somehow made his way to the last three standing. The conservative breakdown: He’s weak on Obamacare, shaky on religious freedom but quietly a pro-life fighter. Loyalty. Normally a good thing—except during this crazy election cycle. Grassroots loyalty, establishment loyalty, party loyalty, candidate loyalty, Rubio loyalty, Cruz…

WrestleMania, explained

Still, WrestleMania is about far more than carnage. As WWE’s seminal showcase, it offers the pomp and circumstance of the Super Bowl crossed with the Rose Bowl Parade. Every year WrestleMania gets bigger — and longer — with a week’s worth of events leading up to Sunday’s five-hour main show, all broadcast live on the…

Freddie: categorically imperative

Progressivism (for lack of a better term) suffers from a ton of maladies. But if I had to isolate one underlying issue that threatens political progress more than any other, it’s this: the deepening progressive belief that all good people must treat all claims to offense or harm as legitimate. That is a congealing orthodoxy…