Monthly Archives: December 2011

Pic of the day: Russian Orthodox believer plunges into icy water to celebrate Epiphany, St. Petersburg, January, 2011

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Posted in Christian Churches, Visual Arts

Pic of the day: Lello Bookshop, Porto, Portugal — the most beautiful bookshop in the world?

The Lello Bookshop, called Livraria Lello in Portuguese, is famous for its winding staircase and vibrant pink colour.  It was built in 1906 by an engineering professor, Xavier Esteves.  Packed with old and new books, it provides a wonderful experience for book lovers and architecture aficionados … Continue reading

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged , ,

Is the slick, superficial New Atheist bubble about to burst in 2012? The appeal of Richard Dawkins, outside his hardcore fan base, seems to be fading, certainly judging by the fact that his Magic of Reality book is nowhere to be seen in the New York Times Bestsellers List, 2011. This year has also … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Pic of the day: What God has to say about taking his name in vain

Posted in Humour, Visual Arts

N. T. Wright disagrees with Pope Benedict (and the secular minimalist Maurice Casey); interesting thoughts ensue

What Benedict Doesn’t Get About Jesus by N. T. Wright

Posted in Authors, Biblical Studies, Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Writers’ quote of the day: Edward Albee on the importance of reading bad novels

‘If you are going to learn from other writers don’t only read the great ones, because if you do that you’ll get so filled with despair and the fear that you’ll never be able to do anywhere near as well … Continue reading

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing | Tagged , , ,

Not a hotel in which I would ever want to stay: Romanian guesthouse made entirely of ice

Wrap up warm!  Tourists sit at a table serving warm drinks inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras Mountains, Romania

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged , , , , ,

Thriller writer Tom Cain (pseudonym of Fleet Street journalist David Thomas) on researching a novel

‘I do a ton of research, a lot of it online, a lot through books and traditional media, and quite a bit of it face-to-face with experts in various fields.  This was one area where years of reporting really helped: … Continue reading

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

Some worthwhile New Atheist reading for the Christmas holidays

Richard Dawkins: the atheist who tried to steal Christmas Christopher Hitchens: more concerned with self-promotion than actual ideas

Posted in Atheism | Tagged , , , ,

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

The Adoration of the Magi by Guido Nincheri (1885-1973)

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged , , ,

Pic of the day: The Nativity by Montreal stained glass artist Guido Nincheri (1885-1973)

More wonderful stained glass art by Guido Nincheri here.

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged , , , ,

Quote of the day: Nick Donnelly on senior Tesco executive Nick Lansley’s appalling “evil Christians” remark

‘If a senior employee of Tesco had made a public statement branding homosexuals ‘evil’ what do you think the response of Tesco would have been?  Would they have just issued a mild, half-hearted apology?  What Tesco is saying to the Christian community … Continue reading

Posted in Quote of the Day, Secularism | Tagged , , , , , ,

One reason why Manchester United is a great football club

Christmas spirit takes over at United as Fergie and his players show their charitable side A host of Manchester United stars visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to give season’s greetings to patients and staff:

Posted in Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Christopher Hitchens: “the anti-Semite . . . under all our noses” and his problem with the Jews

The Trouble with Hitchens by Benjamin Kerstein The tone of unrestrained invective in these passages is part of Hitchens’s cachet as a writer.  The substance, however, is very ugly stuff indeed, composed out of some of the most barbarous and … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism | Tagged , , ,

Separated at birth: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Animal from the Muppets

From: here.

Posted in Humour, Visual Arts | Tagged , , , , ,

A refreshingly truthful obituary for Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Christopher Hitchens lived in service of plain hatred Christopher Hitchens is dead.  By his own lights, he is utterly defunct, decomposing more rapidly than yesterday’s newspaper.  I take a different view, and do sincerely pray … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism | Tagged , ,

Atheist totalitarian regime North Korea’s persecution of Christians expected to continue after Kim Jong Il’s death

North Korea’s Persecution Of Christians Expected To Continue After Kim Jong Il’s Death A day after authorities announced the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, several Christian organizations are calling for prayers for the nation’s persecuted Christians, one … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Politics, World Events | Tagged , , ,

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

It strikes me that Christopher Hitchens was the sort who would loudly proclaim that he neither wanted nor expected any praise from Christians after his death, all the time knowing that he would get plenty of posthumous words of praise from them … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism | Tagged , ,

Update on the latest scientific findings about the Shroud of Turin: image “is impossible to obtain in a laboratory”

Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ’s authentic burial robe The new study suggests that one of Catholic Christianity’s most prized but mysterious relics, the Turin Shroud, is not a medieval forgery but could be the authentic burial robe of Christ. … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged

More criticism of Tesco after appalling intolerant remarks by supermarket giant’s senior executive Nick Lansley

Religious groups boycott Tesco over senior executive’s ‘evil’ Christians comment Religious groups are boycotting Tesco after a senior executive at the supermarket giant described Christians as “evil” for opposing gay marriage. Nick Lansley, Tesco’s head of research and development, said he … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture, Society, Secularism | Tagged , , ,

The Shroud of Turin can’t be a medieval fake — ENEA scientists conclude after five-year study

As the saying goes, I don’t have a dog in this race — I have no idea if the Shroud of Turin is a genuine or “constructed” holy relic.  But the latest scientific findings are very interesting – that they found it … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged

Quote of the day: Stanley Hauerwas on Christian humanism, incarnation and Advent

‘Christian humanism is not based on the presumption that our humanity is self-justifying.  Rather Christians are humanists because God showed up in Mary’s belly.’ ~ Stanley Hauerwas

Posted in Quote of the Day, Theology | Tagged , , , ,

Hitchens says: Richard Dawkins is “as intolerant as the Spanish Inquisition, but not yet ready to show it”

‘Far too seldom the enemies of Britain actually admit their real goals.  The greatly overpraised Professor Richard Dawkins has now blurted out in a Left-wing magazine that his aim is to ‘destroy Christianity’. Well, I knew that, and you probably knew that – but the … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Peter Hitchens | Tagged , , , , ,

Militant secularist Britain: Tesco boss calls conservative Christians “evil” for supporting traditional marriage

Christians are ‘evil’ for backing traditional marriage, says Tesco R&D boss Christians are “evil” if they resist the redefinition of marriage to allow for same-sex marriage, the Head of Research and Development at has said. . . . The … Continue reading

Posted in Secularism | Tagged , , ,

A truly Christian response to Christopher Hitchens’ death: Mother Teresa’s order prays “for him and his family”

Mother Teresa’s order prays for atheist Christopher Hitchens’ soul India’s Missionaries of Charity order said it would pray for British writer Christopher Hitchens’ soul, despite his aggressive campaign against its Nobel prize-winning founder, Mother Teresa. “We will pray for him … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism | Tagged ,