Does Facebook Cause More Shallow Relationships?

11/04/2011 Comments (10)

What do you think?  Does using Facebook cause a person to have more shallow relationships? Many might assume so. In fact, much of the criticism of online Social Networking (especially from Catholic and religious circles) is that it encourages and supports shallow, superficial relationships at the expense of more meaningful ones. But is it true?

Actually, no. Recent studies, to what may be the surprise of many critics, show exactly the opposite.

A pew study this year revealed that people who use Facebook the most had 9% more “close relationships” than other internet users. This is a fairly trivial and obvious point for anyone who uses Facebook well. But it’s one that needs to continue to...READ MORE

Filed under facebook, relationships, social networking

Occupy the Movie Theater!

A number of current movies, including Tower Heist and In Time, come along at the right moment to tap into the Occupy zeitgeist.

11/04/2011 Comment

Part 1 | Part 2

How could anyone in Hollywood have known, as the current batch of movies went into development, that at least three different films about the greed and ruthlessness of the wealthy few and its devastating impact on the masses—the 1% and the 99%—would hit theaters more or less simultaneously in the middle of the Occupy protests?

This weekend’s caper comedy Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe as the 99 percent and Alan Alda as the 1 percent, comes on the heels of In Time, a sci-fi action movie starring Justin Timberlake as one of the expendable have-nots and Amanda Seyfried as one of the privileged haves.


Filed under movies, reviews

Occupy the Movie Theater! (Part 2)

A number of current movies, including Tower Heist and In Time, come along at the right moment to tap into the Occupy zeitgeist.

11/04/2011 Comments (7)

Part 1 | Part 2

Considerably more ambitious and challenging than Tower Heist (which isn’t saying much), In Time is the latest offering from writer-director Andrew Niccol, whose previous films include Gattaca, a sci-fi tale about genetic haves and have-nots, as well as S1m0ne, a Hollywood satire that represented in its own way a pursuit of an ideal of perfection by technological means.

Like those films, In Time is a provocative, thoughtful but somehow not entirely satisfying sci-fi parable with a striking premise. Niccol imagines a dystopian near future in which Benjamin Franklin’s adage that “Time is money” is taken to a literal extreme. Human beings are genetically engineered to stop...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reviews

What I Love About Not Having an iPhone

11/04/2011 Comments (56)

I think I’m going to ask for a smartphone for Christmas. Thanks to some combination of high principles and a low bank balance, I have held off on fancy mobile phone ownership so far. I’ve never owned a Blackberry, an Andriod, an iPhone, or any phone that makes it easy to do anything other than make calls. But I think I’m finally ready to cave. There have been a couple of situations recently when it would have been helpful to access my email while I was out, and more than once when I’ve been lost I really wished I could pull up Google Maps on my phone. So I’m excited about eventually being part of the world of smartphone owners.

But then I see families sitting around tables in restaurants...READ MORE

Filed under internet, iphone, online, text messaging, texting, web

Vincible Ignorance

11/04/2011 Comments (37)



courtesy of Thomas L. McDonald)

Alphonse Ratisbonne, a French Jew and devout hater of Catholicism and religion in general, converted more or less without warning, and apparently without effort.  He happened to travel to Rome in 1842, where Our Lady herself appeared to him.  He says:

All I can say is that the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils which were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun. . . I am asked how I attained a knowledge of these truths, since it is well known that I never opened a religious book, had never read a page of the Bible, and...READ MORE

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Register Radio: Pontifical Council Document and Movie Reviews

Ignatius Press' President Mark Brumley and Register Film Critic Steve Greydanus

11/04/2011 Comment

Today, on Register Radio, in our first segment, we spoke with Ignatius Press president Mark Brumley spoke about the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s October 24th document, “Towards Reforming the International and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.” Brumley recently authored his critique of the document in an article at Catholic World Report. Brumley spoke of the Vatican’s ongoing discussion of issues of justice and peace, in particular the idea of a world political authority – an idea which he said was first raised by Pope Pius XII, and has been continued by Pope John XXIII and Pope Benedict XVI. He described the discussion as both concrete and vague, in...READ MORE

Filed under globalization, mark brumley, monetary systems, pontifical council for justice and peace, puss in boots, steven greydanus, the exorcist, the mighty macs

Heresy and Orthodoxy, Sterility and Fruitfulness

11/04/2011 Comments (14)

Jeff Mirus has an interesting piece up on how dissenting (that is, heretical) religious are wheezing into geezerdom with not a lot of fruit to show for their efforts.  The Church has lived 45 years since the Council, while the dissenters have lived the same year 45 times.  Result: not much.  They aren’t making disciples.  Send a Richard McBrien out with his message of decrepit dissent and you won’t even get enough people to fill up a wine and cheese soiree where Matthew Fox can do selected readings of his Mystical Magical Bear Spirituality.  Meanwhile, 2 gazillion youth show up to hear the allegedly irrelevant old guy in Rome call them to fidelity to the ever ancient ever new gospel of the...READ MORE

Filed under chestertoniana

Happy Birthday Baby! You're Doomed!

11/03/2011 Comments (39)

When babies are born, the baby is supposed to cry out to the world. Well, a few days ago a baby was born and instead, the world cried out. In horror.

As the baby stretched out, the world curled into the fetal position. And wailed.

As you might know, a little Filipina baby was born just after midnight on October 31st. Some believe she is the 7th billion baby. She was named Danica May Camacho and her birth was greeted with doom and gloom headlines and stark warnings from world leaders.

Welcome to the world Danica. These are your birth announcements. And let’s just say I’m glad you can’t read.

The world welcomed its symbolic seven billionth baby Monday amid a stark warning from UN chief Ban...READ MORE

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