2020, January through May

These early months of 2020 might be a record for least reading done by me. It’s partly the coronavirus excitement, which means I’ve been reading more news, as well as cooking and cleaning a lot more, since most of the kids are at home and I don’t have to go to work! How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan 🎧 Michael Pollan is an excellent writer and I love his books about food. I wasn’t sure I’d be interested in this one, but it was fascinating. I learned a lot and I hope current studies will lead to legal therapeutic use of psychedelics, because it seems like they could be helpful for many people and problems. What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide by Jana Riess I’ve read many articles about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written by Jana Riess, so when I discovered that she’d written a book about one of my favorite TV sh

2019 in Books

Books I read or listened to in 2019, audiobooks denoted with 🎧: The Witch Elm by Tana French 🎧: I like her books. Good characters, good stories. But they always seem to go on a little longer than I’d like. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson 🎧: Very good! Read by Claire Danes. The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia 🎧: Good and interesting. Fun accents. The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt: Fantastic! Should be required reading for everybody, especially educators and parents and teenagers and college students. And everybody. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren: Pretty accurate description of Provo Mormons, but flat, stereo-typed characters. I didn’t like it. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg: Very good. I love Elizabeth Berg. The Library Book by Susan Orlean: Excellent! Mr. Penumbra ’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Quirky and fun. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal 🎧: This was

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery

Biblical scholarship has long been aware that the gospel account of the scribes and Pharisees bringing the woman taken in adultery to Jesus was not included in the earliest manuscripts of the gospel of John. In modern Bible publications the account is now commonly shown in brackets. For example, the English Standard Version (ESV) , says in a footnote: Some manuscripts do not include [John] 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text. Having the account not only be missing in some manuscripts, but appearing in different places and with variations, makes it an interesting case. The David Bentley Hart translation of the New Testament gives more detail and background to this: There is little doubt among scholars that the episode of the woman taken in adultery was not written by the same hand that produced the surrounding text. It is not found in the earliest manuscripts of John, or in any Greek or Lati

Caucasus trip 2019, part 2

This post chronicles part 2 of my dad's and my month-long trip in June 2019, aka the part where we're not in the Caucasus anymore. You can find part one over here . In part one I mentioned that we took a ferry from Batumi, Georgia, to Odessa Ukraine. We took a tour of the Odessa Catacombs , a huge series of tunnels around and under the city. Most of the catacombs, including the section we were in, were the result of mining. Swimming in the black sea, feat. concrete extrusions people jumped off. From Odessa we took a train to Chișinău, Moldova. Memorial 9 mai 1945: From Chișinău we took a night bus to Kyiv, Ukraine. A very strange experience, especially since we had to go through passport control 3 times, so we were only able to fitfully sleep until about 1 AM, when we passed into Ukraine. This is Maidan Nezalezhnosti, which was the site of huge protests in 2013 which kicked off  Euromaidan : It

Caucasus trip 2019, part 1

Dad (Jon) and I are roughly three weeks into a month-long trip around Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. We started in Armenia, made our way through Georgia, across the Black Sea to Ukraine, through Moldova and now to Kyiv, Ukraine. We have one more stop, Lviv, and then it’s back home to Idaho. I’ll cover our first two weeks(ish) in this post, from the start to the Black Sea ferry. This trip may sound familiar, as many of our destinations match up with a trip Dad and Phin took in August 2013. They wrote about their trip in several posts: Let sleeping dogs lie in Kiev Kiev Pechersk Lavra More Kiev churches and sights Ukrainian miscellany Tbilisi, Georgia Enlinking the Caucasus from Tbilisi to Yerevan Yerevan, Armenia sights Burning rubber in Yerevan, Armenia Garni & Geghard, Armenia Ejmiatsin, Armenia Dad and I have been interested in Eastern Europe for a long time, so this trip has been a great opportunity to see a lot of new places in the east. A lot of plac