Was Pope Sylvester II a sorcerer?

Not all popes are known for their sanctity. In the Middle Ages, popes routinely acted immorally. But it’s Pope Sylvester II who has the distinction of being the first accused necromancer to rule the church. The claims stemmed from his erudition and religious politics.

Born Gerbert in south-central France around 946, he entered a nearby […]

Weekend Edition: 6-26

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubez

Coping with Constitutional Ignorance and Alienation (“Constitutional ignorance is not new. But it is now more consequential than ever. Coping with it is now a matter of some urgency.”)

Nonbookish Linkage

Vaccine hesitancy and refusal are “a sign of extreme privilege“ One of my favorite college professors on the […]

How a Portuguese-English guide became a humor classic

NOTE: All quotations (sic)

Success comes, some say, when you “find a need and fill it.” In the mid-19th century, Pedro Carlino saw a need for a conversational guide to Portuguese and English. He didn’t let the fact he couldn’t speak English stand in his way. First published in 1855, his book remains available today. […]

Weekend Edition: 6-19

Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubez

Why Has Local News Collapsed? Blame Readers. (“It’s not that nobody wants to read local news; it’s just that not enough people do to make it a viable business.”)

Nonbookish Linkage

Why are Americans getting unhappier? Does Wikipedia shape scientific research? The last images from doomed space probes The […]

A local domestic casualty of the World War I draft

No one can guess what Melvin Lunda was thinking as he walked to work in downtown Sioux Falls on Thursday, June 20, 1918. Certainly, though, the 28-year-old couldn’t have imagined he would be a domestic fatality of World War I before the day ended. Lunda was what we now call collateral damage brought about by […]