1. Over at Wandering to Tamshui: absolutely kick-ass video footage of an anglophone motorcyclist's ride through Chung-li, on the north edge of Taiwan, less than 20 miles from Taipei. Exhilarating. But not enough to convince me to get on a motorcycle.
2. An interview with Buddhist Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma. Warning: this video is over an hour long, so don't click the link unless you're really interested. I found the interview fascinating, but the interviewer, Robert Wright, was often unintentionally funny. Along with displaying a comically sleepy demeanor, Wright would frequently say something like, "That's fascinating! Um..." and then look away distractedly, as if he were anything but fascinated. I had a good chuckle at that, but in all seriousness, the guy should brush up on his interviewing skills. His questions for Goldstein were decent (if, at times, a bit too insistent on the theistic angle), and Goldstein himself is an impressively quiet presence-- an interesting contrast with the excitable and animated Paul Muenzen, a.k.a. Hyon-gak sunim, here in Seoul.
Sperwer provided the link, and also referred me to the website that has links to many more interviews with intellectual bigwigs. I'm going to watch the interview with Daniel Dennett.
[UPDATE: The Dennett interview is more like a fight between Wright and Dennett. It's Jerry Springer for intellectuals.]
And-- holy crap-- they've got an interview with one of my old profs from Georgetown-- Dr. John Haught! Haught leans toward process theology in his own writing (cf. The Cosmic Adventure), but he's also done yeoman's work on the question of conflict and harmony between science and religion. I have Haught's Science and Religion (warning: there are many books sporting that title!), which is an undergrad-level text that clearly lays out the salient issues in the overall science/religion debate. I also have his short monograph, What is God? Haught gets points for being a clear writer, though to be honest, he could've been a better lecturer. Maybe he's better with grad students; a lot of profs are. I took his Science, Myth and Religion course as an undergrad.
A feminist might look at the list of interviewees and notice right away that they're man-heavy. I'd agree that this is a problem, especially if you're looking for female scholars of religion, of whom there is no shortage. Among the people whom I'd like to see interviewed, right off the top of my head:
a. Dr. Elaine Pagels, author of the classic The Gnostic Gospels and The Origin of Satan. I could listen to her for hours.
b. Dr. Diana Eck, Hinduism scholar and author of numerous books on both Hinduism and religious diversity (I have her book on
mantradarsan and one of her recent tomes on pluralism, A New Religious America; check out the Pluralism Project, which she runs).
c. Dr. Camille Paglia, my favorite feminist and the only one I actually trust.
d. Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Catholic feminist scholar who wrote the classic She Who Is.
e. Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether, prominent Christian feminist theologian. Dense writer, but brimming with ideas, even if I don't agree with them all.
f. Tenzin Palmo, a Western nun in a Tibetan Buddhist tradition who spent nineteen years in a freakin' cave-- read about her here; her official site is here.
And now-- the very uncool:
1. In the land of the Kiwis: ovarian cyst misdiagnosed as overweight.
2. More flooding of the US east coast.
3. Gaza Strip crisis deepens. However, I doubt the fevered speculation that this is going to escalate into a Middle East-wide war.