Just came across this Philosophy Bites podcast that compiled responses to the question, "Who is the most impressive philosopher you've met?" 38 minutes of philosophers' answers gives you a sense of recurring criteria, such as wit, breadth, clarity, incisiveness, generosity, and humility, and a few names are repeated such as John Rawls, Derek Parfit, Hilary Putnam, and even Derrida gets a mention.
Faith and Form: The Interfaith Journal of Religion, Art and Architecture, announced its winners for the 2014 International Awards Program: http://faithandform.com/feature/2014-international-awards-program-religious-art-architecture/
A new issue of Feminist Theology on Women, Religion and Politics is out, which features articles from the last few years of research on religion and politics at the University of Newcastle. Dr. Kathleen McPhillips introduces the collection which can be downloaded here: http://fth.sagepub.com/content/current
Kathryn Lofton, "The Digital Is a Place to Hide," The Immanent Frame - http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2015/01/07/the-digital-is-a-place-to-hide/
A majority of the NY Times' pictures of the year depict war, suffering and a few reference prayer in the aftermath. Many bring human intimacy into focus, and the judges seemed intent on this theme of "closeness." What strikes me about this image is the way its emotion arises from austerity and absence. Photographed on 27 September, at this time of year it seemed a needed contrast to the typical nativity scene. Its hopefulness is not meant to be naive. Herod's Bethlehem massacre, exile and immigration to Egypt, and the ever precarious fragility of childhood all haunt the holy night.
Interesting visual cloud of non-fictionbooks: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/non-fiction-books-everyone-should-read-interactive/. One wonders at the visual representation of such a canon, which was generated from the Pulitzer Prize, Time, National Review, Times Literary Supplement, Good Reads, Library Thing, Guardian and other sources (bit.ly/KIB_BestNonFiction). It is interesting as well that most of what is filtered as philosophy is usually core reading in studies of religion.
'Tis the season for Santa shenanigans. Ever wonder how the jolly old elf makes his rounds in Australia? Kite-surfing it seems. No need for reindeer in this part of the world. I happened to be out for my usual walk past Nobbys beach and I can tell you Santa knows how to catch his own air: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1986254/topics-kite-surfing-santas-photos/