* Anna Christina Ribeiro on the importance of aesthetics. It is indeed rather absurd that such an important area of philosophy is so shortchanged in modern philosophy departments. And it does have effects. Last term I had a short aesthetic problems section in one of my intro-level philosophy classes, and one thing I was struck by, both in preparing for it and teaching it, was how often aesthetic questions intersected with other philosophical questions -- philosophy of mind, ethics, philosophy of religion -- both directly (aesthetics is a very good place to see unexpected ramifications of different philosophical approaches to the mind) and by analogy (an extraordinary number of problems in ethics and natural theology have aesthetic analogues). And, of course, that doesn't even consider the fact that its 'jurisdiction', so to speak, is a vast area of human life.
* Dominic Baker-Smith on Thomas More at the SEP. It mostly discusses Utopia, but also gets into other questions; it also has an excellent initial section on the life of More.
* Marcy P. Liscano on Margaret Cavendish at "The Mod Squad"
* Medieval magic tricks
* Martin Locker, Movement Through Stillness: Imagined Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe, discusses the common medieval religious practice of interior pilgrimage, which would, of course, be used by those who could not physically go on a pilgrimage. The most famous such pilgrimages are the labyrinth-pilgrimages that one occasionally still finds, but there were many other varieties.
* Rose recently recommended the Princess Tutu anime series to me; and having watched it, I can recommend it. It's a ballet-based exploration of the nature of story. You can watch the 26 episodes online at Hulu.com.
One can find episodes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica at Crunchyroll.
Anime is a weird, weird world, but both of these series are quite good, with intricate plots, profound characterization, and a tendency to mess with your head whenever you think you've figured them out. But precisely because of the last feature (common to a great many anime series), you have to watch up at least to the third or fourth episode to get a sense of what the series is doing.
* An interview with Terry Chimes, the original drummer for The Clash, discussing his recent autobiography, C. S. Lewis, and how to succeed as a musician. (Chimes's brief discussion os the last of these in and of itself makes the interview worth reading, whether you're a musician or not).
* Ian Johnson looks at a recent Pew Survey result on Chinese views on the relation between God and morality.
* Stephen Phillips, The Classical Indian Criteriological Argument for the Existence of God (PDF)
* James Chastek is beginning to discuss Perseity and Aquinas's Fourth Way
* Michael Flynn draws deep water from a shallow pond.
* Darwin notes the absurdities in a recent movement to replace hunting with birth control for keeping deer populations down.
* A recent investigation discovered that some -- not all, but some -- British hospitals were incinerating aborted and miscarried fetuses to heat the hospital as part of 'waste to energy' programs. The barbarisms of this age seem always to exceed what any decent person could imagine.