Category: Admin

Pardon our appearance…

We’ve just completed upgrading the software that runs Times and Seasons. The upgrade requires us to also update the files that control how the site looks. It may take a while for us to get Times and Seasons to the way we want it to look, so please be patient.

Brigham Daniels on deck

We’d like to extend many thanks to Kent Larsen for a variety of interesting and thoughtful posts. We also would like to welcome our newest guest, Brigham Daniels. Brigham works as a law professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he teaches environmental law. He has been involved with LDS community, environmental law and policy, and politics for many years. So not surprisingly, Brigham intends to use his guest blogging stint to talk about Mormonism and the environment. We look forward to his posts. Welcome to the party, Brigham!

Three Million Strong (and Growing)…

A little more than a year ago, Russell wrote a post commemorating Times and Seasons 2 millionth hit. A feat he said wasn’t bad “for a blog that doesn’t feature kittens or porn.” Looking back, he also noted that while “We’ve weathered storms and squalls, and some people have gone overboard… Still, old Times and Seasons lumbers onward.” Fifteen months, a few new shipmates, and another million readers later, it’s still plowing onward (with the occasional hiccup). Whatever success Times and Seasons has enjoyed along the way is due in large part to all of you who peek in on us once in awhile. So, to echo Russell once more, thanks… “to our [three] millionth reader, and our first, and everyone who has come in between.” Hopefully, we can keep you coming back for more.

Welcome to Guest Blogger Kent Larsen

Times and Seasons is thrilled to have Kent Larsen as our latest guest. Kent has been very busy in book publishing in New York City for twenty years and has followed LDS publishing closely for ten years. He has also been posting on arts and media for over three years at A Motley Vision, so Kent is no newcomer to LDS weblogs. See this AMV post for more information about Kent’s many interests. Welcome, Kent.

Welcome to Guest Blogger Kylie Turley

Let’s have a big round of applause for Craig Harline’s busy two weeks as a guest blogger, then roll out the red carpet for our next guest, Kylie Turley. Kylie teaches honors writing at BYU (so watch those errant commas and inscrutable relative pronouns in your comments!) and is also on the staff of the LDS literary journal Segullah. According to a short bio posted at the Segullah site, Kylie is a native of the great state of Wyoming and researches Mormon women’s history. Thank you, Craig, and welcome Kylie!

A New Blogger

We’re pleased to announce that Marc Bohn has agreed to become a permablogger at Times & Seasons. We enjoyed his guest blogging stint, his contributions to the side bar, and look forward to his contributions. Welcome aboard Marc!

Welcome, Patrick Mason!

I am happy to introduce Patrick Mason as our next guest blogger. Patrick just finished his PhD in History at Notre Dame and will be working here this year as a program coordinator in Peace Studies

Enlisting the Snarky Amongst Us

Several years ago I ran a marathon. As anyone who has run a marathon can tell you, training for it is a lot of work. I tend to be a pretty undisciplined person, so when I started training for the marathon, I decided that I needed some sort of commitment device to keep me on schedule. My solution was to tell all of my friends and family that I was training for a marathon, indeed that I would be running a marathon in the fall. That way I got my sense of shame to discipline me. If I slacked off and didn’t train, then I would be awfully embarrassed when I didn’t run the marathon in the fall. It worked. Fear of shame kept me on schedule, and I finished the Richmond Marathon. (With an absolutely abysmal time, I might add.) This post is a similar exercise. Blogging at Times & Seasons and reading and (sporadically) commenting elsewhere in the…

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism

David O. McKay presented a dramatic contrast to his predecessors: an athletic, movie-star-handsome, clean-shaven figure who often wore a white double-breasted suit; contrasted to the dark-suited, bearded polygamists (or, in the case of George Albert Smith, son of a polygamist) who preceded him as Church President ever since Joseph Smith. In an age prior to professional image-makers, he instinctively grasped the importance of appearance, and coupled it to the substance of a professional educator to become an icon of Mormonism whose persona did much to change the negative image of the Church in much of the world.

Technical Update

Hi. We’ve been experiencing some major technical problems, as you’ve probably figured out by now. Our new host didn’t handle the site. We’re pointing the DNS back to the old host, which has the posts and comments through last Thursday. Once this is back up and running (DNS resolved everywhere) we’ll try to get a hold of the new material and drop it back in. It may be rocky for a day or two, but we should be up and running relatively shortly. Thanks for your patience!

Technical Update: Still Not 100%

Hi everyone, here’s the scoop — Things are back to _looking_ more or less normal. However, rebuilding is still on the blink (and I’m still not sure why). Comments will eventually show up, but you’ll get a 500 error, until I figure out what’s going on.

Thanks, Jeff!

We’ve been very happy to have had Jeff Lindsay as a guest blogger for the past two weeks. His posts were uniformly interesting and informative. Thanks for being a T & S guest blogger, Jeff! (And note that he can still be visited at his blog Mormanity, and it his own Cracked Planet website).

Technical note on Comments and Time Out

We get a lot of remarks about our wimpy little comment engine. It times out a lot. Sometimes people don’t realize this, and they double post (or triple, or quadruple, etc) a comment. I don’t know a way around this. I had previously thought that it was a result of the site being run by a bunch of lawyers in their spare time, with no real knowledge of programming or coding. However, I now think that it may just be a deeper MT problem. Over at Three Years of Hell, Anthony Rickey explains why MT sometimes tends to go out to lunch when posting a comment. Using the hypothetical of comments at Will Baude’s blog Crescat Sententia (a popular legal-oriented blog), he notes: Now imagine what happens if Mr. Baude writes a post to this category that attracts a lot of comments. Every time one of his readers adds their little bit of opinion, not only is 150K+ of homepage…

We’re Number One!

. . . but don’t throw a party to celebrate, please. CNN reports that on the newly-released annual list of top “party school” colleges in the nation (compiled by the college-ranking company Princeton Review): “Brigham Young University kept its title as top ‘stone-cold sober’ school.” And BYU students don’t do the funky chicken, either. Or get tattoos. Such are the sacrifices required to be number one.

Welcome to Guest Blogger Jeff Lindsay

Our new guest blogger is probably a familiar name to people who hang around the bloggernacle. Jeff Lindsay, based out of Wisconsin, operates the LDS apologetics blog Mormanity. He also maintains a web site on LDS topics, including a Book of Mormon Evidences page and LDS FAQ. There is additional biographical information at Jeff’s website. Jeff’s discussions and comments are always interesting. We’re looking forward to reading his posts here.

144,000: The Select Have Been Chosen, and the Rest of You Can Now Return Home, but Thank You for Participating!

Those who pay attention to our Site Meter on the sidebar may have noticed the passage today of a milestone: 144,000. Why is this important? Well, as we all know, the Apocalyse tells us that: “I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” What does this mean for latecomers? It means, quite simply, that the quota has been filled. Thanks for playing. But wait!

Welcome Again to SLTrib Visitors

For those visitors who have come here because of Peggy Fletcher Stack’s story in the Tribune, our earlier discussion about apostolic succession has moved off of the front page, and the post is located HERE. Feel free to look around and comment on any of the posts. (Note: Abusive comments are not permitted, see here for our comment policies.) Thanks for visiting!

Two Warnings to Readers

A reader e-mailed in to say that he’s received e-mail spam for the Nigerian scam on an e-mail account that he uses exclusively for Times and Seasons posting. Two warnings are in order for readers. First, if there was any question about whether spam spiders (programs used to harvest e-mail addresses off the web) would find T & S, that question has been concretely answered. Spam spiders will harvest addresses from anywhere they find, and they’ve found us. There’s not anything that we can do about this on the blog side. As a general matter, you shouldn’t put an e-mail address on the web if you’re not prepared for it to eventually become known to the public, including spammers. To avoid spam, many people use a separate e-mail account — you can open free ones at places like Hotmail and Yahoo, and many ISPs, like Earthlink or AOL, will give you a bunch of free extra addresses. Also, make sure…

International Mormon Sites

In one of our threads, WilfriedDecoo, a European Latter-day Saint, was kind enough to draw our attention to www.idumea.org, a very nicely done web portal for French Latter-day Saints. I would like to add this and similar sites to our collection of Mormon links. If you are aware of any other Mormon dedicated sites, please post URLs in the comments section, regardless of language. I realize that there are a fair number of non-English language anti-Mormon sites. I am not especially interested in these. I leave it to readers with the proper language skills to judge for themselves what is or is not an anti-Mormon site. Thanks in advance for your help!

We have, ahem, lifted the restriction on commenting about socialism

And I’ll bet you didn’t even know that it was there. But it was — inadvertently –for just under a month. Here’s why: We got spammed about a month ago, with a glut of comments advertising web sites that sell drugs. (Mostly, the kind of drugs Gordon previously discussed here). There were a whole bunch of web sites listed, many of which included the word “Cialis” (which is the name of one of the drugs advertised). Rather than individually block a whole bunch of web sites (the names were all along the lines of free-cialis.com or get-cialis.com or the like), I set the blacklist to automatically block any comment with the word cialis in it. I mean, what legitimate commenter would want to put that drug name in a comment anyway, right? And there were no complaints (this is not that unusual of an event; we update our blacklist often to keep out spammers), until last week. A perfectly innocent…

The Return of Frank

We are pleased that Frank McIntyre has returned to finish his guestblogging stint. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Frank is a professor of economics at BYU and has the distinction of saving me from ruin in my first philosophy class at BYU. (Full story here) Enjoy the show.

Introducing Taylor Petrey

We have another guest blogger starting today: Taylor Petrey. Taylor lives in Medford, Massachusetts and is getting ready to begin his Ph.D program at Harvard Divinity School with an emphasis in the New Testament and early Christianity. Taylor grew up (appropriately enough) in Taylorsville, Utah and served a mission in Italy. He graduated from Pace University in New York City. (His lengthy stay on the island of Manhattan doesn’t seem to have caused any lasting harm.) He has also graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a Masters of Theological Studies. He speaks or reads Italian, German, Ancient Greek, and Coptic. He is currently studying Hebrew. He’s one of the smartest and most interesting people I know, and many of my fondest memories from law school are of meeting Taylor for lunch. He lives off of the generosity of his wife Stacey, a former investment banker who now rules the universe in New Hampshire. (States in New England are ridiculously small.)…

A Guest Blogger

We’re very excited to welcome our latest guest blogger: Ben S. Ben is a Ph.D. student in near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, with a specialization in Comparative Semitics. (What is that? Ben explains on his web site, “Comparative Semitics is a broad language approach to the Near East. That is, I focus on no particular geographical region or time period. I study the major languages from each, more as a philologer than a linguist.”). Ben teaches institute in Chicago, sometimes writes for FAIR, and has his own moderately quirky web site which includes some very useful church resources. Ben has been a frequent commenter here, and his comments are uniformly good. We’re looking forward to reading his posts.

Times and Seasons: Disaster Compliant

A quick administrative note here. We’ve had occasional technical difficulties, though nothing too debilitating so far. Still, I was concerned that a technical problem could potentially bring the site down, and there would be no way to notify anyone as to what was going on. Our host had a brief service disconnection on Sunday — about an hour, as far as I could tell — and I was a little worried at the time, wondering how long it would last, and how to notify readers about what was going on. It belatedly occurred to me that our original blogspot.com location could be put to a good use. Since the move to timesandseasons.org, waaaay back in November, we had not used this blogspot site for anything. (It did/does serve as an interesting archive — and take a look at the early sidebar! — but that’s about it). So, as of today, I’m designating that location, www.timesandseasons.blogspot.com , as a technical/disaster back-up…