Friday Free-for-All: December 17

Morning! Time for your Friday link round-up:

  • Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” has been announced: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. One of the runners up: Julian Assange. (How do the winners of these things always end up being people that I would never want to meet in real life?) Pope Benedict is named a “person who mattered,” but Father Z doesn’t see it as a compliment.
  • In France, civil unions are on the rise: There are now two civil unions for every three marriages.
  • What do teenagers believe? Eve Tushnet reviews Almost Christian and finds that, for most, it’s some variant of, “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself” — as well as which denominations avoid falling into that trap.

  • In the latest Our Sunday Visitor, Msgr. Owen Campion laments the rise of “parish shopping” and the “cafeteria” approach to picking a church. Are you a church-hopper? Why?
  • An Argentinian archbishop tells his gathered flock that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. I hope he’s prepared for the inevitable onslaught from angry mothers of distraught five-year-olds…
  • Ever wonder what Niagara Falls would look like with no water? Well, wonder no more.
  • Finally, my hands-down favorite video this week: Filmography 2010, a seamlessly edited collection of snippets from the movies released over the past year. I objectively understand that a lot of those movies were garbage, but this clip makes me want to see all of them anyway.
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Margaret Cabaniss


Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at

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