Archive for July, 2012

Apps on belief


Okay, here’s another quick one – though I’m hoping you’ll give some input into this one too.

A few months ago, I acquired my first smart-phone. I had resisted it in much the way I once resisted getting a mobile phone at all. And, like the mobile phone, I think I’d now feel quite bereft without it.

Anyway, for this post, I thought I’d ask you three about apps. That is, if you have a smartphone – an iPhone, Android phone, a Blackberry, or (shudder) a Windows phone – what apps have you installed that relate to belief, unbelief, ethics, skepticism, or any of the other themes that this blog addresses?

Here’s my list.

Well, lists. I’ve grouped them by general categories. You may notice that I, a natural Scot by heritage, lean toward free apps. So it won’t cost you any money to try these out if you haven’t already.


  • xkcd Browser – Because you’ve got to have some fun.
  • Overdrive Media Console – The public library here has an awesome collection of electronic books and downloadable audio books, many of them targeted toward this app.
  • Freading – Another library/book-reading app, less used but interesting in its own right.


  • Algeo Calculator, Addi – These are two mathy apps, different takes on beefed-up scientific calculators for Android.
  • Talk Origins – An app for surfing offline through all the responses to creationist arguments from the excellent Talk Origins website.
  • Skeptical Science – A comparable app addressing the claims of climate change denialists.
  • Galaxy Zoo – A citizen-science app where you get to help classify galaxies in a pseudo-game-like environment. From the folks at Galaxy Zoo.
  • Google Sky – An adaptation of Google Sky for Android. This nice little app helps me identify celestial landmarks. It uses the phone’s internal gyros and compass to show exactly what stars and planets should be visible in whatever direction you point the phone.


  • Cadre Bible – Good old KJV. It was very useful recently when I was leafing through some literature a nice Jehovah’s Witness left me. (I’m still waiting for them to return so I can go over it with them. I made lots of notes!)
  • Quran Android – A visually pleasant rendition of the Quran, with English translation. I confess that I still haven’t made it past the first surah, but at least it’s there waiting.

So … any others that you’ve found? Do you use any of these on a different platform? If so, please share links and your thoughts.



Enjoying the present


A dear niece told me the other day that she missed my blogging.

I miss it too. Perhaps some time soon I will return to it – I have some ideas that I would love to share with you all.

For now, let me encourage you to enjoy the world outside your computer screen. The Internet – and this blog in particular – will still be here when you need to return. To quote a new favorite author of mine,

Enjoy the present, the “now” that partakes of eternity. (Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory)