The Daily Philly: Yes, I’ve been secretly running a Philly photo blog

Consider this post the official unveiling of my Philadelphia Photo blog:

The Daily Philly: a picture of philly. daily. (almost)
(also on FacebookTwitter, & Google+)

The Story

I love photography. My dad was a professional photographer for most of my life, photographing my soccer teams and conducting annual Christmas portraits with my brother and me. He’s taught photography at Community Colleges and passed down much of what he knew to me. (I’ve even started doing a personal weekend photo photo challenge on this blog)

I also love Philadelphia. It’s culture, history, feel, and rhythm speak to me in such a real and deep way. It’s big enough that it’s a “real” city: it has art, culture, museums, great food, history, business, urban politics, and even nature (yes, it does!). But, it’s a manageable city. A friend once called it “a city with training wheels”. You can walk from one end of downtown to the other in less than an hour.

So, I brought these two things together into a little web experiment.
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Tomorrow | {story#2}

This is an original fiction piece written for StoryADay September. Read more & follow here.

It’s not until you’re laying there that you realize how different reality is from the movies–especially in this case.

That moment exposes the assumptions you had about how this sort of thing would happen, and the various details and nuances of those assumptions are really affected by the cultural influences you take in.

The biggest difference? For me, at least, it was the sound. Or rather, to be more specific, the lack of it.

Music. Squeal. Cursing. Bending of metal. Breaking of glass. Breaking of branches. Landing of body.

And then, silence.
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Semi-Sweet, Bittersweet | {story#1}

It was from loudly sucking the last of his milkshake that Ted finally understood the way she really was. Grabbing tissues, he made the call.


This is an original fiction piece written for StoryADay September. Read more and follow here(Because today is Labor Day, I am following today’s writing prompt by to write “Twitter fiction”: a story in 140 characters of less. Come back tomorrow for my first “full length” piece.)

Creative Commons License
This work by Paul Burkhart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Labor Day vs. My Fiction-Writing Plans

Well, today was supposed to be the first day of my participation in StoryADay September, in which I post an original fiction piece each weekday this month. Well, today’s Labor Day, so not many people will be on the internet, and even fewer will be on it for long enough to want to read a “full” piece. So, I will follow today’s writing prompt suggestion of the StoryADay founder to write “Twitter fiction”: a story in 140 characters of less. Check back soon for that piece (or pieces if I’m feeling really creative), and come back tomorrow for my first “full length” piece. Oh, and while you’re at it, bookmark the dedicated page of the blog for this. Thanks.

Well, Willard, that appeal to Ron Paul fans backfired…[Casual Fri]

Yesterday, I ran across this tweet from Willard “Mitt” Romney, as he was shamefully trying to woo and court supporters of Ron Paul, after Paul himself retweeted it:


These are all the replies that tweet has received. I couldn’t help but laugh and share (forgive the language):

The Gospel Coalition & Sex as Conquest: Jared Wilson, you’re better than this {1}

Update: Part 2 is up, engaging with the issue itself and The Gospel Coalition.

Fine… I’ll throw my two cents in.

A few days ago, Jared Wilson, trying to speak to the appeal of the S&M-tinged book 50 Shades of Grey, posted an excerpt from the book Fidelity (which I have read, so I feel I can speak to this) by the always-good-for-a-sound bite Douglas Wilson. Here’s how I’d summarize his ultimate point:

Modern humans have rebelled against God’s good and correct design of male authority and female submission to that authority. But, as people made in the Image of God, we have deep longings for the way God has structured reality to work best. And so, even when we reject God’s gracious version of gender relations, that desire is still there and will thus be corrupted and express itself in things like rape, pornography, and thinking things like 50 Shades of Grey is appealing.

really don’t think either of them would think I am mischaracterizing them here. Both Wilsons involved in this equation clearly intended in their writing to promote what they believe is a beautiful synchronicity between male and female in which both fluorish.

And yet the blogosphere blew up over this.
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Untappd: Beer lovers unite! [casual fri]

Today, as people embark on the weekend, I want to plug an amazing app that has made beer a little more fun for me, and I’m confident it’d be even more fun if more of my friends were on it.

It’s called Untappd. [Website] [Android] [iTunes]

It’s fairly straightforward. When enjoying a beer, simply open the app (or the web app for you Blackberry or Palm users), search for your beer, and “check-in” to it. At the bare minimum, this is it. But there’s much more you can do, if you like.

  • Share your beer check-in on Facebook and Twitter as well, so your friends there can comment on your beer taste and such.
  • Check-in on Foursquare wherever you’re enjoying the beer, so others can keep track of what bars have what beer available.
  • Add tasting notes, reviews, and ratings along with your beer check-in so you can keep track of what you like and what you don’t. You the app will also keep a running list of your highest rated beers.
  • Get full profiles for each beer and see where else in the world people are drinking that beer.
  • The app will suggest other beers that taste similar.
  • You can “follow” breweries to see what other beers they make, what new beers are coming out, and where you can find their beers.
  • Add pictures to the check-in. This can sometimes lead to fun contests.
  • You can keep a running Wishlist of beers you want to try.
  • And.. you can get badges. If that’s your thing.

So go download the app, make an account, follow me, and start drinking!

“What if George W. Bush had done that?” (Opposites Coming Together) [Casual Friday]

Firstly, let me formally introduce “Casual Friday” posts. After all the seriousness in my posts on theology, politics, and such through the week, one could get the impression I can’t have any fun. Well, not so. Whenever I’m able, I hope to take Fridays to write up shorter, casual, and generally more light-hearted posts to talk about news, technology, entertainment, food, or whatever. Probably, it’ll mostly be me sharing some of my favorite things with all of you. Enjoy.

I subscribe to a great service called Summify. It analyzes my social feeds and gives me a reading list each day of the articles that my social graph has most-shared (don’t get too excited. It just got bought by Twitter and they will be shutting down the service shortly).

Anyway, in my email a couple of days ago, there was a link to this great article by Josh Gerstein showing both the (negative) similarities between Bush and Obama, and the blatant and (at times) comical hypocrisy of those that have hated/loved those respective men.

And what do you know? According to the screenshot above, this article was recommended by both Uber-Progressive Glenn Greenwald and Uber-NeoConservative Karl Rove (this was confirmed by each of their tweets). There could not be two more different men coming together to promote the same political article.

But anyway, the article is great, and if it was good enough for both of these guys to recommend it, then it should be worth all of our time and consideration. And as you do, remember all the things I’ve been saying. Like I said then: I promise, I’m not crazy. Other people are saying these things too.

Good News: Blogging is Dying!

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, as discussed in The New York Times yesterday, blogging is declining among those age groups that originally led to its popularity.  Apparently, between 2006 to 2009 blogging activity among those between the ages of 12 and 17 feel by half.  Even among my own age group, the 18-to-33-year olds, blogging activity has dropped by 2% in the past couple of years.  Considering that almost 505,000 post were published just today and just on the WordPress blogging platform, 2% can add up to a lot of posts.

The article goes on to say that these younger bloggers have moved on to using Twitter to share things they find interesting and Facebook to share their “original” thoughts with the world.  Using a blog has just become “another step” in communicating ourselves that these kids find unnecessary and unappealing.
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Weekly Must-Reads {01.09.11}

Last week I experimented with a little feature on my new favorite bookmarking service, Diigo, where it would automatically write up a weekly blog post containing all my bookmarks for the week and the comments I posted and quotes I highlighted.  Well, I went in blind and the post last week was a little messy.  So, this week, I took some time to clean it up a bit.  This week’s articles range the gamut from abortion to blogging.  If you click the links, they will take you to a special annotated version of the page where you can even see the little sticky notes I left.  Please read any of these articles that interest you and please–if you could–let me know what you think down in the comments.  Thanks.

U.S. teenager tortured in Kuwait and barred re-entry into the U.S. – Glenn Greenwald –

I really don’t think the Founders wanted us to be terrified of our government.  Just think of it: you as an American citizen–with no legal record of any kind–could be studying abroad and have this happen to you.  This guy had NO indication that he could end up here.  This is like some crazy movie.  I’m actually scared of my country.

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“Is Twitter Really Killing Us?” – Patrol Mag

Do we form Social Networks or do Social Networks form us?

That’s the fundamental question raised by Peggy Ornstein’s recent article “I Tweet, Therefore I Am” in The New York Times recently.  It’s also the question I want to address in my recent article in Patrol Magazine.  So, whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or no Social Network at all, I promise the article has something for you, our culture, and the world in which we find ourselves.  Leave comments!  Here’s the link:

“Is Twitter Really Killing Us?” – Patrol Mag

You can read all my articles for Patrol Magazine here.

John Piper on Porn, Wives, & Marriage

I try not to bash pastors that I know have good intentions.  Those pastors that have demonstrated a desire to be biblically sound and pastorally sensitive, usually get the benefit of the doubt from me, even when I don’t think they are at the moment being biblically sound and pastorally sensitive.  I also know that well-known pastors probably get far more useless and inane criticism from young twenty-somethings that think they know everything (myself included, far more often than I’d like to admit).  But this went a bit too far.  Tonight, John Piper put up the following tweet:


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