Some E-Stocking Stuffers for My Readers

Yesterday’s picture of a plum pudding is easily the best image that’s ever been on the cover of this blog, so I’ll just leave it up while I offer a second straight Christmas-y post…

Fun seasonal facts about myself:

  • I’m horrible at coming up with creative Christmas gift ideas
  • But if I do have an idea, I am incapable of keeping it a secret until December 25th
  • Except when shopping for my wife and children, I’m pretty cheap

Stir together and what you get is my early Christmas gift for the loyal readers of The Pietist Schoolman — a kind of stocking stuffer for the digital age:

twitter-bird-white-on-blueMy three favorite Twitter feeds!

I’ve kept a fairly long blogroll on my Recommended Links page since starting this project, but as I use Twitter more, I’m learning that tweeting is its own type of communication — and my favorite bloggers are not necessarily my favorite tweeters, nor vice-versa.

None of these is especially obscure, but hopefully at least one or two are new to you and will provide you a bit of joy or knowledge as we turn the corner on 2012 and head into 2013.

In no particular order, and reflecting the eclecticism of my “Following” list:

Real Time WWII

What do you do with a History major? If you’re recent Oxford grad Alwyn Colinson, you resolve to spend six years livetweeting a global history of World War II seventy-two years after the fact.

WW2 Tweet

Today we’ve learned that December 19, 1940 found civilians being evacuated from Malta, Germans defying rationing laws in order to prepare their traditional Christmas goose, and the Japanese and Chinese trading allegations of biological warfare.

I would hesitate to recommend a Twitter feed that’s already got a quarter-million followers, except that this person is over sixty times as popular! Whatever little I can do to shrink that number…

And the next recommendation is followed by almost 52,000 people — which will either seem appallingly high or dismally low: there will be no middle ground in reactions.

Old Hoss Radbourn

Um… I’ll let Time magazine (from its 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011) do the honors of explaining just what this is:

Ever wonder what a belligerent 1880s pitcher who once started 40 out of 43 games might think of today’s pampered athletes? Luckily, we have Old Hoss Radbourn. One of the more creative phony Twitter accounts out there imagines Radbourn — a real-life Hall of Famer who won 59 games for the Providence Grays in 1884 — as a vain, hard-drinking curmudgeon who makes crude remarks in 19th century syntax.

Sure, nativist insults, allusions to syphilis, and complaints about the unmanliness of today’s overly pampered/paid pitchers are not everyone’s cup of tea (or, for Old Hoss, shot of whiskey), but if you enjoy baseball, the 19th century, the speech patterns of Montgomery Burns, and wickedly ironic humor, then this is the feed for you!

His recent evisceration of ESPN’s attempt to rank the hundred best baseball players was predictably excellent. Impossible to pick one representatively snarky tweet, but I’ll go with his shot at the Baby Boom generation, since it also nourishes my Midwestern resentment of ESPN’s East Coast bias:

Old Hoss on Mickey Mantle

He’s not limited to sports… Here’s his reaction to this morning’s announcement of Time honoring Pres. Obama:

Old Hoss on Obama and Drones


Let’s cleanse the palate and turn to writer-editor Jana Riess’ ongoing attempt to Tweet her way, chapter by chapter, through the Bible. Having started in October 2009, she’s now partway through Paul’s letters:

Twible 1 Thess 5

As Riess explained to The Guardian in 2010:

I wanted to find humour in the good book too… The project started with the one key hermeneutical (interpretative) question I felt no one was asking about the Bible: what would the Onion say?

Can’t top that. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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