Some Monday morning surfing suggestions: 1. Head over to mardecortesbaja.com for a stirring report from my father on Jack Kerouac’s humble origins. [PZ has become a semi-regular contributor over there]. The first paragraph reads as follows:

Our son Simeon says that faith is summed up in something he calls the “Nazareth principle”. This refers to the question in the New Testament where someone scoffs at Jesus the carpenter by asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

The idea was that Nazareth was a city, in the region of Galilee, which was known for its “mixed-blood” and therefore suspect practice of Judaism. Because the carpenter/prophet came from Nazareth, didn’t that disqualify him from being the real thing?

Yet as Simeon says, in life — time after time — the best things come from the unlikeliest places. And this “Nazareth principle” extends to the fact that out of trouble and wounds, disappointments and closed doors, come often the actual breakthroughs of personal life.