Shaun Gallagher

Author of “Experimenting With Babies” and “Correlated” (,

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NFP for humans

Let’s face it: Natural family planning is typically thought of as a Catholic thing.

And so, when I married my wife, a non-Catholic Christian, I was a bit worried that she would not be on board with it. I guess I assumed that nobody except another Catholic who has a good understanding of the Church’s teachings on this stuff – Humanae Vitae, Theology of the Body, etc. – would agree to not use artificial contraception.

But it turns out that one does not need to be a rah-rah Catholic, or even to fully accept the Church’s teachings about why using artificial contraception is wrong, to be interested in NFP, and to ultimately decide that it’s the right choice for their marriage.

There are a number of reasons why non-Catholics may be attracted to NFP outside of the Church’s moral teachings, such as the fact that it’s effective (when practiced correctly), can be low-cost, doesn’t require...

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Programming language expert != programming expert

I got into software development by way of the journalism world.

I started my career as an editor at a magazine, and I continued working for various magazines and newspapers for almost 10 years1 before making the leap into full-time software development.

Having a professional background in both journalism and software development has helped me to recognize a few parallels between the two.

Let me share one of those parallels, which I think many budding software developers fail to fully understand, but should:

Being an expert in a programming language does not make you an expert at programming.

During my career in journalism, I came across a number of writers who wielded vocabularies much more extensive than my own. And not only did they know a bunch of words that I didn’t know, but they knew how to use them correctly2.

There were some who were able to use their language skills to...

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