1. This weekend sees the release of the comedy I Love You, Man, starring Jason Segel and Paul Rudd. Having been a serious Segel fan since his days on Freaks And Geeks (top-five TV series ever!), I am considerably more excited for his next project – writing and producing the new Muppet movie. An early version of the script leaked this week and sounds very promising. According to AICN, “the movie revolves around The Muppets reuniting after a huge falling out to save The Muppet Studios in Hollywood.” If anyone can do justice to the spirit of Henson, it’s them.

2. You may have heard about the findings of the American Religious Identification Survey, which was released last week. The big news seems to be a significant rise in the number of Americans claiming no religious identity – 15% of those polled, nearly double the percentage from 1990. And New England has officially surpassed the West Coast as the least believing region of the country. Statistics are statistics are statistics, but the trend is undeniable (the survey’s chief investigator describes it as the “erosion of the religious middle ground”). I think Aaron’s post from last week spells out our feelings on the matter.

3. As part of our ongoing eulogy for David Foster Wallace, here’s one of his final stories for The New Yorker, entitled “Good People”. It’s a powerful sketch of two Christians struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. It is also an excerpt from his final, unfinished manuscript.

4. An astonishing blog post by Stanley Fish over on the NY Times website about the financial crisis, comparing Christian doctrine with economic theory. Fish quotes George Herbert’s poem Redemption at length, explaining, “The rich Lord has made himself low and wiped away the sinner’s ever-growing debt with his blood”. Wowza.

4a. The series finale of Battlestar Galactica airs tonight, and many of us will mourn its passing. That is, until Caprica premieres in April. The reviews for the finale are very positive thus far, though I frankly don’t see how it could possibly live up to my expectations. So say we all?

4b. We try not to take many overt political stands here at Mockingbird, but we just couldn’t live with ourselves if we didn’t join our good friend Jamin Warren over at the Wall Street Journal in speaking out against Zombie racism.

4c. THE CONFERENCE! T-minus 6 days and counting…