Monthly Archives: June 2010

Is this code for something?

And I’m getting a “Where’s Waldo” vibe from this music video as well. 

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Proposal Fail

This guy is clearly not a lawyer (as in “Never ask a question that you don’t already know what the answer will be”).

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Leon Wieseltier on Roger Rosenblatt’s Journey into Hell Mouth

Sooner or later, and in one form or another, all human beings make their journey—and on more than one occasion throughout a lifetime—into what James Wood and others have coined “Hell Mouth”—the Job-like inferno in which we encounter unavoidable and extreme anxiety, suffering, … Continue reading

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The Future of the Musical Instrument?

Instead of taking guitar or piano lessons, will ambitious parents of the future pay for iPhone lessons? Here’s Kim Yeo-hee. She is 22-years old and makes music with her iPhones. And yes, somebody noticed her curious YouTube postings, and I’ve read … Continue reading

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Solitude: How to Expose Yourself to the Twilight Zone for Real

This past weekend I was thinking about the importance of solitude to the life of the mind, and it occurred to me that it is useful to think of solitude as a place of exposure. Solitude, in other words, is where we … Continue reading

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Birds and Wind Turbines

Last year, a friend of mine who bird watches noticed that I had promoted wind farms on my blog. He subsequently informed me that wind farms are not an environmentally uncomplicated form of energy. Each year approximately 40,000 birds die … Continue reading

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Missionaries knocked on my door, and I was not saved

Last night, two Mormon missionaries knocked on my door, and I talked to them for about half an hour. How depressing. Their take-home message: read their book. It’s really good. And if you listen with an open heart, God will tell … Continue reading

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“8: The Mormon Proposition” premiers this weekend

If you’re in Los Angeles (or one of the other large urban areas in the United States) you might want to check out this new documentary on gay rights and equality—and the religious right’s attempts to reverse them:

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Try Something New This Weekend

Don’t be afraid. How about learning to paint?

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Nathan Baca: What Journalism (Should) Look Like

Sharon Angle wants to be a U.S. Senator, but she’s doing a Sarah Palin, studiously avoiding the national media. But below is Nathan Baca, a real journalist, doing what journalists are supposed to do: ask tough questions. What a great affirmation of … Continue reading

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Republican Cognitive Dissonance and Rep. Joe Barton’s Apology to BP

At Salon today, Gabriel Winant asks a good question: The right hand of the GOP plays a waltz for the party’s dance with big business; the left hand beats out a populist rhythm. Somehow, the two don’t cancel each other … Continue reading

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Monism, free will, and atheist cognitive dissonance

Imagine an atheist who believes—against religious dualism—that there is one world, not two, and that it runs on determinate physics (or on perfect quantum probabilistic randomness, which amounts to the same thing). Now also imagine that he (or she) believes in free … Continue reading

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To boldly go where no critical thinker has gone before?

This Tech Talk podcast, posted yesterday at the New York Times, sounds interesting: In this week’s New York Times Tech Talk podcast, J.D. Biersdorfer talks to Nancy Hill of the University of Texas at El Paso about lessons from “Star Trek.” … Continue reading

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Petroleum Jelly: Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP for Obama’s $20 billion “shakedown” (oil victims’ escrow account)

This would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic: Here’s exactly what the Republican doofus said: I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation … Continue reading

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Cringe inducing: Christians talk about Obama’s sincerity in prayer

Before watching these rich and privileged “Christians”—in an unironic, shameless, and grotesque display of stupidity, smug certitude, and self-righteousness—make sure you have a barf bag near at hand: Gretchen Carlson’s taut little observation that President Obama is not a church-goer is especially repugnant: But Mr. Speaker, … Continue reading

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Matthew 27:51-53: The Bible’s “Night of the Living Dead” Passage

Matthew 27:51-53. Have you ever noticed what it says? Immediately after Jesus’s death, Matthew has this very, very strange Night of the Living Dead story that he includes in his gospel. Matthew says that there was, immediately following Jesus’s death, an … Continue reading

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Are Luke 24:6 and Mark 16:6-7 in Contradiction?

Have you ever noticed the change that Luke 24:6 makes on Mark 16:6-7? Below are the two passages (in the King James Version). See if you can catch what Luke has done to the words spoken by the angel to the women … Continue reading

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A Question I’d Ask Richard Dawkins

In The God Delusion, you said that you’d like to see believers who start your book be unbelievers when they finish it. But what about those for whom life is already, in Robert Frost’s phrase, “a diminished thing”? Is atheism … Continue reading

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Congressman Etheridge Assaults a College Student

Grotesque behavior on the part of an elected representative. Why hasn’t Congressman Etheridge been arrested for battery?

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A bit of writing advice from Voltaire

Trying to find your take on the world, and your writing voice? Here’s a bit of advice from the 18th century philosopher, Voltaire (from the “Authors” entry in his Philosophical Dictionary ): If you are said to be sick, content yourself … Continue reading

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