Monthly Archives: August 2012

When Experts Collide: Jerry Coyne verses James Shapiro

At his blog, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne recently took after his University of Chicago colleague, James Shapiro, complaining about him in the following manner: Virtually all of the non-creationist opposition to the modern theory of evolution, and all of the … Continue reading

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Mars, the Book

A miracle. This is not the American Southwest, but part of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater on Mars. The (apparently sedimentary) rocks exposed here are more than three billion years old. Curiosity is about six miles from them. Behold the Book of Mars. We’ll … Continue reading

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Louis CK Does a Close Reading of the Story of Abraham and Isaac

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Lyric and Song: Why Simple Reasons, However Incoherent or Decontextualized, are Effective Persuaders

I have a theory about explanation, and why bad explanations so frequently trump good explanations. Good explanations (that is, explanations that are true) often do not accord with what we want to believe is true. Therefore, when evaluating a successful … Continue reading

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Bill Nye Frets Over Evolution Denial

___________ Why is the above video so compelling? I’d say it has primarily to do with his manner of speaking about evolution: Bill Nye the Science Guy, a man beloved by children and parents alike, is pained, bewildered, and disappointed–and … Continue reading

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Senator Al Franken Draws US Map from Memory

At the Minnesota State Fair. Pretty impressive.

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Rmoney’s Worst Nightmare: Vaginas Descend on Republican Convention

__________ Even as Mitt Romney (a.k.a. Rmoney) descends on Tampa with the power of green, don’t forget the power of pink. Women, not money, will decide this election. Money doesn’t vote, women do.

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Why Mitt Romney Should Not Be President

He has no skin in the American game. Neither a soldier nor a protester, Mitt Romney was disengaged in the 1960s from the three great issues of his generation–the Vietnam War, black liberation, and women’s liberation. He lived as if the war … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney’s Crack Is Akin

The fact that Mitt Romney is running away from Todd Akin in mortal terror exposes a fissure between New England Republicans and Red Meat Republicans. This is at the Daily Beast: [T]he rush to reject [Todd] Akin is infuriating the anti-abortion movement, … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the Closet and Coat Hanger

I think this ad fairly captures what a Romney-Ryan victory means for gay people and women. __________ The Supreme Court is in the balance. Are you registered to vote?

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Mitt Romney and Rosemary’s Baby: Why Rape Is To The Republican Party What Pedophilia Is To The Catholic Church

Why is rape to the Republican Party what pedophilia is to the Catholic Church? Because both the Republican Party and the Catholic Church have set themselves apart as the proud swimmers against the secular mainstream: as upholders of tradition, traditional … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney to Female Reporter Shaun Boyd: You May Not Ask Me About Abortion or Todd Akin

This is mind blowing. As a condition of even talking to a female reporter, Shaun Boyd, Mitt Romney insisted today that she must not ask him about abortion or Todd Akin. Here’s the Denver Post: Channel 4′s Shaun Boyd was … Continue reading

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Romney-Ryan and the 50,000 Rape Pregnancies Each Year

Talk about the equivalent of a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal within the Republican Party! Dr. Dean Kilpatrick, author of a key 1996 study on rape in the United States, tells the Los Angeles Times in interview today that “as many as … Continue reading

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Todd Akin and Mitt Romney’s War on Women

A little reminder from the Daily Beast of how long Mitt Romney has been dissing women for political gain: Romney said in 2007 he would be “delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions, and Ryan supported legislation restricting abortions … Continue reading

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Give George Orwell a Statue Near BBC Headquarters

The exact site has yet to be settled on, but this is in the Telegraph today (quoting the artist commissioned to make the statue): George Orwell is regarded as something of a patron saint of political journalism so his presence … Continue reading

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Are We Alone? Mars News You May Have Missed That Seems Pretty Important

This appeared at New Scientist back in 2006, but it seems pretty important to thinking about what Curiosity is up to now: [A] paper by Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez of the University of Mexico and others demonstrates that the GCMS instrument [organic … Continue reading

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Why Obama Will Win In November

Any time one can remind women that Romney-Ryan are reactionaries against feminism and women’s equality, it helps solidify the women’s vote against them. And I think this election will be decided by women. Also, it matters where the women in … Continue reading

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Abortion as an Option after Rape: Paul Ryan Opposes It; Independent Women Support It

This is at Andrew Sullivan’s blog today: Nate Cohn also points out that “undecided voters are disproportionately women, and there’s no question that an overwhelming majority of voters, let alone women, support permitting abortion in instances of rape or incest. … Continue reading

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Paul Ryan’s War on Women (and Mitt Romney’s)

Concerning Paul Ryan on rape and abortion, this comes from Ed Kilgore: [E]ven on occasion when he’s supported “compromise” legislation that recognizes rape/incest exceptions, he’s been in favor of narrowing them, as in last year’s House GOP effort (eventually abandoned) … Continue reading

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Forcible Rape Anti-Abortion Co-Sponsors: Paul Ryan and Todd Akin

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) __________ The above two men would forbid a victim of rape or incest to terminate her pregnancy. And they co-sponsored a bill in Congress that brought into contemporary discourse the noxious phrase “forcible rape.” Then Mitt … Continue reading

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