Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ann Coulter’s Prediction on Immigration, and Her Prescription

Ann Coulter makes a prediction: At the current accelerated rate of immigration–1.1 million new immigrants every year–Republicans will be a fringe party in about a decade. I think her prediction is basically accurate if the GOP does not adjust to … Continue reading

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Quick Thought: Why Do We Make of Faith a Virtue?

We all need hope and optimism, but this world provides very little actual evidence or good reasons for thinking hopeful and optimistic thoughts (such as that we survive the body after death, that God exists, or that our political leaders … Continue reading

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My “Candide” Retort to Margaret MacMillan

It’s 2014. A hundred years ago, the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand initiated a series of calamitous events that brought on World War I. And the way WWI ended (with the Versailles Treaty) led to yet another series … Continue reading

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Dissipation-Driven Adaptive Organization: Is Jeremy England The Next Charles Darwin?

The guy to watch. There’s a young (31-year-old) MIT assistant professor of physics who may have discovered, via theorizing about thermodynamics and entropy, a supplement to natural selection, showing the origin and evolution of life to be, not a difficult … Continue reading

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Perspective for a Sunday: Image of a Martian Sunset

__________ The sun as it begins to dip beneath the rim of Gusev Crater. Taken on Mars by NASA’s Spirit rover.

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Harvard Med Students on What the Spleen Does

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3,000,000

Wow. This is in The Huffington Post this morning: The Obama administration said Friday that more than 3 million people have now signed up for private plans through the federal and state health insurance exchanges, including more than 800,000 in … Continue reading

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Here Comes Planet Hillary

__________ The New York Times Magazine for January 20, 2014 depicts Hillary Clinton as a planet with “gravitational pull.” I like the analogy and image. Will she also warp space and time?

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Gays Cannot Be Excluded From Juries Just Because They Are Gay

Gay and lesbian dignity and equality in the United States continues its historic progress. This is in The Wall Street Journal today: The Constitution prohibits excluding someone from a jury based on sexual orientation, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, … Continue reading

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Why Are There No Molecule/Water Dualists?

The question. I had a question pop into my head yesterday morning: Why are there no molecule/water dualists in the same way that there are brain/mind dualists? The obvious answer: Because there is nothing at stake religiously. We all presume … Continue reading

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Earth-like Planets Abundant in the Cosmos

Geoff Marcy, a professor of astronomy at Berkeley, talks to The PBS News Hour about earth-like planets. __________ “Earth-like,” as used by Marcy, means a rocky planet orbiting in the Goldilocks zone (neither too close nor too far from its … Continue reading

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The Mighty Limbaugh Has Struck Out: What Limbaugh Being Dropped From KFI Means

Clear Channel owns both KFI (perhaps the largest radio station west of the Mississippi, broadcasting from Los Angeles and reaching much of California and Nevada) and KTLK (a radio backwater, also based in LA, with a very narrow signal range, … Continue reading

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Stunning Video Reconstruction: The Evolution of Ape to Human in Less Than Three Minutes

Based on real ancestral (and human cousin) skull findings, the evolution of ape to human here is thoroughly mesmerizing. Created by the renowned paleoartist John Gurche, the recreation is notable for its meticulous anatomical and forensic accuracy. __________ Gurche’s book on … Continue reading

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Did Saint Francis Discover Evolution Before Darwin? Did Jesus (in the Parable of the Sower)?

__________ The following saying has been attributed to Saint Francis: Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. I’m reasonably confident it’s not remotely close to anything that Francis actually said–it’s obviously … Continue reading

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A New Zealand PSA of Unusual Rhetorical Power

Wow. This works on so many levels. It humanizes the strangers to one another; it points up our liabilities to impatience and misjudgments of risk and distance; and it vividly dramatizes the consequences of casual bad habits, distraction, and inattention. A … Continue reading

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Hubris, Chris Christie, and Greek Tragedy

Not just Democrats and far-right Republicans, but playwrights and screenwriters, will be jumping all over Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal. Why? Because Chris Christie is caught in a whirlpool of hubris, and the ancient Greeks tragedians have taught us how such … Continue reading

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Limbaugh Dropped from KFI Signals Ongoing Decline of Baby Boom Right

Another conservative canary swoons in the right-wing coal mine. Los Angeles-based KFI (AM640) is probably the largest radio station west of the Mississippi, reaching south to San Diego, north to Fresno, and east to Las Vegas. And effective January 20th, … Continue reading

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Dog Uses Chair as a Tool

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Telling The Truth About The United States Is Hard

What makes the United States the greatest country in the world? I dunno. Yosemite? ___________ I like the above video’s puncturing of American exceptionalism. I especially like the Yosemite line, but when the piano starts to play, and the patriotic … Continue reading

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Who Exercises in the United States? And What Does It Mean?

Who exercises in the United States? Richard Florida of The Atlantic summarizes some recent research: [E]xercise may treat diseases as effectively as drugs, as one BMJ study recently showed. Everyone knows it, but not everybody does it. Just a month after making those New … Continue reading

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