Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel

My guest for today Charone Frankel, host of the new podcast Habeas Humor. Habeas Humor combines comedy and law to both entertain and enlighten listeners, along with interviews. Today we’re going to talk about her work, her podcast, and if the law can be funny.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel” on Spreaker.

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Meet the Science Moms — My newest article for Paste Magazine

In 2015, a group of bloggers wrote an open letter to celebrity moms Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ginnifer Goodwin—criticizing their stance on the anti-GMO Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The letter explained what GMOs actually are, how they are safe to eat, and how they require fewer pesticides. “When GMOs are stigmatized,” they wrote, “farmers and consumers aren’t able to benefit from much-needed advancements like plants with increased nutrients, or plants that can adapt to changing environmental stresses.”

The letter caught the attention of several people, including Natalie Newell, who discovered it while feeding her then-infant son Zeke late at night. “I was so impressed to see this group of intelligent, relatable and reasonable moms standing up for science and against the fear-based culture that seems to have infected the world of parenting,” she said. Shortly after that, she contacted one of the letter’s writers, Jenny Splitter, about possibly making a short documentary about science-based parenting. Splitter then contacted a few other science-based mothers she knew, and thus Science Moms was born.

Science Moms is an upcoming documentary that profiles five mothers—Splitter, Kavin Senapathy, Alison Bernstein, Anastasia Bodnar and Layla Katiraee—who advocate for science-based decision making when it comes to children’s nutrition and health. “Through interviews with ‘science moms’ who are on the front lines of this struggle,” the film’s website states, “we’ll dissect the bogus claims of these celebrities one by one and explain in simple language what the science really shows about GMOs, vaccines, homeopathy and any of these topics that are often in the headlines, yet even more often are misunderstood.”

Click here to read the rest.

Bi Any Means Podcast #100: Reflections on Podcasting with Callie Wright

 

This is the 100th episode of the Bi Any Means podcast, and to celebrate I’ve invited Callie Wright from the Gaytheist Manifesto to join me today to talk about our adventures in podcasting since we both started our shows around the same time. We’re going to talk about all the ups and downs of podcast, and how it’s changed both of our lives.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #100: Reflections on Podcasting with Callie Wright” on Spreaker.

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Why I’m No Longer a Social Justice Warrior

On my first post here on FtB, I wondered out loud if I was a Social Justice Warrior. Many things have happened since then–conversations, fuck-ups, emotional breakdowns, the election, etc.–and I’ve changed a lot since then. One of the major changes is that I am no longer a Social Justice Warrior.

I’m a Social Justice Mage!

Like many people, once I discovered the Dark Lord cursed our land into making everyone believe we live in a free society while the marginalized still get trampled on–which was around the same time I realized I’m queer and trans–I grabbed my sword and decided to fight back. I fought against every troll I could find, but the trolls ended up being stronger than me. I even attacked a few peaceful citizens who weren’t trolls. I had more battle scars than victories.

That’s when the Mages found me.

They took me in and taught me all their secret spells and ancient wisdom. They taught me that trolls often disguise themselves as genuine seekers, and there’s a spell that can help me identify who is a troll and who is just a confused human. They also taught me that not everyone can be a warrior; only those who  have the strength and proper training can do battle. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help. In fact, Mages help battle the Dark Lord’s trolls in special ways, whether it’s teaching secret magic to warriors (who have to go through a vetting process first), or hitting the trolls with surprise magic attacks.

The Mages also taught me not to get involved with every battle. Some trolls are immune to certain magic, like Rational Argument Magic, so it’s best for either a warrior or a rogue to do the fighting. Also, magic takes time to master, so I need a lot of practice before I can do battle. In fact, sometimes the Mages have to stop me and say, “You’re not ready for this battle. Let us handle it.” It’s a bit disappointing at first, but after watching the Elders fight, I quickly realize they were right.

So yeah, if you don’t see me on the battlefields of Twitter and Facebook, it’s because I’m with the Mages learning magic. Don’t think I’m giving up the fight; I’m just fighting in my own unique way.

The Biskeptical Podcast #25: There’s No Crying in Fascism!

Today’s episode is a rundown of some of the top news stories of the past couple of weeks. We talk about Comey getting fired from the FBI, the France election, blasphemy laws, and Trumpcare. Also returning to the show today are the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors as they explore a strange alien race called the Nihilistos.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #25: There’s No Crying in Fascism!” on Spreaker.

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Is The Bell Curve Scientific Racism? — My Latest for Paste Magazine

Sam Harris is no stranger to controversy. Known as one of the Four Horsemen of New Atheism, critics have accused the neuroscientist and author of being racist and Islamophobic for his comments, including suggesting we should profile Muslims at airports. He also raised eyebrows in a 2015 when he laughed along with gay conservative Douglas Murray’s transphobic comments during an episode of Harris’ podcast “Waking Up.” Most recently, Harris interviewed Charles Murray, co-author of the infamous 1994 book The Bell Curve, which suggests Black people are genetically predisposed to low IQs. According to Harris, the controversy surrounding the book is due to political correctness:

People don’t want to hear that a person’s intelligence is in large measure due to his or her genes, and there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence — even in childhood. It’s not that the environment doesn’t matter, but genes appear to be 50 to 80 percent of the story. People don’t want to hear this. And they certainly don’t want to hear that average IQ differs across races and ethnic groups.

Unfortunately, Harris must have missed the memo that the truth is more complicated than that.

For starters, critics are quick to point out Murray and co-author Richard Herrstein’s scholarship is shoddy at best and outright political propaganda at worst. In a 1995 Scientific American article, psychologist Leon Kamin noticed that one of their sources was a 1991 paper by Richard Lynn comparing the average IQs of people of different ethnicities which, according to Kamin, “reported only average Matrices scores, not IQs; the other studies used tests clearly dependent on cultural content.” He also claimed that Murray and Herrnstein ignored social and economic factors that lead to individual success and instead just focus on IQ. Then there’s the fact that Murray and Herrnstein devote two chapters of The Bell Curve criticizing affirmative action, which led Kamin to believe the book was politically motivated (Wikipedia refers to Murray as a “libertarian conservative”).

Click here to read the rest.

Oh boy, this is gonna piss a lot of people off!

Bi Any Means Podcast #99: Sex, Death, and God with Matthew O’Neil

My guest for today is author and podcaster Matthew O’Neil. He received his MA in Theology from Saint Michael’s College and is a certified Humanist chaplain and celebrant. He is the author of “What the Bible Really Does (and Doesn’t) Say About Sex,” “After Life,” and “You Say That I Am.” And he also hosts the For God’s Sake podcast with Natalie Newall. Today we’re going to talk about his life, his work, and what God really thinks about what consenting adults do in the bedroom.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #99: Sex, Death, and God with Matthew O’Neil” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #98: Scathing Atheism and Podcasting with Noah Lugeons

My guest for today is Noah Lugeons, host of the Scathing Atheist, Skepticrat, and God Awful Movies podcasts. He also has a new podcast coming out with the rest of the Scathing Atheist crew and Tom and Cecil from Cognitive Dissonance called Citation Needed which should be coming out within the next couple of weeks. Today we’re going to talk about his life, his work, and how podcasting touches lives.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #98: Scathing Atheism and Podcasting with Noah Lugeons” on Spreaker.

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Was Syd Barrett an Acid Casualty? On Psychedelics And the Psyche — My Latest for Paste Magazine

Syd Barrett is one of the most tragic stories in rock and roll. As the founder and lead singer/guitarist/songwriter for Pink Floyd, he revolutionized rock and roll and spearheaded the burgeoning psychedelic sound of the 1960s. However, shortly after the release of the band’s 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, something changed. Barrett’s friends and bandmates claim he became more withdrawn, started playing only one chord during concerts, and even becoming catatonic. After Floyd replaced him with David Gilmour, Barrett recorded two solo albums and then left the limelight altogether until his death in 2006. Most people believe his excessive LSD consumption led to Barrett’s demise, but recent studies suggest psychedelics can perhaps improve mental health, not ruin it.

The most recent study comes from Brazil and tested the effects of a hallucinogen called ayahuasca on people with treatment-resistant depression. Fourteen people were given the hallucinogen while 15 people received a placebo. Within one week, more people who took ayahuasca claimed their depression went from severe to mild than those who took the placebo. Of course, as David Mischoulon of Massachusetts General Hospital points out, we need studies that follow patients for longer periods to see whether these effects are sustained.” However other studies that examined the effect of psychedelics on mental health found similar results.

Click here to read the rest.

The Biskeptical Podcast #24: Reflections on ReasonCon3

Your Biskeptical hosts Morgan and I

Instead of either picking apart a complicated topic or debunking pseudoscience, today Morgan and I talk about our experiences last week at ReasonCon3 in Hickory, NC. It’s a conversation about our experiences and our feelings about it. As a warning, in the end things get a bit emotional, but we hope you still enjoy this conversation.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #24: Reflections on ReasonCon3” on Spreaker.

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