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Category Archive: From the old blog

Jan 05 2014

Because. Just Because.

The American Dialect Society, which does this sort of thing, has voted that the 2013 Word of the Year is “Because”. Because reasons: Presiding at the Jan. 3 voting session were ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, and Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive …

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Nov 12 2013

Helping, And Not Helping

As bad as the news is from the Philippines, I hear the real situation is actually worse–that news agencies cannot confirm the worst of the stories because the normal communication channels that would allow confirmation are gone. I hear that what is needed is not shoes, not canned goods, not blankets… but money. Which is …

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Oct 10 2013

Two-Year-Old Boy Carries Unborn Twin

It’s rare, of course, but not unheard of. This recent case from China: …reminds me of the last time I visited this subject, thanks to Shelley at Retrospectacle (now defunct), when the muse was a… unique… knitting project. “Teratoma”, or “Knit me a Sister”. “I have an invisible friend”, I said, “But she doesn’t hide …

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Feb 12 2013

There It Is! Oxytocin!

Just in time for Valentines Day, Scientific American has an article on oxytocin and long-lasting love. If cupid had studied neuroscience, he’d know to aim his arrows at the brain rather than the heart. Recent research suggests that for love to last, it’s best he dip those arrows in oxytocin. This article is better than …

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Feb 12 2013

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

In honor of his birthday today (sorry, Abe Lincoln, I don’t have one for you): On the newsstand at the stationThere it was, a publicationWith a bold prevaricationWhere it asked “Was Darwin Wrong?”Darwin stands among the giantsOf our modern view of scienceSo, in answer and defianceI’m replying in this song: Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin, take …

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Feb 11 2013

The Pope Is Stepping Down

So in his honor, a verse that speculates on what really goes on in the college of cardinals as they go about the business of selecting a new guy to wear the funny hat: We struggle in vain to distinguish a MassFrom your typical Zombie behaviorAs they guzzle down red by the bottle or glassAnd …

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Feb 05 2013

When The Fetus Took The Stand To Testify…

… Because Bill O’Reilly has a short memory, he must have forgotten that Congress already tried to take testimony from a fetus. Republican Congressmen sat in committeeAnd called, as their witness, young Tommy.His presence was purely an act to draw pity;The lad was still stuck in his mommy. Their witness, unable to swear or affirm, …

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Jan 17 2013

Not Sad, Just Amused

I got a payment from Lulu today (somewhere in the low double digits), representing my Christmas revenue from my books. Seven people got a copy of one of my books–in four countries on two continents! Which is really cool, actually. Ok, three of them got free copies (word to the wise–this means if you look …

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Jan 09 2013

Updating The Menu (Halal Mermaid!)

Via Ed, we hear that there has been a change of dietary heart. Whereas it was apparently once the case that mermaid were officially (there was an official fatwa) off the menu, Ed reports that mermaids A) exist, and B) are halal. I really never thought I’d have the appropriate excuse to repost this one, …

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Dec 10 2012

Equality Stops At The Border

I’ve been following, as best as an ignorant mollusk can, the analysis of the recent decisions by the Supreme Court to take on a couple of cases on same-sex marriage. Ed has done a great job dissecting the choice, and today the New York Times has a really useful sidebar on it. What I can’t …

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