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Category Archive: civilization

Sep 23 2011

We Need to Stop Executing Peoplel

Last night, the state of Georgia executed a man who was very likely innocent. Like PZ, I don’t care whether he was guilty or innocent. I care that my country is one of the few countries in the world that executes people. From Wikipedia I used to be a strong death penalty supporter. Some crimes, …

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Sep 01 2011

Is There a Word for a First World Nation Becoming a Third World Country?

Even when I was a kid, I knew I was lucky. I had a middle-class family in a prosperous country. Sally Fields used to come on the teevee soliciting funds for all those poor, starving kids in other countries where families were lucky if they had a bit of cloth to throw over a stick …

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Jul 24 2011

In the Face of Terrorism: Norway, the Myth of a Madman, and a Better Way

Image Source Guardian.co.uk This man is a terrorist. Blond, blue-eyed, solidly middle-class, raised and educated in a Western democracy, yes.  He’s far from the al Qaeda foot soldier everyone expected when news of the Oslo bombing and subsequent shooting on Utoya island broke.  Some are calling him Norway’s Timothy McVeigh, and that’s apt: both of …

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Jun 17 2011

On Terry Pratchett and Escape Routes

This news brought tears to my eyes, because I adore Terry Pratchett and I never ever want the world to be without him: Three and a half years ago, Terry Pratchett, the beloved author of the Discworld series, announced that he has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Now he’s made an even more startling announcement. Pratchett, who …

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Jun 12 2011

Maryam Namazie on the Islamic Inquisition

I’m sending you all away.  For one thing, I’m busy and woefully short of advance posts.  But most importantly, there’s something I think you need to read. It’s Maryam Namazie’s speech at the World Atheist Conference.  You really should read it in its entirety.  But I’ll put an excerpt here, because I believe this bit …

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Apr 11 2011

Local Geology Kicks Project’s Arse

Confession: this post is mostly an excuse to post my super-awesome front loader and dump truck photo: Check out the dirt-dumping action! How awesome is that?  I’ve never had so much fun photographing a dump truck before.  Comes to that, I don’t think I’ve ever photographed a dump truck before.  But when Cujo and I …

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Oct 07 2010

Stuff Comes from Somewhere

Back before I distracted by the shiny new car and purchasing of same, our own George W. had a post up that really forced some thinking.  And it’s all because he was up at 4 in the morning thinking about bolts: Where’s the nickel (which plates the bolt) mined? What’s the state of mine-safety technology? …

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Aug 01 2010

Now That’s An Engineering Project!

When we went to Arizona last year, my intrepid companion and I crossed Hoover Dam.  It’s not an experience I care to repeat any time soon.  Lots of traffic funneled through an itty-bitty road sucks mightily.  But considering we weren’t getting anywhere anyway, we pulled over to snap some pictures and ogle the Hoover Bridge, …

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Dec 06 2008

Corporate Responsibility: BoA Gets It Right

Sometimes, just sometimes, corporations do things that make me proud: This summer, after months of conversations, some top executives from Bank of America agreed to accompany NRDC staff on a fact-finding trip to Appalachia. In July we flew them over moonscaped mine sites in West Virginia, took them to Kayford Mountain for a closer look …

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Sep 26 2008

Condemned to Repeat

EX PRAETERITO PRAESENS PRVDENTER AGIT NI FUTUR- ACTIONE DETVRPET History became a living thing in Roz Ashby’s and Ken Meier’s hands. On the first day of Western Civilization I, they handed out a quote and asked us to date it. It was a typical “kids these days” rant, full of complaints about their manners, their …

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