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Monthly Archive: February 2013

Feb 28 2013

Please don’t use this argument

badarg

I got briefly drawn into a twitter argument with a fellow atheist who proudly flashed this image: The next time you get bullied by religious people on facebook, remind them that they are using hardware and software invented and built by atheists, including facebook! That is embarassingly bad. And when I pointed out a few …

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Feb 28 2013

Screw it, gimme a steak

As I’ve been shedding the meat from my diet, I don’t need discouragement like this: a fellow ate a vegetarian burrito and picked up a tapeworm from it, which infected his brain. Is there to be no reward for virtue? Of course, when you think about the mode of transmission, it probably got into the …

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Feb 28 2013

Handicapping the papacy

The Rationalist has a tally of candidates for the office of pope, and I’m sorry, but despite a lingering affection for Formosus, I don’t care. The trend is obvious: old, old guys with dogmatic views, with the only drama being in how deeply conservative the new guy in the big hat will be. Nothing will …

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Feb 28 2013

I didn’t know I was signing up for a psychology experiment!

Jadehawk has an interesting post up on what psychology considers harassment — that is, when the pros assess effective harassment campaigns, what do they do? Conclusion: Even mild interruption, ridicule, and criticism elicits stress responses, and all these mild stress-response-elicitors count as harassment in psychology. That doesn’t mean we should stop criticizing people, and it …

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Feb 27 2013

FtB invades another conference

Uh-oh, we’re everywhere. On 4 May, you’ll find Greta Christina, Matt Dillahunty, and me at the Freethought Alliance Annual Conference in Anaheim … there will be some other speakers there, but you know us — we shall assimilate everything. Come join us. We need more brains to absorb.

Feb 27 2013

Maybe if they sink a lot of the budget into special effects…

There is no accounting for taste or credulity. Universal Pictures is planning to make Eben Alexander’s book into a movie. You remember Alexander; the Proof of Heaven guy, the surgeon who ‘died’ on the operating table and claimed to have visited heaven? It might be interesting to see the effort. The whole tone of Alexander’s …

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Feb 27 2013

What I taught today: the great cis vs trans debate

cistrans

My students are also blogging here: My undergrad encounters Developmental Biology Miles’ Devo Blog Tavis Grorud’s Blog for Developmental Biology Thang’s Blog Heidi’s blog for Developmental Biology Chelsae blog Stacy’s Strange World of Developmental Biology Thoughts of Developmental Biology Biology~ My students get a full exposure to the Sean Carroll perspective in his book, Endless …

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Feb 27 2013

Can you handle two polls in a day?

Here’s another one. A few Australian political leaders are taking a cue from the Americans and following a piecemeal approach to destroy abortion rights. You know how this works: the majority of the population favors those rights (and gay rights, and marijuana decriminialization, and so many other reasonable positions), so the haters get into office …

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Feb 27 2013

Netroots Nation offering admission by poll?

Netroots Nation is the big progressive political conference sponsored by the gang at the Daily Kos. It’s being held in San Jose this year, at the end of June. They are opening the doors to their exhibition hall and giving 6 organizations free booth space — and among those vying for a slot is American …

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Feb 26 2013

Halos in the sky

HaloSim

I just got back from this evening’s Cafe Scientifique — where were you guys? — and I got to see lots of pretty pictures of halos and sundogs and light pillars. One of the nice things about living in Morris is that we actually get a lot of that weird atmospheric phenomena here, because we …

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