Beyond parody

Now we know why Colbert retired. There was no way he could ever adequately satirize reality.

This is an actual, genuine, real ad from America’s Liberty PAC, a pro-Rand Paul SuperPAC. I lost it with the opening scene of fire-breathing bald eagles, dubbed in with the screech of the red-tailed hawk, as is traditional…and then the explosions. Explosions everywhere.

Please, international readers, close your eyes and pretend American politics isn’t happening. We’re embarrassed enough.

Institutionalized reluctance to question

NY Magazine has the best summary of the LaCour affair. This is the recent case of a study published by a graduate student that showed the effectiveness of gay & lesbian survey-takers of persuading people to support marriage equality…which has since been found to consist of falsified data. The article summarizes how the study was exposed, and there were grounds for suspicion long before the news broke. Reading the protocols and doing a little math, for instance, revealed that this graduate student had apparently paid out about a million dollars for this survey. And it just unraveled from there.

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Goodbye, UW Madison


Many years ago, when I first hit the job market after completing a post-doc, I applied for positions at many universities…but my top choice was UW Madison. I didn’t think I had a chance, so I was thrilled when I actually got as far as landing an interview there. I didn’t get the job obviously, but I was happy to just get a shot at it (maybe too happy: I was so wound up, my interview went dismally).

If I were back in that same position today, though, the last place I’d apply to would be UW Madison. It’s still a great university, but I wonder for how much longer — the state seems committed to gutting it.

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These people actually exist?


A site called “Biblical Gender Roles” contains a terrible list of 8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal. There are so many assumptions packed into that site, there doesn’t seem to be much point to arguing over the details — first thing to fix would be this Biblical attitude that women are chattel who must be subservient to their husband’s commands. The author is very concerned about this little problem:

How should you as a husband handle it when your wife directly refuses to have sex without a valid reason? Is there anything a Christian husband can do about this?

I wish he’d explained what a “valid reason” would be. I think “I don’t want to” is a valid reason, so maybe all of this Christian writer’s steps are irrelevant. But here’s all of his advice to control an uppity wife.

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Skepticon 8, for the novelty


It has just been announced that you can now register for Skepticon 8. You may do so. Only…the announcement includes an ominous warning:

We know that Skepticon 8 is 6 months away, but we can hardly stand it! We want to see you all again! In the coming weeks we’re going to start announcing speakers and this year, for the first time EVER, there will be NO REPEATS!


Get excited! I know we are!

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Hither and yon


Here’s an interview I did with Arturo Elosegi in Durango, Spain a few weeks ago — it’s in English with Basque subtitles, so we’ll all be able to understand it.

I’m still not entirely recovered from travel-induced chrono-sickness, but I’ve got a few more journeys to make in June. I’m going to Michigan!

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