Librarians, too?

Every single goddamned organization with any kind of social presence at all seems to be afflicted with the problem of sexual harassment — including, now, library conferences. Librarians! I love librarians, they always seem to be the most sensible people, and here it comes, a familiar story. Two people, Lisa Rabey and Nina de Jesus called out a guy named Joe Murphy for his predatory behavior at library conferences, in a post titled Time to Talk About Community Accountability. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.

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Giant stack of grading!

I have foolishly scheduled the exams in my two classes back-to-back…so it’s therefore twice the usual size. Furthermore, like a good liberal-artsy professor, my questions include a couple of subjective, explain-why-you-think-this-answer-is-right sort of questions that are going to be hellish to grade. How do you humanities professors cope?

Now sinking into a sea of red ink…

VESTIGIAL: Learn what it means!

Vestigial organs are relics, reduced in function or even completely losing a function. Finding a novel function, or an expanded secondary function, does not make such organs non-vestigial.

The appendix in humans, for instance, is a vestigial organ, despite all the insistence by creationists and less-informed scientists that finding expanded local elements of the immune system means it isn’t. An organ is vestigial if it is reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals, and another piece of evidence is if it exhibits a wide range of variation that suggests that those differences have no selective component. That you can artificially reduce the size of an appendix by literally cutting it out, with no effect on the individual (other than that they survive a potentially acute and dangerous inflammation) tells us that these are vestigial.

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Perception matters

Atheists have been fighting stereotypes for as long as I’ve been one, and longer: that we’re all Communists, that we’re Vulcan robots, that we’re amoral and likely to rape small children (no, ma’am, you’ve confused us with Catholic priests), that we all think we’re so much better than everyone else. Thanks to the behavior of our Great Atheist Thinky Bigbrain Leaders, though, another one is taking currency fast: that we are all MRA-style anti-woman freaks.

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How awful can a Christian church get?

I’m not a personal fan of Sunday Assembly — that’s fine if it floats your boat (it doesn’t mine), but the whole idea of aping a church bugs me a little bit. Is this the best we can aspire to? Developing our own hokey rituals?

But at least it’s not the worst model. The day movement atheists start promoting services patterned on Heath Mooneyham’s Ignite church of Joplin, Missouri is the day I become a Catholic. Wait, no, I retract that — there’s too much danger it could actually happen.

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Lewis’s Law confirmed again

You’ve seen Emma Watson’s speech to the UN. Go ahead, watch it again. It’s worth it, and it’ll highlight the contrast with 4chan’s reaction to it.

Members of 4chan’s b board lost their very minds over this, and embarked on a campaign against Watson almost immediately.

So far, this has included a threat to release hacked nude pictures of her in the manner that other celebrity photos have been leaked over the past two months–complete with a sad little countdown website titled Emma You Are Next. Although this is almost definitely a hoax, it is an incredibly sick one.

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