Bird navigation

There have been some interesting developments in learning how birds navigate. It was thought that birds had tiny chunks of metal in their beaks or inner ears that enabled them to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. But more research has thrown doubt on the existence of these so-called ‘compass cells’, saying that they were just a type of white blood cells. [Read more…]

Dan Savage on bullying and homosexuality

Below is a short clip from an anti-bullying talk he gave at a high school journalism conference. It is a terrific clip but notice how when he pinpoints how the Bible is the basis for so much of anti-gay bullying, some of the students walk out. They just can’t handle the fact that their beloved holy book has so much hateful stuff in it.

But they cannot avoid the truth forever. They are going to face it over and over again from all sides.

The shame of Guantanamo continues

The continued existence of Guantanamo should be the eternal shame of president Obama and the Democratic party except of course that they are incapable of feeling any shame. Reneging on the promise to close it was bad enough, now you can add this to the rapidly growing list of things that Obama and his party gets away with that George W. Bush wouldn’t have. [Read more…]

Same sex marriage votes

There is an interesting development in North Carolina that is worth paying attention to. It is the only southern state that does not have a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (although there are laws that prohibit it) but on May 8th, people will go to the polls to vote on whether to pass one that bans not only same sex marriage but anything that raises even the suspicion of equality for gay people, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. [Read more…]

NPR propaganda

Although I listen to NPR regularly, I never forget that its reporters too are the products of the filtering process that ensures that only a limited range of opinions is even considered, and that they will not see some obvious hypocrisies even if they stare them in the face. While the best NPR reporters, such as Daniel Zwerdling (whose in-depth features are excellent), Nina Totenberg (legal affairs), and those who deal with internal matters and soft features are worth listening to, others who deal with national politics (Don Gonyea and Mara Liaison) and defense and foreign affairs (Tom Gjelten and Dina Temple Raston) might as well be considered outright propagandists rather than reporters, last two being especially atrocious. [Read more…]