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Monthly Archive: December 2012

Dec 22 2012

Expropriating other people’s grief

What was your reaction to the shootings last week at the elementary school? If you were like me, you probably felt a combination of shock, sadness, and anger. Shock at the scale of the carnage and the age of most of the victims, sadness at the thought of the terrible grief that the loved ones …

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Dec 21 2012

The Smuckers theory of god

William Lane Craig is a theologian and an ardent advocate of the idea that if god commands something to be done, then that is good by definition, however appalling it may seem to those of us who do not wear the moral blinders of religion. I have discussed Craig’s views and the criticisms of it …

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Dec 21 2012

Everest up close

I heard this report on NPR four days ago about a project to take photos of Mount Everest that exactly match those taken over the last century to see what changes have occurred, especially the extent to which the glaciers have receded.

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Dec 21 2012

Get you next apocalypse right here!

So the Mayan ‘prophecy’ proved to be a bust. Interestingly, very few of the seven million ethnic Mayans took it seriously. But five Michigan school districts closed 33 schools on Wednesday, two days early, not because they wanted students to prepare properly for the end of the world but because of rumors of violence triggered …

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Dec 21 2012

The US as enabler of Israel and punisher of Iran

The US has once again shown itself to be the enabler of Israel’s expansionist policies that have all but doomed the possibility of a two-state solution. As the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, the threat of a veto by the US scuttled a resolution in the UN Security Council to oppose the recent decision by the …

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Dec 20 2012

Do these trampoline feats violate the law of conservation of energy?

ballet2a

No. Nobody violates the law of conservation of energy, just like nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But it does seem like Christophe Hamel rises to a greater height than from where he jumped.

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Dec 20 2012

Polio vaccination workers killed in Pakistan

There is grim news from Pakistan that five women volunteers in the rural areas who were administering the polio vaccine were shot dead, with the killers suspected of being Taliban, who claim that the vaccination campaign is part of a nefarious plot by the west. As a result, the UN and the Pakistani government have …

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Dec 20 2012

Peddling rubbish in the wake of tragedy

In the wake of a tragedy, we all want to comfort the bereaved. But to what extent should you make up stuff in attempting to do so? Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon who claims to have had a near-death experience while in a coma for a week. What he experienced apparently convinced him that there …

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Dec 20 2012

The shameful treatment of Khaled el-Masri by the US

el-Masri

The Guardian reported last week that in a historic unanimous verdict, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, Europe’s highest court, said that, “CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on.” The person who suffered such horrendous abuse was the wholly innocent Khaled …

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Dec 19 2012

Don’t believe everything you see on the internet

The old adage that photographs don’t lie is no longer valid in the age of Photoshop. Now even amateurs have the technology to manipulate photos and even videos to produce results that look remarkable realistic.

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