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Monthly Archive: November 2013

Nov 30 2013

How physics helps me identify and ignore woo

I feel that I have obtained a huge benefit from having studied physics, especially quantum physics. On the one hand, it has given me a sense of wonder and awe at how the laws of nature work to produce the universe we occupy. The theories are really quite beautiful, the experimental methods used to study …

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Nov 30 2013

Mormon church resumes anti-gay lobbying

Last year, following the beating the Mormon church took for its massive financial and logistical support in favor of Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriage in California, the church seemed to be toning down its opposition and seemed to be taking a more moderate approach to the issue. There were hopes that the church was …

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Nov 30 2013

COINTELPRO all over again

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the massive NSA spying program has less to do with combating terrorism and is instead just a modern and highly sophisticated version of COINTELPRO (COounter INTELligence PROgram), the secret spying network the FBI set up in 1956 to supposedly combat the threat of Communism but expanded to infiltrate, monitor, …

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Nov 29 2013

Glenn Greenwald blasts another BBC journalist

By now it should be clear to practically anyone who follows news with even the mildest critical gaze that the leaders of governments lie. In order to serve their purposes, they are willing to lie routinely, unscrupulously, shamelessly, and indiscriminately. The only thing that stops them from lying is the fear of getting caught and …

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Nov 29 2013

Is this likely to be true?

I was interested in this story about how some major communications companies are shocked that the NSA tapped into their networks via the cables. Companies like Google and Yahoo say that the NSA got entry into its data systems without their knowledge.

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Nov 29 2013

Pope Francis condemns current economic system

In a major statement released on November 24, 2013 titled Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis has leveled a major broadside at the current economic and political systems which he condemns as serving only the interests of the few and ignoring the needs of the many.

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Nov 28 2013

The power of acting

The comment threads, especially on highly popular sites) can rapidly degenerate into ugly name-calling. But in this funny sketch (via Neetzan Zimmerman), two actors give a dramatic reading of a comment war between two people in which the topic of discussion is whether Harry, whom I’m guessing is a member of the singing group One …

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Nov 28 2013

Server stories

Readers may recall the story of Chelsea Welch, the server at an Applebees restaurant, who was fired after she posted a receipt on the internet on which a local pastor she had served had written “I give God 10% why do you get 18″. Welch explains what happened and her bafflement at her firing here.

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Nov 28 2013

Stop with the ugly neologisms

One of my biggest peeves is the media creating ghastly and unnecessary new words that are mash-ups of two perfectly good words. We have had abominations such as ‘snowcalypse’ and ‘snowmageddon’ for what could be more simply described as a severe snow storms, and ‘staycation’ to denote a vacation spent at home. I am sure …

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Nov 28 2013

My annual Thanksgiving appeal

retailers war on thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US, an occasion when family and friends get together to go shopping and fight with other people to get the best bargains. No seriously, at its best, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, free from commercializing and just spent socializing. In fact, it has become my favorite holiday for reasons …

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