The killing of Cecil the lion

I have not written anything about the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion. What is there to say? Pretty much everyone has felt and expressed their revulsion at such a senseless and cruel act and have wondered what psychological need it satisfies in some people that they go to all that trouble and expense to kill just for the fun of it a magnificent, and in this case beloved, animal of which there are precious few left. And then decapitate it and mount the head on their wall. It would creep me out to see it forever looking down at me in silent reproof for subjecting it to a painful and extended period of dying but clearly trophy hunters don’t see things the same way.
[Read more…]

A car is a dangerous thing

I am firmly convinced that you are most likely to be involved in an accident in parking lots. There is something about the fact that you are moving at slow speeds that causes people to get distracted and not pay attention. It is incredible to me that at least the basic elements of how to maneuver in tight spaces at low speeds are not mastered by people, as this set of examples demonstrate.
[Read more…]

Facts about Cavaliers

BaxterAs regular readers know, Baxter the Wonder Dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The video below gives some facts about the breed. Although they originated in England in the 1600s, at the end of World War II, there were only six such dogs and all the current dogs are descendants from them.

One problem of having such a narrow population bottleneck is that any genetic problem in one or more of the original group would be propagated to large numbers of dogs. It is known that the breed suffers from a congenital mitral valve heart defect that makes their life spans shorter than for comparable small dogs. Reputable breeders, like the person from whom we got Baxter, are trying to get rid of that trait. We get him checked regularly and so far he does not show any symptoms so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

This video captures perfectly why they are so lovable and Baxter has all those qualities.
[Read more…]

Another incredible limbo feat

I recently linked to a video of a woman who did the limbo under a car. Now comes along another incredible limbo feat. It is by a five-year old girl (I believe in India) so she is far smaller and naturally more supple than an adult. But what is incredible here is not just the height that she went under but also the distance she covered while doing so on roller skates. She also did it bending forwards rather than the more conventional backwards.
[Read more…]

Humanism at Work conference

The second annual one-day conference on Humanism at Work sponsored by the Foundation Beyond Belief will held on July 25, 2015 in Boston, MA. The program is designed to help identify more and better ways for humanists to put their nontheistic compassionate beliefs to work for the betterment on the world. You can get more details here.

Are you poor?

We talk about the poor and rich and middle class and can even classify people into those categories based on metrics such as income and wealth. But if we ask people directly to describe themselves, my guess is that fewer than we expect will describe themselves as currently being poor. This is because the subjective and objective interpretations of the word are quite different.
[Read more…]

Fast bowling in cricket

I was reading about the large number of baseball pitchers who suffer serious elbow injuries that require something popularly known as Tommy John surgery so named after a famous pitcher. Something known as the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow gets frayed, stretched, or torn during the pitching motion and has to be replaced. These injuries, along with rotator cuff injuries, can occur in even young children playing in Little League games.
[Read more…]