Back of the Bus: A Woman’s Place

Get thee behind me, woman! I'd read about gender-separated buses in Israel, and was not happy about it, but ... let it slide. You can't fight every battle. But now I find gender-separated buses happen HERE. In New York City.           … [Read more...]

Short Stack #4

“Faith” is the belief in something for which there is no evidence. Breach the protective barrier in your mind, the barrier that keeps you from believing stuff just because somebody tells you to, or just because you want to, and all sorts of ugly side effects begin to take place. The first is that you become a sucker for the next 50 con men able to convince you of THEIR seductive lie. When there’s evidence, nobody talks about faith. Faith only comes into it when we want to replace evidence … [Read more...]

Right of Weigh

Want to guess how this overturned car got that way?                     Click the "Read More" link to see it.   … [Read more...]

You’re All Going to Die and Burn In Hell. Again.

Woe, I say woe unto you, heathen masses! Your time has, I say your time has come! Deferred Doomsday Due Friday -- Or Not On May 22, an obviously shocked [Harold] Camping emerged from his home to say he was "flabbergasted" that the Rapture stood him up. But then, a couple of days later, like all good doomsday prophets, he had an answer: May 21 was just the beginning; the Rapture would take a lot longer; the real Rapture will happen five months later on Oct. 21. "What really happened this past … [Read more...]

Life-Changing but Not World-Changing

This Reuters piece on a milestone in malaria research — not an excited  shriek of earth-shaking revelation, but the somber celebration of a respectable bit of progress — strikes just the right note in reporting science. (Oh, yeah ... maybe I should tell you the Weekly World News pic is here to show the OTHER type of reporting.) Malaria scientist celebrates success after 24 years "There were many ups and downs, and moments over the years when we thought 'Can we do it? Should we continue? … [Read more...]

Blue Collar Atheist: Three Posts

What follows (below, in posts time-stamped earlier than this one so they’re stacked 1, 2, 3 down the page) is two chapters of my book, Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist: Simple Thoughts About Reason, Gods & Faith. I’m posting this lead-in and these two chapters so you’ll have a better idea of the tone and something of the content. Yes, I’m selling them, and yes, I hope you’ll buy one. Just below is the first chapter, Introduction: Who Is This Guy? — which is of course about me, … [Read more...]

Blue Collar Atheist: Introduction — Who is this guy?

I grew up in Texas with a bunch of rodeo cowboys. I wanted to become a veterinarian, a horse doctor, but it didn’t pan out. Instead, I ended up working as a carpenter, driving a dump truck and then a soda delivery truck, being foreman of a roofing company, and a lot of other stuff in that same vein. I moved away to the mountains in the west when I was about 21 and got a job at a pack station (a ranch, sort of) on the edge of the wilderness, where I worked with horses and mules. I was also a … [Read more...]

Blue Collar Atheist: Foreword — Saying Goodbye To Gods

My dog died. Don’t sweat it – it was more than a decade ago now, and I’m (mostly) over it. Can’t tell you how much I loved the old beast. His official name was Woodacres Ranger, and he was from a line of champion German shepherd show dogs. But I never even bothered to register him. To me, he was Ranger the Valiant Warrior, my best friend for more than 12 years, and we romped through the heart of the world together. For most of his life, we lived in California’s Eastern Sierra, in a … [Read more...]

Milestones

Sometime today Blue Collar Atheist will reach 100,000 reader hits. I know other bloggers here will smile indulgently at that number — PZ probably gets that many an HOUR — but to me it's something special. From my first post on Aug. 24 — just 55 days ago — I've written 133 posts, received 940 comments (Thank you!), and gotten approximately 30 billion bits of spam — mostly about penis enlargement. (I try not to take it personally.) My best day ever, Sept. 17, I posted "Amish Men Saved … [Read more...]

Thank you, Occupy Wall Street

I lived through the Vietnam Era. Just a few of the consequences of that war: It killed 58,220 U.S. soldiers. More than 150,000 were wounded, at least 21,000 were permanently disabled, and 830,000 suffered symptoms of PTSD. In addition, about 50,000 American servicemen deserted, and an estimated 125,000 U.S. citizens of military draft age fled to Canada. Besides that, about 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides were sprayed over Southeast Asia, resulting in more than 4 … [Read more...]