PZ, I know you’d love this. Admit it. Air plant pods. But they look like CEPHALOPODS!   Read more

Among many others, I read the piece on ABCNews.com about Hitch’s death. The comments there and elsewhere have been mainly positive and even reverential, but some crossed over into the nasty. It’s their right to say such stuff, certainly. But it’s also … revealing, let’s say. These are verbatim, by the way: (more…) Read more

Well, shit. Woke up at 5 a.m. with a 50-mph wind roaring outside my window. Rolled over and picked up my phone to check the weather, and was immediately assaulted with Facebook posts praising Hitch. Clicked over to a news page and saw it. Dead at 62. Damn. Many times during my younger life, I asked the people around me “If there was a pill you could take that would make it possible for you to live forever, would you… Read more

Bloody hell. The European Humanist Federation estimates that the tax advantages of the Catholic Churches costs the Italian government 6 billion euros a year — roughly $7.8 billion US. Could that change? Well … Italian Catholic Church under pressure to start paying property tax (more…) Read more

Religious Believers Don’t Trust Atheists, Says New Study In other news, the sea is wet, dogs bark, and bears poop in the woods. Love this bit: While atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists’ absence of belief as a public threat … This following part strikes me as probably a little bit bullshit. If the data is correct, I’ll bet they’re misinterpreting it. Atheists also tend to trust religious people… Read more

From an email: Dear Mr Hank Fox, To promote skepticism/critical thinking I wrote some questions for the Christian believer. Mefiante from South African Skeptics made a good translation. She is now working at the last part. The most sophisticated questions. Are you able to put the link to these questions at your blog? Thank you very much, Piet – Rotterdam – Netherlands (more…) Read more

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3 — Part 4 An apology is a social act, an interpersonal transaction. It’s an attempt – in that space between us – to repair something that we’ve broken by some prior act. It can be as simple as a quick “Oops, sorry,” offered to the stranger you bump into in a store, or as complex as an elaborate healing ritual carried out to repair a serious breach between husband and wife. In… Read more

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3 — Part 4 Okay, I know I promised Part 2 would be a look at the nature of an apology. But I’m thinking first I should make a point about WHY you apologize. Why you even admit to making a mistake at all. So: _________________________ Modern-day Conservatives piss me off. For soooo many reasons. But one of the main reasons is that they’re so goddam SURE they’re right about everything. Given the… Read more

If a mouse quits his job, does he have to give two squeaks notice? ——————— Jeez. Already this morning I had to upgrade the power converters on the warp flux conduits, and install anti-neutrino baffles on the anti-matter plasma feed. Being a star ship engineer is hard. (more…) Read more

I’m pretty sure this is going viral, so … first!  (On FTB, anyway.) And in case you miss the joke, Rick Perry appears to be wearing the same jacket as Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. (Understand, this is not making fun of gay cowboys; it’s making fun of a “cowboy” who has a visceral dislike of gays.)                                              … Read more

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