The History of Sleep

Relaying the discoveries of Roger Ekirch (author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past) and Craig Koslofsky (author of Evening’s Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe), Stephanie Hegarty writes a long and fascinating article about how in past eras people who lived with long, dark nights tended to sleep in two segments [Read More...]


It’s President’s Day, so it’s time to watch the traditional celebratory video: For all you historical revisionist, theocratic Christian Dominionist Tea Partiers out there, here’s “I Heard George Washington Weeping”. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

George Takei on Being Placed in Japanese Internment Camp

He calls the place the American government made him live as a four year old a concentration camp and explains the racism he endured in his childhood: George Takei : Japanese Internment Camp Survivor from Conn Videos on Vimeo. He has more to say about it today, on the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. [Read More...]

Should We Celebrate The Civil War With Hot Dogs and Fireworks?

One of my favorite blog posts from the exceptional Ta-Nehisi Coates is one from last spring where he made the case for chucking the common wisdom, according to which the Civil War should be thought of as “tragic” and instead argued we should celebrate it the way we do the Revolutionary War. The whole provocative [Read More...]

Is Occupy Wall Street "Doing It Rong"?

Crommunist argues no, challenging the historical validity of oft-heard memes how successful protest movements are “supposed to” work: “The Occupy people don’t have a plan! All successful protest movements have clear goals and plans that are defined before the protest starts!” I suppose the second statement there is pure implication from the first. The truth, [Read More...]

A Critique of Noble Lies And The "Theologies" They Create

In this long post, I begin by explaining Plato’s formulation of the concept of a noble lie for those unfamiliar with it and then I explain in detail numerous problems I see with employing noble lies and with attempts to persuade people through “theological” arguments. I think all theology is either an explicit or an [Read More...]

Fact Checking Pinker On World's Bloodiest Atrocity

In his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Stephen Pinker argues that humanity is getting less bloodthirsty and more civilized. But Humphrey Clarke, of the Medieval history blog Quodlibeta, takes issue with some of the numbers that Pinker uses to argue that the 20th Century was, proportionately speaking, less bloody than [Read More...]

100 Year Old Letters From Ordinary Atheists Explaining Their Atheism

(Image via Friendly Atheist) So, last week I happened to stumble upon an old Unreasonable Faith post celebrating the firebrand atheism of Charles Chilton Moore, whose turn of the century Kentucky newspaper, The Bluegrass Blade, was like the Pharyngula of its time. (Moore even did a stint in jail for scandalously claiming that “Jesus Christ was [Read More...]

A 1917 Subway Car Back In Service In NYC

There is a subway that I sometimes ride that shuttles back and forth all day between Grand Central Station and Times Square and it is the most wonderful subway advertising experience because the entire interior of the train will be designed as a giant ad for something—be it the baseball playoffs or a Broadway show [Read More...]