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Researchers on echolocation are trying to tap what they think is our untapped potential to learn what it’s like to be a bat. A team of researchers from the University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH) has shown scientifically that human beings can develop echolocation, the system of acoustic signals used by dolphins and bats to explore their surroundings. Producing certain kinds of tongue clicks helps people to identify objects around them without needing to see them, something which would be… Read more

Feministing breaks down Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Twilight, and True Blood for their implicit (and explicit) views on sex.  While comparing and contrasting True Blood and Twilight, Latoya Peterson drops this tidbit, which is the first thing to make me curious to peek at Twilight (though I’m 99% sure I still won’t): In both series, sex is spiked with danger. A man’s protection and a woman’s desire are intimately connected to violence. Sookie frequently finds herself the subject of Bill’s… Read more

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Jack and Jill Politics has a whole bunch of great photos of the Obamas in Africa.  Check all of them out. Read more

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Professor Jude Jones has stopped by to offer an excellent retort to my recent remarks in reply to her. Our topic is whether a new NEH call for grant proposals presumes that non-philosophers can address “the enduring questions” usually considered the domain of philosophy better than philosophers have or equal to how we have.  Here is my very first post on the topic if you’d like to start at the beginning but it should not be necessary to understand what… Read more

jfxgillis picks apart National Review Online (and other right wing) attempts to rationalize away the decidedly left-wing aspects of the Pope’s new encyclical.  The whole article is excellent and worth reading.  Here is his reply to attempts to claim the encyclical is not meant to be political: Pope Benedict says himself it’s a political in part. Glory Be, in the most-quoted passage of the encyclical, Benedict calls for a new global political institution, in effect, a regime of global capital… Read more

Dammit. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) — an ardent anti-abortion activist — is worried that the Obama administration’s loosening of restrictions on stem cell research will result in the creation of a new race of bio-engineered “human-animal” hybrid freaks. Or beautiful mermaids. The bill — modeled on an inexplicably overlooked effort by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — would ban the creation of “part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species.” The legislation, he says, “is… Read more

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