Whack-a-Mole and those Awful Middle Ages

Every so often I see someone on-line claiming that rationality started with the Renaissance, when the bonds of the Catholic Church were finally broken. It ain't so; if one troubles to look into it, one finds that so far from being dark the middle ages were an time of intellectual flowering. Trouble is, even if you've got the proof at your fingertips it's like playing whack-a-mole. The claim pops up here and it pops up there like the hero with a thousand faces, and is as hard to kill. … [Read more...]

Also Righteously Bad

Since I posted about the waiter in Overland Park, Kansas who received a nasty note in lieu of a tip, several similar cases have popped up. It now appears that one of them might be a hoax.Now me, I don't know who's lying in this case. I do know that the message conveyed by the note is an un-Christian message, and that's what I chose to write about in the earlier case. Such things apparently do happen, and they shouldn't.But on the other hand: if someone who leaves a nasty-gram in lieu … [Read more...]

Righteously Bad Theology

As the Anchoress noted a couple of days ago, a server in Overland Park, Kansas went to pick up a check after restaurant patrons had eaten, and found this message on the bill:Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is … [Read more...]

City of the Beasts

A rare negative book review from January, 2003, of Isabel Allende's City of the Beasts. I find that I still feel the same way a decade later.Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold's mother has cancer and is going to a special clinic with Alexander's father; he and his sisters get dispatched to live with aunts for duration. In Alexander's case, it means that he accompanies his eccentric, acerbic Aunt Kate on an expedition to the farthest reaches of the Amazon River, in search of a murderous … [Read more...]

Shakers of Salt

You might have seen headlines around the web today about how Oreos are as addictive as cocaine. Slashdot has this to say:Here's how the experiment, which has not been peer reviewed and has not been presented yet, went down. Mice were placed in a maze, with one end holding an Oreo and the other end holding a rice cake. The mice, without fail, decided to eat the Oreo over the rice cake, proving once and for all that mice like cookies better than tasteless discs with a styrofoamy … [Read more...]