Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

In 1897 Francis Pharcellus Church, who had been a war correspondent during the Civil War, was working as an editor at The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper.In 1897 an eight-year-old girl by the name of Virginia O’Hanlon asked her father whether Santa Claus really existed.  Her father—Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant from Manhattan’s Upper West Side—encouraged her to write to The Sun to ask the question.  “If you see it in The Sun,” he said, “it’s so.”Francis Church answer … [Read more...]

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A Compendium of Bad Thinking: The Hedonism of Henry Sidgwick

Happy birthday, Henry Sidgwick!  Welcome to the Hedonism Hotel!I was poking around on-line the other day and I actually found a Jamaican resort which has as its claim to fame that “it’s the only resort where you can do what you want, when you want, in a way that you want.” The adults-only, clothing-optional resort gushes about its nude beach and the performances by Circus Erotica.  If you are so unfortunate as to be stuck at a boring old family friendly hotel in the neighborhood, for $75 you … [Read more...]

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