Top News Snubs Giving Tuesday

Time to check the news again and see what the media is feeding us. Today’s news isn’t dominated by Ferguson, as it was just last week, it seems to be a political day. Top stories including the nomination of Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense, Rand Paul’s candidacy for President, and John Boehner’s partisan wrangling. There was no top-billing for #GivingTuesday, that admirable attempt to get people to donate to charity after spending all their money on gifts on Cyber Monday, Black… Read more

Yoda is Dead so Jedi Might Win

Well, let the Star Was talk begin. The new trailers are out. The buzz is going. Jar Jar was a train wreck but I still like them. And in this new iteration, we might actually see the Jedi prevail over the Dark Side. Without that idiot Yoda to mess everything up, they have a chance. The only thing Yoda ever did right was find a planet. Remember, he helped Obi-wan solve the mystery of the missing planet? Not exactly high praise…. Read more

Vegan – Privilege Odometer Rolled Over

Vegans often suffer the accusation that it’s too expensive or that villagers in Africa can’t be vegan. I normally respond that it’s really not that expensive and that we don’t live in Africa (not anybody I talk to). But to be honest, they have a point. Vegans have so much privilege, the privilege odometer is rolled over. What does that mean exactly? [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] said: “The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three… Read more

Top 10 Thanksgiving Memes

The great jokes and pics for Thanksgiving have been floating around today. This isn’t just the fluff but some insightful and some funny pictures for today. Enjoy: And let’s finish by giving thanks where thanks is due:   Share the whole gallery with your friends:   Read more

Departing DoD Chief Challenged on Transgender Promise

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is out, soon. There are lots of conspiracy theories about why, but in my opinion, it’s a combination of a mission he wasn’t hired to do (ie, drawdown  has become ISIS response) and a convenient lead time prior to the next election cycle. But one incomplete mission is implementing open service for nearly 15,000 transgender personnel and joining an international military profession already open to transgender persons. Secretary Hagel personally delivered remarks at the LGBT Pride Month celebration… Read more

A Secular Attitude of Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving, and that word has a history in the United States, and to a lesser extent, a history around the world. Sukkot is the Jewish harvest festival and refers to the temporary dwellings during the time of wandering. Sukkot includes rejoicing though not gratitude specifically. Chuseok is a more traditional celebration of the harvest on the Autumn Equinox and includes honoring of ancestors. American Thanksgiving (and Canadian Thanksgiving in October) have a key component of gratitude that expands on… Read more

Daily Dose of Dancing Owls

Your daily dose of “Animals are People, Too”, a The Human Animal segment. Todays dose: Owls with extremely bad taste in music. Don’t try to deny it owls. You’re caught dancing to Ke$ha.   Read more

Rethink the Thanksgiving Feast

This Thanksgiving, The Human Animal will put one part of the tradition under the spotlight – the Feast. What possesses us to stuff our fat faces until we can’t move and eventually pass out? It’s just outrageous, at least on the surface. Even in America, there are so many who go hungry, it should be unconscionable to plan in advance to waste food, even if it’s extra unnecessary calories for yourself. But on the other hand, it’s been going on… Read more

Hosting the family atheist at Thanksgiving

Welcome again to this second post at The Human Animal. The Human Animal intends among other things to shrink that gulf between human animals and other non-human animals. Shrinking that gulf is easiest when setting aside the religious notion of a divine spark in humanity (See Animal Liberation Atheism by Kim Socha for more). But when your own family Richard Dawkins is in town (or dating your daughter), there’s nothing that will divide the family faster than a religious revival. I… Read more

What is the media feeding us?

The Human Animal is still building up, but one of the features is to analyze what people are talking about versus what they should be talking about. By people, I mean the media, because people really just talk about what the media decides they should be talking about. The human animal (that’s us) is extremely susceptible to our environment. There’s a fine line between hypnotic suggestion and marketing. It’s not the conspiracy theory voodoo that was talked about in the… Read more