Get Up to Speed on Yale’s Ex-Gay Speaker

I'm off to face down Tristyn of Eschatological Psychosis and other fine speakers tonight at the Yale Political Union's annual Party Prize debate (though I fear the topic "Resolved: Don't Fear the Reaper" plays to the formidable strengths of someone whose blog includes the tags "Death is the prize" "Tom Waits is the soundtrack to my life" and "Yugoslavia is just a dance party."  Ok, maybe not that last one as much, but who knows?).  I'm definitely looking forward to her speech, and I hope she p … [Read more...]

Death of Religion Predicted by Demographers Torturing Statistics

Because what's the use of a blog that brings together Christians and atheists if it doesn't take time to snark on bad science reporting/bad study methodology?  I like geeking out about this, but if it's not your cup of tea, never fear: the next post in queue covers the ex-gay lecture I mentioned I was attending on Friday.UPDATE: Thanks to Darksmiles for pointing out an error in this post.  I misread the scale of some of the graphs in this paper, since the study listed them as "percentages" i … [Read more...]

Drinking Death Upon Yourself

Patrick had an interesting observation on the comment thread of my post on jump discontinuities in identity (whether induced by prayer or otherwise): As for discontinuity of identity while asleep... I suffer that every night, and I suspect everyone else does too. I can't remember the moment of falling asleep. There is a period of time between laying down in bed and actually falling asleep that I experience every night, but which I am incapable of remembering. Likewise I have dreams but only … [Read more...]

Happy Pi Day!

I like the suggestion from the Dinosaur Comic below, and, may I suggest, if you'd like to celebrate twice a year, that you look into Mole Day?I am a tremendous fan, and dressed up as a knight errant serving mathematics for some Halloween in high school. All that's really needed for a knight's costume is a tunic, tights, a belt, and a sword. Sadly, I can't find any photos of my math sword, which had two steel rulers for a blade and a protractor for the crossguard.Teenaged me wishes you a … [Read more...]

The Body and Buggy Software

Christian of The Thinking Grounds has posted a new installment in his series on defining the body.  His focus this go-round is on debunking the idea that the body can be simply defined as that which is obedient to our will.  He goes through a couple of examples of bodies that are subject to limited control but are still accepted as ours, including bodies stricken by paralysis, conjoined twins and two-headed snakes, or involuntary physical motions.I'm still deciding whether I actually dis … [Read more...]

Fast and Loose with Family Facts

First Things has started a new online feature I enjoy called "Family Facts." The series is described as "an occasional series of data presentations about family and religious practice and analysis of their role in maintaining civil society."  Given how much I love data and data visualization, I'm delighted.I'm not so delighted with the most recent installment on who children live with.  Here's the chart:See that note on the side, where it says "Figures for 1961 to 1967 have been i … [Read more...]


I've been travelling, so you'll have to wait until this afternoon for meaty new content, but, I had to share one quick thing.  While away, I went trawling through a going-out-of-business Borders, trying to find some quality, discounted books.  I didn't really succeed, in large part because terrible paranormal romances seem to have taken over all the shelf space.  (Where are E. Nesbit and Edward Eager?)  It's terrible to see the spawn of Twilight have taken over the YA section, but this is truly … [Read more...]