The Sporting Life

Elliot had a great comment on the sports, courage, and risk discussion, and I wanted to pull it up to the top level in case you aren't checking the thread.  He wrote: So, someone down below suggested that all of this silliness might be chalked up to Leah’s “gnostic tendencies”. I have similar tendencies, though they might be better called “puritan” than “gnostic”. Still, I don’t think either of these is really behind the discussion at hand.The great thing about virtue is that it’s flexible. … [Read more...]

A Crafty Weekend


I'm keeping myself on track to finish my Halloween costume by posting updates every Monday. This week I've transferred my pattern draft to tracing paper and then used it to cut out the pattern pieces for my muslin mockup. By next week's update, I'll have  pieced the muslin together and used it to make any corrections to the pattern (and hopefully start cutting the real fabric).How long did all this take?  About 125 minutes (the runtime of Captain America).But that's not the only craft pr … [Read more...]

Where will you train your courage?

My post on the horrors of football sparked an interesting conversation about courage and character.  Forgive me for stitching together conversations and truncating comments, pop over and read the comments in full in the thread. Randy: Men do take risks. Women don’t get why. Liberal do-gooders try to prevent them from taking risks. There is something about facing your fear and coming out victorious that men need to do. I won’t try and explain it but if I am ever in a dangerous situation I want a … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (9/14/12)

--- 1 --- When I get overbooked and miss a week of Quick Takes, I get enough of a backlog for seven gloriously nerdy links.  Let's start with the pyrotechnics and build from there, shall we?Via io9 [which is throwing an error, so try this link], science photographer Richard Roscoe wanted to figure out what would happen if a human (or a grotesque hobbit) fell into lava.  Would they sink right through or burn on top of the molten rock?  You could spend time thrashing this out with a physics te … [Read more...]

Welcome Camels with Hammers to Patheos!

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Patheos has added Camels with Hammers, written by philosophy professor Daniel Finke to the Atheist channel.  Here's a snippet of his intro post: I am like Nietzsche’s camel. While I am many miles away from morally perfect, I have been a generally conscientious person since I was a child and was devoutly, zealously, evangelically, self-sacrificially, and mildly puritanically religious until I was 21. And I am open to certain interpretations of my personality that see it as still fundamentally re … [Read more...]

How Big a Hit are You Willing to Take?

As you may recall, concussions in football is one of my hobbyhorses.  So of course I was interested when I saw that Kevin Cook had a NYT op-ed on the subject.  If you follow the topic, you've probably seen most of the data, but he had some interesting information about how the NFL screens players: The N.F.L. now uses simple written or computerized cognitive tests to assess concussions. Before each season, players are shown a page featuring 20 words and asked to write down as many as they remem … [Read more...]

Is Sufficiently Compressed Thinking Indistinguishable from Magical Thinking?

Andrew Brown is in The Guardian claiming any sufficiently interesting theory of the world is indistinguishable from religion.  There's a lot to debate there, but do you mind if I put the broader issue aside for a second to come to the defense of science!  Brown writes: And atheism can be just as theologically incorrect: today's paper told me that: "our bodies are built and controlled by far fewer genes than scientists had expected". The metaphors of "building" and "controlling" have here taken a … [Read more...]