Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

A nice cuppa chai (चाय)

“Chai” is the Hindi word for tea, and you’d better learn it if you’re going to India. It’s the national drink, though in South India coffee takes precedence, and can be terrific. Chai is variable, of course, but my favorite is the kind served on trains, which used to come in one-use unglazed pottery cups that […]

Why the “nones” leave religion: US and UK getting less religious

The Pew organization, which certainly has no bias that I can detect against religion, had reanalyzed some data from its 2014 U.S. “Religious landscape study,” asking people who said they were both “nones” (those not affiliated with a church) and also had formerly been raised as church members but later abandoned that membership. The results are […]

Penn Jillette confesses that he’s adopted Christianity, and then discusses “Islamophobia”

Well, see for yourself. Here on The Big Think, Penn Jillette, famous magician and well-known atheist and libertarian, talks for 13 minutes about “Islamophobia.” After meeting a Muslim who became an atheist, but couldn’t admit it to others for fear of his life, Penn apparently realized the problems with Islamophobia, and talks about them for […]

Caturday felid trifecta: Simon’s Cat on how cats stay so clean, Bobby the cat survives a two-minute machine wash, new Treasury cat on Downing Street, and Maru lagniappe

Here’s a recent episode of Simon’s Cat logic, which includes both behavior information from Nicky Trevarrow and the usual animated cartoon. Nicky says that cats groom in a specific order; check your own cat to see if that’s the case. I always wonder about this: how do cats get the back of their neck and their “shoulders” […]

Reader’s wildlife photos

How about a little Stephen Barnard photography (from Idaho) this rainy Saturday? His captions are indented. Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus). I love the common name of this  bird. Usually, the second word in a hyphenated name isn’t capitalized, like Red-tailed Hawk or Yellow-rumped Warbler. This seems to be an exception. Sometimes it’s spelled without the […]

Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Yes, it’s Saturday, August 27, and all normal people will be relaxing.  In Texas, it’s a state holiday: Lyndon Baines Johnson day, which is “optional” for state employees (I’m not sure what it means). Regardless of what you think about LBJ, you really should read Robert Caro’s four volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson. (Caro, now […]

Cats and Ping Pong

Let’s end the work week with cat videos, since every reader save one (see previous thread) likes cats. There are quite a few videos on YouTube showing cats purporting to play ping-pong, but this one really does. Of course, he’s playing the net and is powerless to deal with corner shots to the left. . . […]

Readers’ Ask Me Anything

Okay, I’m dead tired and can’t brain, as I’ve had a bit of insomnia since coming back from Poland, so don’t expect gravitas and substance today. What I can do, which someone suggested earlier, is have the equivalent of a reddit “AMA”, or “ask me anything”. So, instead of writing a post or two this […]

French courts overturn burkini ban

As CNN reports, and as I expected, the French Council of State, an administrative court, has overturned the bans on “burkinis”—the full body coverings for beachgoing Muslim women—enacted in 15 French towns. What were these people thinking? Why would a burkini be banned but a full-body covering for a non-Muslim deemed okay if it were worn to […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas’s Instagram site describes him as “a naturalist in Queens,” (a borough of New York City) as well as an “amateur dolphinologist and beeologist.”  He sent some varied photos, and his captions are indented: Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) on Lantana sp., male, Glendale, NY (August 3, 2016) Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus; female). Glendale, NY (June 10, 2016): Leopard […]

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