Category Archives: Uncategorized

A mother protects her genes

Shall we end the week with a felid? Here we see kin selection in action! h/t:Barry

Switzerland: Muslim students must shake teachers’ hands or get fined

The past few weeks have seen two related episodes involving Muslims’ refusal to shake hands—a religious dictate against members of different sexes touching each other (the same holds, I believe, for ultra-Orthodox Jews). The New York Times has a note that, in Austria, a female schoolteacher sued a Muslim father who refused to shake hands with […]

You won’t believe how much food this hamster can store!

This cute video is also scientifically interesting, as it shows an X-ray of a nomming hamster, and the extent of those cheek pouches. The Daily Mirror gives its source: X-ray footage of a hamster stuffing its cheeks has revealed how the animal’s food pouches extend all the way to its hips! The film – shot by the […]

Tw**t of the day: “Epigenetic poetry”

Antonio Regalado is the Senior Editor for Biomedicine at MIT Technology Review. Sadly, given his position he seems unable to distinguish between reality and well-written but incorrect descriptions of reality. “Epigenetic poetry” indeed. If you want lyrical science, first be sure it’s good science. UPDATE: In the comments, reader suggested that Regalado was being sarcastic here, and, if […]

Taunton vs. Krauss on Hitchens’s “conversion”

Here’s the BBC’s Newsnight interviewing Larry Alex Taunton, author of The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist. As you recall, Taunton’s book claims that, near the end of his life, Hitchens was flirting with accepting God. I have to say that the BBC interviewer (I don’t know his name) […]

Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday, May 20, and seems like just yesterday I was bemoaning the advent of Monday. The good news is that the weekend is nigh; the bad news is that we’re all a week closer to death. On this day in history, Shakespeare’s sonnets were published by Thomas Thorpe in London (1609), the first traffic ticket […]

Simon’s Cat Logic: on boxes (with added advice to staff)

Simon Tofield, the talented creator of Simon’s Cat, has teamed up with cat experts to provide not only cartoons, but also useful information about cats. The new series is called “Cat Logic.” Here we have an episode on boxes with cat expert Nicky Trevorrow from Cats Protection: h/t: Ken

Article in The Independent says religion will disappear, but for bizarre reasons

Reader Ant called my attention to an article in the May 9 Independent, “Religion could die out as world’s population gets richer, evolutionary scientists claim.” Well of course that got my attention. I’ve long argued—and the claim comes not from me, but from sociologists—that religion, as Marx argued, is an artifact of low “well being”. When you don’t […]

Christians revel in thought of Hitchens burning in hell

Grania sent me an email (below) pointing out that my post on Hitchens’s Vulture also got onto the internet via a tw**t by Lawrence Krauss, with a reaction from Christians that, I guess, was predictable. Lawrence Krauss tweeted your article on Hitchens and while most people responding to the tweet were appreciative, these believers (they self-identify as […]

Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, May 17, and our school year (which ends in early June) is winding to a close. Today it will be moderately chilly (56°F, 13°C) with a chance of light showers, and they begin painting my office.  On this day in history there were two advances in civil rights. In 1954, the Supreme Court […]


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