Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hipster inadvertently proves that all hipsters look alike

Reader Julian called my attention to this post on The Register, a post that could have come from The Onion, but it’s TRUE. The headline tells it all: What happened is that a paper appeared on the AMS Journals website with a mathematical theory explaining why hipsters (or anything that behaves like hipsters) tend to […]

Unresolved biology question of the day: Why do cats sprint out of the litter box?

Not all cats do this, but many of them do. After defecating, a cat will exit the litter box on the gallop, sometimes running like crazy around the house. (They don’t seem to do it after urinating.) Some of mine did it, too, and I’ve seen this behavior in many other cats.  But why? There […]

Julian Baggini: How we can still admire figures of the past who were bigots

The Outrage Brigade is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. (Apologies to Clarence Darrow.) As we all know, the Authoritarian Left, not satisfied with demonizing and purging ideological transgressors of the present (and yes, some of them, like Harvey Weinstein, should be demonized and purged), have started in […]

Springer “apparently” retracts a creationist paper, but it’s still on the website

On December 18 of last year, I wrote to Springer’s International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology, which had published a loony creationist paper by one Sarah Umer, whose affiliation was listed as the “Department of Visual Arts & Graphic Designs at the Institute of Visual Arts & Designs at the Lahore College for Women University […]

Michael Cohen testifies

I’m watching Michael Cohen’s live testimony before the House of Representatives, and you can follow it, along with commentary, at the New York Times site. What he has to say is chilling, and it’s not over yet. I can tell the party of any Representative questioning Cohen simply by the loudness of their voices (the […]

Goff responds to my critique of “religious fictionalism”

I recently wrote a critique of philosopher Philip Goff’s TLS article on “religious fictionalism”, his idea that all of us, including atheists, might benefit from becoming religious fictionalists, embracing a practice that Goff describes as follows: Religious fictionalists hold that the contentious claims of religion, such as “God exists” or “Jesus rose from the dead” […]

Andrew Sullivan’s weekly trifecta. Part 1: Homosexuality, hypocrisy and immorality in the Vatican

I have to say that I’m really enjoying Andrew Sullivan’s weekly columns in New York Magazine. This new one has three absorbing bits, all of which are worth reading. (I’ll post about all of them if I have time today.) The first is about the homosexuality that’s rife in the Vatican. Not that there’s anything […]

Caturday felid trifecta: Cat weight-control device; vets save a frozen, ice-covered cat; shelters for homeless cats in Ecuador

Here’s a device, “Little Cat”, that purports to help your tubby moggie lose weight; it apparently comes from Korea, and I can’t find out how much it costs. You can operate it from your phone with an app, and the speeds are up to 72 rpm, which may be a bit fast for even a […]

“Religious fictionalism”: The TLS argues that you should pretend to believe in God even if there’s no evidence for him

I used to write quite a bit for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), but my interest in that has waned—as, I suspect, has theirs in me—as they’ve become ever softer on religion. (As I recall, they even got a theologian to review Faith versus Fact, which is like having the Pope review The God Delusion).  […]

Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, February 10, 2019, and a positively tropical day in Chicago, with temperatures soaring to 25°F (-4°C). (Snow is predicted for later today.) It’s National “Have a Brownie” Day (again, why the scare quotes? Are they just messing with us and we don’t really get brownies?). In Italy it’s National Memorial Day of the Exiles and […]