Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some good news: Muslims protect a synagogue

In the world of terrorism and killing, it’s stuff like this that at least buttresses (though doesn’t restore) my crumbling faith in humanity. I reported yesterday that Muslims in Norway vowed to form a ring around an Oslo synagogue on Sabbath (today) as a symbol of unanimity and protectiveness. According to Reuters, that actually took place. I […]

Infinite Monkey Cage tour: announcement deux

Just a reminder that if you want to go to one of the four live U.S. performances of the hugely popular British BBC Radio 4 science-and-humor show, “The Infinite Monkey Cage” (they’ll be in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles between March 5 and March 13), you’d best buy your tickets now, as […]

Surprise! ISIS bans teaching evolution in schools

This post is like telling people that Christians now worship Jesus. But I put it down for the record, for, after all, many Muslims accept evolution. It’s taught, for example, in Iranian public schools. Nearly all devout Muslims, however, are human exceptionalists with respect to evolution: while they may accept other species of plants and […]

Muhammad on flies and disease: the scientific wisdom of the Qur’an and hadith

In my readings for The Albatross on how Muslims reconcile science and the Qur’an, I found a strong strain (not so prevalent in Christianity) of sycretism, or rather what I call “coincidentalism,” an accommodaitonist tactic I describe in my book. Muslims will parse the Qur’an or the hadith, find something that sounds vaguely scientific, and then […]

Putin has bamboozled the West

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Putin is encouraging and arming (and even contributing fighters to) the Ukranian pro-Russian separatists. His goal is either to simply absorb Ukraine in its entirety, or to keep it free from any ties to the West, so that it stays within Russia’s “sphere of influence”. Indeed, there are some […]

Wake up and watch the SquirrelCam!

Reader Diane G. is really good at finding AnimalCams, and this one, a squirrelcam from Budapest, is good. I’m not sure whether these long-eared cuties are European red squirrels (which bear the inappropriate Latin name of Sciurus vulgaris) or what—as I don’t know from squirrels—but they’re cute as hell and you can watch them nom at the […]

Speaking of clams. . .

(Does that sound like the title of a Krista Tippett show?). I’m on the move today, and posting will be light, which means that if I report on science or natural history, I won’t have time to read the original papers. But this finding is cool anyway, and there’s a video, so I’ll use a […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Now that he’s back from Hobbitland, Stephen Barnard has started sending us photos again. And I can’t believe I’m including d*gs as wildlife here, except that I like border collies best among all d*gs—and the puppies are cute. His report: The weather conditions have been difficult and good photos have been few  and far between. […]

A humongous Swiss Army knife

When I first saw this thing, I thought for sure it was a Photoshopped joke. Who could possibly carry that thing around with them? But it’s real! It is in fact listed as “Giant knife” on the Wenger website (Wenger makes Swiss Army knives), with these specs: A two-pound Swiss Army knife that has 87 tools that do […]

Guest post: Bill Maher promotes medical woo on “Real Time”

JAC comment: Yesterday I received an exercised email (with video links) from reader Kurt, complaining bitterly about the promotion of medical woo on a recent episode of Bill Maher’s “Real Time”—promotion done with Maher’s apparent approval and complicity. Rather than rephrase Kurt’s email or risk plagiarizing his take on the show, I asked him to write […]

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