Category Archives: Uncategorized

Deactivating a cat

This video shows a brilliant idea: calm a cat down at the vet’s by using a clip to make it think it’s being carried. It apparently activates the cat’s “go-limp” reflex—a holdover from its kittenhood—without hurting it. Try this with your cat (don’t hurt it!) and let me know if it works. h/t: Dennis


by Matthew Cobb a pair of lungs being filled with air— Science GIFs (@Learn_Things) December 06, 2015 The evolution of lungs was a decisive step in vertebrates coming onto the land. I know nothing about it – please chip in below with your knowledge or pet theories.

The race is on for Atheist Butter of the Year

It’s only January 7, yet already the oleaginous atheist-butters* are pontificating in the newspapers. And we have a good candidate in the form of nonbeliever Joe Humphreys, whose article in yesterday’s Irish Times, “Why Irish atheists still need the Catholic Church,” is sure to piss off Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland, and all the Irish nonbelievers who’ve fought […]

The world’s saddest raccoon (and snake lagniappe)

Both of these items come from the eagle-eyed Matthew Cobb, who somehow finds time to trawl Twi**er and the Internet when he’s not teaching, doing science, or writing books. Plus he’s got two daughters, a wife, and three cats. At any rate, he found this raccoon on Twi**er, and it’s a very sad one, watching its […]

“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

If all goes well tomorrow, we’ll have a special treat: Professor Ceiling Cat’s (Emeritus) list (and videos) of the most soulful soul songs ever recorded. (This is of course my opinion, and does not necessarily reflect that of the University of Chicago.) And, after listening to them all—of course few people will!—you can vote for your […]

Spot the panda!

I don’t know why we’re suddenly inundated with a spate of “find-the-panda” images, but here’s a difficult one—with a Star Wars theme. Can you spot the Ailuropoda melanoleucans?  Click to enlarge. h/t: Mark Sturtevant

Big fun: Paul Nelson reviews Faith Versus Fact

You can tell without reading the review of Faith Versus Fact by Paul Nelson—a young-earth creationist and a Fellow of the Discovery Institute—that he’s not gonna like it. His review in Biola Magazine (a publication of the evangelical Christian Biola University, euphemistically renamed from The Bible Institute of Los Angeles) is called “How to make evidence […]

NPR reports: Potential tornado victims claim God’s power to divert storms

A short bit on National Public Radio’s “Around the nation” news report was brought to my attention by reader Tom. Bill Zeeble from NPR was reporting on the deadly tornadoes afflicting Texas, and interviewed Garland, Texas resident Sabrina Lowe. You can hear the piece at the site, and here’s a bit of the transcript. Remember, Zeeble […]

An Afghan woman, falsely accused of burning a Qur’an, is slaughtered by a brutal mob

If you’re squeamish, don’t read this article in today’s New York Times, and especially don’t watch the video. There’s a lot of screaming and blood, for the video and the article detail the horrific death of Farkhunda, a 27-year-old Afghan woman and a scholar of Islam, battered to death by a vicious mob after accusations that […]

The 12 days of evolution. #6: The imperfection of evolution

Today’s video, part of the PBS/It’s Okay to Be Smart collaboration, highlights the “dumbness” of evolution: the fact that it has no foresight, and therefore devises solutions—I’m speaking metaphorically here—that are less perfect than an engineer could come up with de novo. One of the most famous jerry-rigged and imperfect “adaptations” is the mammalian recurrent […]


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