Humanities

The fallout of the Great Sonny Rollins Jazz Satire Blowup of 2014 is still reverberating through the jazz community, prompting new uproars and bouncing off a surprising number of new jazz eruptions in the wider culture. Definitely interesting times to be a jazz fan, if not always for the right reasons. Some cool stuff going…

Quick Interstellar Thoughts

I’m teaching a Gen Ed course on relativity this term, which means I’m spending the last few weeks of the term discussing black holes. Which, in turn, means there was no way I couldn’t use that story about Kip Thorne calculating the appearance of a black hole for the movie. Especially since I have the…

In the span of just a couple years, five of Heather Buren’s colleagues at the San Francisco Fire Department were diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, Buren thought the diagnoses were part of the unfortunate toll that comes with age. Still, something felt amiss — “it just felt so disproportionate to me,” she said.

I follow the decommissioning of Sweden’s churches keenly for several reasons. I like churches, the older the better, but I don’t like the Church much. And I take great interest in the West’s ongoing secularisation process. Before, I’ve blogged about how Maglarp Church was torn down, about how Örja church was sold as housing and…

Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 features two pieces that remind us how public-health interventions can become less effective if we as a society don’t use them effectively

Your vote needed!!

Just in case you felt like casting a vote for a cute and cuddly cause, the Phoenix Zoo is asking for help in naming a new baby Bornean orangutan. He was born on September 2, 2014 to parents Bess and Michael. You can vote here Voting ends November 6th and the winning name will be…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Dangerous workplace speedups a hidden side of the economic recovery; California recycling workers vote to unionize; emergency responders in west Texas face new challenges during energy boom; and the U.S. lags in eliminating the gender pay gap.

The Pope On Evolution

It is not just his controversial stance that the Church should dial back its dickishness towards homosexuals that has brought attention to Pope Francis. He has also weighed in on evolution: Pope Francis on Monday (Oct. 27) waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not…

A New Locked-Room Anthology!

I’m sure you remember my epic, two-part series, from 2008, about my love for locked-room mysteries: Part One, Part Two. Well then, I’m sure you can imagine my delight at learning of the publication of Otto Penlzer’s new anthology The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries. Penzler has a short essay up over at…

Sunday Chess Problem

Our diagram position today was composed by Joseph Babson in 1927. The stipulation is selfmate in three: Recall that in a selfmate, white plays first and forces black to give checkmate. That’s right! White is trying to get checkmated, while black is doing everything in his power to avoid giving checkmate (or at least to…