Humanities

Help Me Proofread My Book

Bitte Granlund of Happy Book has sent me PDF proofs for my forthcoming Bronze Age book, looking bee-you-tiful! If you’d like to help me proofread it, please email me. Everyone who finds ten errors gets a dedicated copy sent by mail. To my delight, the response to my plea has been strong. At the moment I believe I…

Science Story: Impossible Conditions

(When I launched the Advent Calendar of Science Stories series back in December, I had a few things in mind, but wasn’t sure I’d get through 24 days. In the end, I had more than enough material, and in fact didn’t end up using a few of my original ideas. So I’ll do a few…

Recent pieces address the toll of measles; evidence vs. hype in treating heroin addiction; why foodborne-illness outbreaks linked to poultry keep happening; and more.

On Intelligence and Talent

Probably the dumbest person I’ve ever met in my life was a housemate in grad school. I didn’t do my lab work on campus, so I wasn’t living in a neighborhood where cheap housing was rented to students, but in a place where folks were either genuinely poor, or in the market for very temporary…

If national lawmakers took action on less than a dozen policy fronts, they could reduce child poverty in the U.S. by a whopping 60 percent. In sheer numbers, such a reduction would lift 6.6 million children out of poverty and significantly improve their opportunities for living long and fruitful lives.

Introduction of a new TSCA reform bill is expected some time this spring. In the meantime, The Pump Handle takes a look at what’s at stake in TSCA reform and why the outcome matters to those who care about protecting and improving occupational and public health.

Science Stories: Commercial Instincts

(When I launched the Advent Calendar of Science Stories series back in December, I had a few things in mind, but wasn’t sure I’d get through 24 days. In the end, I had more than enough material, and in fact didn’t end up using a few of my original ideas. So I’ll do a few…

Pros and Cons of Super Bowl Science

The ending of last night’s Super Bowl couldn’t’ve been more perfect as a demonstration of the point I was making about scientific thinking in football (and, you know, in that book I keep flogging…). First, on the positive side, you have New England’s Malcolm Butler making the key play: “I knew what was going to…

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” -William Shakespeare They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and yet, if your packing it in your lunchbox, how…

Proving God Exists

Broadly speaking, there are two general strategies for proving that God exists. One we might call the scientific approach. This is where you point to some empirical fact and argue that it is beyond the reach of natural forces. The classic example is Paley’s version of the argument for design. Paley argued that just as…