Politics

Vermont Yankee Closes

The closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant didn’t make many headlines, but for me it brought back a flood of memories and an important lesson.

The Meaning of Life

I’m not in the mood for heavy blogging just now, so how about we discuss something light and frivolous. Like the meaning of life. Back in July, I wrote this: Answers about our origins have no implications at all for questions of meaning and value. Arising through blind, uncaring forces in no way implies that…

In the week before his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama took modest but important steps toward expanding US workers’ access to paid sick and family leave.

I will assume you are paying some attention to the discussion of racism vis-a-vis Charlie Hebdo, Muslim bashing, obnoxious religious (in this case Islamic) rules of behavior, freedom of speech and expression, etc. If you were thinking that this situation is simple you better check your thought process, or your privilege, or something. Get an…

Merchants of Doubt Trailer

A new documentary you’ll want to see. An eye-opening documentary exploring the tactics of climate change deniers. An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that global warming caused by human activity is one of the most critical dangers our planet faces. But a well-organised band of professional spinners and obfuscators toil in the shadows to pretend…

Turns Out the Boy Did Not Go To Heaven

Anyone surprised to read this? A bestselling Christian book that claims to detail a boy’s trip to heaven and his return to Earth is being pulled from stores after one of its co-authors admitted he made the whole thing up. The 2010 memoir, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, was written by Alex Malarkey…

The Pope On Charlie Hebdo

Pope Francis engages in some yes-buttery with regard to the Charlie Hebdo murders: Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith. Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right…

Thanks, Common Core

“Daddy, ask me a math problem.” “OK. What’s 18 plus 6?” “Ummm… 24.” “Correct.” “See, I just keep the 18 and then add 2 from the 6 to get 20. That leaves 4 from the six, and 20 plus 4 is 24.” “Right. Good work.” —— “Hey, SteelyKid. What’s 120 plus 180?” “Ummm… 300.” “Very…

Final Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo

I don’t have much to add to what I have already said about the Charlie Hebdo killings. However, having had some time to think about things a little more, and to read what other people have said, I do feel inclined to change my mind about one aspect of this. First, Charlie Hebdo put out…

Some Follow-Up on Teaching

Yesterday’s Open Letter to Neil deGrasse Tyson struck a chord with a lot of people, and has spread a good distance on social media, which is gratifying. Given the delocalized nature of modern social media, though, it means I’m having essentially the same argument in five different places via different platforms. In the interest of…