Archives for January, 2012

Colorized Darwin

There wasn’t much color photography in Darwin’s day, so all the photos we have of him are in black and white (or sepia). Here’s a site with some skillful retouching of old photos to add color…and a new version of a familiar image. (Also on FtB)

I get email

There is a shifting pattern of spam email that I get. A while back, it was practically non-stop gay porn; I commented on this a while back, and laughed it off, which apparently annoyed the people who’d been sending it to me. I think they expected me to be stressed and conflicted and angry at…

A day without Pharyngula

Given the content of my site, and the wingnutty pious predilections of the American public and government, and the enmity and known censorious habits of Christians and creationists, how long do you think this place would stay up if SOPA/PIPA went into effect?

It’s easy. You’re one of us if every time you hear the tune, “It’s a long way to Tipperary”, you hear the lyrics as, “It’s a long way from…” Now you have to sing the rest of the chorus. (Also on FtB)

Elsevier = Evil

Along with SOPA and PIPA, our government is contemplating another acronym with deplorable consequences for the free dissemination of information: RWA, the Research Works Act. This is a bill to, it says, “ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector”, where the important phrase is “private sector” — it’s…

This just isn’t right. The United Kingdom is this small little country way off in Europe, and the United States is this giant powerful country, and they managed to put creationists in their place while we debate about electing them to the presidency. It makes no sense. Leading scientists and naturalists, including Professor Richard Dawkins…

John Brockman, always asking questions

Every year he asks people questions, and every year he compiles the answers. This year, the question is “What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?”, and he got 188 completely different answers back. Did he forget to ask you? Then you can leave your answer in the comments here. (Also on FtB)

Well, aren’t we an optimistic bunch?

First we had Steven Pinker writing about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, with the thesis that we’re getting more peaceful over time. Now John Horgan has declared the potential for The End of War — that we have the ability to stop fighting and cooperate. Horgan makes the point that…

Look at this: no originality at all. The wanna-bes and poseurs all have to dress up in their idol’s fashions, even if it is cross-phylum dressing. (via NatGeo) (Also on FtB)

I get email

In a previous “I get email” post, I mocked this bizarre list of 50 “proofs” that god exists: they were all nonsense and non sequiturs and bizarre falsehoods. The author actually dragged out the Lady Hope story as evidence for a god! Take a look and you’ll see how genuinely stupid the list was. But…