Xtians began using “Xmas” 500 years ago, since in Greek, X is the “Ch” in Christ
Around the holidays, some people (not to name names or anything) urge modern society to put the “Christ” back in Christmas. There’s much to criticize about the hollow vacuousness of consumer culture, after all. Most of us can buy into the idea of better treasuring time with family and friends; and who’d oppose charity and compassion for the less-fortunate? (Well, apart from that strangest of philosophical tribes, the Objectivists, that is…)
Heck, the leftists among us might even be open to the Christian (Read more…)
Tragic fire from space.
Check out Mars in great detail.
More link dumping: -Teach your kid how to share.
An excellent list of free programs, and ones you cannot trust. Opt out of PRISM. Join your friends in a prism-break. -Send messages encrypted “OTR”.
-Journalism’s slide into working for the man.
-Why Peace is Possible. An actually amazing video about a new way to think of peace. Paul K Chappell is worth learning from.
Science has never been more important to the human race than it is today. We are faced with the two greatest threats in our history: catastrophic climate change combined with exhaustion of the Earth’s resources. We must rely on science to lead us out of the crises we have created for ourselves, to both understand and to deal with the threats. And this means our leaders must be scientifically
I began a levain last week (Nov 19) and it seemed to go well at first, but then it just seemed to have stopped… or slowed to a crawl. Was is dead? Or just dormant? Did I have a welcome guest growing in the bowl or was it a wet mass of unwanted invaders? Am […]
How do we study emotion and how do we even think about positive emotions? Why do we even have positive emotions? These questions and more are being investigated by June Gruber, and here she is talking about them:
I thought I’d first start briefly with a tale of positive emotion. It’s a really interesting state because in many ways it’s one of the most powerful things that evolution has built for us. If we look at early writings of Charles Darwin, he prominently features these feelings of love, admiration, laughter. So early on we see observations of them, and have (Read more…)
Here at DWR, there is a room for almost any topic. With that in mind today we are taking on the important question of what sort of rectal emission is most noxious and can we correlate the odoriferous emissions in question with the amount of sound generated. Yes folks, science once again has the answer.
Filed under: Humour, Science Tagged: Flatulence, SBD, Science
EVIDENCE ON THE EVOLUTION OF SNAKES Snakes belong to the suborder Serpentes in the order Squamata (the scaled reptiles). There has been a considerable controversy over their evolutionary origin. The two basic theories are 1)they evolved from terrestrial burrowing reptiles and 2)that they evolved from aquatic reptiles and are closely related to the extinct mosasaurs. In both cases the loss of the legs would aid rather than inhibit mobility. The paleontological evidence is equivocal. In 1997 Michael Caldwell of the University of Edmonton reported a 100-million-year-old fossil of an aquatic snake that retained its hind legs. In contrast others (Read more…)
There is a lot to learn coming from Canada about the complicated education system serving England and Wales.
Differences abound from the widespread use of uniforms, to near-universal behavioural challenges, to the fact students don’t earn diplomas but are expected to either take the right classes to go to college (a step toward university) or just drift off into the workforce. There is also an intense effort by the government to oversee every aspect of the system through a convoluted merit-pay system and the teacher’s unions were debilitated by Margaret Thatcher.
Beyond all of that though, England has never had (Read more…)
Gluten, that everyday protein found in many grains, has become the health-fad followers’ most recent evil spectre, and many (one in three, stats show) have jumped onto the anti-gluten bandwagon, generally with a simplistic message: “gluten bad.” Like most diet fads, I expect it will likely fall off centre stage when the next Big Thing […]
My recent passion for bread and baking has caused a bit of an internal upset. Not the baking thereof, but rather the writing about it. I’m doing a lot of that, recently. Writing (and, yes, baking too). And of course it comes with the attendant research into bread’s history, the combing through websites for recipes […]
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Brendan Haley discusses how the role of government should include both a concerted effort to innovate, and a proper share of the benefits when that innovation proves successful: To reinforce her argument, Mazzucato provides detailed histories of some of our most important innovations. She finds that throughout modern history, government has been integrally involved in directing the economy, undertaking basic research, and nurturing new technologies into the market when the private sector found it too risky to touch them. Only after governments have subsumed much of the risk do private entrepreneurs do their (Read more…)
This morning, as I was making my way through my email, I caught a short news item in Academica Top Ten about a school in Calgary discontinuing awards and competitions based on the work of Alfie Kohn, an author who writes about child behaviour and parenting. The theory is that, “awards eventually lose their lustre to students who […]
Charities and non-profits operate under tough conditions. There is never enough funding, staff, or expertise to achieve perfection and the demands from clients, donors, and funders often force the charity to be more flexible than it might otherwise.
Because of these limitations, you can wind up with articles like “Energy-based therapies and cancer” from Macmillan Cancer Support, the UK’s leading cancer charity.
This article naturally falls under the “Complementary therapies” section of information about treating cancer. It’s designed (I’m assuming) to answer questions that patients may have when facing tough treatment decisions and a wealth of pseudoscience from (Read more…)
The more I hear about math post schooling, the more interesting it becomes. As a teacher, I’m a bit perplexed as throughout my checkered math learning career all of this cool stuff remained unmentioned. All I remember is the misery and frustration of learning largely esoteric shite, that once ‘mastered’ was quickly purged once test time was over. Anyhow, latent math anxiety aside, enjoy this clip about the weirdness of fractals.
Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Fractals, Math, Math doing cool things
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Dragons Scales – Logarithms in Math Class
I’m happy that other people have the knowledge and courage(!) to demonstrate scientific fact.
Filed under: Science Tagged: Leidenfrost effect., Nitrogen, Science
This is a signal boost/handy reference that enumerates the risks women face when pregnant. It is a useful tool in dispelling the motherhood myths that surround what pregnancy is like for women and awesome it is for them. The Liz Library is a great website, but slow loading, thus its duplication here for easier access.
And that’s just talking about the immediate physical repercussions.
Below is a partial list of the physical effects and risks of pregnancy. This list does not include the many non-physical effects and risks a woman faces in reproducing, such as the economic investment (Read more…)
I’d like to recommend reading this particular book as it offers a laypersons guide to how our minds evolved and the inelegant solutions and workarounds that are now standard in the homo sapiens brain. Consider this summary of why sometime we become angry and that anger dominates our rational capacities.
“What occasionally allows normal people to spiral out of control is a witch’s brew of cognitive kludges: (1) the clumsy apparatus of self-control (which in the heat of the moment all too often gives the upper hand to our reflexive system); (2) the lunacy of confirmation bias (which convinces us (Read more…)
Charles Darwin has long been associated with the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” For a century and a half people have used it to refer to their understanding of his explanation of how species evolved. But it wasn’t his. And it has obscured the understanding of Darwin’s own theory. It came from a contemporary, Herbert […]
Staphylococci, Corynebacteria, Actinobacteria, Clostridiales, and Bacilli. They’re the most common, but they’re not the only ones. Bacteria. Microbes. Yes, even parasites. Living in your belly button. And on your skin. Your hair. But the belly button flora and fauna fascinate me the most.* We’ve known ever since the microscope was invented that we had a population […]
The “man the life boats and head for the stars” answer to our present human dilemmas is simply delusional. We can and should explore space, but if we don’t get our act together here on this planet immediately, we’re dead – extinct: plain and simple. A recent book seems once again to miss that point […]
Seven cents per kilowatt hour. That’s what the energy monitor was showing me a moment before I plugged in the kettle. Then it jumped to 29 cents. Wow! And this is mid-peak time, too, my new energy monitor warns. Should I be worried? Better cut back on the tea if I want to conserve energy. […]