From the year 2012

Mitt Romney fails basic mathematics
in Politics

‘‘Is $100,000 middle income?’’ Stephanopoulos asked. ‘‘No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,’’ Romney responded.   The only rational conclusion one can come to, reading the above dialogue, is that Romney does not think that $100,000 is less than $200,000. If you don’t believe me, go back and simply read those two lines […]

Measuring radicalization using polling data
in Politics

When the media talks about “radicalization” it’s always in the context of Muslims and terrorism and violence. I’d like to take a different approach: measuring the “radicalization” of a population using Presidential approval numbers. The word “radicalization” means becoming more extreme. It is the opposite of “moderation” which means becoming more moderate.  A population that […]

Nothing you learned in school is useless
in Culture

Buzzfeed just posted an article called “49 Things You Learned In School That Are Now Completely Useless.” I know it’s supposed to be funny, but to me this article is ignorant and vile. The mindset it exhibits is a huge part of what is wrong with the way Americans think about education, and I have […]

September 11th: some photos
in Culture


Only cells make cells
in Science

In his book, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life, Nick Lane takes a moment to clear up something about the relationship between DNA and cells: DNA doesn’t make cells. Only cells make cells. When we talk about DNA being the “blueprint” for making an organism, a lot of people get the wrong […]

Joe Biden is a freaking genius
in Politics

I think people underestimate Joe Biden. In fact, I think that every time someone makes fun of him for being “gaffe prone”, he chortles with the glee of a sinister mastermind. What is his most famous gaffe during his Vice Presidential term? Arguably, it was when the Affordable Care act passed, and he said (ostensibly […]

How slavery starts
in Politics
Indentured Servants.

I’m not saying Republicans want the U.S. to legalize slave labor. I’m only saying that their agenda just happens to involve policies that will pave the way. There is a way to introduce slavery into an economy gradually. It’s done through economic pressures and gradual changes of the law. In fact, it’s happened in America […]

you’re not picky, you’re self-centered
in Personal Stuff
Picky Peter

If you ever find yourself on a date with someone who says that he really wants to be in a relationship, but he has been single for a long time because he is “picky”, then do yourself a favor: ask for the check, burn his phone number, and run for the hills. And if you […]

stories thicker than blood
in Personal Stuff

I’ve been told that I have a great-grandfather who was named Данило Пиҗ. He lived in a small village near the towns of Борислав and Дрогобич, in the Kingdom of Галичина (Galicia), part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It wasn’t a great place to be, back then. That area had been split in two by the […]

Where universal human rights come from
in Philosophy, Politics

Universal, inalienable human rights do not come from God and they do not come from nature. They are decided and reaffirmed every day by society. Because we are human, and because the human world is crazy and chaotic and beautifully unstable, our universal human rights are fluid. They evolve, they stretch, they are re-defined and […]

The Paleo diet is a load of crap. You may as well try it.
in Fitness
Captain Caveman

The rationale behind the Paleo diet is one of the stupidest pieces of nonsense I’ve seen in a while. But you may as well give it a shot: it might work for you. Although it’s been around for a few years, I only recently heard about it because a bunch of my friends all discovered […]

Simulating H.P. Lovecraft: a random text generation project
in Science
Sentence Structure

After much blasphemous and daemonic experimentation with abominable and vile Dark Practices, I have been able to make contact with the undead mind of H.P. Lovecraft, summoning him from the insane and unspeakable dimensions beyond this realm, and extracting from him these fragments of text that he has written whilst in his wretched timeless, bodiless […]

Teach Divine Mathematics if you want to… but do it right.
in Religion, Science
Natural Philosophy

Some religious groups are pushing the teaching of “divine mathematics”: elementary-level mathematics education with a religious slant. This news has been making the rounds on liberal political websites, with the expected combination of horror and mockery. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with including God in mathematics education… as long as it’s done […]

Do you hate Obama? I blame the Lion King.
in Politics
King Scar.

Today on The Stephanie Miller Show, a listener called in to express her dislike for Obama and explain why she was planning on voting for Mitt Romney. She explained that she was struggling financially. She used to consider herself “middle class,” but no longer. She spoke at length about the employment problems, medical problems, and […]

H.P. Lovecraft art project update
in Personal Stuff

I’ve finished the second piece in a series of charcoal drawings that I’m working on. The theme of the series is: lesser-known scenes or images from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Penguins of Madness Cylinder B-67 In case you are not familiar, H.P. Lovecraft was a writer who lived in the late 1800’s and early […]

I never said that you don’t work hard.
in Politics
Without government help?

There is an auditory disease that is sweeping our nation. When somebody says, “The government has provided services that make it easier for you to grow your business,” thousands of people hear: “You don’t work hard.” When somebody says, “It would have been really hard for your business to get started if you couldn’t get […]

Why I support cloning Neanderthals
in Philosophy

I recently came across a Discover Magazine blog article entitled, “Is resurrecting Neanderthals unethical?” The question was pretty simple: if we developed the ability to use preserved DNA and cloning technology to raise living Neanderthals, would there be anything wrong with doing that? Most of the people replying made arguments that followed a similar pattern. […]

college bodybuilder tips: looking in the mirror
in Fitness

Dear K***, In your last letter you seemed very stressed out. Let me see if I can sum up what you were telling me: One day you look in the mirror and you think you look incredible. The next day, you look in the mirror and you think you look scrawny. Later in the week, […]

Quasi-crystals are not proof of intelligent design
in Religion, Science
Perplexing Poultry Large Tiling

Every once in a while, a new discovery is made in science that is only partially-understood. Inevitably, this gets reported to the masses in a watered-down way by news writers who do not understand science, and there is a great cry: “The foundations of science are crumbling! Science discovers thing that is impossible to explain! […]

As free as Monflanquin
in History

I’m proud of America. I really am. I think we have a lot of interesting social and cultural traditions, and a lot of good laws. But it makes me crazy when people who know nothing about history talk about America being the “first” to have freedom or being the ones who “invented” individual rights.  So, […]