The Sad Reality

March 22, 2016


The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

A terror attack in Brussels: Three explosions, two at the airport, one in a metro station, killing what looks to be a couple of dozen people, but it’s early yet.

Remember to be skeptical of early reports, as On the Media reminds us in their breaking news guide.

Point of Inquiry this week talks to a mathematician! No, don’t leave, I promise it’s fun. It’s John Allen Paulos, who’s written for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry before, and has a new book about how math informs the quirks of everyday life.  

Here’s an incredibly terrible idea. Israel’s Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, proposes that art projects must show loyalty to the state in order to qualify for funding. 

How would you like to be toiling for secularism in reason’s inner sanctum? Our outreach folks are looking for interns, and applications are due March 31

Artist Michael Benson takes troves of NASA images, and tries to suss out what bodies in space would actually look like if you saw them for yourself up close with your own eyeballs. It’s cool. 

People magazine nixes an article that includes a celebrity goat’s milk recipe for baby formula, which is actually really unsafe. (I assume this person, Kristin Cavallari, is a celebrity, because that’s what people say, but I have no idea who she is.)

Ikponwosa Ero is the UN’s expert on the particular plight of people with albinism, and she’s delivered a frightening report on how belief in witchcraft in some African countries leads to gruesome butchery of those with albinism.

An Italian nun is publishing a memoir about her rape and abuse at the hands of priests, and the Catholic Church is backing the publication

In Oklahoma, a pastor felt that a license plate with an Apache warrior shooting an arrow unfairly endorsed polytheism. Shock of shocks, the Supreme Court seems to think this is a waste of its time.

Linda K. Wertheimer says the best way to make yourself un-ignorant of other people’s faith traditions is to actually go to a house of worship and see what it’s all about.

Amanda Knief calls her boss David Silverman a “dick” and an “asshole” on Samantha Bee’s show. At least I think that’s what happened. You know, editing. (This is actually a really funny piece about Dave making people at CPAC angry.) 

The Daily Mail has an off-the-rails op-ed from a homeopath about why the people of the UK should pay for their crap treatments:

Homeopathy achieves excellent results from PROMs (patient reported outcome measures) where patients report how much better they feel after receiving homeopathic treatment. 

I have never had an excellent result from a PROM. In fact I skipped my senior PROM because the junior PROM was so crappy, and I had no friends in my senior class anyway. FIX THAT, HOMEOPATHY. 

Quote of the Day: 

Alexandra Stark at The Diplomat plots out possible solutions to the violence perpetrated by radical Islamists in Bangladesh:

In order to curb the influence of organizations like ISIS in Bangladesh, policymakers should focus on preventing the politically motivated violence perpetrated by these outlawed groups. However, in addition to providing increased protection for atheist bloggers and minority religious groups, the Awami-led government of Bangladesh needs to be pushed to compromise on political issues that have historically set off violent protests and contributed to the polarization of the political space. Specifically, the international community should pressure and provide support to the government in holding free and fair elections that are contested by all parties. … 

… The sad reality is that given the current intransigence of the Bangladesh government, the international community will be hard-pressed to get Dhaka to comply. Nevertheless, because of the sizable amount of aid that Bangladesh receives from the United States, European countries, and international organizations, the West has significant untapped leverage that could be used to push the government in the right direction. 

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Original image by Shutterstock

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