Totally Sober

July 11, 2017


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

NASA live-streamed a real-time simulation of the Juno spacecrafts’s pass over Jupiter’s red spot. Actual images will start coming in July 14.

But all is not celebratory in the world of planetary science. A survey of astronomers shows that 28% of women of color feel unsafe at work because of their race, and 40% feel unsafe because of their gender. Astronomers. “Oh my, Morning Heretic,” you might be thinking. “This must be an oldy-timey survey from many decades ago. Scientists are so above this now.” And you’d be wrong.

“This isn’t something anyone can point to and say, ‘These results are padded by something that happened in 1967,'” Kathryn Clancy, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois and lead author of the paper, told BuzzFeed News. “These are all current issues that women of color are facing right now. They’re feeling unsafe today. They’re skipping professional events today.” 

Speaking of women not feeling welcome at work, Paul Ryan says women in the U.S. House must cover their arms and shoulders, because I think otherwise Mike Pence isn’t allowed to come by. 

Benjamin P. Marcus and Murali Balaji explore what it means to have an American civil religion, marking the 50th anniversary of an essay on the concept by Robert N. Bellah:

At its most inclusive, American civil religion includes capacious beliefs in core American values (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, justice for all); behaviors associated with national rites and rituals (Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving) as well as more quotidian practices (protests, public free speech, petitions for the redress of grievances, free religious expression); and experiences of belonging (citizenship by right of birth or naturalization).

Richard Dawkins and Carlo Rovelli talk science and nature on The Guardian‘s books podcast.

Kathy Gannon at the Associated Press reports on organizations banned in Pakistan that have found a way to survive online

Jenny Splitter at The Outline reports on the GMO myth-busting film Food Evolution and the pushback from food-gurus who appear in the film, Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle.

Harriet Hall reviews (and facepalms over) the documentary What the Health (with a name like that, you have to assume the worst):

Its thesis is that meat and dairy are killing us and that all the major diseases can be prevented and cured by adopting a plants-only diet. … The film tries to convince viewers that food is medicine, and indeed is all the medicine we need to prevent and cure obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other chronic diseases. It failed to convince me. 

I suppose we have missed our opportunities to purchase magical candles from Kris Jenner (“Wicks of Wisdom” giggle giggle), which she sold on behalf of a TV psychic in 2005.

Oh for the love of…there is apparently a conspiracy theory that Chris Cornell’s death was related to the fictional “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. Lee DeVito at the Detroit Metro Times says:

The premise of [Pizzagate truther Randy] Cody’s theory, based on an alleged unnamed source close to Cornell, goes like this: Cornell, who along with his wife created the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation for neglected children, was killed because he was about to expose the identities of Pizzagate pedophiles named in a “black book.”  

Come. On.

Richard North Patterson laments the “death of principled conservatism” embodied by Trump:

Evangelicals and the Republican donor class have made anti-environmentalism a litmus test for Republican politicians, thereby enabling Trump’s know-nothing policies — a stark repudiation of classical conservatism’s concern for conserving the planet many believed that God had put in our care. 

Hey have you guys heard from my good friend Jayden K Smith? Seems like nobody wants to be their Facebook friend for some reason. 

That news about Amelia Earhart yesterday? Could be that it’s not as newsy as it’s been made out to be maybe possibly. 

Kesha, who I am told is a famous person, was inspired by a UFO sighting for her latest album. “I was in Joshua Tree, totally sober. Let me preface: completely fucking sober.” 

Thou shalt not consume the body of Christ if thine cracker bereft of gluten be.  

Quote of the Day:

John Moltz, on this most holy of days:

Joyous Primus Dayum, to all faithful. And even to the heathens and haters.

A merry Prime Day to all, and to all a moderate discount on a product you wouldn’t have otherwise bought, but, well, now you’re stuck with it. 

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