Unfortunate Regressions
October 1, 2019 ·


Oh boy, the Supreme Court gets back to business today. I wonder what holes they will blow in the wall between church and state this time. As The Joker is about to hit theaters, Benjamin Radford explores whether there is any merit to the increased security measures over fears of Aurora-like violence: Whether the credible …

Fear of the ‘Joker’ Copycats
October 1, 2019 ·


Over the past week, police and parents have expressed concern over the upcoming new film Joker, and its possible influence on unhinged people. As ABC News reported, “The soon-to-be released psychological thriller Joker starring Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix has prompted a ‘credible potential mass shooting’ threat on a movie theater somewhere in the United States, …

Why Exercise Is Good for the Brain
September 30, 2019 ·


Computerized brain training games and dietary supplements will make your brain healthier, and you will get smarter—according to companies selling those products. There are many products aimed at improving brain health and cognition, but research is inconclusive regarding the benefits of many of these products. So what has been shown to enhance brain functioning?  Exercise …

Primordial Bowling Ball from Outer Space
September 30, 2019 · 1 


Mohadesa Najumi, a young Afghan immigrant in the UK, writes at The Independent about how atheism helped ground her: Once I realised at age 17 that I was an atheist, I began to understand my purpose a lot better. I no longer felt lost or at war with the nature of reality. … Atheism helps …

Camel Biting
September 26, 2019 ·


Reporting a few weeks after the fact (but hey, we’ll take it), UPI reports on CFI’s lawsuit in Texas to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages. The judge rejected our suit and we, naturally, are appealing the decision. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic takes a close look at the rise of the nones and says …

De Facto Extraterrestrials
September 25, 2019 ·


Nancy Pelosi may have inadvertantly goosed our search engine optimization, by announcing an impeachment “inquiry” of the president. Just think of all the web traffic we’re going to get for people searching for who might be at the “center” of the inquiry, or who might be “skeptical” of the inquiry, etcetera. This is going to …

Cops and Oddballs
September 24, 2019 ·


Greta Thunburg, my choice for Absolute Monarch of Earth, delivers a gut-wrenching address to the UN Climate Action Summit: I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams …

The Monkey Part
September 23, 2019 ·


2 million people responded to the original Storm Area 51 posting. Authorities in the area feared about 30,000 would actually show up and utterly overwhelm the tiny Nevada communities. In the end, about 3000 people came and not a whole lot happened, which is the best possible outcome, really. The Post reports: As of Friday …

All the Lesser Gods
September 19, 2019 ·


Our own Richard Dawkins has been interviewed by a couple of media outlets, with his new book Outgrowing God now making waves, but they’re both paywalled so I don’t really know what’s in them. Here they are nonetheless, talking to New Scientist (rocking his intentionally-mismatched socks in the photo) and The Times. NOT paywalled, however, …

The Grim Winnowing
September 18, 2019 ·


Tim Flannery at The Guardian says climate activists like himself have failed: … the climate crisis has now grown so severe that the actions of the denialists have turned predatory: they are now an immediate threat to our children. … … future Earth may have enough resources to support far fewer people than the 7.6 …