Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Most Radical Reaction to Ebola is Compassion

Originally posted on Dr. Scott Morris:

Over the weekend, my wife, Mary, told me that she intends to get a flu shot this year (which she never does) because she believes it will prevent her from contracting Ebola.

I think she is only partially kidding.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a nurse in Dallas has contracted Ebola from the patient who died there last week. It was the lead story in my local paper, and I’m guessing that it was on the front page of your go-to news source as well. We can’t look away from disaster.

Or, in this case, perceived disaster.

Ebola is indeed a terrible disease, but I’m convinced that it does not warrant the hysteria it has created in the United States.

Ebola has been linked to Liberia, and anyone from that country is now considered a potential carrier of the disease. Until recently, few Americans could find Liberia on…

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NY Mag: Read a Powerful Letter About Michael Brown and Ferguson

Invisible Mikey:

Many are writing about the larger issues behind this tragedy. This letter proposes thoughtful ways to improve the future.

Originally posted on Sociologists for Justice:

It’s no surprise that sociologists, perhaps the group of researchers most dedicated to understanding issues of race and inequality, have strong feelings about the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent violence in Ferguson, Missouri. A letter just released by Sociologists for Justice  has been signed by more than 500 of them (and counting), and it’s worth a read, in part because it contains some practical suggestions for how to prevent these sorts of tragedies from occurring in the future.

Full article on our statement: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/08/read-a-powerful-letter-about-ferguson.html

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Syria: An Atheist’s Prayer

Originally posted on The Irish Atheist:

Image

My heart is breaking as I sit in my flat, watching the news coverage of Syria. It’s the current ‘hot topic.’ All cameras from CNN, Fox News, the BBC, MSNBC, are pointed at that tiny chunk of land half a world away. Hundreds of millions of people from around the world are catching a glimpse of the suffering of the Syrian people, of the war that has torn their homes apart. Across the media, the debate rages. War, or no war? Interference or non-interference? I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, so I sit here in sweatpants and watch my Facebook wall practically debate itself.

It’s during times like these that I understand the urge to pray. I’m thousands of kilometres from Syria, sitting safely in America with a cup of tea. There is nothing, nothing I can do that will make the situation in Syria better…

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Saving Face vs. Human Life

Originally posted on Asma Alabed:

This isn’t a political article. This is about human beings.

I’ve only been to my parent’s home twice. Their childhood stories are just that – stories of cities that are now reduced to piles of rubble. Yet the onset of the revolution reminded me again why I rarely have visited – why a regime made sure I would never grow up in Damascus, never hear my grandmother speak before her paralysis, and never understand the Syrian references in the memories my parents cherish. The revolution reminded me that despite my blood, I would never know Syria.

But the United States government, this country that I grew up in, that is more a home to me than Syria will ever be continues to astonish me. A government should represent its people and I’ve met countless numbers of loving Americans, yet if I were to judge us solely by the impression that…

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Skeptical Science Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature

Invisible Mikey:

(This blogger said it better than I could, supported by a decent balance of links and charts, without an overly emotional bias.)

Originally posted on HicksBogan:

Posted on 16 May 2013 by dana1981, John Cook @ SkepticalScience.com

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consensus pie chart

A new survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers by our citizen science team at Skeptical Science has found a 97% consensus among papers taking a position on the cause of global warming in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are responsible.

Lead author John Cook created a short video abstract summarizing the study:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez7F30lazUw

The Abstracts Survey

The first step of our approach involved expanding the original survey of the peer-reviewed scientific literature in Oreskes (2004).  We performed a keyword search of peer-reviewed scientific journal publications (in the ISI Web of Science) for the terms ‘global warming’ and ‘global climate change’ between the years 1991 and 2011, which returned over 12,000 papers. John Cook created a web-based system that would randomly display a paper’s abstract (summary).  We agreed upon definitions of possible categories: explicit or implicit endorsement of human-caused global warming, no…

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10 Beautiful Words About Love That Don’t Exist in English

Invisible Mikey:

Here’s more evidence that “English only” is an ignorant approach to understanding what’s important in life.

Originally posted on Urbandud:

mamihlapinatapei

1. Mamihlapinatapei (Yagan, an indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego): The wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who desire to initiate something, but are both reluctant to start.

yuanfen

2. Yuanfen (Chinese): A relationship by fate or destiny. This is a complex concept. It draws on principles of predetermination in Chinese culture, which dictate relationships, encounters and affinities, mostly among lovers and friends.

cafune

3. Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese): The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone’s hair.

retrouvailles

4. Retrouvailles (French):  The happiness of meeting again after a long time.

ilunga

5. Ilunga (Bantu): A person who is willing to forgive abuse the first time; tolerate it the second time, but never a third time.

la douleur exquise

6. La Douleur Exquise (French): The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have.

koi no yokan

7. Koi No Yokan (Japanese): The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall…

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Video Vortex

There’s too much remodeling going on to write.

I can’t hear myself think!

Here’s some oddities to amuse you while I’m gone Continue reading

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