Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 15, 2013

 Not long ago, when George Hrab's latest CD Trebuchet came out, I sat down (not actually, literally, or even metaphorically) and asked him about his music and skeptical influences. And, really, things I probably shouldn't have asked, but there you go. And here you go. 

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Satan (Hearts) Rick Scott

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 15, 2013

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

Yesterday, Ron Lindsay joined the panel on HuffPost Live to talk about the practice of borrowing religious rituals between and outside of their originating faiths. Of course it gets heated.  

Who doesn't want to be more like Sherlock Holmes? (I mostly just want to be more like Benedict Cumberbatch.) On Point of Inquiryguest Maria Konnikova tells us how to think more like the literary supersleuth. 

CSI's Joe Nickell (nonreligious) talks about how he and his wife Diana (Baha'i) go together on "religabouts". . .

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Religabouts

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 14, 2013

On December 9, 2012, my wife Diana and I escorted an elderly friend to an annual Polish Wigilia—an event featuring the traditional meal that a Polish family would have on Christmas Eve, followed by the singing of Polish Christmas carols. It was a delight to immerse ourselves in this old tradition.

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Towards Increasing Non-knowing

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 14, 2013

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

Internet activist, co-creator of RSS, co-founder of Reddit Aaron Swartz kills himself in the midst of prosecutorial pressure after attempting to make freely available the contents of the JSTOR academic archive. 

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald refuses to stop a new regulation in NYC concerning parental consent for metzitzah b'peh circumcisions, which are the ones "involving direct oral suction of the penis" by the rabbi.   

Amanda Marcotte on scientists' limited political options:

Since scientists have no ability to stop Republicans from attacking science, their only real option is to take power away from Republicans by supporting Democrats.

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Here’s Where Science and Brainless Merge

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 11, 2013

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

Apparently the "nones" are leveling off, just as we were "rising," like, five minutes ago. Who can keep up? 

The Supreme Court turns down an appeal to stop embryonic stem cell research. 

Anti-gay pastor Louie Giglio takes himself out of the presidential inauguration ceremony. Sarah Posner unpacks the mess.

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The Silliness Bound Up in Being Human

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 10, 2013

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

CFI chief Ron Lindsay is asking for it. As he gets set to meet with the leaders of the other big groups of the skepto-atheosphere, Ron wants to know what you think about how best to address some of the latest controversies and concerns of the movement. I tried to stop him, but he never listens to me. Anyway, read his post and help him out.

CSI's Ben Radford at Yahoo News sounds the alarm on the threat to vaccination workers around the world due to urban legends and xenophobia.   

Meanwhile Faheem Younus at WaPo, a medical doctor and a Muslim, tells of his often-obstructed attempts to bridge religious divides in providing free flu vaccinations:

The ruthless flu virus was not going to screen Americans for their faith before attacking. I gave the flu shots to the worshippers at Bait-ur-Rehman mosque located in Silver Spring, MD. Free of charge. Free of expectation. Free of faith. 

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The HEADS Meeting: Your Input Requested

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 09, 2013

I think it’s fairly common knowledge that the leaders of the various nationwide secular organizations have an annual meeting (called “HEADS”) to exchange ideas and discuss how we can best advance our shared objectives. This is your opportunity to give me some input prior to the meeting on a couple of specific topics.

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Phantasmagoric Biotheology

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 09, 2013

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

Don't miss this big CFI event in DC: CFI presents a symposium on the topic "Why Tolerate Religion?" with such heavy-hitters as Jacques Berlinerblau, Caroline Mala Corbin, Wendy Kaminer, Brian Leiter, Barry Lynn, and our own Ron Lindsay and John Shook. April 27 at the Wooly Mammoth theatre (where my wife has totally performed). 

Hoosiers take note: CFI wants you to contact your state legislature to stop the expansion of a religion-subsidizing school voucher program.

Elizabeth Drescher at Religion Dispatches warns against lumping all "Nones" with nonbelievers and secularists.  

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You Have Died of Dysentery, Jesus

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 08, 2013

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

HuffPo's Jaweed Kaleem explores the atheist take on death and lack of an afterlife, and talks to me and CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden for some perspective. My quote's pretty fatalistic, but hey, that's me for ya. 

We're pretty excited about this one, folks. Point of Inquiry's got Phil Plait, talking the end of the world. 

The Verge: Kuwaiti activist Rashid Saleh al-Anzi sentenced to two years in prison for a tweet that "stabbed the rights and powers" of the country's emir. 

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NRA: Answer or Problem?

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 07, 2013

Regarding the recent mass shooting at a Connecticut school, the NRA, at its press conference of December 21, 2012, equated problem mental states with such shootings involving assault-style weapons. Indeed, NRA head Wayne La Pierre brought his own problem mental states to the issue by suggesting that the solution was to place armed guards at all schools. Let me take this opportunity to make some additional suggestions—each in the La-La Pierre vein.

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