The Season of Sadness and Despair

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 23, 2013

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

This week, CFI caps off its Living without Religion ad campaign with a Times Square ad expressing our wishes for peace and enlightenment in the New Year. Meanwhile, the New York Times includes CFI's Living without Religion ad campaign in its story on atheists' take on the holidays:

One recent Monday night, Ms. Crespi was one of 10 young men and women from the Center for Inquiry who stood freezing on a Times Square sidewalk for 45 minutes, waiting for 15 seconds of inspiration. When the video billboard sponsored by the Center for Inquiry finally appeared on 42nd Street, pronouncing that millions of Americans are living happily without religion, the chilled audience whooped, clapped and hastily took a picture.

I haven't had a chance to watch this yet, but I have a feeling CFI's marketing director Lauren Becker is going to swoon over it. Aeon posts a short film on Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan "and the love letter they sent to the stars." 

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“Meeting of Minds”

Access Points with Timothy Binga
December 20, 2013

Steve Allen, creator and first host of The Tonight Show and known as a “Renaissance man” because of his innovative work in music, comedy, and television, had many ties to the Center for Inquiry. One of his more interesting donations is his script from the pilot of the television series Meeting of Minds.

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Festering Theological Fruitcake

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 20, 2013

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

Kimberly Winston reports on how atheist do-gooders, trying to infect the helpless and downtrodden with their poisonous blasphemy, are being rebuffed by various charities.

CFI is about to cap off its 2013 Living without Religion campaign with a final electronic ad in Times Square for the new year -- and you get to see it before it goes live

The elf on the shelf is like a gateway drug to theism. Or the NSA. Either way, Ryan Cragun opines on the evils of Santa in the first Free Inquiry web exclusive. 

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Vigorously Not Cooperating

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 19, 2013

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

Persecuted Indian skeptic leader Sanal Edamaruku launches a new international magazineRationalist.

Speaking of launches, European Space Agency launches Gaia, a space telescope fitted with a billion-pixel camera, to construct a three-dimensional map of the galaxy. 

And speaking of incredible images, io9 rounds up the the most awe-inspiring science images of 2013. 

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“The Book Thief”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 18, 2013

Based on the book of the same title (the very popular novel for young adults by Markus Zusak), The Book Thief is as endearing a story as seems possible given its setting in Nazi Germany.

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Blind Faith in Miraculous Power

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 18, 2013

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

Americans' trust in clergy has hit a new low, according to Gallup, though they're still way more trusted than Congress.  

SPEAKING OF WHICH. St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt steps down from his public role as he faces child sex abuse allegations. But remember, Satan is behind gay marriage

An opposable thumbs-up as Texas science textbooks with actual science in them are cleared for adoption

CFI's Michael De Dora writes to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to urge them to include protection of the nonreligious in the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2013.  

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Forged in Chaos

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 17, 2013

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

Joe Schwarcz at Skeptical Inquirer takes Dr. Oz down many, many notches

Archdiocese of New York win an injunction against the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act for its nonprofit affiliates. 

Josh Zepps has a very funny and thoughtful conversation with libertarian humorist P.J. O'Rourke on the latest Point of Inquiry

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Ghost-hunter Arsonists?

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 16, 2013

In folklore studies, a “legend trip” is the term for a visit to a site that has a legend (a narrative reflecting a folk belief) about uncanny events there—say the activities of ghosts; the visit is made to test the legend. Such a legend trip resulted in seven men being arrested for the suspected arson of a historic Louisiana plantation house on November 21, 2013.

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The Religious Freedom Panic Squad

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 16, 2013

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

This is looking kind of murky, but it looks like Russia's supreme court found problems with the sentences given to members of Pussy Riot, and they might get an earlier release. Meanwhile, member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, transferred to Siberia, will remain in a prison hospital until her term is up. 

Well look at that. Jupiter's moon Europa looks like it might have water-spurting geysers. No mention of pirate twin activity.*

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Colin Wilson: A Case Study in Mystery Mongering

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 13, 2013

 A brief look at the late Colin Wilson's work illustrates how misinformation about paranormal topics is perpetuated, and skeptical information is systematically ignored.

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