Ghosts at Stone House Inn?

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 08, 2016

To celebrate our tenth anniversary (or our fiftieth, if you know our story), my wife Diana and I made a three-day trip to visit American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater. We stayed in a small log cabin in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands (keeping a sharp lookout as we drove the back roads, since this is a habitat for the Bigfoot Bear—see next blog).  

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Latin for Waffle

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 08, 2016

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

Students protest in Bangladesh over government inaction to the killing of Nazimuddin Samad and other secular writers. We have put out an action alert urging passage of House Resolution 396, which demands that Bangladesh affirm its secular constitution, protect minorities, prevent the growth of extremism, and guarantee human rights for all.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-Justice League) introduces the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA) which supports comprehensive, reality-based sex education, and CFI is one of the bill's supporting organizations.

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The Wisdom of Not Understanding

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
April 07, 2016

Too often we are embarrassed to admit that we don't understand what we are told. Asking for clarification not only helps both the speaker and listener communicate more effectively, but is also a powerful tool in skepticism and critical thinking.

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More Woeful Pageants

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 07, 2016

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

Another atheist activist hacked to death in Bangladesh, 28-year-old law student Najimuddin Samad. The day before he was killed, he had posted to Facebook criticizing the government's ability to maintain law and order, and has previously posted about atheism and his criticisms of radical Islam. We have responded, which is noted in reports on the killing by the APNPRBuzzFeed, and elsewhere. This is the first attack of this kind in 2016, following several of them in 2015.  

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Associate Citizens

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 06, 2016

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

Well, Tennessee looks about to adopt the Bible as the official state book. Katie Rogers at NYT reports:

During a Senate floor session on Monday, Senator Steve Southerland, the Republican who sponsored the bill, argued that it is about honoring the Bible’s historical and cultural contributions to the state. He said that a Jewish friend of his had agreed the Bible is a historical text. ... The legislation does not say which version of the Bible would be used. 

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Ultra-Orthodox Airlines: Why Did SHE Have to Move?

by Nicholas Little
April 05, 2016

This scene is being played out repeatedly at multiple airports, and on multiple airlines. Men complain based on religious beliefs, and women are forced to move. When men are denied this “accommodation” they have protested, stood in the aisles, and refused to allow the plane to take off. So the airlines have kowtowed to their demands, and the men have gotten their way. The offending and offensive woman has been taken elsewhere in the plane, where, presumably, she should be grateful that she can sit without having curtains drawn around her.

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People Really Like Burning Stuff

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 05, 2016

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

Look who's on Point of Inquiry this week: It's American Atheists' Dave Silverman, in a spirited discussion with Josh Zepps about his fight against all things goddy. 

Google removes from the Play Store an app...by the Taliban

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The Most Privileged Dirty Old Men

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 04, 2016

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

Brandon Withrow at the Daily Beast looks at the places around the world where Christians really are persecuted (hint: not Starbucks), and the larger problem of blasphemy and apostasy laws. Oh, I'm quoted here too:

We have to “look beyond our borders,” adds Fidalgo. We need to recognize that “people truly are suffering in unthinkable ways—being beaten by mobs, imprisoned, executed, flogged—for holding certain beliefs or questioning the majority. And then we need to start bringing to bear our diplomatic and economic influence and making serious efforts to make change."  

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Kendall’s Spavin Cure

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 01, 2016

Benjamin J. Kendall marketed his Spavin Cure in Vermont in 1876, intended as a liniment for medical and veterinary use.

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Insidious Superfluous Consonants

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 31, 2016

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

Housekeeping note: No Heresy tomorrow, which is good, because it'll be April 1, and that means a miasma of not-funny hoax news pieces that I'm perfectly content to avoid sifting through.

Morton E. Tavel's Skeptical Inquirer cover story on why lie detectors are more or less crap is now online, and it's good stuff. He says:

Given such overwhelming evidence of inaccuracy as I have presented here, how can we, as a society, react to such a perversion of science? The logical solution is to completely abandon this method of testing. 

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