Sticks!

January 16, 2018

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

Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson is coming back for a second season...five years later. Better late than never. It's coming in the spring of 2019 and titled Cosmos: Possible Worlds. Cue the endless review headlines wondering if it will be the "best of all" said possible worlds. 

We've got two new Reasonable Talk videos, the first from CSICon 2017: Ex-naturopath Britt Hermes and conspiracy theory researcher Rob Brotherton. I thought these were both great.

Sticks. How do they work? Alexander Langlands at Nautilus explain how the stick is our defining ur-technology

Sticks are probably where the story of craft begins—the point at which our very distant ancestors progressed from animalistic existences to lives materially enhanced by the objects around them.  

A court in Dubai sentences a man to pay a fine equivalent to over $130,000 for "insulting religion" during an argument at a night club. 

In a new Big Think video, Richard Dawkins shows the problems with the notion of something being "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a legal context.  

This sounds fun: "Let Me Tell You About the Violent Diarrhea I Got From 'Raw' River Water

Drew Millard at The Outline profiles former blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge who, after going "full tinfoil" over aliens, is vaguely made into a kind of nutty, accidental prophet by the NYT UFO-investigation reports.

Trump is more popular among voting blocs like evangelicals, of course, but one year into his "presidency," he's still less popular than he used to be with every single damn group.

Despite lamentations about Satanism and sexuality, an Iowa public school district is standing behind a student artist whose painting for school features a "goat-like head and the nude upper body of a woman," plus intestines! 

Justin Barton and Mark Russell are teachers at Cockrill Middle School in McKinney, Texas. They've tweeted that transgender kids are "mentally ill" and how Islam is a "Satanic death cult." The school district says, "We have to respect the legal rights of our employees for freedom of speech and freedom of expression." 

The Des Moines Register reports on how "persistent atheist" Justin Scott of Iowa got the Wavery City Council to nix public prayers.

Last week, the Florida House of Representatives heard a secular invocation by Tee Rogers, Humanist Chaplain for the University of Central Florida.

Julia Belluz at Vox wonders: how the hell did chocolate become a "super-food"

Please enjoy this poliitcal fan fiction via Twitter thread by Oliver Willis. 

Quote of the Day

The current incarnation of that Dalai Lama fellow

I really feel that some people neglect and overlook compassion because they associate it with religion. Of course, everyone is free to choose whether they pay religion any regard, but to neglect compassion is a mistake because it is the source of our own well-being.

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