Recent Articles

Check out who’s living in “your” body

Check out who’s living in “your” body

| May 7, 2007 | 14 Replies

You are sitting there smugly thinking that you are in charge of your own body, and that you should be, because it is after all your body.  Well, you’re wrong. The June 2007 Special Issue of Discover Magazine contains an article called “Your body is a planet.”  This article, written by Josie Glausiusz, recognizes that […]

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To make the roads safer, get rid of some of those traffic safety signs

To make the roads safer, get rid of some of those traffic safety signs

| May 7, 2007 | 6 Replies

According to this article in Discover, less can be more when it comes to road signs.   The “risk compensation effect” is a recognition that animals “tend to adjust their behavior to compensate for perceived risk.” A team of urban planners has concluded that traffic signs and signals actually make the roads more dangerous “because they […]

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If you want me to appreciate my ancestors, it’s going to take some time.

If you want me to appreciate my ancestors, it’s going to take some time.

| May 6, 2007

My wife and I attended the wedding of a good friend today.  A thoughtful and sometimes light-hearted rabbi presided over the ceremony.  This ceremony was quite a change of pace from most of the religious weddings I’ve attended.  There was no somber talk about the heavy guilt we bear for being human or how small […]

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Christopher Hitchens: “God Is Not Great”

Christopher Hitchens: “God Is Not Great”

| May 6, 2007 | 11 Replies

This week’s Newsweek reports on the latest book by Christopher Hitchens: God Is Not Great. “Religion poisons everything,” [Christopher Hitchens] expostulates—from such minor pleasures as a slice of ham (Hitchens’s mother and wife were born Jewish), up through sex, and on to the future of life on Earth, whose end is both predicted and welcomed […]

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What debates?

What debates?

| May 5, 2007 | 3 Replies

The Nation argues that we don’t really have any real political debates among the candidates.  In fact, what passes for “debate” is “idiotic”: What passes for a political debate in the United States today is little more than dueling sound bites. The Republican candidates were restricted to sixty-second answers to the questions put to them. […]

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Rolling Stone reports a recent rise in protest songs

Rolling Stone reports a recent rise in protest songs

| May 4, 2007 | 1 Reply

The subtitle of “Protest Songs Rise Again,” from the recent edition of Rolling Stone (May 3-17, 2007 issue): “Everyone from Ozzy to Maroon 5 weighs in on the worst president ever.” According to this article, rock has now entered “its most politically charged phase since the late Sixties.”  Tom Morellos’s new solo album (The Nightwatchman) “is packed […]

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The Iraq invasion has cost more than one trillion dollars.  How much is one trillion?

The Iraq invasion has cost more than one trillion dollars. How much is one trillion?

| May 3, 2007 | 17 Replies

Mathematician John Paulos has been working hard to help us imagine the amount of money spent to invade and occupy Iraq.  Many experts suggest that it has cost $700 billion in direct costs and probably twice that much if you include the indirect costs.  Others estimate the cost at $2 trillion.   Paulos asks us to […]

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Obama reaches out to African-American communities with tough love

Obama reaches out to African-American communities with tough love

| May 3, 2007 | 2 Replies

The Washington Post reports on Obama’s willingness to address issues that afflict many African American communities: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is delivering pointed critiques of the African American community as he campaigns for its votes, lamenting that many of his generation are “disenfranchising” themselves because they don’t vote, taking rappers to task for their language, […]

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Gift giving and fashion statements from the viewpoint of human evolution

Gift giving and fashion statements from the viewpoint of human evolution

| May 2, 2007 | 15 Replies

In his new book, The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (2007), Gad Saad serves as a tour guide, draws connections from human biology to the purchasing decisions of human consumers.  He strongly advocates that no explanation of consumer behavior is complete unless that explanation considers human evolution–we always need to consider “ultimate” explanations as well as […]

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