Category Archives: In the News

The attack of the Republican “brain viruses”

coronavirus

While watching the most recent Trump rally in Arizona I recalled this slice of a nature documentary about European paper wasps and their most unwelcome parasite, as told by Wired magazine: “Early in summer, when a hive is busiest, the infected wasp leaves and travels, as if under command, to some unknown but predetermined place. Other parasitized wasps converge there,… Read more »

The shape-shifting political gospel of conservative Christianity

The Peaceable Kingdom

Here is the curious thing: When it comes to the embrace of modern medical care. including, or especially vaccinations, there has historically been little difference between how members of conservative Christian denominations and their “mainstream” Christian or their secular neighbors choose treatment modalities — until Covid-19. Some conservative religious types have long championed “natural health” methods rather than conventional medicine…. Read more »

A 25-point Credo about money and choice

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Cash

It has been three-and-a-half years since I last posted about my concept of money and cryptocurrencies. I have decided to start the year out detailing my literal bets on my own wealth in the form of a (perhaps sacrilegious) Credo (literally “I believe”), twenty-five pithy statements without much explanation. Even though Jesus warned against putting too much faith in money,… Read more »

Alligators, Florida Man, and Covid revisited

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Alligator

It was just two weeks ago that I posted about the famed “Florida Man” meme, the (almost always) men who are absolutely sure that they are right when they are embarking on some dangerous action that is really wrong. And then, just this past week, we took guests to southwest Florida’s Myakka River State Park, where you can walk through… Read more »

Worth a Read: Being You: A New Science of Consciousness by Anil Seth

Anil Seth - Being You

“You could even say that we’re all hallucinating all the time. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, that’s what we call reality.” Anil Seth (Being You, p. 75) Science books exploring what it means for humans to be conscious have typically been a hard slog. I first read Douglas Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach, a notorious… Read more »

What are the odds that I am dead wrong?

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Dice

Ever since I transitioned from Iowa-based snowbird to full-time Floridian, news accounts of the storied “Florida Man” now show up regularly in my news feed. To find your own “Florida Man doppelganger,” you simply Google “Florida Man” in quotes, followed by your birth month and day, and then see what news headline comes up. My search yielded this: “Florida man,… Read more »

Drinking water, vaccines, and the tragedy of the commons

Home_pond-2

Note: This post was previously published at the Iowa blog Bleeding Heartland. Before a planned international trip for a humanitarian non-governmental organization a few years ago, I received cholera and typhoid vaccinations as part of a set of several jabs administered by Iowa’s Polk County Health Department. Despite some transient ill effects, I survived to tell the tale, one more… Read more »

Diversions: Remembering singer-songwriter Bill Staines

Leo Coffeehouse, a Sunday night staple in Cincinnati for decades, is the kind of place where you would typically hear Bill Staines sing his songs. Run by the all-volunteer Queen City Balladeers, Leo has been meeting for the last several years in a church fellowship hall, charging modest admission and featuring regular open-mic sessions as well as mostly local artists…. Read more »

Dopesick, homelessness, and the casualties of culture

Junction

When faced with a friend who has succumbed to prescription opioid addiction, we commonly hear the expression, “There but for the grace of God go I!” But what if it is not divine grace at work here, rather simply the math of probability? I recently viewed the excellent Hulu television miniseries Dopesick, based on a book of the same name… Read more »

When good Christians disagree – part 2

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Good Christians Disagree-2

In Part One of this post I posited that “good Christians disagree” about important things for reasons heavily correlated to two 2000-year-old variants in the faith that still foster both diversity and division. When you envision God primarily as Michelangelo’s bearded white male on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and think of a mighty Christ “sitting on God’s right… Read more »