Why Evolution Is True

22 humpback whale breaches

22 humpback whale breaches

What a treat to have seen these breaches! I’ve put the YouTube notes on this video below. The coolest thing, which you can see in the video’s screenshot, and then twice in the film, is a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) jumping completely out of the water. I haven’t see a breach like that before. And […]

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Turkish government-owned television begins broadcasting anti-Semitic drama

Turkish government-owned television begins broadcasting anti-Semitic drama

MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, reproduces and translates politically “sensitive” (i.e. anti-Semitic, extremist Islamist, etc.) clips from Middle Eastern media, bringing them to the attention of those who wouldn’t normally see them. And because of this, it’s been closed several times by YouTube (and then reinstated), with the explanation always “violation of copyright […]

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Did HuffPo use a racist metaphor?

Did HuffPo use a racist metaphor?

Over the years, HuffPo has consistently used the term “bamboo ceiling” to refer to the barriers that, it says, are faced by Asian-Americans trying to advance in their careers. The first article below actually had the term “bamboo ceiling” in the big headline, but since yesterday it’s been relegated to the subheading. Click on the […]

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Readers’ wildlife photos (spider mimics frog!)

Readers’ wildlife photos (spider mimics frog!)

We have only two photos today, both from Lou Jost, who’s been busy in the rain forests of Ecuador. But they’re great pictures, and one apparently shows a form of mimicry new to me: an insect mimicking a frog. Lou sent this yesterday: In honor of your mimicry post today, here are two more mimics […]

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Thursday: Hili dialogue

Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s July 27, 2017, and also Thursday, which means I have to hie over to the hospital (5 min walk) to get physical therapy on my shoulder to help it heal. This will be a first for me, but I’m not getting any younger. I suppose it could be worse! It’s National Scotch […]

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Remind me, what does the First Amendment say again?

Remind me, what does the First Amendment say again?

[JAC: Matthew sent me this tw**t, and I responded, “You post it!” So he did.] IN AMERICA WE DON'T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT – WE WORSHIP GOD!🎥https://t.co/jIejSgVnnA — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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It’s National Moth Week!

It’s National Moth Week!

The first tw**t (I added others when I saw where this came from) is from naturalist and photographer Gil Wizen, who, like me, is a fan of mimicry. He’s given me permission to reproduce some of his stories and photos (like this amazing account of sexually-selected flies), and I’ll soon get around to that. In […]

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Iranian chador-wearing newscaster outed in Switzerland—unveiled and drinking beer

Iranian chador-wearing newscaster outed in Switzerland—unveiled and drinking beer

Never forget: social media is forever, and even if you remove something embarrassing you posted in an unwise or inebriated moment, somebody will have taken a screenshot. Or if you’re in public doing something you don’t want publicized, remember that everyone has a camera with a cellphone. That’s what happened here. It’s been reported by […]

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Talk to Siri now

Talk to Siri now

If you have Siri enabled, say “I see a little silhouetto of a man.” Then listen to the response.

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Michael Nugent on the de-platforming of Richard Dawkins

Michael Nugent on the de-platforming of Richard Dawkins

Michael Nugent is the head of Atheist Ireland (and a playwright), and works tirelessly for secularism in Europe. He’s also known for always wearing a red polo shirt, even when meeting heads of state. (I once emailed him why but got no reply.) But in a more serious vein, he’s just written a long email […]

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Bret Weinstein prepares to sue Evergreen State for $3.8 million

Bret Weinstein prepares to sue Evergreen State for $3.8 million

Until early this morning, the only place this item appeared was the right-wing site Campus Reform, but I sincerely doubt that this is a hoax because I have other information substantiating it, and because they produce documents. [Also, several sites now substantiate the story, including The Washington Times.] And those documents (some are below) show […]

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School named after Lynch family to be renamed because of racial connotations

School named after Lynch family to be renamed because of racial connotations

Let’s start off today with a short news item from OregonLive. A Portland-area school named after the family who donated the school’s land (as well as two other schools with the family’s name) will be renamed because that name, “Lynch”, has racial connotations: The national movement to change racially offensive names of buildings, sports teams and landmarks […]

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Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Dawkins

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Dawkins

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “police,” came with the note, “Maybe it’s time for Jesus & Mo to no-platform the barmaid?” I suspect those words, and the strip, refers to Richard Dawkins’s no-platforming by the Berkeley radio station KPFA. It can’t be said too often that criticizing ideas is not the same thing as […]

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Readers’ wildlife photos

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Colin Franks, whose photography website is here and Facebook page here, sent one of his infrequent but beautiful batches of photos. He promises more soon. The identifications are his: Female Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna): Male Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna): [JAC: These next two are especially adorable!] Baby Wood Duck (Aix sponsa): Baby Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos): Northern Flicker (Colaptes […]

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Wedneday: Hili dialogue

Wedneday: Hili dialogue

It is, as we vulgar Americans call it, “Hump Day”, referring to the peak of the work week, after which the days are downhill till the weekend. It’s Wednesday, July 26, 2017. It’s also “National Bagelfest,” so if you can, have a bagel with a schmear and some nice lox. Sadly, the small, chewy bagels […]

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My duck

My duck

My baby girl is all alone in the pond, but every day we spend quality time communing. She’ll eat vegetables and mealworms, but now eschews oatmeal and Cheerios. Here she is nomming some defrosted frozen peas: I’m worried that if I keep feeding her, she’ll stay when she should be flying away and doing Duck […]

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TrumpCare revived in close Senate vote

TrumpCare revived in close Senate vote

Our relief at the failure of the Republican Senate to kill ObamaCare was short lived. With terminally ill John McCain returning to D.C. to shame himself one last time, and with Vice-President Pence casting the deciding vote on a 50-50 tie, the Senate voted to proceed with debating the issue. As CNN reports: The next […]

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Australia’s (semi)terrestrial octopus

Australia’s (semi)terrestrial octopus

This new video, from Attenborough’s BBC Earth series, shows an octopus taking to land to hunt animals in tide pools. As usual, it’s a really nice clip, but is lacking one bit of information. The YouTube notes say this: “This extraordinary species found in Northern Australia is like no other Octopus, and land is no […]

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KPFA explains Dawkins’s de-platforming

KPFA explains Dawkins’s de-platforming

Several readers in this morning’s “Jeff Tayler/Godless Spellchecker” piece called to our attention the posting of an “explanation” by radio station KPFA in Berkeley about Dawkins’s de-platforming—their cancellation of a scheduled book talk. Here it is: There are also three links to the station’s reporting on the event and two to newspaper stories. KPFA’s excuse […]

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