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Showing posts from December, 2013

My Magazine Article is Out!!

A few months ago, I received an invitation to write for a new magazine, Secularite .  I accepted, and the first issue of the magazine when became available on iTunes yesterday!  I am amazingly excited about this, because I covered the origins of many Christmas traditions to the Romans as well as German and British pagans. If you have a few minutes, please take a look and tell me what you think.

What Did the 113th Congress Do This Year?

Last week, I watched several comedians make fun of the current Congress, joking that the 113th Congress will make the Guinness Book of World Records for doing nothing.  I did a little research since then and determined two facts: The 113th Congress will not be in the Guinness Book of World Records, because they don't have a record for this type of behavior. The 113th Congress is the least productive Congress since we began to collect and correlate data in 1947.  The 112th Congress was considered the least productive, because they only passed 283 public bills and 1 private bill.  So far, the 113th Congress has only passed 57 bills, and the House is scheduled to adjourn this Friday, December 13th with the Senate working until (tentatively) December 20th. But numbers are not the sole indication of productivity.  A small number of important bills can get a lot of work done.  Let us analyze what these 57 bills do: The first two bills (113-1 and 113-2) passed provided relief f

Freaky Friday News - December 6, 2013

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Captures Storm on Saturn Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University This is a color-enhanced image of a hexagonal jet stream around the north pole of Saturn.  The winds in the hexagon jet at more than 200 m.p.h., with a diameter of over 20,000 miles.  To put this in perspective, the Earth's diameter is less than 8,000 miles.  To learn more about this storm, read the story at NASA . Bad-Luck Theft of the Year Earlier this week, some thieves in Mexico hijacked a cool-looking truck with an attached crane.  I don't know this with certainty, but I bet the crane attracted the thieves more that the truck itself.  Anyway, unbeknownst to the thieves, the crane was needed to move the sealed cargo on and off of the truck.  But the cargo itself? Image by  DMKTirpitz, CC license v 3.0 Cobalt-60 - medical grade radioactive material That's right - these unfortunate men accidentally stole radioactive material, exposed themsel

The Syrian War, the U.S., and Human Rights Violations

The Omayad Mosque courtyard, with ┼×adirvans in pavilions, in Aleppo, Syria. From Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 Generic License The UN came out with a less than stunning announcement this week - the President of Syria knows about the war!  *gasp*  Okay, the announcement was that the U.N investigators traced knowledge of torture and other activities classified as war crimes to the "highest levels" of the Syrian government.  Let's be candid here - we all know that the highest levels of government know what's going on.  President Bashar al-Assad is no fool; he knows what is going on.  Which makes me wonder - why the secret list of suspects from the U.N investigators?  Why act as though President Assad knows nothing? Because the U.N wants to try him on these war crimes, along with any other official high enough in his regime.  I have heard people in the U.S. among those calling for trials.  Again I wonder - what would these people say if th