The Immortality of Gullibility

One of my readers left a comment on my Religion vs. Science piece and provided a link to the site “Soulgineering.” Muddling around in there, I came across this article, Physics and the Immortality of the Soul.

I can’t argue the science, but – being a writer and editor – I do have something of a feel for language, and the article is a not-very-artful mess of waffling and padding. If this was an article about heroin addiction, the writer would be easily recognizable as an enabler. Continue reading “The Immortality of Gullibility”

The 30,000

Say someone gave you $30,000, in cash, and the deal was, you had to live on it as long as you could. You couldn’t do any other income-producing work in that time, you just had to live on the 30 grand.

You’d have to pay all your bills on it, provide for all your daily needs. You’d have no additional money coming in, and all your entertainment needs, your health needs, your travel and leisure needs, all would have to come out of that one chunk of money.

How long could you live on it? Continue reading “The 30,000”

Religion vs. Science and Roads Not Taken

Any serious writer could tell you: Not everything you write ends up on a page somewhere.

Some of the stuff just isn’t good enough. Some of it is good enough, but not germane to the piece you’re currently writing. And some of it is good enough but … just doesn’t fit anywhere.

This is a piece of a piece that never made it into my book. It’s sort of a double reject — the chapter in which it appeared was edited out of the book, but even before that decision was made, this bit was edited out of the chapter. Still, it struck me as worth saving. So, here: Continue reading “Religion vs. Science and Roads Not Taken”

Pro-Science Presidential Speech (repost)

This was buried fairly far down in a previous post, Obama’s Speechwriter … sort of, and I thought I’d pull it out on its own and repost it. Because, damn, I’d love to hear him make it, or something like it. (Click through to the earlier story to read the context, which was a freelance speech I wrote for the 2008 campaign.)


ABCD Speech
(1,188 words, about 10 minutes to deliver)

One of the major issues of this presidential campaign, for all of the candidates, has been the war in Iraq. Yet in speaking of the war, and of so many other issues – issues of national security, energy issues, economic issues, issues of the global environment – we have reacted to emergencies now before us, rather than taking a more thoughtful, proactive approach, to foresee and avoid potential emergencies to come, and to foresee and help create the countless opportunities which may lie in our future.

America has had a number of great victories in military battles, but one of our greatest victories in recent memory was not a victory of war, it was a victory of this type of forward-looking proactivity, a victory of invention and research, a victory in an epic quest for a quintessentially American achievement. Continue reading “Pro-Science Presidential Speech (repost)”

Are We There Yet? Well, Yeah. Pretty Much.

The Rapture” — by Robert Bissell

I was in a Schmuckapalooza supermarket in my hometown in upstate New York, at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, when I realized the end was coming.

I remember it exactly because a Christian minister, Harold Camping, had predicted that precise time and date for the Rapture. According to Camping, 200 million Christians would be spirited into Heaven at just that moment. The rest, the left behinds, would live out their days on an increasingly violent Earth until the entire planet was destroyed just 5 months later. Continue reading “Are We There Yet? Well, Yeah. Pretty Much.”

Best Use of the Phrase “Mouth-to-Snout”

Kudos to Wausau, Wisconsin firefighter Jamie Giese and teammates on the Wausau Fire Department, for saving the life of 7-year old Labrador retriever Koda.

After rescuing the unconscious dog from a burning house, Giese gave Koda “mouth-to-snout” resuscitation.

I’ve heard it argued more than once that there’s something shameful or unnatural in valuing an animal in the same way we value our fellow humans. I like to think that view is somewhat less popular than it once was, but I have no doubt it’s still out there. The accusation is that some of us love animals MORE than we love humans, or even that we love animals because we actually hate humans. Continue reading “Best Use of the Phrase “Mouth-to-Snout””

If You Masturbate, You Are … Fabulous

Goddammit, it’s not enough that the world is ending today. Now we have to stop touching ourselves too. Because wanking makes you fabulous.

Don’t misunderstand me — it’s okay to be fabulous. Nothing wrong with it. Some of my best friends are fabulous. There are fabulous clubs right here in my hometown, and I see fabulous people walking around in my own neighborhood. There are fabulous parades and celebrations in major cities all over the world. After generations of being considered second-class citizens, the fabulous have earned respect and equality. Continue reading “If You Masturbate, You Are … Fabulous”