Thursday, January 27, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
… staff at the University of Northampton have issued a trigger warning for George Orwell’s novel on the grounds that it contains ‘explicit material’ which some students may find ‘offensive and upsetting’.
The poor, sensitive dears.
“I am tired of feeling shame and stigma for being a pro-choice Catholic. And I’m not here for people to judge my own personal relationship with God,” she added.
Hate to break the news to you, but Catholics don't get to pick and choose among doctrines. Being pro-choce is your right as a citizen. It is not your right as a Catholic. Find another church. And this stunt was pretty offensive.
Judge Patrick concluded the city's decision to approve the removal of the statue was "based on temporary and transitory events of disorder" and "clearly constituted arbitrary action" by the city. "Accordingly, the judge wrote, [the city's] claims should be dismissed."
Kenney may well be the dumbest mayor in America. As for The Inquirer, I’m thinking of canceling my subscription.
There is no single identity for Lim to discover and adopt. She must create a new person capacious enough to fit her international origins and adulthood. In America the complexity of her identity is doubly complicated — first by immigration and then by marriage and motherhood. As a poet, Lim doesn’t take much from Walt Whitman, but she does fulfill one of his great bardic boasts — she is large, she contains multitudes.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Though he no longer took the Bible literally, he found inspiration in Scripture’s “lofty ideas.” Christ-haunted, he regarded Jesus as “a greater artist than all other artists” because his medium wasn’t marble, clay, or color, but “living flesh.” Every corner of creation pulses with divinity. “I think sometimes I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning,” he wrote, adding, “All nature seems to speak. . . . I do not understand why everyone does not see and feel it; nature or God does it for everyone who has eyes and ears and a heart to understand.”
Now we know what those leading scientists really thought. Emails exchanged between them after a conference call on 1 February 2020, and only now forced into the public domain by Republicans in the US Congress, show that they not only thought the virus might have leaked from a lab, but they also went much further in private. They thought the genome sequence of the new virus showed a strong likelihood of having been deliberately manipulated or accidentally mutated in the lab. Yet later they drafted an article for a scientific journal arguing that the suggestion not just of a manipulated virus, but even of an accidental spill, could be confidently dismissed and was a crackpot conspiracy theory.
Monday, January 24, 2022
The tyrannical individuals, policies, and beliefs crippling the world today emanate from universities and the sphere of influence they enjoy. They continue to take your money and weaken young minds all while using their undue influence to make your life worse.
I had a very good college experience. But my encounters these with college grads these days does not impress.
… some viewers have reacted negatively to the movie’s instances of coarsely accented Asian English, leading critics on social media and at least one Asian American cultural organization to argue that audiences and prize juries should boycott it. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) announced that to shower Licorice Pizza “with nominations and awards would normalize more egregious mocking of Asians in this country.”
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Friedman is just getting started: biting-giant, chip-on-his-shouldered, Emperor-Burton-in-a-doorway-Putin is also America’s “ex-boyfriend from hell,” who refuses to let us “date other countries, like China” (we want to date China?) because “he always measures his status in the world in relation to us.”
Sardonic and adroit Either/Or makes for a fantastic read. While Selin does change over the course of her sophomore year, she also remains very much herself. She can be reserved and slightly baffling at times, and yet she’s also capable of making some very insightful or relatable comments. She’s intelligent, somewhat naive, and has a penchant for overthinking and obsessing over minor things. Her deadpan sense of humor and little idiosyncrasies make her character really pop out of the page. I could definitely relate to her many many uncertainties, as well as her fixation with understanding the person who never seemed to reciprocate her feelings.
Apparently, none of these people know how to do research. Finding a half-decent college these days must be tough.
Miller begins her story in the lab. That’s where she and her co-workers were examining data sets that they had compiled from brain-imaging tests. These compared self-described religious and spiritual folk with determined skeptics and nonbelievers. To her colleagues’ surprise, it turned out that faith strongly correlated with indicators of mental health. That finding was reinforced when the Columbia researchers looked at electroencephalograms (EEGs). These revealed that believers had higher levels of high-amplitude alpha waves. Miller knew that these brain signals tend to increase when patients are placed on SSRIs and that they fade out when patients are taken off the drugs. So this was an intriguing finding. The research unit then discovered that those recovering from depression who are believers had particularly elevated levels of alpha waves compared with those of recovering nonbelievers. This suggests that the original finding was not just a sign of correlation. It implies causation: that faith can alleviate despair.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
COVID-19 was regarded as an emergency, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration skipped the approval process for use of the newly developed vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization. It can be said that the designs of the spike protein-based vaccines were also rushed. The COVID-19 vaccines are the only vaccines in history that were developed and distributed in the midst of a pandemic. All the other vaccines took years to be designed, tested, and approved.
“Today, despite the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymized participant-level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come,” BMJ said. “This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.”
Friday, January 21, 2022
To many in the West, this will sound like an absurd overreaction. But it’s what happens when your goal is zero Covid. Policy ceases to be about proportionality — about balancing costs, risks, and benefits. It becomes about absolutes. If the goal is zero, you cannot take chances.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Getting out of your car on the street, in driveways. parking lots, gas stations and ATMs are carjacking “hot spots.” The police state that a “bump and run” is when a carjacker’s car bumps intentionally into a victim’s car. When the victim gets out to look over any damage, the carjackers show their guns and take the victim’s car. If bumped, stay in the car and lock the windows and doors. Place your flashers on and tell the other driver to follow you to a police station.
Terry Teachout was a full generation younger than this cohort, but he followed their arc: He got his start with National Review but eventually embraced a more philosophical and nonpolitical strain of conservatism. While he continued to write for National Review and other conservative publications, his work addressed a wider audience and eschewed the liberal-baiting that dominates right-wing political discourse. As The New York Times noted in its obituary, Teachout over time came to prefer “to work in an apolitical register, assessing art and culture on their own terms.”
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
The notion of intelligent design dates back to Lao-tse, Heraclitus, Plato, and Aristotle, all of whom concluded that being as we know it could not be the result of a crap shoot, that there has to be a principle of intellgence at work in being.
… the remarkable thing about Ruskin’s anger is the purity of it. He is appalled by the glibness of his cultural surroundings; by the aesthetic lies that are communicated through it. He must stand up to them. He must do so all by himself, and so may be forgiven if some of his assumptions go wrong. (Very few.) His prose is always graceful, and his production immense.
This “Great Awokening” has been impossible to miss if you consume mainstream news. But you don’t have to rely on your impressions. David Rozado, a computer scientist who teaches at New Zealand’s Otago Polytechnic, created a computer program that trawled the online archives of the Times from 1970 to 2018 to track the frequency with which certain words were used. What he found was that the frequency of words like “racism,” “white supremacy,” “KKK,” “traumatizing,” “marginalized,” “hate speech,” “intersectionality,” and “activism” had absolutely skyrocketed during that time.