Category: Off Topic

Visible asteroid flyby tonight

The size of a city block, and you can watch it live on the Web. more

From The Best Schools: Life as a scholar when you can’t say things that are just plain true . . .

A writer was fired from Chronicle of Higher Education for alleged racism, but … more

Rotating snakes illusion, courtesy New Scientist

Try it. more

From The Best Schools: Nonjudgmentalism is another name for desertion and cruelty

Three exceptions to the non-attack rule: people with differing political views, fundamentalist Christians, and rural working-class whites. more

From The Best Schools: “Fix Fishtown Central High” social work schemes: If low self-esteem isn’t really the problem, …

“The trouble with Fishtown teens’ self-esteem is that it is too often inflated by future sources of trouble. Let’s look at the four Fishtown teen high school dropouts’ choices again. ” more

The Best from The Best Schools … Ritalin Gone Wrong, and Why Money Doesn’t Drive Morals

… a surprisingly level-headed and humane article in The New York Times challenging our newspaper of record’s standard Darwinian-reductionist line on human nature. more

Why proposed improvements to failing schools don’t really work, Part II: Eat Smart!!

A whimsical look at how an education bureaucracy can bring about improvements despite itself … more

Merry Christmas back in fashion?

A tiny minority of state nannies, social engineers, and pressure groups specialize in taking offense, and make their living from it. And they are offended by us unwashed hordes generally, so …. more

Off-topic: Does a man’s honour really “lie between the legs of a woman”?

In a global society, we need a philosophically coherent means of confronting cultures that believe and act on such views, not an excuse for accommodating them. more

Is it still wrong if another culture says it is right? A teacher’s surprising discovery

“I had expected strong aversion; but that’s not what I got. Instead, they became confused. They seemed not to know what to think.” more

Breaking 11 news …

Okay, 11 11 11 is fast departing, and no matter how trivial you think it is, it won’t be back for a century. Meanwhile, in other 11 news, courtesy the Toronto Star Do you like playing around with ones and 11s? Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born and […] more

Why America might pull through the demographic collapse

It is mainly religious people who raise children, and more women in America are religious. more

Why Islam is in as much trouble as the West, despite the hype

Because numbers matter and no one can beat demographic collapse more

I am glad Eric Anderson is happy with his three thousand tyrants

I must have missed the part about the Americans breaking away from Britain so that they could found a society and culture where government polices every aspect of life. Stirring. more

“Atheists Don’t Have No Songs”

Steve Martin performed the following on Letterman a few weeks back: more

Off topic: May the day soon come that you’d have to be Jared Loughner to think growing speech control is a problem

Here tragic mishap says something I could not quite understand, and maybe Phaedros did: In discussing speech controls , as here, I said, Anyone who doubts the story should consider that, in the modern world, huge empires imprisoning billions of people and killing tens of millions, have been based on speech control (implicitly, thought control) […] more

Off Topic: Random Acts of Culture — Handel’s Messiah in a Mall

As many UD readers know, I am a classical pianist by training since the age of seven. The piano and classical music have been a tremendous inspiration all my life, and this was my refuge during four decades in the hideous darkness of atheism. After 2.5 centuries, great, uplifting works of musical art such as […] more

Incredible Pictures of Iceland Volcano Eruption


[Quasi-Off-Topic:] Long-Winded Senatorial Specifications

Specifications have long been an intense interest of mine (e.g., go here). Below is an 833-word specification by our U.S. Senate that could have been said in one word — LOUISIANA. Indeed, the only state to which this specifcation applies is LOUISIANA. Congrats to Lousiana’s Mary Landrieu for snagging $100M in pork that’s associated with […] more

Off topic: Single payer health care

Here I was recently treated to an interesting display of Darwinist logic. A commenter demanded that I provide proof that in a single-payer health system like Canada’s, older people are being abandoned to die. Another suggested I just shut up about it. Sorry. Go here for how bad it can get. It’s a matter of simple […] more

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