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The Weakness Of Email Marketing: Your Snake Oil Leaves A Slimy Record

The more politicians use this tactic, the less likely we are to pay attention when an urgent threat really does emerge. Like the boy who cried “wolf”, the politicians who cry “Nuclear Iran” have hurt their own cause, using cheap tactics to grab attention instead of holding serious language in reserve for when it is genuinely necessary. […]

The Fear Machine at Work, Summer 2015

Number of distinct stories in American newspapers speculating about a July 4 terrorist attack on American soil, June 1 – July 4, 2015: 136

Number of actual terrorist attacks on American soil, July 4 2015: 0

Source: Proquest Newsstand

The Supreme Court Has Silenced Us, Say Anti-Equality Bigots

Opponents of marriage equality are saying loudly that they have been silenced. […]

Is An Anthropological Study of Atheists Possible?

From what I’ve seen of this special journal issue on the anthropology of atheists, I’m not seeing the ground for building any single agenda for ethnographically studying atheist cultures. […]

5 Things USA Today Says You Need to Know (and 5 Things that Come a lot Closer to Meeting that Need)

USA Today is back, grinding out its daily “5 things you need to know” article. Here are today’s entries; according to USA Today, apparently I need to know that:

1. “N.Y. escapee is in the hospital”. I don’t need to know this. Even if I lived in New York State, I wouldn’t have needed to […]

Jill Stein Presidential Campaign Lapses Into Sluggish Communication

What’s the point of getting Jill Stein into the debates, when she doesn’t even bother to fully use the opportunities for political speech that are available to her right now? […]

Movie Title and Tagline Open Thread

Plant Rabies

… whatever you do, don’t eat your vegetables!

 

What great movie is lying out there, somewhere, in the land of unrealized possibility? Share it with me. Post a movie title and a tagline that explains it all.

Is Everybody Really Doing Plastic Surgery? Do You Personally Know Anyone Who Is?

The cover of the issue of Time Magazine currently out on shelves would have us believe that plastic surgery is an everyday thing now, and everybody is getting it done.

The cover’s text is downright threatening: Nip. Tuck. Or Elese.

Everybody is getting plastic surgery done, says Time Magazine. I’m skeptical of this claim. […]

Time For Diane Rehm To Retire

A radio show that repeats outlandish rumors found on Facebook as if they are fact has no place on NPR. It is time for Diane Rehm to retire. […]

Today Is World Book Titles Round The Other Way Day

Are you celebrating World Book Titles Round The Other Way Day? […]

Would you stroll in this colon?

My first reaction upon seeing this hands-on exhibit was digust: shouldn’t some exhibitions be hands-off?  My second reaction was a different kind of disgust: who wants to eat refreshments next to an 8-foot-high section of  bowel?  My third reaction turned to the inevitable jokes about “passing” through. 

My final emotional destination was admiration: it takes […]