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Should You Have To Get Permission To Make An American Flag?

This week, U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Ted Poe introduced H.R. 3713, a bill that would allow the U.S. federal government to place trademark registration protections on the American flag.

If the government claimed ownership over the trademark rights to the flag, they could require permission, and perhaps the payment of a fee, for anyone [...]

Good Mourning

Memento mori. Do what you can in the time that remains.

Why Is There No Opposite Of Analogy?

Tonight, I have discovered a gap in the poetic imagination of the English language. Children in the United States and United Kingdom are taught that poetry often uses analogy, a form of metaphor that likens one thing to another thing.

My love is like a boiled carrot…

But what’s the opposite of an analogy? [...]

The Replacement Magic Wand

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine expressed a need for a magic wand – not a wand that really performs magic, but a wand that looks like what people think a magic wand would look like. It was for her daughter, she said, a big fan of Harry Potter.

I had just so [...]

Why Would Atheists Engage In Christian Ritual?

There’s nothing wrong with people who call themselves atheists attending these Sunday Assemblies. It’s just that Sunday Assemblies won’t be the ticket for people who are more interested in the open field of possibilities as we develop ideas and rituals centered in our own contemporary experience, separate from the traditions of the past. [...]

Event In India Makes Pamplona Bull Runners Look Like Wimps

Whereas the participants in Pamplona are seeking to create a display of their physical and mental toughness, the people participating in the bull ritual in Ujjain are seeking forgiveness through submission. Instead of running away from the bulls, they wait for them. [...]

A Green Party Of Displaced Meaning?

If the function of third parties is to keep idealism out of the political mainstream, what are idealists to do? [...]

How Scary Would You Become To Escape NSA Spies?

The very fact that we’re being observed by spies dramatically limits the trajectories we can take. [...]

Calling All Heathens

Are there more Norse in Australia than in Sweden?

That’s what the results of the Worldwide Heathen Census show so far. There are also more self-described “heathens” in Brazil than in Sweden.

Curious. Brazil is a country that many Nazis moved to after World War II – a fact made famous by the novel The [...]

A Place For Thistles

Once, a viking botched a stealthy attack on a camp of Scots when he stepped onto the sharp thorny leaf of a thistle and howled in pain. In my own garden, this stinging plant attracts small animals with stingers of their own. [...]

No Need To Sit Through Shakespeare, Thanks To Statistical Exegesis

Your data may be impressively big, but wisdom does not just fall out of it, any more than wisdom just falls out of the night sky. [...]