Vox: How conservative media helped the far-right take over the Republican Party.
SciAm: What You Don’t Understand about Suicide Attacks.
“Until suicide attackers are widely seen for the desperate, traumatized, and mentally ill people they really are—instead of ‘psychologically normal’ altruists—America will continue to suffer Islamic mass shooters who seek glory and heavenly rewards through death.” Yes, but there will always be depressed, isolated, vulnerable people. You will never cure those maladies in any effective manner. I hate to pick on the internet, but getting radicalizing texts and videos is exponentially easier today than in the recent past. We are seeing this result: a sick mind can be turned in days, instead of years.
I think of going to the library in my high school years, trying to find a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ just to *look* at it. Not even cracking it. I think every librarian tailed me as I went into the aisle to view the single copy (I’d asked at the desk). I wouldn’t doubt they called my parents, even.
ArtDaily: Nepal quake forces ‘living goddess’ Bajracharya to break decades of seclusion.
“Perhaps the gods are angry because people don’t respect traditions as much anymore.” I wonder how she feels about smartphones.
PS Mag: Link Between Religiosity, Good Health Debunked.
“Any protective effect of religion is the result of fitting in comfortably with one’s surroundings — not the religious preference of those surroundings — and the reduced stress levels this alignment produces.”
Guardian.UK: Does the Bible really say that global warming will make the Earth ‘vomit us out’.
Guardian.UK: Women rarely regret their abortions. Why don’t we believe them?
“Yet for most women, according to this study, however complex their feelings are, they still believe abortion was the right choice.” Noone says it isn’t painful, heartrending. Choice needs to be preserved.
Bloomberg: Islamic State Is Selling Looted Art Online for Needed Cash.
Aeon: The allure of ISIS resembles that of Tolkien.
“... many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.” Bound to ruffle some feathers.
NY Times: ISIS and the Lonely Young American.
Exactly what I’ve been concerned about. I suppose ‘pen pals’ no longer exist? The last thing I want to see is a young, lonely, hormonal teen be used by these folks. We need to give them alternatives. Now.
NPR: Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States.
And, I expect Roberts to hope this will mollify Conservatives over the previous ACA ruling: “But do not celebrate the Constitution. [snip] It had nothing to do with it.” Of course, he has a point. Marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at all. His statement is perfectly ‘safe’ - too subtle for most to understand. Even most of our modern media.
Archaeology News Network: Mummified 17th century bishop a unique time capsule.
“An unexpected discovery that emerged from the CT scan was a four- or five-month old foetus ...” Well now that’s creepy.
BBC: Saint-Donatien in Nantes in ruins.
Hyperallergic: The Demolished Buddhas of Bamiyan Are Reborn as 3D Projections.
Much as I appreciate the effort, 3D projection will not stand the test of time, I’m afraid.
PS Mag: Even Atheists Intuitively Believe in a Creator.
The New Yorker: Why Jihadists Write Poetry.
“It may seem curious that some of the most wanted men in the world should take the time to fashion poems in classical metres and monorhyme — far easier to do in Arabic than in English, but something that still requires practice. And these are only the most obvious signs of the jihadis’ dedication to form.” Twisting this a bit (my nature), I wondered. And looked. Our Founding Fathers weren’t much for poetry. GW left two. TJ left two. Jemmy Madison [A good Princetonian student] showed a bit more spirit.
Archaeology News Network: Buddhist statue of ‘goddess with thousand hands’ restored.
Check the before/afters. That’s one heck of a lot of painstaking work.
Guardian.UK: The power of Loki.
“Loki not only breaks the rules, he questions their very existence. In a world striving towards order, he was chaos incarnate. A demon to rival Lucifer, he was the symbol of everything early Christianity was struggling to overcome and to repress.”
The Register.UK: Creationist - ‘The Flintstones’ was an accurate portrayal of dino-human coexistence
Now I feel cheated I didn’t have a pet brontosaurus.
Forbidden Histories: Temple Medicine, Oracles and the Making of Modernity.
“In his writings on Greek medicine, for example, du Prel reconstructed the practice of temple sleep (or ‘incubatio’, most often associated with the healing god Asclepius), which denoted the widespread ancient practice of patients spending nights in temples to receive healing and medical advice from divine beings in their dreams.” Surprised we don’t have people sleeping in churches.
Reuters: Boston bomber Tsarnaev sentenced to death for 2013 attack.
“The jurors accepted the bulk of the prosecution’s aggravating factors, unanimously finding that Tsarnaev had not demonstrated remorse for his actions. They rejected many of the mitigating factors, with only three of the 12 jurors believing the defense’s claim that Tsarnaev had acted under his older brother’s influence.” I didn’t expect anything less, given the heinous nature of the crime.
ArtDaily: John Paul II’s blood-stained cassock on display 34 years after shooting.
Hit four times with a 9mm, you’ll be surprised at the lack of blood. Two in the intestines. Lucky man to have survived.
PewForum.org: America’s Changing Religious Landscape.
“Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages.”
New Yorker: The G.O.P.’s War on Science Gets Worse.
“Defunding NASA’s earth-science program takes willed ignorance one giant leap further. It means that not only will climate studies be ignored; some potentially useful data won’t even be collected.” Oy vey.
The Conversation: Even setting evolution aside, basic geology disproves creationism.
“As a geologist, though, I think that the rocks beneath our feet offer even better arguments against creationism. For the creationist model doesn’t square with what you can see for yourself. And this has been known since before Darwin wrote a word about evolution.” My italics.
Aeon Video: What comes after religion?
“Do we know how to replace the benefits offered by religion?” The similarities between internet social media and religion come strongly to mind.