Verily I Say Unto Thee... archive
Tag : InTheNews

We Do Love Our Noise

This is a screenshot of the middle of Texas, with Dallas-Fort Worth at the top, San Antonio at lower left, and Houston at lower right. My city barely shows up at this level of zoom. (Click image to see full-size screenshot.) So there’s a noise map now, if you need a temporary-but-fun diversion from other[…]

Do We Need A Better Way To Address False Convictions?

As I read A Botched Trial Leads To $30 Million Judgment For Nebraska County That Can’t Pay (Washington Post), I was struck that the story sought sympathy for the county (Gage County, Nebraska) rather than for the six wrongfully convicted people who filed the lawsuit. In short: 68-year-old Helen Wilson was murdered in 1985 by[…]

The Fake News Epidemic

(Click to see it full size) Someone — I wish I knew who, so I could attribute — made this helpful chart showing where various news agencies fall on the left/right political spectrum, as well as on the worth-reading spectrum. Note that this chart doesn’t actually include “fake news” sites — sites that invent stories[…]

We Need To Stop Disagreeing On Facts And Start Arguing Solutions

Oddly, too many arguments between the left and right in our country have shifted into arguments about whether facts are true. Evolution is real! — No it’s not! Climate change is real! — No it’s not! Racial bias in policing! — Doesn’t exist! Guns are dangerous! — Second Amendment! Tax the wealthy! — Taxation is[…]

VP Debate: Far Better Than Last Week’s Embarrassment

As expected, last night’s VP debate (Tim Kaine and Mike Pence — again excluding all but the two most prosperous parties) was calmer, more measured, and much more like a traditional political debate than was the debacle of the week before. We knew this going in because both Kaine and Pence are known for being[…]

Enter The Spin Doctors

The New York Times home page this morning, a rare example of relatively unbiased headlines (Click image to see it full-size) Privately, I predicted to myself that the most interesting thing about last night’s presidential “debate” (Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump) would be the next-morning spin from various news outlets. And I was correct. If[…]

‘ISIL Isn’t Muslim’ = Non Sequitur

Screenshot of tweet, seen on Facebook This edition of Stupid Meme Saturday focuses on the logical fallacy known as non sequitur, which means the conclusion does not follow from the premises. The example provided here, at right, is a screenshot of a tweet that someone posted on Facebook. “ISIS just bombed a mosque in the[…]

My Genetic Fallacy On The Brexit Vote

Photo of Boris Johnson holding a brick, with EU and UK flags overlaid Click here to see a larger version (Image combination by Wil C. Fry) It was clear to me the moment I began seriously considering the “Brexit” vote (read more on Wikipedia) that I was engaging in what’s called genetic fallacy (see also[…]

May 2016: Warmest On Record

2016 is set to outpace previous years Click here to see it full size (Image source: Climate Central) Another month, another record for global temperatures. This is not going away any time soon. May 2016 was the warmest May on record, the latest in a string of many record-breaking months. “So far this year every[…]

Killeen Student Suspended For (Possibly) Saving A Life

In this edition of Stupid Schools, we have a student — right here in my city — who rendered medical assistance to a fellow student and was suspended for two days. According to this story from regional TV channel KCEN, 15-year-old Anthony Ruelas, an eighth-grader at a Killeen alternative school, carried a fellow student —[…]

An Ethical Dilemma For Driverless Cars?

Other than “LOL”, I rarely use chat-room derived abbreviations, but I feel like typing “SMDH”¹ almost daily when I read the comments people are posting about self-driving cars. Most of it is simply regurgitating fearmongering from the technophobic talk radio programs they listen to. (I tackled most of those fears in a previous entry.) Now[…]

Anti-Brutality Does Not Equal Anti-Police

Law enforcement training exercise Seminole, Oklahoma (Copyright © 2003 by Wil C. Fry.) Yes, this needs to be cleared up again, sadly. In the light of this story (NY Times: “Officers’ Boycott of Quentin Tarantino Films Grows”), quite a bit of the rhetoric seems to be missing the mark. Controversial film director Quentin Tarantino recently[…]

Choosing The Wrong Thing To Get Angry About: Denali Edition

Denali National Park, Alaska (Copyright © 2009 by A.Z. Fry.) I suppose I really wasn’t surprised that some folks got angry over the “renaming” of Mount McKinley to Denali. Despite the mountain having been called Denali for thousands of years, a prospector renamed it “McKinley” in 1896, after a man who wasn’t even president yet.[…]

Huckabee Is Right For Once

Preacher and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been wrong on so many points it’s difficult to keep track, but he shouldn’t be butchered when he’s correct, as he was this morning when interviewed by CNN. “Regardless, heterosexual marriage is largely in trouble today because people see it as a selfish means of pleasing self, rather[…]

Pulling Down The Battle Flag Won’t Solve It

The rectangular battle flag of the Army of Tennessee, Confederate States of America (Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons) After a lone shooter mowed down nine people in a South Carolina church, there have been calls for South Carolina to remove one of the flags that flies at the state capitol. My first (but[…]

The Pope: A Sea Change For Global Warming?

Industry on the sea, Corpus Christi, Texas (Copyright © 2014 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)   Pardon the pun in the headline — because sea levels are rising measurably — but I was encouraged to read about Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s (formally known as Pope Francis) recent 188-page encyclical on the environment. Read it[…]

May 2015: Second-Warmest On Record (TIE)

Categories: Environment, Science, Weather
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2015.06.16

Last month tied May 2012 for the second-warmest May of all time (behind May 2014). In case you’re keeping score, last year was the warmest year on record. This year, January, February, April, and May have each taken second place — and March was the warmest March ever. Combined, that means 2015 is already on[…]

Why Are ‘Nones’ On The Rise In The U.S.?

Empty church pews (Copyright © 2011 by Wil C. Fry.) Results of a new major study from Pew have been much-reported lately. The massive-in-scope survey shows that Christianity is on the decline in the U.S., while the unaffiliated (“nones”) have grown by leaps and bounds. Some publications tried to interpret the findings, some lamenting the[…]

I’m Not A Scientist, But… Cancer Is Not A Fungus

To quote the increasingly common Republican line, “I’m not a scientist, but…” I’m pretty sure cancer is not a fungus. At least one Republican disagrees with me. “If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic* line into your body and we’re flushing with, say, salt water, sodium[…]

A Schism In Science: Empiricism Versus A Priori

I was fascinated recently to read this NPR story about a rising debate among theoretical physicists: “The Most Dangerous Ideas In Science”. Its main source was from the leading weekly international journal of science, Nature: Scientific Method: Defend The Integrity of Physics. “Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers[…]

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