“Evolution” refers to change occurring over time, typically in a positive direction. As Darwin envisioned it, species changed (gradually) over time to enhance their ability to survive. These days the word is commonly used for any change that seems to be for the better. Not everyone, of course, agrees on what’s “better.” When President Obama says that his views of gay marriage are evolving, he means that he is becoming more tolerant and accepting. Not everyone, including members of the Westboro Baptist Church, however, would agree that’s a change for the better.
One of my favorite writers, Steven Pinker, . . . → Read More: Evolution
I owe the title of this blog entry to William Shakespeare, who put those words in the mouth of King Richard III. Richard’s words were a metaphor for difficult times under the previous king rather than commentary on a polar vortex of the sort we’ve been experiencing in much of the U.S. this winter. For many in the States, this has been the coldest winter with the most ice and snow that we’ve had for several years.
Meanwhile, Melbourne, Australia, has been so hot that those playing tennis in the Australian Open have been wilting in the heat, . . . → Read More: The Winter of Our Discontent
It’s that time of year. When we turn the page from December to January, most of us give at least a little thought to “New Year’s Resolutions.” It’s hard not to. Virtually every publication—both traditional and electronic—has at least one article on how to make and keep resolutions, what resolutions are being made by famous people, and how quickly resolutions can be broken. We tend to forget that we can leave old behaviors behind and/or begin new ones at any time, but birthdays and the start of a new year tend to amplify the sense of leaving the old behind . . . → Read More: Resolutions Revolution
You may be wondering what stubble’s got to do with it…. I had been wondering why so many men in current advertising, including the man deemed the “Sexiest Man Alive” by a popular magazine, are often photographed and filmed with three to five days of stubble. My curiosity got the better of me when I read an interview with a female actor who had just completed a movie about a same-sex relationship. When asked what she liked best about kissing another woman, she replied, “No stubble.”
It turns out that stubble is women’s Number-One complaint about kissing men. It . . . → Read More: Stubble, Etc.
If you’ve been paying attention for the past 20 or 30 years, you’ve probably noticed that “Science” keeps changing its mind about a lot of things. Also, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that Galileo’s “problems” with the Catholic Church have been a recurring theme. It seems to me that the conflict between “science” and “faith” is at the center of a number of what might be called “modern problems.” Problems of the sort that Galileo had with the Church have, of course, occurred in a variety of ways over the years. In general, . . . → Read More: What’s the Deal with Science?
As I am starting to write this electronic blog, one of the headlines for the day is that one of the principal bookstores in the U.S., Borders, is filing for bankruptcy. Electronic readers—e-readers—are gaining market share. In related stories, Amazon recently announced that Kindle e-book sales have surpassed sales of both hardcover and paperback books. For those of us who have spent a lifetime reading books, the move to “electronic literature” is a bit unsettling. I still have books on my shelves that I read as a college undergraduate. They have moved with me at least eight times and kept . . . → Read More: “What’s a Book, Daddy?”