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Posted 5 years, 6 months ago at 10:26. 0 comments
The first section of the High Line, New York’s newest park, opened for visitors this week. Nature’s been taking it’s own course with the High Line over the years anyway, so it’s great to see it turned into “official” greenspace.
This is quite similar to one of my favorite spots in Paris: the Promenade Plantée in the 12th arrondissement. I love it when cities decide to re-purpose surplus infrastructure like this rather than simply tearing it down.
Current Tunes: The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes | Filed under In The News, Travel
Posted 7 years, 4 months ago at 12:49. 1 comment
As an atheist, I am sometimes challenged to defend my beliefs, or perhaps more accurately, my lack of belief. The Jehovah’s Witnesses next door proved very persistent when we first moved into our current home, for example. My (mercifully) infrequent interrogators question my lack of belief because I have no unified source of knowledge to underpin that belief, often using their “one book” as the basis for comparison.
This is a false dichotomy. For the atheist, there is no one book but many, written by many philosophers and scientists over the ages, each of which undoes a small part of the religious web. My problem historically has been how to arm myself appropriately against such religious inquiry by reading the most important and seminal of those works. How easy it must be to rely on just one book? It would certainly cut down on library fines, not to mention my Amazon bill.
Over the past decade or so, prominent atheists have taken up that charge. Authors like Richard Dawkins have done much to popularize the atheist “cause.” My most recent discovery is Christopher Hitchens whose book, God Is Not Great, has given me some serious pause for thought. I will also confess that I was turned on to Hitchens by his appearance on The Daily Show and The Hour. See, book tours really do work!
Whereas Dawkins may advocate for “brights” and our need to stick together, Hitchens simply lays it all out: arguments presented by various religious organizations, along with why they are at best wrong and internally inconsistent, and at worst, dangerous. As a reading list, an atheist could do much worse than to use Hitchens’ references section as a starting point. His style isn’t for everyone, though, so if you’re interested in pursuing the matter further, I recommend his Authors@Google talk on YouTube as a starting point. Some basic searching will turn up other priceless nuggets if you’re then so inclined.
Let me reiterate that conversion is not my goal here, I’m merely arming myself with defensive knowledge, sad though it may be that I feel the need to couch it in those particular terms. In no way am I ashamed of my beliefs, but atheists don’t have much of a lobby group.
Current Tunes: Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown | Filed under Books, In The News, Religion, Science
Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 14:39. 0 comments
Kristina and I just signed up for Bullfrog Power. If you live in Ontario, you really should too. If you live elsewhere, more research will be required, but you should still do something:
- Elsewhere in Canada: Wind Power Certificates
- USA: DOE Green Power Network
- UK: Ecotricity
- EU: Eugene Standard
Current Tunes: Face To Face - I'm Popeye The Sailor Man | Filed under House, In The News, Science
Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 11:44. 0 comments
There’s a theory in medicine called the hygiene hypothesis, the pop culture sound byte version of which is that kids who eat dirt are generally healthier than children who don’t. As a soon-to-be-parent and former mud-pie line cook, this idea appeals to me.
If we can apply this same logic to general childhood development, can people please stop trying to sanitize life for their children? I know you mean well, but if you’re not careful, your child is likely to be felled by the first powerful idea they encounter.
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