Happy Holy Days

2015-12-30 Holidays img01During roughly the past decade, the so-called “War on Christmas” seems to have made great strides in forcing average people to wish everyone “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” for fear of being considered an inconsiderate religious bigot.

After all, Christianity isn’t the only religion celebrating this time of year. Continue reading

The Evil of Hoarded Gold

The Evil of Hoarded Gold ThumbnailI’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of The Hobbit film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. In fact, many of my friends will poke at me with the topic (in good-natured fun) just to see me bristle up in ire.

Whereas Jackson (or at least the people working alongside him who reined in some of his more madcap suggestions) made a very valiant attempt in the Lord of the Rings films to stay as true to the books as possible, with one or two notably disappointing exceptions, it seemed as though he decided that The Hobbit as written by Tolkien wasn’t good enough Continue reading

The Good Fight

It is a simple fact of life that Evil “plays dirty.”  It’s something we knew and witnessed from early childhood when the school bullies ganged up on the one weak kid, or when sniggering tale-tellers spread rumors about someone without giving them a chance to speak for themselves.  We see it most recently and profoundly in the organization called ISIS, which routinely murders Christians and other non-Muslims in abominable ways to make an example of them to the rest of the world.  Evil simply doesn’t play by the rules. Continue reading

Of Deserts and Bureaucracies

2015-7-30 Bureaucracy img01I was in the desert waiting, watching, praying, hoping for a miracle to come. Yes, a few months ago I was celebrating the liturgical season of Lent and looking forward to the miracle of Easter, just as were most other Christians around the world at that time. However, that is not the waiting nor the watching, praying, and hoping to which I am referring in this specific instance. No. I was simply doing all of the above in response to bureaucratic ineptitude. Continue reading

Unveiling the Sacred

2015-3-5 sacred img01

I happened to see something on television in which a woman bought a scant outfit to wear for her husband in order to “get his attention” when he came home. Having no desire to watch it further, I turned back to whatever I had been doing and promptly forgot about it. Then, for some reason, the advertisement came to mind a day or so later. Why did it pop into my head again? Who knows. But I found that it was bothering me, and at first I couldn’t quite figure out why. Continue reading

When Science Disappoints

2014-12-18 documentary img02I recently had the audacity to comment upon a YouTube video in which footage of a famous prehistoric animal had supposedly been captured. I didn’t expect much from the footage, and I soon realized that I did indeed recognize the discreditable source of the video. To many people in the scientific world – specifically the area of that world which deals closely with animals and their prehistoric counterparts – this video footage was known to be part of a fictionalized “documentary” put on by the Discovery Channel for their famed and much-loved Shark Week in August of last year. In the film, which ran about two hours, a team of scientists supposedly discovers footage of a Megalodon from a seafloor camera that they are monitoring. Continue reading

The Proper Understanding of Grades

2014-7 Unhappy Student

This past year I tutored a high school freshman in introductory science.  We will call him Adam.  Adam struggled mightily with most of the subjects he was taking at the time, and seemed much more interested in slacking off and relaxing once he got home rather than putting in the effort to study and do his homework.  I was even privy to several of the rather unpleasant adult “tantrums” he would throw if he realized that he was expected to work with me for longer than he initially expected.  Naturally, I tried to impress upon him the importance of working hard, Continue reading

No Hate, Only Disagreement

rainbow img01 On several websites recently, but especially on Facebook, I have seen “shares” from a group called NOH8, which apparently is an abbreviation for “No Hate.” According to the website, their mission statement is this: “The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.” I find three things very interesting about the group, and would like to analyze them a little further.

The first thing I noted which I found interesting is the fact that many of the “shares” I was seeing from the group on Facebook showed celebrities in the photos. Continue reading

An Attempt at Informed Reason against Uninformed Foolishness

2014-5-22 Zoos img01It has become apparent to me lately that a growing number of people seem to be in favor of no longer keeping animals in zoos or aquariums and instead releasing those that are currently in captivity into the wild.  Perhaps this is due to such films as Blackfish (which, according to at least one of the former Sea World trainers that they interviewed, portrayed the opinions of the trainers inaccurately), or due to a greater awareness of the decreasing population of animals in their natural settings.  Whatever the cause, there are several very good reasons as to why shutting down zoos and aquariums and releasing these animals into the wild is an extraordinarily bad idea.  As a biologist, I feel it is my duty to inform people of at least a few of these reasons so that they will, at least I hope, turn aside from this folly.

Just the other day, I happened to run across an image on The Meta Picture that I had clicked on because I saw a beautiful white wolf and was curious to see what the caption on the image said. Continue reading