Reading Time: 2 minutes People are up in arms and threatening to boycott Disney? Why? Short answer: they’re dumb. Long answer: they’re REALLY dumb.
Reading Time: 13 minutes In a world of significant scientific illiteracy, it’s easy to point fingers at “the other side”. Religious extremists, and the politicians who leverage them for power, are a serious problem. But what habits have we formed, and what narrative structures exist in our media, that only make things worse? Today I interrogate my own weaknesses, […]
Reading Time: 11 minutes Outside my work here at OnlySky, I’m a writer of speculative and science fiction, and a translator. My science fiction usually focuses on alternative justices and social contract theory, so the overlap with my humanist essays is obvious. But my work as a translator? Well, that’s a labor of love, and an act of thanks. […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes Born in Pittsburgh on April 13, 1919, Madalyn Murray O’Hair became an American pariah for her aggressive atheism, as she targeted mandatory bible readings in her son’s public school. Her son’s case hit the Supreme Court, and eight of the Justices ruled that the Establishment clause of the First Amendment had indeed been violated—for a […]
Reading Time: 6 minutes It is sad – one half of the world does not believe in God and the other half does not believe in me. — OSCAR WILDE On the 7th of July in 1896, Anglo-Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was incarcerated at Reading Prison for “gross indecency”—what would now be simply described as gay sex. He […]
Reading Time: 7 minutes When I was a boy first studying history outside American textbooks, the United Kingdom was at first an image of pomp and period drama, not so alien to the lovers of high end film and television but exotic and mystic to her North American descendants in its antiquity. As I became more experienced in the […]
Reading Time: 2 minutes The words feng shui in Chinese literally mean wind and water, though it’s anyone’s guess how wind and water link to the ancient custom of geomancy, which is what feng shui is. Geomancy is the practice of arranging items in their best possible locations and positions. Should this village go here or further down the […]
Reading Time: 5 minutes Sometimes, tearing a statue down conveys a more potent history lesson than leaving it in place.
Reading Time: 4 minutes Ninety years after the death of Francis Bellamy, his lasting legacy—The Pledge of Allegiance—is once again at the center of controversy. But this time, it’s because the whole thing may have been plagiarized. A brief history of the Pledge of Allegiance I covered the history of the Pledge in a lengthy podcast, but the story […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes When I was eight, I’d sit with my father in our basement in St. Louis drinking grape soda and trying to ferret something sensible out of the whistles and whines of his short-wave radio. We’d lean into the speaker as he ran the dial slowly around the world, picking up one whispery broadcast after another, […]