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Posted inMeaning & Purpose

Hemant Mehta offers his best advice

Reading Time: 7 minutes Hemant Mehta, otherwise known as the Friendly Atheist, sat down and chatted about the best advice he ever received. I got a lot of, well, real-world wisdom from the conversation. I think you will, too. Here’s a bit about him. Hemant Mehta is the founder and editor of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, and podcast co-host. […]

Posted inTrue Story

Approach, flatter, seduce, trap: That time a woman tried to lure me into a cult

Reading Time: 6 minutes I don’t remember her actual name—let’s go with Moonflower. She told me I was pretty and asked if I’d ever modeled, then motioned over to an older gentleman seated nearby. He owned a modeling agency, she said, slipping me his business card in case I was “interested.” Mr. Modeling Agency smiled and waved from his table.

I was intrigued—but not for the reasons you might think.

Posted inTrue Story

When absence outweighs presents: Grief and the holidays

Reading Time: 5 minutes “Nothing is something, where something is meant to be.” Nick Cave wrote those lyrics for Ghosteen, his album-length conversation with his dead son Arthur, and he was spot on. Even more, sometimes that nothing is everything. And loss alters everything, including our yearly observance of holidays. For many people, Thanksgiving and Christmas are already tough. […]

Posted inOp-Ed

AAI and hope and me

Reading Time: 4 minutes The AAI Files, Part Two OnlySky Ethics and Standards insist that all writers disclose any personal relationship to a story in a disclaimer. As I intend to write more articles about the abjectly avoidable slide into irrelevance of Atheist Alliance International (AAI), this article is that disclaimer. I promise most of my articles will be […]

Posted inTrue Story

How the pandemic took the toxic out of my Turkey Day

Reading Time: 5 minutes I first noticed the changed on Thanksgiving 2020. It was the height of the pandemic, so instead of the annual (heh) pilgrimage to my extended family’s Thanksgiving, I was at home with just my son and husband. So there had been no awkward endurance of my family saying a long performative grace over the meal.

That wasn’t the only thing missing. And like boneless chicken wings, what was missing somehow made what was left behind even better.

Posted inTrue Story

Supporting the people of Ukraine, one pizza at a time

Reading Time: 7 minutes The team drives through the decimated streets of Kharkiv, intent on their mission. Their armored car passes rubble from the pock-marked buildings, shattered by the nightly shelling. They are wearing bulletproof vests, as always. Without warning, shells fall from the sky, exploding all around their vehicle. Amazingly, the crew gets through intact. Is this a […]

Posted inTrue Story

The night I called Code Lavender

Reading Time: 6 minutes July 1995. It was my first night of internship, the next step after medical school. I’d already admitted a half dozen patients to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit from the emergency room under the watch of a third-year resident. The CCU was the scariest first-night internship assignment there was. Even some patients joked about avoiding heart attacks in […]

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