August 08, 2014

11:00 AM | TJ Wine’s Dirty Secret Ingredient: Mouse Bits
Categories: SkepticismTags: agriculturebargain huntingfarmingtrader joe'swineThis post is Part VI in my Skeptical Wine-ing series. Previously: Part I, II, III, IV, V1, and V2 CN: Spiders; bees; small and quickly darting animals Note: The image above, taken by me, is from a winery mentioned in the post that practiced exemplary sorting methods. However, I’ve visited and helped out for a few hours on many, many other wine farms. The following examples of animal encounters in the […]
4:01 AM | "Married At First Sight": I Do…Not Even Know You
I hate television. Unless I’m learning how to make a soufflé or watching Starks get slaughtered on Game of Thrones (whoops…spoiler alert), I’m generally pretty content to keep my eyes off the screen and my nose in a book. But when I stumbled across Married at First Sight, my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to check it out.  Married at First Sight is a new reality show (or “social experiment,” as marketers like to describe it, despite it not […]

August 07, 2014

9:33 PM | “Withholding Sex” and Other Lies
Categories: SkepticismYou all might have seen the recent story going around about the man who put together an excel spreadsheet of all the times that his wife said no to sex with him. Niki has a great takedown of a lot of the issues with this, focusing specifically on the fact that no one can ever owe you sex. I’d like to take that idea one step further and look at the concept that seems to be encapsulated in this story, which is that this man’s wife was […]
8:40 PM | On Richard Dawkins Being a Liability to Atheism
Categories: ReligionTags: atheismRichard DawkinsJournalist, Kimberly Winston, who often writes about atheism at the Religious News Service has an article out today about Richard Dawkins and his recent “comparison of rape” comments as well as his sorta-not-kinda-maybe apology-comment or statement about civility. The article is called, “Richard Dawkins: Atheism’s asset or liability?” and it is making the rounds in the news. I was quoted in it along with some other […]
3:35 PM | A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation
Categories: SkepticismYesterday, I broke the news that Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning was sentenced to 15 months in prison for wire fraud after previously pleading guilty. Since then, I’ve received a number of complaints from people in the skeptic community who believe that it was wrong for me to report on this, that Dunning was set up, that he is guilty but not that guilty, and/or that it’s wrong for me to be glad that he’s going to prison. This morning, I read […]
3:00 PM | Guest Post: A Critique of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW)–Part 2
Categories: Guest BloggersTags: gsowguerrilla skepticism on wikipediaskepticswikimediawikipediaEditor’s Note: This piece from Rebecca (not our fearless leader, a different Rebecca) goes into the issues behind a program like Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia and why skeptics don’t get to hold themselves to lower standards than other people. (I highly recommend that you check out part 1, mentioned below.) ********** This is the second article that I have written as a critique of […]
2:52 PM | Appointment with disappointment (2014)
“Except the heaven had come so near, So seemed to choose my door, The distance would not haunt me so; I had not hoped before.” Emily Dickinson It’s happened to all of us. You make a plan with a friend, and then at the last minute, circumstances beyond the friend’s control force them to cancel. […]
2:49 PM | Quickies: Comets, TERFs vs. trans people, and butterflies
Categories: QuickiesRosetta arrives at a comet – “Rosetta and Philae may be robots, machines, but the minds and hearts of a lot of real, emotional human beings are behind them. And now we get to share with them the excitement and joy of exploring a new world.” On the dispute between radical feminism and trans people – “I’m intrigued by the resistance that trans people’s attempts to define our own terms has met, and wonder what’s behind it: part of […]
4:01 AM | The Breakup: Are You Over It? Take the Quiz!
How quickly are you supposed to "get over" a breakup, anyway? Sex in the City fans should remember Charlotte's Golden Breakup Rule, "It takes half the total time you went out with someone to get over them." But in real-world breakups, that rule doesn't always apply. A lot depends on whether you were the dumpee or the dumper and how things went down. So, how over it are you? A little? A lot? Find out with today's relationship quiz! Editors' note: This quiz is part of a project on great […]

August 06, 2014

8:12 PM | Six Things My Abusive Ex-Boyfriend Did To Me That God Didn’t Do
Categories: Feminism Religion(Trigger warning: abuse, rape) Earlier today, I was notified that The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta, is launching a Kickstarter for a book called God Is An Abusive Boyfriend (And You Should Break Up). If it isn’t obvious from the title, the book is about making specious comparisons between domestic violence and religion. As someone who was raised strict Catholic and has had abusive partners in the past, I’d like to list six things my […]
4:00 PM | When Citizen Science Works
Categories: ScienceTags: citizen scienceThe democratizing of science is already happening. Once the hobby of mostly wealthy men, then the career field for professional investigators, science is more open than ever when “citizen scientists” get involved. And the success stories are piling up. Citizen science projects range from observations of the natural world to analysis of data distributed via the web. Anyone, regardless of professional qualifications, can sign into or join up […]
2:00 PM | Your Well-Written Anti-Harassment Policy is Insufficient
Categories: Events FeminismTags: conferencesharassment policieswisconLast Memorial Day weekend, I headed up to Wisconsin to attend my very first WisCon. WisCon is a feminist sci-fi convention held each year in Madison, WI. I cannot even begin to tell you how mind opening my first WisCon was. The panels at WisCon went far beyond Feminism 101. It challenged the way I think about certain types of pop culture and even helped me identify some of my own biases on race and culture that I can work on […]
1:00 PM | Quickies: Mega Penguins, Tea Party Scammers, and Science Experiments on Vine
Categories: QuickiesExclusive: ‘Pro-Troop’ Charity Pays Off Tea Party Cronies Instead – “Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its assets have been used to benefit conservative political consulting firms close to its Tea Party founder.” Slaves of Happiness Island – “While there are no official statistics, there may be as many as 1 million migrant construction workers in the UAE today. Like Tariq, the men I […]
7:44 AM | Mulling it Over
Writing. Putting finger to keyboard. Churning out the thesis (or paper or grant proposal). This week’s cartoon in the THE reflected on this challenge of thesis-writing, ending with the punchline ‘Writing: the most impossible short distance in the history of … Continue reading →
4:01 AM | The Secret Ingredient to a Great Summer Tan: Carotenoids
The summer is heating up, and for many of us that means it’s time to hit the beach and soak up the rays. Bikini fashions may change year on year, but one look that’s as popular as ever is bronzed, tanned skin. But why? By this point, we all know that tanning is bad for us, yet many refuse to slop on the sunscreen and seek shade. Every summer, doctors trot out the same warnings. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes skin cancer, tanned skin is damaged skin, and tanning at […]

August 05, 2014

5:30 PM | The Final, Fond Farewell
Categories: Meta StuffI announced a little while back that I would be leaving Skepchick for the Freethought Blogs network. Now that the FtB redesign has been implemented, Heinous Dealings (with its lovely banner designed by Alex Gabriel) is a go, and this will be my final post on Skepchick. Back when I first responded to call for writers on Skepchick, I had a few Tumblr posts, a random writing credit on an online music magazine, and a lot of frustration with the secular movement. It’s […]
4:40 PM | Brian Dunning Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Fraud
Categories: SkepticismAs I mentioned in a previous post, Brian Dunning, creator of the Skeptoid podcast and the world’s worst “science” rap video, pled guilty to wire fraud that had allowed him to collect more than $5 million. Sentencing has finally occurred, and the result is 15 months in prison starting on September 2, 2014, followed by three years of supervised release. This is great news for the skeptic community at large, since it may be a long enough sentence for Dunning […]
1:06 PM | Quickies: Abortion in Mississippi, support blog for sexual assault victims, and Sam Brownback
Categories: QuickiesThe abortion ministry of Dr. Willie Parker – “In Mississippi, there is only one clinic where a woman can go if she needs an abortion. The state is trying to close it down. At that clinic, there is a doctor who tends to the needs of these women, and he has to fly in from out of state to do it. There is no shutting him down.” “I believe you” blog offers support for sexual assault victims – Lindy West’s new blog where she’s not […]

August 04, 2014

5:50 PM | LAWAAG Meeting Tuesday
Categories: Activism EventsTags: LAWAAGHey friends! This is just a reminder that the August 2nd Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group (LAWAAG) meeting is tomorrow. That’s Tuesday at 7pm at CFI Los Angeles.   I have lots of great things in store for this group and have confirmed the following events and speakers: September 13th:  A Woman’s Room Online Art exhibition. Opening reception party 7pm October 7th: Stephanie Zvan November 4th: Sikivu Hutchinson […]
2:00 PM | Beyonce Addresses Elevatorgate
Categories: Feminism SkepticismThe queen of rap, Nicki Minaj, slayed it with Queen B in Beyonce’s Flawless remix, where the icons teamed up to address organized atheism’s biggest controversy: Elevatorgate. In the song, they talk about all the sweet blog money Rebecca has gained through her years in the lucrative feminist atheist business: “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” I’m glad that Beyonce and Nicki Minaj […]
1:00 PM | Quickies: Uganda and Anti-Gay Laws, Joss Whedon’s Biography, and RBG is Branded a “Misandrist”
Categories: QuickiesUganda Anti-Gay Law Struck Down by Court – “A Ugandan court struck down a punitive anti-gay law on Friday that has strained Uganda’s relations with the West, but the court ruled on narrow technical grounds, preserving the possibility that the measure could be revived.” From Will. The Real Reason Why Joss Whedon Named His Space Western Show Firefly – “Nathan Fillion auditioned unsuccessfully for the part of Angel on Buffy the Vampire […]
4:01 AM | 3 Lesson Learned from my Unplugged Vacation
My blended family (ages 5, 6, 7, 11, and 13) just returned from a weeklong road trip through Yellowstone National Park. During the trip, we conducted our own mini-experiment: Each of us eliminated electronic use for anything other than music. No iPhone apps, no social media, no electronic games, no texting or phone calls unless there was an emergency. There was almost no cell phone reception across the park, which made enforcement easy, but the results of our self-inflicted […]

August 03, 2014

5:30 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Pick-Up Artists, Bad Costuming, Spanking, “Health Food,” and a Tobacco Tax…for kids!
Categories: Meta StuffTags: atheismbrain mythsbusiness model of educationcomputer programmingcostumesDBTDEAR MANeducationeducation fundingEscepticafatherhoodfoodGambitgrounded parentshealth foodJunior RangersLeta HollingworthMad Art Labmedicinemolecular gastronomyNational ParksParentingpick-up artistsPUAReligionschool of doubtSkeptabilityspankingteachingTeen Skepchickthe gameSunday Funny: Confirmation bias is for everyone. (via Wondermark; HT: Sociological Images) Teen Skepchick The Not So […]

August 02, 2014

4:01 AM | The Secret to True Love
Click here to read more about falling in love.

August 01, 2014

1:44 PM | Quickies: A forensic pathologist’s day, feminism doesn’t make women “victims,” and the diversity gap in sci-fi/fantasy films
Categories: QuickiesA day in the life of a forensic pathologist – “At this point a television pathologist would change into designer shoes and jet off to the park, where she would interview bystanders, collect their DNA, and process it in her mobile DNA lab to find the assailant in just under 20 minutes. I, on the other hand, pull the shoe covers off my sensible clogs and clomp across the building to track down an investigator and ask him to call law enforcement.” Feminism […]
5:01 AM | Need An Energy Boost? Try Thinking about Your Partner
We’re all likely familiar with the idea that love is energizing; for example, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes encapsulated this notion in their 1982 single Up Where We Belong when they sang, “Love lifts us up where we belong....” But does love really physically energize us? It’s definitely possible. Love is associated with positive emotions and simply thinking about love can trigger stress responses (such as increases in cortisol) in the body, responses thought to […]

July 31, 2014

8:22 PM | Bad Chart Thursday: Abortions and House Fires
Categories: Anti-Science Feminism Random AsidesTags: abortionarsonbad chart thursdaypotential peopleHey, did you know that the leading cause of DEATH in the United States is not heart disease? It’s true. I saw it on Facebook, thanks to a tip from Deek over at Grounded Parents. According to this chart from the National Pro-Life Alliance, the leading cause of death is abortions. They aren’t talking about the death of women having abortions because the number is too high for that. […]
1:11 PM | Quickies: Harry Potter, Supreme Court algorithms, and Nicki Minaj’s butt
Categories: QuickiesHarry Potter helps battle bigotry – “In two different studies, young Italians took note of “the positive attitudes and behaviors of Harry Potter toward stigmatized fantastic groups,” and this fantasy-world interaction apparently influenced their real-world attitudes.” Algorithm predicts US Supreme Court decisions 70% of the time – “Supreme Court fantasy league to compete against computer model in upcoming term.” From […]
1:01 PM | Estefanía Ortiz: Coding her future and planting seeds of success
Estefanía Ortiz, a Hackathon fan and young entrepreneur, grew up in the town of Guaynabo Puerto Rico and went to the Marista private school for most of her schooling. Estefanía finished her last high school year doing home schooling, and today she is a sophomore majoring Computer Science at Stanford University.  Estefanía told me that a transformational moment in her life was a conversation she had […]
7:44 AM | It’s the Individual Who Makes a Difference
Mentors are often highlighted as being crucial to success. People who look out for you, advise you when you’re feeling confused or lost, who point you towards opportunities you might otherwise have missed and who are there to offer encouragement … Continue reading →
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