Friday, April 29, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
It's also PI Day (3.14).
But only in the USA, since we put the month before the day.
Everywhere else, today is 14-3.
Mr. Rogers associated the number "143" with the phrase "I love you."
("I" = one letter, "love" = four letters, "you" = three letters)
But whether you see today as 3.14 or 14.3,
The 14th day of March is a reminder of what really matters:
We should learn something new today.
We should love more deeply today.
It's also a good excuse to go have a piece of pie.
Monday, March 7, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Even though it's been long enough that, if you care at all about spoilers, you've already seen the movie...
Still... "Spoiler Warning..."
Okay, here we go...
Monday, November 9, 2015
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Today is October 21, 2015, the day when Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to "the future" in the second installment of the Back to the Future films. The Internet has been all over this.
I saw a picture of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd dressed as Marty and Doc getting out of a DeLorean on Jimmy Kimmel's show. This is a pretty significant day for a lot of people.
Today is also Carrie Fisher's 59th birthday.
Seems appropriate, since all I've heard about this week is the upcoming Star Wars movie and the old Back to the Future trilogy. I admit, I'm excited about Star Wars too. Call it nostalgia, but my mind has been stuck in the previous millennium all week.
I'm almost finished with the final season of Xena, Warrior Princess on Netflix.
My 40th year of life has brought with it the sober realization that I am not immortal. I have known this for a while, but now I can feel it. It's not a health issue. I'm in better shape now than when I was 20. It's a... spiritual thing (for lack of a better word).
As much as I wish I were immortal, I am equally grateful that I'm not, for no other reason than I can only dwell on the constant changes in life for so long. If there's an afterlife, I can only hope that it's not as in flux as this life.
I'll hear a song that takes my mind back to a particular moment in time. Then I think about how much has changed.- how much I've changed - in the years between then and now. No song effects me that way quite like "No Rain" by Blind Melon.
I can't explain it, but that single song got me through an entire summer of despair.
Shannon Hoon, lead singer of Blind Melon, died from a drug overdose on October 21, 1995.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Monday, August 10, 2015
"Skeptic" is also implicitly positive. A skeptic wants to know truth. A skeptic lives as though one is on a journey - a pilgrimage for some - towards a better understanding of the cosmos and ourselves.
Of all the labels used by the atheist/agnostic/freethinker/skeptic community, I am convinced skeptic is the most important. Some disagree with me, and their reasons are worth consideration. Chief among them (in my mind) is that a label like "atheist" still carries negative (and I mean "negative" in the colloquial sense of being bad) connotations which fuel prejudice and misconceptions about what kind of people atheists are, and the more open and expressive we are with the label, the better our chances of convincing more people that we're not baby-eaters or devoid of morality or followers of the Dark Lord.
While many atheists became such because they were first skeptics, one can be an atheist and not a skeptic. They are not synonymous. Likewise, one can be a Christian and be a skeptic, simply because skeptics can actually disagree with each other. The day every person in the world who identifies as a "skeptic" agrees about everything is the day we've likely lost any semblance of being skeptics.
Granted, the nature of having faith makes being a skeptic more difficult. This was exemplified in the debate held back in February between Bill Nye and Ken Ham when each was asked: "What, if anything, would ever change your mind?" Ken Ham's answer was "Nothing," whereas Bill Nye's response was "Just one piece of evidence."
The soul of skepticism is the willingness to change one's mind when presented with a good reason to do so. the foundation of faith is the acceptance of certain tenets and beliefs and reliance upon their veracity independent of whether there is evidence for or against those tenets.
The reason I say that "skeptic" is the most important label we can use is because our skepticism is what has propelled us towards further advancements in science, technology, and medicine, and given us the knowledge and understanding of the world we currently have. It's the pursuit of truth, not the conformity to comfort, that will truly satisfy our instinctive curiosity, help us find fulfillment, and give us hope for the future.