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Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 13

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2015-08-02 16:31:08 (13 comments, 10 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Krisco Kisses

Most reshares: 21

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2015-08-02 19:40:23 (4 comments, 21 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

It took an eighth grader to counter the growing belief that "no Irish need apply" was a myth.

Most plusones: 47

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2015-08-03 06:53:43 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

Latest 50 posts

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2015-08-03 22:43:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

How A New England Beach Town Changed The Course Of Gay History (not in the way you might think)

How A New England Beach Town Changed The Course Of Gay History (not in the way you might think)___

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2015-08-03 22:41:08 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Gay teachers have to 'split, knit, or quit'

Gay teachers have to 'split, knit, or quit'___

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2015-08-03 22:39:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Meet Vietnam’s Gay Power Couple: U.S. Ambassador and His Husband

Meet Vietnam’s Gay Power Couple: U.S. Ambassador and His Husband___

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2015-08-03 22:35:18 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

New Orleans has a private police force you can summon via a mobile app.

Just what the world needs. Less public services, less accountability.

New Orleans has a private police force you can summon via a mobile app.

Just what the world needs. Less public services, less accountability.___

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2015-08-03 19:41:32 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-03 06:53:43 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-03 06:03:03 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

A letter to my patient, whose terminal cancer is the least of her worries

".....You see, most of my friends, even the professional ones, have never met a refugee – they form their views from tabloids and the increasingly shrill sound bites of politicians. But the thing is, when I look at you, I don’t see a queue-jumping, illegal, unauthorised, undocumented alien or for that matter, any of the other names used to strip you of your dignity. I only see a thoughtful woman, a loving mother and a vulnerable patient, with no husband and two young children, cursed first by geography and then illness."

A letter to my patient, whose terminal cancer is the least of her worries

".....You see, most of my friends, even the professional ones, have never met a refugee – they form their views from tabloids and the increasingly shrill sound bites of politicians. But the thing is, when I look at you, I don’t see a queue-jumping, illegal, unauthorised, undocumented alien or for that matter, any of the other names used to strip you of your dignity. I only see a thoughtful woman, a loving mother and a vulnerable patient, with no husband and two young children, cursed first by geography and then illness."___

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2015-08-03 05:57:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-03 05:38:01 (5 comments, 7 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-02 22:00:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

We don't often think about the infrastructure of getting away with murder. It's one thing for one person to kill with impunity, but if you want to do it regularly and on a large scale, you'll need to build a system to assist you. And there are few groups that need this more often than America's larger police departments, who are on track to kill nearly 1,200 people this year alone. (Beating last year's high of 1,106) 

Contrary to rumors of complete impunity, police officers who kill people – especially in more overt "bad shoots," such as when someone unarmed was running away from them, or when their victim was a small child – frequently do end up facing a day in court, seeing civil charges if not criminal, even despite the legal structures (such as LEOBOR) designed to prevent that. And as with any good infrastructure practice, the solution is defense in depth.That... more »

We don't often think about the infrastructure of getting away with murder. It's one thing for one person to kill with impunity, but if you want to do it regularly and on a large scale, you'll need to build a system to assist you. And there are few groups that need this more often than America's larger police departments, who are on track to kill nearly 1,200 people this year alone. (Beating last year's high of 1,106) 

Contrary to rumors of complete impunity, police officers who kill people – especially in more overt "bad shoots," such as when someone unarmed was running away from them, or when their victim was a small child – frequently do end up facing a day in court, seeing civil charges if not criminal, even despite the legal structures (such as LEOBOR) designed to prevent that. And as with any good infrastructure practice, the solution is defense in depth. That second layer of protection is provided by people like Dr. William J. Lewinski, who provides expert testimony that virtually any shooting was justified. 

Wait, you say that having an infrastructure to guarantee murder with impunity isn't a major social need? Huh. I guess neither he, nor any of the departments who routinely pay him quite well for his testimony, got the message.

But it just goes to show how far you can go in the world if you are unencumbered by things like professionalism or morals. In this case, he is a man who provides "expert" scientific testimony on things like the time it takes someone to fire, the psychology of human perception and memory, and anything else which may prove relevant to the case, despite being roundly castigated by everyone from professional organizations of psychologists to the Justice Department as an outright fraud.

If you ever wondered what someone looks like who has literally made a career out of operating the infrastructure of institutional racism and ethnic violence, take a look.___

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2015-08-02 19:40:23 (4 comments, 21 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

It took an eighth grader to counter the growing belief that "no Irish need apply" was a myth.

It took an eighth grader to counter the growing belief that "no Irish need apply" was a myth.___

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2015-08-02 18:36:21 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

The Greening of Greenhouse Gas

It's a Gas: Driving through the Western Ghat mountains along the continental edge of the Deccan Plateau, I was charmed by this vista of sculpted terraces with verdant blades of rice emerging from submerged paddy fields. Little did I know then that paddy fields generate 50-100 million tonnes of methane each year, a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide. Although the flooded fields keep weeds at bay, microbes harbored under the warm, waterlogged soil feed on organic matter exuded by roots, releasing methane and accounting for about 20% of human-related production. In China, farmers have begun draining fields mid-season to interrupt methanogenic bacteria. But India is still responsible for nearly a third of the methane emissions. 

It's Barley There: Now,than... more »

The Greening of Greenhouse Gas

It's a Gas: Driving through the Western Ghat mountains along the continental edge of the Deccan Plateau, I was charmed by this vista of sculpted terraces with verdant blades of rice emerging from submerged paddy fields. Little did I know then that paddy fields generate 50-100 million tonnes of methane each year, a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide. Although the flooded fields keep weeds at bay, microbes harbored under the warm, waterlogged soil feed on organic matter exuded by roots, releasing methane and accounting for about 20% of human-related production. In China, farmers have begun draining fields mid-season to interrupt methanogenic bacteria. But India is still responsible for nearly a third of the methane emissions. 

It's Barley There: Now, thanks to genetic engineering, a new strain of rice yields more grain and produces less methane. Researchers spliced a gene from barley, encoding a master regulator (transcription factor) into rice. The gene, dubbed SUSIBA2 (acronym for "sugar signaling in barley 2") increases the output of sugar and starch in the seeds, leaves and shoots of the rice plant, leaving less biomass in the root. This strongly decreased the methanogenic bacteria in the rhizosphere, or region around the root. In a 3-year field trial, methane emissions fell by 90%.

Rice, Rice, Baby: The making of starch is under the direction of a set of genes which carry in front of them stretches of DNA sequences (promoters) known as sugar responsive elements or SURE. Aren't you loving the acronyms? When a little bit of sugar is made, SUSIBA2 is activated and it turns on genes that make even more sugar, to create a snowballing effect. The sugar is converted to starch, diverting carbon to the grains and away from the root, starving the methane producing bacteria of food. Now that's a sweet way to cool down our planet!

This work was a collaboration between scientists at Universities and non-profit research Institutes in Sweden, China and the US. The authors have no competing financial interests. 

Paper (paywalled): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7562/full/nature14673.html 

#ScienceSunday  

 ___

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2015-08-02 18:34:05 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

This is an amazing story with some startling photos.  I only wish it had been possible for some Egyptian and Iraqi museums to follow suit during the recent turmoil there.  War and revolution have changed, though, and sometimes you don't have six months to prepare.

I'm glad they had that six months in Athens.  Looking at those photos, I feel as if the workers were rescuing my personal friends.

h/t +John Hopper

http://www.pappaspost.com/the-biggest-disappearing-act-in-world-war-ii-history-when-antiquities-vanished-from-the-national-archaeological-museum/

This is an amazing story with some startling photos.  I only wish it had been possible for some Egyptian and Iraqi museums to follow suit during the recent turmoil there.  War and revolution have changed, though, and sometimes you don't have six months to prepare.

I'm glad they had that six months in Athens.  Looking at those photos, I feel as if the workers were rescuing my personal friends.

h/t +John Hopper

http://www.pappaspost.com/the-biggest-disappearing-act-in-world-war-ii-history-when-antiquities-vanished-from-the-national-archaeological-museum/___

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2015-08-02 17:13:29 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

I'm not really into the hoopla about the movie.  I'm sharing for this particular quote:

 In a 2013 interview with NPR, Geena Davis discussed how the under-representation of women both onscreen and off leads men to have a skewed sense of what gender parity looks like.
Davis cited a recent study that examined the ratio of men and women in groups, explaining that researchers “found that if there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”


O.o

I'm not really into the hoopla about the movie.  I'm sharing for this particular quote:

 In a 2013 interview with NPR, Geena Davis discussed how the under-representation of women both onscreen and off leads men to have a skewed sense of what gender parity looks like.
Davis cited a recent study that examined the ratio of men and women in groups, explaining that researchers “found that if there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”


O.o___

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2015-08-02 16:51:29 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

43 years ago and we never went back. :(

Apollo 17 at Shorty Crater
Image Credit: Apollo 17 Crew, +NASA
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150802.html

On the Moon, it is easy to remember where you parked. In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. This sharp image was taken by Cernan as he and Schmitt roamed the valley floor. The image shows Schmitt on the left with the lunar rover at the edge of Shorty Crater, near the spot where geologist Schmitt discovered orange lunar soil. The Apollo 17 crew returned with 110 kilograms of rock and soil samples, more than was returned from any of the other lunar landing sites. Now forty three years later, Cernan and Schmitt are still the last to walk on the Moon.___43 years ago and we never went back. :(

2015-08-02 16:45:27 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

There is no mystery to Income Inequality
Every day I read at least one article by someone wondering about the mystery of income inequality. "Why has the income of the top 1% risen so much while that of the 99% has stagnated?"

I see no mystery here. I am puzzled only by the fact that otherwise seemingly intelligent commentators don't consider the simplest explanation. The more you earn in the US, the more your income relies on government programs yet the less you pay in taxes.

When Warren Buffet can pay a lower tax rate then his secretary, when taxes on the wealthiest have dropped from the 90% or higher that they once were to the less than 10% effective rate paid by many of the wealthiest, one need not wonder long about why income flows to those at the top.

From those who receive the most, we should expect the most. But, in our country, we tax least... more »

There is no mystery to Income Inequality
Every day I read at least one article by someone wondering about the mystery of income inequality. "Why has the income of the top 1% risen so much while that of the 99% has stagnated?"

I see no mystery here. I am puzzled only by the fact that otherwise seemingly intelligent commentators don't consider the simplest explanation. The more you earn in the US, the more your income relies on government programs yet the less you pay in taxes.

When Warren Buffet can pay a lower tax rate then his secretary, when taxes on the wealthiest have dropped from the 90% or higher that they once were to the less than 10% effective rate paid by many of the wealthiest, one need not wonder long about why income flows to those at the top.

From those who receive the most, we should expect the most. But, in our country, we tax least those who benefit the most from the spending of tax dollars.

You don't need a government or the support of society to help you be poor. You can and will be poor without any government at all. That government which governs least ensures poverty for the majority of men... But, you do need government and society to enable you to be rich. A poor man may claim to be "self-made," but the wealthiest among us, while they may be competent and have many qualities, rely more on government programs and hand-outs then the most vilified welfare queen or slacker. 

The radical Republicans, the Confederates of our day, argue that wealth trickles down from the rich to the poor, like food dropped from the table to the dogs that wait below... They are wrong. Wealth bubbles up. Wealth for the few depends on an ability to accumulate "surplus" from the labor of the many without wealth. It is government, through road building, infrastructure development, court systems, the military, etc. that enables such accumulation.  We also know, without much debate, that those with great wealth simply don't spend most of their income. They save and invest it. Rather than letting bits of food drop to the dogs, they save what they don't spend and see it grow to more wealth.

Certainly, relative wealth is not a bad thing in itself and if in moderation. If nothing else, we know that it is necessary to allow the dream of relative wealth to motivate some in our society. But, great wealth is not a good thing. No man is worth $1 billion and no man needs $1 billion to be sufficiently motivated to work hard. 

There is no mystery to me in the question of income equality. We have forgotten the important rule that "From those who receive the most, the most is expected."

My personal feeling is that the fix we need is to make a truly progressive tax system that attempts to match tax obligation to the value received. To me, this means that incomes over about $200,000/year, from any source, should be taxed at a progressively higher rate until we reach, in fact, the fair rate of 90% or higher for marginal income. The way to do this is to add dozens of new tax brackets on who earns $50 million should pay more than he who earns $10 million. etc.

No, I am not a socialist and I'm not a communist. I am both a lover of democracy and a fervent capitalist. I believe that Capitalism is the economic face of political Democracy. But, I also believe in fairness. I believe that those who receive the most from government should be expected to pay the most in taxes.___

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2015-08-02 16:43:07 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

More Lies On IFLScience

You won’t believe what they’ve done this time.

If you’ve read this far, I want to be clear that the headline was linkbait. This post isn’t about some new transgression from IFLScience, but rather about why hype in science reporting is so harmful. For my regular readers I promise never to pull this kind of thing again. For those who have come because of the outrageous headline, hear me out.

A few days ago I wrote a post callout out IFLScience for misrepresenting research on solar cycles. It created a bit of a firestorm, with lots of people defending the site’s use of linkbait headlines:

"Who cares if they grab some attention with their headlines. They’re pulling people away from main stream media which is a good thing."

"These science websites have to bring in the non-science-degreedpeople.&quo... more »

More Lies On IFLScience

You won’t believe what they’ve done this time.

If you’ve read this far, I want to be clear that the headline was linkbait. This post isn’t about some new transgression from IFLScience, but rather about why hype in science reporting is so harmful. For my regular readers I promise never to pull this kind of thing again. For those who have come because of the outrageous headline, hear me out.

A few days ago I wrote a post callout out IFLScience for misrepresenting research on solar cycles. It created a bit of a firestorm, with lots of people defending the site’s use of linkbait headlines:

"Who cares if they grab some attention with their headlines. They’re pulling people away from main stream media which is a good thing."

"These science websites have to bring in the non-science-degreed people."

"I don’t blame IFLscience for having the odd attention grabbing article/headline, anything that gets more people into science and away from celebrity obsession is a good thing."

"Hypothetically, the word “sun spots,” “ice age,” and “science,” were used in a conversation between two adults whose lives probably very rarely revolve around this. They’ve gotten people into the discussion. I don’t care how."

There was also a great deal of accusation that I was being elitist by calling out IFLScience:

"IFLScience isn’t a technical journal, and it’s not pretending to be. It’s trying to make science news accessible to the masses."

"IFLS is not a scientific journal, and as a social media page it should not be held to the standards of a scientific journal, or even a scientific news source such as Scientific American."

"The fact is IFLS isn’t a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It’s a science and entertainment site."

What I find most disheartening about these kinds of comments is how deeply they underestimate people’s intelligence. It reinforces a common misconception that science is only for “smart” people, and it isn’t relevant to most people’s lives. Neither of these are true. People don’t need to be coddled or lied to in order to interest them in science, they need to be engaged in a clear and honest way. Science isn’t perfect, but it is a deeply powerful method for gaining knowledge. The more knowledge we have about the universe, the more readily we can face the challenges ahead. Hyping results and misrepresenting research only serves to strengthen the argument that scientists don’t really know what they’re talking about. That’s why it’s anti-science, and that’s why I called IFLScience out. They can be a voice for good, but when they willfully mislead it is deeply harmful. The same is true for any site that misrepresents scientific research.

The main argument of those defending hyped and misleading headlines is that it starts a conversation. To them I would say use this to start a conversation. Feel free to share this post with your friends, but better yet write your own. We deserve better than hyped headlines to spark a discussion.

Note: The image for this post? It was created by Andy Brunning as seen on (you guessed it) IFLScience.___

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2015-08-02 16:31:08 (13 comments, 10 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Krisco Kisses

Krisco Kisses___

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2015-08-02 02:56:48 (4 comments, 5 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-02 02:52:09 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

A very interesting short history of source of various texts in the bible.

In a post earlier today, +God Emperor Lionel Lauer asked about whether tattoos are religiously prohibited for Jews and for Christians, based on Leviticus 19:28. This led to quite an interesting discussion of the history and interpretation of the Bible, and I ended up writing a comment long enough that I figured that some of my readers here may enjoy it as well. So here's some of the story of how tattoos are viewed in Judaism and Christianity, and how that came to be.

In Judaism


Basically all of Leviticus (including 19:28) comes from the P source. [1] P gets its name because of its priestly authors – this book wasn't written to the Levis so much as by them. There's some dispute over the date of its authorship, but it's a question of whether it was written shortly after RJE (which would put it during the Babylonian exile) or around the 5-6c BCE (somewhat after the return). I join with the (narrow) majority in thinking that the second interpretation is more likely to be accurate, because at the time of RJE the priestly community hadn't yet formed a sufficiently strong post-Exilic organizational bureaucracy to come up with this detailed a rule list.

What's important about this dating and sourcing is that post-Exilic Judaism is a very different kettle of fish from pre-Exilic Judaism. Pre-Exile, the religion is centered around national identity and the monarchy, is generally monolatrous rather than monotheistic, and religious prohibitions are focused on things like "what kind of animal are you allowed to sacrifice." During the Exilic period, there was a major rethinking of the meaning of the religion: How do you have Judaism without a Temple? This led to the notion of the "self as Temple," so that e.g. kosher laws shifted from restricting sacrifices to restricting foodstuffs; to the notion of the Law as being the center of the religion; the development of the idea of the rabbi; and quite a few other things. (This is also where the idea of true monotheism makes its appearance)

Post-Exile, there was a very strong effort by the priests who led the return (which were, we should remember, a schism within Judaism: a lot of Jews were perfectly content to remain in Mesopotamia, and the Mesopotamian Jews remained the heart of Judaism all the way until the Mongol conquests moved the center over to Cairo and to Spain. The group that demanded a return to Israel after the rise of Cyrus were considered fairly radical, and one gets the sense that a lot of the people in Mesopotamia were glad to see them go) to enforce a "new religious order" in their recently re-occupied land. The prophetic command to get rid of all of your non-Jewish wives, etc., (Ezra 10:3) all comes out of this time period. 

So that's the context in which P was being written and loaded down with ritual prohibitions, and that's why P is so focused on defining the bounds between "Jewish" and "non-Jewish." The ban on tattooing is very much a part of that, it representing a custom of many of the local groups.

Moving forward in history a bit, the next major phase is the Tannaitic period during the Roman occupation. This is the point where the Mishnah was written, and it was a point where the leading rabbis were very concerned with the question of how to remain a Jew in a world where not everyone around you is one. The idea of a "fence around the Torah," and all of the more complex ritual prohibitions and conduct, really emerges from that period. These authors reinforced Levitical prohibitions fairly strongly. A similar process continued all the way through the Middle Ages and into the modern period.

The real shift away from this starts with the rise of secularism in the early 17th century, along with the general catalysis of the Enlightenment. This led to profound splits within Judaism as well, and a lot of the modern perception of the importance of ritual and identity versus core practice.


Among Christians, the story was fairly different. Christianity really had two fathers, and nowhere is it more visible than here.

Jesus (and his immediate followers, especially Peter) fit very naturally into the scope of 1st-century Judaism and its conflicts. Jesus took a particularly radical position against the core Tannaitic one (and more to the point, against the Pharisaic one, which was politically ascendant at the time) rejecting the increased emphasis on ritual law in favor of a nearly-complete refocusing on things like charity and moral conduct. I could summarize the Petrine perspective on ritual laws like Lev19:28 as "seriously, do you have nothing better to worry about with your time?" (Probably followed by an angry speech about the poor, if Jesus were giving it)

Paul, on the other hand, basically came up with a new religious tradition de novo which was tied to Jesus more as inspiration than as source. He based his theology entirely on the idea of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the ideas of grace, salvation, etc., which are so familiar to us from modern Christianity. He had no interest in the ritual law either, but for different reasons; he had basically converted to/created an entirely new religious tradition, with a wholly different set of interests.

Petrine Christianity largely faded into the background, as Paul's version was much more interested in selling itself around the world. (There are some remaining Petrine sects, and there has been a resurgence of interest in more Petrine principles of charity and so on among certain denominations in the US and Europe in the past few years) 

So when you ask about whether a particular chunk of law applies to Christians, you should first ask whether you're talking about a Pauline or Petrine sect. For the former case, the short answer is basically "no;" the only texts that matter are the letters of Paul himself. (And occasional chunks taken out of the Gospels, but not in any sort of coherent manner; a sharp deemphasis on the Gospels and on the words of Jesus, in favor of on the epistles, is a fundamental hallmark of Pauline Christianity) So the (Pauline) Christian response to homosexuality, for example, is generally rooted in Corinthians (eg 1Cor6:9) rather than in anything Levitical.

Just for one extra complexity, we know that we don't have all the letters of Paul (e.g., 1Cor5:9 makes it clear that there was an earlier letter to the Corinthians, a "0Cor," which isn't extant), and quite a few of the letters of Paul's are known to be outright forgeries. [2] In particular:

Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon are broadly agreed to all have been written by the same hand (Paul's) ca 50CE.

2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, and Colossians are of "uncertain authorship," most likely forgeries. (Rather amusingly, 2Thess2:1 warns the recipients to ignore other letters being circulated, saying that these aren't actually by me and they are forgeries. Except 2Thess itself is almost certainly a forgery as well, arguing forcefully for perspectives which Paul routinely argued forcefully against in his confirmed letters. Very Hall of Mirrors.)

1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are definite forgeries, written in the 2nd or 3rd century CE. 

There are also lines and chapters within legit epistles which are suspected to be forgeries as well. And while the Petrine Christians were focused much more on the words of Jesus, they didn't have many circulating written sources; the Gospels are anonymous texts (i.e. we don't know who wrote each one) with the earliest being Mark, ca. 65-70CE, written by educated, Greek-literate 2nd-generation followers of Jesus based on a few decades of oral tradition.

So the net of this is that Pauline Christianity (including all of Catholicism and almost all of Protestantism) doesn't care at all about anything written by the P source, or really almost at all about anything in the Jewish religious texts; their importance is entirely in their use rhetorically to show that their religion was prophesied. Thus the tattooing prohibition, in particular, has no significance there.

[1] Footnote for those who haven't encountered this: the names of the different sources come from the historical study of how the Bible was written. The book was written by a number of authors over a period of several hundred years, and the various authors and editors each had particular political axes to grind, which often manifested in their having arguments in the text itself. If you want to know more about this, I recommend Richard Freedman's The Bible with Sources Revealed, (https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Bible_with_Sources_Revealed.html?id=iw39_Eaq85QC) which is an edition of the Torah with sentence-by-sentence annotation of our best understanding of who wrote what and when.

[2] The study of early Christian sources is no less fascinating than the study of early Jewish ones. In the first few centuries CE, notable early Christian preachers were criss-crossing the Roman Empire pushing their various ideas and writing lots of letters to their supporters and potential supporters. Paul was the original and one of the most successful, which also meant that he was one of the most-often forged. If you're interested in this, I highly recommend Bart Ehrman's lecture series, "History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon," (http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/history-of-the-bible-the-making-of-the-new-testament-canon.html), which goes into this in depth.___A very interesting short history of source of various texts in the bible.

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2015-08-02 01:57:09 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

this is an unsettling thought, but exciting at the same time.

this is an unsettling thought, but exciting at the same time.___

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2015-08-01 18:29:50 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

❝ “Schulz received some messages from the South from [editors], saying: ‘Please don’t send us any more strips with black children in the classroom with white children. We’re going through forced integration in our schools and don’t want to see any more of these strips,’ ” Glickman recounts. ❞

So he doubled down. :)

I didn't know any of this history. It's wonderful.

___❝ “Schulz received some messages from the South from [editors], saying: ‘Please don’t send us any more strips with black children in the classroom with white children. We’re going through forced integration in our schools and don’t want to see any more of these strips,’ ” Glickman recounts. ❞

So he doubled down. :)

I didn't know any of this history. It's wonderful.

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2015-08-01 16:22:42 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

A young girl taking her little sister to get vaccinated.

https://instagram.com/p/51qgQ_Dsl-/

A young girl taking her little sister to get vaccinated.

https://instagram.com/p/51qgQ_Dsl-/___

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2015-08-01 06:11:43 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Hot Rod Lincoln. This came up on my random playlist and for some reason made me think of +Gnotic Pasta. 

Hot Rod Lincoln. This came up on my random playlist and for some reason made me think of +Gnotic Pasta. ___

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2015-08-01 04:03:52 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-01 03:51:25 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-01 03:01:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Some interesting information about tracking endangered species, and something concrete you can do to help.

❝ Crowdfunding can offset some of that cost, though. Just this March, biologist Rae Kokeš of the Matusadona Lion Project raised $4,300 through experiment.com to pay for two new tracking collars for male lions. ❞

___Some interesting information about tracking endangered species, and something concrete you can do to help.

❝ Crowdfunding can offset some of that cost, though. Just this March, biologist Rae Kokeš of the Matusadona Lion Project raised $4,300 through experiment.com to pay for two new tracking collars for male lions. ❞

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2015-08-01 02:36:26 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

❝ University of Phoenix online campus has a graduation rate of 7.3 percent and a loan default rate of 19 percent—5 percent higher than the national average. A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) claims that 24,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were enrolled in the online program last year. ❞

___❝ University of Phoenix online campus has a graduation rate of 7.3 percent and a loan default rate of 19 percent—5 percent higher than the national average. A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) claims that 24,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were enrolled in the online program last year. ❞

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2015-08-01 02:31:57 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-01 01:28:58 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-01 01:18:43 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-01 00:44:43 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

13 Books on Crossdressing, Crossdreaming and Gender Variance
For many the struggle with sex, sexuality and gender identity leads to reading -- a lot of reading. In this three part series I will present books that have helped me in my understanding of myself, crossdreaming, gender dysphoria and transgender issues. Ill...

13 Books on Crossdressing, Crossdreaming and Gender Variance
For many the struggle with sex, sexuality and gender identity leads to reading -- a lot of reading. In this three part series I will present books that have helped me in my understanding of myself, crossdreaming, gender dysphoria and transgender issues. Ill...___

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2015-07-31 17:48:05 (11 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Midnight Oil — Mountains of Burma. Does anyone know what the lyrics actually refer to?

The tucker box is empty now, the heart of Kelly's country cleared
The gangers on the southern line, like the steam trains have disappeared
Pelicans glide, miracles up in the sky
We vote for the government, with axes in his eyes

Mountains of Burma, the road to Mandalay
In the mountains of Burma, light years away, mountains of Burma

Will the sons of Solidarity, still march on May Day
And will the sisters of the seventies, still fight for equal pay
There's no on eon the Reeperbahn, no more blankets handed out for land
We feed an economy, that's got blood on it's hands

Mountains of Burma...

Pack your bags full of guns and ammunition
Bills fall due for the industrial revolution
Scorch the earth till the earths... more »

Midnight Oil — Mountains of Burma. Does anyone know what the lyrics actually refer to?

The tucker box is empty now, the heart of Kelly's country cleared
The gangers on the southern line, like the steam trains have disappeared
Pelicans glide, miracles up in the sky
We vote for the government, with axes in his eyes

Mountains of Burma, the road to Mandalay
In the mountains of Burma, light years away, mountains of Burma

Will the sons of Solidarity, still march on May Day
And will the sisters of the seventies, still fight for equal pay
There's no on eon the Reeperbahn, no more blankets handed out for land
We feed an economy, that's got blood on it's hands

Mountains of Burma...

Pack your bags full of guns and ammunition
Bills fall due for the industrial revolution
Scorch the earth till the earth surrenders

Soldiers of armies, storm empty fields
In a traveller's trance, on the way to the high frontier
Sleepwalkers stumble, cable cars run aground
Imaginary enemies, form high above the clouds
In the Mountains of Burma...

(Hirst)___

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2015-07-31 16:58:40 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Pell Grants for prisoners would be a good thing.

Pell Grants for prisoners would be a good thing.___

2015-07-31 16:54:37 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Why doesn't a G+ share of a photo album use the cover photo as the primary picture?

Why doesn't a G+ share of a photo album use the cover photo as the primary picture?___

2015-07-31 15:08:47 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Dictatorships and theocracies admit no errors. A democracy that can't admit error is no longer a democracy.

Contrary to conservative garbage. Emphasizing your country's flaws doesn't lead to ISIS…it leads to people trying to improve things. Attempting to sweep the evil under the rug OTOH, absolutely makes you fair game for attacks; internal and external.

I'm at a complete loss to understand why so many people are afraid to admit that they, or their country, might be wrong. Not just afraid, but they consider it a sin to admit error.

Dictatorships and theocracies admit no errors. A democracy that can't admit error is no longer a democracy.

Contrary to conservative garbage. Emphasizing your country's flaws doesn't lead to ISIS…it leads to people trying to improve things. Attempting to sweep the evil under the rug OTOH, absolutely makes you fair game for attacks; internal and external.

I'm at a complete loss to understand why so many people are afraid to admit that they, or their country, might be wrong. Not just afraid, but they consider it a sin to admit error.___

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2015-07-31 14:51:07 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

BK on IFLScience. ❝ Why correct your “mistakes” when your lies get you nearly 76,000 likes on Facebook? ❞

A Failure to Communicate

Have you heard about the coming ice age? You may have seen articles with titles such as “Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading For A Mini Ice Age In 2030.” and “‘Mini Ice Age’ Not a Reason to Ignore Global Warming.” Of course such sensational headlines led to rebuttal articles such as “No, We Aren’t Heading Into A ‘Mini Ice Age’” Once again, a hyped headline is used to drive page views, and which only serves to mislead readers. Hence a follow up article on how “The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication.” Here’s the thing, though. All of these articles are from IFLS also known as “I’ll use profanity in my website title so people will think I’m edgy and cool.”

You might think IFLS just made a mistake and then made an honest effort to correct it. They didn’t. After their first article hit the press, there were soon legitimate science communicators writing rebuttals. It was clear from the get-go that the research presented did not support a mini ice age in 2030, but IFLS printed it anyway. They published their second article to double down on their hyped claims. Of course, once it was crystal clear that IFLS was wrong, they could have made a correction in the original article and linked to one of the better rebuttals. They didn’t. Instead, they retitled their second article “There Probably Won’t Be A “Mini Ice Age” In 15 Years” and linked to that at the bottom of the page. To this date, they still haven’t made clear that their first article is in error. Why correct your “mistakes” when your lies get you nearly 76,000 likes on Facebook? The last two articles aren’t even ones IFLS wrote. They were actually written on The Conversation and then reprinted on IFLS. Heaven forbid you direct traffic to another site.

This isn’t a failure in science communication. It is the willful promotion of ignorance. So I think a new name for the site is in order: “We’re Just Interested In Pageviews. The Science Can F Itself.”

HT to Yvette d’Entremont for pointing these articles out.___BK on IFLScience. ❝ Why correct your “mistakes” when your lies get you nearly 76,000 likes on Facebook? ❞

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2015-07-31 14:21:53 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

❝ international focus on Cecil stands in stark contrast to the barely audible attention paid to Itai Dzamara, a local anti-state activist who has been missing for over four months. Or to the precarious status of unregulated local street vendors as police mount a crackdown on their activities. Or to Sangulani Chikumbutso, a high-school dropout who has become the first Zimbabwean to design and manufacture a hybrid helicopter and electric vehicle. It is the deepest irony that in a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain traction in highlighting the differential scales used to value human lives, the world should cast its eye on Zimbabwe for its wildlife, with no thought or concern for its people. ❞

"It is the deepest irony that in a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain traction in highlighting the differential scales used to value human lives, the world should cast its eye on Zimbabwe for its wildlife, with no thought or concern for its people."

For the record, I'm against trophy hunting and poaching is a scourge, but to me, the Cecil the Lion uproar is just another example of the internet mob run amok. ___❝ international focus on Cecil stands in stark contrast to the barely audible attention paid to Itai Dzamara, a local anti-state activist who has been missing for over four months. Or to the precarious status of unregulated local street vendors as police mount a crackdown on their activities. Or to Sangulani Chikumbutso, a high-school dropout who has become the first Zimbabwean to design and manufacture a hybrid helicopter and electric vehicle. It is the deepest irony that in a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain traction in highlighting the differential scales used to value human lives, the world should cast its eye on Zimbabwe for its wildlife, with no thought or concern for its people. ❞

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2015-07-31 12:18:09 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-31 05:16:02 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Yeah! Go go Google! Thanks to the appropriate Googlers! You know who you are ...

Yeah! Go go Google! Thanks to the appropriate Googlers! You know who you are ...___

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2015-07-31 01:53:31 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

"Almost all women—and therefore men—use a form of birth control at some point in their lives, yet contraception is so politically and legally radioactive that legislators and pharmaceutical companies avoid funding it. So it’s no coincidence that the money behind the Colorado initiative, the St. Louis study, and Liletta all came from an unnamed philanthropic source—they all were from the same discreet foundation. Very few people will discuss The Anonymous Donor on the record, but tax filings, medical journal disclosures, and an archived interview with a foundation official show the funds come from Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, and his family."


"Almost all women—and therefore men—use a form of birth control at some point in their lives, yet contraception is so politically and legally radioactive that legislators and pharmaceutical companies avoid funding it. So it’s no coincidence that the money behind the Colorado initiative, the St. Louis study, and Liletta all came from an unnamed philanthropic source—they all were from the same discreet foundation. Very few people will discuss The Anonymous Donor on the record, but tax filings, medical journal disclosures, and an archived interview with a foundation official show the funds come from Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, and his family."
___

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2015-07-31 01:51:53 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

As +Andy Ihnatko said over on Twitter:

@Ihnatko: Don't watch this. Later, you'll just want to see every Miyizaki film all over again and who can stand that much joy?

As +Andy Ihnatko said over on Twitter:

@Ihnatko: Don't watch this. Later, you'll just want to see every Miyizaki film all over again and who can stand that much joy?___

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2015-07-30 23:41:08 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

In an online guide I saw some idiot say, "You don't come to Myanmar for the food." You most definitely do! Yangon is a melting pot and you can find food from around the world, as well as lots of awesome local meals! Here are some of the culinary sights I came across in Yangon and Bagan.

I'm not sure why Google+ is ignoring the cover photo for this album, but there are plenty of street and people images in the album as well.

#myanmar #food

In an online guide I saw some idiot say, "You don't come to Myanmar for the food." You most definitely do! Yangon is a melting pot and you can find food from around the world, as well as lots of awesome local meals! Here are some of the culinary sights I came across in Yangon and Bagan.

I'm not sure why Google+ is ignoring the cover photo for this album, but there are plenty of street and people images in the album as well.

#myanmar #food___

2015-07-30 16:50:44 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

It is kinda sad that this article begins with the words "For the first time".  Copyright trolls who file bogus DMCA claims really need to be made responsible for their ill actions and to compensate those they injure.

It is kinda sad that this article begins with the words "For the first time".  Copyright trolls who file bogus DMCA claims really need to be made responsible for their ill actions and to compensate those they injure.___

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2015-07-30 16:26:36 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Although the title mentions Africa, the article refers to investing in "frontier" or "developing" markets, and I think much of this applies to companies investing in Myanmar as well. It does, however, gloss over the important issue of how to create an ethical company in an environment where governments may be problematic in many ways. How can you be part of the solution and not reinforce the problems?

___Although the title mentions Africa, the article refers to investing in "frontier" or "developing" markets, and I think much of this applies to companies investing in Myanmar as well. It does, however, gloss over the important issue of how to create an ethical company in an environment where governments may be problematic in many ways. How can you be part of the solution and not reinforce the problems?

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2015-07-30 16:21:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

An interesting look back at one of the first-ever widely televised debates, and one that transfixed the U.S. with matters of science, as Edward Teller and Linus Pauling confronted each other over war, peace, and atmospheric nuclear testing.

An interesting look back at one of the first-ever widely televised debates, and one that transfixed the U.S. with matters of science, as Edward Teller and Linus Pauling confronted each other over war, peace, and atmospheric nuclear testing.___

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2015-07-30 15:36:42 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-30 15:26:43 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-30 14:34:36 (7 comments, 2 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

A much better approach to gender selection forms. (EU/Netherlands)

(I mean, yes. why are they asking at all? but if you're going to ask...)


via +Johanna Bobrow

A much better approach to gender selection forms. (EU/Netherlands)

(I mean, yes. why are they asking at all? but if you're going to ask...)


via +Johanna Bobrow___

2015-07-30 13:50:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I really could have done without the 3am conference call to India some folks made in the next hotel room over.

#f

I really could have done without the 3am conference call to India some folks made in the next hotel room over.

#f___

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