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Always Glad to Plug Good Stuff

I love The Great Courses Series.  It's like attending an Interesting lecture. The emphasis is on interesting if you haven't guessed. 


But the one I want to plug right now is

Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills:

The Lecture is given by Dr. Steve Novella.    

If you're an avid fan of the podcast The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, you can probably skip on ahead. If you aren't , well lets cut and paste some of Steve Novella's  resume:

Dr. Novella is an academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to being the host of The Skeptics' Guide podcast, he is the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society. He is also the author of NeuroLogicaBlog, a popular science blog that covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society. Dr. Novella also contributes every Sunday to The Rogues Gallery, the official blog of the SGU, every Monday to SkepticBlog, and every Wednesday to Science-Based Medicine, a blog dedicated to issues of science and medicine. He is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and a founding fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine. He has a regular column in the Skeptical Inquirer - The Science of Medicine. Dr. Novella is also a Senior Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation and directs their Science-Based Medicine program. Dr. Novella is available for public lectures, radio, podcast, or other media appearances. Contact him through the contact page or at to request an appearance.


All that and a real job. Whew. Remind me to stop kvetching about two jobs.


The course is great if you are new to this whole critical thinking thing. Or for that matter, even if your not. 

 I highly recommend it.

Me with the good doctor and some of the rest of the Skeptics Guide. In the background you can hear my mother say "Stop Slouching!"


Yes, I have Been Away From My Desk

As anyone who has tried can tell you, keeping up a blog demands a lot of attention. Ironically, in the winter, when I only have one job, I seem to have less time. Can you explain that?


That Makes Everything Right....

Sometimes a lyricists gets stuck." Hey Saul, I need a rhyme for jackhammer."


Then you get phrases that don't survive scrutiny . 


Christmas songs can be the worst offenders. We've talked about this before.Santa when he was signed with The William Morris Agency. Later he went to ICM.


One that always bothered me was from "Here Comes Santa Clause". Its the one that goes, "Santa knows that we're Gods children, that makes everything right."


Really? Everything? 


Then why didn't OJ use that as a defence?


I'm just asking.


Lets talk about these turkeys for a minute

Lets talk about these turkeys for a minute, and by turkeys I mean the Republican Debates.

First of all, they need some sort of elimination round. A few seemed to skip one or two, but for the most part, well, there they are. The same cast. The same answers.It seems that other nations have embraced this idea.

Yes, we've had a name struck from the list, but not by any result of these debates. Cain got tired of dancing around the answers to his "personal" questions. And keeping the steps straight was becoming more demanding.

But no one in the debate seemed interested in the fact that he didn't understand what a President does. Or more importantly, what he doesn't . Like sign constitutional amendment

Bachmann seemed to think that there was some sort of lever in the Oval Office that controls the price of gas . By the way, isn't that a good  working definition of .... wait for it... Socialism? What David does not seem to grasp is, if I do something, it's not Socialism.

Perry is wrong about the number of Supreme Court justices. There is no problem in the fact that Perry is not ashamed to be a Christian. The problem is, he's not ashamed of the fact that he is as dumb as a salted pancake.  Like here, when he didn't know the voting age. Or here, where he doesn't know the difference between a primary or a caucus.

Just as an aside, I was going to skip over the famous "brain fart" where he couldn't remember the third item in a list. But wait! Did you notice? One time he looked at his hand. "See. Nothing up my sleeve... and PRESTO!!!That's the difference between Palin and Perry. Both use their palms as a "teleprompter" but Palin writes on her hand. Perry thinks the answers will just appear  there.

But a more important issue, How many more of these things are scheduled? Every number I hear is in the teens. That can't be correct. Surely that's satire. Right. RIGHT?

Has no one bothered to explain to the Republican National Committee the down side of market saturation?

Or keep it simple.

Hey, RNC! Familiarity breads contempt.



Just a quick reflection 

“Give a man a reputation as an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon.” 
― Mark Twain
Somehow, I think of Newt.


Just look: 

Suddenly, he's against birth control.

We've aready talked about his "Child Labor " Plan 


At least he's not dumb enough to court the Cain endorsement


Then again, who knows what tomorow will bring.


I end with the question I asked before. I thought he was supposed to be the smart one?