Europe Shrinking as Birthrates Decline

“The year 2000 marked a turning point, with the population’s ‘momentum’ becoming negative; there will be fewer parents in the next generation than in this one.” —Europe Shrinking as Birthrates DeclineTimes) This is a straightforward summary of an article to be published in Science. It might have been a more interesting article if it interviewed someone from one of the overpopulation scare groups. Let’s try a little experiment: Google hits…

Ambiguous Headline

A current headline on an Australian news site: “Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim“. —Ambiguous HeadlineLiteracy Weblog) The news here is that Al-Qaeda forces appear to be in Iraq, but the phrase “fighting with” has two contradictory meanings. How about “Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Fighting Coalition, British Claim”.

This is Very Dumb

“THE world’s biggest rubber band ball has been dropped from an aeroplane a mile up… Experts thought the ball would bounce hundreds of feet into the air.|Instead, it created a massive crater…” —This is Very DumbicWales)

The Victims of the Witch Hunt History Would Rather Forget

“‘With few exceptions, modern scholars see the witch as essentially female,’ write Lara Apps and Andrew Gow. ‘The male witch vanishes quickly from view, as he is made invisible by a combination of rhetorical strategies.’ Male Witches in Early Modern Europe is the first book on the subject, and it is an outstandingly good one. You will find no suspiciously neat theories here. But it is provocative – savagely so…

What Were They Thinking?

“Field Guide to Stains is a lovely little book. It’s beautifully produced and designed. The writing is sharp, the advice is good and the photos are appropriately illustrative. You just have to wonder: Who the hell cares?” Sienna Powers reviews some dumb books. —What Were They Thinking?January Magazine) Via KairosNews.

Human Nature and Its Future

“In much of the 20th Century, there was a widespread denial of the existence of human nature in Western intellectual life, and I will just present three representative quotations. ‘Man has no nature,’ from the philosopher Jose Ortega y Gassett. ‘Man has no instincts,’ from the anthropologist and public intellectual Ashley Montagu. ‘The human brain is capable of a full range of behaviors and predisposed to none,’ from the evolutionary…