The JFK Files and Emergent Conspiracy


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

The JFK assassination archive has been scheduled to be opened since 1992, when George H. W. Bush established a deadline for declassifying them. That is supposed to happen this Thursday. Various people are speculating that it will drive conspiracy theorists wild, so I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to be very wrong, by making some guesses what we’ll learn. …

stderr 2017/10/22 emergent-conspiracy

Moorman photo of JFK assassination


Fictional Characters in Historical Literature


(Κέλσος) – Matthew W. Ferguson:

One thing that may surprise modern readers is the creative license with which ancient authors would blend history and fiction. Take, for example, the characters depicted in Plato’s dialogues. Socrates, who was a historical person, features as the main subject of these texts, but he is often depicted engaging with named characters who are quite possibly Plato’s invention.

Since we have good evidence that ancient authors would invent fictional characters across a number literary genres, including historical literature, this raises the question as to whether there could be such fictional characters in the Gospels and Acts. …

celsus 2017/10/15 fictional-characters

John H. Fritz: Plato and the Elements of Dialogue

Cast Iron Pan


(xkcd) – Randall Munroe:

Never clean a cast-iron pan with soap. It destroys the seasoning.” …

xkcd 1905

Randall Munroe: xkcd 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Unpatriotic Irrefutable Evidence


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

It is unpatriotic enough to accuse a four-star general of lying,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the White House press corps. “But to make available a video that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that that general lied is unpatriotic bordering on treasonous.”

Warming to her subject, Sanders said that any American who sees undeniable video evidence that a general lied and chooses to believe the video “shows disrespect for our country and hatred for our flag.” …

borowitz-report unpatriotic general

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

5 NASA Photos that Changed the World


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

From the most beautiful to the most impactful, some of these are so powerful it’s breathtaking. …

starts-with-a-bang 28d0924463ad

Apollo 8 Earthrise

The AI That Has Nothing to Learn From Humans


(Atlantic Tech) – Dawn Chan:

DeepMind’s new self-taught Go-playing program AlphaGo Zero is making moves that other players describe as “alien” and “from an alternate dimension.” …

theatlantic 2017/10 alphago-zero

AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie

Julius Caesar: Act 1, Scene 2 (part 4)


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Casca is probably my favorite character in Julius Caesar. He’s just so sardonic and disrespectful. He’s also got one of my favorite lines, which didn’t make the cut for this comic:

Cassius: Will you dine with me tomorrow?
Casca: Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

Try using this line the next time someone asks you over for dinner. It’ll go over GREAT. …

goodticklebrain julius-caesar-124

Mya Gosling: Julius Caesar: Act 1, Scene 2 (part 4)



(Jesus and Mo) – Jesus:

“Tonight we’re going to cherry-pick and reinterpret some verses from our holy texts in order to make them congruent with contemporary moral thought.” …

jesusandmo why

Jesus and Mo 2017-10-18: Why

How To Be Wrong


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

If you don’t learn this one lesson, you’ll not only never be good at science, you’ll never learn anything new. …

starts-with-a-bang cfccecd3a73d

1952-11-01 Hydrogen bomb test “Mike” on Enewetak Atoll



(Atheist Pig) – “I just don’t see how atheists can be moral without God or the Bible.” …

theatheistpig outspoken

The Atheist Pig: Outspoken