install
Anthagio
"If you want facts about specific things that will change the world watch Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way Series by Geoff Lawton and read a book by Kimberly Snyder CN. The Beauty Detox Solution. All the worlds problems can be solved with a garden. Let me know what your thoughts are after you do." by bubblygranolachick

I will watch try to the Geoff Lawton series.  From the little bit of research I was able to do I will admit that permacultures sound intriguing.  And while some scientists criticize them for being unrealistic or perhaps over optimistic, it still sounds like a logical path to pursue.  I thank you for introducing me to the concept.

As to the Snyder book, well, you gotta be careful when asking a skeptical librarian about a book.  We tend not to read the books first.  We tend to read reviews of the book.  And while, at my public library at least, we most often select books that we think will be popular first and accurate second, when we go for personal education we can be VERY selective about the reviews we find valuable. We become even more particular when dealing hot fad-ish TONS of bad information out there subjects like diet and nutrition.

And it just so happens that this book touched on a bit of personal history that lead to my becoming the skeptic that I am

One of the first things I read in a review of the book was its discussion of “food combining”.  Let me go back in history to a younger, far less skeptical, not-a-librarian-yet Steve.  There was a book out in the mid ’80s called “Fit for Life" by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.  It was, perhaps, the first book to discuss food combining as a concept.  On a surface level the idea made sense.  I followed the diet, found some interesting new recipes, lost a bunch of weight, and gave up on the diet after a couple of months because it was almost completely non-sustainable, and slowly gained back the weight.

The thing even the less-skeptical me at the time had a problem with is that there was absolutely no research cited supporting the idea that combining foods in certain ways was either beneficial or harmful.  A few years later the Diamonds came out with a sequel to their first book.  They complained that others had called them out on the lack of scientific backing behind their claims and pointed to dozens of studies, absolutely NONE of them referring in any way to food combining, which was the centerpiece of their book.  This made me call bullshit on the entire concept.

Jump forward 30 years and here, again, we have a book talking about food combining.  Snyder, like the Diamonds, makes it a critical part of her diet, and, again, provides no science backing up her claim.  Why?  Because the one peer reviewed, randomized control trial of food combining lends no credence to the miraculous claims.  Still, it sounds plausible, so people, literally, eat it up.

Add the fact that she is not a Registered Dietitian and that she doesn’t mention a solid educational background in Dietetics or Nutritional Sciences, and a lot of my alarm bells go off.  And, in addition to the food combining, she makes some claims other claims that are, well, simply bullshit.

Now, to be clear, I’m not bashing the book completely.  It probably has some good advice and maybe even some unique insights, and just because there’s no science to support a statement doesn’t mean that that statement is wrong.  It just means that we can’t know that it’s right either.  I don’t think that it’s the world changer that you are claiming it to be, however.

So, while I thank you for the referral, I think I’ll be sticking to my tried and true Weight Watchers plan.  It isn’t perfect itself, but it is more sustainable and it helped me lose 70 pounds.  It’s good enough for me.

+ 
There are no Christians in crisis.  No one stops to pray when a child is choking on a piece of food.
Sasha

Beautiful point

There are no Christians in crisis.  No one stops to pray when a child is choking on a piece of food.

Sasha

Beautiful point

"The press still thinks [global warming] is controversial. So they find the 1% of the scientists and put them up as if they’re 50% of the research results. You in the public would have no idea that this is basically a done deal and that we’re on to other problems, because the journalists are trying to give it a 50/50 story. It’s not a 50/50 story. It’s not. Period."

Neil deGrasse Tysonpodcast interview (via fourteendrawings)

Posted 15 hours ago.
"If all we’re doing to address toxic masculinity is to expand the masculine box, we’re not fixing anything.
The problem with the male “box” getting smaller as the gender roles for women expand isn’t feminism, it isn’t women, it isn’t “female privilege”, it’s masculinity, male privilege and the idea that being a man MUST BE BETTER than being a woman, that MAN STUFF CANNOT TOUCH WOMAN STUFF, that being a woman is bad, that being called a girl is the WORST THING EVER, that being told you throw like a girl will DESTROY YOU.
That’s the problem.
And the solution isn’t to push women back, and take all their stuff, and put up a flag saying I PROCLAIM THIS LAND IN THE NAME OF MANHOOD, it’s for “manhood” to get the fuck over itself, and understand there’s nothing wrong with sharing qualities, interests, traits, and identity with girls and women."

Ami Angelwings on toxic idea of masculinity in our culture.

Just dug up this article and thought I’d share the most crucial part of it. Ami masterfully examines how hurtful are patriarchal views on gender.

(via ozziescribbler)

Posted 16 hours ago.

Secretary of State Kerry has called this not just intolerable, but grotesque.  I fucking agree.  

Posted 16 hours ago.
Ad Ignorantiam

rationalityunleashed:

Ad Ignorantiam

Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam ( or Ad Ignorantiam, for short) means “argument from ignorance”. This is a fun fallacy, everyone!

Before I start on the fallacy itself, let’s start with a caveat. Never confuse ignorance with stupidity. Those are, or can be, two mutually exclusive topics. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or information. Stupidity is the lack of the ability to learn and…

View On WordPress

Posted 17 hours ago.
+ atheistjack:

via From Religion to Reason

atheistjack:

via From Religion to Reason

Posted 18 hours ago.

The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.

(more)

This has been floating around the interwebs for the last couple of days.  The reaction of myself and many others has been basically “No shit!  And you mean to tell me water is wet too?”

The fact that we’ve known this for a while doesn’t make it any less painful though.

Of course, we’ve never been a democracy.  We are supposed to be a representative republic.  In a way we still may be, except that our representatives are mainly only representing the oligarchs these days.  At least at the federal level.

"We cannot escape the issue by remaining skeptical and waiting for more light"

William James (via lovesquotes333)

Well, no.  You have to look on Google for the light.

Posted 19 hours ago.
+ but…we’ve always used that phrase.
via We Love Atheism, Philosophy and Science.

but…we’ve always used that phrase.

via We Love Atheism, Philosophy and Science.

"Dude, you're so cool. I'm only a teenager, but I can't get over how awesome you are. You're probably my favorite person on tumblr. Rock on, man" by joshuamooreslyricsareperfection

Wow!  Thank you!

+ thedopeshow99:

Sincerely, All agnostics 

Well, to be technical…
Agnosticism is the stance that ultimately the existence of a god or gods is unknowable.
Atheism is the lack of belief in a god.
So it is possible to be an agnostic atheist, as I am and as are most atheists.  I acknowledge that ultimately it is impossible to prove or disprove a god’s existence, but I personally see no reason to believe in one.
Likewise, it is possible to be an agnostic theist, which is belief in a god but acknowledging that ultimately your god’s existence can’t be proved.
Many people think that an atheist is someone who is certain that a god does not exist.  This would be a gnostic atheist, and in my experience people with this viewpoint are in the minority.
On the other hand, gnostic theists, that is, people who are certain that a god exists, are very common.
Here’s a handy-dandy chart with circles and stuff.

thedopeshow99:

Sincerely, All agnostics 

Well, to be technical…

Agnosticism is the stance that ultimately the existence of a god or gods is unknowable.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god.

So it is possible to be an agnostic atheist, as I am and as are most atheists.  I acknowledge that ultimately it is impossible to prove or disprove a god’s existence, but I personally see no reason to believe in one.

Likewise, it is possible to be an agnostic theist, which is belief in a god but acknowledging that ultimately your god’s existence can’t be proved.

Many people think that an atheist is someone who is certain that a god does not exist.  This would be a gnostic atheist, and in my experience people with this viewpoint are in the minority.

On the other hand, gnostic theists, that is, people who are certain that a god exists, are very common.

Here’s a handy-dandy chart with circles and stuff.

Posted 20 hours ago.
via Grief Beyond Belief

via Grief Beyond Belief

The US Government: We're not going to make it federally mandatory for people to get paid a wage they can actually live off of
The US Government: If people want to make a living, they'll just have to work 16+ hours a day
The US Government: And if their kids end up disenfranchised because of a lack of parental involvement, well that's not our problem
The US Government: In fact, what is our problem is creating a system that will funnel these disenfranchised youth into our prison system so they can work for corporations (that promise us money) for damn near free
The US Government: If they don't want to fall victim to this system, then they can seek higher education
The US Government: Except such an education will be inaccessible to most disenfranchised people and skewed in favor of the financially stable and white people
The US Government: And we're not going to make intervention programs like sex education and conflict resolution federally mandatory, because that's the parent's job
The US Government: The parent who is working 16 hours a day
Posted 1 day ago.
"Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions."

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (via teachthemhowtothink)

I AM READING THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!  It is excellent.  :)

Posted 1 day ago.