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Excellent video about Neurotheology

I’ve panned Dr. Andrew Newberg in the past for making seemingly simplistic claims. But it’s very possible I was wrong to do so. Either that, or his thinking and scientific humility has developed dramatically. This video reveals an Andrew Newberg that I really didn’t know existed. As Yoda might have said, “Pleasantly surprised, I was…”

But seriously. This video is a must for anyone interested in the interface of spirituality, religious practices, and the brain. Follow the link in the above tweet and scroll down the page to watch.


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Continuing my summer cyber travels – This time, Vienna

The caption for this tweet might sound a bit cynical but that’s pretty much how I feel. I had a professor once who came from that neck of the woods. He insinuated that we had a dearth of “culture” in the West. Probably the worst professor I ever had, and things ended badly with him. But I won’t go into the details. That was a long time ago and I’m past it.

So yeah, my view of Vienna is probably tainted by my very bad experience with this person. And, in fairness, there is quite a bit of interesting material here. In the video you can see a grandiose palace where Napoleon stayed after invading the area, and lots of statues of Mozart and Johann Strauss (both of whom I adore). Also, several neoclassical statues stand out—even if they seem a bit incongruous in their foreign setting.

All the same, I think some folks overrate old stuff and cannot really appreciate the complexities of contemporary cultural forms. I could go on here, but I just want to share my summer cyber travels for now.


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Taking a cyber trip – Greece

It’s virtually summertime, and I need a little break from the same ol’, same ol’. Not being in a position right now to jump on a jet plane, I get almost as much satisfaction from watching travel videos. Yesterday I watched this one about Greece—particularly, the Greek islands. I enjoyed it. A little bit heavy on the whitewashed buildings, but I guess that’s par for the course.


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The whole concept of the “zoo” needs rethinking

Yes, my aunt took me to the African Lion Safari just outside of Toronto back in the day. And I probably have been to other dingy little zoos as a kid that I can hardly remember. But as an adult I think I could have done without those less than memorable experiences. Also, we have so much online content now, kids can learn about animals fairly well and then take real trips to exotic locales later in life if they really want to see these creatures in the flesh.

So I think the whole idea of the “zoo” needs rethinking. I felt this way when this story first broke, and almost said something about it. But for some reason I didn’t feel like “getting into it” that day, so just left the story without any personal commentary.

The story has persisted, however, and I think rightly so. It sparks debate about how uncivil “civilized” people are who capture animals and use them for fun and profit. —MC


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Detergent ad controversy: Is China less racist than the West?


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VR and social change – from escapism to activism


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Lifting the stigma around disabled sex

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