I tried to make up for missing last weekend. Enjoy!
Atheism and Religion:
Hemant Mehta spoke with a pastor friend of his, Randy Frazee, at Oak Hill Church in San Antonio about Christian/Atheist relations. The video is here and Hemant starts speaking at about the 5 minute mark.
Chris Rodda stands up for the MRFF against the Catholic League.
Greta Christina gives a very personal account of humanism and how she had to deal with cancer right after her father died.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga breaks down atheists/agnostics into six different groups.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukeerecently released thousands of pages of information regarding child abusing priests. At least 22 of the priests were moved about after allegations of abuse. Previous diocese Cardinal Timothy Dolan requested that $54 million be moved from the diocese to a trust that was untouchable just a month before the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that victims could sue the diocese who in 2011 claimed bankruptcy. Another victim is now requesting that a judge unseal the names of 33 abusive priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that have been credibly accused of child sex abuse.
Does meditation make someone more compassionate? One researcher gives a sneak peek of his experiment soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science.
On a more positive note for religion, Pope Francis seems determined to bring attention to the poor, forgotten, and suffering and encouraging his sheep to help them. (Personally, I hope this is one Pope they start listening to.)
Astronomers have located a star being born which is likely to be 100 times more massive than our sun.
Radio Telescope recorded four different, strange millisecond bursts from outside the galaxy.
The IBEX satellite maps the tail of debris flowing off our solar system like a comet's tail.
Hubble finds a blue exo-planet that is thought to be 2,000 Fahrenheit and rain shards of glass.
Dark matter may create a whole dark universe that co-exists with our own.
We are coming closer to having standard measure of temperature not based on the freezing and boiling points of water, but on joules of energy.
I don't know how to summarize this. Includes superconducting, copper-based metals, mathematical models of black holes, string theory, 3-D interactions being deciphered through their results on a 2-D surface and how it all relates. It's kind of complicated, but interesting.
The Natural World:
Heavy coal use in northern China has created air pollution that that reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years as compared to southern China.
Increasing acidity of water will reduce ocean biodiversity.
Rates of vertebrate evolution will need to progress 10,000 times faster to make up for the expected amounts of climate change in the next 100 years.
Thresher sharks' long tails give them the evolutionary advantage to slap fish like a whip.
Lake Vostok once thought to be barren is proving to be a treasure trove of microscopic life.
An interesting story about the effects of the Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on deep water corals.
Medicine and Technology:
NPR discusses human stem-cell-developed liver buds grown in mice with Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Researchers are still working towards a lab-built heart.
"Scientists have created a virtual model of the brain that daydreams like humans do."
MIT professor Neri Oxman has gotten 6,500 silk worms to make a dome.
Archaeology and the Past:
The oldest evidence of human burials with flowers has been found in a cave and dates between 13,700 and 11,700 years ago.
Mitochondrial DNA from human fossil remains in North America still have descendants living today in Native American communities.
"Primitive writing" has been found on stone axes in China dating back to almost 5,000 years ago.
Using LiDAR from the air, archaeologist has discovered that Angkor Wat was a massive metropolis in its hey day.
Dinosaur forelimb size and posture led to their eventual flight.
Dinosaur herbivores could exist together because they ate different types of plants.
En Espanol (thanks to Cesar Deicide):
In case you didn't know, you can read these in any language by going to Google Translate and copying and pasting the URL, which will allow you to translate the whole site.
Profamily, a secular, private organization that was sent to trial by the catholic church for ads promoting the use of condoms and safe sex because, in their word, would lead to abortion and rebellion. Profamily won the trial
A polish catholic priest was accused of raping at least 14 children in Juncalito community in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The catholic church quickly suspend him, and move him back to Poland with False documents.
Barack Obama named James 'Wally' Brewster, a gay activist, as ambassador to Dominican Republic. Catholics and protestants quickly reject him, while saying nothing about the pederast priest. Dominican gays respond in support of ambassador Brewster and call out the churches for inciting hate and making them responsible if anything happens to Brewster. The government accepted anyways.
On a Lighter Note:
A collection of New Rules from Bill Maher.