Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Links and Comments: Tyson v. Douthat

I started writing up a few notes about the new (small) Neil deGrasse Tyson book, ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY, and got sidetracked by a passage that reminded me of a Ross Douthat column from a few weeks ago. … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Kids These Days

From Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, a review by Jennifer Szalai of a book by new Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, THE VANISHING AMERICAN ADULT: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance. The review is … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Reality and Fantasy about Abortion

I don’t have any horse in the race about abortion, per se, except how it is an example of right-wing authoritarian, anti-science thinking. (I’ve seen but need to document the historical background about how abortion wasn’t on the conservative religious … Continue reading

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Parents, Children, Identities: Andrew Solomon’s FAR FROM THE TREE

This is an enormous book, 962 pages long, 702 of that text (with the remainder consisting of encyclopedic notes, a lengthy bibliography, and an index). The book is about how parents deal with exceptional children, covering ten categories of exceptionality, … Continue reading

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Sapolsky on religion, and human behavior

Via today’s Morning Heresy blog by Paul Fidalgo, this item from Robert M. Sapolsky, a short video on a site called Big Think, called Atheism vs. Religion: Which Is the Healthier Viewpoint?. His thesis is that religious belief, in eternal … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: Religion v. Reality

One more item from last Sunday’s New York Times: the weekly “Modern Love” column, reader-submitted essays about “the joys and tribulations of love.” White Shirt, Black Name Tag, Big Secret It’s about a young Mormon man sent into the world … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: Modern Conservatism

From a review in Sunday’s NYT Book Review, by Damon Linker, of a book about the famous conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, and his relationships to various presidents of the United States. The review is titled “William F. Buckley and … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: The Changing US Demographic

Essay in Sunday’s NYT: The Census and Right-Wing Hysteria, by Herbert J. Gans The “right-wing hysteria” concerns the predictions, for several years now, than within a few decades the US would become a “majority-minority” nation by the 2040 — i.e., … Continue reading

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A Chilling Journey Through Worlds Beyond Imagination: TOS by James Blish

As noted a couple posts ago, in my series of Star Trek Rewatch posts, I’ve just reread James Blish’s first Star Trek book – published just over 50 years ago! – to note the changes he made from the original … Continue reading

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Blood thins. The Body fails. TOS “The Conscience of the King”

Kirk must determine if a Shakespearean actor is the same man as the infamous “Kodos the Executioner,” whose crimes Kirk witnessed 20 years before.   This is an offbeat, exotic episode, with strong characters and a powerful moral dilemma, that … Continue reading

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