Weekend Coffee: October 21
Some links from the last week:
• As you may have heard, my good friend and awesome secular activist Greta Christina was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It's fully treatable, but she needed some help to cover her living expenses while she recovers, and the atheist community came through in spades, meeting and exceeding what she had hoped to raise in barely 24 hours.
• Dinesh D'Souza, the well-known Christian apologist, showed up at a conference last week with a much younger woman whom he introduced as his fiancée, despite the small fact that he's still legally married to someone else. J.T. Eberhard digs up the requisite hilariously hypocritical quotes from D'Souza's past writing on the sanctity of marriage.
• On Twitter, some bigots tried to start a hashtag, #SignsYoSonIsGay, with the kind of ignorant homophobia you'd expect. I'm pleased to say that supporters of equality took it back. Here's my contribution.
• I'd heard of Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota football player who became an unlikely advocate for marriage equality, but until now I hadn't known just how brilliant and badass he is. And I don't even watch football!
• Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting to go to school, is making an impressive recovery.
• A second federal appeals court, this one in my home state of New York, rules that DOMA is unconstitutional.
• Anti-free-speech religions stick together, as Pope Benedict supports the Russian Orthodox church's decision to have the punk band Pussy Riot charged and imprisoned for blasphemy.
• The famously irreverent comic George Carlin will have a New York street named after him, despite opposition from the church.
• In the midst of the European financial crisis, the church in Italy is losing some of its property tax exemptions.
• A Missouri preacher's seemingly anti-gay rights sermon has a surprising twist.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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