Several weeks ago, as this “Skeptic’s Column” column is written (14 Jan), I came down over the weekend with my usual annual case of the “cruds”: stuffy nose, scratchy throat, sinus drainage, etc., etc. No fever, but inside my head, I could hear the wheezing, especially as I lay in bed at night. It sounded like a gunny-sack filled with cats being tortured. (Apologies to cat lovers. I am one. But it sounded like it sounded. So sue me.) Worst of all, I could only log perhaps 2 hours sleep per night. The tortured-cat symphony kept me awake.
So next morning, I hauled my sleep-deprived, zombie-ized, bleary-eyed, Walking Dead carcass into one of those walk-in clinics a couple miles from my house. (My wife drove the car. I did not trust myself.) The doctor on duty took my temp and
Now that Christmas is over -- unless you celebrate Christmas from the first Sunday of Advent through and including the Feast of the Epiphany -- it might be a good time to examine the political and ideological questions raised by Christmas carols ... which I do in this week's "Skeptic's Collection" column in hopes of increasing the "woke-ness" level for Christmas of 2019. No reason to thank me ...
Recently, the cultural outrage factory, never short of work, has managed to evoke a sense of high dudgeon about the allegedly sexist lyrics, amounting to an advocacy of date rape, attaching to the well-known Christmas carol “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Before following the controversy on Facebook, I would have thought that this kerfuffle
This will be the shortest “Skeptic’s Collection” column I have written in my six years of writing for Beguine. There is a heuristic rule of thumb that I have never seen employed in comparing the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This principle is, as I say, purely a heuristic rule of thumb. That is, it cannot, nor does it profess to, constitute a fundamental evidentiary principle. It proves nothing “beyond a reasonable doubt”. But it is a good hip-pocket question to ask in “he said / she said” situations. It is a simple, two-word Latin expression:
Cui bono may be interpreted variously as “Whose value” or “Whose advantage” or “Whose gain”. In this context, “value,” “advantage,” and “gain” should be interpreted as tangible advantage in te