Current Events

Becker with Real Bullets

Charles Nolan | March 26, 2016

Turn on CNN any night of the week and you’d think you were watching “Escape from Evil, the Movie”. It’s not about theory any more. It’s not an armchair discussion. The armchair is at the controls of a tank. Case …

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The Lebedev Syndrome

Phil Hansten | November 18, 2015

In Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, one of the least appealing characters is a fellow named Lebedev, a man who could pontificate on any topic. I was reminded of Lebedev following a recent discussion I had with a friend on the topic …

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Boston Strong: Engendering Self-Examination

Edward Mendelowitz | April 4, 2015

The 2014 Boston Marathon took place, like last year’s, on Patriot’s Day on a glorious spring day here in transcendentalist New England. It was a moment of triumph for so many people around our city and world, one that was …

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Antonin Scalia and the Sleep of Reason

Phil Hansten | September 17, 2014

“…the gallows is not merely a machine of death, but the oldest and most obscene symbol of that tendency in mankind which drives it towards moral self-destruction.” Arthur Koestler, Reflections on Hanging By now most of you have heard that …

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The Devil’s Desiderata

Phil Hansten | November 10, 2013

Astronomers assumed for years that there were planets similar to earth throughout the universe… planets that could possibly harbor life and even intelligent beings. Now astronomers are regularly finding evidence of planets circling other stars (“exoplanets”). This virtually guarantees what …

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The NFL has fired up again and I felt myself reacting with pleasurable thoughts and feelings. Watching great passes and catches, running backs out maneuvering or just plain running over opponents, the fumbles, the upsets, the falls. I anticipate watching …

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Guns and “Mental Illness”

Dan Liechty | March 27, 2013

I think it may have started with Wayne LaPierre’s infamous press conference a week after Sandy Hook. In any case, we now here it as a common refrain of the no-holds-barred gun crowd – that the big problem is inadequate …

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Rise of the Planet of the Apps

Bill Bornschein | March 2, 2013

Our local paper recently featured a story about our zoo’s cutting edge program that gives iPads to our orangutans, Teak, Bella, Segundo, and Amber. The stated purpose is to provide mental stimulation that helps prevent boredom and depression. Without the …

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Cornell psychologist Thomas Gilovich has made a career out of studying the cognitive processes that sustain dubious beliefs. There is something about flu season that makes me wish I could combine his work with that of Becker and enlist their …

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  Lately I have cocked my eavesdropping ear whenever I hear others discussing guns in America. Ideas are flying furiously about how to prevent such events as the recent school massacre in Connecticut, from banning any and all firearms on …

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