Category Archives: News/Current Events

What Evidence Proves: Ben Carson and His Unprofessional Take on the Pyramids

Alien Guy from History Channel saying "Grain Storage"

BuzzFeed recently uncovered an old video of now-presidential hopeful Ben Carson expressing the belief that ancient Egyptian pyramids were granaries rather than the archeologically accepted explanation of them being tombs. When asked, Carson acknowledged that he still holds this belief. “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” said Carson, referring the Old Testament story where the prophet Joseph warned the pharaoh of famine and recommended great quantities of grain be stored. “I happen to

Return of the Brontosaurus?

Brontosaurus / Apatosaurus skeleton

If you’re into dinosaurs. you probably know that the Brontosaurus does not officially exist.  At some point in time, it was decided that skeletons labeled brontosaurs were really skeletons of apatosaurs. You likely weren’t told this debacle happened all the way back in 1903 in the wake of the Great Bone Wars (which is totally an accepted historical term). Now, brontosaurus is back in the news as a scientific paper suggests that brontosaurus really is a separate species.  Studies of

Richard III Funeral: Burial of an English King

Richard III Burial

More than two years after his remains were identified and 530 years after his death, King Richard III of England will be laid to rest (again) on March 26. Historical Significance of Richard III’s Burial This is quite likely the last burial of an English king, as modern monarchs are kings (and queens) of the United Kingdom.  There are a handful of other missing English monarchs, but the chances of finding and identifying their bodies is highly unlikely, other than

Archeologists Guess Where Jesus Taught

“Just in time for Christmas,” ABC reports that archeologists believe they have found where Jesus taught. Then they provide no information at all supporting such a grandiose claim. What they did find was a 2000 year old synagogue, and that’s a notable find in and of itself.  They aren’t exactly just laying all over the place waiting to be tripped over.  And, seriously, if you only find value in such a find if you can loop Jesus into it, you’re

Dear ABC News: There is no “Duchess Kate”

Kate Middleton on her US tour

I have had a very hard semester, which is why I’ve been so quiet the last month.  That should change in another week once classes end. In the meantime, here’s one of my history-nerd rants: “Duchess Kate” does not exist. As described in this article, “Duchess Kate” is in the middle of the US visit with her husband, Prince William. You never, ever put the title of duke or duchess before a first name.  Ever.  Am I being picky?  Depends

Why Ebola Will Never be an American Plague

Ebola cartoon

We’ve heard it in the news.  First, there was fear of Ebola reaching the US, then two infected doctors were brought to the US under quarantine, then a traveler from Africa developed symptoms after arriving in the US, and now one of his nurses has contracted the disease. Are we facing the next great plague?  Absolutely not. When people think epidemic, they tend to think of the Black Death (bubonic plague), which killed 25 million people over three years in

The Changing View of Religious Rights: Fallout from Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

One of these people shouldn't have a say in your access to birth control

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  – US Constitution, 1st Amendment The first amendment was written in a country full of religious refugees (and descendants of the same) who fled fractured Europe where millions of people had died in wars over religion.  It did away with religious requirements for government jobs, which could be found both in Europe and the colonies. It barred the government from limiting any specific expression

#YesAllWomen; Sexism in a (Nearly) Equal Society

Cookies stamped with "no"

Near-equality makes inequality less visible. American women largely have access to the same things as men: education, employment, the vote, etc.  They live independently, making their own decisions without society judging them as radical.  And when people commit egregious amounts of sexism (I’m looking at you, Rep. “Legitimate-Rape” Akin), society notices and, overall, condemns. That doesn’t mean our culture has been purged of sexism, as highlighted by #YesAllWomen, a counterpoint to the “not all men” reaction to feminist arguments.  No, all

Politics of the ACA; also, There’s Three Kinds of Lies

Cancelled and Approved Stamps

There’s three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Numbers are easy to manipulate.  You can fairly easily tell technical truths while obscuring the actual truth, or, at least, over-simplifying complex issues.  Pundits and politicians do it all the time. Unless, of course, you’re just lying. Unless you live under a rock (and it would have to be a very remote rock), you have heard the accusations that millions of Americans had their insurance policies cancelled (or have been