Scientists who didn’t predict quake are indicted

When I saw this headline, I thought it was a joke – perhaps something from the Onion. Apparently, the story is a few days old, but I just saw it a few minutes ago: Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges yesterday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009. …. Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered the members of the national government’s Great Risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go...

The Error of Permitting Religious Practice

A local furor erupted a couple days ago over a Wellesley Middle School class’ visit to an area mosque, a story which has subsequently gone national. This whole story is just so wrong, on so many levels, that it approaches (?) the absurd. It is a microcosm of everything wrong with the deracinated public life that has banished religious faith to the margins, and adopted a functional atheism as public policy (despite the lingering religiosity of much of the unwashed masses). The 6th grade class found itself at the mosque as part of a social studies unit cal...

EPT (Eastern Pretend Time)

So begins what is perhaps the toughest week of the year for me. The annual screwing up of the clocks began yesterday, and if history is any teacher, it will take me a week or so to regain my equilibrium. Until then, I pay the price. And I’m not the only one: my early-morning-bird daughter Rebecca did not get out of bed until 9:00 (pretend time) this morning, having become obviously discombobulated over the weekend (and not being able to get to sleep until after 10:00 PM last night). In either a stroke of good luck or of insightful planning, her school ha...