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Trump’s Ban on Transgender People Serving in US Military

Ladies and gentlemen, we have yet another spurt of ignorance from the US Commander-in-Chief. And surprise, surprise, this far-reaching policy decision was brought to our attention via Twitter. Trump’s announcement today of a ban on transgender people serving in the military once again demonstrates his inability to think deeply. The consequences of this decision are far bigger than he understands. It... read more

A Hedgehog Named Heather!

I’ve got a hedgehog named after me! This is one of the coolest things ever to happen to me in my life, and a great honour! The hedgehog is a rescue one at the SWCC Hedgehog Hospital in Hertfordshire, England. I suspect intervention by science communicator Amy Carparelli. A £25 donation allows you to sponsor a hedgehog that the hospital is caring for. (Update 19 July: It turns out that my re-tweets... read more

Soccer Fans Are Funding the North Korean Nuclear Programme

Qatar is building a series of amazing venues for both the 2022 Soccer World Cup and their country in general (i.e. not specifically for the World Cup). As hosts of the cup they naturally want their country to look its best when it’s on display to the world. And on the surface, everything is beautiful. Dig a little deeper though, and there’s a lot of ugliness. People are suffering and dying... read more

Australian Columnist Says Atheism Wrecks Liberal Democracy

Prior to the latest census in Australia (2016) the Atheist Foundation of Australia ran a campaign. It was to urge people to mark the “NoReligion” option on the census form. The number that did so was 29.6%, almost double the 16% of 2001, just fifteen years earlier. Christianity is still by far the largest group at 52%. Within Christianity, Catholicism is still the biggest group at 22.6%. While... read more

Tusked Weta Versus Foraging Pig

Regular readers may remember my recent post about the rare New Zealand Mountain Stone Weta. The Tusked Weta (Motuweta isolata) is also critically endangered, though its impressive tusks and usual habitat make it slightly better known. I always thought “The Dead Wetas” would be a really good heavy metal band name. (See below for a Heavy Metal Band Name Generator.) The Mountain Stone Weta, with... read more

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