Monthly Archives: March 2006

Babies laughing

If death by cuteness was possible, this might just do the trick.

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The beginning of life

Pro-lifers want to know: when does life begin? Is it at conception? What about birth? Somewhere inbetween? Biologists have trouble defining life, too. Is a virus alive? What about a toenail? The difficulty for biologists is constructing a definition that … Continue reading

Posted in Contraception and abortion | 15 Comments

The wrong idea on “free speech”

Ed Brayton is criticizing Borders and Waldenbooks for refusing to carry the magazines that reprint the Mohammed cartoons. He says this is the wrong way to go about handling the issue of free speech. Instead, he says, The solution is … Continue reading

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Stupidity tax starts today in NC

As of today, stupid North Carolinians no longer have to make the long trek to South Carolina to pay their stupidity tax. There’s even a stupidity tax payment center right here in the fancy-schmancy college town of Davidson. Some have … Continue reading

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Jill Carroll released!

I’m sure Doug Hoffman will be glad to hear this: Abducted journalist Jill Carroll has been released in Baghdad.

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Replacing the gas tax?

Oregon, of all places, appears to be considering replacing its gas tax with a mileage tax. The problem, it seems, is that as people buy more high-mileage cars, the state is losing tax revenue. Another way of phrasing this is, … Continue reading

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Other states considering abortion bans

Just got this e-mail from NARAL pro-choice America: South Dakota’s ban is just the beginning. Twelve more states have considered similar bans – Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia are … Continue reading

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More depressing news

Rachel S. at Alas, A Blog is following the story of the Duke lacrosse team’s racially motivated gang-rape of a dancer they hired for a party. To me the most sickening aspect of this episode is the way ABC covered … Continue reading

Posted in InstaMunger | 1 Comment

The frightening facts about science education

Orac has a depressing post about how science teachers in Arkansas are self-censoring what they teach, avoiding the “e-word” and any mention of how old rocks are. Sad.

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20 questions, pro-lifer style

A pro-lifer has put up “20 questions” for pro-choicers. Here are my answers. 1. At what point do you think that a human being, with human rights, comes into existence? Is it at birth, or earlier? The first point that … Continue reading

Posted in Contraception and abortion | 22 Comments

Jimmy Carter: Our Endangered Values

One of the things I’ve always admired about Jimmy Carter is his unshakeable sense of values. He was so committed to them that many people consider it to be one of his failings as president. Think about the terrorist act … Continue reading

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Just checking in

I just got back from a quick midweek ski trip and wanted to check in and say “hi.” I really don’t have much to say other than that right now, and I’m too busy catching up with work to post … Continue reading

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Audiobook recommendation?

I’m about to head out on a 10-hour drive, and I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for an audiobook to keep me company. I was thinking I’d do Chris Mooney’s Republican War on Science, but it turns out, that’s … Continue reading

Posted in InstaMunger | 2 Comments

Abortion, sex, and murder

Alas, A Blog has posted a handy table showing how pro-life positions tend to correspond a different motivation than what they claim — that these positions aren’t consistent with a belief that abortion is murder, but are consistent with a … Continue reading

Posted in Contraception and abortion | 4 Comments


I’ve just finished working on a little book, called What every Student Should Know about Researching Online, which I co-authored with Shireen Campbell (which explains the light posting the last few days). It’s going to be roughly 128 pages, and … Continue reading

Posted in General | 4 Comments


The top three living humans listed in a Google search for Munger live in North Carolina. And two of us are writers. Who’d a thunk it? Number one, however, is a district of India.

Posted in InstaMunger | 5 Comments

Last chance for tournament picks

The NCAA tournament begins in just three hours… if you still want to join the ScienceBlogs pool, you’ve got time — barely. If you’ve already joined but haven’t made your picks, then you’d better get going! Update: I’m in last … Continue reading

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What should liberals do about religion?

Given the uproar earlier this week when Steve Waldman made a couple of guest posts on Political Animal, when he stated that liberals are “hostile” toward evangelicals (including sideline criticism from fellow ScienceBlogger P.Z. Myers), I thought I’d try to … Continue reading

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Google Paranoia

I’ve been arguing for a while that Google is one of the good guys. It’s getting less and less easy to make that case. They’re supporting Chinese government censorship, they’re slurping up internet startups, and they’re acting more “microsofty” every … Continue reading

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Word Munger: Now with full-text RSS feeds

I just realized that RSS subscribers to Word Munger were only getting brief snippets of each post. That’s no good at all! I’ve now updated the feed to include the full text of each and every Word Munger post, which … Continue reading

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