Josh's blog

This is a mishmash of posts about history, religion/atheism, philosophy, (American) politics, current events, life, space exploration, capital punishment, and assorted random shit. Expect endless quotes, photos, and links to the NYTimes.
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Step Inside London’s Felt Cornershop

To view more photos and videos from Lucy’s Cornershop, explore the The Cornershop location page, browse the #thecornershop hashtag and follow @sewyoursoul on Instagram.

Look closely at a corner shop in East London and you’ll see everything is not as it seems. The Cornershop, opened in a derelict store in Bethnal Green by artist Lucy Sparrow (@sewyoursoul), is actually an art installation which consists of 4,000 items all handmade from felt! From Heinz Baked Beans to Digestive Biscuits, everything in the shop is hand-stitched and the whole shop took Lucy eight months to assemble.

“I wanted to create something that surrounded people completely,” says Lucy, whose first job was in her local corner shop. “I hope this project reminds people just how much the cornershop cements life in local communities.” The installation runs until August 31.

The attention to detail in this installation is *amazing*! -Emily

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Meet the Squirrel Whisperer (photo courtesy of the Squirrel Whisperer's FB page.)

Between Godliness and Godlessness 

[Sam Harris’s new book, Waking Up], which will be published by Simon and Schuster in early September, caught my eye because it’s so entirely of this moment, so keenly in touch with the growing number of Americans who are willing to say that they do not find the succor they crave, or a truth that makes sense to them, in organized religion.

Decaying Guantánamo Defies Closing Plans 

More than 12 years after the Bush administration first sent detainees to the prison in Cuba, tensions are mounting over whether President Obama can close it before leaving office.

Political liberals are right about almost everything, as far as I can tell.

— Sam Harris

(Source: gspellchecker.com)

God bless the geeks. They will save us all.

Rachel Maddow

(The Rachel Maddow Show- 8/25/14)

* During her “Moment of Geek” segment about the success of the earthquake early warning system developed by scientists at UC Berkeley and how it could be expanded across California to give citizens valuable seconds of warning before an earthquake is felt.

(via beenwellspent)

Judges Take Tough Tone at Gay Marriage Hearing 

Judge Richard A. Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, hit the backers of the ban the hardest. He balked when the Wisconsin assistant attorney general, Timothy C. Samuelson, repeatedly pointed to tradition as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage.

Judge Posner said, “It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away.” Prohibition of same-sex marriage, he said, derives from “a tradition of hate” and “savage discrimination” of gays.

Obama Approves Air Surveillance Of ISIS in Syria 

WASHINGTON — President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there, but a mounting concern for the White House is how to target the Sunni extremists without helping President Bashar al-Assad.

Defense officials said on Monday evening that the Pentagon is sending in manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights over Syria, using a combination of aircraft, including drones and possibly U2 spy planes. Mr. Obama approved the flights over the weekend, a senior administration official said.

Alone Again, Naturally 

The rock-star candidate who got elected on his electrifying promise has become a bored bird in a gilded cage.

Is a Hard Life Inherited? 

ONE delusion common among America’s successful people is that they triumphed just because of hard work and intelligence.

In fact, their big break came when they were conceived in middle-class American families who loved them, read them stories, and nurtured them with Little League sports, library cards and music lessons. They were programmed for success by the time they were zygotes.

Yet many are oblivious of their own advantages, and of other people’s disadvantages. The result is a meanspiritedness in the political world or, at best, a lack of empathy toward those struggling

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