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Medium 9781574411836

Questions Secular Humanists Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Secular Humanists

Never Ask j

Since there is no God, who is to blame for the bad things done in the name of religion?

If I get my credit card bill and need to express my surprise, whose name do I use? Kurt Vonnegut!

Since we don’t have God-words, how will I know if I speak in a religious way? Do humanists have glossalalia? Is John Kenneth Galbraith an example?

When humanists go to AA meetings, what higher power do they recognize?

Can a humanist be an alcoholic? Why would a humanist be an alcoholic?

If I have to take an oath, to whom do I swear? Ted Turner?

Betty Friedan?

If humanists believe that thinking for one’s self, using reason as a guide, is the best way to serve human interests, why haven’t we tarred and feathered the Supreme Court? The Department of Justice? Congress?

If we don’t have a creed, how do I know that what I believe is okay? What about my wife? She has some really freaky ideas.

If a “Voice of Reason” can save the world from destruction, why is it ignored as thoroughly as the Sermon on the Mount?

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Medium 9781741795240

The Culinary Chaos Principle

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Don George is Lonely Planet’s Global Travel Editor and the editor of this anthology. His most recent book is Travel Writing. Don has edited four previous anthologies, including The Kindness of Strangers and A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad. Before becoming a travel writer and editor, he worked as a translator in Paris, where he subsisted happily on biftek-frites and house red wine; a teacher in Athens, where he was honoured to eat the sheep’s eyeballs at an Easter feast; and a TV talk show host in Tokyo, where he was treated to sashimi so fresh that the fish literally flipped off his plate.

As a traveller, I am a fervent follower of the Culinary Chaos Principle. This principle is based on the theory that the universe is like an all-you-can-eat buffet that is proceeding ever so slowly but ineluctably past the prime rib, the tandoori chicken and the kung pao shrimp towards the baked Alaska. Our goal in this smorgasbord is to sample as much as we can before closing time. The best way to achieve this goal is to leave your menu selection in the good hands of chance – a mysterious force you might best imagine as a dapper figure in a tuxedo saying, ‘Hi, I’m Chance, and I’ll be your waitperson this evening.’

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Medium 9781741795240

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Alana Semuels can’t seem to shake her travel bug. The Harvard University grad has wandered the world from Antigua to Zimbabwe, stopping to teach English in Greece and to work in a clinic in Botswana. Currently a journalist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alana looks forward to future travels – and World Series wins by the Red Sox.

So far, yet so near, two persons, one in the Northern Hemisphere, the other in the Southern Hemisphere, may shake hands, kiss each other or embrace while they remain within their respective hemisphere.

– inscription at Mitad del Mundo

If you follow the equator around the globe, you fly over Borneo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and an expanse of ocean so long it is hard to imagine its distance.

Go overland and you might see a peeling sign by a road telling you that you are standing on the equator, but most countries have better things to do than devote their dollars or francs or rupias to an invisible line dividing the world.

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Medium 9781741795240

Snake Karma

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Linda Watanabe McFerrin has been travelling since she was two and writing about it since she was six. A poet, travel writer, novelist and contributor to numerous journals, newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online publications, she is the author of two poetry collections and the editor of the fourth edition of Best Places Northern California. Her work has also appeared in Wild Places, In Search of Adventure and American Fiction. Other book-length works include the novel Namako: Sea Cucumber and short-story collection The Hand of Buddha. In spite of everything, she is still a great lover of snakes.

The fer-de-lance is an extremely venomous snake. More deadly than a rattlesnake, this pit viper is also missing its genetic cousin’s one redeeming virtue – a warning rattle. It strikes suddenly, and when it bites, it injects a substance that is part neural toxin, part anticoagulant and part digestive enzyme, so that the process of digestion can begin at once. You don’t have long once it bites: a minute, maybe two.

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Medium 9781741795240

Dutch Toilet

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Doug Lansky has spent ten years travelling in over one hundred countries. He is the author of Last Trout in Venice and Up the Amazon Without a Paddle, and penned a nationally syndicated travel-humour column in North America for five years. He currently contributes to National Geographic Adventure and Esquire, and makes his home in Stockholm, Sweden, where he has not been trapped in any toilet stalls.

The most reliable, though least utilised, traveller’s oasis in any city is the library. In a foreign land, you may not be able to read the books or even get a library card, but it usually has three crucial ingredients: free high-speed Internet access, free international newspapers and free toilets. On an April morning in the town of Maastricht, Holland, I went in search of this traveller’s trinity.

There was nothing remarkable about the public library I found; no soul-moving architecture or rare-archive collection that would attract the attention of guidebook writers. It was on the small side, with a low ceiling, and like any sanctuary of literature it was warmed with those hallowed hushed whispers that you could easily mistake for prayers.

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Medium 9781741795240

You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Sean Condon is the author of three travelogues, Sean & David’s Long Drive, Drive Thru America and My ’Dam Life, as well as the novel Film and the humour collection The Secret of Success is a Secret. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

‘You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!’ I supposed that was true enough – we were just a few miles out of the station in Springfield, Massachusetts, on a highway heading towards Vermont – and we hadn’t seen anything you could really call spectacular. ‘Don’t even bother looking out the window, ‘cause you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!’ This was my Uncle Bill, behind the wheel, giving the orders, telling me what I hadn’t seen. What I had not seen so far was a large, crystal-blue lake, lots of trees and the occasional majestic hill with an exclusive girls’ school on top – the usual stuff you don’t see just outside many small cities in northeast America. The thing was, I’d just come from a week in Manhattan, and I liked what I wasn’t seeing. It seemed an eternity since I’d been surrounded by anything other than snarling traffic, looming skyscrapers and impenetrable clubs with majestic girls inside.

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Medium 9781574411836

The Trouble with Eve

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

The Trouble with Eve j

America was in the third year of a world war. Young Carter was in his first year of confusion over girls. Everything they did was so . . . confusing. When a girl said he had long eyelashes he had rubbed them, not sure whether she meant a loose one was falling into his eye or that he was a sissy. He was sure “You have nice hair,” meant why don’t you wash it sometime and “cutest freckles” meant did all of them survive a washcloth?

When girls looked at him he couldn’t meet their eyes afraid of what his face would show. When they smiled at him he gaped at their lips. Why were their mouths so . . . different?

When they laughed, he fled. He also fled the presence of

Clarissa for fear of what he would do. Fall on the ground and kiss her feet probably.

Clarissa Bowman. Girls had such pretty names. Clarissa.

Bowman. He tasted the words with his mouth. Clarissa Bowman. He was given his mother’s maiden name, Young. Young

Carter. It made him want to cry. Why would anyone name a baby “Young?” It was bad enough being called “kid” when you were fourteen and the country was at war. New teachers called him Carter Young until he corrected them. Men said his name sounded like a law firm or a funeral parlor.

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Medium 9781741795240

Walk of Fame

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Jeff Vize has trampled over wet cement, flower beds and innocent bystanders in at least forty countries. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Charlotte, and son, Loïc. He is currently at work on a travel memoir, Pigs in the Toilet (And Other Discoveries on the Road from Tokyo to Paris), from which this story is adapted.

I’m not a movie star, but I’ve played one abroad. Not that I know anything about acting, dialogue or even comic timing. I just know what it’s like to be famous: I was a celebrity for five days in Bangladesh.

If you’ve ever been to Bangladesh, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, if you’ve ever been to any developing nation you’ve no doubt had the same experience, particularly if your skin colour is a few shades darker or lighter than the locally prevailing hue. But ethnicity isn’t all that matters – it can be your clothes, your demeanour or your perpetually confused look. You don’t have to appear on TV either; you just need to step out of your hotel room.

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Medium 9781741795240

Snaking Through Italy

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Wickham Boyle is the daughter of a foreign correspondent and an anthropologist, a combination that provided the perfect springboard for travel writing. After a peripatetic childhood, her first job was working for the international experimental theatre LaMama. Since then she has kept her bags packed and her mind open. When not on the road, she lives with her family in a funky loft in TriBeCa, a New York neighbourhood she and other artists helped colonise decades ago. She has an MBA from Yale and writes for National Geographic Traveler, Forbes, the New York Times and Uptown magazine, among others.

Experimental theatre is an acquired taste. You have to be willing to suspend disbelief and relegate logic to another quadrant of your brain. Such theatre usually involves a nonlinear plot and naked thespians writhing, chanting and emoting. There is commonly a sense of occupying a foreign dreamscape. In short, this can be the worst theatre of all, or it can be transporting. Being a producer of experimental theatre, especially on an international level, requires the ability to carry out tasks that would stop any other executive in their well-paid tracks.

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Medium 9780615928272

I’m Dreaming Of An Anne Frank Christmas

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

and the infamous Peter Comes Home for Christmas Folger’s commercial falsely implied. No relatives visited. Our family never attended holiday church services. And although I have faint memories of stacking my plate with chewy slabs of ham and watching the box wine squeeze out its last drops of sour medicine for my parents, there were no formal dinners. I don’t blame my parents. They were poor with too many kids, and too tired to erupt into holiday cheer when

Christmas was likely looked at as a much needed day home from work. I blame the marketing industry.

Still, the holidays were quite simply a disappointment, with the worst factor playing out after the return to school a week or so later. Classmates flocked to an icy playground to take inventory of who wore sweet new puffy moon boots or who spent the two-week break sipping hot chocolate in between runs down snow-packed mountain slopes at various Sierra ski resorts. The schoolyard also played host to a holiday candy trade of sorts featuring hot list items, like Lifesavers

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Medium 9781574411836

Chicken Soup for the Damned

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Chicken Soup for the Damned j

Jesus was born in the biggest house with the finest stable in

Bethlehem. His mother was a member of the Daughters of Jericho. His father, Joseph, was a famous hero who drove a stake through the heart of a Palestinian and became CEO of Nazareth

Land Development, employing hundreds of carpenters and masons, creating Mt. Tabor Estates, and reducing the Cedars of

Lebanon to Shittim Wood.

As a boy, Jesus was the best athlete in Galilee, and once, to help his father hide gold while tax collectors slept, with five smooth stones he killed three roosters before they crowed. He also knocked out the eye of a Pharisee’s son but gave the boy a gold coin to replace it.

When he became a man, Jesus used the management skills he learned in his father’s office to assemble a team of adherents who would denounce dissenters, punish the poor, and appropriate the sick in order to enrich themselves. Preaching health, security, and prosperity to all who followed him, Jesus found a hearing wherever he went. Once after he had told them the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids who cornered the market on lamp oil, hangers-on followed him until they were faint. Jesus told them to give him their money and he would give them the secret of everlasting bread. His adherents took the shekels to the nearest McEdonia. Upon their return there was a scramble for the bagels and lox. After they had eaten all they could, they bought all Jesus’ lamp oil at inflated prices. Then Jesus told them the secret of everlasting bread was in the lamp oil of

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Medium 9781741795240

The Boat From Battambang

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Christopher R Cox is a feature reporter on the staff of the Boston Herald. He has survived Cambodia’s transport system on six trips for his newspaper and such magazines as Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure and Reader’s Digest. He is the author of the adventure travel book Chasing the Dragon: Into the Heart of the Golden Triangle, about Burma’s narco-warlords, and can order cold beer in more than half a dozen languages. When not experiencing Third World gastro-intestinal distress, Christopher lives in Acton, Massachusetts.

The route from Battambang to Siem Reap makes a long sweep around the western shoreline of the Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest lake, via kidney-rattling roads crowded with death-wish buses, overloaded lorries and plodding ox carts. In Cambodia, it’s an immutable fact that travel is 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per cent sheer terror. So it seemed a miracle when the Angkor Express Boat Company promised to whisk me from Battambang down the Sangke River and across the Tonlé Sap to Angkor’s doorstep in just five hours – half the time I’d spend on a sweltering, crowded bus fretting about an impending head-on collision.

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Medium 9781935362593

World Events

Julia Icenogle Kansas City Star Quilts ePub

Mrs. Bobbins likes to keep up on what’s happening in the world, and sometimes a little quilt flair sneaks in!

“3 minutes, 23 seconds…and she’s on pace to shatter the Olympic record!”

Doing her part to stimulate the economy, Mrs. Bobbins engages in another wild night of online shopping.

“I’ll vote for any candidate that supports my right to carry a concealed seam ripper.”

The year the Quilt Guild was in charge of the Westridge precinct.

“YES, WE DID!”

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Medium 9780615928272

One Settled Comfortably InThe Cuckoo’s Nest

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

to yourself and the loved ones nearby, that some level of mental illness has quite possibly set up shop inside of us as well. Some insist that we’re just not trying enough alternative remedies to cure whatever ails us. Something’s wrong?

Fix it! Immediately! Buy something! Or let go of attachments! Change your outlook on life! Manifest the happiness thatresides within! You need a detox diet! Smudge your bedroom with sage! You create your own reality! We’re all supposed to be happy! Everything is so good! We can manifest joy! Try harder!

Sure, some people are “cured” with didgeridoo sound healings, 5-HTP supplements and tapping all over their faces while chanting positive affirmations. That is super great for them, as they are likely not suffering from the gnarly chronic depression and anxiety I’m referring to. For some of us, color therapy and yoga don’t make it go away.

Not that we don’t try. Some of us try everything because we’re afraid of being judged by our “liberal, do-good” communities if we take medication. We undergo hypnotherapy, past life regression, tarot readings. We visit shamans and get acupuncture treatments. We’ll become cyclists, participating in every 100-mile ride we can find, attempting to outride whatever keeps grasping at us with it’s viscous claws. We do eight million sun salutations. We drive two days through the desert to see the Dalai Lama. We borrow our friends’ light therapy boxes, eat mounds of Omega-3 fatty acid-rich food. Sometimes we give up and eat two pounds of bacon in a weekend. We’ll churn our own butter and stand alone in the kitchen devouring it by the spoonful before smearing it onto chocolate cake that we often consume while soaking in the bathtub, reading Pema Chödrön, listening to Iron and

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Medium 9781741795240

The Snows of Carrara

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Paris-based David Downie writes for leading publications worldwide, from the Australian Financial Review to the San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, Gourmet, Bon Appétit and the London Sunday Times. His latest travel-cookbook is Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome (www.cookingtheromanway.com). David is currently working on Paris, Paris, a collection of travel essays.

‘The snows of Carrara never melt’, said my wife, Alison, as she read aloud from the guidebook we’d bought a week earlier in the Cinque Terre. She paused to regard me with a gimlet eye. ‘If it snows, how am I supposed to take photos to go with your article?’

‘Snow?’ I repeated, chuckling. ‘No, dear, that’s not snow. It’s marble dust. All the books say so. Besides, it doesn’t snow on the Italian Riviera in May.’

The idea of snow seemed completely out of place in this Mediterranean paradise, where Tuscany meets Liguria. The rocky beaches were already colonised by large pale bodies and just yesterday we’d been hiking and building up a sweat in the spring sunshine.

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