In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens


[T]he California Assembly has passed a same-day voter registration law, allowing voters to register to vote all the way until election day. This is a no-brainer and doesn’t open up the potential for fraud, as voters registered on the same day would still be checked to make sure no multiple votes were cast. As a volunteer working every day on the election here in Ventura County, I’ve already talked to about a dozen people who are unable to vote here because they discovered they weren’t registered here, and only discovered that within the 15 day window prior to election day. Those people and thousands like them have been needlessly disenfranchised. Allowing for same-day registration will significantly increase the pool of voters especially among the young and “others” on the fringes of society, making it more difficult for conservatives to purchase elections.

There’s another way to increase voter turnout, too: moving elections to weekends. The fact that American voter turnout is so low is partly because we vote on a day that is not amenable for many working-class people. Of course, mail ballot voting has helped to assuage this problem, but most Americans still vote at the polls on “Election Day.” Why do we vote on Tuesdays? For no terribly good reason. It goes back to an 1845 law, established to give people traveling by horse-drawn carriage to take all of Monday to travel to the county courthouse after allowing Sunday to be devoted to rest. Yes, that’s the actual reason.

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