Sexuality

Over the past few decades, American society has increased its tolerance and acceptance of differing sexualities. Those that voice opposition to acceptance of homosexuality on religious grounds often consider homosexuality to be “unnatural.” However, homosexual behavior is widespread across the animal kingdom. In addition to well-known examples such as in mammals and birds, homosexual behaviors occur in reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Among the primate order, homosexual behavior is most frequently observed in bonobos. However, it also occurs in other species, such as Japanese macaques and capuchin monkeys. Recent observations of homosexual behavior in male spider monkeys adds to our knowledge of these behaviors and may help us answer questions about the evolutionary functions homosexual behaviors may play, as well as allow us to consider if other animals have sexual orientations similar to the identities that humans construct. SOURCE

Philosophy map

Title page

Title page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bertrand Russell and Conway Hall Behi...

English: Bertrand Russell and Conway Hall Behind bust of Bertrand Russell (by Marcelle Quinton 1980) in Red Lion Square the entrance to Conway Hall can be seen with Royal Mail van parked outside. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the introduction to his sweeping History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell wastes no time getting to a definition of his subject. “The conceptions of life and the world which we call ‘philosophical,’” he writes in the first sentence, “are a product of two factors: one, inherited religious and ethical conceptions; the other, the sort of investigation which may be called ‘scientific,’ using the word in its broadest sense. … Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science.” (Russell makes a similar argument, in slightly different terms, in the essay “Mysticism and Logic.”)


Bertrand Russell 1907

Bertrand Russell 1907 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miss Shakespeare

Shakespeare's second daughter unwisely allows ...

Shakespeare’s second daughter unwisely allows a young man to have a preliminary look at her father’s manuscript of The Tempest, a scene from William Black’s Judith Shakespeare, illustrated by Edwin Austin Abbey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What if Shakespeare’s daughter wrote a musical? That’s the premise for Miss Shakespeare, which finds the Bard’s youngest daughter rounding up her friends and putting on a show.

There’s not much known about the personal life of William Shakespeare, but we do know he had two daughters (his only son died as child). When he died in 1616, the playwright left the bulk of his estate to his elder daughter Susanna, who had married well, and a small sum to his younger daughter Judith, who wed under scandalous circumstances.

Miss Shakespeare imagines Judith as a feisty woman who has inherited her father’s creativity. In an age where women were forbidden from appearing on the stage, she gathers six friends in a tavern cellar to swap stories and saucy songs.

“It being a time when women’s stories aren’t being represented on stage, they don’t have a chance to connect and share their experience in the way we do today,” said director Bronwyn Steinberg.

Presented by Three Sisters Theatre Company, with book and lyrics by Tracey Power.

Where: Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave.

When: Runs until Saturday, June 2.

Cost: $20 for students, $32 for seniors $36 for adults. Tickets can be purchased here.

Source: CBC

Sunday’s sermon: book review

Parents often worry about raising kids in a tech-saturated world – the threats of cyberbullying, video game violence, pornography, and sexting may seem inescapable. And while these dangers exist, there is a much more common and subtle way that technology can cause harm: by eroding our attention spans. Focused attention is fundamental to maintaining quality relationships, but our constant interaction with screens and social media is shortening our attention spans – which takes a toll on our personal connections with friends and family and our ability to form real relationships.

Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World guides parents in teaching their children how to reap the benefits of living in a digital world while also preventing its negative effects. Mike Brooks and Jon Lasser, psychologists with extensive experience working with kids, parents, and teachers, combine cutting-edge research and expertise to create an engaging and helpful guide that emphasizes the importance of the parent-child relationship. They reject an “all or nothing” attitude towards technology, in favor of a balanced approach that neither idealizes nor demonizes the digital. Brooks and Lasser provide strategies for preventing technology from becoming problematic in the first place; steps for addressing problems when they arise; and ways of intervening when problems are out of control. They also discuss the increasingly challenging issue of technology use in schools, and how parents can collaborate with educators when concerns arise over kids’ use of technology.

Read the review.

Movie time!

 

Albert Einstein developed his theory of special relativity in 1905, and then mentally mapped out his theory of general relativity between 1907 and 1915. For years to come, the rest of the world would try to catch up with Einstein, trying to understand the gist, let alone the full implications, of his groundbreaking ideas.

Above, you can watch one such attempt. Produced by Max and David Fleischer, best known for their Betty Boop and Superman cartoons, The Einstein Theory of Relativity used the power of animation to explain relativity to a broad, non-scientific audience in 1923.

 

Professor Severus Snape

Watch a video?

Obviously,’ to quote Alan Rickman’s trademark retort as Severus Snape. It’s old news for scholars that Heidegger was a Nazi (if rather swiftly discarded by the Nazis) and it matters that Heidegger was an anti-Semite, as Peter Trawny shows and not less that he was racist, and misogynist, too – in the fashion of professorial womanizers. Condemnation, righteous or not and despite being deeply seductive, takes so much energy that philosophy welters. And we’re compelled to condemn. But to whom are we condemning Heidegger? Snape had Dolores Umbridge – but who disagrees concerning Heidegger? We’ve no patience for hermeneutics or context or really reading the notebooks themselves and the few bits we read are damning. What remains of the thinker? If Heidegger’s philosophy is extraordinary, bashing Heidegger is a hobby horse that drives whole careers. The most durable consequence could echo an older dismissal: “A bad man,” Gilbert Ryle once observed, “can’t be a good philosopher.” Yet from a logical point of view, Ryle’s equation fails: a good philosopher may be liable to political error, anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny. These are things we need to think about.

Prof. Babette Babich