Walking through a doorway makes you forget

It appears that you might create certain memories that are only kept for a short duration when they will be valuable. Once you leave a situation that memory gets wiped clean. Doorways may be a convenient signal that current memories (of whatever you are doing) will no longer be needed (in the new context, in another room). So, strange as it seems, walking through a doorway makes you forget.


Eating animals is still wrong

There’s an article in The Atlantic written by two ex-vegetarians and one who is still a vegetarian but supports other people’s decision to eat meat. However I find their arguments that vegetarianism is not the best way to a healthy, ethical, and ecologically sound diet unconvincing.

The strangest of the three here is Nicolette as she still maintains her vegetarianism, strengthened during her early years as an ecological lawyer, but supports meat consumption after seeing well-run pasture and sustainable farms.

Animals can increase soil fertility, contribute to pest and weed control, and convert vegetation that’s inedible to humans, and growing on marginal, uncultivated land, into food. And as I visited dozens of traditional, pasture-based farms, and came to know the farmers and ranchers, I saw impressive environmental stewardship and farm animals leading good lives.

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It would be wrong to say that you can’t learn anything from music or video games or any sort of pop culture. Indeed it was through the music of System Of A Down that I was first introduced to the Armenian genocide. The song P.L.U.C.K, standing for politically lying, unholy, cowardly killers, from their self-titled album was dedicated “…to the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, perpetrated by the Turkish Government in 1915.” This means something to the band as the members all have Armenian ancestry and the genocide of their people is something that is still denied by the Turkish government to this very day. Not everyone denies the labelling of the atrocity as a genocide, at least 20 countries have formally recognised it as a genocide, and France has now gone so far as to make it illegal to deny the Armenian genocide. Continue reading

Rats appear to show empathy

I wrote earlier that I had become a vegetarian as I was able to recognise animal suffering and made a choice to not contribute to it. With not everyone even accepting that animals are capable of feeling pain or suffering, there’s no chance that they would even entertain the possibility of animals being able to recognise suffering in each other and acting to reduce or prevent that suffering. However, research with rats seems to show that they may exhibit empathy, that is recognise when another rat is suffering and act to reduce or stop that suffering. Continue reading

Islam detests sex and women’s bodies

It’s not really a secret that religions often have warped views of sex, generally that it is a terrible, disgusting act that people should do purely for procreative reasons. This obsession with sex appears to have reached the climax of irrationality in the Islamic world (pun intended). In the past week not only have we been warned that “letting women drive would increase prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce” but that women need to be prevented from contact with certain vegetables, namely bananas, carrots, cucumbers and zucchinis, because they “resemble the male penis.”

On a related note you can fight back against these sort of warped attitudes by submitting a photo for a nude calender in support of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. Aliaa and her boyfriend are both facing legal action from the Coalition of Islamic Law Graduates for ‚Äúviolating morals, inciting indecency and insulting Islam” after she posted a nude photograph of herself on her blog to show her “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”