Quickies: Athlete Class Scandal at UNC, Amy Poehler’s Memoir is Awesome, and Ken Ham Has a Religion Problem

  • The UNC fake class investigation and the ‘myth’ of the student-athlete – The numbers alone are surprising. At the University of North Carolina, more than 3,100 students, many of whom were athletes, took phantom classes in a ‘shadow curriculum,’ netting high marks despite the fact that the classes never met and there wasn’t any work beyond a final paper no one read. The scheme ran for years, between 1993 and 2011, and the athletes ‘didn’t have to take notes, have to stay awake … they didn’t have to meet with professors … they didn’t have to pay attention or necessarily engage with the material.’ “
  • A Candid Memoir From Comedian Amy Poehler? ‘Yes Please’ – “Although she’s known for the many characters she has played — including on Saturday Night Live and the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation — she takes off the wigs and the costumes and steps out of character for her new book. She admits it was difficult for her. ‘I’m used to writing in characters and not really writing about myself,’ she says. ‘And it was easier to share the early parts of my life rather than my own current events.’ Poehler talks about fighting the body image ‘demons,’ going back to work when her son was an infant and saying goodbye to Parks and Recreation.
  • Driving to an abortion clinic in Texas is really expensive – “In case you didn’t believe Texas is huge, gas is expensive and abortion clinics are limited, here’s a helpful chart.”
  • Witches, Vampires And Pirates: 5 Years Of America’s Most Popular Costumes – A neat interactive graph of costume trends.
  • Non-Christians Need Not Apply – “For a man who constantly touts his plans to build a creationist empire in the United States, Ken Ham is surprisingly bad at his job. The professional charlatan’s greatest success, his mind-boggling Creation Museum, faces a serious decline in attendance. His next boondoggle, a Noah’s Ark–themed creationist amusement park, was so woefully underfunded that Ham began selling junk bonds to keep it from going under. Initial construction on the dramatically scaled-back “ark park” is barely underway. And now Ham has already run into legal trouble. His utterly predictable offense? Using taxpayer money to discriminate on the basis of religion.”

BONUS: This book, Godless Nerdistry: Or How to be a Bag of Chemicals and Still Have Fun by Dale DeBakcsy. It’s about the intersection between humanist culture and creativity. Check it out!

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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