Bo Gardiner is an environmental analyst, naturalist, writer, and humanist/skeptic organizer. She's a former research hydrologist, EPA consultant, wildlife program director for a national NGO, and TV writer/producer. She holds a B.A. in communications and M.S. in environmental engineering sciences.
I’m a strong progressive with socialist leanings. I’m an environmentalist working for biodiversity. I’m a naturalist and organic gardener, who lectures about gardening for wildlife. And it’s precisely for these reasons that I won’t be voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President. Read more
Thirty-five years ago today, the author of the most inspiring Humanist anthem of our time was silenced at the young age of 40. Which has me asking myself: What really is the effect on us of our childhood heroes? How can we ever know? Despite the lazy afternoons in my treehouse reading Batman and Superman comics, my first hero wore not a cape, but a guitar. So I wonder, how would the world — or at least I — have been different without John Lennon? For those of us who grew up in bedrooms adorned with posters of the brooding and witty gentle rebel, how were we changed? As children dancing to his exuberant rock ‘n’ roll, wistfully singing his ballads, deciphering his political and absurdist allusions… are we different for it? As teens singing the plea to “Give Peace a Chance” or that we “Come Together” (however we chose to interpret that), were the effects lasting? Do we do better as adults because of a radical Humanist song that permeates public consciousness, a portrayal of a world undivided by inequality, nationalism, or religion, that asks us to never lose hope, to be dreamers, and to imagine? Read more
Sure, we joked about it. We made memes about it. But in a shocking new development, scientists have confirmed… it’s true. People really do think that randomly generated words strung together by the Wisdom of Chopra word generator are profound. A new study in the November issue of the journal Judgment and Decision Making called “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit” has been published by a team largely from the University of Waterloo’s Department of Psychology, led by Gordon Pennycook. The paper, which the authors cheekily acknowledge “may not be truly profound, [but] is indeed meaningful,” is a wry but serious analysis of four well-executed studies funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Read more
I used to buy a single lottery ticket occasionally. My rule was never more than one, because one was all I needed to let me dream. My rational brain required at least some small tangible evidence of the possibilities, however remote, in order to take off for Wonderland. And now, a group of citizen astronomers has just handed us a lottery ticket to a galactic Wonderland. Several headlines have alluded to a possible alien “megastructure” orbiting a star in our galaxy. Tabetha Boyajian is a Yale postdoc who coordinates a group of citizen science volunteers at PlanetHunters.org. They search for planets around thousands of stars by looking for interruptions in light patterns captured by the Kepler Space Telescope. In 2011, between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, the star KIC 8462852 was flagged as having potential for Earth-like planets. But there was something uniquely “bizarre” about KIC 8462852, The Atlantic reports: Read more