Science

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    "Neuroscience: Under Attack" in the New York Times Paid Member

    If you get the Sunday Times you probably saw Alissa Quart's clever op-ed on the backlash against the perfunctory extrapolations and sweeping claims made by popular neuroscience. The danger of false positives in neuroimaging has been brought to the attention of the public eye over the last several years (remember those neuroscientists that imaged brain activity in a dead salmon?). Quart's piece, however, doesn't just lay blame on shoddy science and premature conclusions drawn by neuroscientists, it also examines the culture that allows neuroscientific explanations to supplant other viable interpretations of experience. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: The Cult's Ian Astbury and Some Hard Partyin' Monks Paid Member

    It's Friday the thirteenth (paraskevidekatriaphobics, beware) and what better way to celebrate than with an interview with "smash-and-grab Buddhist" Ian Astbury, veteran grunger and bandmember of The Cult? As the interview begins on the Huffington Post, "It might be argued that the visceral whack of The Cult's brand of heavy, dharma-conscious rock is just the kind of Zen stick a sleepy pop culture needs administered to its backside." I missed the fan cult of The Cult back in the 80s, so I can't really throw in my opinion on this. But we don't have to take the interviewer at his word: we have YouTube! Here's The Cult performing "She Sells Sanctuary" and perhaps whacking you with their dharma-conscious Zen music stick:   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Excessive Consumerism, the Templeton Prize, and Everything In Between Paid Member

    Being the writer of Buddha Buzz blog posts certainly has its advantages. For one, I get to spend my time reading and writing about subjects that are important to me. But the main advantage by far is that during the time I spend scouring the Internet each week for Buddhist-related news, I'm often (or so I like to think) one of the first people to be alerted when something really, really awesome—and Buddhist—goes on sale. Like this $28.5 million yacht. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist History in Danger Paid Member

    Sad news from the Maldives this week, an islands-nation that lies southwest of India. The Maldives, though now strictly Islamic, was Buddhist until the 12th century. In recent political turmoil, during which the first democratically elected president in the country's history resigned (he says he was forced to), six men entered the National Museum and smashed almost 30 Buddhist statues, some of which were over 1,500 years old. A New York Times article reports on the loss:   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Religious Freedom, Swastikas, and the Giving High Paid Member

    We're starting off this week's Buddha Buzz with a pretty clear example of religious intolerance in Hudson, Wisconsin. Don Chering, a Buddhist, put up an American flag and a string of Tibetan prayer flags on the day that his son left for U.S. Army basic training. The flags stretch across the front of his house and over his garage door. Soon, his landlady contacted him with an order from the Homeowners Association in charge of the housing complex where Chering lives to remove the flags (it's unclear as of yet if they are requesting that the American flag be removed as well).  More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Mindfulness for Doctors, Meditation's Downfalls, and the Avian Flu Paid Member

    A sobering article out of the NY Times this week called “As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows.” From the article: Hospitals and doctors’ offices, hoping to curb medical error, have invested heavily to put computers, smartphones and other devices into the hands of medical staff for instant access to patient data, drug information and case studies. More »