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Freemasons are gaining in popularity -- reason: the internet. A few years ago Masons saw declining numbers and tried to be more welcoming to new members, being freer with their 'secrets', resulting in a more eclectic, younger mix. I'd also wager that the secular youth of today are interested in the ceremony and fraternity, but without all the ancient moral dogma of modern religion. #

I love language blogs, but this one wins by having a local connection. Jay Ulku is night editor for the Fargo Forum; I've had my issues with the Forum over the years, but this guy does seem to know what he's doing. The blog includes real-world snippets from the news (presumably pre-press, and not found after the fact). It's also fun to guess what news they're related to, aside from the fine-toothed corrections about whether Wi-Fi is hyphenated or not. #

Trees don't have all the fun: humans have growth rings as well. Blaschko's lines are actual lines on the body that have varying degrees of visibility on people; they don't correspond to actual body morphology, but may outline regions of cell growth at the embryonic level, identifying portions of specialization at some early point in development. Skin diseases or chimeras may result in more visible lines, but we all have them in a small way. #

I go out of town for a while, and I miss this? Last weekend, downtown Fargo was overrun by ZOMBIES. Zombie crawls are becoming commonplace, but they tend to lack the human-devouring nature of most zombie attacks and thus there's far less boomstick headshots than most zombie events. (Sidenote: I think I saw Boomstick Headshot open for the B-52s at CBGBs...) No, I'm not the dress-up-and-get-drunk set, but it'd have been fun to take the kids to -- nothing like a little old-fashioned nightmare fuel makes for good parenting! #

Using specious science isn't uncommon for industries that are more interested in making a buck, and the Indoor Tanning Association isn't any different -- trying to say that, despite the rock-solid correlation between skin cancer and sun overexposure, the ITA is saying that the sun prevents cancer and a myriad of other diseases. Cue me saying, "everything in moderation," but I haven't got a lobbyist with deep pockets to spread my message. #

Milgram tested people's response to authority -- whether or not someone would follow orders that clearly caused harm to another human -- in an eye-opening (but deceptive and scientifically specious) way. This gentleman was one of those tested, and talks of the test, authority, the Red Scare, and how the three intertwined in his experience under Milgram's observation. #

When it comes to communism or Fourierism (one of my new favorite philosophies), the whole bourgeoisie/proletariat thing doesn't really register -- it's because the US doesn't have a widespread limiting class-system like elsewhere. This may be why outright communism didn't work so well; it requires 'us vs them' to work, with the 'us' being the larger part of society (the lower class). Here in the USA, we're not constrained by class, so the argument that we need to even the odds is rather moot, until class is referenced regarding discussions of taxes or innate needs (food/housing/fuel). The article above reminds that pure wealth isn't a class distinction, so don't expect cries for a communist government when gas hits $4 a gallon; the general consensus is that everybody's got to do something for themselves about it, which is the opposite from communism. #

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