Asian Slaw with Curry Peanut Furikake – by Isolde


Asian Slaw
Adapted  from “What Can I Bring Cookbook”

1 bag coleslaw mix
3 tbs mirin
3 tbs rice vinegar
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp ginger paste (or finely grated, peeled fresh ginger)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup crushed peanuts

Whisk together mirin, vinegar, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic. Put slaw mix into a large bowl, pour the sauce over it and mix well.  Let sit in fridge 4 hrs.  Top with chopped peanuts or Curry Peanut Furikake.

Curry Peanut Furikake
adapted from “Just Bento” food blog

1 cup  peanuts, roasted (unsalted is best)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. curry powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. soy sauce
salt if needed

Have everything measured out in small cups and ready to go, as this can burn in the time it takes to step away and get something.

Coarsely chop the peanuts by hand or in the food processor (just pulse a few times or you’ll end up with a powder). Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat, and add the oil and peanuts.  Toast for a few minutes, then add the sugar, curry and chili powders and turmeric.  Stir for a short time to release the oils in the spices, but not too long as you don’t want it to burn.  Add the soy sauce – it’s gonna sizzle – and stir until the liquid evaporates.  Remove from heat and immediately pour peanuts into a bowl – don’t leave them in the hot pan or they’ll continue to cook.  Taste, and add salt as needed.

Interview: Steve Wells, from the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible

This month Nexus is pleased to interview Steve Wells, the bloke behind the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, where a lot of us first got our start in critically reading the big book. Thanks, Steve! If you haven’t checked out the ASB before, take the opportunity to give it a read: you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking to get a reference copy for yourself, check out the CD-Rom version, which can be sent right to your door!

How did you come to be non-religious? Were you raised that way, or did you have a deconversion experience?

I was raised in a non-religious environment, with an agnostic father and a vaguely Protestant mother. By the time I was twelve, I considered myself an atheist and I argued with anyone with any form of religious belief. It always seemed obvious to me that God was imaginary and religion was only superstition.

But then, after graduating from high school, I read the New Testament. I didn’t immediately believe it, of course, but I was taken by the personality and sayings of Jesus. I was primed and ready to believe, and when it comes to religion, that’s all it takes.

While I was in college, my older sister became a Catholic, and she and I had many long conversations about religion. I began to attend mass occasionally with her, and while I didn’t actually believe any of it, I started to admire the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church. Before I knew it, I had convinced myself that I actually believed it, and decided that I wanted to become a Catholic priest.

This was in the seventies, and the Church was still trying to figure itself out after the Second Vatican Council. I wasn’t interested in being a new Catholic; I wanted the old Church, with the old mass in Latin and the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. So I entered a traditionalist seminary, which is where I started to lose my faith.

I began to argue with the seminary professors about the doctrines of the Church. How could there be no salvation outside the Church? Does that mean my family is going to hell, along with all other non-traditionalist Catholics (which is pretty much everyone)? I had problems with nearly every teaching, but it was the idea of hell that did me in.

So I left the seminary, but I remained in the Church. A few years later I was married with four kids, all of which were baptized Catholics. But by the time our last child was born, my faith was pretty much gone. One day while returning from a camping trip (I still remember the exact moment), I told my wife, Carole, that I no longer believed any of it and I wasn’t going to pretend any longer.

Poor Carole (who was raised a traditionalist Catholic) was pretty upset over that. She got out all our catechisms and theology books, saying she was going to convince me that I wrong. That lasted about a week or so, and then she decided she didn’t believe any of it either. We’ve both lived a lot happier ever after.

What made you start up the SAB? Why do you think it’s a necessary

I started the SAB while trying to talk my sister (the one who had previously converted to Catholicism) out of becoming a Jehovah’s Witness.

You see, I’d never actually read the Bible before, not all the way through, anyway. Oh, I tried back when I supposedly believed in the darned thing, but I just couldn’t make it through Leviticus. But I decided it had to be done to keep my sister from becoming a JW.

It didn’t work, of course. She became a JW anyway, and she still is to this day. But I managed to finish reading the Bible, and I was shocked with what I read.

I started to highlight the interesting stuff: yellow for absurdity, red for cruelty, green for contradictions, blue for sex, etc. And then it occurred to me. Why hasn’t anyone done this before? Why hasn’t a skeptic created an annotated version of the Bible with all the interesting stuff highlighted? And with that idea, the SAB was born.

I originally hoped (and still do) to create a print version, but then the internet came along and I knew it would work there. So I created the SAB website in November of 1999 and have been working on it ever since.

What do you tell religious people – Christians, for instance – when they ask you why they should read your version of their texts?

Well, it’s not really my version. It’s just the Bible, with my unimportant remarks attached. The important thing is for people, believers and skeptics, to read the Bible and to think about what they’ve read.

I try to highlight the things that would be of most interest to someone who is trying to decide what to make of the Bible. Is it a good book? Could it have been inspired by a kind and loving God? Does it contain any contradictions? Does it conflict with science and history? What does it say about women, homosexuality, and family values?

If after reading the Bible a person decides to believe it is the Word of God, well and good. But a sane, kind, intelligent person is unlikely to do so.

How long did it take you to do? Did it surprise you that you were able to pick out so many errors and questionable statements? Which of your “categories” [e.g. Absurdity, Injustice…] gets the most use?

I started 18 years ago highlighting verses in the Bible with boxes of index cards for the annotations. It began with my own color-coded highlights; then I consulted other books and eventually the internet for additional material.

I’m not sure which of the categories get the most use, although believers like to focus on the contradictions. That’s because they are so easy to explain away. (“That’s what it says, but that’s not what it means”, etc.) Explaining how a kind and loving God would send two bears to rip up 42 little boys for making fun of a prophet’s bald head (2 Kings 2:23-24) is tougher.

What’s been your favourite chapter to do, and why?

The book of Judges is probably my favorite. It’s just a series of bizarrely cruel stories thrown together for no apparent reason. I cannot imagine a book less likely to have been inspired by anyone or anything remotely resembling a kind and loving God.

People can buy copies of the SAB on CD. How’s it looking on getting a print version out soon?

Not so good, I’m afraid. I contacted publishers before the SAB site was created, but they were reluctant because the book would be expensive to produce and its author was completely unknown. After the site became fairly successful, I expected to get a few offers from publishers, but so far that hasn’t happened. But maybe it will someday.

I see you’ve got a pretty good association going with the Brick Testament – we interviewed Brendan Powell-Smith recently as well. How did that get started?

Yeah, I love the Brick Testament. The BT stories capture the essence of the Bible in a way that simple words cannot. They are also very funny, of course. The Bible stories are silly to start with, but with legos, they are hilarious.

You’ve also done the Koran and the Book of Mormon. Do you see any commonalities in argument across the texts?

Yes, there are many similarities. Joseph Smith tried hard to make the Book of Mormon sound like the Bible – way too hard, in fact. Mark Twain said that if you took the and-it-came-to-passes out of the Book of Mormon, it would be nothing more than a pamphlet.

The Quran is the only book I know of that might even be crueler than the Bible. It is a short, very repetitive book that can be summed up with these words: “And for the disbelievers, Allah has prepared a painful doom.” Of course that is the same message as the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Believe or be damned), but the Quran is much more explicit about it.

Do the three religious communities whose books you’ve done react the same to your versions? Is there anything you focus on that they find particularly annoying?

I have been surprised with the reaction to the Quran (SAQ ) and Book of Mormon (SABoM) from Muslims and Mormons – or from the lack of reaction, that is. There are many Christian responses to the SAB, but none to the SAQ or SABoM. And I’m not sure why that is. Maybe they figure it’s better just to ignore them.

Christians try to ignore everything but the contradictions. When God behaves badly in the Bible or commands people to commit atrocities, the believers pretend not to notice. I think that’s because most believers don’t know what’s in the Bible and those who do don’t talk about it. What happens in the Bible stays in the Bible.

Do you have any plans to do any more religious texts?

No, I won’t live long enough to do a decent job with what I’ve already started. The Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Quran are way more than one person can adequately handle. (Which is why I’m glad Sam Harris’ Scripture Project <; is going to take over for me!)

What has been the most rewarding part of the whole experience for you?

Helping others to honestly think about the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Quran. I believe people will make the right decision about these books if they take the time to find out what is in them. If the SAB helps them to do that, then my work has been worthwhile.

Book Review: Richard Fortey’s “Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution” – by Octavia

trilobiteI picked this book up of a shelf knowing what a trilobite was – like everyone else I’ve seen the fossils – but knowing absolutely nothing else about them. Fortunately for me, Richard Fortey fills up the gap by knowing absolutely everything about them that is known at present. Seriously, the man has an obsession.

But that’s alright. There are worse things to be obsessed about, and at least he’s not boring about it. I’d braced myself for a relatively dry book that nitpicked details that no-one but Fortey – who works for the Natural History Museum in London, studying trilobites – could possibly care about. Thankfully this is not the case. Fortey is well aware of the need to keep his prose informal and chatty, in order to better capture the attention of the ignorant and short spanned of attention. He has obviously come to the valuable conclusion that he is an obsessive, and that the rest of us need a bit of help to be as interested as he is. Witness this description of the Cambrian explosion:

In popular accounts it became an ancient moment of madness, a magnificent evolutionary Mardi Gras, when a parade as bizarre as could have been devised by a surrealist on speed would be permitted for a geological day. ‘See the crystal-eyed monster!’ ‘Roll up, roll up, for the shiny, tubiferous wiggly orphan thing with no relatives!’ The freak show was open for trade.

This is the first palaeontology book I’ve read that’s made me laugh out loud while reading it, because damned if I don’t look at some of the pictures and think “What the hell is that thing?”. Amusing as these frequent bursts are, it has to be said that they do cater a little too much to that short attention span. Personally, I found the humorous asides, the personal stories of trilobite hunting, and the anecdotes of other trilobitists (pity poor unknown Rudolf Kaufmann!) more interesting as they were easier to visualise than the purely scientific rocky stuff. Part of that is Fortey’s natural charm of description, but that charm is relied upon so often that when it isn’t present for a few short pages of nothing-but-science, I began to feel a little bogged down. This is completely unreasonable considering that drier books on evolutionary biology don’t have this effect, but then, when immersed in them, there’s little variation in the prose and I have nothing to compare the more boring bits to.

It helps that Fortey includes a lot of illustrations. And as the different types of trilobite (and who knew there were so many?) do begin to blur into each other after a while, being able to flick back and forth to the photographic plates whenever he resumes writing about species #17 is useful. I have to admit I spent more time staring at the plates than reading the descriptions of them – some of the photos included are truly stunning (that of the trident-bearing trilobite from the Devonian period in Morocco, for instance) and it can be hard to believe these things actually existed. My very favourite, though, was the dimwitted-looking Bumastus. Pick up the book and take a look, go on. I know it’s the back of the creature, but don’t tell me it doesn’t look like something propping up a seedy bar in Star Wars. As a picture book, Trilobite! gets an unqualified thumbs-up from me.

The only other possible stumbling block – and this will depend on your perspective, as it can also be interpreted as a strength – is the highly focused content. This is a book about trilobites, trilobites, and more trilobites. There’s not a huge amount of contextual material, and the focus on evolution isn’t as strong as it is in other texts, catchy title aside. If you’re comfortable with evolutionary theory, this will make no difference to you. However, those who aren’t may find the book’s tight focus less convincing. The best example here is the chapter “Crystal Eyes”. It’s undeniable that this is an interesting read – and the facts behind it are fascinating. Eyes made out of crystal – how could it not be! But it’s very different from the chapter on eyes in Richard Dawkins’ Climbing Mount Improbable. The latter is very broad and explanatory, and puts the development of eyes in a wider evolutionary context. “Crystal Eyes”, while reinforcing the “look at the trilobite, see it looking at you!” theme running through the book, is more specifically mechanistic, and for the beginner who is still under the “How can something as complicated as an eye evolve?” meme, this may be a problem.

Fortey is not, of course, writing an introductory text on evolutionary biology, and Trilobite! pretty much does what it says on the tin – and it’s enough to make you want to head off to your local museum to have a closer look.

“Your Soul is Weak!” – by smeggo

“Your soul is weak! You live in sin!”
I heard the soapbox preacher say.
“Without the Lord you cannot win!
Call upon your God today!”

Was it, perhaps, some kind of omen?
On life in heaven I set my hopes —
So Catholic Apostolic Roman
Was I (along with all the Popes.)

But I did not feel my spirit grow;
My emotional state was quite unmoved.
If my soul was weak, then I did know
my situation was not improved.

So to increase my spirit’s fitness,
and enhance my godly muscles,
I became Jehovah’s witness
and acolyte of C. T. Russell’s.

But soon I left the Hall forthwith
for now new beliefs were formin’;
I chose to follow Joseph Smith
when I became a saintly Mormon.

But I did not feel exactly right.
So you might ask me “whither wentest?”
I signed right up with Ellen White
as a Seventh-Day Adventist.

I found my soul grow pained and hostile.
Where were the people of the Lamb?
I thought I knew as Pentecostal
as I learned from C. F. Parham.

Yet despite my soul’s athletics
was I really safe from Hell?
Perhaps Scientolodianetics?
I went the route of Ron Hubbard, L.

To me, they seemed but after moolah,
and not of knowledge from on high.
Not like my new main man Baha’u’llah,
when I joined the church Baha’i.

Still not sure I’d found the Way
after this investigatin’,
I learned now from monseiur LaVey
when I joined the Church of Satan.

But then a rainy day, and windy
as I bit into my pita —
I thought, I’ll go and join the Hindi
and read the Bhagavad Gita.

Soon my lofty spirits fell
as each time they seemed to do;
If I became B’nei Israel,
would I find peace now as a Jew?

One day in study, I gazed at lamed
and doubts arose in consternation.
Thus next my prophet was Mohammed
as I joined an Islam Nation.

My life was not yet rid of drama
for faith had not yet changed my mood-a.
But maybe with Siddhartha Gautama
I’d learn some Truth now from the Buddha.

But no nirvana. A tarot reading?
Were there answers in astrology?
Were New Age crystals what I’m needing?
Or Kabbalistic num’rology?

That soon grew stale. Now what was next?
Zoroaster? Wicca? Pagan?
But I came across a better text —
my priest became: yes, Carl Sagan.

No need for spirits, angels, Gods;
no heavenly host or demon alliance.
Spare me the golden rules and rods —
for all Truth is found in Science.

What you see is what you get.
My peace of mind? Ne’er better rested!
Do NOT believe — now don’t forget! —
in what can’t be measured, shown, or tested.

So I don’t mind the anxious looks
the zealots/preachers/nuts are giving.
I don’t need “holy” men or books
for my life to be worth living.

So you want to be a Scientist? – by Octavia

And the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator in CERN has got you all excited, even though you’re not quite sure what goes on there? (Hint: see here.)

But if, like most of us, you’re separated in time and brain power from the boffins at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and it’s new baby, the 27 kilometre, 100m underground LHC, then don’t despair! You can still take part. And you don’t even have to go underground to do it – because let’s face it, one stretch of LHC tunnel probably looks very much like another.


The people at CERN have come up with a programme called SixTrack, which simulates the particles that travel round the LHC. It maps their positions in order to study the stability of the particle orbits. These little particles zoom around pretty fast in real time – it only takes 10 seconds for a particle to travel that 27 km track about 100,000 times. What SixTrack does is to simulate this on your home computer, via BOINC software (the same software used on the SETI@home programme). Instead of simulating one particle around the track, however, SixTrack, on your computer, simulates 60 particles at one time as they loop around the ring. The usual amount of loops is 100,000, but can go as high as 1 million.

The reason CERN needs to map out the stability of each orbit is that if a particle gets into an unstable orbit, it goes off track and crashes into the side of the LHC. And that could mean temporarily shutting down the entire LHC for tiresome – and expensive – repairs. So by simulating the progress of the particle beam, and by repeating it thousands of times by distributed computing, it’s possible to find the way to make the beam stable and continue on with the experiment… without breaking the largest particle accelerator that has ever been built.

If you want to use your computer to help out at CERN, got to:

Black, Red and White: Colour Symbolism Throughout Cultures – by jess

Across cultures, human beings have far more in common than we have differences. While it is true that some of us live in first world nations and have modern conveniences, and some of us adhere to stone age rules and societies, the basic ideas of family, motherhood, death, belief, all exist and all are similar. So it is not surprising that, when left to our own devices, humans generally attribute similar meanings to the same colors.

While color is an apparently natural event that surrounds us at all times, it is in fact more of a way our brains process our surroundings and less of an objective state of being. Color is the way our brains interpret the shimmering of the molecules around us as they reflect the wave of light they don’t absorb. The reason the tomato signals that it is ripe and sweet to us this week, as opposed to being hard and sour last week, is because the molecules on its surface are ‘dancing’ the slightly different dance for red this week.(1)

Recent psychological research has shown, indeed, that when presented with a yellowish carrot, most Westerners will recognize the color as ‘orange’, because we are trained from childhood to know ‘carrots’ are ‘orange’. The same color presented as the color of a car, however, will elicit the responses that it is yellow or yellow orange, because we are not programmed to think of a car as any one color. However, if we actually saw the carrot as orange when it wasn’t, merely because of our programming, we would (according to the research) hallucinate and not be able to function in the world on a daily basis.(2)

Our daily exposure to colors also affects the details of what we see. The Maori in New Zealand’s deserts have hundreds of shades of red, the Inuit in the arctic, have seven separate shades of white, and modern Europeans, living in cities, have at least a hundred shades of gray.(3) On the other hand, the ancient Greeks apparently ignored both blue and green, using the same words to describe dark hair and wood as they did the sky and they used the same color names for plants and grass as for honey and human skin.(4)

Color symbolism has become a hot topic in the recent quest for universals.(5)

Anthropologists and art historians (those who have chosen to trace the materials used in art more than they have the artists themselves), have discovered that culturally, the human perception of color begins with three primary colors: black, white and red. These colors are the most basic to humans of all the colors, and all societies seem to recognize them and their symbolism, even if no other colors are recognized as important. These three colors are so basic and primal, even the words for them are similar across language families.(6)

Why black, white and red are such vital colors has been debated. Arguments are as varied as the theory that they are the colors of shadow, light and life (blood)(7) to they are the color of bodily fluids (which would also include blood for red)(8). What is known is that these three colors are universal in being both the first colors humans see as important and in having similar meanings.

Black (and to a lesser extent, the deep blues and purples that are similar to black) is universally a symbol of death, separation, and slavery or submission.(9) For the Hausa culture of Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivorie and Chad, black denotes negative and socially undesirable qualities and things that harm.(10)

White is the symbol for purity and ‘all that is good’, and has the power to exorcise or forbid unacceptable things.(11) Priests were dressed in white(12), and the dead are buried in white robes(13). The Hausa believe that white is a symbol of positive and desirable things, and the word white in their language (fari) is used as a word for good things: to have a white heart is to be equable, happy, and rejoicing; to have white blood is to be popular; to have a white stomach is to be happy.(14)

Red is an ‘ambiguous’ color(15) being somewhere in between black and white. It universally is seen as a sign of both life and aggression. This makes sense, as red is seen in nature as a both a warning sign and a welcoming signal in poisonous berries, cocks combs, tongues, lips(16), as well as simply as blood: menstruation, parturition, or blood from wounds. For men, red is generally held to be the symbol of hunting, and for women, of fertility.

Jewish tradition holds that the name Adam means red and living, and Slavic languages use the term red for describing things as living or beautiful. It was to banish death and to honor the memory of the departed in China, and it decorated vases used in sacrifices. It was used to symbolize those who had died in China(17) and was symbolic of ghosts in Navajo traditions(18).

Red was also the color of soldiers (probably stemming from blood being both a symbol of aggression and of hunting), from the Spartans to the redcoats and Garibaldi’s men, until camouflage came about in the late 1800’s(19).

This ranking is seen clearly in the decorations of the Swazi (of South Africa) Ncwala costumes. The Ncwala is a ceremony of kingship rejuvenation designed to put the Swazi back into connection with kingship. After it, the king is no longer mere human but is greater than human.(20) Warriors, the bottom rung of those involved in the ceremony, wear black feathers to distinguish themselves, also showing the submission to the princes and king. The princes wear red feathers, representing their prowess and rank. The king, who embodies the greatest good while also holding the potential for the greatest evil of all, wears both white and black feathers, streaking his goodness (the white) with the fear of evil (the black).(21) For the women, unmarried princesses wear red (symbolizing their availability and fertility), while the king’s wives wear black, showing their removal from the group of available potential mates.(22)

Potentially, one reason that all groups agree on what the symbols of certain colors are is because they are not actually using the colors as symbols, but rather using the color as a representation for the real symbols. Most clearly would be red as a stand in for, not actually a symbol of, blood. Blood is a universal item that is tied closely with human emotion. It is both life giving (parturition blood during childbirth) and deathly (blood spilled in hunting or war), and is in and of itself a symbol for aggression and life. Blood is the universal symbol then, not red. White, representing semen and breast milk and light would also be a representation of a symbol, but not a symbol in and of itself. Black, with it’s connotations of night and the grave and feces, again is not the symbol in itself, but a placeholder, a short hand we can all understand because of the universality of what it represents. The emotions tied into what the colors represent are what give the colors their power and meaning, not an artificial cultural attachment.

But if color symbolism has been proven to be universal on such a basic human level, why do Westerners appear to have a separate set of symbols for colors than the rest of the world? The answer is surprisingly quite simple. The Church.

To distance itself from its pagan and Jewish roots, the early Church fathers deliberately changed the meaning of certain colors. Black went from the traditional signs of separation and death to a sign of respect in priestly clothes, to the extent that black became the most common color for clothes, so that everyone would benefit(23), and reds were replaced by purples and violets(24), to the extent that red was later considered a pagan color. Red was adopted as a color of sin(25), although maintained in some ceremonial robes.

The Church adopted green as symbolic of new life, again replacing red, and white gained new meaning as robes for neophytes and in communion, suddenly gaining a more innocent symbolism. Sky blue was adopted in place of the pagan meanings of white, the goodness and health and holy color of Heaven.(26) The colors of blue and green are now recognized as monotheistic colors.

Islam followed the Christian Church’s, adopting the same colors, only using green as a symbol of religion and the prophet, the color of holiness, and blue as the color of the new community. Islam later added turquoise(27). The Crusades also led to a mixing up of colors and meanings. Secular people adopted blue and gold as signs of sovereignty, partially because of the expense of acquiring the paints and dyes(28).

During medieval times, the Church followed its early lead and colors were given artificial meanings and rankings(29). Certain colors were regulated to particular saints, and a strident code formed. Pope Pius V finalized the choices in religious colors int he 1500’s(30). This code and symbols remained in place until Wolfgang Goethe attempted to redefine color a century after Isaac Newton’s famous double prism experiment showed that colors were more light than perception(31). Goethe studied colors and made the re-connection between emotion and color. His studies found that yellow was generally accepted as a representation of lucid or rational thought, red was vitality and aggression, and blue brought to mind melancholy, sadness and sentiment(32).

Modern research has been showing that the language used by students in art classes to discuss color, and by the teachers of art classes implies that associations between the emotional response people have to color and the colors themselves are not conventions but are rather universal, unmediated human responses(33).

So, much the way we are trained to see a carrot as orange regardless of what shade it really is, our culture was deliberately trained to see the ‘meanings’ of color as different than the emotions they actually invoke. Letting go of the artificial meanings and using our in born human senses to observe color, we discover color symbolism cross culturally is actually very similar.


1 Victoria Finlay, Color A Natural History of the Palette p 6

2 Association for Psychological Science, How Carrots Help Us See The Color Orange

3 Manlio Brusatin, A History of Color p12

4 Brusatin, op. cit. p 26

5 Sam D. Gill, The Color of Navajo Ritual Symbolism: An Evaluation of Methods p 351

6 John Baines, Color Terminology and Color Classification: Ancient Egyptian Color Terminology and Polychromy, p 284

7 Brusatin, op. cit. p 27

8 Gill, op. cit. p 354

9 Brusatin, op. cit. p 24

10 Pauline M. Ryan, Color Symbolism in Hausa Literature p. 144

11 Brusatin, op. cit. p 23

12 Brusatin, op. cit. p 21

13 Brusatin, op. cit. p 41

14 Ryan, op. cit. p 144
15 Ryan, op. cit. p 145

16 Brusatin, op. cit. p 22

17 Brusatin, op. cit. p 23

18 Gill, op. cit. p 360

19 Brusatin, op. cit. p 128

20 Hilda Kuper, Costume and Cosmology: The Animal Symbolism of the Ncwala p 627

21 Kuper, op. cit. p 615

22 Kuper, op. cit. p 627

23 Brusatin, op. cit. p 60

24 Brusatin, op. cit. p 42

25 ibid. p 42

26 Brusatin, op. cit. p 43

27 Brusatin, op. cit. p 46-7

28 Brusatin, op. cit. p 48-9

29 Brusatin, op. cit. p 65

30 Finlay, op. cit. p 293

31 David Burton, Red, Yellow and Blue: The Historical Origin of Color Systems p 39

32 Burton, op. cit. p 44

33 Olivia Gude, Color Coding p 23

Association for Psychological Science (2008 July 23). How Carrots Help Us See The Color Orange. ScienceDaily

Baines, John Color Terminology and Color Classification: Ancient Egyptian Color Terminology and Polychromy American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 87, No. 2, Jun., 1985

Brusatin, Manlio A History of Color. Translated by Robert H. Hopke and Paul Schwartz. Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boston, 1991

Burton, David. Red, Yellow and Blue: The Historical Origin of Color Systems. Art Education, Vol. 45, No. 6, Nov., 1992

Finlay, Victoria. Color A Natural History of the Palette. Ballantine NY, 2002

Gill, Sam D. The Color of Navajo Ritual Symbolism: An Evaluation of Methods Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 31, No. 4, Winter, 1975

Gude, Olivia. Color Coding Art Journal, Vol. 58, No. 1, Spring, 1999

Kuper, Hilda. Costume and Cosmology: The Animal Symbolism of the Ncwala. Man, New Series, Vol. 8, No. 4, Dec., 1973

Ryan, Pauline M. Color Symbolism in Hausa Literature Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 32, No. 2, Summer, 1976

Community Profile: halii

halii_cropHow did you find out about online freethought communities, and what’s your favourite thing about them?

I found these forums through a friend. Like any community, the best parts about my favorite freethought communities (for me) are having experts on hand to answer questions for you, hearing different perspectives on ideas and of course, the humor and being brought down to earth when you start taking yourself too seriously. I also love the lack of censorship and the limited moderation that exists in at least some of the communities.

What board or fora are we most likely to find you in and what will you be talking about?

Rants ‘n’ Raves, and I will be either trolling or talking about the American election/American politics in general.

If you had to spend your life marooned on a tropical island with three people that you’ve met online from this community, who would they be, and why?

Mason – and hopefully he’d bring his parrot with him. Mason’s humor would keep me entertained for quite some time. Also Mason is young and his flesh is best for eating (if we had to)

Damian – because as an IP lawyer he could help me patent my coconut radio or whatever else I invented while marooned on the tropical island. Also, if the time came he would be there to help me kill Mason.

Lola – one of the truest, nicest people I’ve met through this community, Lola really knows her way around the wilderness. She’d be great company and very helpful.

Which freethought or humanist thinkers have most inspired you?

I’d say Kurt Vonnegut.

What’s your least favourite religious verse, and why?

When I was little I learned the story of Abraham from a children’s bible, and it really scared me. I hate that story half because it seems to be in a lot of children’s bibles and it isn’t really a story for children. Are there any children sitting around scared worried that every trip with their mom or dad to the store could end in them being burned on a mountain somewhere?

If you could get rid of one stupid anti-freethought argument, what would it be? Why do you hate this one above all the rest?

I’m most annoyed when people argue that the United States is a Christian nation or founded on Christian ideals when trying to argue for why religion should be allowed in schools, or basically any argument where they can claim the bible dictates our government act a certain way.

First, it’s an incorrect argument which is justified by bringing up the same random string of facts about the very few founding fathers who were actually christian and practicing, and interpreting the First Amendment completely incorrectly. It still masquerades like it’s a legit argument somehow.

But what makes it the worst argument ever, is even if it was correct, it’s fucked up to say that you want to live in a nation that gives preferential treatment to anyone due to their religion.

Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster?


So what is it you do with your life when you’re not hanging around here, anyway?

Legal stuff, mostly, and I’m on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization that helps those who have Lupus in this area.

What’s your favourite book, and why?

I have many favorites, but one of the least well-received would be A Separate Peace – which displays the impact of WW2 on younger civilian Americans quite well.

What’s the most embarrassing song you sing and dance to when you’re absolutely sure no-one else is around?

Goodbye Horses, by Q Lazarus

What’s the one thing you want to do with your life before shuffling off this mortal coil?

I’d like to have some influence in healthcare or sex education reformation in this country. And not to piss off feminists, but I’d like to have some kids too. 🙂

What’s your poison? How much of it is needed to drive you under the table?

Potato vodka. I used to be able to drink a lot, but now it seems about 3 shots worth is enough. Probably 6 to drive me under the table though. 🙂

Lucky #13: Who do you nominate to be interviewed for next month’s issue?

I nominate Mason. 🙂