Monthly Archives: October 2009

I hope these facts don’t give you indigestion

The most recent issue of Discover magazine contains an article entitled, “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Digestion.” Here are my 10 favorite facts from this piece written by LeeAundra Keany.

  1. gitThe gastrointestinal tract is a 30-foot tube running from your mouth to your anus. Topologically, your gut has the same shape as those doughnuts you regularly pass through it.
  2. The small intestine contains so many folds–down to the microscopic level–that its total surface area is about 2,700 square feet, enough to cover a tennis court.
  3. Most of the body’s serotonin, a major mood-influencing hormone, is made not in the head but in the stomach lining.
  4. The calories you burn simply digesting food account for 5 to 15 percent of your energy expenditure. Protein and alcohol require the most energy.
  5. Women produce only 60 percent as much alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that neutralizes booze, as men do.
  6. HClYour stomach’s primary digestive juice, hydrochloric acid, can dissolve metal, but plastic toys that go down the hatch will come out the other end as good as new.
  7. Same with crayons, hair, and chewing gum–all of which will pass through within a few days, no matter what you’ve heard.
  8. polls_burp_3643_761292_poll_xlargeThe loudest human burp ever recorded–107.1 decibels, about as loud as a chains saw from three feet–was produced by Londoner Paul Hunn in September 2008. On TV, no less.
  9. Brown is the new green:In 2005 the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy was given to a Rawandan prison that used the methane from human feces to fuel cooking stoves.
  10. That one program saved more than $1.5 million. Think of the global implications.

So, now you know.


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The Pale Blue Dot – Sagan’s Old Message is Ever New

Listen. Watch. And be moved.

Sagan was such a marvelous man.


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Benny Hinn Let’s the Bodies Hit the Floor

Benny Hinn, evangelist & “healer” was recently denied entry to Britain because he failed to produce a letter from the church that was sponsoring his “ministry.” I guess the people of Britain were jilted out of the fun of being pushed around by Benny.

This video is a hoot and shows you what happens at a Benny Hinn meeting.

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What in the world am I doing at a Christian conference?

This weekend finds me at a conference sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity. I’m not here as a participant, per se, but as a presenter. I will be speaking tomorrow afternoon doing a session called, “Leading Change.” Sunday morning, I am giving a keynote called, “Goodbye, God. Hello life!” This will be my first opportunity to talk publicly about my journey from Fundamentalist Baptist minister to atheist.

What is an atheist doing speaking at a Christian conference?

Well this group is not your ordinary Christian group. They maintain a link to the faith tradition out of which they emerged, but they have a VERY progressive understanding of religion. In fact, they eschew dogma and promote “values-based living.”

And to their credit, I am one of three atheists speaking over the weekend.

Pretty cool, huh?

If you want more info about them, you can go to

And if you are in Toronto and want to hear me speak, it’s at the Crowne Plaza hotel at the Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Avenue. I am on at 9:00 a.m. Sunday.

Here’s a link to the conference itself:


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Richard Dawkins Interviewed on CBC Radio’s Tapestry

Mary Hynes is the host of Tapestry, a CBC Radio show that focuses on spirituality. Here, she interviews Richard Dawkins about his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Fascinating stuff from an amazing exponent of science.

Dawkins on Tapestry

And, as a bonus for visiting my blog, here’s an interview between Dawkins and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. Dawkins shines, O’Reilly whines.

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