Sharp Stick

Five Stages

During a recent conversation, the question of the stages of grief came up. I wasn’t sure if there were supposed to seven stages or five. The five stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, in the system suggested by the Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. …

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Butterflies and Wheels

Butterflies and Wheels combines some heavy critical writing with some very funny features. It defends science and reason from junk science and post-modernist critiques. It is heavy on references to atheist and skeptical sites, and generally anti-religious, unhappily tending to equate religion with fideism, fundamentalism and superstition. It is strong in writing and critical thinking.


Rhonda Britten has found, apparently, commercial success. Her Web Page is an advertisement for her books, personal appearances and other services and merchandise. The testimonials on her Web page indicate that she has been hired by companies and organizations as a motivational speaker. She is a writer, and a “coach”. She counsels people to buy …

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Pining for the Fjords

He’s not dead, he’s pining for the Fjords. Rupert Sheldrake was a reputable plant scientist. He enjoyed a good reputation in his field, and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals until 1978, and published articles in Nature in 1973 and 1974. He has links to his published papers on his web site. According to his own …

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When I was six, my parents gave me three books by Rudyard Kipling. There was The Jungle Book, and a book called Stalky and Company which was a fictionalized account of Kipling’s teen years in an English “public school” which was actually a private boarding school. My mother had been the Akela in a Cub …

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