Showing posts from May, 2012

Naming Your Baby? Some Mistakes to Avoid

. Mitt Romney's first name is "Willard."   What were his parents thinking?   My guess is that as soon as the boy figured out that his future as a "Willard" was going to be unnecessarily difficult, he switched to his middle name, which sounds a lot more butch. Willard Romney If you are considering what to name your baby, I have some non-expert advice for you.   When my then wife Charleyne was pregnant in 1972 we spent hours and hours talking about what to name the baby, and, as I remember, these discussions were lots of fun.   When you think about it, it's an awesome thing to name a human being.   Make a mistake and he/she will have to live with it for the rest of his/her life.   Do it right and that life will be considerably easier. Top 10 Baby Names for 2011 Rank Male name Female name 1 Jacob Sophia 2 Mason Isabella 3 William Emma 4 Jayden Oli

"I'm Not a Calculator!": Math Trouble in a Restaurant

. I had a disturbing experience a few days ago at a Steak 'n Shake Restaurant near where I live.   Having eaten the fare and been glad of the experience, I approached the cashier's area to pay my bill and leave a tip.   Ahead of me were two teenage girls, one of whom was just being handed the cashier's receipt to fill out, and she paused over the task, pen in hand. And she paused. And she paused. I'm guessing that close to minute passed while she was frozen (a long, long time for nothing to happen), and then she looked up at her friend, as if for help, and, getting none, went back to the paper in front of her.   Hesitantly she wrote the number "1" on the tip line, and then froze some more.   Embarrassed for her, I looked away.   What was going on?   Why didn't she leave the tip and then go so I myself could pay and leave?   She still paused.   I saw her shoulders quiver.   Clearly it was a moment of major angst for the poor girl (around fifte

My Atheist Thriller: Another Book Reading

. I seem to be on a roll, with one book reading leading to another, given that I had one last month, will have one this coming week, and have a tentative one scheduled for next month.   As readers of this blog know, I self-published a novel called "Imaginary Friend" a couple of years ago and have been steadily increasing its readership ever since.   This July I will finally get attend the Thrillerfest conference that I missed (due to nearly dying) last summer (see Related Posts below: " Report on Old Doug: Health, Theater, eBook, and More" and then "Mama Cat Saves My Life") .   At that conference I plan to snag an agent for my atheist thriller, but in the meantime I'm selling a goodly number of copies at book readings. My first was held a couple of weeks ago at the Humanist Community of Central Ohio here in Columbus.   About thirty people attended, all HCCO members or guests, and I began by reading two selections from my novel, both having to

Intelligent Design, Unintelligent Designer?

. William Paley In 1802, English theologian and philosopher William Paley speculated that if he were to find a watch laying on the ground (as opposed to, say, a stone) he would know that it wasn't a natural object and therefore would conclude it must have been made by a watchmaker.   Extrapolating from this idea he concluded that all the complex plants and animals in the world likewise required an intelligent designer to achieve their intricate forms.   Forty years later Charles Darwin published his first book demonstrating that evolution produces these complexities in the various species without the need for a designer.   Nevertheless, Paley's famous watch argument is at the very basis of what is currently called "intelligent design."   This movement argues, as Paley did over two hundred years ago, that an intelligent hand must be behind the wonderful universe we see all around us—that it couldn't have just created itself. I've posted before abou