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Confession: I went record shopping right after the towers fell on 9/11

“Where were you when the planes hit?” – that’s my generation’s JFK question. I remember it well. Unless you were directly involved in the day’s events, the answers are all strikingly similar. I was working in my (then) company’s office in downtown Boston. Someone yelled across the room, “Go to cnn.com.” The image on the […]

Everything you know is wrong: Wikipedia’s ‘List of Common Misconceptions’

We are gullible people, as we painfully learned over the course of the 2016 election cycle. Even the wackiest of claims, repeated often (and loud) enough, will often become “true.” And while many misconceptions are trivial, some perpetuate ignorance and can lead to harm. The very nature of Wikipedia, which relies on the general public to […]

Tolerance doesn’t require that we tolerate the intolerant

It never fails. As soon as people of sound moral and ethical character protest acts of hatred or inequality, there are cries of “the tolerant left” being intolerant of anyone who doesn’t share their views. Whether it be the post-election anti-Trump rallies, the Hamilton-Pence dust-up, or former Red Sox hero (and current embarrassment) Curt Schilling’s firing […]

Fake news sites, deceptive memes, and the rise of post-truth politics

One would think that, during the most internet-fueled election in history, we would be less susceptible to lies, hoaxes, and misinformation. We have thousands of sources at our fingertips at all times. In mere seconds, a cursory Google search can retrieve information on nearly any subject we can imagine. Yet, the Internet has also made it just as […]

The Bizarro World of the 2016 religious conservative

Any fan of Superman (or Sienfeld or Buffy, for that matter) is familiar with Bizarro World — where everything is “weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.” Although the 2016 presidential election has been the most bizarre election in American history, perhaps even stranger is the way in which we have seen an entire political party (one with […]

Maine’s medical marijuana laws changed my life

Twenty-five years ago, my life was altered by the onset of Fibromyalgia, a mysterious and poorly understood condition characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, unrelenting fatigue, non-restorative sleep, cognitive difficulties, and a host of bizarre neurological complaints. Like many living with chronic pain or illness, I see my life in two sections – life before […]

Scared Straight 2.0: Horror stories to warn kids that the internet never forgets

This week, a Bangor High School senior received a great deal of attention due to the quote he chose to accompany his yearbook photo. Unfortunately, his quote wasn’t exactly inspirational — it was a Hitler quote. Call it what you want — free speech, a tasteless prank, or anti-Semitism — this one simple act will negatively impact him for […]

Why a married father of three cares about trans equality

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are aware that the North Carolina legislature and Pat McCrory recently rushed through HB2, a hateful bill disguised as a “public safety” initiative that eliminates municipal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, and blocks transgender folks from using public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity. This […]