Information roundup!

Here’s a roundup of many things in the world that seem to attract my attention.

Best Podcast I’ve heard in a LONG time: S-Town. About a “shit town” in Alabama with so many twists and turns it’ll blow your mind. 7 episodes of “holy shit” and “I wish I knew John B Macklemore.”

The protests in French Guyana are likely a large world event you may not have heard of yet.

This religious scholar claims Jesus was a mushroom. Finally, someone makes some sense.

A few links from one of my favorite blogs TYWKIWDBI:

A modern equivalent of death by crucifixion

“The Nazi War on Cancer”

Questioning the Passover story

“Even if we take the earliest possible date for Jewish slavery that the Bible suggests, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt a good three hundred years after the 1750 B.C. completion date of the pyramids. That is, of course, if they were ever slaves in Egypt at all…

…one of the biggest events of the Jewish calendar is predicated upon reminding the next generation every year of how the Egyptians were our cruel slave-masters, in a bondage that likely never happened… I’m talking about real proof; archeological evidence, state records and primary sources. Of these, nothing exists.

It is remarkable that Egyptian records make no mention of the sudden migration of what would have been nearly a quarter of their population… Furthermore, there is no evidence in Israel that shows a sudden influx of people from another culture at that time.

…let us enjoy our Seder and read the story by all means, but also remind those at the table who may forget that it is just a metaphor, and that there is no ancient animosity between Israelites and Egyptians. Because, if we want to re-establish that elusive peace with Egypt that so many worked so hard to build, we’re all going to have to let go of our prejudices.”

Links from another favorite blog: Kottke: 

Cute illustrations of bread birds

Experiencing grief can feel like tripping on hallucinogens

Elegantly carved birds immersed in watercolor paint

Other miscellaneous links:

Melania Has To Nudge Trump To Place His Hand Over His Heart During The National Anthem:

Alex Jones’ lawyer argues Infowars host is ‘playing a character’

Within his first 100 days, Trump has played golf, not once, not twice, but 19 fucking times. 

Hot Damn Altruism. Dylan Matthews gave a kidney to a stranger

This video documents one guy’s decision to gift a kidney to a stranger.

A little bit About: 

I’d wanted to give a kidney for years — at least since I first heard it was possible after reading Larissa MacFarquhar’s New Yorker piece on “good Samaritan” kidney donors when I was in college. It just seemed like such a simple and clear way to help someone else, through a procedure that’s very low-risk to me. I studied moral philosophy as an undergrad, and there’s a famous thought experiment about a man who walks by a shallow pond where a child is drowning and does nothing, because leaping in to save the child might muddy his clothes.

If I kept walking around with two kidneys, when there were more than 100,000 people on the kidney waitlist who would most likely die in the next five years if they didn’t get one, was I doing anything different from that man, really? Wasn’t I, like him, letting another person die to avoid a small cost to myself?

I grew up in a Christian church that put a huge emphasis on social justice, on Christ’s message being one of radical empathy and selflessness. One passage that always stuck with me was Luke 3:11: “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none.” Well, I had two working kidneys. There were people with none. What to do next felt pretty clear.