The first U.S. penny touts science, not God

Why Evolution Is True

Reader Will called my attention to a new piece in CNN News describing the auction of the first U.S. one cent coin for a cool 1.2 million dollars. Now that’s a pretty penny! It’s the famous “Birch Cent,” made in 1792, and apparently only ten of them are in existence.

But what’s nice about it is what Will imparted in his email:

The interesting part is the motto on the coin: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry”. Now we all know that the “In God We Trust” motto is a relatively recent innovation, but I was surprised to find (although I shouldn’t have been) that the founders rated science as one of the boons of liberty. And nary a mention of the creator. Just another little nail in the coffin of “America founded as a Christian nation.” I’ve attached the image.

Sure enough, on the face it clearly says “Liberty Parent of Science…

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Libba Bray


You have woken the witch that lives deep inside me.

You have removed the slumber chains from the giant of old.

You have handed me a box of matches and no chaperone

And a world made of lies and polyester.


You have barked up the wrong bitch.

Proclaim it:

I have shucked off the good, southern lady’s cloak,

Of the homecoming court, the cheerleader,

The preacher’s daughter, hands gentled in her lap.

They tied it at my neck with a bow, a Gordian girl-knot,

When I was young and bossy and sure-footed

“For protection,” they said.

Whose protection? I wondered.


I have sent that shit out to the dry cleaners

I will not pick it up

They can sell it for a profit from a rack on the street.

From now on,

I’m exposing the raw pink edges of my true skin to the sun.

Some things…

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What Now?

The Blog of Sean Patrick Hughes

I’m not a liberal. I’m not a safe space, social crusader. I’m not a sore loser who can’t get over the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president. The notion that I had to put what lukewarm support I had for a candidate behind her was a source of great frustration for me. I am, at my very core, someone with conservative foundations. I believe that men and women, whenever possible, should be free to live their lives without government intervention. My family and my Christian faith are the center of my life. I like my guns. Chances are, I’m better than you at using them. I’ve worked with and for the toughest most dangerous men on the planet-men you’ve read books about, men you’ve seen movies about. I’ll never claim to be one. But I’ve proven myself useful in their presence. I share this with you so you understand…

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So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin

What a Witch


Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.

But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.

Let’s avoid that.

So make a plan.

Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…

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Anne Rice fans know what it means to celebrate Halloween in New Orleans

Spangling the Verse

Ah, Halloween.  The pumpkins.  The fake blood.  The costumes!!!! The CANDY!

And then there are the vampires.

No vampire fan worth her wood at stake is not an admirer of Anne Rice and her treasury of written word.

Rice–beloved daughter, mother, icon, literary sweetheart of New Orleans–recently celebrated her birthday.  I will not share this lady’s age, but I can tell you that she was born October 4, 1941, in New Orleans. If you’d like to wish her a happy belated, you can like her  on Facebook and become one of her People of the Page. Her birth name, as many of you know, is Howard Allen Francis O’brien.

Anne will be celebrating the release of her newest Lestat book, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, on November 29.  (I’ll be posting my pre-debut book review soon!)

Photo courtesy of Penguin and Random House

If you’ve ever heard of the annual…

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Puss Moth Caterpillar: It’s Cute, Furry, and Venomous

It’s Trump’s hair!

Nature's Poisons

An internet friend of mine regaled me with a tale of a buddy of his that looked like he got whacked in the face with a 2 x 4. Did he owe money to a bookie? Girlfriend beat him up? No, he got his ass handed to him by a one inch long fluffy little caterpillar. The hell you say? Yeah, a caterpillar. What’s the world coming to? Every day that I step outside I feel like I’m in Mother Nature’s Thunderdome. Who knew Mother Nature was really Tina Turner?

Puss moth caterpillar by Valerie Bugh Puss moth caterpillar by Valerie Bugh (c) (

This cute little fella, Megalopyge opercularis (left), goes by the name puss, tree asp, or southern flannel moth caterpillar. Their habitat starts in Maryland and sweeps down south to Florida and west into Texas and Missouri, inhabiting all the states in-between. It resembles a Tribble, and if you’re an…

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Dear White People/Queridos Gringos: You Want Our Culture But You Don’t Want Us – Stop Colonizing The Day Of The Dead

Aya de Leon

IMG_9297Dear White People (or should I say Queridos Gringos/Gabachos),

Let me begin by saying it is completely natural that you would find yourself attracted to The Day of The Dead. This indigenous holiday from Mexico celebrates the loving connection between the living and our departed loved ones that is so deeply missing in Western culture. Who wouldn’t feel moved by intricately and lovingly built altars, beautifully painted skull faces, waterfalls of marigold flowers, fragrant sweet breads and delicious meals for those whom we miss sharing our earthly lives. I understand. Many cultures from around the world celebrate these things, and many of them at this time of year. As a woman whose Latin@ heritage is Puerto Rican, I have grown up in California, seeing this ritual all my life and feeling the ancestral kinship to this reverent, prayerful honoring of the departed.

Let me continue by saying that it is…

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