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George H. Smith

Member Since 17 Oct 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 09:23 AM

Topics I've Started

Photo upload program (to Michael)

03 February 2016 - 11:48 PM



A little while ago Marilyn tried to upload her photo on her profile page. She called me when she couldn't get it to work, but she was doing everything correctly. The photo wasn't too big, etc. But when she browsed her computer for the photo file and the file name appeared in the space, nothing happened. Later I tried to upload a new photo of myself on my profile page, but that didn't work either. My old photo just stayed in place.


So is there some kind of OL software problem here? The process is so simple that I cannot imagine that we made any errors. And I've changed my photo many times in the past with no problem.



Some news about "Atheism: The Case Against God."

30 January 2016 - 10:59 PM

Prometheus has designed a new cover for Atheism: The Case Against God. This reissue will also include a brief foreword by the theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss. I was asked by Prometheus whether I would be interested in revising the book in any manner. That is unrealistic, given my current writing schedule, but I might consider writing a Critical Epilogue in which I explain what I would change in ATCAG after 42 years. That kind of self-critique would prove an interesting addition, but I can't afford to write for free nowadays, and I don't know whether Prometheus would be willing to pay for a new Epilogue. We shall see.....


Cute as Hell....

23 October 2015 - 12:41 PM

In this video by YouTube user Raptor Rehabber, a rescued baby great horned owl, named Oakley, adorably interacts with a Halloween-themed owl toy that dances and sings "Monster Mash." Oakley was released back to the wild when he was old enough, about six weeks after this was filmed.


Superman v. Islamic Terrorism

17 September 2015 - 08:24 PM

While watching the Republican debate last night and pondering the most popular Republican strategy for achieving international peace -- which I call the Let's kick some butt! theory of foreign affairs--I devised a fantasy scenario to focus attention on the question of how effective that strategy might be


Here is the basic setup. You magically become Superman (or his female equivalent) with all of his traditional powers. I won't quibble over exactly which powers you have. The point is that you can kill whomever you like with super speed, accuracy  and efficiency (e.g., by frying brains at super-speed with your heat vision). And you can do all this without anyone ever knowing that you are the killer. You can also fly, etc., etc.


In short, you have virtually unlimited powers to kill, maim, torture, etc. anyone you like, and to do so with complete anonymity, so you decide to deal with the problem of ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally. The only limitation is that your Superman powers will expire after one year, so after that year is over you will need to use your normal human powers to deal with any adverse blowback you may have generated during your year as Superman. .


Maybe you don't believe that you will be able to eradicate Islamic terrorism within a year, but you figure that a year as Superman will be time enough to make significant improvements. 


Okay, so what specifically would you do in that year? And how would your actions make things better in the long run? Your only constraint would be moral in nature, not physical. Be creative. 



We Who Are Your Closest Friends

01 August 2015 - 01:44 PM


We Who Are Your Closest Friends

Phillip Lopate, 1943

we who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting
as a group
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift

your analyst is
in on it
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us

in announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves
but since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your
disastrous personality

then for the good of the collective

From At the End of the Day: Selected Poems and an Introductory Essay, copyright © 2009 by Phillip Lopate. Used by permission of Marsh Hawk Press