Saturday Night Links

Celina interviews Tamar McFarlane, an anti-gentrification activist in Brooklyn. The most interesting thing isn’t the interview itself, but the comment thread, a so far delightful debate between pro-gentrification Jane Minty and anti-gentrification EG (these intra-liberal debates about economic development are among the most productive classes of internet debates).

Nick Matzke at The Panda’s Thumb constructs charts of hominid cranial capacity over time. Not surprisingly, cranial capacity has been steadily increasing over the last 4 million years; despite what recent political events might make you think, intelligence is a trait that increases fitness. Another chart also shows that hominins have been getting heavier, though more slowly. Right now the average human weighs about 70 kg, according to the graph, twice as much as our ancestors did 5 million years ago.

Jim Downey, UTI’s new associate blogger, writes about the latest urban legend around “in God we trust.” The ability of conservative Americans to spin slogans as divisive as “one white nation” as national symbols is scary. Receiving an email portraying the urban legend as reality, Jim wrote his own response, explaining that religious tolerance is nothing to be ashamed of.

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