Poker And Evolution

Phil Plait, “Answers for Creationists”

“How can you look at the world and not believe someone created/thought of it? It’s amazing!!!”

I agree; it is amazing! I’ve written about this many times. But we know that complexity can arise naturally through the laws of physics. It doesn’t take very complex rules to create huge diversity. Look at poker; a simple set of rules creates a game that has so many combinations it’s essentially infinite to human experience. We can figure out the rules of nature by studying the way processes follow them, and deduce what’s going on behind the scenes. And whenever we do, we see science.

Sitting down at a poker table, I get excited with anticipation waiting to see what my two hole cards are going to be.

Will I be able to play them? Will the cards be good enough to beat anyone else, or will I have to use my best skills to outplay the table? Who knows?! That’s the excitement of infinite possibilities.

molly crabapple

Molly Crabapple in Turkey — a journo-artist

Mark this down: Molly Crabapple is going to be a huge journalist in the years to come. She’s an artist and writer, drawing and reporting her way around the world for a whole bunch of publications. She brings her artists eye to reporting, which makes the work compelling in a way that most other journalists can’t match.

One of Crabapple’s latest pieces, for Talking Points Memo, has been released from behind their pay wall (thank you, TPM). TPM sent her to Istanbul to report on the violence and protests in Turkey, a country that should fascinate you, if you’re the least bit interested in the intersection of Western thought and Islam (and the Ottoman Empire!).

As parks go, Gezi is nothing special. A few blocks of Central Istanbul, with scraggly trees and a Cthulhu-looking fountain, it is neither the city’s biggest park nor its prettiest. But when Erdo?an revealed plans to replace the park with reconstructed Ottoman barracks, and then convert those into a shopping mall, city dwellers saw it as the final straw in his sale of Istanbul to developers.

On May 31, environmentalists camped in the park. Police began with tear gas, then burnt their tents.

A year later protesters still divide their lives into before and after Gezi.

The boundary is made of tear gas.

art by Molly Crabapple

Crabapple is capturing a truth in her drawings that can’t happen with just words. We’re better for that.

Someone came up to my office with a slice of pizza. I didn’t want to get into a long conversation about diabetes, so I forced myself to eat the pizza.

Human Food?

spring greens salad

I hate to admit it, because this thing looks like a rabbit’s wet dream, but the salad I made this weekend tasted fucking good. A simple homemade dressing on fresh spinach and Swiss chard from the first farm share distribution of the season.

Does that look good to you? Then make the damn thing!


  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • pepper


  • spinach, chopped bite size
  • Swiss chard, chopped bite size (cut the stems and ribs out — they’re tough)
  • chopped up toasted almonds
  • raisins
  • feta cheese crumbles, not too much
  • a little bit of grilled chicken

You want amounts? Forget about it! Figure it out yourself, I’ve already given you something that tastes good!

What makes this salad are the almonds and feta (the saltiness of the cheese). Don’t screw it up and substitute.