Link roundup for 8 December 2007
"They call me....."
Think your last vacation was a disappointment? Check out what these Chinese tourists had to put up with.
Evolutionary Middleman reminds us that there's almost nothing Christian about "Christmas".
This posting on real vs. ersatz paganism has been attracting a lot of positive attention from pagan bloggers.
Check out the strange art of Eric Feng.
Will 2008 be the year DRM finally dies?
An Arizona scientist takes another step toward brain-computer integration.
An anti-aging drug which mimics the beneficial effects of calorie restriction is about to begin testing on humans. However, a Texas researcher claims there's another option (found via Mendip).
Aubrey de Grey expounds "our duty to fight aging to the death" and debunks some of the common deathist arguments (found via Sentient Developments).
Christopher Hitchens reviews (perhaps "disembowels" would be a better word) Romney's speech on religion; TCS is almost equally unimpressed.
Several atheist bloggers have posted their personal stories of "deconversion", the process of breaking free from religion. Having grown up without religion myself, this is an experience I never had, but it's clear that the psychological struggle involved is often intense, even though the reward more than repays the effort. See postings by JP, the Chaplain, the Lifeguard (the latest addition to my links list -- see The Meme Pool) and also this posting by the Exterminator.
Michael Newdow is back in action against the Christian slogans which were added to US currency and the Pledge of Allegiance a few decades ago (found via Chell's Roost).
Secularism is more important than democracy.
Free expression is under attack in Canada.
These days, it takes a big man to admit that he was wrong about something. John Murtha is such a man.
American workers are not getting their share of our country's growing prosperity, and suffer increasing abuses in the work environment. RCP argues that it's time to re-open the debate on free trade.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks the harsh truth about the barbarism of Islamic law and the myth of "moderate" Islam. Read this too.
Britain's House of Lords confronts the European Union's onslaught against national sovereignty and democracy. Of particular interest is the claim that 80% of the British would favor leaving the EU "if that meant regaining control of our borders."