Shared posts

21 Feb 11:08

Dusty Smith Reviews Christian Horror Film ‘The Lock In’

by Hemant Mehta
Amber Brown

I've gotta see this film.

Don’t worry! You don’t have to watch “The Lock In,” the Christian “horror” movie about a church lock-in that involves dirty magazines… because Dusty Smith watched it for us and offers this (NSFW) review:

I take back what I said earlier. Now, I have to watch this movie…

25 Nov 11:14

Celebrating 50 Years of Humanism in ‘Doctor Who’

by Hemant Mehta

When I posted this back in July, the video was removed from YouTube shortly after. It’s back up now, hopefully for good!

Here’s a wonderful compilation celebrating 50 years of Humanism in “Doctor Who,” courtesy of Brandon Fibbs:

18 Oct 10:03

Everyone Needs to Stop Not Having Sex Right Now!

by Hemant Mehta

Or else the kids suffer:

Do it for the children.


(via Spaceboy Productions)

23 Sep 23:41

Mark Joseph Stern and the Conversation He Won’t Have About Circumcision

by Hemant Mehta

This is a guest post by Francelle Wax, the producer of American Secret: The Circumcision Agenda, a documentary about the problems with male circumcision.

[Note: Last week, Mark Joseph Stern wrote an article for Slate about how anti-circumcision activists ("Intactivists") are "drowning out reasoned discourse" in the debate. This piece is a rebuttal to that.]

I think that the best way to respond to Mark Joseph Stern’s address is to deal mostly with Mark Joseph Stern and barely at all with his address. Not because I think it generally good practice to go around making internet fights personal, but because I have little patience with someone who is pretending to have the objectivity of a cool academic when he actually harbors an intensely vested interest in arriving at a particular conclusion because the stakes are both so high and so intrinsically personal.

I do not know Mark Joseph Stern. But I can likely assume two facts about him, each of which in isolation are reason to be highly confident of his circumcision status; together, the likelihood is even greater. 1) Stern was born in North America when circumcision rates among the general population were at an all time high, and 2) his last name is characteristically Jewish. Given this, it would be highly surprising if Mr. Stern were not circumcised. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s relevant. Am I insinuating that circumcised men are incapable of being impartial on this issue? I don’t have to, the data says it outright. American doctors consistently diverge from their developed world counterparts when it comes to how they interpret circumcision studies, whether having to do with infection statistics, disease transmission rates, pleasure reduction, or any other findings. American doctors lean pro-cutting, to the renewed shock and at times amusement of the global medical community. (The majority of American females are equally compromised, hearing from a young age that the male foreskin is a conduit for dirt and disease, leading them to grow into mothers who readily consent to circumcision of their sons and into doctors who peddle the procedure to the parents of their patients.)

Now certainly in medicine, differences in opinion do occur. One doctor may advise a patient to go ahead and schedule back surgery while another doctor up the street cautions this same patient that the surgery is likely to create more problems than it will solve. But with circumcision, the splintering is clearly along a national divide.

Lets look at incentives Stern (and others) may have for wanting to avoid confronting the realities of the procedure.

Like most circumcised men, Stern probably does not want it to be true that his circumcision means that he is missing out sexually. Or that as he ages, he will likely notice diminishing sensitivity in his glans. Or that profit incentives played a role in the push to remove his erogenous tissue; or that other people altered his sexuality in a permanent way when he was still too young to do anything about it.

But the facts are what they are.

Over 50% of penile nerve endings are removed during a circumcision, including one-hundred percent of the Meissner’s Corpuscles, the unique fine touch nerve receptors found only in fingertips and on the ridged band of the penis.

Mucous membrane exposed to the air for decades does callus.

Many physicians earn sizable compensation for performing circumcisions.

And it is true that your circumcision means that someone surgically altered your body in a permanent way without first having obtained your consent.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to believe that all of these sacrifices were not in vain, that they bought you some greater good? It would, but we can’t just believe things because they are appealing. We can’t in good conscience marinate in denial when that means asking future generations to pay the price by allowing a harmful practice to continue to play out on their flesh.

We recognize in this country that there is such a concept as “a conflict of interest.” We acknowledge that people’s abilities to be objective in their evaluation of facts is typically impaired by emotions and conflicting loyalties coming into play, and that emotions run high when there are personal stakes.

We make provisions for this in law; we require that a judge recuse himself from a case when the defendant is his next door neighbor. We enforce it in politics, ousting a congressman who awards contracts to a company that has contributed to his campaign. We made these laws because we all grasped at a young age — when the most spastic and uncoordinated kid in Little League got to be pitcher due to an immutable appointment by Coach Dad — that personal longings tend to crowd out and trump objective judgment. It isn’t news that people’s private agendas inform what they see and what they screen out. This is particularly likely to happen in any situation where there is a high cost to admitting to having been wrong.

My suggestion that doctor’s employ denialism around circumcision doesn’t mean that I am charging them with being cruel and inhuman. Quite the opposite; it is acknowledgement that they are oh-so-very-human in their determination not to have to admit to having been wrong. A measure of sympathy belongs with doctors, the majority of whom did indeed set out to do good when they began their training. It is understandable that they may be angry at having been misled by their professors who taught them that proper medicine includes routine circumcision. Today’s physicians happen to belong to the generation that has finally begun to question this practice in serious numbers, and now they are left carrying the bag packed by their predecessors, replete with Gomco clamp and all. It isn’t an enviable position to be in and one can understand why they are on the defensive. No decent person wants to have the realization: “So this irreversible procedure I’ve performed on thousands of patients… turns out that was a bad idea. Oops.” They would rather it be true that circumcision is the prophylaxis and wonder drug to treat and prevent a whole host of ills. Which means that, when reviewing studies about circumcision, American physicians are poised to pounce on any shred of data which could be contorted to justify this surgery that they feel beholden to defend.

It’s incumbent upon us to always remember to ask: Who are the proponents of this practice? Are they capable of being impartial? What might it cost them to admit that they are wrong? Do they have a vested interest in arriving at a particular conclusion?

Speaking of risk assessment, does Stern really think that Americans are the only people who care whether or not a rampant epidemic breaks out in their country and that, by keeping their boys intact, the rest of the world has resigned itself to a fast and furious demise? Is he actually saying that the Australians don’t mind all that much whether or not they all contract HIV? That the Dutch shrug off the prospect of a generation ravaged by cervical cancer with nary a second thought? Does he expect readers to suppose that only America seeks to thrive and prosper and that everyone else has got a death wish?

I might add that even were this most outlandish scenario true, then the other nations are failing miserably in their morbid quests, given that they outperform the USA when it comes to rates of infection and disease transmission.

It seems far more probable that the intact nations have calculated the risks and concluded that the pleasure and sensation which would be sacrificed in exchange for a marginal measure of prevention is nowhere near worth it. As foreskin-havers, and the partners of foreskin-havers, it’s worth listening to them. They’ve done the research that many Americans have ignored or dismissed. And it’s all too easy for us in the United States to never value what most of us have never enjoyed.

21 Sep 16:50

The Arguments You Should Never Make, As Shown By These Cute Animals

by Hemant Mehta

This is awesome: Computer programmer Ali Almossawi joined forces with illustrator Alejandro Giraldo and created An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments:

The book’s not on sale yet, but Almossawi has put all the contents online under a Creative Commons license (and is taking donations if you care to give anything). The book includes descriptions and examples of logical fallacies next to images of cute animals depicting them, like this one of the “No True Scotsman” argument:

It’s a picture book, so I assume people who tend to use logical fallacies will be drawn to it, yes?

(Thanks to Dave for the link!)

15 Aug 09:29

Sex Educator of the Week: Amber Brown

by Jennifer A. Hart, MPH
What project(s) are you currently working on in Sex Ed?

This year, The SPECTRUM, the LGBTQA youth safe-haven I founded in 2006, turns 7 years old! I've done my best to provide hundreds of queer and allied youth with education, recreation and support. Helping them grow into sexually healthy adults is some of the most important work I do!

Amber Brown is the Education & Training Manager for Planned Parenthood Keystone. She has over 10 years of teaching experience and holds a degree in Education from Penn State University. When she isn't in the classroom, she likes to crochet ridiculously adorable stuffed animals, watch scary movies, and run around after her two awesome kids. 

Meet more sex educators from across the nation (and sometimes world!) at the National Sex Ed Conference! Find out more and register here:

Follow us on twitter at: @SexEdNetwork

Submit your posts or inquiries to:

04 Jul 01:38

6 Resume Builder Apps for Job Hunters — Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

by Jason Rodway
Amber Brown

Here you go, Nate!

6 Resume Builder Apps

Job hunters have access to more online resources than ever. Smart job hunters utilize every tool at their disposable, and a few apps out there can offer a leg up for creating, modifying, and personalizing resumes quickly to highlight their most standout skills, maximizing the chances of being hired.


25 Jun 22:23

The (Abstinence) Loophole by Garfunkel and Oates

by Hemant Mehta

Earlier this year, I posted a live clip of the hilarious duo Garfunkel and Oates singing about a loophole to abstinence that Jesus would undoubtedly approve of…

Well, the official video is out today (needless to say, the lyrics and video are NSFW):

A sampling of the lyrics:

Whatever you do, don’t touch my clitoris
If you ring Satan’s doorbell God can’t ignore this
And no prophylactics when you put it in
’Cause birth control’s for sluts and it’s a sin
I emptied my bowels
And laid out the towels
I’m ready for romance
Now I’m praying to the power that’s the highest
But of all of my holes this one’s the driest
And we can’t procreate if we anally copulate
And God’s okay with sodomy but only if you’re straight

Gotta love abstinence anthems.

31 May 20:15

Adam Pascal, Who Played Roger in Rent, Talks About His Atheism

by Hemant Mehta

Adam Pascal originated the role of “Roger” in the hit Broadway musical “Rent” and he recently filmed a segment for Chris Johnson‘s multimedia book about atheists and what gives them joy and meaning in life.

In the segment below, Pascal talks about how “No Day But Today” — a message repeated throughout the musical — really takes on special meaning when you don’t believe in the afterlife:

(via The Atheist Book)

03 Apr 10:25

10 Steps Toward More Peaceful Family Meals

by Natalie
10 steps to easier and more peaceful family meals

I told you on yesterday that MPMK was staying in the kitchen this week with our posts, but I forgot to give you an update on our upcoming Freezer Cooking eBook.  Lots of you have inquired about when Freezy Peasy will be released (so glad you’re as excited as we are by the way!).  I’m happy to report that it’s now on sale!

Natalie’s here today sharing tips on how to make mealtime easier after the cooking is through.

Food and drinks all over the floor. Kids’ faces (and bodies and clothes) are a mess. Cups, bowls and spoons strewn everywhere. At least two of them are fighting. Only one of them actually ate something. Mom and Dad just want dinner to be over with… Are you having meal times like these?

I know that part of having kids is embracing the mess, the noise and the chaos. Sometimes it’s just going to be crazy. But I believe that we are responsible as parents to train up our children and discipline them in love, and part of that is to teach them to be respectful and obedient at meal times.

My desire is to truly enjoy the time that we spend at the table together. Why bother? I believe our days and weeks were designed to have peaceful rest periods for a reason – because our human bodies really need to slow down and rest! It’s part of a normal, healthy day.

I also want to encourage slower eating and better chewing so we have the best chance at digesting the nutrients in our food. And let’s not forget the bonding. I’m hoping that a more peaceful atmosphere will encourage quality conversation with my kids and create lasting memories.

There are plenty of other reasons you might desire a more peaceful meal time, those are just a few that come to mind for my family. Maybe you’re thinking, that’s all well and good, but how do I actually take steps toward a more enjoyable meal time?

Some practical steps:

30 Mar 09:30


by Andrew Seistrup


The first single off of Noah and the Whale’s fourth album has arrived. At this point, the band seems to have mastered their sound. Whimsical, raw, and optimistic, “There Will Come a Time” is most likely exactly what you would expect to hear next from the English outfit. But when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — this formula continues to work quite well for them. However, as more material from the album begins to surface, it would be great to see Noah and the Whale push the envelope a bit more, and (fingers crossed) maybe even bring back a little bit more of their folkier sound.

Check out the video for “There Will Come a Time” above. It’s actually a trailer for the short film directed by band member Charlie Fink. Their new album Heart of Nowhere is due out May 6.

30 Mar 08:55

Despite their ridiculous name, I’m a big fan of Dale...

Despite their ridiculous name, I’m a big fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., who put out one of the best debut albums of 2011 and have a really fun live show. Today, the Detroit synth-pop duo released the first single from their new EP, “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on The Dancefloor)” which continues their inclination for sunny harmonies, exhilarating beats and 80’s throwback synths.

Patterns EP is out 4/16 on Warner Bros.

23 Mar 10:27

The 1975 – “Chocolate”

by Brandon

The 1975 - Chocolatethink about what they say, think about how to think, pause it, play it, pause it, play it, pause it

In case you missed this sexual slice of a video, let me reiterate the magical powerhouse that is Manchester’s The 1975. I witnessed the live show down at SXSW and it stood out as the week’s top set. None of the weird mellow mood “songs” on their EPs made the cut, just the straight hits. These guys are no fking joke. As if the songwriting wasn’t top-notch enough, add on effortless charisma and laser tight musicianship and we’ve got ourselves a damn fine winner. “Chocolate” is just the latest in a string of tracks I can’t get out of my head. And I heard a new one live that will possible be even better. Just tape down the repeat button.

23 Mar 10:26

Spring (Or The Love In Between) Vol. 2

(photo via Le Fabulex Destin d’Amelie)

Spring has officially sprung (according to the calendar at least), and as you’re waiting for the weather to reach more seasonly-appropriate temperatures, linger on the spring-like feelings of warmth, renewal and emerging beauty with our second edition of Spring (Or The Love In Between). Click here to download this mix in its entirety.

01. Young Dreams - First Days of Something
02. Atlas Genius - If So
03. High Highs - Open Season
04. Smith Westerns - Varsity*
05. Murals - Eyes of Love
06. Generationals - Put A Light On
07. Toro y Moi - Rose Quartz
08. Geographer - Kites
09. Plaid Dragon - Sond
10. Local Natives - Ceilings
11. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - From The Sun
12. Sea Wolf - Changing Seasons
13. Foxygen - San Fransisco
14. Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Day
15. We Are Trees - Teenage Heartbreak
16. Dum Dum Girls - Lord Knows
17. Ra Ra Riot - Is It Too Much
18. Allo, Darlin’ - My Sweet Friend
19. Yo La Tengo - Is That Enough
20. Craft Spells - Sun Trails
21. Tegan and Sara - Love They Say
22. Sin Fang - What’s Wrong With Your Eyes

Spotify Playlist: Spring (Or The Love In Between) Vol. 2

Download zip file

*due to its inherent newness, this song is not available on Spotify yet, but I’ll make sure to add it to the playlist as soon it is!

13 Mar 10:21

You Just Made Yourself Available: The Breakup Songs Mix


In honor of Josh Ritter’s lovely yet heartwrenching new album, inspired by the tragic disintegration of his marriage, I’ve compiled a mix of some of my favorite breakup songs. To keep this at a reasonable number, I’ve limited it to songs from the last 15 years (apologies to Bob Dylan, Nilsson, Sam Cooke, Love, and The Cure, among others). Click here to download the mix / listen on Spotify.

01. Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
I’m not sorry I met you, I’m not sorry it’s over, I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save

02 Elliott Smith - Everything Reminds Me Of Her
I never really had a problem because of leaving, but everything reminds me of her this evening

03. Noah and the Whale - Blue Skies
This is the last song that I write while still in love with you….’cause it’s time to leave those feelings behind

04. Lily Allen - Smile
I couldn’t stop laughing, No, I just couldn’t help myself. See, you messed up my mental health, I was quite unwell

05. Josh Ritter - New Lover
I can’t pretend that all is well, it’s like I’m haunted by a ghost. There are times I cannot speak your name for the catchin’ in my throat

06. The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
And I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving

07. Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Come on skinny love just last the year. Pour a little salt we were never here

08. Jens Lekman - The World Moves On
You don’t get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully

09. The National - Available
You just made yourself available. You just made yourself available

10. The Mountains Goats - Woke Up New
On the morning when I woke up without you for the first time, I felt free and I felt lonely and I felt scared

11. Kanye West - Heartless
So you walk around like you don’t know me. You got a new friend, well I got homies, but in the end it’s still so lonely

12. Arcade Fire - Crown of Love
They say it fades if you let it, love was made to forget it. I carved your name across my eyelids, you pray for rain, I pray for blindness

13. Ryan Adams - Call Me On Your Way Back Home
Oh I just wanna die without you, without you Honey, I ain’t nothing new

14. Beck - Lost Cause
I’m tired of fighting, I’m tired of fighting, fighting for a lost cause

15. The Walkmen - The Rat
When I used to go out, I would know everyone that I saw. Now I go out alone if I go out at all

16. The Good Life - Album of the Year
And I know she loved me once, but those days are done. She used to call me every day from a pay phone on her break for lunch, just to say she can’t wait to come home

17. The Magnetic Fields - I Don’t Believe In The Sun
The only sun I ever knew was the beautiful one that was you. Since you went away it’s nighttime all day and it’s usually raining too

18. The Format - Dog Problems
can you hear me? are you listening? This is the sound of my heart breaking, and i hope its entertaining, cause’ for me its a bitch.

19. Grizzly Bear - Knife
You think it’s alright? Can’t you feel the knife?

20. Jay-Z - Song Cry
They say you can’t turn a bad girl good, but once a good girl’s goin bad, she’s gone forever. Shit I gotta live with the fact I did you wrong forever

21. Frightened Rabbit - Backwards Walk
I’m working on erasing you, I just don’t have the proper tools. I get hammered, forget that you exist, there’s no way i’m forgetting this

22. Blur - No Distance Left To Run
When you see me, Please turn your back and walk away. I don’t want to see you…. I got no distance left to run

Spotify Playlist: Breakup Songs Mix (You Just Made Yourself Available)

Download zip file

Let me know your favorite breakup songs in the comments/notes!