Brain-Shifting Bikes and Faithless Commentary

Some great finds over the weekend:

Parlee, a high-end road bike manufacturer, has come up with a way to shift your bike using your brain. It integrates Shimano’s ultra-cool electronic Di2 shifting system, along with an iPhone app, letting you shift on the fly just by thinking about switching to a higher or lower gear. No need for shifting cables! See Mashable’s take, “Bicycle Of The Future Shifts Gears Via Brain Waves” and read the comments of the people who are quite offended by this progression of technology! Surprising to me, considering they’re commenting on an Internet website.

Next is the brilliant work of Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski, who splendidly comments on globalization, speciesism, religion, and politics through a myriad of satirical and poignant drawings. Visual News’ post “Drawing on World Issues: These Make You Think” displays about 20 of them and while a few made me chuckle, others are almost horrifying. Thanks to Jolly Green for the heads-up on this.

Lastly, check out New Statesmen’s “Faith No More,” a great summary of quotes from non-believers about why they don’t believe in a higher power. There are the usual suspects like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, as well as other prominent scientists, and some less well-known authors. One of my favorite quotes is from British writer Kenan Malik:

Invoking God at best highlights what we cannot yet explain about the physical universe, and at worst exploits that ignorance to mystify. Moral values do not come prepackaged from God, but have to be worked out by human beings through a combination of empathy, reasoning and dialogue. This is true of believers, too: they, after all, have to decide for themselves which values in their holy books they accept and which ones they reject. And it is not God that gives meaning to our lives, but our relationships with fellow human beings and the goals and obligations that derive from them. God is at best redundant, at worst an obstruction. Why do I need him?