Sometimes you find hope in the oddest places.

I often fight despair about the state of the American public’s critical thinking skills. I worry that, my friends and I aside, the country is sinking into an anti-intellectual abyss. And then, today, I ran across a call to action, in a piece about Pi Day:

In our time, it seems more and more that the greatest obstacle we face is the way unlimited political spending is damaging our future. Here is where Pi Day has a chance to move beyond just fun and possibly make a real difference. For whatever reason, we’ve all looked the other way as science-based reality has been pushed to the sidelines so that those who profit from damaging the public good can continue their pursuits. Maybe the time has come to stop looking the other way. This Pi Day let’s find out what gets set in motion if we add numbers-based scientific reality to what we celebrate. Maybe one day, Pi Day will be the holiday where we tell future generations they must never let doubt replace reality, because no good comes of it.

“….we tell future generations they must never let doubt replace reality, because no good comes of it.”  Wonderful. And where does this clarion call to honor “science-based reality” come from?

The Winter 2016 Penzey’s Spices catalog.

I’ve always loved Penzey’s* spices, now I think I love them even more.

*If you are not buying Penzey’s spices, you should be. I’m lucky enough to live twenty minutes away from a store, but even before the store in Menlo Park opened I bought them, or, more accurately, the Rocket Scientist bought them for me whenever he was in Minneapolis. Their crystallized ginger is indispensable for key lime pie and cranberry sauce. Their ground chipotle ends up in  chili and meatloaf and cranberry sauce — and almost everything else. I only use some other cocoa powder if I am forced to. In short, their stuff is wonderful.

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