The Slow Demise of Martin J. Clemens

Those reading this are no doubt fully aware, by now, of the recent disappearance of my former blog, martinjclemens.com.  I didn’t make any kind of deal, big or small, about its closure.  In fact, I didn’t say a word about it to anyone.  That wasn’t by accident.

Those reading this likely also know about my personal troubles; that I’m consistent only in being inconsistent; that I tend to be unstable, in every sense of the word; that I live in a precarious state, both financially and emotionally; and that I often take things to heart which should not be taken to heart.

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Amazing fMRI “Study” Not What It Seems

The following was originally posted on MJC (February 2014), and I felt that it should probably survive the demise of that blog since it clears the air on a topic many find important.

Did you see headlines like this over the last few days?  “The Woman Who Can Will Herself Out Of Her Body” or “Scientists unlock mystery of out-of-body experiences (aka astral trips)”, or even “Out-of-body experiences are the result of unusual brain activity, study claims”?

If you just read the headline and not the linked articles, you might have gotten the wrong impression.  Actually, even if you did read the article you may still have gotten it mixed up, but that’s not really your fault.

All three of those headlines, and a host of others, refer to a “study” published 10 February, 2014 in the science magazine Frontiers, titled Voluntary out-of-body-experience, an fMRI study.[1]  The story broke via a Popular Science Magazine article by Douglas Main, titled The Woman Who Can Will Herself Out Of Her Body.

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I Live In Poverty. This isn’t a choice.

I live in poverty.  This isn’t a choice.  This isn’t where I thought I’d be when my 6th grade teacher asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I never imagined I’d be sitting here alone, wondering where my next meal might come from, feeling both gratitude and more shame than I knew was possible for the generous donation of $60 I received from a friend so that I could buy enough food for myself and my cats to last the rest of the month.

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If you make racist comments on my social media posts, I will treat you like a racist…because it is 2015.

Dramatic Musings

This has been a tough 24 hours in social media. In the same day our province made a commitment to admit and help re-settle 1500 immigrants and refugees, and there was a horrific terror attack in Paris. Many have argued that a humanitarian effort is worthwhile for the refugees who desperately need safe haven. They also find the commitment to be worthwhile as we are a declining, aging, under-educated province desperately in need of an influx of people. Unfortunately many do not agree.  The trouble seems to be that this particular group is brown and in many cases they follow the teachings of Islam. To compound the issue, the attack in Paris (and Beirut and Bhagdad this past few days by the way), perpetrated by the very people these refugees are seeking asylum from, has sensitized a certain demographic of people already suspicious of those who look different. The result…

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Looney Tunes and the case for the Humanities

The View From Sari's World

As many of you know, universities, once the defenders of the Humanities, are now setting them aside for STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) education. The argument for such studies is strong, but the growing argument against the Humanities is weak. That we no longer require critical thinking skills and strong writing skills is painfully laughable. One has to look no further than the vast amount of disinformation and misunderstanding of science we find in both the visual and written media to know this is not true. In fact, I’d argue that given that the general public is woefully ignorant and suspicious of STEM, the study of Humanities is needed more than ever. The American Academy of Arts and Science agree. In a 2013 report on STEM they note:

The humanities remind us where we have been and help us envision where we are going. Emphasizing critical perspective and imaginative…

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My new ebook! – Popular Science Writing

Well worth the read!

Baldscientist

I just published a new ebook!

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This is a short book about popular science writing but this is not a “How to” manual that will get you published. I am after all, rather new at this, with only one published popular science book, as you will soon see. However, I do know firsthand that success in the writing business is a quite blended mixture of education, research, ability, erudition, dedication, honesty, motivation, with a generous portion of sheer luck, among many other factors. I am merely expressing my thoughts and ideas on the matter, so again, please do not take my words as ultimate truth. Some of the things that I talk about here may be applied to both “traditional” publishing or to self-publishing; this latter one is easier than ever!

In this book I want to share some of my experiences since I have been writing popular science. This…

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