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Here’s a place you can leave random comments about stuff that you feel isn’t particularly related to the News. Maybe you just want to say hi. Maybe you want to critique a piece of my work. Maybe you want to ask me where I live and come and bring me cookies. Whatever. Stick it in the box down below.

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Curtis Owings on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

American still needs you. I know LA was crap. We don't deserve you, but we do need you. Keep up the good fight. That sharp wit and humor inject more sanity than you realize. If you need a good technical person, let me know and I'll see if I can be imported.

Zoie on Saturday, 22 February 2020

Hi Tim, My mom just sent me a link to your funny video "Storm..." I'm a scientist, and totally on board with you. I have an interesting observation, though, that actually could prove the point of "all mysteries we've solved have turned out to be... not magic." It's regarding auras- I actually work in the Science dept at Bastyr University (I'm a classically trained evolutionary biologist and definitely take issue with some of the ND teachings, but I will say that there is more and more push to stick with evidence-based therapies, and I do think that many of the people who seek naturopaths often really just need some good, old-fashioned, human-connection-inspired placebo... so it DOES work for many of their patients, just not for the reason they think). ANYWAY- One of my students claimed to see auras, which of course I smiled about and did ask some follow-up questions so as not to offend him. It was the first person I'd met who actually said that in all seriousness. He's a really smart, thoughtful person, so I gave him more credit than I normally would have. I knew him as an excellent student before he told me that. Some time after, I was researching synesthesia as I was preparing a neurology lecture and looking for some interesting content to hook students with. I discovered that there is a phenomenon in which subtle facial expressions (emotional signaling) evoke color visions in the synesthete. If you're not familiar with synesthesia, it is a crossing-over of sensory stimuli (a common type is when letters have specific colors or personalities) that has actually been well-defined by neuroanatomy. Here is a case study by VS Ramachandran (respected neurology researcher from UCSD) I just pulled up from a quick search, if you are interested: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3630799/. He talks about other reported cases as well. Anyway, I immediately thought, "hey! this totally explains auras!!!" I told my student, and he seemed almost disappointed and maybe a little offended that I thought this would make his experience more "real." But, it also made me realize that maybe people who claim to see auras or other strange perceptual phenomena actually are seeing SOMETHING- it's not magic, it's just crossed-linked wiring that has given those people a second form of emotional interpretation that they don't know how to express without the neuroscience, and the rest of us think it must be bullshit because most of us can't relate. I thought you might be interested to use this as an example in a future production/blog etc. My apologies if you already have and I missed it :) Thanks so much for your work!

Megan Smith on Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Tim, my husband and I saw your show in Washington, D.C. several years ago. We both love your work so much and were ecstatic to get to see you in person. The show was amazing but we were so moved by you singing Hallelujah. Beings fellow atheists this song has no real meaning to us, but it was moving in a way that still gives me goosebumps to think about. It would be wonderful if a good version of this was available to listen to when I feel the need to have a good cry. Also, it would also be wonderful to have you come back to the states so we could have the opportunity to see you perform live again. Thanks for all the brilliance you bring to the world.

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