Hell, Buddha and Sex

For a religion without a god (not even a benevolent one, never mind one filled with malice), and certainly without a devil, Buddhism has an unseemly preoccupation with torture. Buddhist hells—and there are many of them—are filled with pain, and Buddhist writings...

Has Satan been given a bum rap? 1

  It would seem so. Even parts of the Bible think so. Like the Book of Job, for example, where Satan is far from (or at least not yet) the scaly-tailed horned Fiend of later centuries. Quite the contrary – he was just one of the guys, almost family. One day (this...

Health care and Me

The word “hip” seems to have lost favor as a descriptive of cool, which I can’t help feeling is just as well. For me, at least, the word has taken on a darker connotation, or at least evokes a darker memory. Hip can also mean pain and near death, surgical incompetence...

A Riff on … Sewage

This is a brief talk I gave at a symposium sponsored by The Walrus magazine late in 2015, on the topic of Innovation. I chose the not very glamorous subject of sewage; it refers to a theme introduced in my book, Back to the Well: Rethinking the future of water. I had...