Alain de Botton is the author of Religion for Atheists.
A survey published in the U.K. in January predicted that within 20 years, the majority of the British population will define themselves as having no religion. In the British isles, religion has become something of a sideshow, even a joke. Remember that this is the land that gave us The Life of Brian. Even the BBC has caught on with a satirical series called Rev., about a hapless comedic clergyman who has no faith but has a strong inclination to be good.
Part of the roof at a Knox County factory collapsed after heavy rain early Thursday night, injuring a number of people, authorities said. Initial reports indicated some people were trapped in the building. But WYMT-TV at Hazard reported that three people were injured and that all had been removed from the wreckage. Kentucky State Police at Hazard confirmed the incident. The collapse occurred about 8:30 p.m. at Tru Seal Technologies Inc., a firm that makes insulating glass sealant.
Some of the documents seized last May after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan show that the al-Qaida leader "boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen.
Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student "accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's love life has been convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim of the snooping committed suicide" in September, 2010, The Associated Press writes.
The 20-year-old "could face 10 years in prison when he's sentenced," the AP adds.
Is the battle for the GOP presidential nomination about history? Or is it about math? Santorum may be getting big headlines with his primary wins, but it's Romney who is advancing further to the magic 1,144 number. And more defeats mean more pressure on Gingrich to pull out. Plus: a tribute to the late Peter Bergman of Firesign Theater. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin have the latest in this week's political roundup.
Scientists on the trail of "pine nut mouth," a nasty metallic aftertaste that some people get after eating the tender little nuts, have been stumped in their latest effort to zero in on the cause of the mysterious affliction.
Two Senate Democrats want the Justice Department to share more details about how it interprets a key provision of the Patriot Act. The lawmakers say the public has a right to know about a sensitive intelligence gathering program.
So Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and Colorado Democrat Mark Udall have sent a letter of complaint to the attorney general. The senators say people would be stunned to know how the government is going about getting business records and other information under the U.S. Patriot Act.