1. Buddhist monk caught for filming naked women – Net Khai, a Cambodian Buddhist monk was arrested for filming naked women. Not just a few naked women but over 600 naked women bathing in holy water at a temple. The article doesn’t make it clear whether it was with the knowledge and consent of the women or not, which is kinda an important detail. But what’s interesting is that he’s been stripped of his monk status for this, while Catholic priests weren’t even defrocked for raping children.
2. Finally an easier way to become a vampire – Want to become a vampire but having trouble finding a vampire willing to turn you into one? Well now there’s an easier way. You can buy a vampire transformation spell.
3. David Silverman to be president of American Atheists – I’ve briefly met Silverman twice. Once last year at a Jolly 13 Club gathering and again a few months again at another big gathering of many skeptically themed groups at the same location that also happened to be on Silverman’s birthday. I have no idea how well he’ll do, but I wish him the best of luck. He takes over from Ed Buckner next week.
4. Burqas and niqabs banned from public spaces in France in 246-1 decision – To be fair, the Senate did have about 100 abstentions but still, it’s quite clear the French no likey the burqa. I remain still very undecided on this issue because on the one hand, I support free expression and oppose government telling people what they can’t wear but on the other hand, the burqa is an evil tool that’s been used to oppress Islamic women for a very long time. And as much as they claim to want to wear it, it’s only because they’ve been so indoctrinated as to embrace their own servitude. Now it can be argued that our culture is just the opposite, where women are pressured to wear less clothing. However, the cultural pressures are entirely different in the Western world and not nearly as dominant. As Richard Dawkins said when an imam commented about how we dress our women, “They dress themselves!”
5. IHOP sues religious fruitcakes – The Internation House of Pancakes (IHOP) is suing a Christian group calling themselves the International House of Prayer (IHOP) over illegal appropriating the brands famous acronym. After that trial is over, then maybe they can sue Steve Jobs.
6. Woody Allen comes out as an atheist…again - I don’t know why it came to a surprise to the NY Times that Allen was an atheist since this is hardly news but it was great to read Allen criticize both religion and psychics are nonsense.
7. Salman Rushie defends the “Mosque” “at Ground Zero” – If even a man who’s been on the run from a fatwa for many years has to defend Muslims, it really shows what a manufactured controversy this is.
8. Saudi woman killed for using Facebook – The woman’s own father murdered her.
The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported.
The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of the “strife” the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.
Saudi preacher Ali al-Maliki has emerged as the leading critic of Facebook, claiming the network is corrupting the youth of the nation.
“Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending more on their mobile phones and the Internet than they are spending on food,” he said
Damn you Facebook! Wouldn’t it be ironic if with all our troops in the Middle East, if Facebook ended up being the thing that forces the region to join the civilized world?