Brain exercises are “waste of time”

November 30, 2008

Here is an article in The Guardian that discusses some of the many myths concerning brain exercises:

An award-winning Scottish professor says measures such as breathing through the left nostril, drinking water to increase oxygen supply to the brain, drinking red wine to fend off dementia or listening to classical music to boost performance are little more than myths.

He’s particularly critical of exercises taught to children as a means of enhancing performance that have no bearing on how the brain works. And while these myths are started in a variety of ways, from a misunderstanding, to an innocent prank, to deliberate misinformation with commercial reasons in mind, given how widespread these myths are, it speaks volumes about the lack of critical thinking skills being taught:

‘Despite how ridiculous many of these exercises are, this is no laughing matter,’ argued Della Sala. ‘Some of the exercises are so simplistic you wonder whether we have lost our capacity for critical thinking when it comes to education. One of the exercises involves asking kids to breathe through the left nostril so that the air goes up into the right hemisphere and stimulates the right side of the brain to make the kid more creative,’ he said.

‘A tiny problem in this thinking is that air goes down to the lungs rather than up to the brain. So I think it is safe to say that you can’t stimulate the right side of your brain by breathing through your nostril. Besides the idea that the right side of the brain is the creative side is utter nonsense.’

9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Kills His Own Father

November 30, 2008

Sean Fitzgerald thought he was in danger in Thailand. He thought Alex Jones could save him. When he got back to the U.S., he murdered his father. The affidavit is silent on a possible motive for the murder.

Listen to his radio interview

The Thailand story

The murder story in Colorado

Godless News

November 30, 2008

Official trailer to Letting Go Of God:

Letting Go of God is a one-person-monologue by Julia Sweeney chronicling her search for God.

I’ve never seen the show but only clips like this one:

You can buy the DVD of Letting Go Of God here!

10 Books About Atheism You’ll Want For Christmas

Pastor responsible for “Under God” in the pledge dies – He died on Thanksgiving giving me another reason to be thankful.

Slavery is not wrong

November 30, 2008

Slavery is not wrong – Wow! And the scary part is this is written by a black woman. I particularly love this part:

One thing that I have learnt in my 2 and half years as a born again Christian is that God is sovereign.

And this little gem here:

I understand that there is so much evil in slavery, when masters abuse their slaves. That is wrong. The bible condemns treating others in an evil way. So this is not the issue. But slavery in itself is not wrong. Just as husbands can abuse wives, does it mean marriage is evil? Or parents can abuse their children, does it mean parenting is wrong? Because masters can be evil to their slaves, it doesn’t mean that slavery is wrong. Just as wives are to be submissive to their husbands, likewise slaves are to be submissive to their masters.

And this one:

I do not believe slavery is wrong, because a) The bible does not condemn slavery and b) Slavery makes so much sense and to say slavery is wrong we rob the gospel off its meaning and even Election. The concept of total submission and slavery is at the very heart of Christ’s gospel.

Religion–can’t live with it. . .end of sentence.

25 musicians against religion & a double standard

November 29, 2008

25 musicians against religion

Double Standard?

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (Attributed to, but not actually said by Voltaire)

Out of the 2 bulletins presented here, which do you think is the more offensive? And which of the 2 do you think was effectively banned?

Kentucky is LEGALLY under God’s protection

November 29, 2008

shredding-constitutionKentucky is LEGALLY under God’s protection – So I guess this means they will not be requiring Homeland Security’s money and resources then, right? Right?

Under state law, God is Kentucky’s first line of defense against terrorism. The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.” Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God’s benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

Yeah, this is the kind of lunacy you get when you elect ministers like Rep. Tom Riner to public office.

“This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky,” Riner said. “Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government.”

If you’ve got God looking out for you, isn’t that enough. What does God need to human backup? I call for Kentucky to then give back all the the money and resources Rep. Riner says they don’t even need and give it to one of the more godless states like New York or Massachusetts. Who’s with me?

The most fantastic thing I’ve seen all day!

November 29, 2008

Why churches fear gay marriage

November 29, 2008

Here’s a great article that explores the real issues behind Proposition 8. Author Richard Rodriguez, who is Mexican-American, gay and a practicing Catholic, suggests that it might have very little to do with the gays themselves:

Rodriguez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

And now for a moment of science

November 28, 2008

Social Amoeba Seek Kin Association – “Starving “social amoebae” called Dictyostelium discoideum seek the support of “kin” when they form multi-cellular organisms made up of dead stalks and living spores, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University in Houston in a report that appears online today in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.”

Universal Mechanism Of Aging Found? – “Researchers have uncovered what may be a universal cause of aging, one that applies to both single cell organisms such as yeast and multicellular organisms, including mammals. This is the first time that such an evolutionarily conserved aging mechanism has been identified between such diverse organisms.”

Oldest Known Turtle Fossil Found In China – “With hard bony shells to shelter and protect them, turtles are unique and have long posed a mystery to scientists who wonder how such an elegant body structure came to be.”

Plate Tectonics Started 4 Billion Years Ago – “A new picture of the early Earth is emerging, including the surprising finding that plate tectonics may have started more than 4 billion years ago — much earlier than scientists had believed, according to new research by UCLA geochemists reported Nov. 27 in the journal Nature.”

Skeptologist talks food myths on The Doctors

November 27, 2008