News From Around The Blogosphere 12.7.09

1. Studies suggest men really do have big egos…but also that women have small egos – This was the finding after an analysis of 30 different studies.

2. An elderly couple was conned out of $78,000 with a bogus lottery scam – As tragic as this is, it can at least serve as a teaching moment:

Sweepstakes, lottery and “person in need” scams are pervasive and on the rise, said Maria Audas, a spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.

During the past fiscal year, the agency has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of complaint calls about swindles, Audas said.

“We’ve had a huge rise in many of these scams, especially the fake-check scams.”

The Tackeses received fraudulent checks with the names of well-known companies like GEICO, Marriott and Delta Air Lines.

“Nine times out of 10, they’re scammers that aren’t playing by any rules or regulations, and the feds often can’t even trace them,” Audas said. “There’s not much we can do at the back end, but if you catch credit card misuse, we can stop it.”

Money orders or wire transfers, however, are virtually untraceable.

“That’s why the scammers ask for your money that way,” she said. “In a case like that, getting the money back is not an option.”

There are more tips in the link.

3. Seattle Atheists pushing to get sign in Washington State Capitol Building – Last year, the rule change that allowed any group to put up a display in the Washington Capitol Building led to the Freedom From Religion Foundation putting up a sign that pissed a lot of people off. And it kinda pissed me off too because it was deliberately mean-spirited and seemed poorly conceived  when I thought they should have used the opportunity to promote a more inclusive message. But it was possibly effective in that the decision has been made this year to not allow any holiday displays inside the Capitol Building. But they are still allowing displays just outside the building. So far, only a Jewish group and the Seattle Atheists have applied.

And I’m very happy that the Seattle Atheists chose a far more inclusive message this time out:

“In this holiday season let us remember that kindness, charity and goodwill transcend belief, creed or religion. Happy Holidays, Seattle Atheists”

Now this is a display that I can get behind. Great job, guys.

4. An atheist goes undercover to gay conversion therapy sessions

An atheist, Ted Cox, spent the past two years going undercover as a gay man undergoing gay-to-straight therapy programs run by Christian groups (as if there were any other kind).

What he found was precisely what you would think: These programs do nothing to “convert” you from gay to straight. They just try to make you suppress your (gay) sexual urges. They make up their own “facts” — you’re not born with it, it’s the result of a traumatic childhood, Jesus can save you from The Gay, etc.

It clearly worked for Ted Haggard. Oh, wait.

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One Response to News From Around The Blogosphere 12.7.09

  1. Michelle says:

    I’m a woman and I think I’m smarter than hell.

    Man – I must be really smart!

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