News From Around The Blogosphere 1.10.10

1. New evidence supports Egyptian pyramids being built by free workers but not slaves – What I love about this story is that it hurts three myths at the same time, the belief that the pyramids couldn’t have been built by man but had to involve extraterrestrial influence, the belief by some religious individuals that the pyramids were built by Jewish slaves, and the belief that the pyramids were built by slaves in general. Sorry, didn’t happen.

2. Violence breaks out over use of the word ‘Allah’ – The Malaysian High Court ruled to end a ban that prohibited a Catholic newspaper from using the word “Allah” when referring to God in their local-language publications because only Muslims were allowed to use that word. This of course led to Muslims “going” crazy. Shocker.

3. Apparently abstinence-only sex ed isn’t a lost cause…if you’re an ant…your species has eliminated men

The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely, has been confirmed by a team of Texas and Brazilian researchers.

Most social insects—the wasps, ants and bees—are relatively used to daily life without males. Their colonies are well run by swarms of sterile sisters lorded over by an egg-laying queen. But, eventually, all social insect species have the ability to produce a crop of males who go forth in the world to fertilize new queens and propagate.

I’d love to know Dr. Tatiana’s sex advice for them.

4. Research further suggests autism is a brain connectivity disorder

Studying a rare disorder known as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that autism spectrum disorders, which affect 25 to 50 percent of TSC patients, result from a miswiring of connections in the developing brain, leading to improper information flow. The finding may also help explain why many people with TSC have seizures and intellectual disabilities.

5. Brain Imaging May Help Diagnose Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) process sound and language a fraction of a second slower than children without ASDs, and measuring magnetic signals that mark this delay may become a standardized way to diagnose autism.

6. $cientology’s claiming its a religion again – Their futile efforts to proselytize has angered some, and so the cult is insisting that as a religion, they’re doing nothing wrong. Of course when people resist $cientology on the grounds that it steals members of other religions, the $cientologists then insist that they’re not a religion, just a self help group that welcomes all faiths. But then when it comes tax time, they’re a religion again. Besides, it says so right on their buildings. They even have “churches.” Of course $cientology churches appear from both the outsiders’ perspective and former insiders’ perspective to be no different than any secular buildings and no spiritual services actually take place.

Captain Douchebag himself

7. $cientology digs up lost Hubbard works – I smell brand new OT levels requiring more expensive course work!

More than 1,000 unreleased recordings of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard and reams of corresponding writings have been unveiled in the culmination of a 25-year project to locate, restore and transcribe lost pieces of the Scientology founder’s work.

8. British woman arrested in Dubai for being raped – That’s right. A woman was RAPED! And the authorities decided to then charge her for the crime of having had illicit sexual intercourse. Even the Bible doesn’t advocate arresting rape victims; it merely demands they marry their rapist. Though I don’t exactly know what Bible’s policy is if one has more than one rapist. This is exactly the kind of insanity that could only exist because of religion.

9. Sylvia Browne continues annual tradition of predicting upcoming year’s events – I haven’t looked back yet on her predictions last year and I never got around to making my own annual predictions for 2009 in January. I’ll have to do it this. But the psychics seem really off and vague this year. Pat Robertson’s annual yearly predictions showed a complete lack of trying and Sylvia’s no exception this year either.


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