News From Around The Blogosphere 2.2.10

Where's the eye of newt?

1. Herbal remedies may cause cardiac problems – First, homeopathy takes a beating. Then the anti-vaccine movement. And now herbal remedies. The trifecta!  This is shaping up to be a great year for science-based medicine:

Herbal medications can affect the activity of prescription drugs, dampening or enhancing their effects, Jahangir said. For example, St. John’s wort, which is used for a number of conditions, including depression and sleep disturbances, has its major effect on the liver, which is involved in the metabolism of many drugs, especially those for heart disease, he said.

2. Pope Palpatine rips fights for the right to discriminate

Pope Benedict XVI marked the announcement of his first papal visit to Britain with an unprecedented attack on the ­government’s equality legislation yesterday, claiming it threatened religious freedom and ran contrary to “natural law”.

. . .

The pope’s broadside appeared to be aimed squarely at recent legislation that prevents Catholic adoption agencies from discriminating against gay couples, and the proposed equality bill, which would make it harder for churches to exclude job applications from homosexuals or people who have changed their gender.

And The Guardian did such a great job with the photo that I’m not even going to bother grabbing the Palpatine-comparison pic I’d normally use for a story like this.

3. Apologies more effective when made in the right ear

Scientists found that when we are angry, the right ear becomes more receptive to sound than the left.

The discovery has led to the theory that by targeting the right ear, the penitent are more likely to succeed in talking someone round.

. . .

Previous research has shown that if you want to persuade someone to do something, you should also speak in their right ear.

They make a cute couple

4. Lesbian albatrosses become proud parents – You can’t go wrong with that headline. Suck it, fundies!

It began with a love triangle between two female royal albatrosses and a wannabe male suitor. But girl power prevailed and the ladies dumped their man and set up a same-sex family together at the world’s only mainland albatross breeding colony in New Zealand.

5. Tell Focus on the Family about your loving gay spouse

Focus on the Family is holding a Valentine’s Day Contest! All you have to is write a love letter to your spouse (under 300 words) explaining why you want to grow old with them.

As far as I can tell (and I read through the entire set of rules), gay couples are totally allowed to enter. Sure, they say right up front that “marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred commitment,” but at no point do they forbid gay couples from entering.

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