News From Around The Blogosphere 2.18.10

1. Poll finds Americans most attractive in the world – USA! USA! USA! USA!

Brazil came in second place, Spain in third, Australia in fourth, Italy in fifth, Sweden in sixth, England in seventh, India in eighth, France in ninth, and Canada finished off the top 10. Wales was number 13, Ireland was at 16, and Scotland was a measly 19th. Of course this is just a ridiculous online poll and the U.S. has an awfully large population on which to vote for the home team. But it’s an amusing example of why polls are a poor means of acquiring data.

2. Andrew Wakefield booted out of Thoughtful House – Wow! When even your own minions don’t want to be associated with you, you’re in big trouble, Andy. Don’t worry though because they say bad news travels in threes and after the GMC ruling, the Lancet retracting your study, and now this it can only get better from here. But considering there’s pretty much nobody else who will work for you, probably not.

3. Sacramento atheist billboard vandalized – Just what Jesus would have done:

4. Mercer County School Board in Illinois approves pre-meeting prayer – Most of their community even supports it, saying we need to bring “God back” into the classrooms. One would think I’d be against this but if these fools are in charge of the school board, then the students of Mercer County are really going to need some kind of miracle.

5. Kevin Trudeau goes directly to jail without passing go – I blogged the other day about how Trudeau was being held in contempt of course for encouraging his followers to harass a federal judge, which proved to be a definite Tru-don’t). Now he’s going to jail. Unfortunately, it’s only for 30 days but that’s at least 30 days in which this merchant of death is prevented from selling his brand of crazy.

6. Bishop blames hippies & media for Catholic priests’ inability to restrain from raping children – Right, and the Twinkle murdered Harvey Milk. Once again I’ll point out that if this many children were raped by Nike, Starbucks, or McDonalds employees, those organizations would never survive the fallout. But when you’ve got Jesus as your CEO, your organization can get away with raping thousands of children and covering it up.

7. Oxytocin may alleviate some autism

Some call it the “hormone of love.” It’s oxytocin and it helps moms bond with and breast-feed their babies, and even keeps romantic couples content. Now a study suggests that this same hormone might also help people with autism—by improving their social awareness. The work is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Unfortunately, the study was only conducted using thirteen patients with high-functioning autism but hopefully a much largest study will be done soon and will yield positive results.

But just think how this research would not have been done if J.B. Handley had been making the decisions as it has nothing whatsoever to do with vaccines.

But speaking of vaccines. . .

8. Introducing the birth control shot for men – Professor Richard Anderson, from the University of Edinburgh is conducting trials on 60 couples in Manchester, and 20 couples in Edinburgh. Once again, not many people but it’s a good start. As for the details about the shot:

The shot contains the male sex hormone testosterone, and a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progesterone. The men will be given injections by the general physician twice a month.The injection works by stimulating the brain

into reducing the levels of other hormones which control sperm production and maturation.

However, once the shots are discontinued the sperm count returned to normal. This method is also an effective measure in providing a time bound contraceptive option.

The tests for the shots have shown positive results in 99 percent of the cases. Additionally, no adverse effects were perceived though some men were troubled by hot flushes, mood swings, and acne.

And yes, the scientist’s name is Richard Anderson and, as my brother joked about yesterday, not to confused with any other famous Richard Andersons.

9. Survey says religion is losing out in the U.S.

The percentage. of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.

10. Complete strangers marry in Florida to mock anti-gay marriage sentiment

Brian Feldman and Hannah Miller, two Orlando-area residents and complete strangers, were married last Friday. Feldman, a performance artist, put out a call to any ladies who wanted to take part in the project on Facebook. Three showed up, and he spun a water bottle to decide which one with which he would enter into holy matrimony.

The piece even had a name: “Brian Feldman Marries Anybody,” and to complement the piece, a lesbian couple attempted to get a marriage license at the same court an hour beforehand but was denied.

Yeah, cause that would have destroyed the sanctity of marriage.

11. Another unforeseen downside to psychic charlatanism – A California woman, Tanya Nelson, was just convicted of murdering a fortune teller and her daughter because of a failed love spell. To be fair though, mixing up love spells with murder spells is a very common mistake. Both victims received multiple stab wounds to their faces and necks. Oh yeah, and there was this one other thing:

For reasons not immediately clear, the heads and hands of both victims had been covered in nearly a gallon of white paint.

It’s unknown whether this was an attempt to remove forensic evidence, symbolic, or part of some kind of weird occult ritual. But I’m going to just pretend it’s that third option because it makes for the more interesting story. And I know it’s cliche to say at this point but once again, the psychic didn’t see it coming.

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One Response to News From Around The Blogosphere 2.18.10

  1. Lurker111 says:

    The story about the love spell/death spell reminds me of the classic short story, “The Chaser,” by John Collier, available in may “classic” short-story anthologies. Worth the quick read.

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