News From Around The Blogosphere 5.12.10

1. Want to give a voice to your severely disabled child? There’s an app for thatMartin Brooks’s 5-year-old daughter is severely impaired by cerebral palsy, making it very difficult to communicate with her. So he created an iPhone app called iComm, which allows his daughter, who cannot walk, talk or control her movements, to point out pictures of food, toys, activities and other day-to-day themes on the iPhone screen using her eyes. Now I don’t know enough about this, so for all I know it’s just another pseudoscience like Facilitated Communication. But it seems reasonably plausible.

2. So that’s what an exorcism sounds like – Someone recorded a video in their hallway outside where their neighbor was having an exorcism. They also left a friendly note to restrict the exorcisms to weekends as to not disturb anyone else.

3. Independent Australian senator Nick Xenophon continues fight against $cientology – I’ve written about the appropriately named senator’s fight to remove the cult’s tax exemption before. Unfortunately, he failed in his attempt to have parliament approve a public benefit test to assess the aims and activities of entities receiving tax exemptions. Given the no-brainer aspect of such a test, I can only imagine it’s because parliament officials don’t want organizations receiving tax exemptions to be tested to verify they’re legit. Kinda makes you wonder what they’re afraid will be discovered. But Xenophon vows to continue the fight.

4. Mohammed’s nation-wide tour takes him to Northwestern U – I’ve written about various universities where secular groups have taken to drawing the reclusive and camera shy Muslim prophet in chalk around their campuses to promote freedom of speech and the humorous responses by Muslim groups to censor these stick figures. And it’s only making drawing Mohammed that much more popular. Now he’s popping up at Northwestern University in Illinois. And of course the Muslim groups are declaring the stick figures offensive. T Minus 7 days till Draw Mohammed Day!!

5. Speaking of which, if you needed a reason why we do this, just look at the Muslim response to a cartoonist, Lars Vilks, who drew Mohammed as a dog. He was attacked at Uppsala University –

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