News From Around The Blogosphere 5.19.10

1. Paul Kurtz officially resigns from the Center For Inquiry (CFI) – Kurtz was among the organization’s original founders. Last year, in-fighting led to a rather messy coup that resulted in Ron Lindsay seizing power from R. Joseph Hoffman. I don’t know all the details. But it is a complicated issue. I happen to think the commitment to a less aggressive approach by former former CFI leaders like Kurtz and Hoffman has gone as far as its going to go and is no longer the right way to go. But at the same time Kurtz has obviously done enormous good throughout his tenure at the CFI and it’s a shame that philosophical disagreements are so dividing this organization. But at least the CFI is giving Kurtz a nice send-off as current CFI staffers and local advisory board members have signed a “Letter of Gratitude” thanking him for his service.

2. Researchers develop possible sarcasm detector – Obviously, this will solve all the world’s problems.All I have to say is Simpsons did it.

3. Pakistan shuts down Facebook for Draw Mohammed Day!

Authorities in Pakistan today blocked access to Facebook in response to popular outrage over a page on the social networking site that encourages users to post sketches of the Islamic prophet.

That page — titled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” — calls on Facebook users to upload drawings of Islam’s most holy of holy men on Thursday to protest Islamic extremists’ threats and violence against past portrayers of Muhammad. (Most recently, for example, arsonists attacked the home of Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who drew a picture of Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body.) So far, more than 200 images — most of them certain to offend Muslims — have been uploaded to the page.

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