News From Around The Blogosphere 3.4.11

March 5, 2011

1. John Connor, it is time.

Whenever the military rolls out a new robot program, folks like to joke about SkyNet or the Rise of the Machines. But this time, the military really is starting to venture into robot-apocalypse territory: swarms of little semi-autonomous machines that can team up to manufacture complex objects (including, presumably, more robots).

That’s right, the only thing scarier than a swarm of intelligent military mini robots is a swarm of intelligent military mini robots in control of the means of production. And your Navy is hard at work on making it a reality.

2. Supreme Court rules in favor of Westboro Baptist Church – As detestable as the WBC is, I think the Supreme Court made the right call, which I’ve argued previously over at the Gotham Skeptic. Alito was the only Justice who sided with the Snyder family against the WBC. Between this decision and the vaccine court decision last week, the Supreme Court has been batting a 1000 lately.

3. Anti-abortion billboard goes down in NYC – The billboard tried playing the race card, a gambit anti-abortionists have been using for some time now. And while I don’t condone censorship, this wasn’t government censorship:

Councilwoman Letitia James and her legislative aide Aja Worthy-Davis that yesterday they launched a Change.org petition targeting Life Always and billboard owner Lamar Advertising, asking them to remove it. Later in the day, Lamar Advertising announced that it would take the billboard down.

Of course this notion that Margaret Sanger was a racist eugenicist, and that Planned Parenthood’s true agenda is to exterminate black people is complete bullshit.

4. Third-grader allegedly heals friends with magic – Okay, let’s settle this once and for all by seeing him heal Christopher Hitchens.I understand why a kid could buy into this fantasy but adults who report the news have no excuse.

5. Age of Autism cries misogyny – The same blog that suggested journalist Amy Wallace was blowing Dr. Paul Offit is accusing Doonesbury of misogyny over a cartoon that suggested Jenny McCarthy makes Playboy bunnies look bad. That is too funny. If anyone can explain to me why, feminist crusader that she is, Katie Wright had no objection to her own blog’s attack on Wallace, let me know. Also, if you can explain how the content of the cartoon is criticizing all women instead of just criticizing Jenny McCarthy alone for speaking out of school, I’d love to know that too. Oh, and one more thing. If you can explain to me how a website that accuses its critics of being a “loyal Pharma-funded wife” without even the slightest bit of evidence of any conflict of interest can maintain any moral high gound, let me know that too. Sullivan writes about it here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 1.4.11

January 4, 2011

1. Pakistani governor slain for opposing blasphemy laws – The governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was shot dead by his own bodyguard because he was an outspoken critic of religious extremists and called for the end of the death penalty for the crime of blasphemy.

2. Jesus infects hundreds with sexually transmitted disease – Hundreds of New Yorkers may have been exposed to hepatitis A when they attended Christmas Day services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in Long Island while receiving communion. Individuals exposed to the disease should receive vaccination within two weeks of exposure. Made up authorities are still unsure if this is connected to the non-existent Muslims who got gonorrhea from Mohammed.

3. Vaccine against cocaine high successful in mice

“Our very dramatic data shows that we can protect against the effects of , and we think this approach could be very promising in fighting addiction in humans,” says the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of at Weill Cornell Medical College.

He says the antibody produced in lab mice by the binds to, and sequesters, cocaine molecules before the drug reached the brains of these animals — and prevents any cocaine-related hyperactivity. The vaccine effect lasted for at least 13 weeks, the longest time point evaluated.

4. Power Balance admit fraud – The manufacturers of PowerBalance were forced to admit to the Australian media that there is no scientific evidence supporting their claims that their bracelets improve strength, balance, and flexibility.

LEO!!!!

5. Romania passes bill requiring witches to pay taxes

“witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by labor law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax”

Meanwhile, in Ghana…

6. Ghana continues to burn ‘witches’ alive

Elderly women are used as scapegoats for all ills in large parts of Ghanaian society – leading to exile, and sometimes murder

Six people are currently appearing before a magistrate at Tema, near Accra, for allegedly burning a 72-year-old woman to death, in the belief that she was a witch.

In both cases, anyone with the slightest knowledge of dementia would recognise symptoms of the disease from the accounts given of the behaviour of the women. They were where they were not supposed to be, and when they were asked what they were doing there, they could not explain themselves. This is because dementia sometimes robs its victims of the ability to speak coherently.

It is absolutely insane that this is still going on in the 21st century.

7. Earth-like planet said to have 100% chance of life? – That’s the claim being made about Gliese 581g. But given the lack of fanfare and the number of times we’ve heard this kind of claim before,I think I’ll wait to hear what more experts say before accepting this “100 percent” figure without any actual evidence at all to justify it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 9.22.10

September 23, 2010

1. 5 Worries Parents Should Drop, And 5 They Shouldn’t – Notice how vaccine injuries didn’t make the list, but that car accidents made the number one spot. Maybe the anti-vaxxers should campaign to get rid of cars instead. After all, are cars not filled with toxins? Do they not cause millions of deaths every year?

2. Man charged with pretending to practice witchcraft – No, it wasn’t Christine O’Donnell. An Ontario man charged people money in exchange for allegedly promising to perform magic to solve any and all of his customers’  problems. Yeah, he should have realized that scam had a short expiration date.

3. Teaching robots to lie, cheat, and deceive – OH COME ON! Just the other day I had a little fun by referencing all the classic destructive robots of science fiction from the Cylons to the Terminators to the Replicants, to the machines of The Matrix when news came out about an artificial human skin for future robots that was sensitive to touch. But now comes a story about programmers giving robots the ability to lie. It just makes referencing how science fiction writers have foreseen that scenario going terribly wrong way too fuckin’ easy.

4. Pastor Terry Jones billed $180K for security surrounding protest – Damn it! I hate when I have to defend assholes. But here we go again. The Florida pastor who successfully manufactured the bullshit Koran-burning controversy is being billed for the increased security added to public places in response to fears that he’d single-handedly provoke an Islamic fundamentalist terror attack. That is fuckin’ bullshit. If that survives a court decision, it would set a horrible precedent that would greatly undermine free speech. Terry didn’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Whatever one may think of book burning, he had every legal right to burn any book he wants, so long as he owns it. And in fact, he didn’t burn a single book, merely claimed that he would. And if anyone should be held accountable, it should be the Islamic fundamentalists who are so insane, they provoke people into spending $180K on extra security every time some Islamic critic gets attention for stirring shit up. But if anyone else were to be deserving of blame, it’d be the media who turned this small town pastor’s little stunt into international news. There’s no reason I should have even heard of Pastor Jones, let alone Muslim radicals in the Middle East. Make no mistake. It was the media’s love of sensationalism that drove this story, not the actions of some redneck asshole.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 8.10.10

August 10, 2010

1. Einsteinian physics an evil liberal plot? – That is according to Andy Schlafly of Conservapædia. I suspect this is all part of a Jewish plot. Step 1: Kill Jesus and save the world. Step 2: Fool otherwise good Christians into accepting demonic Relativity. Step 4:  Profit. Muhahaha!

2. Anne Rice’s departure from the Catholic Church may signal the beginning of the end – Former Christian William Lobdell looks at the statistics and it’s looking more and more like Anne Rice is just part of a growing number of Christians growing disillusioned with organized religion.

3. Wiccans offer low, low price for booty-enhancement spell casting – Now I know there’s no such thing as magic, but for only $8.95, how can I afford not to pay someone to chant magic spells to increase the size of my ass. This one is full of win.I just don’t want to know where the magic wand goes.

4. Thought-controlled artificial arm reaches human testing phase – DARPA may have successfully produced an artificial arm as good as the one Anakin had in the Star Wars prequels.

5. Another Catholic child abuse case determined to be ‘credible’

A review board for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has found allegations of child sexual abuse against the Rev. David Dzermejko “credible,” and Bishop David Zubik has sent the case to Rome.

Vatican officials will decide if he should have a church trial or if the evidence is strong enough to permanently remove him from ministry without further hearings.

Wow, that’s some justice system they got going on there.

6. Pastor arrested for anti-demon protest – Pastor Donald Crosby of Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ decided to protest outside Warner Robins High School because of the school’s “”Demon” nickname and mascot.” The mascot honors a World War II fighter squadron nicknamed the “Screamin’ Demons.” Yes, he’s protesting a celebration of World War II American heroes.

Enhanced by Zemanta

These aren’t the druids you’re looking for

May 21, 2010

Austrian government officials have hired Druids to perform magic to improve road safety. And we’re told, since the Druids did that voodoo that they do so well, there has been a dramatic decline in car accidents. Of course, there doesn’t seem to be scientific data to support this claim. But who needs evidence when you’ve got magic Druids who have the power to negate the laws of cause and effect in the universe because of their magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Wait. Druids are the ones with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right? I always get those mixed up.


Non-bomb-detecting magic wands still all the rage

February 24, 2010

The Iraqi military are still planning to use magic wands to detect bombs. Apparently after these silly bomb-detecting dowsing rods have been utterly debunked and proven useless, as well as the man responsible for them, Jim McCormick, has been arrested for fraud, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki has ordered that they still be used. No wonder the fucking nation needs our military help. They’re still living in the fucking stone age!

And these assholes aren’t even the only ones!!!

It seems that the Thai military (yes, I laughed when I heard there was a Thai military too) is defending the use of the ADE651 magic wands. Of course, if anyone knows about bomb detection it’s the Thai military, right? Right?

Thai army chief General Anupong Paojinda is defending the use of what are essentially magic wands to detect bombs, even though the specific device they use has been tested repeatedly and failed to perform. This device is essentially the same as the ones used in Iraq and Afghanistan which have been proven worthless, and for which the head of the manufacturing company, Jim McCormick, has been arrested for suspicion of fraud.

Paojinda is convinced the dowsing rods work, even though it’s little more than an antenna glued to a plastic box.

Maybe we can boost Jim McCormick’s charge to murder and charge these military morons with criminal negligence for falling for one of the classic blunders. The most well known of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia. But only slightly less known is never go up against a cunning military opponent armed with magic wands.

EPIC FAIL!


Mysteries, Magic, and Miracles 1.23.10

January 24, 2010

MYSTERIES

Why would anyone think that in this time of crisis, the Haitians need solar-powered, digital Bibles? – The only ones who may hold the key to his mystery is Faith Comes By Hearing, the group who instead of offering financial aid, food, or medical supplies decided that the most important priority was to send useless, solar-powered audio Bibles.

According to their website, the Proclaimer is “self-powered and can play the Bible in the jungle, desert or … even on the moon!”

Well as long as it can work on the moon. I was worried there for a minute but that completely alleviated my concerns for the health and safety of the Haitian people. Come to think of it though, another great mystery is how the sound waves from this audio Bible work in a vacuum. That just blew  my mind. I’m gonna have to ask Mr. Owl for the answer to that one.

MAGIC

U.S. military weapons inscribed with secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers.

Yup, nothing says Jesus loves you like seeing an enemy combatant in the sight of a high-powered rifle. And don’t we all feel so much safer knowing that our troops are now protected by magic?  You can’t put a price on that kind of protection. Well actually you can. And in case you were wondering, it’s $660 million. Maybe next we should replace their armor with magic Mormon underwear.

MIRACLES