Does astrology disprove climate change?

February 27, 2010

Well South Dakota thinks so:


India freaks out over solar eclipse

July 21, 2009

This is yet another example of primitive superstitions that manage to survive in the present day:

Indian astrologers are predicting violence and turmoil across the world as a result of this week’s total solar eclipse, which the superstitious and religious view as a sign of potential doom.

Oh no! The moon has briefly blocked our view of the sun! This sort of thing never happens ever! We’re doomed! DOOMED!!!!

Son of a bitch! There are anti-vaccinationists that aren’t even this stupid. These guys need to stop watching Heroes as if its a documentary. Solar eclipses don’t have supernatural powers. Maybe we should change Groundhog Day to Stupid Indian Astrologer Day. If they get scared by their own shadow, it means another Dark Ages.

In Hindu mythology, the two demons Rahu and Ketu are said to “swallow” the sun during eclipses, snuffing out its life-giving light and causing food to become inedible and water undrinkable.

Pregnant women are advised to stay indoors to prevent their babies developing birth defects, while prayers, fasting and ritual bathing, particularly in holy rivers, are encouraged.

Oh no! Protect the pregnant women from shadow of the moon!!! Demons! Why’s it always got to be demons? The last thing I want to hear when I call for tech support is hearing some moron telling me my computer isn’t working because the demons that ate the sun have used their voodoo on my operating system.

Fortunately, my favorite Indian, Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, is on the case. You might remember Sanal as the guy who volunteered to have some voodoo guy kill him on live, national television with nothing but magic spells. Suffice it to say, he’s still very much alive.

Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, dismissed such doomsday predictions.

“Primarily, what we see with all these soothsayers and astrologers is that they’re looking for opportunities to enhance their business with predictions of danger and calamity,” he told AFP.

“They have been very powerful in India but over the last decade they have been in systematic decline.”

Keep fighting the crazy over there, Sanal. We’re counting on you.

The less obvious dangers of astrology

June 29, 2009

astrology - the foolA Sri Lanka astrologer was arrested for publicly predicting the death of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. And okay, I know I should be devoting this blog to condemning this kind of censorship but that goes without saying and I do find this particular story kind of amusing.

Yes, it’s wrong for a government to arrest a citizen for saying something they don’t like. I don’t know exactly what the astrologer said, so it is possible that it was reasonably viewed as a threat on the life of the president…though I doubt it.

Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera confirmed Friday that Chandrasiri Bandara has been arrested so police could investigate the source of his prediction.

Yes, I would like to know the source of this prediction too. I suspect it originated from the suspect, Chandrasiri Bandara’s ass.

Another astrologer failed and didn’t see it coming

April 24, 2009

psychic-crystal-ball_1114702cThis time it’s a Bulgarian astrologer named Emil Leshtanski, who predicted 800,000 people would be killed by a massive earthquake that would hit the city of Haskovo on Easter night. And guess what happened. Yup, nothing.

But the abysmal track record of psychics and charlatans didn’t stop hundreds of people from sleeping in tents and in their cars for fear of being crushed by collapsing buildings.

But I bet Leshtanski wishes something horrible did happen to all those people because they’re majorly pissed off and want to prosecute Leshtanski for spreading false information and inciting a panic.

Amateur Scientist doesn’t think this warrents legal action:

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to two years in jail. But while it’s always good for a fraud to be so publicly exposed, I’m not sure prosecution is in order. People, after all, should have freedom of speech. Though it could be said that telling an entire city they’re all going to die is the same as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Still, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the person shouting “fire” might have actually seen a fire. But believing someone who says the Earth is going to shake because of how the stars are positioned?

But I disagree. I’m a huge free speech advocate but one of the few exeptions to free speech I agree with is the proverbial “shouting fire in a crowded theater” and I think this absolutely is akin to the “shouting fire in a crowded theater” scenario.

Leshtanski incited panic and hysteria, which endangered lives. And while I love Amateur Scientist, I think he runs the risk here of seeming like he’s blaming the victims for being gullible enough to believe a reading of the stars signaled threat. But whether it’s shouting fire or a baseless Chicken Little-like cry that the sky is falling based on astrological signs, its just as real to those driven to a panic. So I’m happy that the stars are telling me a prison cell is in Leshtanski’s future.

The latest woo to ‘watch’ out for

March 26, 2009

Tired of that old watch? Wishing you could have a watch that could tell the future? Well now you can, thanks to the Swiss watchmaker Borgeaud. That’s right, if you’re easily fooled by preposterous nonsense, Borgeaud has the watch for you:

Borgeaud has released a watch that will display a daily, 90 minute period known as the Raju Kaal (Rahukaalam, Rahu Kalam) that, according to Indian astrology, is considered an inauspicious period.

. . .

“The study of Panchangas involves understanding Rasi phala, the impact of the signs of the zodiac on the individual. Astrologers consult the Panchangam to set auspicious dates for weddings, corporate mergers, and other worldly activities as per religion.”

And that’s not all! The watch comes in 2 colors:  Gravitas Black and Gravitas Silver.

Now you might expect to pay up to a buck to $2.50 for a piece of crap this idiotic. But act now and you can buy this limited edition and numbered garbage for the low, low price of $2000.

Wow! Thanks Borgeaud!!

Astrological Dancing

March 11, 2009

I’m sure this will become the latest dance craze any day now.

Where’s the Zodiac Killer when you need him?

A job that wasn’t written in the stars

February 5, 2009

An Austrian insurance company sparked controversy recently because it tried to only hire workers born under the specific star signs Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries, and Leo. Well that means I won’t be working for them. Tragic.

Now if you want to get a good laugh, here is the company’s ACTUAL defense:

A statistical study indicated that almost all of our best employees across Austria have one of the five star signs.

And here’s how Austrians responded to this nonsense:

It was followed by a wave of protests from equality groups and led to an investigation by the country’s anti-discrimination authorities.

Reminds me of what we face in the U.S. for equally absurd prejudices.  So in case anyone demands to know what’s the harm in people believing a little astrology, tell them about this.