News From Around The Blogosphere 3.10.11

March 11, 2011

1. Mind-controlling fungus creates army of zombie ants – If the mimic octopus is the most interesting fauna I’ve ever heard of, then this newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani has to be the most interesting flora I’ve ever heard of. It literally takes over the ant’s mind and forces the ant to find “a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.”

2. 21 Philadelphia Catholic priests suspended on suspicion of child abuse – Several have already been indicted on charges of rape and assault on minors. But what’s most shocking is how callous the church is treating the scandal.

3.Compete with a computer in Rock-Paper-Scissors – Not content just beating us in Jeopardy, computers have set their sights on beating us in the ultimate human competition, Rock-Paper-Scissors. Click the link to play.

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This week in psychics 5.4.10

May 4, 2010

1. Dozens of ‘psychics’ warn that ‘something big’ will happen at some point some time in the future…but then they start getting vague – I’d swear this was an Onion article but tragically, this is presented as “real” news:

Wednesday was a hotbed of psychic activity as readings poured in from all over the country from psychics warning that “something big” is coming down the pike. They could not hone in on exactly what it was, but said “it is big, really big.”

Really guys? Dozens of pyschics and this is the best you can do? Apparently yes, which is why reporters desperate to keep their jobs tried to help the psychics out:

Reporters were asking all the right questions, but the psychics were very vague. “Is it another volcanic eruption?” asked one reporter. “Could be,” replied one psychic. “Could there be another terrorist attempt on Americans?” asked another reporter. “I am thinking that it might be something big like that, but maybe not specifically that,” replied another psychic.

. . .

One psychic who is particularly sensitive to seismic activity said that she felt that sometime in the near future, there was going to be another earthquake…

Another earthquake?! Now we’re getting somewhere!!

…but when asked where it would be and how strong it would be, all she could tell us was that it was going to be big, maybe not big like the one in Haiti, but maybe bigger than the one in Chile; she just couldn’t say.

Son of a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!

One frustrated reporter finally gave up. “I’m going shopping today for one of those eight balls that gives you “yes” or “no” answers to your questions because quite honestly, I have a better chance of getting a straight answer with that gizmo than with some of these so-called psychics.”

So what have we learned? Some day in the future something like an earthquake will hit somewhere at some intensity. Aren’t psychics amazing?

2. Apple tells STD psychic healing app to go iFuck itself – After initially approving a new “distance healing” app for warts, Apple remembered this was the 21st century and booted that shit out of the Apple store. Here’s how its works:

The faithful who bought a copy of Wart Healer were asked to take a photograph of their wart which is sent to the “professional mental healer”, who spends the next 111 days thinking about it after which “first effects are visible”.

Wow, 111 days! Wow that’s almost as good as just waiting for it to go away on its own. And it only costs $12.99 more!

3. Psychics gather in Brazil for religious ceremony – Now I can accept the space alien stuff but this quote makes my head hurt:

“Our doctrine is founded on Christian spiritualism that believes in reincarnation as a basic principle. We believe that we have already lived in different times.”

Ah yes, the Bible is all about the reincarnation. What book was that in again? Genesis?

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Catholic Church needs money because raping children is expensive

March 10, 2009

And let me tell you, trying to bully 9-years-olds into giving birth isn’t cheap either. As Skepchick Rebecca Watson reports in the Bostonist Post, the Catholic Church isn’t doing so hot these days. I just wonder when they’ll ask for a U.S. government bail-out.

Those of you who are concerned about giving financial support to an institution that has for decades fostered and protected rapist pedophiles should carefully consider the Church’s stance on this issue: “Hey, at least we’re not performing life-saving operations on children, amiright?”


I’m sure somewhere the world’s smallest violin is playing.


Brazil girl, alleged rape victim, aborts twins

March 5, 2009

You know what that means? Whenever you hear the words “rape” and/or “abortion”, it’s usually not far from the words “Catholic Church.”

The rape victim was only 9 years old!

And typical evil bastards that they are, the Catholic Church had the audacity to object to allowing the abortion procedure when no one in their right minds would consider a 9-year-old capable of raising a child and this child didn’t even have a uterus big enough to hold 1 fetus, let alone 2:

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

Even in Brazil where abortion is illegal, judges are given the right to make exceptions. . .

. . .if the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has no chance of survival.


News From Around The Blogosphere 01.30.09

January 31, 2009

atheist-bus-battling-buses-picadilly2Atheist Bus Campaign spreads to Brazil

The Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics launched the first phase of the campaign in the country, with eight slogans that we want to display on buses in the city of São Paulo. The phrases explain what atheists think, and seek to launch a first step towards the recognition of skeptical people as full and worthy citizen, with its deserved place in society. One of the highlights is the phrase that calls for an effective secular state, which ATEA believes should be a priority for citizens of all beliefs and disbelief.

And you can check out what the 8 slogans are by clicking the link above.

And the bus ads in Italy are back as well – Atheists–we’re everywhere you want to be.The new ad reads:

The Good News Is There Are Millions of Atheists In Italy; The Excellent News Is They Believe In Freedom Of Expression.”

Most/Least religious states in the U.S. – No surprise I’m in one of the better ones.

Creationist Ben Stein to deliver commencement address at University of Vermont – This is the guy who said:

When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.”

ACLU suing public school because administrators harassed a woman they accused of being a witch – This is still the 21st century, right?

California court of appeals upheld the expulsion of two juniors from California Lutheran High School for “conducting themselves in a manner consistent with being lesbians” – No seriously, what century is this?

How to fail Metaphysics at UHawaii – Links to a PDF disclaimer written by the professor of the class.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyDinosaur Fossils Fit Well Into Tree Of Life – “A recent study by researchers at the University of Bath and London’s Natural History Museum has found that scientists’ knowledge of the evolution of dinosaurs is remarkably complete.

Evolutionary biologists use two ways to study the evolution of prehistoric plants and animals: firstly they use radioactive dating techniques to put fossils in chronological order according to the age of the rocks in which they are found (stratigraphy); secondly they observe and classify the characteristics of fossilised remains according to their relatedness (morphology).”

Robots To Clean Your Kitchen And Play Hockey? – A news story about robots–you know you can’t resist.

New Stem Cell-like Functions In Plants Found – “Ordinary cells have the ability to replace lost organs in plants—a function previously thought to be limited to stem cells—researchers at New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and Utrecht University in the Netherlands have found. The findings, which suggest that some roles of stem cells in organ regeneration may be shared by other types of cells, are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.”