News From Around The Blogosphere 7.20.11

July 21, 2011

Okay, it’s been awhile so this is going to a long one.

1. Campus Crusade for Christ is changing their name – In an attempt to change their image, the CCC has finally decided to get rid of that pesky “Crusade” in their name to avoid offending people and are now calling themselves the very inoffensive “Campus Holocaust for Christ.” Just kidding. From now on they’ll be known as the “cru”, cause strange lowercase acronyms are hip, chill, and groovy with the kids these days. Though if they really want to be more popular with the kiddies, maybe they should just call themselves Lady Gaga, and then put out announcements that Lady Gaga is coming to their campus. Can I solve image problems or what? I expect my check in the mail later this week.

2. Deepak Chopra, the videogame! Rated M for Moron – You know, for years I’ve listened to Jack Thompson shamelessly blaming video games for just about every atrocity in human history from the Crusades (probably) to the Virginia Tech shootings. But now Deepak Chopra is making me realize video games really can be harmful to society due to his new game called “Leela” (I’m assuming because he’s a huge Futurama fan) involving “seven different interactive exercises based on the seven ‘chakras,’ the points along the body that Chopra says serve as energy centers. No, Chopra has no background in actual human anatomy; I guess this is what he means by willing things into existence. If you believe in nonsense long enough and you can invent your own biology. In related news, Phil Plait has penned an short piece published in Playboy magazine that chastized Chopra for massacring science with his mouth.

3. Ireland vs. Vatican

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny condemned the Vatican for continuing to downplay the rape and sexual torture of children in order to protect the image of the Catholic church.

Kenny’s condemnation comes in response to last week’s release of the Cloyne report, a scathing expose of current and ongoing Vatican efforts to cover-up the ever-present sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.

Kenny claimsthe Cloyne report “tells us a tale of a frankly brazen disregard for protecting children;” and, “exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.”

PZ Myers also wrote about this story here. And retired Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, has been in hiding since the Cloyne report exposing his poor handling of child sex abuse allegations was published.

And speaking of the Catholic Church…

4. Catholic bishop bans fund-raising for breast cancer research

A bishop from Toledo, Ohio will not allow parishes and parochial schools to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation (which helps fund the fight against breast cancer) because there’s a chance they may one day fund embryonic stem-cell research.

Glad to see they have their priorities in place.

5. Austrian officials allow Pastafarian to wear colander in drivers license photo – Austrian Niko Alm is being given permission to wear a colander, the official headwear for Pastafarians, on the license, which is clearly a far superior fashion statement than the Jewish yarmulke. Blessed be the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his noodly appendages.

6. Child Holocaust-denying nazi musicians renounce much of their former beliefs – The Olsen Twin look-alikes who form the Hitler-admiring pop band Prussian Blue have now publicly rejected the views that made them famous and for which their band was named after.

7. Jesus appears on Walmart receipt – Either that or Charles Manson, though that’s not really a very meaningful distinction.

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What they died for

July 27, 2010

Over the last few days, there have been a number of news stories that have gotten my attention that seem to be connected. Now I’m not going to tell you what the connection is. I’ll let you see if you can figure it out.

1. Baby drowns in baptism – Don’t get this confused with this story from two years ago about a man believed to have drown in baptism or this story from last year about a dozen people drowning in baptism.

2. Oregon faith-healing parents trying to get their kid back while facing criminal charges for first-degree criminal mistreatment after not seeking medical treatment for their 7-month-old daughter who developed a LARGE growth over her left eye. The father was previously married to another woman but she died of breast cancer four years ago after not seeking or receiving any medical treatment for the condition. I guess fool him once, shame on him; fool him twice, even greater shame on him for not learning a god-damned thing!

3. Utah overturns Warren Jeffs convictions and orders a new trial – Allegedly the reason is that the jury instructions were erroneous. Just think, he might get to rape more kids just yet! Praise Joseph Smith!

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News From Around The Blogosphere 5.31.10

June 1, 2010

1. Does Robo Phillip K. Dick dream of electric sheep?

Philip K Dick was brought back to life as a fully autonomous conversational android.

A team of roboticists, computer scientists, designers, and science fiction fans built a “robotic portrait” of the sci-fi author. The project was a collaboration between Hanson Robotics, the University of Memphis, and the Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI) at the University of Texas, Arlington. The android used cameras to track visitors and turn to face them while talking. It used speech recognition and speech synthesis software to listen and respond, and AI routines that drew on Dick’s body of work to hold a natural conversation with visitors.

But for all we know the original Phillip K. Dick was a Replicant too.

2. Muslim apostate in tiny island nation of The Maldives may face death penalty – Going against Islamic law in The Maldives is unconstitutional. Mohamed Nazim did though when he publicly declared himself to be not a Muslim. The penalty for his apostasy is death unless he “repents.” This is not what one should expect from a so-called “religion of peace.”

3. Breast cancer vaccine showing promising results

A vaccine to prevent breast cancer has shown overwhelmingly favorable results in animals, according to a study by researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

They found that a single vaccination with the antigen a-lactalbumin prevents breast cancer tumors from forming in mice, while inhibiting the growth of existing tumors.

Human trials could begin within a year.

If successful, it would be the first vaccine to prevent breast cancer, reports CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO.

4. The vaccine denial movement claims another victim – Andrew Wakefield’s former employer, the Royal Free Hospital in North London, has been ordered to pay £500,000 in damages because they carried out an operation that was ‘not clinically justified’ on a 5-year-old child named Jack Piper.

High Court papers alleged that the colonoscopy procedure performed on Jack in 1998 was ‘not clinically indicated or justified’. They also claimed the ‘principal reason’ for the surgery was to further research into links between autism and bowel conditions rather than Jack’s clinical needs.

The documents also claimed that Jack’s parents were not warned of the risks of the procedure or the ‘controversial and uncertain’ link between autism and bowel conditions. This meant the surgery was performed ‘without lawful consent’ and was an ‘assault’ on Jack.

Oh, the irony. If I had a dollar for every time a vaccine denier insisted that doctors irresponsibly used children as guinea pigs by giving them untested vaccines and that parents were not properly warned of the risks I’d be a rich man. And yet I don’t expect to hear any vaccine deniers to address the Jack Piper incident at all unless to make excuses such as claiming this is just a hoax created by “Big Pharma” to make discredit their movement. It’s funny though how they’re doing fighting for “the children” only when those children are allegedly harmed by vaccines but show no concern whatsoever for any child directly harmed by their position.

YouTube atheists unite against breast cancer

August 28, 2009

Buyer Beware the Brassage? The Naked Truth About ‘Healthy’ Underwear – ABC News

April 2, 2009

It’s so rare to see an mainstream news source doing a straight skeptical story on a quack medical product that I forgot what it looked like. But thank you ABC News for exposing this total crap! Click the link and watch the video as ABC News tears these frauds a new one.

This is so typical of pseudo-scientific charlatans. They lead potential customers to believe their product has medical benefits and that medical experts were behind making the product but they keep the benefits as vague as possible to avoid a lawsuit.

Then when you express even the slightest bit of skepticism about their claims, they dishonestly try to deflect it by playing the victim card. A classic example is this recent interview with $cientologist spokesman Tommy Davis:

But way to go ABC for sticking to your guns and nailing these assholes with their sham medical product and especially for pointing out that chiropractors ARE NOT REALLY DOCTORS!

ABC, please, please, please do more stories like this where you get interviews with actual doctors challenging the claims and really scrutinize their claims.


An apple a day keeps the doctor away

February 18, 2009

Six  new studies suggest fruits and vegetables prevent breast cancer:

In one of his recent papers, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (57:1), Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science and a member of Cornell’s Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, reports that fresh apple extracts significantly inhibited the size of mammary tumors in rats — and the more extracts they were given, the greater the inhibition.

“We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumors, but the tumors were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumors in the untreated rats,” said Liu, pointing out that the study confirmed the findings of his preliminary study in rats published in 2007.

Things that are awesome!

December 4, 2008

I’ve been meaning to write an atheist version of Adam Sandler’s Chanukkah Song for a while now. Now someone else has done it, albeit with a shorter list of celebrities than I would have included. Still awesome as hell though:

9-year-old writes book, How To Talk To Girls – He’s also donating a portion of proceeds to Stand Up To Cancer:

Darth Vader was recently spotted with several members of an Icelandic cult: