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.
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.
Members of the earth’s earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.
According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.
“I do not understand,” reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. “A booming voice is saying, ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light. It is saying, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass,’ but I am already standing on grass.”
Jon Stewart interviews Mike Huckabee– Once again, Stewart does a phenomenal job illustrating the absurdity of the anti-gay marriage movement. And here’s a past interview where Stewart discussed this issue.
FULLERTON, CA – The Hunger Artists Theatre Company is proud to present the final show of its 2008 season, Flying Spaghetti Monster: The Holy Mug Of Grog. This follow-up to Hunger Artists’ 2006 hit comedy The Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday Pageant is written by Artistic Director Jeremy Gable and directed by Associate Managing Director Katie Chidester, and runs from December 5th through December 21st.
AND NOW FOR MOMENT OF SCIENCE:
‘Smart Fabrics’ That Monitor Health – “Researchers in United States and China are reporting progress toward a simple, low-cost method to make “smart fabrics,” electronic textiles capable of detecting diseases, monitoring heart rates, and other vital signs. A report on these straight-out-of-science-fiction-fibers, made of carbon nanotubes, is scheduled for the December 10 issue of ACS’ Nano Letters.”
A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant – This is so freakin’ cool! A cast of 11 children in Arizona will be performing “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant” detailing everything from the life of L. Ron to the actual teachings of Scientology (Xenu included) to the involvement of people like Tom Cruise and John Tavolta.
9 Ways To Dress Up Flawed Research – UK sceptic (spelled the British way) Dr. Ben Goldache wrote a great expose on some of the tricks used by dishonest researchers to get their articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
Stanton Friedman talks smack about Brian Dunning over infamous Betty and Barney Hill case – The sad thing is that like Dunning, Friedman used to be a hero of mine. He was featured in just about every TV special about UFOs and alien visitation I ever watched (and that was A LOT!!). I don’t think anyone is more to blame for the long-held belief in alien visitation than Stanton Friedman. It’s kind of sad when you realize one of your childhood heroes is at best obsessed lunatic and at worst a fraud.
Religion and Freethinkers on Postage Stamps –
AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:
How To Destroy An Asteroid — Safely – “In the hit 1998 movie Armageddon, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck blew up an asteroid to save the world. While the film was science fiction, the chances of an asteroid hitting the Earth one day are very real ― and blowing up an asteroid in real life, says a Tel Aviv University researcher, will be more complicated than in the movies.
Astrophysicists agree that the best method for avoiding a catastrophic collision would be to change the path of the asteroid heading toward our planet.” Take that Bruce Willis!
Gene Therapy Fixes Sickle Cell Disease In Lab – “Using a harmless virus to insert a corrective gene into mouse blood cells, scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have alleviated sickle cell disease pathology. In their studies, the researchers found that the treated mice showed essentially no difference from normal mice. Although the scientists caution that applying the gene therapy to humans presents significant technical obstacles, they believe that the new therapy will become an important treatment for the disease.”
South Dakota abortion providers must tell women abortion terminates “life”-That political ideology is now being legally imposed in South Dakota is disgraceful. Until this matter is rectified, South Dakota is going on my “Is Dead To Me” list next to Louisiana for its absurd “academic freedom” law. I encourage everyone to hurl perpetual ridicule upon these states, make them the butt of your jokes. Indeed, no method has proven more effective in changing such policies in modern times as ridicule. Of course, many intelligent people who oppose this nonsense reside in these states; I encourage you all to fight these idiotic policies.
Why secular activism is necessary -The Religious Right affects public policy and every day they are fighting for control of the world. They’re fighting to control what we can and how we can think. This is the very antithesis of the free secular republic designed by our Founding Father. And that vision is worth protecting.