1. Lou Dobbs leaves CNN – Good riddance!
Recently, University of Missouri researchers have developed a pupil response test that is 92.5 percent accurate in separating children with autism from those with typical development. In the study, MU scientists found that children with autism have slower pupil responses to light change.
New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.
This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.
She admits that, on the surface, EBF3 reminds many people of a Star Trek replicator in which, for example, Captain Picard announces out loud, “Tea, Earl Grey, hot.” Then there is a brief hum, a flash of light and the stimulating drink appears from a nook in the wall.
In reality, EBF3 works in a vacuum chamber, where an electron beam is focused on a constantly feeding source of metal, which is melted and then applied as called for by a drawing — one layer at a time — on top of a rotating surface until the part is complete.
5. Did Glenn Beck rape and murdere a young girl in 1990? – I’m not saying he did, but like a lot of other people, “I’m just asking questions.” And these are apparently questions that Glenn Beck doesn’t want to see asked because he tried to shut down the satirical Beck-mocking site glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com. But Beck couldn’t silence the questions and the so mirror sites using this Fark-inspired meme applying Beck’s own “I’m just asking the question” tactic remain on the web. What are you trying to hide, Glenn? And why haven’t you denied that you raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? Huh?
Kiddos to South Park for nailing this particular Beck tactic on tonight’s show.
6. Mormons becoming pro-gay rights? – Last week I blogged about how filmmaker Paul Haggis left $cientology largely because of their unapologetic anti-gay position. Well now the Mormon church is coming out in support of gay rights. Seriously.
7. E.T. phone Rome – The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding its first ever conference to discuss the possible ramifications for the church should extraterrestrial life be discovered. Maybe they’ll finally pardon Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, who was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for suggesting life might exist somewhere else in the universe.
Ingred Newkirk and Glenn Beck are both beating up on Al Gore because of his doing more for popularizing global climate change science than possibly anyone else in the world. Beck hates Gore because he’s a liberal and according to Beck’s book, he seems to think Al Gore single-handedly made the whole thing up. Newkirk doesn’t like Gore because again, despite Gore doing more for popularizing global climate change science than possibly anyone else in the world, she claims to think that’s all invalidated by the fact that–gasp–he eats meat.
Apparently, according to Newkirk’s self-righteous and hypocritical philosophy (she uses insulin made from animal products for her diabetes despite passionately condemning the use of animal products in medicine), one can’t be an environmentalist without being a PETA-approved vegan. Because clearly she’s done sooooo much for environmentalism. In fact, REAL environmentalists don’t make a move without first going to Newkirk for advice. Who does that Al Gore think he is for tirelessly donating countless hours to drawing attention to one of the greatest threats to human society when he should just sit back and stop eating meat? Cause clearly if Gore simply sat on his ass and just stopped eating meat, that alone would solve global warming.
But I think the funniest part of this video is when Glenn Beck hypocritically announces how much of a meat-eater he is (2:50 mark). It’s okay because he’s not crusading for environmentalism. And it was okay for Charles Manson to kill people because he wasn’t crusading against killing people. The awkwardness of these two trying to exploit the other despite their obvious contempt for each other is worth the price of admission alone.
1. Christians inadvertently help popularize atheism on Twitter – The #1 hot topic on Twitter today was “No God”. The reason was because lots of Christians re-tweeted the expression, “Know God…Know Peace. No God…No Peace.” Then some atheists tweeted just “no god.” Then to counter this problem, a bunch of Christians who don’t understand how this who process works came up with the ill-conceived plan to re-tweet the same stupid slogan again many times, frantically. But of course it just had the same effect as trying to fight one’s way out of quicksand, especially as atheists decided to do the same thing they did before, which is just re-tweet “no god.” LOL. I think we can call this spike in atheist popularity on Twitter the result of an unholy alliance between theists and atheists alike.
2. SuperFreakonomics authors are super-freaks – It turns out that Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner latest follow-up to Freakonomics is full of Global Warming denialism. Fortunately, Eric Pooley at Bloomberg.com has taken the time to refute their nonsense.
3. Manufactured atheist schism – I know I’m way late in talking about this but as has been pointed out by just about every atheist blogger already, Barbara Bradley Hagerty‘s article on the alleged schism among the atheist community is more than mildly exaggerated. While there are some big disagreements among us over how aggressive we should be promoting atheism or whether we should be promoting it at all, we’re more than capable of working together. And as the Friendly Atheist points out in the link above, on virtually every point Hagerty gets it wrong. And contrary to the impression created by Hagerty, this community has never been stronger.
4. Scientists alter fruit fly sexuality – While lately I’ve been a bit disappointed with Amateur Scientist’s blog (three particular articles in the last few weeks, where I strongly disagreed with him), more often than not it’s still a superb blog and he’s the only one I’ve seen cover this interesting story:
The flies were altered so that they could no longer produce the cuticular hydrocarbon pheromone, and the boners came pouring in. Flies without the pheromone attracted horny followers from both sexes, regardless of sexual orientation history. And some of them even tweaked the nipples of other species.
5. Chicago Coalition of Reason puts up a billboard – It’s very similar to the slogan being used in the BigAppleCoR’s NYC subway ads that have been plugged on every single local news source around: “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
1. Film about Darwin’s life FINALLY gets a U.S. distributor! - The film Creation, starring real life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Darwin and his wife has struggled to find a U.S. distributor, but finally the Indie company Newmarket has acquired it. Suck it, creationists!
2. Now Francis Collins does accept Evolution. Of course he also believes in a mystical garden with a talking snake and a magic tree with magic fruit, etc. making him a rather odd bird. But even though I’m not Mr. Collins’ biggest fan, I hate him now more than ever because he got to rock out with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry at the Capitol building today in an “unplugged” performance of Bob Dylan’s, “The Times They Are A Changin’.” You can listen to it here. Damn, I’m jealous!
3. NYC’s own Prof. Massimo Pigliucci rips into Penn & Teller’s global climate change denial and libertarianism – Some of my more libertarian-leaning skeptical friends drew my attention to this one even though I’m a fairly regular reader of Massimo’s blog. And though I’m a big fan of P&T’s work, particularly on their show Bullshit! and their other involvement in the skeptical community, I have to say I pretty much agree with Massimo here. He balances his review, applauding the better aspects of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!, while still giving a fair amount of criticism to where P&T go wrong. I certainly think Massimo does a better job here than when I hear him criticize Richard Dawkins, whose position I feel Massimo describes inaccuately.
Yay! Joey Ratz has more great scientific wisdom to impart! That means it’s time to send out another douchebag card:
According to his Captain Pointy Hat, atheists are responsible for the world’s ecological problems:
Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature’s relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the ‘final authority,’ and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.
It’s getting harder and harder to keep straight all the things about me that I didn’t know until the Pope told me. Let’s see. I’m apparently a communist, responsible for global climate change, and promoter of the thing the Pope says causes AIDS. . .condoms.
I don’t really have anything more to say about this story, so I’ll just quote the response from Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society:
This is rich coming from the leader of an organisation that has plundered the world to enrich itself. As he sits in his golden palaces, surrounded by unimaginable luxury and material wealth, he lectures the rest of us about restraint and greed. We have nothing to learn about environmentalism from this hypocrite.
An Oklahoma State Representative is blaming the financial crisis on those who don’t accept her religious values. Take a guess which political party she belongs to. I know you can. And who is this idiotic state representative? Why it’s none other than Sally Kern, the same Sally Kern that famously called gays a bigger threat to America than terrorists.
Apparently, Kern doesn’t understand little things like the law of cause and effect. When the financial system collapses, it’s not the fault of those who operate that system. No,that would be too simple. It’s really Obama’s fault for not being religious enough and the fault of the gays as well as everyone that doesn’t fit her personal vision of morality. If history is any indication, I’m sure we’ll be learning about her extra-marital affair soon enough.
This kind of scapegoating is just plain disgusting. But perhaps the ACLU said it best:
“I think it’s very unfortunate, frankly, I haven’t seen scapegoating like this since pre-World War II Germany”, said C.S. Thornton, the Deputy Director of the ACLU Chapter of Oklahoma. “She blames all these things upon a great moral crisis that has in fact caused our national economic downtown, but nowhere in this parade of horribles does mention greedy Wall Street executives or government regulators who were asleep at the switch.”
My advice for Ms. Kern is that if she’s that certain this is all the fault of the godless heathens, then maybe should she get right on putting together a bill to raise funds for a massive animal sacrificing initiative. Well, maybe we can even sacrifice virginal women to the volcano gods too.
But of course she’s not the only idiotic public official from Oklahoma. Senator James Inhofe is claiming to have exposed what he calls “probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. What is that hoax he’s speaking of? Why it’s Global Warming. Yup. Guess which political party this anti-scientific crank belongs to. I know you can.
He says the Environmental Protection Agency has been “cooking the science” on global warming since 1998, and that they purposefully falsified a report to eliminate research showing carbon dioxide has no harmful effect on the environment. Their motive? To further the Obama administration’s climate change initiatives. See, according to global warming conspiracy theorists, evil socialist fascists in the government want to declare your guns a federally protected wetland so that they might steal them from you and throw you into an internment camp. Or at least, I think that’s what they believe.
Seriously, what is wrong with these Oklahoma state officials? Is there something in the water?