News From Around The Blogosphere 6.23.11

June 24, 2011

1. Introducing the solar-kini – A designer has created a bikini with embedded solar panels that can charge your mobile technology while your sunbathe.

2. Granite State skeptics hand out psychic bingo cards to John Edward’s audience

The cards had a five-by-five grid of vague “hot words” and scenarios that often come up in cold reading, a term used to describe how it’s possible to elicit information from people without their knowing it.

Mentalist Mark Edward also weighed in on this story here.

3. Hundreds of Mormon ads appear in NYC – Maybe this is just a really elaborate campaign to promote the Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, but something tells me not a single one of these ads mentions the Mormon home planet of Kolob. Maybe if Mormons were a little more honest about their beliefs and practices, more would trust them more and they wouldn’t need the improve their image. And if you’re embarrassed by your own beliefs, maybe you should change your beliefs. Just a thought.

4. Self-help guru James Arthur Ray convicted in sweat lodge deaths – He was found guilty of negligent homicide in the deaths of three of his followers during a botched sweat lodge ceremony.

5. More proof that reality TV is not real – I’ve worked in reality TV, so I don’t need convincing. But for those who aren’t convinced yet, the opening to “MasterChef” featuring a crowd of allegedly thousands of applicants has been exposed as a clumsy Photoshop job that just pastes the same groups of people multiple times.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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!

Enhanced by Zemanta

A review of the new film ‘8 The Mormon Proposition’

June 19, 2010

Today In Gay

June 11, 2010

I’ve got a bunch of news stories to report concerning gay rights.

1. First, next week a new documentary arrives in select theaters about the role the Mormon Church played in passing California’s infamous Proposition 8, which re-illegalized gay marriage and retroactively revoked the marriages of same-sex couples who had wed in California:

2. And this film is rather appropriately timed as it’s looking as though the Church the government will rule that they didn’t properly report their non-monetary contributions to the campaign to get Prop 8 passed:

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission will likely fine the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints $5,538 for being late to report about $37,000 in non-monetary contributions to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign of 2010.

Now that’s a depressingly tiny punitive charge but maybe with enough public outrage, more serious fines will be charged.

3. But the biggest gay rights story to come out today has to be Iceland’s unanimous legalization of gay marriage:

The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between “man and man, woman and woman,” in addition to unions between men and women.

Iceland, a socially tolerant island nation of about 320,000 people, became the first country to elect an openly gay head of state in 2009 when Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister after being nominated by her party.

“The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic,” said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland. “It (gay marriage) has not been a big issue in national politics — it’s not been controversial.”

Congratulations Iceland!

News From Around The Blogosphere 11.11.09

November 12, 2009

1. Lou Dobbs leaves CNN – Good riddance!

2. Children with autism show slower pupil responses

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.

3. Can Earth absorb CO2 much greater than expected?

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.

4. Star Trek-like Replicator Makes Metal Parts

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 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.

News From Around The Blogosphere 10.13.09

October 13, 2009

1. James Arthur Ray’s ‘Secret’ turns out to be death

CRIMINAL charges are possible against The Secret author James Arthur Ray after two people died in a “sweat lodge” that was meant to provide spiritual cleansing for the 64 people crowded inside.

Now you know why it’s a secret.

2. Mormon says LDS is treated like blacks in the civil rights era – Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Moron–err, I mean Mormon Church compared anti-Mormon sentiment after their role in Prop 8 to blacks in the civil rights era. . .without irony.

3. Secular Student Alliance (SSA) needs help to raise $50,000

An SSA member/donor named Todd Stiefel has presented us with a challenge:

Any amount we raise — up to $50,000 — by December 21st, he will match dollar-for-dollar.

4. I iz sertifide hypnotherapist

The regulation of hypnotherapists in the UK is so lax that even a cat can become accredited, the BBC has found.

Chris Jackson, presenter of Inside Out in the North East and Cumbria, registered pet George with three industry bodies. Each one accepted a certificate from the non-existent Society of Certified Advanced Mind Therapists as proof of George’s credentials... In the UK, George was registered with the British Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (BBNLP), the United Fellowship of Hypnotherapists (UFH) and the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association (PHPA).

Suck it, hypnotoad!

Mormon censored for speaking out against church’s homophobia

September 13, 2009

Apparently, it wasn’t enough for the bishop to just politely ask him to stop. They felt they had to cut his microphone and escort him out:

Gays make out not war in response to Mormon persecution

July 14, 2009

lesbians-kissingOn Thursday, a gay couple was detained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints security guards after kissing on Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City, Utah. They 2 men were not even kissing on the lips but on the cheek, though of course this is besides the point. Despite doing nothing wrong, they were cited by police for trespassing.

Well, the gay community decided to fight back, not with violence or with words. . .but with lips:

They call it a kiss-in but I think they effectively gave the Mormons the kissoff.


Trapped In A Mormon Gulag

January 28, 2009

Here’s something you don’t hear about the Mormons too often. I wonder why they never mention The Utah Boys Camp, a concentration camp for boys:

This story is about my personal experiences at a place called The Utah Boys Ranch, which models itself as a “tough-love” prep-school, but while I was there, I witnessed some unbelievable atrocities. It is a Mormon-funded and staffed facility, and religious indoctrination is a fundamental aspect of the school. There was sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, suicide, staff corruption, and escape. A major Utah political figure, Senator Chris Buttars was the executive director while I was there. This is my true story. Warning: Story contains adult content.

Hmm, they never seem to tell you about this when they show up at your door.

News From Around The Blogosphere 01.17.09

January 18, 2009

Louisiana has passed an unfortunate law that allows teachers to toss in any ol’ garbage into their science curricula.

Atheist bus ads in Italy a no-go for now

The adds bearing the slogan: ‘The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need him to,’ were to be posted on the back of public buses serving the port city, beginning on February 4.

It was not immediately clear why IGPDecaux decided not to run the ads.

Executive vice president of communications and awareness at Autism Speaks, Alison Singer resigns her postion in the name of good science – Of course Age of Autism came up with the best bald-faced lie they could think of, asserting that she was fired. They’ve yet to show evidence for this claim or provide their source for this information, so draw your own conclusions. In a Newsweek interview with her, she said:

In general, I disagree with a policy that says, “Despite what this study shows, more studies should be done.” At some point, you have to say, “This question has been asked and answered and it’s time to move on.” We need to be able to say, “Yes, we are now satisfied that the earth is round.”

Super Christian Chuck Colson vs. The Dictionary – He objected to the abridged dictionary for kids omitting the following words:  coronation, willow, goldfish, abbey, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, monk, nun, pew, saint, sin, carol, holly, and mistletoe. Instead there are more words like:  tolerant, interdependent, bilingual, and other words associated with multiculturalism.

That’s exactly the idea. The head of the children’s dictionary at Oxford University Press admitted as much. She said that “the environment has changed.” “We are also much more multicultural,” she added. And she said that “people don’t go to Church as often as before” and “our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism.”

Now personally I don’t think children should have access to as many words as possible (Thank you internet!), but if you’ve only got 6000 words to select, I’d rather see more words promoting an agenda of multiculturalism in our ever more increasingly pluralistic society than fill the book with words that relate to a particular religion. Of course I wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for making those kinds of major judgment calls. And I don’t envy whoever does. It reminds me of a line from the 1960’s film, The Time Machine:

“Only which 3 books would you have taken?”

One of the greatest movie quotes ever.


Next Generation Cloaking Device Demonstrated – “A device that can bestow invisibility to an object by “cloaking” it from visual light is closer to reality. After being the first to demonstrate the feasibility of such a device by constructing a prototype in 2006, a team of Duke University engineers has produced a new type of cloaking device, which is significantly more sophisticated at cloaking in a broad range of frequencies.”

But don’t get your hopes up just yet. They’ve been promising this technology for years and I still haven’t seen anyone walking around in an invisible cloak. . .though that might just be because they were invisible.


Mormon Rejection: