News From Around The Blogosphere 3.11.11

March 12, 2011

"That's no moon."

1. Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! No, it’s Supermoon! – If you’re Bill O’Reilly, I know what you’re thinking. Supermoon comes in,earthquake comes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. But no, Bill, the coming Supermoon is not in any way responsible for the Japanese earthquake. Nor was Godzilla…probably.

2. Oregon House ends ‘Faith Healing’ exemption – Oregon had a law on the books that gave religious parents carte blanche in the event that they killed their sick children by choosing to treat them with prayer in lieu of getting them proper medical care. But now House Bill 2721, “eliminates reliance on spiritual treatment as defense to certain crimes in which victim is under 18 years of age.”

3. Pro-Choice student suspended by public Catholic School

Some students at St. Patrick High School in Ontario, Canada recently participated in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. They wore red tape with the word “LIFE” written on it and “didn’t talk for the day to display their belief in the injustice of abortion.”

Sophomore Alexandria Szeglet wasn’t a fan of that message, though, so she decided to do something about it.

She got some green tape and wrote the word “CHOICE” on it.

And then she passed along the green tape to several other students so they could join her in silent protest.

So the school told her to take off her green tape or go home. So she did…go home, that is. But she was not alone. The media was contacted and told up to 35 students were given 2-day suspensions, not to mention a 100 more who were sent home for the day. I’m tellin’ ya, these kids today and they’re principles…and their self-respect…and their rap music…

4. Smartphones that detect cancer in under an hour – We’re finally arrived at a point where our phones are smarter than our doctors. Very soon we’ll be able to integrate a microNMR device that accurately detects cancer cells to a smartphone:

Though just a prototype, this device enables a clinician to extract small amounts of cells from a mass inside of a patient, analyze the sample on the spot, acquire the results in an hour, and pass the results to other clinicians and into medical records rapidly. How much does the device cost to make? $200.

This is much more efficient than modern biopsy analysis, which only has an 84 percent accuracy rate, can take three to four days to produce results, and runs the risk of the tissue degrading during transport to an external testing site.

5. And in honor of Pi Day coming up, the sound of Pi:

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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 5.11.10

May 12, 2010

1. Psychic scams Oregon man out of $150,000 – In order to remove a demon, a man gave a “psychic” boat loads of cash and a Hummer totaling $150k and now he’s bankrupt. Let that be a lesson for you. Sometimes having a demon around isn’t that bad after all.

2. Mojave cross from Salazar v. Buono Supreme Court decision was stolen – And while I think it’s outrageous that the thing was allowed to remain there in the first place, I have to condemn the actions of whoever was responsible. If it was an atheist or atheists responsible, I apologize for them. I always criticize the religious for not condemning the bullshit actions of their fanatics, so it’d be hypocritical for me to not do the same when it’s possible fanatical atheists were involved.

3.TV stations everywhere fall for fake Yo-Yo trick champ – In one of the best executed pranks in recent memory, some dude fooled a whole bunch of TV stations to give him air time to demonstrate his amazing Yo-Yo skills…which look remarkably like the worst Yo-Yo-ing in human history. But all we really know about “K-Strass,” aka Kenny Strasser aka Karl Strassburg is that he’s gotten on TV at least six times in the past month.

4. Constance McMillen’s Second Chance Prom a huge success – After her high school held a prom without her because she was gay, the American Humanist Association and philanthropist Todd Stiefe donated money to give her and her classmates another prom, an inclusive one. Even the band Green Day donated money  Lance Bass made a personal appearance. Suck it, small-minded assholes running her school!

5. Pope blames church’s own sins for sex scandal – So does that mean then that all the other Catholics like Bill Donohue and Church leaders were lying when they claimed that it was demons, gays, and the media who were to blame?

6. Woman claims 3-D porn got her pregnant…seriously:


News From Around The Blogosphere 11.17.09

November 18, 2009

1. Boyscouts of America to be honored on a stamp – This is very unfortunate because the Boyscouts are notorious for being a discriminatory organization, mostly controlled by Mormons that’s bigoted against gays and atheists.

2. Millions in Portland are good without “God”

3. High Schooler punished for not standing for Pledge – Inspired by 10-year-old Will Phillips, high schooler Daniel Royston of Wasilla, Alaska (yeah — that Wasilla) for the first time in his life refused to stand for the Pledge. The school violated the law and punished him for it. Royston’s account of what happened can be found in the link above.

4. Is this a joke? I can never tell.

5. Awesome commercial for the Secular Student Alliance:

6. Researchers find the gene for empathy?

Researchers have discovered a genetic variation that may contribute to how empathetic a human is, and how that person reacts to stress. In the first study of its kind, a variation in the hormone/neurotransmitter oxytocin’s receptor was linked to a person’s ability to infer the mental state of others.

Interestingly, this same genetic variation also related to stress reactivity. These findings could have a significant impact in adding to the body of knowledge about the importance of oxytocin, and its link to conditions such as autism and unhealthy levels of stress.


News From Around The Blogosphere 7.27.09

July 27, 2009

An Oregon couple acquitted of manslaughter for causing the death of their 15-month-old daughter by turning to prayer instead of real medicine. In the immortal words of U2, “How long must we sing this song?” Repeat after me: PRAYER. DOESN’T. WORK.

Humans just salty meat for robot – When a wine-tasting robot’s infrared spectrometer scanned the skin of a human, it identified it as prosciutto. And they wonder why Sci-fi writers depict robots so often as destroyers of mankind?

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyMore critics take swings at Chris Mooney and Francis Collins – First, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Sam Harris criticizes Francis Collins’ new appointment as director of the National Institutes of Health because of his irrational religious belief. Then Jerry Coyne takes a shot at Collins. And of course this whole issue of whether science should actively discourage religious faith leads us straight to Chris Mooney, whose book is now criticized by blogger Jason Rosenhouse, who despite our unrelated disagreement mentioned 2 blog entries ago, I applaud here in the first part of his 3-part review.

Indiana atheists can have a bus ad without god – Indiana atheists won their lawsuit against Bloomington Transit who originally refused to accept their completely inoffensive bus ad:


News From Around The Blogosphere 9.8.08

September 9, 2008

Scientists find ‘commitment’ gene – Scientists have now isolated the gene for commitment and monogamy.

CREATIONIST NEWS:

cdesign proponentsists invade Oregon – At Jefferson High School near Salem, Oregon, IDeots have surfaced to push teaching “the other view” in the Science classes. Here we go again. Do we need to have another Dover Trial? (Complete Trial Transcript here, Judge Jones’ complete 139-page decision here, and all other trial documents here.)

Ron Reagan said:

““Creationism is one of the scary beliefs Palin advocates.”

Not surprisingly, this didn’t go over too well with Answers in Genesis.

The How of Steve – Project Steve has hit the 895 mark, almost reaching 900 signers. If you don’t know what Project Steve is, it was devised by the National Center for Science Education as a parody of the signed lists of “Ph’d’s” and “scientists” collected by creationist that allegedly have serious doubts about the Theory of Evolution so that the creationists can make it look as though there’s actually a scientific controversy when in actually there isn’t. To really hit home how absurd this is the NCSE decided to make their own list of pro-Evolution scientists only they’d deliberately limit their list only to scientists with variations of the name “Steve,” such as Stephen, Stephan, Stephanie, etc. Last I heard, just the number of scientists with Steve names that supported the Theory of Evolution was way ahead of the un-handicapped creationist list of any scientist on Earth that they can find to sign that they have doubts of Evolution and the Steve list included more scientists in relevant fields.

And now the epic conclusion of a drunken adventure of 2 women infiltrating the creationist Discovery Institute and getting a personal tour from Casey Luskin – Here is the first installment, the second installment, and the third installment. And now here is the fourth and final installment from Enemy Combatant: Trailmix Appreciation Club. And here’s the epilogue, a personal thank you to Luskin.

The Theory of Childhood is just a theory – This is a better written version of an argument I love to use on creationists.

The Tooth Fairy

ISLAMIC NEWS:

The Prime Minister of England gives the first ever Ramadan message as Britain moves to adopt Sharia law:

In Iran, four women have been jailed from blogging about women’s rights.

Speaking of Islam, my next story comes from Denmark:

Something is godless in the state of Denmark – It must be Godless Beer – thanks to the Danish Atheist Society.

POLITICAL NEWS:

Obama’s Science Policy – Doesn’t look half bad.

Obama – “I am not for selective vaccination. I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.” – Awesome! As you can imagine, Age of Autism’s kinda pissed. Please call the Obama campaign at 866-675-2008 or email them at http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2 to tell them you support Obama’s position on this issue. Otherwise, he’s likely to hear from enough kooks on the matter to maybe influence his position.

“There’s an underground church that the world has no idea exists.” – Prepare to enter Crazytown, USA … aka Wasilla, Alaska:

They picked the wrong Palin:

The tragic absurdity of delusional religious beliefs – I’m reminded of my Christian Death Paradox argument.

A Musical Journey from Christianity to atheismMatthew Terry is a musician who is about to release a song detailing his personal journey from Christianity to Atheism. You can check out the lyrics by clicking the link.

Haunted Spice Rack on eBay!

10 Things You Don’t Know About The Earth


AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Comets Throw Light On Solar System’s Beginnings – “Scientists already know that comets played a significant role in ensuring that conditions were right for life on Earth. Most of the icy, small planetary bodies that otherwise became comets went into forming the gas giant planets in the outer Solar System but some were ejected from the vicinity of the largest planets. Of these, a fraction ended up in the inner Solar System bringing water and biogenic elements of interest to Earth. Without this cometary transport, life on Earth may never have had a chance to start.”

Large Hadron Collider Seeks ‘Universal’ Answers – “How did the universe come to be? What is it made of? What is mass? Can science prove that there are other dimensions? We may have answers soon. On September 10, 2008, Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Erez Etzion from the School of Physics and Astronomy will be in the control room of the new CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the border of France and Switzerland when the LHC is first turned on. Scientists are calling it the largest experiment in the world. It’s taken about 6,000 researchers, $8 billion and ten years to build.”

Smaller Males Go The Distance For Sex – “In a field study on Maud Island, New Zealand, evolutionary biologists from the University of Toronto at Mississauga discovered that male giant weta most successful at mating travel greater distances each night. Remarkably, it appears that being lightweight and having longer legs assist male wanderlust. Clint Kelly, Luc Bussière, and Darryl Gwynne found that males can walk more than 90 m each night in search of a mate – roughly equivalent to a 7000 m outing by a human male.”