Jack Bauer interrogates Santa

December 26, 2009

There’s no Santa?

December 23, 2008

Study examines motives behind Santa myth – This may come to a shock to you but Santa Claus is not real. You’ve been lied to.

Having kids believe there’s a jolly man in a red suit who visits on Christmas Eve isn’t detrimental, although some parents can feel they’re outright lying to their children, according to a new analysis by Serge Larivée.

The study involved 1500 kids between the ages of 7 and 13, which was a shock to me because what 13-year-old still believes in Santa? It turns out children tend to figure it out on their own through simple observation and their parents later confirm it.

“Children ask their parents, for example, how Santa gets in the house if there’s no chimney,” he says. “And even if the parents say they leave the door unlocked, the child will figure out that Santa can’t be everywhere at the same time and that reindeer can’t be that fast.”

Once again, further proof that children are by large smarter than most religious adults, who can’t figure out that god can’t be everywhere at the same time and that Jesus can’t come back from the dead.

Then again, maybe not as half the 7-year-olds  in the study couldn’t let go of the myth of Santa. But this Santa/God comparison isn’t over yet:

Larivée and Sénéchal now want to explore a deeper question: If children attribute the same supernatural powers to Santa as they do to God, why do they stop believing in Santa, but continue their belief in God?

Santa Claus bailout hearings

December 21, 2008

This recession is getting out of hand:

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.17.08

December 18, 2008

Yet another atheist display stolen – This time it’s in Illinois.  Though granted we don’t know for certain at this time whether it was stolen by a Christian, there’s a least a strong possibility. And I suspect exposing this kind of hypocracy was part (though of course not the primary part) of the motivation for these displays in the first place. Having it stolen certainly gets the display more media attention, so whether it got stolen or not, it’s kind of a victory. It will be replaced and a second sign will be added that reads, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”

Let the Obama religious pandering begin! – Right-Wing Fundamentalist Rick Warren is to deliver the invocation (aka magic spell) at Obama’s inauguration. Warren of course has declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christians and has openly compared himself with James Dobson. This is a deep disappointment from the man who’s supposed to bring “change.”

Why life originated (and why it continues) – “In a recent study called “Why did life emerge?”, two scientists, son and father Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki and Erkki Annila of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, offer some insight into the general driving force of life’s origins in terms of thermodynamics.”

WTF?! – “Dr. Paul Grabb, a pediatric brain surgeon, said he was surprised when he discovered a small foot growing inside the brain of 3-day-old Sam Esquibel.

“The foot literally popped out of the brain,” Grabb told TheDenverChannel Wednesday.” I’ll repeat:  WTF?!

Despite the Vatican’s objections, abortion pill to be made available in Italy next month. – The RU486 abortion pill is finally coming to Italy.

alternative-medicine-for-dummiesPARADE Magazine once again endorses CAM – This is the second time since I started this blog about 5 months ago that I’ve seen this kind of crap being perpetuated in PARADE without even the slightest recognition that these “treatments” have many critics.

monkey-thinkingReporter blames (aka credits)  PZ Myers  for single-handedly thwarting the partnership between Cincinnati Zoo and the Creation Museum – Well done PZ.

A Pennsylvania supermarket defending itself over refusing to write out 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell’s name on his birthday cake in frosting – Eventually Wal-Mart got the job done.

How Santa travels the world in just one night – “He exploits the space-time continuum,” says Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.15.08

December 16, 2008

House Resolution 847 – Proving even in an economic crisis Congress can still manage to waste more. Seriously guys, this isn’t Brewster’s Millions. Can someone please explain the point of this bullshit?

Remember the Iranian guy who recently blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face? Well his punishment is to be blinded as well. Ya gotta love the Iranian justice system, huh? Not really. As just as this punishment might seem from an safe distance, this is a preposterously barbaric and antiquated form of justice that leaves me once again wondering why that fairly accurate and still fairly accurate lyric in Disney’s Aladdin (‘where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face.’) was ever deemed “controversial.”

Teacher banned from primary school for saying Santa isn’t real? – This is the stupidest story I’ve heard all day. . .

. . .because obvious Santa is real. How else can you explain the Christmas presents, and the devoured milk and cookies?

Harry Potter sticking his broom where it doesn’t belong – I have no issue with Harry Potter. I’m not too into it but lots of other people are. And he seems to piss off a lot of religious kooks. . . and of course I love that. But one place where Harry doesn’t belong is in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

Talking religion with the kids from Children’s Scientology Pageant – I blogged about this show before here. Now the kids in the show are having a conversation about religion, which is hilarious. I’m also very happy to see how many critical thinkers there are in the group.

Have scientists finally solved the yawn? – The notion that yawning is a sign that an individual is tired is an almost universally accepted myth.  As far I’m aware, scientists have had several hypotheses regarding the purpose of yawning but have yet to reach a solid conclusion. But according to this article a new study suggests that yawning is primarily to regulate brain temperature.

Ghosts stop thief?

A burglar in Malaysia who decided to rob a house while its owners were out of town on vacation claims his getaway was held up for three days by a ghost that took him prisoner.

Wow. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the amazing feats of these alleged ghosts are exaggerated and that the guy’s just very superstitious. But I’ll admit, it makes a good story. But of course once again, where’s the evidence? But a ghost solving crimes sounds like a mid-season replacement show you’d expect to be coming to NBC.

The other day I mentioned that the Japanese were working on capturing dreams. I didn’t realize how close they were. They can already display images from the brain.


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyPesticides In Fruit-based Drinks Outside U.S. – “In the first worldwide study of pesticides in fruit-based soft drinks, researchers in Spain are reporting relatively high levels of pesticides in drinks in some countries, especially the United Kingdom and Spain. Drinks sampled from the United States, however, had relatively low levels, the researchers note.”

Brain Genes: Obesity All In Your Head? – “Is obesity all in your head? New research suggests that genes that predispose people to obesity act in the brain and that perhaps some people are simply hardwired to overeat.

A genetic study of more than 90,000 people has identified six new genetic variants that are associated with increased Body Mass Index (BMI), the most commonly used measure of obesity. Five of the genes are known to be active in the brain, suggesting that many genetic variants implicated in obesity might affect behaviour, rather than the chemical processes of energy or fat metabolism.”

Waste Coffee Grounds: Source Of Biodiesel Fuel – “Researchers in Nevada are reporting that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks.”


Science explains nothing!

The flu is here – Get vaccinated.