News From Around The Blogosphere 11.24.09

November 25, 2009

1. Happy 150th Birthday, Origin of Species! – That’s right. The little book that changed the world, single-handedly rendered even a deist god unnecessary, and made it truly possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist has just turned the Big 1-5-0! CNN’s published a brief retrospective from Richard Dawkins. Suck it, Kirk Cameron!

Then again, CNN also published some creationist nonsense from Stephen Meyer. In his bio, they claim the Discovery Institute “supports research challenging ‘neo-Darwinian theory’ and supports work on the theory of ‘intelligent design.’ “ Of course this isn’t actually wrong because it never says the D.I. actually DOES any research; it just supports the idea of research. Of course cdesign proponentsists have yet to ever present a means of properly testing their claims or of showing any practical applications of their “research.” And of course if you limit your “research” to a taking a specific position on a scientific argument, you’ve already exposed your bias. But let’s not quibble over small details like that.

2. LHC creates its first collisions – They grow up so fast, don’t they. It seems like only a year ago that people were freaking out that it’s going to destroy the world and now our boy’s all grown up and smashing shit. Before you know it, it’ll be married and having its own baby colliders.

3. Study finds cannabis little more than placebo in cancer patients – This will no doubt come as an even bigger disappointment to the 4/20 crowd.

4. Iraq bribes citizens to get married – American conservative Christians pay attention. THAT’S TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE. But it’s not just any marriage. The Iraqi government is trying to promote interreligious marriage specifically, which is almost kinda progressive when you think about it, as ill-conceived as the overall plan seems to be.

About a dozen mixed couples will take part in a mass wedding Friday and will receive their $2,000 gifts, Mohammed said. An additional 375 same-sect couples will join the celebration, but they’ll receive $750, Mohammed said. The government wants to help those cash-strapped couples in getting their start, he said.

Did they say “same-sex” couples? Oops, my mistake. I misread it. But at least the government sees value in encouraging hetero-sect-ual relationships in an effort to heal tensions.

5. Michael Jackson’s trapped in someone’s womb! – That’s what expecting parents Dawn Kelley and William Hickman see in Dawn’s latest ultrasound. But even though you don’t think it looks like Michael Jackson, they’re not crazy. Even their six-year-old daughter agrees that it looks like Michael Jackson. And who’d know Michael Jackson better than a small child (That’s right. I went there)? But I guess we won’t know for sure until Dawn starts to feel the baby moon-walking.

6. Pennsylvania Avenue turns to Sesame Street to promote math and science

To improve science and mathematics education for American children, the White House is recruiting Elmo and Big Bird, video game programmers and thousands of scientists.

I think we all know that The Count was born for this job.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 11.26.08

November 27, 2008

“Truman Syndrome” – more and more mental patients are convinced their lives are being filmed for entertainment, a la “The Truman Show.”

Et tu Sesame Street? – Jenny McCarthy shows up on one of my all-time favorite streets in America. She didn’t talk about vaccines or autism (Thank Zeus!) but unfortunately The Count didn’t show up to teach her a lesson: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 studies disprove your claims! Bleh!”

I blogged a few weeks ago about the job cuts over at James Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization. Wait. It gets better. Now it seems that The Creationist “Museum” is cutting 15 jobs. That’s a shame. And you gotta love this comment:

At least their pink slips will come with a “Merry Christmas” instead of a “Happy Holidays.”

I don’t acknowledge your marriage – A fair and rational. . .and funny response to all the gay marriage controversy –

Bee Venom Therapy – Wow, this is new even for me. Apparently people are regularly having bees sting them because of a false belief that it will help treat their MS.

Aquamantra – Water with all the nutritional value of bullshit.

Does Gulf War Illness really exist?

Top 10 Amazing Biology Videos.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyUnderground Water Shoots From Saturn’s Moon? – “Saturn’s moon Enceladus may indeed hide an underground reservoir of water.

Scientists at Jet Propulsion Lab in California, the University of Colorado and the University of Central Florida in Orlando teamed up to analyze the plumes of water vapor and ice particles spewing from the moon. They used data collected by the Cassini spacecraft’s Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS). Cassini was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in 1997 and has been orbiting Saturn since July 2004.”

‘Barcode Chip’ For Cheap, Fast Blood Tests – “A new “barcode chip” developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) promises to revolutionize diagnostic medical testing. In less than 10 minutes, and using just a pinprick’s worth of blood, the chip can measure the concentrations of dozens of proteins, including those that herald the presence of diseases like cancer and heart disease.”

Sweet Molecule Could Lead Us To Alien Life – “Scientists have detected an organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life, in a region of our galaxy where habitable planets could exist.

The international team of researchers, including a researcher at University College London (UCL), used the IRAM radio telescope in France to detect the molecule in a massive star forming region of space, some 26000 light years from Earth.” And for those keeping count, what we’re seeing 26,000 light years away occurred 20,000 years before the universe existed, according to Young Earth Creationists.

Jurassic Turtles Could Swim – “Around 164 million years ago the earliest aquatic turtles lived in lakes and lagoons on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, according to new research.”

Spectacular View Of Mammoth Stars – “The Hubble telescope has captured a spectacular image of a pair of colossal stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth.”

I’m blogging late because I just came back from one of New York Skeptics’ monthly Drinking Skeptically events, which had some surprise guests. Great seeing you again, Rebecca. Also I got to meet the subject of this video:

Great guy. Got to actually see photos of Penn & Teller feeding him his very first cheeseburger EVER, very first shrimp EVER, and very first crab cake EVER. He says he’s conclusively determined that he does not like bacon.