News From Around The Blogosphere 5.2.11

May 2, 2011

T-Minus 19 days until The Rapture.

And T-Minus 20 days until Family Radio and Harold Camiping are mocked mercilessly.

1. Another actor turns against Scientology – Actor Michael Fairman has been expelled from the cult and was officially designated a “Suppressive Person”:

Fairman is not leaving the organization quietly. Posting his expulsion letter at Marty Rathbun’s blog, Fairman blasts Scientology for dismissing him after he had spent years promoting the church with work in its videos and television commercials. Despite all that work, the SP letter vaguely accuses Fairman of various deficiencies, such as “financial irregularities.”

“I have been debt free since early 2010, and am supporting two households.
I make car and insurance payments on my Mercedes…So what ‘financial irregularities and out-exchange’ are they fucking talking about?” Fairman writes.

They also amusingly charge him with being a “squirrel,” which in Scientology-speak means he continued to practice Hubbard’s methods outside of church control. It seems that Fairman, like Rathburn, still believes in some of the methods of Scientology, but has grown disgusted with its management.

2. Friendly Atheist jokingly stumbles onto the best billboard campaign idea yet – Actually, I came up with this idea as a serious proposal last year. It seems great minds think alike. My idea was what I called the “Isn’t it about time you read the whole thing?” Campaign, where an atheist organization put up billboards illustrating or quoting specific inconvenient and unpleasant Bible passages with a big headline reading, “Isn’t it about time you read the whole thing?” How much fun would it be defending such a billboard on Fox News? you could simply respond that you’re just trying to get more people to read the whole Bible, so what’s wrong with that? Of course you can also make your own billboard, advertising your own atheism.

3. Pastor caught molesting woman during demon-banishing service – This happened in South Africa, and it’s just one of those titles that says it all, doesn’t it? You can read the details in the link above. I’m suddenly reminded of the “put the devil back into hell” story from The Decameron.

4. Atheists in Spain double practicing Catholics

The number of young people practicing Catholicism has plummeted, from 29.2% in 2002 to 10.3% in 2010, according to the Youth Institute of Spain (Injuve). Also, the number of non-believers (19.1%) and atheists (9.6%) have increased nine points and three points, respectively. Non-practicing Catholics are the majority, making up 45% of the total.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is a battle we can win.

5. Comparing the necessary funding for SETI to other expenses – The other day I reported that Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI) is being defunded in the U.S. SETI’s funding equalled $2.5 million a year. Now Phil Plait has broken down the equivalent costs to demonstrate what it would mean to continue to fund possibly one of the most important science programs out there:

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The fall of SETI

April 28, 2011

It is the end of an era. The U.S. government is retiring its space shuttle program and now due to a lack of funds, SETI, the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is being forced to mothball their Allen Telescope Array, a group of 42 radio dishes in northern California. This is a great loss as SETI remains arguably the most likely means of us making contact with intelligent life elsewhere in the universe

If you wish to donate to this important organization, visit their donation page.

Perhaps no one is better at conveying the importance of this endeavor better than Carl Sagan, the author who gave us the SETI-centered novel Contact:

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News From Around The Blogosphere 11.13.08

November 14, 2008

Congratulations Connecticut same-sex couples spouses – Suck it, Jesus!

Mankind to detect alien life by 2025?

Senior Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) astronomer Seth Shostak last night boldly claimed that mankind would certainly detect intelligent alien life by 2025, assuming the right technology is in place to probe 500 light years into space where there are doubtless thousands of ET radio stations transmitting into the ether.

alternative-medicine-for-dummiesNew Alt. Med. propaganda film to be released tomorrow in NYC & L.A. – The title: The Beautiful Truth. Wow, they managed to stick 2 pleasant-sounding things into the title. I guess “The Beautiful Truth Honor Justice and Loyalty” wouldn’t fit on the marquee. Like the creationist film Expelled, this film attempts to play the “suppressed by science” card.

Former Evangelical Ted Haggard explains why he had gay sex and did Crystal Meth–it was someone else’s fault!! Ugh! Biggest douche in the universe!


i_dont_want_youAtheists have hit rock bottom again – We’re once again the least likely minority group in the U.S. to be elected president. Here’s the order:

Here are the answers in order: Women. Mormons. Jews. Muslims. Hindus. Gays and lesbians. Atheists.

I have my doubts though about this considering technically at least 16% of the country is not affiliated with any particular religion. That means we outnumber the Jews, Muslims, and Blacks. And I have a feeling we’ll see a Black president very soon.

Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless” Ad backfired

Democratic pollster John Anzalone says that Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless” ad against North Carolina Senate seat opponent Kay Hagandoomed Dole’s chances to keep the race close.” Hagan’s numbers “skyrocketed” after the ad was aired.


Perpetually unhappy Bill Donohue loses it on the recent Humanist bus ads on Faux News – Geez, if religion makes you so unhappy, Bill, maybe you should stop being so religious. Just a thought.


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyFirst Direct Images Of Solar System Like Ours – “Astronomers using the Gemini North telescope and W.M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea have obtained the first-ever direct images identifying a multi-planet system around a normal star.”

New Plastic: Acrylic Glass Made Of Sugar – “In future, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA for short) – better known as acrylic glass – could be made from natural raw materials such as sugars, alcohols or fatty acids. Compared with the previous chemical production process, a biotechnological process is far more environmentally friendly.”

Octopus Family Tree Traced – “Octopuses started migrating to new ocean basins more than 30 million years ago as Antarctica cooled and large ice-sheets grew.” For the record, this was 29,994,000 years before the entire universe existed according to Young Earth Creationists. . .but who’s counting.

Frogs Not Harmed By Global Warming? – “Evidence that global warming is causing the worldwide declines of amphibians may not be as conclusive as previously thought, according to biologists. The findings, which contradict two widely held views, could help reveal what is killing the frogs and toads and aid in their conservation.”

DNA Replication Backstreet Boys-style –