News From Around The Blogosphere 6.9.11

June 10, 2011

I’ve been away for almost a week, so I’m going to have to play catch-up for the next few days.

1. New Pew Poll suggests atheists still unelectable – If the poll is accurate, atheists are less electable than a candidate who is Mormon, gay, divorced, or even an adulterer.

2. ‘Psychic’ leads Texas Rangers and FBI down dead end  – Police followed a tip by an alleged psychic who told them where to find a supposed mass grave containing dozens of dismembered bodies. Now Craig McNair, head of the county commissioners, is looking to hold her responsible for giving a false tip and creating havoc.

3. ‘Expelled’ production company expelled from existence – Premise Media Holdings LP has gone bankrupt and its shitty creationist propaganda film starring Ben Stein is going up for auction:

The high bidder will become the owner of the movie that The New York Times (2008 Apr 18) described as “[o]ne of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time … a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry … an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike” and that was denounced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for its “profound dishonesty” and condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its “outrageous” misuse of the Holocaust to “tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution.” (NCSE’s Expelled Exposed provides a collection of reviews, commentary, and resources documenting the extensive problems with Expelled.)

4. Tennessee passes law banning images that “cause emotional distress” – Though it remains to be seen if anyone will actually try to enforce this new law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, it’s hard to imagine a greater offense to the First Amendment.

5. Hot nun fired over lap-dancing past – Wasn’t there something in Christian mythology about turning the other cheek? Which cheeks the passage was talking about is unclear.

And on a related note…

6. Pole dancing for Jesus causes controversy – There’s a pole dancing class that allegedly is intended to help women stay in shape while simultaneously bringing them closer to God:

Set to Christian music, church-going women spin and slither around poles. But the instructor and the students say it’s not about sex.

7. South Carolina prison insist lingerie ads lead to “deviant behavior”

But the organization says the jail has gone even further in its screening of mail to inmates by banning publications that contain any level of nudity, including beachwear and underwear.

Oh, and there’s a video in the link above.

 

And finally…

8. Congratulations to my friend Page Van Meter, who’s been named the new president of the NYC Skeptics!

 

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News From Around The Blogosphere 12.10.09

December 10, 2009

1. The Human Ambassador Project to greet alien Visitors: no longer science fiction? – No, it’s still pretty much science fiction. But in case intelligent extraterrestrial life should ever come to Earth, they want to have volunteer ambassadors ready. I’m not sure yet whether to laugh at this project or commend it for its forward-thinking.

2. Friends with benefits relationships are psychologically sound

Having surveyed 1,311 Minnesotan youngsters whose average age was 20.5 during 2003-04, they found no evidence that the odd fling leads to psychological problems whatsoever.”Young adults engaging in casual sexual encounters do not appear to be at increased risk for harmful psychological outcomes compared to those in more committed relationships,” says Eisenberg.

The study did appear to refer to so-called “friends with benefits” cheery consequence-free shagging among likeminded sorts who already know each other socially, as opposed to more risky practices such as simply picking up sailors on the docks.

3. Hipsters, 1, Hasidic Jews, 0 – The two groups were fighting over a bike lane in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Hasidic Jews got rid of the bike lane, so in the dark of night, the bicyclists just painted it back. But it’s not over. The Hasids are citing traffic problems, the danger it poses to their children getting off the school bus and the lack of “appropriate” clothing on female cyclists. And the bicyclists are launching their own attacks. And I’m sure hilarity will ensue.

4. Private letters reveal science is a sham – The latest response to ClimateGate.

5. Rick Warren finally condemns the Uganda anti-gay bill…kinda – Actually only about 20% of his response is a direct condemnation of the bill. He kind of sandwiched it in there between self-promotion and a Christmas message.

Here’s also still pretending he’s never been involved in promoting anti-gay legislation of any kind:

6. Nineteen House Republicans with horrible senses of priority – In the mists of a major recession, two wars, two turtle doves, and rising unemployment, these guys have decided that the most pressing concern is to force Christmas down everyone’s throats EVEN MORE THAN IT ALREADY IS! Oh, did I mention that six of the nineteen are from South Carolina?

7. Keith Olbermann mocks Arlington, TN Mayor Russell Wiseman, who actually thinks Obama is not only just a secret Muslim but also thinks Obama announced he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in order to stop the airing of “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special.” Seriously, people voted this psycho into office.


Religious attack atheist billboards verbally and illegally

November 5, 2009

1. I blogged about the atheist billboard that was vandalized in Moscow, Idaho about two weeks ago:

Though I have to smile at the fact that they couldn’t even vandalize the thing right. Millions are good God? What?! Now an intelligent vandal might have just blackened the second half of the word “without” forming the slogan:  “Millions are good with God.” That would at least be a sentence. Oh, stupid, easily offended vandals!

Well, the replacement billboard went up and it seems like it didn’t take long at all for the vandals to strike again, this time taking my grammar advice:

2. Then there’s the billboard that went up in Nashville with the incredibly inoffensive slogan:  “Not religious? You’re not alone.” It turns out that somehow even that ad offended some people, so much so that they called up the number on the billboard and left some unintentionally hilarious voicemail messages: