News From Around The Blogosphere 9.24.10

September 25, 2010

1. Bra designed to double as two emergency respiratory devices

Caught in a disaster? You’d better hope you’re wearing the Emergency Bra. Simply unsnap the bright red bra, separate the cups, and slip it over your head — one cup for you, and one for your friend.

Dr. Elena Bodnar won an Ignoble Award for the invention last year, an annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical. And now Bodnar has brought the eBra to the public; purchase one online for just $29.95.

“The goal of any emergency respiratory device is to achieve tight fixation and full coverage. Luckily, the wonderful design of the bra is already in the shape of a face mask and so with the addition of a few design features, the Emergency Bra enhances the efficiency of minimizing contaminated bypass air flow,” explains the eBra website.

What troubles me however is that they claim to be working on a counterpart device for men and I’m not sure I want to put something that’s been sitting on my junk on my face that isn’t a part of the female anatomy.

2. Saint candidate was once temporarily banished from Catholic Church – Mary MacKillop was a 19th century Australian who was being considered for sainthood. But it it seems that in 1871, she was temporarily banished by the Church and thrown out into the street. The reason why was that tried to report priests for–you guessed it–raping children! Everyone by now knows the Catholic Church hates tattletales. So they transferred the pedophile priests to a new diocese (like they always do) and kicked Ms. MacKillop out as punishment for squealing. Some things never change.

3. Texas Board of Education or Ministry of Truth? – The latest Orwellian plot being by the infamous Texas Board of Ed., who largely determine which textbooks are acceptable for use by the rest of the country, is to weed out all those textbooks promoting “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian half-truths and selective disinformation.” Ugh! Fortunately, the Texas Freedom Network has documented the falsehoods in their claims, and is closely monitoring the hearings. Hopefully, they’ll stop them before students are forced to learn that 2+2=5.

4. Six people arrested for burning their own Korans – From 1984 references straight to Fahrenheit 451:

In a joint statement, Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council said: “The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not representative of our community as a whole.

“Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations.”

Mutual respect…except when people make demonstrations they don’t like apparently. Regardless of how people might feel about book burning, it’s not a crime. I’ve been forced to defend more assholes this year than probably any other year in my life and I’m getting sick of it. Free Speech is not open to debate. It’s non-negotiable!

5. Canadian university student one-ups Leonardo Da Vinci – Da Vinci once designed a wing-flapping vehicle intended to make man airborne called an omithopter but he never actually built one, let alone flew one.

Todd Reichert, an engineering student at the University of Toronto, made history by sustaining flight in his ornithopter — named Snowbird — for 19.3 seconds and covering 475.72 feet. Snowbird is made from carbon fiber, balsa wood, and foam. The 92.59 pound vehicle maintained an average speed of 15.91 miles per hour.

Suck on that, Da Vinci!

6. 70 Zimbabwe children die within two weeks because of anti-vax religion – The children died of measles. Most the children who died belonged to this particular anti-vaccine sect. This story manages to demonstrate the dangers of possibly the two most destructive ideological forces on the planet, religion and anti-vaxxinationism. Individually, they can be quite destructive but combine the two and you end up with 70 kids dying in two weeks from completely preventable diseases.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 7.26.08

July 27, 2008

First, I’d like to thank the New York City Skeptics and Lori Lipman Brown of the Secular Coalition for a great lecture and The Skepchicks for an awesome after party.

And please check out the Action Alerts from the Secular Coalition and get involved.


Crackergate fallout -They failed to get PZ fired but sadly Webster Cook and his friend didn’t fare so well. Cook has been impeached and his friend Benjamin Collard is facing harassment and intimidation from their own school, the University of Central Florida. If you want to help fight this injustice, then register your complaint with the university’s president, John C. Hitt. Here is a copy of my message to Mr. Hitt:

I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the unjust actions taken by your university against students Webster Cook and Benjamin Collard. It is reprehensible for you to bow to the demands of political ideologues and allow your institution to be a tool for Bill Donahue’s harassment and intimidation tactics. This is a man with a long history of condemning anything he doesn’t like. Well, this nation wasn’t founded to please Mr. Donahue. That your university chose to value a cracker and the absurd demands of an angry mob over its commitment to higher education shows a sincere lack of judgment and a failure of your university to uphold its values in the face of adversity. I assure you that until this grievous error is rectified I will do everything in my power to put pressure on the media to keep this story alive, to personally and closely monitor your activities, Mr. Hitt, and to publicly criticize your university. We’ve got our eyes on you, Mr. Hitt. And we can be just as loud as Mr. Donahue and his drones. “

The Fate of science education in Texas is being decided right now -Find out how you can take action and stand up for science by clicking on the link above.

Blogger Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, interviewed at Comic Con

-Phil ROCKS!

And now a moment of science:

Adult Stem Cells Activated In Mammalian Brain -“Adult stem cells originate in a different part of the brain than is commonly believed, and with proper stimulation they can produce new brain cells to replace those lost to disease or injury, a study by UC Irvine scientists has shown.”