His political leanings aside, this interview with Richard Dawkins is enjoyable.
You won't find any opposition to the idea of evolution among sophisticated, educated theologians. It comes from an exceedingly retarded, primitive version of religion, which unfortunately is at present undergoing an epidemic in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Britain, but in the United States....and...
We wouldn't dream of speaking of a Keynesian child or a Marxist child. And yet, for some reason we make a privileged exception of religion. And, by the way, I think it would also be abuse to talk about an atheist child....and...
I don't wish to suggest it is doctrinal disputes that are motivating the individual soldiers who are doing the killing. What I do suggest is that in places like Northern Ireland, religion was the only available label by which people could indulge in the human weakness for us-or-them wars. When a Protestant murders a Catholic or a Catholic murders a Protestant, they're not playing out doctrinal disagreements about transubstantiation....and lots more.
Found via Pharyngula.
I'll stick to beer, thanks.
We still live in a world full of stupid, stupid people.
A Georgia woman, who was found in New Mexico early Saturday and who said she had been abducted, admitted today she had made up the story because she was nervous about her upcoming wedding, police said.Wouldn't it have been much easier to just say "I don't think I'm ready to marry you?" I hope her husband-to-be gets cold feet now because that chick is fuckin' nuts.
Police in New Mexico said she will face no criminal charges, despite her false kidnapping story. When asked what would happen in Georgia, Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher told reporters: "No criminal charges."Ridiculous. She concocts a story that results in law enforcement in at least two states dedicating resources to chasing phantoms, rather than real criminals, and all she gets is an "oh you poor, poor dear?"
Cry me a river, pumpkin, you need to be coughing up some money for the taxpayers if not doing a little time.
Still looking for a few people to participate in the Second However Often World Wide Rant Creative Writing Exercise of Goodness-a-Plenty (some details here).
You need not be a great writer, or even a good one, to participate. If you can put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, or telekinetic ability to either - and can read/write English with some level of demonstrable success - then you have what it takes.
Come on now, play along. It'll be fun.
And, if not, it's probably your fault, you know.
Nope. Still no sign of him.
Update: Wait, wait! Look over there! Look look look!
Whoops, sorry, just a rare bird. My mistake.
The (passive) search continues.
Update 2: Stop the presses! Look over there! Looky looky look look!
Oh, nope, just a glow-in-the-dark Bible.
Some of the women are very sad that Tom Cruise is now dating Katie Holmes.
Because, you know, they had a chance.
...because I'm a minion of Satan!
If this is all there is, why battle about any theological or philosophical position? Just let live and be done with it. However, Christians realize that atheists/humanists are not just that. They are instruments of Satan; therefore, they speak, sometimes more evangelistically in their methods than Christians.Suh-weet!
Consequently, realizing that atheists/humanists are always an integral part in the right-versus-wrong war raging over all time, believers understand that atheists/humanists cannot be silent. They are agents of the dark powers and therefore will always have something to preach from the corridors of the damned.
When do I get the red suit with the tail? And the spiffy powers, like looking through people's clothing? Oh my!
I demand to be treated like the evil spawn I apparently am!
I am sick and tired of the Democrats and their obstructionist activities in the Congress!
Oh, sorry, that'd be Colorado Republican Senator Wayne Allard.
Sen. Wayne Allard threatened Wednesday to block the nomination of a Defense Department undersecretary unless he is sure the agency will stick to plans to build a plant to destroy chemical weapons at a Pueblo stockpile.Just another political pig making sure he gets to feed at the public trough.
Tonight on Dateline NBC: Dealing with the Devil.
This is, quite possibly, one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
I can't believe I breathe the same air as these idiots.
Note: I'd love to link to this nonsense, but the Dateline site now seems to be all about Bruce Springsteen instead of Satan. Maybe even they decided they were ashamed of spreading such idiocy?
You're right, probably just a mistake on the webmaster's part.
Update: Hmmm, still no sign of a transcript or anything. Was my television the only one in the land receiving that show?
In short, the show dealt with a fundy-led "exorcism" of "demons" that were possessing some guy. I'm not sure which was more shameful: the fact that these people actually believed they were talking to Satan or that the way that Stone Phillips kept playing it up as if it were all so obviously real (complete with haunting Latin chants, which, when you think about it, are more Catholic than kooky fundamentalist).
Favorite part? When Stone tells us that, as the spiritual warfare is conducted, the victim makes an inhuman sound. It was so inhuman, in fact, that the wife and I both were able to make the same sound with just a couple of tries.
You know, God and Satan used to be all about doing some really fancy shmancy tricks (if you believe the Bible) - now they're reduced to fighting for the soul of one bumpkin in South Carolina?
My how the mighty have fallen.
Have you ever had a friend, a really good friend, who all of a sudden just went bonkers and apparently lost their mind?
Yeah, me too.
That's pretty messed up, isn't it?
Naught so queer as folk.
Update: No, this isn't a terribly recent event; just something that was on my mind.
More snark coming up - stay tuned.
So, uh, anyone want to try that creative writing exercise thing again?
If so, lemme know, good people.
I think Michele is in. Maybe. Perhaps.
If you need inspiration, may I recommend Jody's masterwork?
Yesterday, after a full day of spending quality time with the wee Fiona, and once she was safely back in the care of Mrs. World Wide Rant, I retired to bed and finished reading the last 140 or so pages of The Girl Next Door, by Jack Ketchum.
What can I say about it? Hmmm.
It's a disturbing story, made even more so by the fact that I simply didn't want to stop reading last night - I needed to get to the end, to see how it turned out, to hope for the best.
Conversely, although it should make one feel rather indecent to admit it, there is something captivating about having a voyeur's view into the growing cruelty and brutality of the story.
Consider it, in a good way, a multi-car roll-over accident with injury: you want to look away, but you can't. On some level, you know it's wrong to be taken in by someone else's unfortunate circumstances; on another level, you can't - or don't want - to help yourself.
When it's over, you find it hard to believe that humans could behave that way toward other humans. You want to think we're better than that. You want to think it's just a story, someone's dream, no basis in reality: it's all fiction.
Update: Just to clear up any possible confusion, the book I read is not a non-fiction account of the tragic story linked above; rather, it is a fictional novel based upon elements of true events. In that way, it's more powerful than the non-fiction ever could be, by allowing a study of human nature, human emotions, and human drives.
Update 2: I really should collect all my thoughts at once, don't you think?
Anyway, I think the reason you can't put down the book is because you feel complicit in the crimes. You know you've been led to feel this way, while at the same time you have willingly allowed yourself to go there. Your primary thought toward the main character is "Why don't you do something? Do something, damn you!"
But if he does, then the macabre fascination ends - and just like him, you're spellbound by what is unfolding before you. You could do something - put the book down, stop reading it, scrub your eyes with Brill-o pads - but you don't.
Pope Benedict XVI has revealed he prayed to God during the conclave not to be elected pope but that "evidently this time He didn't listen to me."Once again illustrating that the concept of prayer in a universe that is supposedly following God's will is rather silly. One might answer that one can pray "that God's will be done." Sure, one could, but one might as well pray that the color red stay red.
It is what it is, and that's that. Prayer isn't going to change it.
Even if you're the Pope.
(None of this should be construed to mean that God actually exists; assumptions made only for the purpose of argumentation. I personally believe prayer is useless because you might as well be talking to yourself. Should God take issue with any of the above, he is welcome to come see me about it. And bring beer, dude.)
Playing catch-up after a couple of days out of the office. Will try to work something amusing and/or offensive up by lunchtime.
I'm still open to topics.
Hey, I like a good rub-a-dub-dubbin' with steel wool*.
Update: Except for all the bleeding.
Update 2: Not so much bleeding with the llama, though. More of a general gooey stickiness.
* Or a llama.
You know, if anyone was compelled by alien mind control to buy me this, I'd be, like, their best friend and everything, at least for a little while, until I grew bored with them and left them behind, the latest in a long line of people unfortunate enough to cross my path, who - years from now - will look back on their lives and realize what a turning point it all was.
Or perhaps I'll just buy it for myself, because I dig me some Guadalcanal Diary.
Note: Just corrected the title as I left out a key word originally. I knew 11am was too early for a beer.
If you listen to some members of the Congress, the chairman of the FCC, and the would-be tyrants of groups like Focus on the Family, you get the impression that the good people of the United States are just dying to have wholesome, positive, family-friendly entertainment on television.
Plans by Paxson Communications to turn its ailing US broadcast TV network, Pax TV, into an all-infomercial channel have dismayed NBC Universal, which has a 32% stake in the network.These yahoos use the power of government for censorship because they know that their puritanical nonsense fails in the marketplace of ideas. The people have spoken - and what they've said contains words like "boobies," "murder," and "mayhem."
Pax TV launched in 1998 with a view to becoming America's seventh broadcast network. Its schedule of "family-friendly" programming failed to ignite ratings; Broadcasting and Cable reports that around 50 jobs were cut at the network in February.
If we could just teach people like James Dobson the word "remote control," we'd all be better off.
(first sighted over here, where Lee Goldberg laments the coming demise of "SUE THOMAS: F.B.EYE, the adventures of a deaf FBI agent who reads lips and her hearing-ear wonderdog Levi.")
Biblical creationism could be taught side-by-side with evolution in science textbooks under legislation pending in the Texas House, according to the bill's sponsor....Oh, poor, poor Charlie, who should, I suppose, garner as much sympathy as his namesake from Flowers for Algernon. Both so stupid, so very very stupid (although Charlie from the book has the benefit of being mentally disabled and fictional, while Rep. Charlie Howard is far too real and just plain dumb, on purpose no less).
"Evolution is a theory," he [Rep. and Dumbass Charlie Howard] said. "It is a theory, it's not a fact. There is no fact for evolution, none. ... Why are we teaching a theory, when we have [another] position -- creation -- that the majority of the people in this country believe?"
At this rate, Texas will soon be teaching about the reality of ghosts, UFO visitation, and chiropractics as a cure-all for modern man. Soon after, it will descend into an economic wasteland as no one wants to do business with a state full of idiots.
We will then invade them for their oil. Muwahahahaha.
You know, I've got no idea about what I should write. Anyone got any ideas?
Update: I suppose I could give my initial impressions of the Dell Inspiron 600m laptop we just bought (it arrived yesterday). OK, I will.
Aside from the 90 minutes or so it took to clean off all the extraneous shit Dell loaded onto it, some of which still seems to be hanging around against all odds, I like it for what it is. I wasn't expecting a desktop replacement or a portable music studio, just something for the net, for writing, and for
porn downloading education that wasn't slow and had a good wireless capability. So far, so good.
OK, anything else?
I think I'm going to have to vote Democrat every chance I get over the next few years, courtesy of power-drunk and/or power-mad Republican thugs Frist and DeLay:
An audio recording obtained by the Los Angeles Times features two of the nation's most influential evangelical leaders, at a private conference with supporters, laying out strategies to rein in judges, such as stripping funding from their courts in an effort to hinder their work.Sure, DeLay and Frist might not have been putting forth the proposals, but there's something to be said for the company you keep.
The discussion took place during a Washington conference last month that included addresses by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who discussed efforts to bring a more conservative cast to the courts.
I cringe to think of pushing a button marked "Rodham-Clinton" in 2008, but it's looking more and more certain (you know, if she's the nominee).
(found at Naked Writing)
...brought to you by a straight atheist reading the comments on the blog of a straight Christian.
Gayness definitely isn’t just about sex. It’s about identity…an identity borne out of real OR perceived pain, rejection, loneliness and an unfulfilled need to belong.That's right - it's not about love or caring or intimacy or even the potential that it's genetic or biochemical in nature. No, it's all about unfulfilled need.
Of course, that need happens to be for a little hiney hole action. Not my style, but more power to'em.
One thing I would like the church to know about homosexuality is that a large percentage of individuals who struggle with same-sex attraction have a deep desire to find a loving and caring church family where they can feel safe and where they can receive love and compassion.Which, when you think about it, is really kind of dumb - at least if they're looking into being Jewish or Christian. You'd think one good reading of the Old Testament would make gay people run in the other direction as fast as possible.
But some folks aren't so bright - gay or straight.
Homosexual men and women are desperate to experience God’s love and compassion; they’ve already been inundated with the law of the matter.They are? I suspect that's news to many of them - in particular, the atheist ones.
Of course, what the hell do I know? I'm only an atheist because I hate God for the life he has given me and because I despise authority.
And then there's that whole complete lack of evidence thing too.
On a positive note, many of the comments are actually caring and kind, albeit misguided. I view them rather like someone warning me to look out for a stampede of invisible Barglesnorfs: thank you for the warning, now please go seek professional help for your delusions.
I'd have quoted them too, but (a) that wouldn't be funny and (b) you know me better than that, seriously.
Update: Jody informs me that Randy, the blogger in question, is not straight, but rather "ex-gay," which I would say is the sexuality equivalent of the drapes not matching the carpet.
I could have sworn that's what Hugh Hewitt's show this afternoon was, given all the softballs he was lobbing to Father Joseph Fessio, his guest and friend/former understudy of the new Pope.
Admittedly, I've never listed to Hugh's show before - and if they're all like that, I don't see much reason to ever listen again. He's like the Larry King of the right, except instead of "famed psychic" Sylvia Browne, we get religious superstition.
Well, as much as any other mythological deity that only exists in your mind could.
Personally, I'm down with Binky the Magic Space Clown.
But you knew that.
Update: Sorry, what I meant to say is that whatever god you believe in is real, and everyone else is completely wrong.
Update 2: Of course, I don't have to tell you that.
Update 3: Even though you all have the same amount of evidence to support your beliefs.
Update 4: An amount resembling, oh, a goose egg.
Note: If this post offended you, or made you think less of me*, you should probably read the fine print.
* And that hurts, because, hey, I'm only human, of flesh and blood I'm made, only human, born to make mistakes.
If you cut me, do I not bleed?
Glancing over at the books I am currently reading, it dawned on me that I have a rather odd lot of interests.
SOMEBODY'S KNOCKIN'...Suburbia in the 1950s. A nice quiet simpler time to grow up—unless you count the McCarthy trials and red-scares and the shadow of the Bomb and the Cold War, unless you could see the dark side emerging. And on a quiet tree-lined dead-end street, in the dark damp basement of the Chandler house, it's emerging big-time for teenage Meg and her crippled sister Susan—whose parents are dead now, who are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant Aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons—and finally an entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruet, tortuous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make. Between love and compassion, and lust and evil.
The man who created some of the funniest moments in film history talks about acting, adultery, neuroses and death in this intimate, unusual memoir. Wilder's fans may be disappointed to find relatively scant coverage of some of his triumphs, but Wilder clearly isn't interested in writing a conventional Hollywood memoir. His book candidly explores his own faults and feelings, as well as those of the people he's loved and lost.
More than a decade ago, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the Balanced Scorecard, a revolutionary performance measurement system that allowed organizations to quantify intangible assets such as people, information, and customer relationships. Then, in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton showed how organizations achieved breakthrough performance with a management system that put the Balanced Scorecard into action.
Now, using their ongoing research with hundreds of Balanced Scorecard adopters across the globe, the authors have created a powerful new tool-the "strategy map"-that enables companies to describe the links between intangible assets and value creation with a clarity and precision never before possible.
Oh, please forgive my expected lack of posting over the next couple of days, as I am off at a training course until Friday afternoon. I will try to bring a little light into your lives during the evening, if time permits.
God bless us everyone.
Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, allow me to introduce the Left-Wing Syndicate.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (search) said a "left-wing syndicate" is coordinating the effort to bring him down as the No. 2 Republican leader even though he is not even being investigated for any of the charges being raised by Democrats.Politicians would be amusing, if they weren't so sad.
Here is a story that will only surprise socialists, communists, and those who think more government is the answer to all of our woes:
A congressional investigation found airport screeners employed by private companies do a better job detecting dangerous objects than government screeners, according to a House member who has seen the classified report.Now, imagine what it might be like if we got the feds out of the supervision and planning aspects of it as well... oh, let a libertarian-leaning boy dream, would you?
The Government Accountability Office (search) found statistically significant evidence that passenger screeners, who work at five airports under a pilot program, perform better than their federal counterparts at some 450 airports, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. and chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, said on Tuesday.
"You get a statistically significant improvement if you go to federal supervision with private screening companies," Mica said.
We live in a world full of stupid, stupid people:
A steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an expressway underpass for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary.Whatever happened to the God of the Bible? You know, the one who was into fancy miracles like parting seas and turning one fish into thousands and sending bears to maul children who mocked one of his homeboys?
I swear, it's like the big guy has gone from King of Kings to a Branson, Missouri magic act (without the singing and dancing).
"We believe it's a miracle," said Elbia Tello, 42. "We have faith, and we can see her face."I believe you're a deluded dumbass. I have evidence, and it's you opening your mouth.
The stain is likely the result of salt run-off, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The agency does not plan to scrub it off the wall.Likely the result of salt run-off? Hmmm, I suppose that does leave some small chance that it's an impressive miracle handed down by the Mighty Love of Jesus!
"We're treating this just like we treat any type of roadside memorial," said IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey. "We have no plans to clean this site."But... but... it's a memorial to a stain, you mindless twits. Just admit that you're too scared to piss off the loonies bowing down before it. I'm willing to bet that if it were the face of Satan, and the local wannabe-Satanist teenagers with all their goth face paint and self-loathing started erecting a memorial, it would be gone by morning.
Because wannabe-Satanist teenagers with all their goth face paint and self-loathing just don't get any respect. It is to weep.
Mostly because their silly beliefs are no sillier than those of the gullible bowing down in honor of mucked-up concrete.
Tellerpalooza II (2005), an evening that will benefit Teller Elementary School – Congress Park neighborhood's best kept secret – will feature the best of the Denver music scene at the Mercury Café, a smoke-free restaurant and club at 2199 California Street in downtown Denver. The event is Saturday, May 21, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Those under 21 are welcome until 11:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.Now, back to your regularly scheduled Andy.
You'll be waiting a long time.
Have you seen Stevie Wonder's new house?Lots more here.
Well, it's really nice.
Linking is so much easier that my actually having to write something, you know.
(found via Michele)
Content that is at once both amusing to some and offensive to others.*
* An aside that either provides more humor or downplays the offensiveness above.
So, there's a new Pope.
I wish I had something funny to say, but I'm still a bit under the weather. I won't even mention that I wonder how Jewish people feel knowing a former member of the Hitler Youth is now heading up the Catholic Church*.
Not that the Hitler Youth were ever funny. Except for the lederhosen.
Instead, go read this fascinating tract on Papal infallibility. It's bound to make your head hurt as you watch Catholic doctrine explain how the Pope is infallible, but not really, except when he is, but not when he isn't. You get the idea.
Peace out, yo.
Update: Yes, I realize that not joining the Hitler Youth would have had dire consequences. I mainly wanted to make a lederhosen joke.
Update 2: I also agree that anyone who thought they might elect a "liberal" Pope was sadly deluded. I watch people on television whining that the Church should change with the times, apparently of the view that its absolute moral truths are not, um, absolute.
That the world has progressed beyond the narrow views of some old men in Rome doesn't mean the Church should change; it may mean the Church is on the road to irrelevance.
Works for me.
Update 3: Some Ratzinger quotes for you. Nothing terribly surprising there.
Update 4: One blogger is unimpressed:
I have the same amount of enthusiam for the new Pope's reign that I have for the return of cold and flu season. I know another round is inevitable, and I wish that it wasn't so. Deep down, I was hoping that they'd all just forget to elect a pope, or something.Damn you, Catholics, for holding up our rocket cars! Damn you a thousand times!
I swear, if one-tenth the zeal of the religious were channeled into science and technology, the starving would be fed, the poor would be clothed, and we'd all live to be 200 with our pollution-free rocket cars and endless supplies of non-fattening Cheet-Os.
* Yes, I realize people can and do change.
Ann Coulter graces the cover of Time magazine.
We should no more celebrate her rabid right-wing idiocy than Michael Moore's left-wing moonbattery.
I take internet polls with a grain of salt, but Time's poll on whether or not Ms. Coulter makes a positive contribution to American politics has 80% of respondents saying "no." Maybe there's hope for us after all.
From a CNN story about Gary Kasparov's opposition to Putin:
Putin has been accused of stifling democratic freedoms by placing national television under effective state control and centralizing power by boosting Kremlin control of parliament and country's regions.Accused? I'm sorry, but how else can one characterize Putin's actions? They sure aren't advancing the cause of human liberty.
Or she will be soon, as today she is getting her first haircut.
This should be fun.
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2006 -- President George W. Bush signed legislation today banning all federal funding for flu research, citing the "rampant use of unsound science" in current work on infectious diseases.We're doomed!
"Our investigations have shown that present research methods dealing with the causes and treatment of influenza are actually based on the theory of evolution -- how the virus supposedly mutates and evolves into new, more virulent forms," Bush said. "But as we all know, the jury is still out on this evolution thing. We cannot, we must not and we will not trust the precious health of our good citizens to an unproven theory. The American people deserve better than that...."
Bush said the $3 billion will now be given to a consortium of faith-based groups, coordinated by the Center for Human Intelligence and Moral Purpose (CHIMP), an anti-evolution think tank based in Seattle.
CHIMP spokesman Michael Behehehe said the center had "72 scientists with real degrees and everything" now combing the Bible -- "both the Old and New Testaments, and even those Catholic bits" -- for a cure.
The rare discovery of eggs inside a dinosaur has given scientists new clues about the reproductive biology of the creatures and more support for the theory that birds came from dinosaurs.Creationists respond:
Huh. OK. Fine, oozers.
But I ain't never seen no fish turn into no monkey!
As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.The big tent continues to become a rickety lean-to (with a gaudy crucifix inside).
Update: Or maybe I won't vote Democrat, if this is how modern American liberals think.
Better to tax inheritance since the actual concern is that I'll give $10 million to my son and he'll be rich, rich, rich without ever having worked....For shame! How dare one's children benefit from the fruits of one's labor!
Speaking of which, fuck the small businessman.Yeah! How dare they endeavor to make something of themselves rather than sitting on the government dole!
And somebody might die and give the store to me. The store may be worth millions and millions of dollars. If so, I ought to pay tax on it. Why? Because I've just inherited millions and millions of dollars, that's why.Well, Matthew, that settles it then! Because inheritance is, prima facie, a bad thing!
What about those sad folks forced to sell the family business? Don't cry for them.Right! Because it's not like ownership means anything in Matthew's world of communist delights. The store was never theirs to begin with! Logic!
Ressentiment, my comrades, will only get you so far.But redistribution will get you everything. Or at least a lot of stuff that you didn't have to work for (wait, isn't that a bad thing in Matty-land?).
Once again, I'm thinking it's time for people of reason to come together and form a viable third party to keep the nuts on the right and left in check.
Update 2: A side thought, for your mental pleasure. Studies seem to indicate that people who are considered more attractive get better pay for the same work and are treated better by people around them. I find this to be a grossly unfair inheritance of certain genetic traits from their parents.
I call on Matthew Yglesias to join me in a campaign to Tax the Pretty People!
Update 3: Did I say I might vote Republican after all? Well, Tom DeLay is workin' hard to take care of that.
I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.That's right - DeLay believes the Congress should make sure we have a theocracy, an impotent judiciary, and no personal privacy.
Drunk with power, the Republicans teeter on the edge of political insanity (while DeLay has already taken a flying leap, and is free-falling, warm in the knowledge that Jesus and his Mighty Angels shall catch him).
Update Whatever: The Politburo Diktat has more.
Clocky is a clock for people who have trouble getting out of bed. When the snooze bar is pressed, Clocky rolls off the table and finds a hiding spot, a new one every day.I think it'd be pretty cool until, oh, the first morning.
When the alarm clock goes off and the snooze button is pressed, Clocky will roll off the bedside table and wheel away, bumping mindlessly into objects on the floor until it eventually finds a spot to rest. Minutes later, when the alarm sounds again, the sleeper must get up out of bed and search for Clocky. This ensures that the person is fully awake before turning it off. Small wheels that are concealed by Clocky's shag enable it to move and reposition itself, and an internal processor helps it find a new hiding spot every day.
Then it'd be broken into pieces.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay apologized Wednesday for using overheated rhetoric on the day Terri Schiavo died....DeLay continued, saying that he would attempt to refrain from further "inartful" comments, but would likely continue to be a wee little partisan hack of a man.
At a crowded news conference in his Capitol office, DeLay addressed remarks he made in the hours after the brain-damaged Florida woman died on March 31. "I said something in an inartful way and I shouldn't have said it that way and I apologize for saying it that way," DeLay told reporters.
No questions. Thank you.
Well, that was until Brennan Hester, guitarist/sometimes bassist/vocalist for The Sextants, came across the post and updated us on the story:
What happened to us was, basically, that Terry Ellis (the President of Imago) was bored with us by the time we finished Lucky You. As a result, we got to go out on multiple tours Spinal Tap style, i.e. showing up for in-store performances at stores where our CD was nowhere to be found, being booked in clubs on nights when they were normally closed (with no advertisement of our shows)and many other fun little things. Luckily, we had fun anyway. One day Terry had us over for tea (yipee) and sternly commanded that we fire our manager. I offered him an alternative by begging him to drop us from his label. He did. Now we're all scattered all over the place, doing all sorts of very important things, and none the worse for wear (I think). The EndSo, there's the scoop of who they were, where they went, and why you have probably never heard of them.
So, let's remedy that with a song by The Sextants:
"She Thinks," from the 1992 album Lucky You. I suppose this might violate some copyright, so if it needs to come down, you just holler, Imago people. God bless.
OK, so that's what was - and here is some of what is: Some of Brennan's garage-recorded solo works, which still sound like The Sextants with some Matthew Sweet thrown in (perhaps the earlier stuff did as well, but I wasn't into Matthew Sweet back then, so back off, buddy). Enjoy (or don't, if you feel like being difficult).
If I Can (listen for the REM lyrics)
More to come... gotta love the internet.
Revealing his motives for the first time, Eric Robert Rudolph blames the death and violence behind the four bombings he's confessed to in Georgia and Alabama on the legalization of abortion and "aberrant sexual behavior."Hey, don't look at poor Eric. After all, God has shown little reluctance to put sinners to the sword (while keeping the hot young virgins as booty for his spirited, valiant defenders).
Rudolph issued a rambling 11-page statement Wednesday after pleading guilty in Alabama and Georgia, declaring: "Abortion is murder. And when the regime in Washington legalized, sanctioned and legitimized this practice, they forfeited their legitimacy and moral authority to govern."
Rudolph said Wednesday that while he had "nothing personal" against those victims, he has no regrets or remorse.Reminds me of how God has "nothing personal" against the little babies he drowned in the great flood (you know, if you believe in that). While they were pulled away from their mother's breast, the mother weeping, the child crying out in lost agony, until the water filled their lungs and silenced their pitiful pleas forever, good old all-powerful, all-loving, all-good God was sitting in his recliner saying "Pshaw, nothing personal!"
In his statement Wednesday, he said that while homosexuality does not pose a threat when kept in private, the "attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior" should be met with "force if necessary."Because somehow the knowledge that some boys like boys and some girls like girls, once made public (because it's been a state secret until this very moment - shhhhhh!) would just up-end society. Sorry, Eric, this is as stupid an argument as those right-wing kookity-koo-koo-koos who think that two men getting married somehow invalidates their own vows.
Rudolph also shed light on his intentions regarding the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He called it an opportunity to shame the United States for its legalization of abortion. He said his goal was to knock out Atlanta's power grid and shut down the Olympics.Errr... shame us for abortion by blowing up a sporting event and then hiding? Wow, provocative!
Also interesting was the plan to knock out Atlanta's power grid without ... er... blowing up Atlanta's power grid. Rumor has it his other plan was to bring down airliners by projecting his Army of God mindbeams at them.
I won't say that religion makes you stupid, but it sure doesn't make you any smarter.
Update: My mistake - Julie e-mails privately to say it's not "scabies" but "scabs." We apologize for any confusion.
Gimme gimme more more more »
Is moron a gender neutral term? It somehow doesn't feel right to call a woman a moron, so I hereby invent the term mornoness.
Yes, feels good, Her Royal Moroness Julie, Dutchess of the Comment Box. Should she grace us, please be sure to bow appropriately and perhaps place a gentle kiss upon the back of her hand.
Then see me for the oral disinfectant.
« That's plenty, thanks!
Next stop: East Porter County, Indiana.
Concerned board members delayed the approval of biology textbooks for East Porter County Schools on Monday evening because the books contained only material on evolution and excluded other theories.Asked to name one other scientific theory that should be included, the board members each cocked their head to the side and made the face that a dog makes when it hears something it doesn't understand.
"I personally believe that creationism" -- the belief in the literal interpretation of the Biblical story of creation -- "ought to be, I think that ought to be out there as something that's taught," board Vice President Tim Bucher said. "I think our students oughtta be aware of it."Because, surely, religion is something that is never touched upon in church. Never the sort of thing that is pounded into a child's head nearly from the moment of birth so that when they are introduced to science and the real world, they can confidently stick their fingers in their ears and sing "Oh What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
"Not to dismiss other explanations for how the world works," Rogers [science consultant for the Indiana Department of Education] said, "but, within the realm of science, we would be doing students a bit of a disservice to not stick to the scientific part of science and get into other realms."Oh, enough with the mollycoddling* of these yahoos!
"Not to dismiss other explanations?" What? Why the hell not? Why on Earth should we elevate ancient mythical storytelling to the level of science?
Hell, let's just package up Paul's "super-duper-scientific" posts from Wizbang and call them a biology textbook while we're at it.
I did it again, didn't I? Sorry 'bout that.
Anyway, if the religious right is going to fight so hard to get their myth into the classroom, then I am going to start a valiant crusade to get the Finnish Kalevala myth in there too, explaining how a growing movement of scientists are beginning to accept that, yes Virginia, the world was made from broken eggshells.
Hey, it's no crazier than that Garden of Eden nonsense.
* Yes, I conjugated the verb "mollycoddle" and I'll do it again if need be!
I want to link to this post and the resultant debate, but I'm not sure whether I should call it:
They eat their own!...or...
My imaginary friend can kick your imaginary friend's ass!Thoughts?
Note: Dumb typo fixed in the headline. Thanks for the heads-up.
1. Have any of you bought a Pontiac Aztek?
and if so
2. What the hell were you thinking? That thing's ass ugly.
That's gonna leave a mark, son.
* OK, not really, but I have to do something to feed the new school of Jesus fish that are swimming in these waters.
I suppose you've heard about this:
Members of neighboring families shot at each other, wounding six people, as part of a long-running feud that victims said peaked when a girl from one family began dating a boy from the other one.And who is to blame for this frightful bit of human stupidity?
"All this started because they were dating," said Melva Ortiz, Miguel's mother. "I tried to tell him to leave the girl, but you know how kids are."Because, you see, it's perfectly normal for your family to shoot the family of someone you're dating when they disapprove.
In that neighborhood.
I feel like I missed so much growing up middle class.
I took a group of students on a field trip to Tennessee, NC and Virginia. We stopped at a small diner in Tennessee for breakfast. My 7 year old son was with me on the trip and as the waitress was setting our table, she put down a ‘childrens activity’ place mat. I did not think much of it until my son said, “Dad, did you know that T-rex could breathe fire?”. I said where did you hear that? He said, look at my placemat. I did and there were many other ‘fun-filled’ dino facts from one “Dr Dino”!!If nothing else, Paul from Wizbang can find a job making children's placemats.
OK, sorry, I made another joke at Paul's expense. My apologies. Won't happen again.
Tonight at least. I promise.
Stuff you should be reading and to which you should be reacting. You know, if that's your bag, baby. Excerpts, conveniently designed to provoke you into clicking through, included at no extra charge.
A brain-based ethics is, in fact, ideally suited to the fuzzy conception of human life that Sullivan is advocating: a person is human inasmuch as the higher cognitive functions supported by her cerebral cortex are intact.
One question that the phrase the "culture of life" raises for me, then, is a question that most people apparently assume is self-evident: "What do you mean by life?"
This just goes against common sense. Deafness is not a way of life. It’s a significant disability. Sign language is something that was created to work around the problem. The outrage against cochler implants, and against schools for the deaf creating separate classes geared to children who have them, strikes me as absolute insanity.
Well, this is certainly a surprise.
Real estate millionaire Chris Shelton, a contestant on NBC's "The Apprentice," was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.Or not, considering his entire performance on the show has involved varying degrees of him acting like a snot-nosed brat looking for a fight.
Of course, I started to lose interest when they booted her off the show. Because I'm a boy and we're like that.
Back in a while - have to go shovel the driveway again (cleared about 8 inches of snow off it yesterday and looks to have another 5 on it now). After that, it's time to brave the interstate to get to work.
Yay for Monday.
Update: Vodkapundit has some snaps.
Update 2: So does Denver's 9News.
I think Paul from Wizbang has been reading Dinosaur Comics!
(found via Tales to Astonish)
Today: 70 and sunny, nary a cloud in the sky most of the day. Beautiful!
Tomorrow: Snow, heavy at times. 10-16" in town. 35 degrees.
Yay fun wheee.
Has there ever been anything less Nietzsche than the 80s band Will to Power?
I doubt it.
P.S. God is dead.
Both that Paul from Wizbang is a scientific nitwit and that evolution is the way of the world:
One of the most deadly animals in the world can now be eaten by a snake that was once paralyzed instantly if it even tried to touch the prey. It's an amazing story of evolution that's fascinating not only biologists, but a whole arena of scientists.Evolution at work... it's a beautiful thing.
Garter snakes, which could never touch it [the newt] before, can eat it whole now because they've mutated in [a] unique way. And Utah State University researchers are the first to document the changes.
Sodium channels, as they're called, within the snake's muscles have altered so that proteins from the poison can no longer attach or bind.
Or maybe God took out his toolbox and went to tinkering inside the bellies of all the garter snakes. Yes, that's much more likely.
Many scientists are interested in the USU study because the specific way the snake has mutated may help them develop drugs that might help people with epilepsy, heart arrhythmias or muscular dystrophy.Oh right, it's not like evolutionary theory underpins modern biology or something. Yeesh, dumb ol' scientists.
Sorry, got possessed by the spirit of Paul for a second there.
Update: Speaking of anti-evolution ignorance, WorldNetDaily shows a complete inability to grasp even the basics of the subject. Dumb or dishonest? Hmmm.
Update 2: From the comments:
Wake me up when you garter snake evolves into something other than garter snake...also known in these parts as:
I ain't never seen no fish turn into no monkey!How does one win an education battle against people too stupid to learn?
Update 3: Again, from the comments:
While I'm sure this comment made you feel superior, it does nothing to answer the question you raised yourself - How does a fish turn into a monkey?No, not superior - simply more educated on the subject. As does your asking of the fish/monkey question.
One hundred bonus points for missing the point, as well.
Those dumb scientists just keep on getting it right:
A new experimental vaccine can reduce the risk of cervical cancer by 90 percent, a study says.I bet they worked hard in their labs, using the concepts of creationism and Intelligent Design, to make these wonderful discoveries.
The vaccine, made by Merck and called Gardasil, made its mark in a survey of 552 women, findings of which were published in the British medical journal Lancet Oncology.
The study is another sign the first vaccine that could prevent most of the world's cervical-cancer cases is just around the corner, the Wall Street Journal said Thursday.
They say a good man was to be buried this morning, a pure, peaceful man, a man on fire with the Holy Spirit.Except there is no "up there" up there. We've sent airplanes and rockets and satellites and telescopes and dogs and monkeys; to date, not a one of them has seen any pearly gates through which Jesus might have ascended one day a long time ago
People lined up for miles to mourn the loss of Pope John Paul II, sending thousands of prayers, hoping he is up there.
Some say he is a saint or should be a saint. Surely in heaven, but they are praying for him anyway, because he needs prayers until there is certainty he has arrived.Certainty? Uh, is a bell going to ring when John Paul gets his little flappy angel wings or something?
To prove he is indeed up there, people have gone in search of good, of hope, searching for an ease in the suffering.Wait, so good, hope, and ease of suffering are all dependent on whether or not the Pope has made his way into Heaven? So what the hell have I been giving money to charity for all these years? I feel like a sucker. Sigh.
Searching for miracles.
Not big miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, the turning of water into wine, the feeding of a multitude with five loaves and two fishes.Translation: not real miracles. Not stuff that we'd actually be at a loss to explain through reason. Nothing impressive or fancy.
But inexplicable coincidences, like when you need $29 and you look in that old coat and pull out three $10 bills.Conveniently forgetting all the times you thought you had left a fiver in your pocket only to find it empty.
Like when you hear the news about the pope's passing and you and your husband both start crying at exactly the same time.Conveniently forgetting that people, even married people, tend to cry upon the deaths of people they consider important to them.
Perhaps it's a miracle when you reach in your purse to pull out your prayer beads and instead of finding one string you find three, and you give two away.If you had never actually bought the other two, and they mysteriously materialized in your purse, then - sure - that's kind of odd. However, simply forgetting you put them all in your purses isn't a miracle (although it might be a sign to see your doc about cutting-edge Alzheimer's medications).
Like when that old knee doesn't give out after riding in the back seat for two hours to Mass.Errr... don't knees give out from being stood upon? What next? Hey, my tennis elbow is gone and I don't even play tennis! Thank you, Jesus!
Like when you look up in the sky, beyond where airplanes fly, and you think you see angels.Not a miracle, dear. That's the pattern-seeking human mind at work. Sometimes I look up in the sky and can see bunnies or dogs or faces. Now, if you're talking about a cloudless sky, it's still not a miracle. It just means you're crazy.
Or like when a woman goes to bed at night in despair and wakes up in the morning to face a new day -- and a bright sun slips through her blinds.Because the sun coming up in the morning is a very strange thing. One wonders if the author of this piece of crap opens her front door every morning, sees that glowing orb of nuclear energy, and falls to her knees in thankfulness "Praise the Lord! There it is again!"
Isn't that a miracle?" the Rev. Eddie E.L. Tolentino III, pastor of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Silver Spring, is asking. "There is something incredibly mysterious about life. It is a miracle to wake up in the morning filled with pain and on the edge of despair, and realize you can go on. It's a miracle. If you consider a miracle as something we have no power over."Nonsense. Plenty of people wake up in the morning filled with pain and on the edge of despair. They then decide to take a loaded gun and explode their brains on the bedroom wall. Or perhaps they overdose on some pills. Even if they do not, they actively choose to give up or to keep fighting - they have complete power of their choice.
Platitudes sure are pretty, but they're really no substitute for thinking, Pastor Tolentino.
The pope, the Holy Father, he says, was a remarkable man who celebrated the ministry of God. "He awakened people to what is the best in them," Tolentino says. "There is something about the human person who yearns for something beyond, and he helped us see what that was."If the something beyond this life involves considering gay people and their desire to marry as something "evil," I'll quite happily stick to this lonely life, thanks. If the something beyond means seeing suffering as a net good, because it makes you more like Jesus, screw that and pass me the Percocet.
Holy crap, I just realize that this trite piece of pablum is four pages long. I have neither the patience to mock it for that long, or the sadism to make you go on reading it in excerpt form.
If believing such nonsense makes you feel better, bully for you. However, if - in a world of war and famine and disease - the best your god can do is make you think you see angels or help you find a little money in a pocket, well, color me unimpressed.
A bright, bold neon shade of unimpressed.
Update: For those curious about the Pope and his views on gay marriage, I present Exhibit A.
They don't just stop with an eclipse. No sir!
Update: Positive Liberty has some thoughts on the gullible.
* Please ignore all the gold and stuff around the Vatican. It's not like poor people can eat gold or something. Dummies.
Just like people, clams can be affected by the toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), but scientists have now identified a mutation in clams that gives some protection. PSP toxins interfere with nerve function, and the mutation, which changes a single amino acid in a sodium channel, makes nerves less sensitive to those toxins.That gosh darn evolution! Those gosh darn scientists!
I'm telling Jesus on you!
Update: No, scientists don't know everything - they just keep learning more and more - and none of it seems to be hurting evolution, the delusions of Duane Gish and others notwithstanding.
That gosh darn science!
Update 2: Hey, Pharyngula points out that the Discovery Institute, founded on the premise that putting the word "institute" in their name would make their brand of creationist nonsense sound all smart and edumacated and stuff, has a blog.
It's sure to provide hours and hours of entertainment. Or frustration. Probably both. Hey, maybe they could hire Paul to
lie... er, write... for them.
(Note: Hey hey and welcome, all you AOL News readers - glad you could make it by the site. Full disclosure - if you're like most folks, you're probably going to realize I disagree with about 50% of what you believe on any topic. Don't take it personally; we can't all be me. Be sure to click here to visit my main page. You'll be glad you did. Or not.)
...then everytime it rains you'll see proof of elves.
That kind of thinking is about the only thing I can think of to explain why Drudge would label this story (about an upcoming partial solar eclipse) with the following:
SCIENCE: Sky will darken on funeral day...Nevermind that, um, we've known the date of the eclipse a lot longer than we've known when John Paul would pass or when he would be buried.
Nevermind that, um, the eclipse will be visible from New Zealand, across the Pacific, and into the Americas, oddly bypassing - oh - Rome.
Sorry, Drudge, but tying this event to the Pope's funeral is about as significant as tying one of my bowel movements to it. However, I suspect that won't deter the "Jesus-in-a-toasted-sammich" crowd from finding some meaning in it.
Update: Oh brother.
Note: Mark does point out that he isn't making much of it. His commenters, however, aren't so ... skeptical.
Update 2: Doh, Jody noticed it first.
Update 3: In the Agora deepens the mystery - the end is nigh!
Update 4: Some people think it's spooky that John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920, the date of another partial solar eclipse. You know, that would be kind of a neat coincidence if he had died during one, but this is his funeral. Put away your tin-foil, nutters.
Update 5: Besides, I'm sure thousands of other people are being buried on that day as well. Heck, some of them will just be murdered and thrown aside like so much human detritus. I suppose God doesn't think they're worth much notice though (seeing as how they got murdered and all).
Gov. Bill Owens has vetoed a bill that would've forced hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception.I wonder where he stands on the moralizing pharmacist issue.
The Republican is a Roman Catholic who has campaigned on conservative values. Owens says the bill would violate fundamental constitutional principles by forcing a hospital founded on religious principles to say things to patients that it explicitly doesn't believe to be morally or ethically valid.
I wonder which Democrat I'll be voting for next time the Governor's office is up for election.
Almost. I can keep down light foods and clear liquids and - most importantly - Bentyl and Percocet. So, it's off to the office with me to try to play catch up.
Thanks to all who sent their well wishes, although those of you who prayed for me were the real winners. Why, if God hadn't given me this virus, driven me to the hospital, and personally worked a little of that old time magic called "medicine" on me, I don't know where I'd be.
I can hear you now: "Yup, he's back."
Hmmm, I wonder if any of the doctors I've seen over the last three days have been a National Repubican Congressional Committee Physician of the Year.
The good news reached the Jamestown, N.Y., office of Dr. Rudolph Mueller in a fax from a congressman in Washington. Mueller had been named 2004 Physician of the Year.Well, that's quite the honor then, isn't it? And Mueller wasn't alone; there were hundreds of other "Physicians of the Year," all carefully selected for their
"My secretary came running in and said, 'Dr. Rudy, look at what you've won, you're Physician of the Year,' " said Mueller, an internist.
But to receive the award in person at a special two-day workshop in Washington last month, Mueller found out that he would have to make a $1,250 contribution to the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was a disturbing discovery, he said.
The Republicans, under the direction of [House Majority Leader] DeLay, came up with the idea for the awards five years ago as a means of helping to raise funds for the congressional campaign efforts for their party.Hey, if you can't get them to support the party out of principle, get them to do it with a bribery scam. Classy!
Pharyngula has the details - a cornucopia of literature on the science of evolution, with selections suitable for serious students, adult laymen, children, and - yes - a few that are even on a low enough reading level for a certain blogger who shall remain nameless (rhymes with "Paul at Wizbang").
Update: For the curious, I am currently reading Blameless in Abaddon, by James Morrow, in which God is put on trial for His crimes against humanity.
And now I am off to bed, as the assorted drugs are making me groggy and clouding my typically astute mind.
See you on the morrow, lads and lasses, on the morrow.
Nothing says "Yeehaw!" quite like a stomach virus leading to severe dehydration that puts one in the ER on a Monday morning, whereupon one receives three bags of fluids and an assortment of drugs to either (a) slow the dreadful stomach cramps that have kept one awake for nigh on 36 hours or (b) at least make them not so unpleasant.
So, pardon me as I retire to the sofa, with Bentyl and Percoset in hand, to watch "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution" on DVD.
Regular blogging to resume at some point today or tomorrow.
P.S.: Not sure if this was driven by the Terri Schiavo debate, but the hospital I went to asked me about living wills / advanced directives, and then gave the wife and I free copies of the "Five Wishes" living will I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago.
So, who's coming to the RMBB tonight? Show of hands.
The rest of you can entertain yourselves with this musical
travesty brilliance: Bottoms Up.
Now known, worldwide - or at least to the three of us - as ZombyMonkieBranes.
Are you scared?
You should be.
Update: Back from the festivities. I suspect the party is still on-going. I, however, am dead beat and want nothing more than to crawl into bed.
Update 2: OK, so now I know why I started feeling rotten so early on in the bash: some stomach bug. Bleh. Maybe Monday will be better.
Unless this happens to be it.
Kind of hurts the brain to think about, doesn't it?