February, 2015

Time to see all my skeptical friends again!

Feeling: Okay

2015-02-27

ISIS Muslims continue to show off their savagery by destroying their own culture's historical artwork including 2,000-year-old ancient statues of Assyrian and Mesopotamian origin.

In honor of the Net Neutrality bill being passed, here's John Oliver talking about the prior scare.

Author Kurt Vonnegut gives a humorous talk about the shapes stories can take.

Letting students know that they don't have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance prayer in school ruffles the feathers of some parents.

Jesus did his own stunts.

It's comforting to know that conservatives in the UK are just as scientifically illiterate as conservatives in the USA! David Tredinnick suggests that his nation would do well to adopt astrology and complementary medicine and anyone who disagrees is a... racist? At least Canada knows how to deal with ignoramus politicians. When conservative Rick Nicholls publicly denounced evolution, the entire legislature laughed him out of the room.

Building a dinosaur from a chicken using atavisms.


February blurs by when you have a bajillion things to do

Feeling: Okay

2015-02-26

Facebook removes a graphic which says that Muslims who are offended by jokes kill people, which is entirely true. Don't believe me? How about this recent poll commissioned by the BBC of British Muslims (read, progressive Muslims) a full 27% have sympathy for Muslims who murder people based on cartoons they find insulting. Well, Facebook may censor reality, but thankfully the Internet is still mostly free, so here's a link to what Facebook can't handle.

Mary Poppins' Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus, covered as death metal.

The US continues to use unmanned drones to stop unauthorized border crossings, but with the cost of the drones so high to make and operate, it comes down to a price of about $28,000 per arrest!

God gives a press conference before the Super Bowl.

Another fabrication from Bill O'Reilly, this time about witnessing nuns being executed during the El Salvador civil war, when his earlier writings show that it impossible for him to have been there during the time of these events. O'Reilly tried to save face, not by admitting the he remembered this incorrectly, but by claiming he was describing having seen pictures of nuns being executed. Sure, that's what he meant.

Vintage Jesus videos re-dubbed to make them interesting.

Idaho Republican says, if parents want to let their children die from curable diseases because their religion says medicine is evil, who are we to judge?

Pussy Riot's new English single, I Can't Breathe.

Texas Republicans cut a wedding cake to celebrate the 10-year ban of equal-marriage and eat the very same confection that thousands of their citizens can't enjoy.

The Nostalgia Chick can't resist the siren's call of Disney 3D.


I gots mad programmin' skillz!

Feeling: Okay

2015-02-25

In an effort to show just how persecuted white Christian Republicans are in Idaho, they're trying to pass a resolution stating that Idaho is a Christian state. But don't worry, by declaring the entire state's religion as Christian, the Republican assure us it is not meant to be interpreted as restricting the religious exercise of non-Christians. Probably because the resolution makes it clear that non-Christians don't exist in Idaho.

Careful, deh animals, dey's gettin' bigga!

The insurance of this Catholic-controlled Pennsylvania college will no longer cover abortions, even a woman was raped, even if she was raped by her father, and especially if the fetus is going to kill the woman. Because that's what Jesus would want.

A lecture on how your brain creates your sense of self.

Bill O'Reilly was found having misremembered another news story in which he wasn't actually involved. Any Brian Williams level apology yet?

What's with that evidence which says that cellphones cause brain tumors?

Science assures us that dogs can sense their owner's emotions, but not from magic, from their faces, tone of voice, etc.


Come eat the hidden entrails of the forest

Feeling: Blah

2015-02-24

Alaska joins Oregon and Washington D.C. becoming the third state to legalize the smoking of marijuana, although, it's still illegal to buy or trade for it.

It doesn't matter how secure your software and operating system is, if your firmware is vulnerable, you're still gonna get hacked.

Republican Vito Barbieri, in an effort to prevent women from being allowed to be prescribed drugs that cause abortions, asked a gynecologist if women could swallow a pill-sized camera to see the current development of the fetus. The doctor had to explain to Barbieri that swallowed objects wind up in the colon, not the uterus. Despite Barbieri's complete ignorance to female anatomy, he was still allowed to vote on women's reproductive rights, and, as expected, he voted against them.

It's difficult to figure out why people turn to violence. Sure, plenty of religious texts can be easily blamed as the bible and Quran both contain details of murdering anyone who is different than you, but even religions with foundations actually based on the idea of peace, like Buddhism, have their fair share of violent murders. Atheists often get a bad wrap for being immoral, but, unlike religion, we don't actually have any rulebooks telling us to be evil, or even any creed worth fighting for.

John Oliver weighs in on Fifty Shades of Grey.

Christian mayor Jim Fouts allowed a "Prayer Station" in the City Hall of Warren, Michigan, but when an atheist wanted to put up a "Reason Station" Fouts denied the application saying that only religious groups have the freedom to put up displays, not secular groups (a statement ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court). Fouts decided to fight the case, and lost. He has been ordered to allow the Reason Station to be erected, and Michigan taxpayers will have to pay $100,000 to cover the ACLU's court fees.

Ladies take note, Totinos Pizza Rolls are great for your guys. I wonder if it was made by this church?

A quick overview of Boko Haram.


What I dream the day might send, just around the riverbend, for me

Feeling: Blah

2015-02-23

Hosting parties is a helluvalot more work when you have a house than when you have an apartment! The prep work and after-party clean-up is grueling. On the plus side, the parties are way better!

It's tough to be an intelligent woman and have men telling you just how wrong you are when you make a mistake, or even when you're right.

Scientist Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon has been denying climate change for years now, and it just came to light why. No, it wasn't from studying the evidence, it is because he was paid $1,250,000 by the energy corporations Southern Company, Exxon Mobil, American Petroleum Institute, the Koch brothers, and lets not forget his speaking affairs with the ultra-Conservative Heritage Foundation.

Science can quickly demonstrate just how bad human memory can be. And it's quite common for people to mis-remember events from their past, like we've seen recently by Brian Williams. As a professional, Williams did the right thing, and admitted his mistake, but what happens when a hack like Bill O'Reilly is discovered having mis-remembered an event from his career? O'Reilly spoke about being in a war zone in the Falklands while he worked briefly at CBS, but all the evidence shows that he was in Argentina during a non-violent demonstration. Will O'Reilly admit to his mistake? Only, if you think childish name-calling is an admission.

This site has collected quotes regarding evolution from several politicians and put together a chart on the subject. Most of them are Republicans who don't accept the science or refuse to answer the question. The few Democrats listed give clear answers in favor of evolution, although all the names were surely cherry-picked.

Judge Mark Somers, a Christian who isn't afraid to use his legal position to preach the Gospel, has been found guilty of firing the courtís deputy administrator for pointing out that his preaching on from the bench is illegal. Judge Somers last the state of Michigan $730,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, not to mention the legal costs of the initial trial, and Somers's appeal. Despite his Jingoistic practices, Somers was still re-elected as a Michigan Judge.

North Dakota's Republican Party was very disappointed that a Muslim would be allowed to give an invocation at the state House calling the entire religion, "the very enemy our country has been perpetually at war with since Sept.11, 2001." Even if we ignore the simple-minded bigotry, we still have to marvel at the irony. Christians are complaining that they have to listen to a prayer they don't agree with!


RHPS closing night!

Feeling: Sick

2015-02-20

RHPS went quite well last night. The cast had a few injuries, but most importantly, the audience had a great time! Tonight's show should be even bigger since it's Friday.

Republican Ted Yoho knows how to stop ISIS, we just need to turn American into a Christian Theocracy, and suddenly, the problem goes away!

An interesting looking documentary about the religious vilification of sex.

Republican Dan Fisher is trying to replace the curriculum for Oklahoma's Advanced Placement US History classes because the educators who put it together included things like slavery and the women's liberation movement. Fisher doesn't want students learning about these issues because he thinks they make the country look like, "a nation of oppressors and exploiters," which, if you paid attention in history class, is entirely accurate. Instead, Fisher wants the school's brightest students to learn the United States' history the -correct- way, by reading the Ten Commandments from the bible and by studying the sermons of Christian preachers Jonathan Edwards and John Winthrop. Fisher's curriculum, coincidentally enough, also removes all democratic literature after the 1960s and replaces them with speeches from Ronald Regan. You'd probably think that nobody in their right mind would prefer studying the speeches of George W. Bush at the cost of eliminating the Underground Railroad, but the Oklahoma Education committee overwhelmingly approved Fisher's curriculum instead of the one composed by actual historians!

A 90s commercial that takes a turn for the worst.

John Oliver says goodbye to Radio Shack.

Sometimes science takes a wrong turn.


RHPS tonight! See you there.

Feeling: Sick

2015-02-19

You know all those jokes in the 90s about "Fun Size" candy bars not being very fun? They're more true now than ever before!

It's so true! See what I mean?

Women have some pretty clever answers to asinine and sexist questions.

Musicians read some of their mean tweets.

Dr. Vesna Roi of Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan refuses to give medical care to the child of a lesbian couple because she prayed about it and realized she couldn't develop a doctor-patient relationship with lesbians.

Sea stars can be pretty terrifying!

A rather pleasing Gallup poll shows that even in the country's more religious state, Utah, only half of the citizens attend church weekly. This drops all the way down to a mere 17% in Vermont, the nation's least religious state.

This video highlights some of science's brightest women.

Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK may suspend their unsolicited bible in every student's room policy after a poll showed that only 4% of students actually want them, and many of the non-Christian students may be offended by them. Known hate group The Christian Institute writes, "It is hard to imagine how a person could actually be offended by a Bible simply being in their room." This is probably because nobody at the The Christian Institute has ever read it.

Mr. Deity finally confronts The Atheist.


RHPS in one day!

Feeling: Sick

2015-02-18

This cold dry air has been wreaking havoc on my sinuses, but apparently our furnace has a built-in humidifier, so we can fix it, at least at home!

Is it possible to wipe out a grammatical error on Wikipedia? No, but it's fun to try!

Ironically, it is the Satanists, not the atheists, that are saving religious fair-play in the USA.

Save your money and watch American Sniper summed up in five minutes.

Sell your mineral rights to oil companies who want to frack on your land, and you'll be sorry. But they will make you equally sorry even if you don't sell.

What's it like to see the northern lights from space?

The number of non-religious freshmen entering college is at an all-time high!

Turns out, science can make you horny!

Christians are indeed persecuted! Why this bunch in Oklahoma just got done bragging on Facebook about how they broke the law and distributed bibles at public schools, and now, all of the sudden, the FFRF is threatening a lawsuit! PERSECUTION I SAY!

No, Charles Darwin did not recant on his deathbed.


RHPS in two days!

Feeling: Sick

2015-02-17

We probably all expected that low-levels of intelligence would be linked to racism, but did you know that it's also linked to social conservatism and right-wing authoritarianism?

Creationists take note! This is what happens when your religion rejects science.

Republican James Van Huss wants to pass a law reminding everyone that their rights come from God, not from government, and certainly not from a mutual agreement among people. This comes as a great shock to all those secular governments that have more rights than Americans.

It turns out, stomping on a Jewish person's throat and demanding that they accept Jesus is not a very effective (or even legal) way to promote Christianity.

It turns out, hopping through various countries actually -is- an effective way for rabbis to avoid capture from sexual assault, for awhile anyway.

A tiny, cheap, portable multi-machine emulator? Yes please!

The Republican controlled Arkansas House of Representatives is proving how much they hate big government by trying to pass a law preventing any lower government from being allowed to pass laws. In particular, they don't want cities or municipalities to be allowed to protect homosexuals from discrimination.

Manami Matsumae gives an interview about composing music for Mighty No. 9.

Jonathan Bleiweiss, a Florida District's "Cop of the Year" will be serving the next five years in prison for raping at least 20 inmates, and yet shockingly, rape is not one of his charges.


Even though everything is technically moved... I'm still moving!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-16

The Global Challenges Foundation created a list of the top 12 most likely events that would end human civilization, and 8 of the 12 would be our fault!

South Carolina senator, Republican Thomas Corbin, referred to women as "a lesser cut of meat," when speaking to Katrina Shealy, the only female senator in the state. To his credit, he later "apologized" by saying he was only joking, and if Shealy didn't like it, he would stop joking with her. What a class act!

As the popularity of "The Food Babe" grows, more people are discovering that she's actually an incompetent raving lunatic.

Sorry Christians, you're no longer allowed to lie to homosexuals that they have a mental disorder when you try to use the power of prayed to change them into heterosexuals.

Jehovah's Witnesses are trying to give the Catholics and Orthodox Jews a run for their money at being the best protectors of child rapists.

Jacqueline Crank watched her daughter die a horrible death from cancer because she hired a preacher who earned his credentials from one of those web sites where you pay $10 to print out your divinity degree. The Tennessee courts upheld her conviction of the negligent death of her daughter, but nothing was done to try to overrule the state's ridiculous religious laws which will surely see the death of another child soon enough.


Paraskevidekatriaphobics freak out!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-13

Ten years in my apartment ends today. Feels like ending a book, only to start another.

As far as anyone is willing to admit, the pope has never had sex with anyone (other than himself, and possibly a few altar boys). So, naturally, he tells Catholics everywhere that if they don't have children, they're being selfish!

Texas bigots are still unhappy with the name of their new school that sounds too... Muslim.

Mega Man music composer, Manami Matsumae, talks about her videogame music process and her new game, Mighty No. 9.

An amazing rock collection.

Honest RPG characters.

This is why you can see your breath when it's cold out.


RHPS rehearsal tonight, again!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-12

When you see famous landmarks with their actual surroundings, they suddenly seem a lot less surreal.

Due to the bigotry in Alabama, the courts aren't granting anyone marriage licenses, and a straight couple learns what it's like to be denied.

Republican David Moore wants to ban men from being topless and women from wearing yoga pants... just like ISIS!

Yet another Republican wants to try to make his state's official book the bible. This has failed in several previous states, but Jerry Sexton is really hoping his state is too bigoted to deny him.

The amount of religious people in American who are dissatisfied with their religion remains just over half, according to recent Gallup poll.

When truck driver Ramiro Olivarez submitted his driving paperwork, he put down "Jesus" as his co-driver. While this is a bit funny, it forced his employers to reprimand him for a.) falsifying legal documents, and b.) not having a co-driver, which is required by federal law. Despite Christians saying, "Jesus take the wheel," there has yet to be a documented case of a 2,000-year-old Palestinian magically appearing in a truck cab to bring the vehicle to a safe stop after the driver fell asleep. Well, despite explaining his deeply held religious beliefs, Olivarez's employers fired him due to incorrectly filling out his paperwork and gross negligence, but to Olivarez, this is Christian persecution, plain and simple!


RHPS rehearsal tonight!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-11

What would you do if all-of-the sudden you were awoken from a deep sleep at 11:30 at night to the sound of your front door being battered down? James Howard Allen did exactly what NRA members tell you you're supposed to do in these situations, draw your gun and stand your ground! Of course, when the people breaking down your front door turn out to be the police, they will respond to your draw gun with a barrage of bullets killing you in your own home. This is exactly what happened in Gastonia, North Carolina a couple of days ago. The police were called by Allen's family to check on him since he was alone and had recently undergone surgery. They tried his home at 10:20 PM, which is exactly the time a post-op man in his 70s would be awake, and didn't receive an answer. At 11:30 PM, they again received no answer, so rather than assume Allen was sleeping, they decided the mandatory course of action was to smash in the door. Naturally, Allen awoke to the sounds of splintered timber. Disoriented from sleep and probably pain killers, and no doubt assuming he was being robbed, Allen grabbed his gun to defend himself. Although the police officers assure us that they announced their invasion, they still claim that they had to shoot Allen to death for their own protection. Despite killing a man in his own home, you can probably be sure that the police will receive no punishment or even additional training at all.

Two Oregon cities successfully defended their governmental buildings from being tarnished with "In God We Trust" signs through peaceful explanations to their leaders, and religious book distribution has ended in a Florida school after the administration realized they'd also have to allow Satanist coloring books.

Creationists try to get #DarwinWasWrongDay trending on Twitter only to have it taken over by people who actually understand science.

Did Georgia teachers punish some children because their parents were atheists, an try to convert them to Christianity? I'm interested to see the ruling of the court case!


My house is so much bigger than my apartment!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-10

While calling around to price out Internet options for my new house, one salesperson explained their service as "lightning fast." I wanted to explain to them that, since all services use electricity, they are all, by definition, "lightning fast." But then, I'd have to explain the speed of electricity through a copper medium... ain't nobody got time for that.

How do school lunches around the world measure up?

Not wanting to be out-done by Catholic priests, these Jewish rabbis are saying that they didn't know it was a crime to molest children, and even if it is, they should be allowed to handle the situation themselves without having to get the pesky law involved.

The modern face of Christianity.

Atheists Debates tackles arguments from design in two parts.

Stephen Pinker lectures on the style of writing.


Like a home owner boss

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-09

Did all of the heavy lifting yesterday thanks to Adam and Matt, so Emily and I were able to sleep in the new house for the first time.

Despite what many men think, the Feminist movement has actually given them many of the rights that they now take for granted. This is because the Feminist movement is really about equality.

Bill Maher continues to tout the same conspiracy-theorist antivax bullshit as the Republican Party's denial of climate change.

Ugh! Michigan, get it together! Well-over half of the states now allow same sex marriage, but Michigan continues to be obstinate. Even ALABAMA now allows same-sex marriage, even though State Chief Justice, Republican Roy Moore ordered all probate judges to deny any licenses to same-sex couple, which will hopefully get him fired again. Now, if only our nation could be as forward-thinking as Canada and their new euthanasia policy.

If you're going to lie to the police about being robbed, don't be a white man claiming you were robbed by a black man who has been taking away your white women, and don't keep your wallet in the car with you, and don't, I repeat, DON'T be a Christian pastor!


When did I get so much stuff?

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-06

The Pope, who recently said that punching people for making fun of your religion was an acceptable course of action now reminds Catholic parents that slapping your children is the right thing to do. In fact, when a man explained to the Pope that he smacked his children, but not in the face, the Pope commented that such an act was, "beautiful." The Pope is a very sick man.

Speaking of "beautiful," Republican Brian Kurcaba says that rape is beautiful when it produces a child.

Yet another Christian "exorcist" sexually assaults one of his "possessed" victims and tries to manipulate her into giving away money and property.

Dinosaur fossils... gotta catch 'em all!

The Trinity Broadcasting Network is looking at charges of fraud along the lines of $100,000,000.

Bart Ehrman's lectures about the history of the New Testament and the evolution of Jesus, part 1, part 2, part 3.

What should you do if your child becomes religious?


Good luck movin' up, cuz I'm... moving out!

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-05

My body is finally starting to get used to moving a few thousand pounds of stuff every day. Well over half-way through the moving process, but I'm still not sure if we'll have all the loose stuff done by the time we need to move the furniture this Sunday.

In general, the South is a black mark on the USA. Higher student drop-out rates, higher obesity rates, higher teen-pregnancy and STI rates, higher demand for government assistance, and so on. So, it comes as a great embarrassment when we realize that Mississippi has the country's highest vaccination rate!

The head of Twitter finally realizes that the site has long been a haven for abuse. Whether he'll actually do anything about it remains to be seen.

A German Imam reminds women that they are their husband's property, they should stay at home making themselves look pretty for her husband, that they shouldn't seek employment, and that she should never refuse her husband sex, regardless of whether they want it.

The 200-year-old mummified Buddhist Monk isn't dead, he's pining for the fjords!

Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.


Still moving.

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-04

I thought of an interesting idea for a graphic about the song Passionate Kisses.

Vermonters showcase their ignorance by ranting about the idea of an official state motto in Latin.

Rand Paul back-peddles on his earlier statements questioning the safety of vaccinations, but doesn't try to hide his past involvement with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a highly-Conservative medical group that continues to put politics ahead of the medicine. The AAPS goes against nearly every other medical organization on medical issues, including:

  • They suggest a link between autism and vaccinations, not because they have evidence, but because of parental anecdotes.
  • They have also suggested a link between abortion and breast cancer, only to have their "evidence" ridiculed and discredited by major cancer organizations.
  • Much like the Christians in Africa, they have claimed that HIV doesn't cause AIDS!
  • They assert that immigrants infect Americans with leprosy, only to be shown that leprosy has not increased, and their estimates were ten times higher than the documented numbers.
  • The AAPS also claims that gun control has no medical support (because bullets don't create medical problems).
  • That there is no reason to investigate addition and extreme misuse of prescription pain killers (when prescribed to Rush Limbaugh).
  • That the "gay male lifestyle" shortens life expectancy by 20 years.
  • And my personal favorite, since these doctors are also climatologists, they claim that humans aren't causing climate change!

Republican Thom Tillis suggests that mandatory hand-washing shouldn't be necessary after restaurant workers void their bowels.

It bothers me every time I see a wonderful videogame site include a post about Anita Sarkeesian being awful for wanting videogames to have more dynamic female characters that aren't just used as a plot device. I really don't expect much from the game-playing majority, and pretty much all majorities are under-educated about minority issues. So, it warms the cockles of my heart when I see real educated people doing stuff like this.

The University of Qassim in Saudi Arabia held a women's rights conference, but then, this is a Muslim-majority country, so the "women's conference" was populated by all men! That's right, only male attendees, and only male speakers.


Dante's hell was frozen.

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-03

Second day of taking possession of the new house, second day shoveling snow. What did I get myself into?

Another skeleton in the Catholic closet. Decades ago, in defense of the Vatican's hatred of birth control, the Archbishop of Dublin, Charles McQuaid, referred to the Cesarean section as a "crime of birth-prevention," even though no obstetrician would agree with him. Despite his medical ignorance, many Irish doctors refused to perform Cesareans and instead opted for the antiquated symphysiotomy, the severing of the pubic symphysis. Symphysiotomy is much more intensive and carries with it chronic problems for the rest of the mother's life. These procedures were performed in Ireland as recent as 1984 when pretty much no other industrialized nation would even consider them because of all their negative side-effect, but the Irish Catholic doctors continued, most of the time without the mother's consent, and without even suggesting that a Cesarean was an option.

If you have some free time, watch this Doom retrospective where one of the designers of BioShock talks to John Romero, one of the designers of Doom and the various levels in the game. There are ten parts, here's part one.

Dealing with the death of a loved one, as an atheist, and how religious people can help their atheist friends.

Just your typical peace-loving forgiving non-judgmental Christian.

Stephen Fry answers the question, what would you say to God if you met him? The look of the Christian interviewer is priceless.

How a women's body type has changed in art through the ages.


What the snow?

Feeling: Happy

2015-02-02

First day of taking possession of the new house, and already I have to shovel the driveway! What the hell?

It isn't just the bankrupt Catholic diocese that are having to explain why their computers are filled with child pornography, now the Vatican itself has to make excuses.

Muslims continue to show just how backward they are by proposing a men-only Olympics, and a good-old-fashioned book burning.

And this is why you don't let someone who has absolutely no education in biology give you advice regarding biology.

Republican Jonathon Hill wanted all of the potential judges in his district to complete a survey before he considered appointing them, in particular, he wanted to weed out any that weren't his ideal version of a Christian. Then, his staffers pointed out that his survey was a violation of the US Constitution and the judges pointed out that his survey was a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct; something that any educated State Representative should already know. Hill's response to his gross incompetence was akin to, "next year I'll try to hide my prejudices better." Hill's questions included wanting to know if the judges would rule against pro-choice advocates, against women seeking equal pay, against tougher gun laws, and against crimes against homosexuals being treated as hate crimes.

Reverend Roy Harriger has been found guilty of raping his own grand children, and 15 other people have also come forward and claimed he sexually assaulted them in the past as well, including his own children. But it's cool because Harriger claimed he was possessed by demons when he raped children and that God has forgiven him.

Oklahoma is giving Texas a run for its money in the category of hate-filled bigots. Sensing the US Supreme Courts impending outlaw on same-sex marriage bans, Republicans in the state are doing everything in their power to put as many restrictions in place as possible against homosexuals getting married.

Susan Hemeryck, the "Catholic Warrior" who vandalized a holiday display of which she didn't approve, is convinced that she can't be punished for the crime because it would violate her religious freedom. It's so sad when you have to explain to an adult that being punished for theft and destruction of property is not religious persecution.