Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Wacky World—2/3/2014

"Smog-hit Beijing shows sunsets on a giant display to remind people what the sun looks like"
The Register

"A lawyer for two police officers says the court cannot rule out the possibility that a man was screaming with joy when he was being repeatedly tasered at the Perth Watch House more than five years ago."

"Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told fellow Republicans on Thursday that rival Democrats were trying to win over female voters by promising them free birth control and telling them 'they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.' Huckabee made the comment as he was making a pitch that the GOP needs to broaden its appeal and end its internal divisiveness."

"The erectile-dysfunction ad is one of more than 50 similar pitches for miracle cures and easy-money tricks that [Herman] Cain has passed along to his e-mail followers... ...he is not the only past presidential candidate hawking sketchy products. Newt Gingrich now pings the e-mail subscribers to his Gingrich Productions with messages from an investment firm formed by a conspiracy theorist successfully sued for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission."
New Republic

So much for the laughs. Now something much more serious:
"[Dr. Mahmet] Oz sighed. 'Medicine is a very religious experience,' he said. 'I have my religion and you have yours. It becomes difficult for us to agree on what we think works, since so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Data is rarely clean.' All facts come with a point of view. But his spin on it—that one can simply choose those which make sense, rather than data that happen to be true—was chilling. 'You find the arguments that support your data,' he said, 'and it’s my fact versus your fact.' "
Oz the Great and Powerful has fallen completely for the "medicine/science is just another religion" fallacy. Everyone is entitled to their own facts. Post-modernist, relativistic New Age bullshit. Thanks for enabling him, Oprah. (Respectful Insolence)

"Heightening the absurdity of intentionally huddling near a nuclear weapon that was about to explode was the fact that the men could not know exactly when it would explode. Probably to make the weapon resistant to electromagnetic pulses from any nearby nuclear explosions...the AEC had fashioned the SADM largely devoid of electronics. Instead, the device relied on two mechanical timers that, unfortunately, became less accurate the longer they were set for... "
I guess they didn't go in for fine Swiss craftsmanship. (Foreign Policy)

Click for heart-warming, gender-correct story
"Okay, so you speak in tongues to confuse Satan, then you have someone translate it…because Satan can’t understand the translation either? And where was the person to do the translating here? Seriously, this kind of dumb should hurt. Here’s the video:"
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Let them run wild:
"Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says. The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing."
As I've mentioned before, when I was a kid we were climbing on the jungle gym over its concrete base. We had cherry bombs. And, of course, bullying was tolerated—can't win 'em all, I guess. (Stuff)

Serial con man Kevin Trudeau begs to be waterboarded:
"Looking haggard after nearly three months behind bars, the normally well-coiffed Trudeau seemed to be only half-joking when he told U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman he’d gladly submit to the controversial torture technique if it led to his release."
Apparently incarceration is a bitch for rich white guys. (Tribune)

Just the facts, man
"Billionaire Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot issued a warning to Pope Francis during an interview with CNBC... In the interview he said that wealthy people such as himself are feeling ostracized by the Pope’s messages in support of the poor, and might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to make statements criticizing capitalism and income inequality."
Scared, frightened little bunny. Can't make the fucking Pope shut up. (Examiner)

"The thief or thieves made off with a large crucifix and a gold reliquary containing the vial of the blood of John Paul [II], who will be proclaimed a saint in April. Once John Paul is elevated to sainthood, artifacts from his life will increase in value."
Religion News
"Among other bizarre claims he made he stated he also said he had a map of places he can rob and studied survivalist medicine, including how to perform a cesarean section on his wife."
Turley's Blog

"That’s right, canines preferred to “excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis” under “calm magnetic field conditions.” The nearly 37 breeds of dogs studied were found to completely avoid urination or defecation along an east-west direction."
Turley's Blog

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