Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Wacky World—9/17/2014

Spam O' the Week: "What a Drug Mall Was Meant to Be"

Headline O' the Week: "Teenage reveller dies after being electrocuted while URINATING on lamp-post"

Home is where the penis is:
"While His [god's] penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home."
Love, Joy, Feminism

The selfish evangelical:
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy... When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

"Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program… The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation's second-largest school system, will return three grenade launchers but intends to keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through the program."
Here's a textbook takedown of some brand new kook no one's ever heard of—a real pleasure to read:
"Jarimba has no medical or scientific training. His epiphany was a combination of two observations: he noticed that a man’s sideburns were asymmetrical and his hair coarser on one side, and he watched a film clip about a fetus. He thought: adults are not symmetrical, and when a mother lies on one side, that puts asymmetrical pressure on the fetus’ body. Eureka! He concluded that the mother’s sleeping position must cause physical deformation, organ deformation and malfunction, and various ailments.

"He himself had 52 years of low back pain, foot pain, and overall body discomfort. All of these vanished after he put an insert in his shoe. He has plenty of patient testimonials. Back pain relieved. Back surgery avoided. More energy. Better sleep, more mentally focused, no headaches, no longer get sick. Alternating sleep sides during pregnancy produced a happy baby who doesn’t spit up and sleeps through the night. He apparently doesn’t understand that the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence.”"
Science Based Medicine

Mystery solved:
"When I was a kid, one of the coolest mysteries going was the moving stones of Racetrack Playa. This is a dry lake bed in Death Valley, California, where large rocks are embedded in the dried mud. However, many of the rocks have clearly been moving; there are long tracks behind them in the caked, baked mud pushed up like rails along the tracks’ sides. What could be moving these stones? No one knew. They would sit for years, then suddenly be found to have moved many meters."
Bad Astronomy

The natural way to quit smoking…tobacco:
"...a small number of longtime smokers who had failed many attempts to drop the habit did so after a carefully controlled and monitored use of psilocybin—the active hallucinogenic agent in so-called 'magic mushrooms'"

Here's a point that cannot be made often enough:
"...we’ve heard a number of prominent people (from Michael Shermer to Neil DeGrasse Tyson) say that there’s no real difference between the political parties when it comes to science denial. According to this argument, there is bad thinking and “woo” on both sides of the political spectrum.

"...nearly all conservative politicians in the modern GOP must at least pay lip service to a litany of dogmas, from lowering taxes, cutting spending on the poor, and boosting military spending, to opposing abortions, birth control, and stem-cell research, to homophobia—and, in this last few years, they must also toe the line with denying global climate change, and throw at least a bone to creationism."
I don't vote for the Democrats, I vote against the Republicans, which Clark Howard calls "tactical voting". If you piss your vote away on the Libertarian party you're a part of the fucking problem. It's sad that intelligent people like Tyson gloss over this. As for Shermer he's a libertarian (Clark Howard is too but seems slightly less up there).

Speaking of Shermer, he's been feeling some heat in recent years—I wonder why?
“Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that,” Randi told me. “I have told him that if I get many more complaints from people I have reason to believe, that I am going to have to limit his attendance at the conference."

Those remarks have led to attacks on Randi. And today this turned up:
"One of the people who has written a letter to the judge in Dinesh D’Souza’s criminal case asking for a lenient sentence is none other than Michael Shermer. If he really means what he says in that letter, it may be time to stop referring to him as a skeptic."
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

No wonder Phil Plait bailed from the Skeptics Society. What little he told me makes more sense all the time.

The hi-tech way to cheat at cards:
"...police arrested a gambler in Hanoi in 2006 for possessing playing cards marked with radioactive materials. The gambler admitted that his child's hair fell out soon after he brought the cards into their home."
Thanhnien News

As Detroit spirals down the toilet, in Flint, Michigan, officials mull a plan to distribute a Scientology tract:
"The idea that a police officer will hand a copy of this book to a drug dealer and he will suddenly realize that killing and promiscuity is wrong seems less than likely."
Turley's Blog