Pharyngula

Carnivalia and an open thread

The Tangled Bank

Next week, the Tangled Bank will be hosted at Migrations, so get those entries in to me or host@tangledbank.net by Tuesday!

You can always read a few other carnivals first and get inspired.

Or go ahead, you can just blather away in the comments on whatever you want. We’re all about Freedom and Liberty and Choice here!

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian
    July 27, 2007

    I’m tired of the heat. July has been very hot, and my apartment is sweltering. I shouldn’t complain, since as the (local?) joke goes, Edmonton has only two seasons: winter and patio.

    Thanks. I just had to get that off my sweaty and sticky chest.

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    July 27, 2007

    Errm, Brownian. What have you been doing in your apartment to have a sticky chest?

    Bob

  3. #3 kmarissa
    July 27, 2007

    Frankly, I’m less tired of the heat than I am of the blasting AC. When it’s 93 degrees outside, I should NOT have to turn on the space heater in my office…

  4. #4 Sven DiMilo
    July 27, 2007

    Ah, thanks. Two things:
    The ultimate Cute Overload/Pharyngula mashup.

    And, in the AARP magazine (“World’s Largest Circulation Magazine”)(my wife turned 50 this year): Life After Death, a poll of Americans over 50. The pullquotes, for your slack-jawed disbelief: 94% believe in God, 86% believe in Heaven, 70% believe in Hell. I find that 16% gap fascinating.

  5. #5 Rey Fox
    July 27, 2007

    I’m also one who thinks AC is more of a necessary evil than a blessed wonderful invention. People just abuse it so much. Whenever it comes on in my apartment I just get cold. I say, turn that thermostat up a few degrees and take off a layer of clothing. Every little bit helps!

  6. #6 mojojojo
    July 27, 2007

    Walmart to test Bible “action figures” in stores.

    Ecotourism drives Tibetan monkeys to infanticide.

    Brothers simultaneously gored by bull in Spain.

  7. #7 Shawn Wilkinson
    July 27, 2007

    My physicist friend was not amused by the Jebons reference made in an earlier post…

    But I was >:-)

  8. #8 MyaR
    July 27, 2007

    a poll of Americans over 50

    This looks like good news to me. On the other hand, maybe people believe in god more when they’re old? There must be some stats out there somewhere on belief by age, preferably with comparative data from decades past.

    I say, turn that thermostat up a few degrees and take off a layer of clothing.

    While I’m sure some of the men (and perhaps some of the women) in my office would appreciate it if I took off another layer of clothes, it probably wouldn’t really be wise. I say put on a sweater, Rey!

  9. #9 VWXYNot?
    July 27, 2007

    Belated update:

    Reasons to Believe, the creationist website that was misrepresenting the results of one of my research papers, has taken the paper off their website!

    Complaining about things is great. It always makes you feel better, and it sometimes even works.

    Thanks to everyone who clicked through from here and then on to the RTB website. I think we got their attention!

  10. #10 Shawn Wilkinson
    July 27, 2007

    Oh, and squid swim efficiently (kind of old news-ish, really). Wish we could shoot jets of fluid from various crevices…

  11. #11 RedMolly
    July 27, 2007

    The pullquotes, for your slack-jawed disbelief: 94% believe in God, 86% believe in Heaven, 70% believe in Hell. I find that 16% gap fascinating.

    I think Mormons and liberal Christians (and JWs? …not sufficiently up on that…) probably provide sufficient numbers to explain that skew. I roomed with a doctrinaire LDS woman during a trade show last week, and we had a few very interesting late-night conversations, including one re: what Mormons believe about heaven and hell. Apparently only the really, really, really bad people have to worry about “hell,” and it’s more of a negation of consciousness than an sort of eternal punishment brimstoney thing.

    As for liberal Christians: many of them (including my mother and sister) can’t reconcile the idea of a loving god with the notion of eternal damnation. So they just get rid of the eternal damnation thing, rather than taking what I would see as the more logical step and chucking the whole god-thing altogether.

  12. #12 Mike O'Risal
    July 27, 2007

    Funniest defense of a theistic argument ever, posted over at Scientia Natura:

    So, what are you saying? Is it wrong to have infantile beliefs? Is it wrong to be ignorant? Is it wrong to be deluded? Is it wrong to be willfully stupid? Is it wrong to be mentally retarded?

    Tell me it’s perfectly all right to be all of those things. If not, then you’ve just made a moral judgement…

    Again, I don’t understand why I need to keep saying this. You have provided NO explanation as to why it’s wrong to believe in a “sky daddy”, a flying spaghetti monster, or that a giant kleenex box on Planet Zeetoo created humans out of a bag of marbles.

    Please explain to me, very clearly, why it’s wrong from an atheistic viewpoint to believe in something that is false. That’s all I’m asking. Evolution, progress, pride, societal harmony, etc. are not good reasons whatsoever…

    More here. Funny stuff. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen the fallacy of “argument from admitted stupidity” used!

  13. #13 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 27, 2007

    Apparently, I am officially non-notable.

  14. #14 Shawn Wilkinson
    July 27, 2007

    You think that’s funny, Mike (#12)? You should read some of the low-ranking comments for Hitchens’ latest book on Amazon. Some are AMAZINGLY hilarious, and I have pulled my favorite quote from one of them:

    “The Spirit will eventually catch him unawares.”

    Oh noes! With all the other like-minded individuals commenting speaking about God touching us, the above sounds very scary when taking literally.

    HINT: God is a human molester, apparently.

  15. #15 vagueofgodalming
    July 27, 2007

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/nowshow.shtml

    Click the button to listen to the latest edition. Marcus Brigstocke, about ten minutes in.

    Enjoy. You have seven days before it’s replaced by next week’s edition.

  16. #16 Jenbug
    July 27, 2007

    I am very sorry my maintenance man’s father broke his hip, but that only happened this week, and he had all last week to fix my dryer vent and washing machine hookup. Unless he possesses prognosticatory powers, he was just screwing around last week and the damn thing could already be fixed instead of being put off even more. I am not a heartless person for thinking this, I am a person who lives in Orlando Florida with a person who thinks that 80 degrees inside the house is ‘just right.’ I sweat through my clothes while I am still getting ready in the morning, and the pile of moist and fragrant clothing is piling up.

    And despite what people think about The South, it isn’t all whack jobs and religious nuts. There are progressive, practical people here as well. We’re just sweaty.

  17. #17 Brownian
    July 27, 2007

    Errm, Brownian. What have you been doing in your apartment to have a sticky chest?

    Um, constubating?

  18. #18 Reginald Selkirk
    July 27, 2007
  19. #19 DaveX
    July 27, 2007

    Check my link– I posted the majority of my found photobooth photo collection as scans. And yeah, it’s freakin’ hot here too! My little window unit can’t quite keep up, ugh!

  20. #20 Reginald Selkirk
    July 27, 2007

    Last Supper code crashes Da Vinci websites

    A NEW theory that Leonardo’s Last Supper might hide within it a depiction of Christ blessing the bread and wine has triggered so much interest that websites connected to the picture have crashed.

  21. #21 Reginald Selkirk
    July 27, 2007
  22. #22 Sven diMilo
    July 27, 2007

    “Wish we could shoot jets of fluid from various crevices…”
    uh…we can. Not that it’s always pleasant. Not that it’s never pleasant. Depends on the fluid, the crevice, and the social context.

  23. #23 raven
    July 27, 2007

    Just found out that the US is almost a theocracy. I’m on the WC and we don’t really have the wingnut xian right all that much. Sure they are here but most people seem to pay attention to them only when they do something stupid, a preacher gets caught doing something horrible, someone takes their sick kid to a faith healer for something treatable and they die, they try to outlaw the internet.

    Have been doing some reading on Xian reconstructionism, Xian dominionism, Pat Robertson, Dobson Focus on Families, the creo Discovery Institute etc. They seemed like lunatic fringers. As it turns out they controlled the US house and senate, almost half of the supreme court, and Bush is one of them.

    I wished I hadn’t read up. Toynbee said that 19 out of 22 civilizations imploded from within. It looks like we are pretty close to making that 20 of 23. If anyone wants to explain how we are going to avoid a catastrophe, do so. Wishful thinking doesn’t count.

    From Theocracy.org Cornell university.
    My note. This website seems partisan but not looney. It is based at Cornell U. at least.

    “Back from The Brink
    Before the midterm elections of 2006, dominionists controlled both houses of the U.S. Congress, the White House and four out of nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. They were one seat away from holding a solid majority on the Supreme Court. As of January 1, 2007, dominionists will not control the leadership of either house of Congress, and the President will no longer be able to so easily appoint dominionists to the federal courts.

    Five of the Republican Senators who were unseated on November 7 received whopping scores of 100% from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Voter Scorecards. Those Senators are: Conrad Burns (R-MT), George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), James Talent (R-MO), and Mike DeWine (R-OH). Rick Santorum was the number three ranking Republican in the party. Santorum and Allen both had Presidential ambitions. (FRC and FOF are the most politically influential of dominionist organizations.) For more discussion of the elections go to Talk To Action.

  24. #24 phat
    July 27, 2007

    80 degrees inside the house? What’s wrong with that?

    Yikes.

    phat

  25. #25 Spanish Inquisitor
    July 27, 2007

    As for liberal Christians: many of them (including my mother and sister) can’t reconcile the idea of a loving god with the notion of eternal damnation. So they just get rid of the eternal damnation thing, rather than taking what I would see as the more logical step and chucking the whole god-thing altogether.

    Damn! I was going to say that. I hate it when I have an idea, and someone beats me to it. 🙂

    OK. It’s hot here. Bet no one thought of that!

  26. #26 RedMolly
    July 27, 2007

    It’s 76 degrees under a cloudless blue sky here in beautiful Portland, Oregon… probably a mite closer to 80 in my attic office, but not too much uncomfortably closer. Am perfectly happy in tank top and shorts with a frosty Mike’s Hard Lemonade (shut up, it’s good) at my elbow.

    (We have to revel in the summer weather, because the winter weather apparently turns us all into a bunch of raving galosh-flopping misanthropes.)

    Also: Santorum. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  27. #27 Sili
    July 27, 2007

    I obviously don’t have anything better to do today, so I’ve translated this slanderous review of a Danish Punch and Judy show (last paragraph):

    (caption)The kids join in as the little red diver dives into an ocean dark as the night and meets a treasure trove of its animals.

    Rain and submarine theatre in Kongens Have

    The Reumert (DK theatre award) awarded children’s theatre in Kongens Have performs in all weather. So this year a bit of rain will only provide the proper setting for a show that takes place in the water.

    By Monna Dithmer

    It’s fascinating what can happen on a stage little bigger than a broom cupboard. But Marionetteatret impresses once again.

    This time the trip is into the submarine. A little red diver bubbles happily about in the dark depths. A rush of weightlessness. The joy echoes here in the stalls where the youngest are particularly exuberant.

    But when you take the trip all the way down to fetch a treasure chest at the bottom of the sea among neon fish, anemones with orange cilia, yellow-striped veil-tails, old boot and green rocks, it’s good to remember that down here the crab is man’s best friend.

    Action!

    The diver may have been able to beat the dreadful shark on his own with a roundhouse kick – shark teeth went flying. But when it comes to sharp hooks and long, tangled seaweeds, a helping hand is needed from the the big red crab whose giant claw can cut out the diver: Cut!

    As an innovention the three puppeteers MG, RSH and PAK on the stage themselves and move about cloaked in black. It doesn’t lessen the magic, but on the contrary gives the diver & al. a greater mobility, as illustrated in the intense action fight with the giant octopus.

    Our hero manages to wrestle the bag with he is newfound treasure from the ferocious squid so that he can return to the surface. Here a final play with the theatre’s setting awaits the audience in a manner that we won’t reveal here. We’ll just end on the cry of “Hee haw! Crab’s claw!”

    Well … it said “open thread” and this is marginally cephalopodian in nature …

  28. #28 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 27, 2007

    “Wish we could shoot jets of fluid from various crevices…”
    uh…we can. Not that it’s always pleasant. Not that it’s never pleasant. Depends on the fluid, the crevice, and the social context.

    Um, okay. So are you telling us that this is a powerful driving force in humans?

    Maybe so, but squid points it away from the direction of interest. I’m almost certain there is a reason for the difference.

  29. #29 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 27, 2007

    “Wish we could shoot jets of fluid from various crevices…”
    uh…we can. Not that it’s always pleasant. Not that it’s never pleasant. Depends on the fluid, the crevice, and the social context.

    Um, okay. So are you telling us that this is a powerful driving force in humans?

    Maybe so, but squid points it away from the direction of interest. I’m almost certain there is a reason for the difference.

  30. #30 Caledonian
    July 27, 2007

    So what’s with all this stuff I’m hearing about how Pat Tillman was shot by his own team members because he was critical of another soldier’s calling on God to rescue them?

  31. #31 bernarda
    July 28, 2007

    Next time you consult Panda’s Thumb, you will find a report on this astounding news “Intelligent Design in Business Practice”.

    http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=920

    “Intelligent design for now is best known as a scientific alternative to Darwinian and self-organizational approaches to biological origins. This conference brings together scholars and business leaders to discuss the implications of intelligent design for business practice. In particular, this conference will explore how design principles shape the beliefs of leaders about the people they lead, the nexus of innovation, the incentives to entrepreneurship, and the methods for managing organizational change. The overarching theme of this conference is “the business leader as intelligent designer.”

    It seems that as they are against “self-organizational approaches” they are favoring a sort of “social-darwinism” where the cream rises to the top to be the “business leader”. Let’s hear it for the hierarchy.

  32. #32 Warren
    July 28, 2007

    Mmkay, so I read, like, the seventh Harry Potter.

    Review, with many many spoilers, here.

  33. #33 Teo
    July 28, 2007

    Dr. Chopra’s latest adventures:

    A Clue About Aging and the Mind (Part 4)

    Deepak Chopra – July 27, 2007

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/a-clue-about-aging-and-th_b_58103.html

    http://www.intentblog.com/archives/2007/07/a_clue_about_ag_3.html

  34. #34 Teo
    July 28, 2007

    How Stupid! How Stupid!
    (Stupidity of a New Age Guru)

    “It could be that the brain is the receiver of thoughts, the way a radio is the receiver of music. Only rank superstition would hold that a radio composes music, that it appreciates beauty, or that it mechanically produces music through the “hard wiring” of its components. For the moment, such assumptions are made about the mind by leading brain scientists.”

    -Deepak Chopra

    ***

    How stupid! how stupid
    to say that scientists say
    a radio makes music
    on its own by its
    wired components!

    How stupid! how stupid
    to say that scientists say
    a radio appreciates the
    waves in the air waved!

    How stupid! how stupid
    to himself portray a
    scientist when he is
    a spiritual bullshit!

    How stupid! how stupid
    to betray reason and
    and science and to
    lead astray people to
    faith and unreason!

    Stupid are born in
    every age for their
    stupidity to portray.
    It’s understandable.

    -Ravi Kopra

    http://whitewings.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/07/how-stupid-how-stupid.htm

  35. #35 bug_girl
    July 28, 2007

    Academia is a cult.
    http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/07/28/academia-is-a-cult/

    Also, for truly hours of amusement, visit the best of Craigs List:
    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/all/

    One of my favorites was “you dropped your bible and I saw your thong”, although so many others were very good.

  36. #37 Cruella
    July 28, 2007

    If you like carnivals you’ll just love this one: Carnival of the Feminists.

    Also of potential interest to Pharyngula readers, research from Finland may offer some explanation for the evolution of the menopause (which only affects humans and whales, I think…?).

  37. #38 leslie wagner
    July 28, 2007

    still alive…

    despite end stage prostate cancer and paralysis of my legs.

    it’s hard to get to the computer but for those of you who might give a rat’s ass about me, that’s where i’ve been.

    best regards to all…see you in hell 🙂

    “and the sky cracked open and terrifying forks of lightning
    split the earth releasing deafening explosions of roaring thunder. and the mighty wind blew, creating a maelstrom of fury and rage.
    then all was quiet, and the gentle sea rolled on serenely, as it has since the beginning of time”

    i don’t mind dying, but i really can’t deal with not knowing why i was here…

    charlie wagner

  38. #39 PZ Myers
    July 28, 2007

    I’m sorry to hear it, Charlie. Take the time you have left and spend as much of it with the family as you can — they’ll appreciate it, and so will you.

  39. i don’t mind dying, but i really can’t deal with not knowing why i was here…

    hey, Charlie, I am also very sorry to hear the news.

    I have seen the pride and the joy you take in your family through your writings. Succeeding at raising a family like that, who will keep you in their memory, and whose actions here on earth are a direct result of you and your influence, sounds to me like one of the best possible reasons to be here. And you accomplished it.

  40. #41 Frau Im Mond
    July 28, 2007
  41. #42 khan
    July 28, 2007

    http://www.gophypocrites.com/2007/07/hyp07030.html

    In the spirit of Senator “Hooker” Vitter, Privette recently was arrested and “charged with six counts of misdemeanor aiding and abetting prostitution by renting a hotel room and paying for sexual acts, according to warrants.”

    And did we mention Privette is a Baptist minister and once ran for the Republican nomination for governor of North Carolina?

  42. #43 Reginald Selkirk
    July 28, 2007

    i don’t mind dying, but i really can’t deal with not knowing why i was here…

    What a privilege to be able to grant a dying man his last request:
    You are here because your ancestors, every one of them for the last 3.5+ billion years, were pretty good at surviving long enough to reproduce.

  43. #44 Reginald Selkirk
    July 28, 2007

    RichardDawkins.Net announces: The Out Campaign
    Come out of the closet, wear your scarlet letter.

  44. #45 SEF
    July 28, 2007

    If there’s any imaginary superbeing causing the UK floods (which some religious nutters have already alleged is their god punishing people, albeit rather indiscriminately, for being homosexual etc etc) then what it apparently really doesn’t like is the sort of people who claim divine inspiration or divine right of rulership, judging by the properties being damaged.

  45. #46 Reginald Selkirk
    July 31, 2007

    Godlessness: for Manly Men

    …Murrow says many men see church-going as soft, uncomfortable, “womanly” behavior.

    “The church has been feminized,” says Barbara Trainer, who serves as office manager for International Fishing Ministries. “It appeals to women in that it focuses on emotion and children and coffee. It’s not bold enough for men.”

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