Pharyngula

Archives for July, 2010

A cult that kills in Oregon

Alayna Wyland is 7 months old, and she is suffering. The area started swelling, and the fast-growing mass of blood vessels, known as a hemangioma, eventually caused her eye to swell shut and pushed the eyeball down and outward and started eroding the eye socket bone around the eye. There are pictures at the link.…

Things that are backwards

Wait, wait, this story makes no sense. A gay netball coach fired from a Christchurch Christian school has gained compensation and an apology. The 28-year-old man was employed as a girls’ netball coach at Middleton Grange School in February, but said he was sacked by the board of trustees after members discovered his sexual orientation.…

A lesser controversy at Scienceblogs

The case of the various kinds of blogs hosted on ScienceBlogs has come up on Newsweek, and I get quoted trying to explain how I’m unperturbed by a couple of institutional blogs here. Not all bloggers feel this way, Myers included. “We’ve known about those [institutional blogs] for some time–they aren’t a problem,” he wrote…

It’s not just Scienceblogs

This isn’t exactly schadenfreude, it’s more like merely recognizing the ungainly nature of the beast — but blog networks are always going to struggle a bit. Take a look at these posts from the Nature Network. It’s not doom-and-gloom, it’s just wrestling with the medium, as we’ve experienced here in recent weeks. I do have…

WikiLeaks does humanity a service

It’s amazing: WikiLeaks has just dumped over 91,000 classified documents from the Afghanistan war on the web. Just like that, we get an actual look at what’s been going on over there, unfiltered by the traditional media, and definitely not given a rosy patina by Fox News. Fox New is, of course, treating this as…

Anoura fistulata tonguing Centropogon nigricans (via Botany Photo of the Day)

Christopher Hitchens not being a dick

There is a site called Christopher Hitchens Watch which, I believe, began with a good cause: it’s been around for about 5 years, and initially focused on Hitchens’ support of the war in Iraq. That was a good idea: I disagree with him on that colossal waste of lives and money, and his views are…

The special case rule

This is true, but cruel: It made me think…there would be a lot more vegans in the world if they could each declare one special exemption. I think “I’m a vegan, except when it comes to bacon” would be a very common phrase, just like “I’m a skeptic, except when it comes to religion.” Mmmm,…

There are now a few more details on the story of the dog given a communion wafer: the dog’s name is Trapper, the majority of the congregation was happy to see him get a cracker, it’s just one person who complained, and now dogs have been officially excommunicated from the church. And this is exactly…

“Tom Johnson” fini

As some of you know, there was a long-running contretemps at Chris Mooney’s Intersocktion blog — Mooney took a comment by someone named “Tom Johnson” as evidence that the New Atheists were inciting all kinds of destructive fury and ran with it, promoting it as a solid strike against the same targets he took on…