November, 2014

Emily likes cooking

Feeling: Happy


A homophobic principal at St. George Catholic School in Ottawa refused to let her students do a report on the importance of gay rights, so the students performed a simple silent protest which gained more traction than the report ever would.

Christian organization LifeWay Research performed a randomized poll of 3,000 American Christians and found that none of them can agree on even the most basic aspects of Christian doctrine.

Many backers of Israel point out that they are a civilized democratic beacon in an otherwise dark Middle East, but then they pull a stunt like this showing just how bigoted religion can make a person.

After Florida police admit that they are incompetent at their jobs and need the prayers of citizens to stop crime (because it's worked so well at stopping crime in the past), the American Humanist Association (AHA) sent them a letter explaining that, as a publicly funded institution, it is illegal for the police department to make religious requests of citizens, something of which the police should have been fully aware. The police responded stating that, not only are they not violating the US Constitution by asking for taxpayers to pray to end crime, but they will continue to waste taxpayer money sending out their useless letters, they will hold a prayer vigil on public land at the taxpayer's expense, and that they hold Christian prayers in their city council. By believing that they are above the law and admitting to all of these Constitutional violations, the AHA is now suing the police to prevent them from doing it any more. They will most likely win and the police will have to pay for it using taxpayer's money. But at least then, they will start using the rest of the taxpayer's money on, you know, actually fighting crime.

We're looking to have another pretty cold winter, which is leading many people to doubt global climate change. But as SciShow explains, there is a big difference between weather and climate, and even with the polar vortex of last year, it was still one of the hottest years on record!

Here's a children's musical number explaining how bills get passed in American politics.

Cats love to watch you poop.

Why is it rivers never seem to run straight?

Epic Rap Battles of History pits Zeus against Thor in Lego form!

Adam likes Magic

Feeling: Happy


Want to experience vertigo?

Cherokee County, Texas recently erected a Nativity scene on its courthouse lawn, which made the local Humanist group request a display of their own. As a public office, the courthouse isn't allowed to show preference to a particular religion, so either they have to allow every group, or none of them. Well, as expected, Commissioner Katherine Pinotti denied the Humanist's request saying, "Perhaps you should consider choosing another time of the year to demonstrate your secular support instead of attempting to infiltrate the Christmas holiday with a singular purpose to destroy and denegrate [sic] the beliefs of others." Obviously, the irony is lost on Pinotti who doesn't realize that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th, a date the church probably picked because it coincided with the dates of several pre-existing winter holidays like Sol Invictus, Yule, and Saturnalia.

Despite what a chain of supermarkets says, the Christian god isn't powerful enough to stop wars.

SciShow teaches us about dust mites and how animals can be used to make new antibiotics.

What happens when you put a light bulb in a bath of hydrofluoric acid?

Birds don't hibernate underwater and even though there are almost twice as many male embryos than female, by the time they reach maturity, half of those males will have died.

When gaming companies actually change their games due to rumors about their games.

Animals have evolved into many different colors, even bright blue, but oddly enough, none of the blue is actually blue!

Jon likes hip-hop

Feeling: Happy


Doctors speak out about abortion saying performing the procedure is the most difficult it has been since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Each year in Colorado the governor tells all the citizens to pray using a quote from a Christian bible. Naturally, this has pissed off all the atheists and non-Christian religious people in the state so they banded together with with the FFRF to demand the state cease, pointing out the Colorado's constitution reads, "no preference shall be 'given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.'." The Colorado supreme court ruled that, no, praying is not a particular mode of worship and using a quote from a Christian bible is not denominational. Now that's logic!

But there was also a victory for rational thought! The president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, was promoting a grade-school curriculum which says the bible is a factually true textbook and trying to make it mandatory in Oklahoma public schools. The schools have since seen the light of reason.

The Atheist Debates series covers appeals to faith.

Want to land yourself in an early grave? Use weight loss supplements.

Bart Ehrman gives a talk about how Jesus became God. Part 1 and Part 2.

Celebrity impressions while stuck in traffic.

NPR's new educational program begins, 50 Great Teachers, starting with Socrates.

The making of An Honest Liar, an upcoming documentary about the life of James Randi.

A Michigan court ruled that the state only has to -fund- public education, it doesn't have to actually educate people.

Very few Christians have actually read the bible, but that doesn't stop them from defending it. Thanks to Trent for the idea.

John likes writing

Feeling: Happy


Fox News warns us that our tax dollars might end up going to feeding staving children and giving them an education to make them productive members of society! The horror! It's pretty clear that their fear isn't that it'll cost money, but that their money will go to helping people with skin darker than their own.

Ohio is one step closer to banning abortion. Republicans, who are totally known for their hatred of government that interferes with the private lives of citizens, have passed a bill controlling the private lives if citizens making it illegal to have an abortion, even if you ever raped by your own father, after a heart beat is detected, as if that were an important milestone in development.

In Egypt, a doctor killed a 12-year-old girl while he was trying to cut of her genitals. The result of the tribunal? The doctor is free from all negligence. Thanks Islam!

Texas schools history textbooks now claim that Moses was a founding father of the USA, and that the US Constitution which grants the freedom of religion to everyone was inspired by the Old Testament, which clearly states that anyone who doesn't believe in the Jewish god must be executed.

I'm not much of a fan of organized sports as I find they promote ignorance and bigotry, however, as someone who spends a great deal of time playing videogames, I don't begrudge those who enjoy them. But it makes it harder for me to approve of them when I see just how stupid athletes and sports channels can be. Curt Schilling, a retired professional baseball player, and now talking head for ESPN, recently said that evolution can't be true because nobody can show him a transitional fossil between amphibians and mosquitoes (which, if found, would actually disprove evolution, but Schilling is too ignorant to know this). Well, an ESPN writer, Keith Law, got into a Twitter debate pointing out just how ignorant Schilling is on the subject, and ESPN's approach was, rather than backing Law for being demonstrably correct and chiding Schilling's stupidity. ESPN has suspended Law from Twitter while Schilling continues to spout nonsense and even making rather violent suggestions about Ferguson, MO!

Jessica Fitzwater was recently elected to the city council of Frederick County, Maryland, and says she won't be taking her oath of office on a bible because she isn't upholding the bible. Instead, she suggests placing her hand on the city charter or state constitution. Well done Fitzwater!

The US military has the solution for soldiers who are contemplating suicide... convert them to Christianity!

A couple of Fox News blabber mouths complained that Obama isn't religious enough, and then a couple days later when Obama gave his talk filled with quotes from the bible to promote immigration reform, they berated him for quoting from the bible.

Rachel likes singing

Feeling: Happy


It's not enough that churches are tax-exempt regardless of whether they help anyone, now they're calling for complete immunity from all legal statutes.

A child asks fundamentalist if they believe the bible is literal truth. The answer goes like this: "Yes, I believe it all literally." "But you said that Hell isn't forever." "Correct." "But the bible says Hell is forever." "No it doesn't." "Yes, it does." "Well, I don't believe that that part is meant to be taken literally."

I would watch this live-action Daria movie.

Learning about the reality of evolution by studying it in HIV, part 1 and part 2.

Want to take part in a scientific breakthrough? Thanks to distributed computing, you can!

Bart Ehrman's wonderful Misquoting Jesus lecture.

That's one smart mop.

I don't have wanderlust, I have WONDERLUST.

Don't Hug Me. I'm Scared... PART 3!

Cody likes videogames

Feeling: Happy


Continuing in their tradition of being completely against science, the Republican party just passed a bill forbidding third-party scientists from advising the EPA in their areas of expertise, and wants to replace them with non-expert corporate scientists. The Republican goal is to prevent a politically unaffiliated climatologist who just published a paper on climate change from consulting the EPA on their paper, while allowing a geologist working for Exxon to do so. Taking a cue from their success in eradicating teen-pregnancy in the Southern states, they've learned that if you prevent people from having access to the truth, the problem magically disappears!

When a man just doesn't understand rape.

Welcome to your new police state where traffic cops have more firepower than the military of most countries, and they're taught that crime is a black and white issue that needs more aggression and more violence.

Dr. Luke Galen gives a lecture on the roots of morality. Spoiler alert, it doesn't come from religion.

Global terrorism is on the rise, and the majority of it is coming from Islamic states.

Christian Evangelist Donnie Swaggart, son of Jimmy Swaggart claims that homosexuals are just like ISIS and they want to execute Christians. Ironically, it is Swaggart's holy book that calls for the execution of homosexuals, not the other way around.

My state Capitol wants to erect a Nativity Scene, and if they do, you can be damned sure I'm going to demand an atheist display!

A three step guide to leaving Islam. Part 1, part 2, and part 3.

SciShow teaches us about bats and snakes.

June likes stuff

Feeling: Happy


Watched Interstellar last night with Emily, Wallee, and Allan. It wasn't very good. Rather than fill me with a sense of wonder for the universe, it tried to say that love crossed the boundaries of the fifth dimension. Gag. Want to really get a science boner? Take a look at these pictures that show the scale of the universe.

A grim, but accurate example of the modern gaming industry.

There are still several states in this country where a parent can let their child die out of neglect, and as long as they claim religious reason, they immune to prosecution.

SciShow news.

Benedict Cumberbatch does some rapid-fire impressions.

Science continues to get closer at explaining the origin of life.

Did You Know Gaming covers the Mega Man series, again and the PlayStation 2.

Much like global warming, humankind's lack of self-control is leading us into another crisis with antibiotics.

Oprah can't afford to pay for her entertainers during her "The Life You Want" tour where tickets sales alone are expected to bring in around $4 million. Much like the Wal-Mart family, Oprah has learned that you don't become a billionaire by paying your employees.

Still looking for houses

Feeling: Happy


Played some back-alley bridge last night with Emily, Wallee, and Jason. Good times, even if I came in third.

If you enjoy podcasts about atheism, you'll probably love the Friendly Atheist Podcast.

The US Air Force decided to soften its language on proselytizing. They used to say, don't use your position of authority to force your religion on your subordinates because it causes nothing but problems. Now it reads, you can use your position of authority to force your religion on your subordinates, but just be sneaky about it. I can only hope that the few atheist officers take advantage of this situation.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley would rather parrot a false quote of George Washington than do five seconds of Googling.

Warren Cole Smith published an article called 10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Evangelicals which is so hilarious I had to list all ten items with my critiques:

  1. Evangelicals share a common belief - Like all forms of Christianity, they most certainly do not. Put any two Christians, even of the exact same denomination, in a room to talk about religion together, and before long, they will start disagreeing.
  2. Jerry Falwell wasn’t the first evangelical - I can understand why you'd want to distance yourself from such a lunatic.
  3. Not everyone who calls himself an evangelical is an evangelical - Wasn't your first point that you all believe that same thing? This is just the No True Scotsman fallacy.
  4. Most evangelicals do not go to suburban megachurches - That's fine, but there are still over 1,300 churches across America that each take in more profit than a small country while paying no taxes.
  5. Evangelicals are generous - Yes, if you define "generous" as giving to a Christian church, Christian hospital, or Christian food bank. If you bully someone to profess a belief in your god before helping them, you're not giving, you're advertising.
  6. Evangelicals love LGBTQIA people - In the same way an abusive husband "loves" his wife so much he has to hit her. If your "unconditional" love has a condition of them changing their sexual identity, you don't love them.
  7. Evangelicals love the arts - Provided the art conforms with our ultra-Conservative pious view of morality. Do you love the art of Andres Serrano?
  8. Evangelicals are pro-science - And by "science," we mean Jesus riding dinosaurs on a 6,000-year-old Earth.
  9. Evangelicals value quality education for all - Provided that education doesn't include evolution, the big bang theory, sex ed, archeology, anthropology, radioactive decay, or the psychology of religion.
  10. Evangelicals are diverse and tolerant - We don't care what race you are, we'll vote for laws that prevent you from making decisions about your body!

Christians really are this deluded. They vote against the freedoms of other people while claiming to be extremely tolerant, they deny entire scientific subjects where the experts are all in agreement and claim they are pro-science, they disown homosexuals and claim to love them. I'm no longer surprised by any of their statements, but I am fascinated by just how much cognitive dissonance a human brain can endure.

Ferguseon, MO, has another reason to be in the news after officer Jaris Hayden arrested a pregnant woman and raped her.

Ain't that America?

Feeling: Happy


I've been playing a lot of Pay Day 2, which is a pretty fun game, but a little buggy for my tastes.

Being an activist woman on the Internet means the police and FBI will never lift a finger to stop people from sending you rape and death threats. Sites like Twitter and YouTube aren't any help either and rarely do anything when their users threaten to murder women.

Nobody has the right to die until God is done toying with them first!

The Islamist group ISIS continues to kidnap and enslave girls, now as many as 5,000 to 7,000.

SciShow answers more of the world's top questions.

The Friendly Atheist talks about why faith is dangerous.

For your safety and convenience

Feeling: Happy


The Dan Barker lecture last night was a lot of fun. I bought two of his books and thoroughly enjoyed his talk. During Q&A, one apologist tried to stump him with a poor refutation of the problem of evil, "If you were all-powerful, and your children were evil, would you make them stop existing?" but Barker handled nicely, "I would prevent their evil actions, not obliterate children." Afterwards, we had drinks and dinner where I sat next to a political science major and a neurology major. The talks were wonderful!

Christian youth pastor Deric Peacock will be enjoying prison for awhile after exposing himself to what he thought was a 12-year-old girl whom he intended to have sex with, but in reality he was exposing himself to the police. The judge gave the man extra time because he was a pastor, which I don't agree with.

The Ghostbusters meet the Mythbusters in Epic Rap Battles of History.

Daniel Loxton gives a very uplifting talk about the Skeptic movement.

The ever-amazing Kristen Schaal explains the GOP's plan to woo women voters.

How El Al Airlines in-flight safety video should go down.

Mr. Deity gives a scathing talk about Mormonism.

New computer at work is a full day's work

Feeling: Happy


I'm going to see a talk by ex-preacher Dan Barker tonight! Yay!

Tony Ryan is a terrible person and deserves all the Internet shame he receives.

If you're going to make your kid hand out religious tracts to everyone of his classmates, you should probably first make sure that not -everything- in the tract is factually wrong. Luckily, for the kid's sake, he's too young to know how much his parents embarrassed him.

Yet another Christian minister, this time one in Grand Rapids, MI, was convicted of raping a child under the age of 13. John Balyo was arrested at a Christian music festival, and police said they also found several articles of missing children and child obituaries on the man's computer!

SciShow gives us tips on how to stop the spread of Ebola and explains why dogs pant.

Want to understand what sexual consent is? Ask a sex worker. And speaking of sex workers, Sasha Grey reads creepy texts.

John Oliver talks about the corruption inherent in state lotteries.

Turkish children have had their textbooks slightly altered in order to make their parent's gods happy. Rather than see diagrams of their own anatomy, they will now see pictures of cute fuzzy animals!

This is what life is like when you have to work with cats.

You can't put a price on a dead cat

Feeling: Happy


Dr. Oz does an Ask Me Anything on Twitter, and the result is just as you'd expect.

The parents of 12-year-old Syble Rossiter have been convicted on manslaughter after they allowed their daughter to die from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is completely treatable if you aren't someone who thinks God hates medicine.

Richard Carrier gives a lecture on his book about the mythology of Jesus and why he thinks the character never existed.

It's probably not the best to try to use bible quotes to get out of a prison sentence after raping two women you met on Christian Mingle.

Want a depressing belly-laugh laugh? Watch this video that was only supposed to be distributed to non-believers after the Rapture! These people are C-R-A-Z-Y!

SciShow teaches you how to supercool water and Veritasium explains how the pyramids were built.

John Oliver exposes the corruption with the US government and ALEC.

David Prothero looks at the mind of a science denier.

How can Microsoft be so adept at screwing up a simple interface? The mouse settings used to include a simple checkbox which would swap the two primary buttons on the mouse for left-handed users. However, in the latest "upgrade", Microsoft redesigned the mouse settings page with a whole bunch of moving graphics that dance all over the screen and hyper links and colors, and oh yeah, they removed the checkbox to swap the buttons for left-handed users. Instead, you have to click on a picture of mouse, then click on each button, and assign them to a new command. The new commands include the ability to change each button to a different button on the mouse, make each click a double-click, run a macro, or even disable the button entirely. I understand the desire to add more customizability in software, because I usually complain that there isn't enough. And to some extent, I appreciate that Microsoft has given me the ability to completely adjust how a mouse functions, because I plan on disabling the buttons of people with really expensive mice to make them think their mouse is broken so they'll give it to me. Anyway, in adding all this customizablity, Microsoft assumed that their would be more people who want to make their right mouse button perform a double-click, or change their left mouse button to a middle scroll down than their are left-handed people, i.e., several billion people. Way to screw up again Microsoft!

There are times when I hate people who use computers

Feeling: Happy


We don't see colors as they are, but how our brain makes us see them.

An infographic of common misconceptions.

Sometimes Obama does stuff I like, like endorsing Net neutrality.

Now that the Republicans control congress, we can see all sorts of wonderful things happening. Like the woman who was arrested for falling down the stairs (she was pregnant, and the police thought she was trying to have an abortion). Or the woman who was imprisoned for over a year after having a miscarriage until a medical examiner cleared her of wrong-doing. Or the woman who was forced by a judge to have a cesarean even after being told it might kill her; it did. Republicans call themselves pro-life, but the only life they care about is fetal life and persistent vegetative life.

An interesting lecture about how everyone (else) is a hypocrite.

Nice Sticky Buddy.

Teddy bears inside out is nightmare fuel.

How simple is it to plan a wedding? Just 10 easy steps!

There are a lot of flaws in this video, but it does cover 30 important milestones in gaming history.

PZ Myers does an interview for an Arabic audience.

Oklahoma just elected senator James Lankford who wants to solve the country's debt by praying more and adopting a biblical worldview. Of course, God told him to run for senator, so how can you argue with that?

There are times when I hate computers

Feeling: Happy


Who is more likely to rob you blind, a burglar or the police?

Aron Ra gives a lecture about Satanism and the evolution of the Lucifer character in history.

Adam Savage from Mythbusters talks about feminism.

Muslims in Iran are trying to make it illegal to own or play with dogs, a crime punishable by 74 lashes.

Steve Santagati is a horrible person, and an embarrassment to men everywhere.

The real purpose of Home Depot.

Seaborgium is pretty rad.

Brevard County, Florida wants it's citizens to know that everyone is equal, but Christians are more equal than atheists.

While the video doesn't address any of the benefits of it, it does a great job with pointing out the flaws in the Electoral College.

A quick explanation of antimatter.

Dem's some big crystals.

Let the monster rise!

Feeling: Happy


Did some more house hunting today. Found two really nice ones right down the street from one another! Time to flip a coin.

Michigan re-elected Rick Snyder for governor, and his first order of business? Prevent an entire group of people who love each other from getting married! Even Oklahoma allows same sex marriage. Even ARIZONA! Way to drop the ball Michigan!

Stay classy South Carolina.

Muslims living in the UK just can't help chopping off their children's genitalia.

Two more secular victories! The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors in California will not display an "In God We Trust" plaque in their chambers, and after 20 years, the Jesus fish on the Desert Storm memorial in Bonne County Missouri will be covered up. Now we just need to address the plans of the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign which is trying to make Christianity the official religion of Mississippi. Ingrates.

Gravity at work in a vacuum chamber is amazing.

How to get electricity from falling water, with the explanation video.

Trying to explain entropy is hard.

What if The Legend of Zelda was actually about Zelda?

Why can't everyone be perfect like me?

Feeling: Happy


Alaska's new Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski agrees that global warming exists, but she blames it on an Icelandic volcano that put more carbon in the atmosphere than 10 years worth of European traffic. Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer corrects her by saying it's quite the opposite. In fact, the emissions of 1 year of European cars releases more carbon than 10 years worth of all of the European volcanoes combined!

Gordon Klingenschmitt is a despicable excuse for a human. In addition to thinking he can expel the demons that cause homosexuality, that homosexuals are like terrorists who want to behead Christians, and that the USA should adopt the bible for foreign and domestic laws (execute homosexuals, execute women for pre-marital sex, execute children for leaving Christianity, etc.). Yet, despite the foul and ignorant remarks this schmuck makes, he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in a land slide victory. Colorado, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

What happens when a Christian apologist tries to answer a simple question from an 8th grader? Six minutes of nonsensical babbling.

Learn yourself some psychological terms and why not to eat desiccants.

Enjoy Halloween bible style!

Are you guilty of talking while female?

Victim blaming in cases of sexual assault doesn't just tell denigrate women, it also empowers sexual offenders. Stop doing it.

Beware of the spooky Simon's Cat!

Disney villains all have scars.

Hello [test subject name].

Feeling: Happy


I'm disappointed in many of my fellow Michiganders today, but not my local crew. While the majority of Michigan re-elected a governor who proudly nullifies the voting rights of anyone in a poor district, people in Genesee County voted predominately Left and helped get decent people in office.

Eric from Let's Get!! has made a wonderful review from my Simon's Quest: Redacted translation hack. So proud!

Brittany Maynard made headlines when she announced she was going to kill herself before her terminal brain cancer did it for her. She was seen as a champion by many assisted suicide advocates for having the courage to take control of her own life while her brain still worked well enough to do so. As expected, many Christians chimed in with their own version of Christian Love.

Another church has been caught handing out a list of specific candidates to vote for for yesterday's election. If this were done by any non-profit organization, the IRS would shut them down in a heart beat, but because it's a church, the IRS doesn't care.

When they discovered that their honors biology textbook contained a page explaining how various birth control methods can be used to prevent pregnancy, the school board members of Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona did the right thing, they torn the page out of the book so their students couldn't learn about condoms.

SciShow's "World's Most Asked Questions" segment continues with what is energy? And what is the meaning of life?

Minute Physics explains why the sky is blue and the sun is yellow, and how the depiction of rainbows you're used to seeing are wrong.

Time to exercise my right to futility in government

Feeling: Happy


Since today is voting day, let CGP Grey give you a taste of just how easy the whole process is.

The state of Oregon now affords the same rights and privileges to Secular Humanists as they do to any other religion. I'm kind of ambivalent on this tactic. On one hand, Humanism is not a religion, so it hurts to see it grouped with all that hocus pocus, but on the other hand, preferential treatment of religions isn't going away any time soon in this country, so the more non-religious organizations that are seen as "religions" by the state helps water-down all of the others.

John Oliver explores how the US government deals with hired translators during war time.

Catholics aren't the only religious group that houses child-rapists, you can find the same problem among Hasidic Jews.

What happens when you stretch out the number pi for an entire mile?

The Christian Post recently printed an article about how there is a war on religion. Oh no, if it's anything like the war on Christmas, we're done for! For examples of this "war" the author explains how many people disagree with the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, that secularists try to prevent Christians from discriminating against homosexuals, and that people compare Christian fundamentalists to Muslim fundamentalists. War is indeed hell, but then, so is dealing with Christians with an over-inflated persecution complex. This is what happens when villains see themselves as heroes.

OK Go still can't disappoint with their latest music video.

RetroAhoy gives a nostalgic review of Half-Life.

Finally moved my old posts to the respective months in the Old News page.

Halloween's over, time to be terrified of Christmas!

Feeling: Happy


I went to three more parties over the weekend. Damn, I'm popular! And exhausted. I also made a Halloween-themed music quiz which was well received. Emily and I also looked at four different houses over the weekend. Three were in tree-less subdivisions which I detested, one had a beautiful tree-filled yard, but had a flooded basement and arsenic in the water. So far, I'm not that thrilled about any of them. I also learned the importance of taking a full pack of gum out of your jeans before throwing them in the dryer.

Judith Hawkins officially gets the boot after she turned her Tallahassee, FL court house into her own personal religious ministry.

Christians usually freak out about Harry Potter, but the truth is, Harry Potter is much better than the bible.

Creationists tried to do a big workshop and public debate at MSU, but none of the science staff even bothered with them, and fewer than 100 people even bothered to show up, many were just there to watch them fail.

As expected, someone vandalized the Graveyard of Lost Gods.

Eric Hovind doesn't seem to understand that his god really isn't that different from Santa Claus.

If football players were atheists, who would they thank after winning the big game?

What if female gamers acted like male gamers?

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!