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29 March 2005

Cartoonist faces Greek jail for blasphemy

This is going to be an interesting one to follow.

28 March 2005

Mind-reading? No, just head games

Derren Brown - An illusionist saying all the right things!
Brown is a born-again skeptic, a one-time fundamentalist Christian who renounced his religion in his 20s when he saw how uneasily his fellow Christians responded to his delvings into the unconscious.
Update Boing Boing is also running an item on Derren, with more juicy links!

a consumer’s guide to the afterlife

Preparing for an afterlife? May I suggest the consumer’s guide to the afterlife. From a very nicely done site.

Oh, and once you’ve decided on your destination, tell them you’re coming with a afterlife-telegram

For a donation of $5.00 per word (5 word minimum), we can have telegrams delivered to people who have passed away. This is done with the help of terminally Ill volunteers who memorize the telegrams before passing away, and then deliver the telegrams after they have passed away. We call this an "afterlife telegram". The $5.00 per word fee, depending on the wishes of the messenger, it is either given to a relative, donated to a charity or used to pay for medical bills. The company does not keep any of the fees from the sale of the telegrams.

Cops with Six Legs

Oh, great a police state in Antville, well I suppose I never could make much of all the altruism chatter. Now this nihilist really don't know what to think.

Cress overturns textbook genetics�

This is so exiting; I don’t know what to say!
In a discovery that has flabbergasted geneticists, researchers have shown that plants can overwrite the genetic code they inherit from their parents, and revert to that of their grandparents.

The finding challenges textbook rules of inheritance, which state that children simply receive combinations of the genes carried by their parents. The principle was famously established by Austrian monk Gregor Mendel in his nineteenth-century studies on pea plants.

26 March 2005

World Famous Atheist Cookbook

23 March 2005

'Psychic' leads cops to a man with 4 grams of coke

4 grams of coke, eh?

18 March 2005

Happy Mabon

Gwyl canol Hydref or Mabon: (pronounced May-bon. Also known as Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Fall Equinox, Autumn Equinox etc.),
[Terri] Also known as Alban Elfed.
Also, I have never pronounced it 'May-bon' in my life.[/Terri]

Actual Date and Time of Autumnal Equinox : 14:33 20 Mar 2005 (sast) Technically, an equinox is an astronomical point and, due to the fact that the earth wobbles on its axis slightly , the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration. Up until Mabon, the hours of daylight have been greater than the hours from dusk to dawn. But from now on, the reverse holds true. Mabon marks the middle of harvest, it is a time of equal day and equal night, and for the moment nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown, of giving thanks for the harvest and the bounty the Earth provides. For finishing up old projects and plans and planting the seeds for new enterprises or a change in lifestyle. Mabon is a time of celebration and balance. This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future. In the rhythm of the year, Mabon is a time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops. Warm autumn days are followed by chill nights, as the Old Sun God returns to the embrace of the Goddess. The passing of Mabon is inevitable and The Sun God should be mourned. We too, must remember that all things must come to an end. So the Sun God journeys into the lands of winter and into the Goddess' loving arms, but endings are a good time to celebrate our successes, thank our selves and those who helped us, and take part in the balance of life!


Taken from a site I wouldn’t visit without sunglasses , however the info is good.

Allways bearing the scientific facts in mind:
Because we count sunrise and sunset from the moment when the first sliver of sun appears, and when the last sliver disappears, and because the Earth's atmosphere bends sunlight so that the sun is actually completely below the horizon when it appears to be touching the horizon at its lower edge, 20 March is not the date when night and day are equal in length. For that, we have to wait until the 24th, and from the 25th onward the nights will be longer than the days as we head toward winter.


(From the South African Astronomical Observatory )

16 March 2005

The Geek Guide to Kosher Machines

This might be a rerun, since I found this article in my history, but it still kills me!
From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, Orthodox Jews are forbidden to work, write, and drive. In all, 39 activities are off-limits to those complying with the Torah's fourth commandment, to keep the Sabbath holy. In the home, that means no cooking or fire lighting - or its modern analog, moving electricity through a circuit.

For decades, observant Jews have found ways to work around Sabbath restrictions in the kitchen. They taped down the button on the refrigerator door frame to keep the light from turning on. Or someone unscrewed the bulb before Friday sunset. They turned on an oven in advance - that way, they could warm food on the Sabbath without altering temperature settings. In recent years, however, well-intentioned appliance makers have been installing safety features that automatically shut off ovens after 12 hours. That meant a unit turned on at dusk Friday would be cold before lunch on Saturday. When companies learned this was complicating dinner preparation for some Jews, they supplied an optional override. Thus, a rudimentary "Sabbath mode" was born.

14 March 2005

Chocolate Deities: Chocolate Gods and Goddesses

Somehow the christian lot does not feature here?

08 March 2005

Mouse soon to have a human brain

In the quest to find a cure for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease American scientists will not let Bush stand in their way. Yay!
... of the most controversial scientific projects ever conceived, a group of university researchers in California's Silicon Valley is preparing to create a mouse whose brain will be composed entirely of human cells.
via BoingBoing

We are gathered here today, to talk about Jeeezzus!

Last week I attended a funeral, but this turned out to be no ordinary funeral, it was a bikers funeral. Now it’s not often that you’ll find inside a church, but since this was family and I reckoned since he was a Christian it would be a straightforward affair. So I was mistaken, turns out this pastor woke up in soul saving crusade mode that morning, oi! I mean there were people still in shock, sobbing while this preacher man were firing away about how modern seafaring vessels are all designed to the dimensions of Noah’s ark. I’m pretty sure even Christians really don’t want to hear the tale of the ark at a funeral, that however never seemed to bother pastor Dan the unstoppable, who then went on in detail explaining how it never rained before the ark was completed.

I suppose it’s just one of those things, every time they have a captive audience they feel compelled to spread their flavour of misguidedness. It feels like this kind of creationist-speak at weddings and funerals is gaining popularity among the clergy, and I’m pretty darn sure that this is in response to the rapidly declining attendance in most churches.

However I still feel very much betrayed by this, I’m only human, but I really did not expect these guys to stoop this low, it’s like being lured into one of these timeshare presentation scams, only now they use a loved one as bait.

I’m still so completely underwhelmed by this whole situation, I’m not even sure about whether I feel angry or sad about this!

07 March 2005

Just in time for Easter ...

... hot cross buns, beats virgin Mary toast everytime!

Something to Cheer About

Omniscience Annex is included in TRA's Carnival of the Godless. Make a stampede over there now

06 March 2005

Bible Recipes

Bible Recipes for Andre.

"The Whore Lived Like a German"

So last week we talked about apostasy...

In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? Trying to break free and live Western lifestyles. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes for preserving their family dignity. How can such a horrific and shockingly archaic practice be flourishing in the heart of Europe? The deaths have sparked momentary outrage, but will they change the grim reality for Muslim women?

03 March 2005

Changed My Mind...

..about the links.
Go take a look at The Raving Atheist today.

Yes I know we link to him permanently, but this rant is special-the boy's in good form today.

No Links From MeToday...

Poor Simon Gear.

The television weatherman hosts a midnight-to-four talk show on Radio 702, and I wake up early enough to catch the tail end of it, sometimes.

This morning the poor man read out, for a laugh, an email he’d received from a listener who wanted to know if the later rising of the sun these days was due to global warming, or was it because of the tsunami?.

He’d hardly had one chuckle, when some woman called in to say that she too was worried about the sun getting up later in the morning recently.

That’s funny, I guess.


What’s not so funny is the reflection that these two women are not alone-they’re not even a small minority.

There are millions of people in this world who just don’t bother to do any thinking in their entire lives

What has this got to do with atheism?
Pretty obvious really.
If this is how a lot of people conduct their lives-and I have every experiential reason to believe that many do, if not in degree then in kind, well then we shouldn’t be too surprised when they soak up all the dogma, all the unauthenticated stories, all the simple lies of religion. I used to do it-expect that learned people whose business it was to know these things really did know what they were talking about.
I got the shock of my life when I finally began to grow up, around the age of 40, and actually investigate these claims for myself. Not too good for a scientist.
Many, many people suppose, in the same way that I once did, that credentialed folk really know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Fact is, they frequently don’t, and are either perpetuating deceits of long tradition, or they have neglected to do the research thoroughly.
In some cases, notably the fundie creationists, I suspect that they’re making things up, and know that they’re lying.But it doesn’t seem to matter to them.If it gets souls for their master, it’s rationalized.
Thanks, but I’ll take note myself of when the sun rises, and investigate the reason for it. I’ll go with the honesty of atheism, and in some cases agnosticism, every time. As I’ve already mentioned elsewhere-it’s very difficult bow for me to accept the word of a theist on anything at all anymore.Even if she’s a physicist, I’ll be more inclined to do my own research before I accept their word, if they’ve proved themelves so disingenuous on other matters

02 March 2005

SPIDER-MAN'S GREATEST BIBLE STORIES!

01 March 2005

The Interview With God

Try this new zero-calorie sweetener.
"Tears come to my eyes when I log onto this
website - I feel like God is talking to me.
The most beautiful site I have ever seen.
Truly the world would be a better place if
people would listen to the voice of God."
- Shamas Kahn