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April 26, 2011

If you want an iPad in the afterlife, burn a paper version now

Want an iPad (or Viagra) in the afterlife? Burn a paper facsimile
Some Taoist and Buddhist funerary traditions involve the bereaved burning facsimiles of household items so the dead can enjoy their use in the afterlife. Consequently, there are shops in Asia devoted to the sale of flammable, fake consumer products. The bloggers at Asia Obscura recently stopped by one of these stores in Melaka, Malaysia and found (among many things), paper iPads, champagne, cigarettes, PSPs, washing machines, and pizzas waiting to be bought and burned.

April 25, 2011

Bill "The Science Guy" Nye booed by Christians after saying that moon does not generate its own light

Just shoot me... Some walk out on Bill Nye for saying moon reflects light - National skepticism | Examiner.com
I wasn't aware of this. Bill Nye "The Science Guy" was booed in Waco, Texas in 2006 for suggesting the Moon did not generate its own light, but reflected light from the sun. (Update: You can find more here. Interview with the reporter here.) Trouble started when the children's entertainer brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars," and pointed out that the lesser light was actually a reflector. At this point, several people in the audience stormed out, including woman with three small children who muttered, "We believe in God!" and left. Nye was taking part in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series, giving talks on global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption, but it was the moon thing that got them. . . .

April 18, 2011

Serrano's Piss Christ destroyed by Christian protesters

Joe. My. God.: FRANCE: Andres Serrano's Piss Christ Destroyed By Catholic Protesters
The work has previously been shown without incident in France, but for the past two weeks Catholic groups have campaigned against it, culminating in hundreds of people marching through Avignon on Saturday in protest. Just after 11am on Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the gallery where the exhibition was being held. One took a hammer from his sock and threatened security staff. A guard restrained one man but the remaining members of the group managed to smash an acrylic screen and slash the photograph with what police believe was a screwdriver or ice pick. They then destroyed another photograph, of nuns' hands in prayer.

April 17, 2011

"And as a bro masters these, becomes wise and temperate, you bet your ass he's happy as fuck." Amen.

Philosophy Bro: Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics, Book I": A Summary This...

April 15, 2011

Florida Republicans set to repeal separation of Church and State

Joe. My. God.: FLORIDA: State Senate Committee Repeals Separation Of Church And State
Yesterday Florida's GOP-dominated state Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that effectively eliminates the separation of church and state. SJR 1218, which was sponsored by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) and endorsed by the entire Republican caucus, would delete a constitutional provision that bars Florida from spending public revenues on sectarian religious organizations. Supporters of the bill claim that prohibiting government from funding religious groups discriminates against religious groups. [snip] There are many reasons why Republicans want to repeal the “no aid” provision of Florida’s constitution, known as the Blaine Amendment. Their reasons include their desire to include sectarian religious education in our public schools and their desire to fund specific favored religious organizations while defunding public organizations that benefit all Floridians.

South Carolina Jail Bans All Books Except for the Bible

Restricted Reading: South Carolina Jail Bans All Books Except for the Bible - TIME NewsFeed
If you're a criminal who likes to read — and/or religious, but not Christian — then the last place you want to be jailed in is Moncks Corner, South Carolina. According to legal complaints, the only book, good or otherwise, that inmates at the Berkeley County Detention Center can readily get their hands on is the Bible. Granted, it's a bestseller, and there's a lot in those pages to keep one occupied and even entertained — mind-bending seven-day creation of the universe, violence, sex, walking on water, resurrection, etc. — but sometimes you just want to read an Agatha Christie mystery. Or, if you're Jewish, the Torah, in a copy without the extra testament. Of particular interest to prisoners just might be reading material on prisoners' rights.

April 11, 2011

Treating Depression with Psilocybin

Psychedelic drug cuts brain blood flow and connections - health...