Monthly Archives: March 2008

What he said:

An Open Letter to Mother Nature:

Dear Bitch,

Are you for real?

[more here]

Spring, where are thee? -14 tonight, with a high of only 0 tomorrow. Sigh.

CNNNN: Breakthrough in genetics!

Gay scientists have isolated the gene they believe makes people Christian:

Followup: Holy Homosexuals? (revisiting Leviticus)

Here we go again:

Muslims protest release of Dutch film Fitna (Qur’anic term for “strife”) in the Netherlands.

Dozens of Islamists in Pakistan protested the 15-minute film Fitna — the Qur’anic term for “strife” — which was released Thursday night by right-wing Dutch legislator Geert Wilders after broadcasters in the Netherlands refused to show it.

Both Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, and Iran condemned the film.

Many are worried that this short film will cause the same types of protests the infamous Mohammad cartoons inspired world-wide, two years ago.

What’s interesting is that yesterday I was listening to last week’s Point of Inquiry’s podcast with author Austin Dacey, whose latest book is entitled The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life, and Dacey at one point was talking about the Mohammad cartoon “crisis” in the media. He said something in the interview that I’ll long remember (and will probably steal, to use in my own conversations). Dacey said:

If ever there was a victimless crime, it’s blasphemy.

I was thinking about this quote as I watched the Netherlands’ prime minister scurry in a press conference to apologize for this newly-released video.

It’s interesting to see how fast people are to distance themselves from a negative film addressing a popular religion. Even the almighty Wikipedia has a disclaimer on the top of their Fitna entry that states: “Wikipedia has no affiliation with Geert Wilders or this film. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia written from a neutral point of view and does not endorse or condemn any opinions.”

Anyway, if you’re curious about the hubbub, here’s the link to the English version of Fitna. It’s got graphic images, so be forewarned.

[aside: My absolute favorite podcast of the moment is Point of Inquiry. I love the interview, DJ Grothe, and the topics/guests are always very interesting and engaging. I highly recommend listening to it!]

thinking green

Today I bought two new officemates — a Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) and an Arrowhead (Nephthytis) plant. The Biology department was having a sale, and I specifically requested a plant that was hardy (read: not-easily-killable) and one that could survive with very little (read: none, besides florescent) light.

I promptly named them Mordecai and Geronimo.

Maybe looking at their cheerful faces will remind me of the outside Spring world I’m missing whilst I furiously mark my stack of student papers.

Sweet (intelligently designed) irony!

The “documentary” about the Intelligent Design movement Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was being previewed last night, and PZ Myers, one of the prominent biologists interviewed in the film (albeit under false pretenses), was prevented from watching the film in the theatre:

From PZ Myer’s blog Pharyngula:

I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.

But oh, it does get better:

They singled me out and evicted me, but they didn’t notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn’t recognize him. My guest was …

Richard Dawkins.

He’s in the theater right now, watching their movie.

Tell me, are you laughing as hard as I am?

Here’s a YouTube clip of Myers and Dawkins talking about the incident, the day after:

There’s more about the after-effect on PZ’s blog.

You couldn’t ask for better PR to accompany this film. Bravo!

How Peep!

Let Me Whisper Sweet Nothings In Your Peep Ear
Originally uploaded by Finiky

Happy Easter-candy-eating, everyone!

More Flickr peep goodness here.

No shirt, no shoes, no salvation.

Pet peeve alert: What is with churches that set their service times for a minute or two after the hour? For example, I just went to a website that advertises services at 11:01 and 8:01. What is up with that?! Does setting the time a minute or two past the standard time automatically make that service more hip? Does it add that sexy postmodern edge? Is it just a marketing ploy? I don’t get it.

I could think of way better gimmicks to get people into the pews — for example, instead of advertising your service starting at 11:07, why not list the service as “pants: optional”?