January 31, 2012

Echoes of the Little Ice Age

While reading a story at physorg about dating the Little Ice Age and determining what caused it, my mind strayed.

The article mentioned:
" . . . famous paintings from the period depict people ice skating on the Thames River in London and canals in the Netherlands, waterways that were ice-free in winter before and after the Little Ice Age."
This made me wonder. Was the children's book "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates" an echo of that frozen era? I haven't read the book since I was a boy but my impression is that it presented a world of solidly frozen canals.

The article says the beginning of the Little Ice Age was 1275 A.D. and it lasted through the late 19th century. I'll bet Mary Mapes Dodge, the American who wrote the book in 1865, turned her memories (or her father's or grandfather's memories) of those frozen days into the story of Hans Brinker, a boy who speed-skated over frozen canals in (then) Holland.

Heck, maybe the Little Ice Age had nothing to do with it. I see no mention of it in the Wikipedia article about the book. But I think it played a role. It just makes sense.

January 30, 2012

Someone noticed

For a year, here on the blog and in my books, I've been pounding on the idea that genius is a thing of the past. There is little or no creativity in American life these days. There are no great artists, song writers, movie makers, authors, etc. Creativity is dead.

Today on Hullabaloo, David Atkins/There Is No Spoon pointed to an article about this very thing. Well, hallelujah. Now that someone's finally written about it (other than me), it's official: creativity is dead. Go read the article. It's three pages; you can do it!

He misses the main thing, though. Genius is gone. You can't blame the world and business for the lack of personal innovation. That's disappeared. We used to have people popping up all over the place, like a burst of fresh air, bringing exciting new ideas and sounds and looks and world-changing projects. Now all we have is people hanging saffron fabric over parks. Genius is dead.

January 29, 2012

Day games of the semi-literati

Count me in.
I took the day off and played Wordsmith all day. I played against myself in The Grand Champeenship -- and I'm pleased to report that I am beating myself by over 100,000 points!!!! (Cheers and roars.) This is unprecedented! I am a god.

Seriously, I have fallen into the hole that is this game and I can't climb out -- not that I want to. It's fun. Mind you, I'm not thrilled with the way the game was assembled. They accept any old word -- no matter if it's a, you know, word.

Any ditzy word that people use today in conversation, no matter how slang, is in there. It's accepted and so are curse words. And there are inconsistencies, like Jew is accepted while Zion is not. (You don't think this could be a statement, do you?) And it doesn't know some real words. That really irks me. There should be an override button for literate players. "Accept this player's words unconditionally." And we'll play on scout's honor. We promise! Scout's honor!

I could limit myself to real words, and I might somewhere down the road. But the thing spits out letters at you in a mindless fashion and sometimes for two whole turns, there isn't one damn word you can make -- except a fake word. So you put it in. Okay, so I put it in. Plus it's fun to put in stupid words just to see if it accepts them. It usually does. This sometimes sidelines my game because I can't resist pumping them in.

Anyway, that's what I did with my day. And what's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture: there was no football game! I mean, are these people unfamiliar with my schedule? I could have used a superbowl today. But no-o. They have to hold it next week. And the Giants are my home-town team! You'd think they'd contact me first, to work things out. It's insufferably rude.

So, what did you do with your Sunday?

January 28, 2012

The TV repercussions of relationships

My advice to couples is this: don't move in together! Keep your own place, your safe nook. Relationships come and go and if you're living with a person as the two of you are breaking up, you're living in hell. Always maintain your own residence. And for dog's sake, don't get married!

But will you listen to me? Of course not. You'll rush into it, throwing caution to the wind. You'll see. And in the meantime you'll discover something almost too horrible to imagine: the TV viewing habits of your partner. Shudder.

I've had several long-term relationships of varying length. And in each, I couldn't believe what my lovers watched on TV. Let's see. One thought Laverne and Shirley was the funniest show ever. He watched reruns every night, hooting at every line.

Another insisted on watching not I Love Lucy, which would have been fine, but The Lucy Show. Oy. There wasn't one funny moment on that show. Ever.

Yet another had a favorite show that was on in the afternoon. Luckily, I was usually at work so I didn't have to watch him watching it. He actually thought The Price is Right was a fabulous show. Fabulous! On the rare occasions when I stayed home from work (I worked days, he worked nights) I could not believe how excited he was when it came on. I mean, he'd be screaming, "Come on down!!!!" like he was one of the maniacs in the audience.

Never ever move in with someone. But if you do, and you find out the person watches stuff like this, cancel the cable (if not the boyfriend). My advice.

Anyone else horrified by their partner's TV habits? Do tell. And don't worry about your partner seeing your comment. This is the internet. And what happens on the internet stays on the internet. It's totally private.

January 27, 2012

Doh! I coulda hadda V-8!

Everyone's favorite American.
One of the most exciting things about writing fiction is when you come up with a dazzling idea for a scene. And if this happens late in the game, when the novel is pretty much finished, you may also find yourself saying, "Thank goodness I thought of this before I published the book!" What would it be like to have a great idea for your novel after you've published it? Talk about an "I coulda hadda V-8!" moment. That would be awful.

So I was very happy when, last night, I came up with a terrific idea for one of the scenes in Xmas Carol. The book would be a lesser thing without this notion. And lo and behold, since I haven't published the book yet I can write it into the manuscript today. Xmas Carol is saved! Praise jeebus!

Sometimes waiting is a profitable idea. I do not want to have a V-8 moment after publishing the book. That would be the ultimate nightmare. (Okay, maybe not the ultimate but it would definitely be unpleasant.)

PS for wordophiles. This is a literary version of l'esprit d'escalier (the "spirit of the staircase"). The French phrase refers to all the great things you think of as you're leaving (i.e., going down a flight of stairs) after a verbal encounter. Alas, we only think of the great riposte when it's too late. I hope to avoid this with Xmas Carol.

January 26, 2012

And what of Xmas Carol?

Today I read the "troubled" scenes in my horror novel. I'm happy to report that they are no longer troubled. They were smooth and sweet and clean. Woot! I may actually be there.

Spent some time coming up with the blurb. I need to keep whittling at it. Xmas Carol is approaching. Hang on.

Late Winter confusing the geese

Milo, the finest goose in the world.
It's still Spring in New York state. The problem with this is that it's January 26th. This shouldn't be, and it's confusing the geese.

The poor guys are waiting for their cue to migrate but it never comes. I've noticed over the years that the first snowfall doesn't drive them away. They needs lots of convincing. But this year they're not getting it.

We had one weird, early snow in October and one light snow recently. Mind you, it got very cold with the second snowfall. The whole pond froze -- and there were children ice-skating on the surface, much to my horror. It had just been 45 degrees the day before. You do not go ice skating unless the temperature has been below freezing for three or more days. Then it's solid. Luckily, they were light, skinny kids so none of them went under.

Anyway, back to the geese. They're acting oddly. Lots of fights within the flock and between flocks (there are two here at the moment). Milo's doing his best to keep order but I think he's feeling stress over the climate situation. It's just not normal. And when he finally takes the flock south (if and when Winter arrives), the season that greets him there will be a bit off too, because of the odd timing.

Climate change is going to affect all of us in the end. This is just a precursor event, rippling through the geese world.

Republished to fix tags. Blogger has this idiotic auto-insert thing going on for tags. It's always putting irrelevant tags into documents. Aaaargh!

January 25, 2012

A question

I just saw someone make vomiting noises as they viewed Nancy Pelosi on TV, speaking about Gabby Giffords' sacrifice. The person couldn't bear to watch Pelosi for one second because Fox has informed her that Nancy is the devil. It didn't matter that it was a decent remark about Gabby. This was the devil speaking, and never mind that what she was saying was kind and generous.

Here's my question. After all the old people in this country die off, do you think rabid TV like Fox will survive? I don't. There will always be stupid religious people but I don't believe we'll see this level of ignorance, logical failure and unfettered hatred again in our lifetimes. At least I hope not.

What's your opinion?

January 24, 2012

I finished Xmas Carol again

I just finished yet another edit of Xmas Carol. It might be perfect now but it's too early to say. Give me a day or two and I'll get back to you.

One weird thing about writing a novel is that if you write about a real thing, the circumstances of that real thing can change, leaving your book out in the cold. For instance, in Xmas Carol I mention the "new World Trade Center".

So I was horrified to see the news yesterday about that idiot Silverstein saying that his "tower" is only going to be seven stories instead of 80 or so. I thought, "Is that the tower in my story?!" After reading more about it, I don't think it is. There will still be a huge tower. Probably, maybe.

There'd better be, because it's in my book. You hear me, world?

Surely I'll publish Xmas Carol within weeks. Surely. Hang on.

January 23, 2012

The public humiliation of athletes

That awful moment (Photo/NESN)
I'm pleased that the Giants won yesterday. After all the doubts and snide remarks, they're heading to the super bowl. But the game that stays with me is the earlier one between the Ravens and Patriots.

In the last minute of the game, Ravens' kicker Billy Cundiff blew his team's chance to get to the super bowl. All he had to do was kick the ball a meager distance to get a field goal that would have tied the game -- and he blew it.

Will anyone remember anything else from this guy's career? It took a few seconds to make the kick but those seconds will haunt him for the rest of his life. Athletes pay such a high price for these public failures. It's brutal. Here's one excerpt from the article:
Will he be back kicking field goals for the Ravens in 2012? It’s hard to see it after his critical mistake. You know the fans won’t be forgiving him anytime soon.
The guy's life is ruined. And all he did was miss one kick (after kicking well early in the game). For that failure, everyone's calling him a "choke artist" today. It's sad. One lousy kick!

January 22, 2012

The marijuana scam

The next act has begun. I've been telling readers that the reason Obama attacks everything marijuana is the backroom deal he worked out with drug manufacturers. They don't want you to gain any benefit from a simple plant that you can grow in your yard. They want to sell it to you.

The way they'll do this is by manufacturing something similar to marijuana, something they can patent and sell to you at an exorbitant price (while arresting you if you engage in simple gardening). The first stage in the main war has begun. Here's the key excerpt:
"[M]arijuana advocates fear that the government will use any new prescription products to justify a continued prohibition on marijuana use."
Uh-huh. That's the plan.

January 21, 2012

Piggish Timmy Dolan tries to control others, again

Tut, tut. Let me control you!
Today on NY1, I found this story:
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan is blasting the Obama administration's decision that requires many church-affiliated institutions to cover free birth control for their employees.

(Snip)
Dolan, who heads up the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says the government has never forced individuals and organizations to buy something that violates their conscience.
See, here's the thing, Timmy. You're the employer, not the person wanting to use a contraceptive. And you're not "buying" it, you're reimbursing the person for a medical expense. It doesn't matter whether your conscience is "violated" because you're not the person who uses the contraceptive. See how that works: you/them. Different, see?

It is the decision of the employee whether he or she wishes to use contraceptives. It's the employee's choice, not yours. So your conscience doesn't enter into this in any way.

I hope I've managed to clarify this matter for you. Your tendency to want to control others (women, gays, etc.) is piggish, immoral and authoritarian. See? Don't worry. You can thank me later. Oh, and you're going to love Xmas Carol. I wish I could watch your facial expressions as you read it. Try to record video of yourself as you enjoy the book, and then put it on YouTube. Okay? Thanks, Timmy!

January 20, 2012

My latest obsession

Wordsmith.
I bought an iPhone app last week and I love it. It's called Wordsmith. That's a screenshot at left.

It tosses seven letters at you and you try to make the largest word you can. Then it replaces the letters you used and you create the next word. It's got a timer and levels and it's great fun.

Gimme word games every time. I'd still like to find a good word jumble game. There don't seem to be any out there, though some use the name. I guess no one knows words anymore so there's no market for it. Speaking of which, I wonder how this one sells. Maybe I'm the only one who bought it.

If you get it, go for the 99-cent version. With the free version you'll see ads. Believe me, you won't want to be distracted.

PS: My only problem is that my mind also sees French words, Spanish words, Italian words and Latin words in the letters. I keep looking for the button on my brain that says "English Only" but I haven't found it yet. I think this slows me down. My highest score so far is 56,000. Any other players out there?

January 19, 2012

Popey guy says new dumb thing

In a story headlined "Pope Hits Out at Radical Secularism", we find this uninspired remark:
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI says Roman Catholics in the U.S. need to understand the "grave threats" to their faith posed by radical secularism in the political and cultural arenas. 
Indeed. You know what's "radical" about our "secularism"? The fact that it has no place of honor for the imaginary baby jeebus. If you don't believe in jeebus, you're "radical". And of course, it's all about the gays:
Benedict did not explicitly mention it, but the bishops have complained their religious freedom is eroding in the face of growing acceptance of gay marriage and attempts to marginalize faith.
The pope said many bishops believe that new laws make it difficult for them to object to what they consider "intrinsically evil practices." 
You have to love the popey guy's obtuseness. Awww, the poor Catholics can't hit on the gays all the time for their "intrinsically evil practices." Gee, those poor bishops and priests and popey guys sure are having their "religious freedom" hampered by these new laws, huh? The nasty old bastards can't be as hateful as they like. What a tragedy! That must be so tough on them.

These people are pigs, from the pope on down to the parishioners who fail to speak out about the church's hateful practices. That's some religion they've got there, huh? Very holy. Ugh.

Positional memory

Recently, I linked to an article that revealed why we forget things when we move from room to room. Apparently our minds compartmentalize memories by room. Each time we walk through a doorway, we forget what we knew when we were in the other room. This is why, when we get up to get something in another room, we have no idea what we're looking for by the time we get there.

I've noticed another kind of odd memory mechanism that's in the same vein. Have you ever let someone sit in your chair in front of your computer, and then found yourself unable to answer simple computer questions? Like they ask you how to do something, something you definitely know how to do, but you can't tell them the answer? It's so weird. You know that you know the answer to this question, but as you stand and lean over the person and try to type the command into the keyboard, you realize you have no idea what to do. So you ask the person to get up so you can sit in the chair -- and suddenly the memory is available to you.

I think this is really odd. For now, I'm calling it "positional memory": Standing, you have no clue; sitting, it's second nature. Weird.

January 18, 2012

Money v. accomplishment

I find it strange that people obsess about getting their hands on a big pile of money. Folks, money is nothing. It's nice to have enough to meet your daily needs but beyond that, it's meaningless. At least, it is to me.

If someone offered me 100 million dollars for an agreement to never to write another word, I'd tell them to get bent. That is no bargain. Writing is what makes my life worthwhile. Money could never fill that gap. I've known a few insanely rich people and their lives were quite hollow. Money did not give their lives meaning. In fact, it seemed to suck the meaning out of their lives.

I hope that you have a quality or an activity or an accomplishment that you would be unwilling to give up for 100 million dollars. It's the sign that your life has been a success.

So that's the question. Do you have something in your life that you wouldn't give up for 100 million dollars? If so, congratulations! You've won the life lottery.

January 17, 2012

Why can't blogs disappear for SOPA?

Blackout.
There will be no Wikipedia on the internet tomorrow. It's going to be blacked out to protest S.O.P.A., the Stop Online Piracy Act, which will ruin the internet if it is passed by congress. I think this is a great protest message.

So why isn't Blogger offering a way to block out our blogs tomorrow? Wouldn't it be a powerful message if all your (and my) favorite blogs disappeared for a day? I can't believe they missed the boat with this one. It would have been so simple: create a way for our blogs to disappear for one day, and let us put up a SOPA protest message in their place.

Sadly, this blog will still be here tomorrow. Boo, Blogger!

January 16, 2012

Ahem

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities on Monday raided the administrative offices of three Catholics bishops, part of an ongoing child abuse investigation that has previously raised the ire of the Vatican and church officials.

Over the past two years, more than 500 witnesses have come forward with accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy in Belgium, spanning several decades. 
Just saying.

Can you believe this evil twit?

True evil smiles as it harms.
Oblivious to his church's immorality, newly minted red-hat cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke about sex at mass yesterday:
Dolan linked “sexual immorality” with society’s ills — violence, sex crimes, disease and broken families — and called on priests to do a better job of encouraging the sexually virtuous.
“The church has at times in the past, sadly, come across as as some naysaying, puritanical nag, always giving a big ‘No, no, no’ to one of life’s greatest joys,” he said.
Actually, Timmy, the church comes across as a wide-open field of child rapists, not puritanical nags.

When smiling Timmy Dolan speaks, he thinks there is no real world out there. He has this odd idea that he's always in the vatican, where everything is dripping with gold and there is absolutely no discussion of pedophile priests. 

But see, the rest of us live in the real world. To us, Dolan's words are cheap and meaningless. We know, Timmy. We know that many thousands of your priests can't keep their hands off children. And we know that you and the pope hide their transgressions, choosing to protect the priests rather than the children. How can you possibly speak these words when your church is being sued across the world for raping children?!

Timmy, you are a pompous, duplicitous, immoral fool. To think that you have the nerve to speak about morality in public! You! 

Ah well, at least your words teach the world that the catholic god does not exist. Because if jeebus did exist, he'd smite you and the popey guy before he did anything else. As long as we can still see folks like you -- getting promoted to red hat status, no less -- there is no god. Thank you for confirming this.

January 15, 2012

In case you missed this

I find this amazing. Here's AmericaBlog's take on it.

Small tendency? Small shift? Ha!

There's an article at Yahoo about what would happen if we could double people's intelligence -- a thing that's becoming more and more possible as science progresses. "What if we could double people's IQs so that everyone scored 200?" That's the question.

It's not an incisive article in any way. I was particularly struck by this ridiculous paragraph:
According to Hunt, there's evidence to suggest that many humans, if significantly smarter, would lose their belief in God. "There is a small tendency for people with high scores to be more liberal in their social attitudes and less likely to accept strong religious beliefs. This makes sense; we can know things by reasoning or we can accept something on faith. If we all became very good reasoners, there would probably be a small shift to preferring reasoned over faith-based explanations of the phenomenon of life," he wrote.
Small tendency? Small shift? Get real. If everyone was smart no one would believe in god. Period. Belief in god is dependent on gullibility, stupidity and a lack of curiosity. A high IQ would fix all that and people would begin to take down the churches immediately. Sounds like fun!

January 13, 2012

Poor Atlas Shrugged

I know we're all supposed to demonize Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, her thousand-page novel from 1957. But, see, I liked both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, her other very popular book.

If you read this blog regularly, you know I'm wildly liberal. In fact, I'm militantly liberal, almost insanely liberal. So how can this be? How can a liberal guy like this book? Here's the answer, folks: it's a novel, a fictional story. Yes, it's sad that there are many stupid conservatives today who consider it a documentary. But see, it isn't a documentary. It's a novel.

The reason I enjoyed both books is that they're written in an over-the-top, film noir style. The writing is overly dramatic on every page. This makes it a campy joy to read.

Xmas Carol, my soon-to-be-released novel, is an anti-religious story. So do I think no religious person could enjoy it? Of course not. In fact, many of my test-readers are religious and they had no problem enjoying the book. You know why? Because it's a novel. See how that works?

Similarly, there's no reason why a liberal can't enjoy Atlas Shrugged, though I've only seen diatribes against the book on liberal blogs. I wonder if any of the writers read the book. I'll say it again: Ayn Rand was fun -- in a campy way.

Anyone else want to chime in?

January 12, 2012

Eric Mongrain's music

I stumbled upon this guy's music today and I think he's great. He calls this style of playing guitar "lap-tapping". He invented it in his days as a street musician. Very cool.

January 11, 2012

I wonder

Every star twinkling in the night sky plays host to at least one planet, a new study suggests. That implies there are some 10 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy.
I wonder if Jeebus visited them all. He must have, huh? Watta guy!

Inventing the King's English

The beloved quote mark.
I make my own rules for English. By this I mean that I don't accept unacceptable usage. I don't care what authority someone hauls out to challenge me. I make my own English rules because I feel confident about my understanding of the English language. So there.

Recently I noticed that I developed a new rule while writing Xmas Carol. In a novel, you often find yourself dealing with quotes. My rule is that if you quote something, you have to quote it exactly the way it was written (or said). This leads me to do things that would make an English teacher frown. But what do they know?

January 10, 2012

What if we highlight the fog?

Blurry guy.
This is one of those "what if" posts. What if newspapers were run by rational people who decided to highlight the fuzziness of religious people's brains by blurring their heads in every photo in the paper, while printing clear photos of atheists? Wouldn't that be fun?

It would be a public service that truly helps readers by telling them which people are dealing with reality and which have never heard of it.

My only question is this: should we blur the popey guy's vestments and hat? Or just give him a fuzzy head? I say leave the vestments alone. They're a resoundingly negative element of the popey guy's image, reminding onlookers that he lives in a big, gold palace. What's your opinion on this very important topic?

January 9, 2012

You're all set!

Flo was a gem.
Where does this expression come from? You hear it all the time. The waitress puts your food down on the table and says, "There, you're all set!" The travel agent hands you everything you need for your trip and says, "You're all set." Everyone's always telling us we're all set. Where does this phrase come from?

What do you think? Is it a shortening of a longer statement? All set for . . . what?

At Word Detective, I found a semi-reference. It's really about another expression: "Bob's your uncle". Here's how WD explained it:
"Bob's your uncle" is a way of saying "you're all set" or "you've got it made." 
Well, I don't see "you've got it made" as the equivalent of "you're all set". So no help there. Any suggestions from folks out there in Peanut Land? Raise your hand!

One last note. This page has a zillion comments about the phrase and some of them are funny. The commenters focus on whether the phrase is used throughout the US or only in the northeast. We seem to have a festering pocket of you're all set usage here. We're mad about it. I find it funny that many of the commenters used the waitress remark as an example. "Y'all set, honey?" The hive mind at work. So what do you guys think? What's with this phrase? I think it's weird.

Editing is a strange pastime

I had another dark night of the (nonexistent) soul yesterday. In my "reading" of Xmas Carol, I made so many changes to one scene that I thought I was losing it. Surely I was screwing the book up at this point. This perception made me run from the computer in horror (and not the good kind). I turned on the Giants game, hoping to forget my work day.

But my editing left me so depressed that I couldn't follow the game. So I turned off the TV and returned to the scene. I read it again and it was wonderful. All that editing, which felt so confused when I was doing it, was spot on. The scene was perfect.

I guess the moral here is to have faith in my own literary judgment. If I feel further editing is necessary, I should do it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know because I saw it yesterday.

January 7, 2012

The continuing saga of Xmas Carol

Okay, I finished yet another edit of the book. This time through, I changed two scenes drastically. So now I have to read the book again. I know: it's like a sick movie. How many times have I edited this book?! (Pulls hair from head; screams.)

But it had to be done. If I had an editor I'd probably be complaining that he wants me to change this scene or that, wants rewrites, wants cuts, etc. Well, fortunately or unfortunately, I have my own internal editor and I have to do what it dictates. I have done this unfailingly.

As a result, I have reached the promised land (I think). The book may be done. I'll know when I read it. For now, I plan to take Sunday off and enjoy a day of football and horror movies. It makes sense to freshen my outlook before reading the book for the umpteenth time. Soon, my little pretties. Hang on.

Interesting article on tracking consciousness

I bumped into an article about the possibility that anesthesia can tell us something about how the brain constructs consciousness. How does it come about? What feeds into it? And what the heck is it? The article has many interesting insights. Here's one:
"[T]he patterns that anesthesiologists see do support another theory: that consciousness emerges from the integration of information across large networks in the brain."

January 6, 2012

Dolan rewarded for anti-gay bigotry

The popey guy pays his debt to the man who leads the church's anti-gay bigotry in the United States.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan will be among those elevated to cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church in a Vatican ceremony next month, the Archdiocese of New York announced in a news release on Friday.
Hitting on the homos really pays off. Dolan's going to get much better clothing out of this deal. The gold content will go up dramatically. I can just imagine the smile on his fat, stupid, sleazy face when he heard the news. God is good. Hallelujuah!

January 5, 2012

Let's encourage priests to practice abstinence

Unbelievable irony from the Catholics, yet again.
As The Hartford Courant is reporting, the Hartford archdiocese stated that its Office of Diaconate director, Deacon Robert Pallotti, is planning to launch a local chapter of a national ministry called "to support men and women who struggle with homosexual tendencies and to motivate them to live chaste and fruitful lives in accordance with Catholic Church teachings."
The ministry, called Courage, is based in Norwalk, Conn. and claims to have more than 100 chapters around the country. "By developing an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians, one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ," the organization's website explains
I think it would be far more productive to start an organization called ABJECT, that encourages priests to live a life without sexual gratification. It makes so much more sense than the above drivel. After all, priests aren't supposed to have sex. Just saying.

January 4, 2012

Caucusing with Cenk Uygur and Al Gore

My hero: Cenk Uygur
I never watch election stuff. It's too boring. But for some reason I turned on the TV last night and ended up watching the Iowa Caucus coverage on Current TV. It was great! This shocks me but I have to admit the truth: I loved it.

I felt like I was hanging out with a bunch of progressive friends. It wasn't boring in any way. In addition to Cenk and Al, Jennifer Granhold was one of the three main moderators. She was new to me and I enjoyed her, as well. She's getting her own show on Current TV very soon. I swear, they've snatched all the good people. They've even got David "the Clintons are pimping Chelsea out" Schuster. I love the guy.

Al Gore took a few years to smack his channel into shape, but it's official: he's done it. Current TV is a great TV destination. If you haven't checked it out yet, do. If nothing else, watch The Young Turks at 7 pm weeknights. Great stuff!

January 3, 2012

People are evil, Part 993b

Have you seen this ad? Could anything be worse for overweight kids than this message? Imagine how this poor girl feels, seeing the ad all over the place. Where are people's brains?

And this was put out by a children's hospital in Georgia! It's called Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and it's obviously run by nitwits. But then, they're everywhere. There's a poll attached to a story about the ad campaign. It asks if "this is a smart tactic to fight the childhood obesity epidemic".

When I voted, 51% answered yes to this question. They think it's a "smart tactic". In hell, perhaps.

I swear, people have no moral sense anymore. This is happening because of religion, of course. When the vast majority of Americans rely on a stale old rulebook for moral insight, and believe in angels, they lose contact with real, actual morality (and reality, for that matter). This then causes them to do stupid things like attack overweight kids. This ad is evil and the hospital that produced it should be avoided like poison.

January 2, 2012

Jerry Coyne is right

God.
Great advice from Jerry Coyne (longish article at the link):
Our greatest weapon against religion, and especially against theologians, is this question:  What evidence do you have for your claims?  Theology will wither, and with it religion, if we just keep asking that question . . .
You know, he's right. It's the only thing we ever have to say to religious twits. What evidence do you have for your claims? It's a conversation ender because they have no evidence, not one whit. Sweet and simple. I like it and will try it on the next believer foolish enough to talk to me. Moo-ha-ha-ha!

January 1, 2012

Pope: future hopes lie with (raped) youth

The popey guy is golden. No one else says such ironic things. Here is part of his New Year's Day message:
"I would like to underline the fact that, in the face of the shadows that obscure the horizon of today's world, to assume responsibility for educating young people in knowledge of the truth, in fundamental values and virtues, is to look to the future with hope," the pontiff said.
Young people, he said, must "learn the importance and the art of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, dialogue and understanding.
Uhmmmmm . . . didn't you do something to those kids, popey guy? In fact, weren't you the guy who single-handedly created the policy that hid the child rapes and protected the pedophile priests? Wasn't that you, popey guy?

I think it was. You look like a gilded fool -- but then, you always do. Happy New Year, popey guy. I'll be after you in the coming year, and every year after that. Cheers!