It’s not blog-whoring…

… it’s a science experiment! Really! Pass it on.

Via Pharyngula

Go read Russell’s Teapot.

A fellow by the name of Chaz Braman sent me an email back on the 4th asking if I’d take a gander at his website aptly titled Russell’s Teapot. Of course it was Bertrand Russell who came up with the Celestial Teapot analogy and… I honestly have no idea what that has to do with Chaz’s website, but it’s a cool name just the same which I wish I’d thought of back when I was stumbling around looking for a cool blog name.

Anyway, in addition to being his blog, it’s also the repository for his comic strip which I thought was damned amusing. Here’s a sample:

Click it for a bigger version or you’ll never be able to read it.

The rest of them were good too, but he only has 28 so far so you all need to go and read them and then encourage him to write more. Good stuff. Go check it out.

Brandon T Stanley allows his hypocrisy to show through.

Back in June I wrote about an essay by Brandon that he put up on his own blog in which he carefully constructed a strawman argument on atheism so he had something he could tear to pieces. It was one of the funniest anti-atheist screeds I’d seen in awhile and I didn’t even bother trying to fisk it because you’re all smart enough to see through such obvious bullshit without my help.

It seems Brandon must have been doing some egosurfing as he just stumbled across that entry recently and now he’s written an entry whining about our intolerance:

To those choice few long-time readers of my blog this will be a treat.

Remember my post attacking atheists?

I just dug up some great examples of tolerance by our anti-theist friends

To answer all of the charges therein would be redundant. No one would know what I was refering to. These attacks were all petty. So it almost proved my point.

I’m not sure why Brandon would expect to find tolerance from us for a screed he wrote to attack a strawman that had no basis in reality. I guess we were just supposed to say something like, “Oh that poor mistaken man. He’s clearly confused about atheism and atheists and is lashing out in frustration, but that’s OK because we still love him just the same!” Well I’m sorry to disappoint you Brandon, but if you’re going to write entries full of lies you’re going to find I’m not very tolerant of your viewpoint. Ridiculous arguments deserve ridicule and your’s was one of the most ridiculous I’ve read in a long, long time. You admit it was an attack so why would you even expect us to be tolerant of it? That’s just stupid.

Interestingly enough, out of all the comments you guys wrote on my original entry, Brandon seems to have focused in on one from LuckyJohn19 in particular:

But one thing must be made clear. One of the posters, certain supposed veteran, took at shot at my age and my lack of military service. This is funny becaus this supposed veteran is claiming to be crazy and the like. But to be clear- at age 18, after recieving my high school diploma, I attempted to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Due to health issues I was DQ’ed from service. The same with the Army. And I do not consider flying a desk or tapping a button a proper form of service for me.

In other words, if he isn’t going to get to shoot anybody they he has no interest in signing up. Never mind the fact that the folks on the front line are very much dependent on the guys who fly desks and tap buttons to give them the info they need to carry out their missions properly, that’s not manly enough for Mr. Stanley to partake in no matter how important it might actually be to the effort.

Which is fine, actually, because if the intelligence level demonstrated by his blog entries so far is anything to go by then he’d only be a drag on the logistics end of things anyway. It’s bad enough when the desk fliers and button tappers get it wrong on accident, we don’t need people who make shit up to suit their purposes adding to the problem. We’ve got enough people like that running the country already.

This next bit actually made me laugh out loud:

I am sure, for those so diametrically opposed to truth and reason, and for those hell-bent on squashing all true free-thought, that this explanation will provide points for further attacks.

He nearly broke my irony meter with that one. For someone who put so much effort into the mass of outright lies and falsehoods that was his “Polemic Against Atheism” to sit there and claim that we’re “diametrically opposed to truth and reason” is the height of hypocrisy. Especially when he complains that we’re just going to attack him further. It’s also clear he doesn’t have a clue what “true free-thought” actually is. As Inigo Montoya once said, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I humbly suggest that Brandon should work on his own tolerance and honesty before he starts trying to tell others how intolerant and dishonest they happen to be. It’s clear he’s got a lot of work ahead of him before he’ll be fit to offer others advice on those topics.

OK kids, it’s story time…

… and DOF is spinning the tale.

Good stuff. Go check it out if you haven’t already.

Carnival of the Godless #46 is now online.

The latest Carnival of the Godless is now online over at love @nd rage. I actually contributed my entry on tribalism to this latest round of essays, but you’ve already read that so be sure to check out all the other folks who submitted content.

The Angry Astronomer takes on common Big Bang myths.

While I was busy writing nonsensical posts during the ‘thon, the SEB regular known as the Angry Astronomer was busy working on more productive works on his own blog. Particularly a good entry where he takes on some common misconceptions about the Big Bang. Here’s a small taste:

2) The Big Bang theory doesn’t explain what caused it

This is another big one I see a lot. If the Big Bang was the beginning, then what could have caused the Big Bang? You’ll notice my paraphrase above didn’t include anything about this. Pretty big hole eh?

Not really. The Big Bang theory doesn’t say anything about what caused it because, well, it doesn’t need to. Theories don’t try to explain everything, just what evidence is available and pertinent. Asking the Big Bang (and Evolution) to do more than this is a double standard. After all, the theory of Gravity doesn’t explain where mass came from. The Germ theory of disease transmission doesn’t explain where germs came from. Electro-magnetic theories don’t explain where charge comes from. Atomic theory doesn’t state where atoms come from.

So while it might seem like a piece of the puzzle is missing, as far as this single theory is concerned, it’s not really important. The origin of all these other pieces requires separate theories, with their own evidence, which are being worked on, but often times, are still in their infancy (ie, brane theory to explain the precursors to the Big Bang, Abiogenesis to explain the first life… )

Note that that isn’t even the full text of that particular point so be sure to go read the whole thing. I’ve been following AA for awhile now and he’s got a nice little blog going so be sure to check out his other entries as well. Good stuff.

Just how DO you subpoena a dildo?

A devoted fan pointed me to an very interesting entry over at the Attorney Wrangler blog about a sexual harassment case where she had to subpoena a dildo:

Our junior legal assistant, Omigod, knocked on my door and asked me for help in drafting a records subpoena. Having done this thousands of times, I invited her in and got her settled in my office chair. She gave me a brief run-through of the case: a female plaintiff is suing her employer and her male co-worker for sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and whole kitchen sink of claims to be used later as leverage in settling the case. One of her allegations was that the alleged harasser gave her a disturbing birthday gift at the office: a dildo.

This did not even remotely faze me. I work on sexual harassment cases all day, every day, and each one is chock full of yummy outrageous goodness. I waited for her to continue, but she couldn’t stammer out what she had to say.

As her face got redder and redder, it hit me:

We Had To Subpoena The Dildo.

This is another one of those Things-You-Never-Normally-Stop-To-Think-About that you realize Must-Happen-All-The-Damn-Time considering the amount of such lawsuits that take place. Go read it and chuckle.

Checking in on other Blogathoners.

I don’t have jack in the way of anything interesting to blog about this half-hour, other than possibly talking about a shower shampoo/conditioner dispenser that looks like a pair of tits I saw on Gizmodo, so I thought I’d mention a couple of other bloggers that are participating in the ‘thon.

The first is SEB Regular ***Dave of ***Dave Does the Blog. ***Dave himself probably doesn’t need much of an introduction so I’ll just say that he is blogging for another very worthwhile charity, namely the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which most of you are also probably already very familiar with. Unlike myself, ***Dave is well prepared for the ‘thon and is doing his traditional reviews of comics and trade paper backs that will teach you everything you ever needed to know about comics.

The other blogger I thought I’d give a shout out to this half hour is Paul of Skenmy’s Blog who appears to be based in the U.K. and has been doing a seat-of-his-pants style of blogging about whatever random topics he can manage to grab hold of while flailing his arms about in a desperate manner. It ain’t pretty to watch, but it’s effective none-the-less and is the method I am employing myself. It’s the only really macho way to blog a thon if you ask me. Paul is blogging for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children which is yet another very worthy cause.

So there you have it. A couple of other bloggers to check out when I get boring because I’ve stooped to taking pictures of my attractively painted toenails or something equally silly.

Between SEB posts be sure to check out “The Fat Girl Blog.”

Teresa of The Fat Girl Blog is my Blogathon monitor this year. She’s working hard making sure I’m getting content up as required so that you, dear readers, can enjoy the wonder of seeing crappy webcam pics of me eating burritos and my cat sleeping. I’m but one of the sites she’s monitoring and while she’s doing that she’s also participating in the Blogathon herself, which just shows how productive she is. Her charity is Modest Needs. They help people out who are just barely getting by and are suddenly hit with a major bill that threatens to overwhelm them. Sounds like a good cause to me considering I could easily end up as one of those people myself.

At any rate, I wanted to encourage folks to check her out and, if you have a few spare dollars left over, perhaps sponsor her efforts. If nothing else maybe there’s some lurkers here who weren’t comfortable with donating to Americans United who might feel better about sponsoring Teresa with her charity. At the very least we can let her know we appreciate the effort she’s putting into this year’s Blogathon.

Henry Jenkins has his own blog!

No, he’s not another one of my relatives, but rather the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies and someone whose writings I’ve written about from time to time in the past. He tends to talk about topics such as fandom, blogs, participatory culture and things of that nature. In honor of a new book he has coming out soon, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, he’s decided to start up a blog called Confessions of an Aca/Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. Here’s a small sample from an entry where he talks about a show near and dear to my own heart, Robot Chicken:

The humor is sometimes sophomoric (in the best and worst senses of the word) – lots of jokes about masturbation, farting, vomiting, and random violence – an entire “nutcracker suite” sequence consists of nothing but various characters getting hit or kicked in the groin. Yet, at its best, it manages to force us to look at the familiar icons of popular culture from a fresh perspective: one of my favorite segments features a series of breakfast cereal icons (Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Captain Crunch, The Trix Rabbit, and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun) as forming an international drug cartel smuggling “sugar” into the country. Many of the sketches depend on the juxtaposition of toys remembered fondly from childhood with adult realities (such as a segment which restages the violent murders of S7even within the Smurf kingdom): it has all of the transgressive appeal of cross-dressing a G.I. doll or staging a ritual hanging of Barney the Dinosaur, speaking to a generation which has only partially outgrown its childhood obsessions.

Yep, it’s stupid and moronic and I love it so.

Anyhow, Henry goes on to talk at length on how RC can trace its roots back to fan films by people like Evan Mather and how a lot of innovation in popular culture is the result of the mass media adopting the innovative creative output of obsessed fans:

When this approach is done well – and Robot Chicken really does this about as well as any show I’ve seen, the program enjoys enormous credibility within the fan community. For all of the crude comedy and broad parody, the show consistently respects the nuances and details of popular culture. As a parent, I would sometimes step on some artifact of my son’s action figure collection trying to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Extracting a sharp chard of molded plastic from my barefoot, I would grumble about “god damn Teela” only to be told by my still three-quarters asleep son, “No, Daddy, that’s from Evil-Lyn.” My son would respect a show like Robot Chicken because it would know the difference between Teela and Evil-Lyn, even as it breaks down the borders between different fictional universes and brings the characters screaming and kicking into the world of adult realities.

I can tell already that this blog will be a daily read for me. Go check it out.