From the States: Happy New Year!

I’ve been assured, by someone who claims to live in a time zone in which it is already 2012, that rogue nano-assemblers are NOT destroying civilization at the stroke of midnight. Also, the nano-assemblers are NOT on fire, creating a fiery destructive holocaust for all life as we know it.

Repeat, this is NOT happening. Go about your day. Continue to purchase goods and services. Drink hearty tonight when you go out to celebrate.

Do not think about the flaming, rogue nano-assemblers, probably created in government labs by Mad Scientists.

Bringing Skepticism Home

Flicking around the web, I came across the Skeptoid site that sells their “Just Say No” t-shirts.

With each shirt featuring a large “NO.” and then a followup inscription in smaller letters, mostly, the shirts ring true. I loved these: “No, Science is not a bad word.” “No, the Earth is not 6,000 years old.” No, psychic powers aren’t real.”

But glancing through the entire list, I felt occasional pings from my “I’m Not Sure I Entirely Agree” meter. I’m an atheist and a skeptic, which usually applies to religious and mystical matters, but I keep a little of my skepticism in reserve even for the people I normally agree with. Continue reading “Bringing Skepticism Home”

Thoughts on the History of Broken Glass

Did you know they used to make baby bottles out of glass?

They did.

Amazing, isn’t it? You’ve got this item that, when dropped, shatters into razor-sharp and needle-sharp fragments, glass shards which are virtually invisible in low light, but capable of cutting deep enough to sever tendons, nerves, major arteries. Hell, every silver screen bar fight aficionado knows you can make a closely similar bottle into a deadly weapon simply by whacking it on a nearby chair. Continue reading “Thoughts on the History of Broken Glass”

Phil Plait: Where the Sun Never Sets

Worth repeating, Phil Plait’s sterling words from 2005:

In April, I was asked to give a short speech to a group of local students who participated in a science fair. I wasn’t sure what to say to them, until I saw a newscast the night before the fair. The story was some typically inaccurate fluff piece giving antiscience boneheads “equal time” with science, as if any ridiculous theory should have equal time against the truth. Continue reading “Phil Plait: Where the Sun Never Sets”

Atheists Do Too Understand the Meaning of the Season

For all my Christian friends and family:

Yes, it’s true I’m an atheist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas. Here, I’ll prove it to you:


Merry Christmas! May Jesus come down the chimney and leave a quarter under your pillow for every one of your teeth!

What the Hell is Wrong With You Scientists??

Seriously, scientists, what is WRONG with you?? How could you not tell us about THIS??

What Prayer Does to Your Brain

This video reveals how prayer actually changes four distinct areas of the human brain: the frontal lobe, the anterior cingulate, the parietal lobe, and the limbic system.

It also details how a specific amount of prayer time per day can help prevent memory loss, mental decline, and even dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Plus, it covers 47 scientifically proven benefits of prayer, including pain relief, reduced risk of death from heart attack or stroke, lessened anxiety or depression, improved immune function, and more.

All this time, I LAUGHED at people who prayed. And now I find out there is SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, yes proven scientific evidence, that all those nice Christians are going to live longer, happier lives! While all us atheists will die cold and alone, with depleted anterior cingulates and seriously compromised limbic systems. And probably have Alzheimer’s too!

As you watch the video, bear in mind that it’s totally unbiased.

Doctors Work Tirelessly, Then God Performs Breathtaking Miracle

“I tell everyone, if they want to call it a modern-day miracle, this is a miracle,” said Regan, 59, and a Catholic. “I have friends who are atheists who have called me and said, ‘I am going back to church.’ “

I know some part of this is the simple desire to express boundless gratitude that a loved one survived. And another part is the ridiculous “drama” writing on the part of the reporter.

But after a while, it just gets tedious. Like the 20th time you’ve seen an “evil twin” episode on a TV series. Or the 10th “hot young vampire” movie. Continue reading “Doctors Work Tirelessly, Then God Performs Breathtaking Miracle”

Indian, Martyr, Healer, Saint

Reporter Alyssa Newcomb penned a deeply embarrassing bit of silliness at yesterday.

First American Indian on Track Toward Sainthood

Jake Finkbonner was near death for months with a flesh eating bacteria, but made a miraculous recovery that the Vatican credited to The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, marking the second miracle for the 17th century Mohawk-Algonquin woman and clearing the way for her to become the first American-Indian saint.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree Monday approving the miracle attribute to the intercession of the woman, and she could be canonized as soon as February. The Vatican said it believes that the prayers Finkbonner’s family directed to Tekakwitha were responsible for bringing the boy back from the brink of death. Continue reading “Indian, Martyr, Healer, Saint”