Bibles! Innn! Spaaaaace!

Got an extra 5 grand? You could start the bidding on

the first ever “lunar Bible” — a little square sheet of microfilm, just an inch and a half on a side, carried to the lunar surface by astronaut Edgar Mitchell on Apollo 14 in February 1971.

It doesn’t seem to have a lot of holy power, seeing as how it barely made it to the moon. Its Holy Author first allowed a mistake on Apollo 12, leaving it in the orbiter rather than causing it to go to the actual moon, then allowed the catastrophe on Apollo 13, only getting it right the third time, with Apollo 14.

But hey! Bible. Moon. Wowsers! Wotta prize!

I’d feel better about the auction if the money was going to an actual astronaut, or the space program.

The really bad part is that you can only read the Looney Bible if you have Jesus’ microscopic super-vision.


Weird. There’s also this.

The Perils of Irene

For days I’ve been watching the coverage of Hurricane Irene.

Right now I’m looking at a NASA image taken yesterday, clearly showing the storm snuggled up to the east coast of the U.S.

I think you have to make a conscious effort to step outside yourself occasionally, so you’ll know how lucky you are. In this case, I’m stepping outside by looking at this picture taken from 22,300 miles above the earth and transmitted to us by the NOAA GOES-13 satellite.

For those of you on other continents (or other coasts) who have been missing the breathless coverage of this incoming storm, we’re all in panic mode on the East Coast, with those of us in New York expecting to have the storm smash into us on Sunday. We’ve been buying plywood and tarps, collecting together survival supplies like water and food and flashlights, filling our tanks so we can flee westward, and staying glued to the TV from whence the breathless reporting springs. Continue reading “The Perils of Irene”

Bloomberg: No Godders at 9/11 Service

If you ever feel, as an atheist or secularist, that we’re not making headway, and are maybe even losing ground against the forces of religion, remember this:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that the 10th anniversary memorial ceremony of the 9/11 terror attacks on the Twin Towers will include no clergy.

This is major. An event that has been used and abused by various religious hucksters for the past decade will deliberately disinclude — on its 10th Anniversary — the speakers and pitchmen for the gods.

The reasoning behind Mayor Bloomberg’s  decision is that there’s no way to include ALL segments of the religious community — to be fair to everybody and to refrain from making one group or another feel left out — and that is a fantastic argument for doing it this way. Continue reading “Bloomberg: No Godders at 9/11 Service”

When the Earth Moves

The buzz of reportage associated with the soon-to-be-legendary Quake of ’11 here on the east coast includes more than one breathless story on damage to the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral, national treasures located in Washington, D.C.

I was in D.C. just last year, taking pictures of the Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and thoughts of the damage sparked instant pangs of dread. I’m sure many Americans felt the same way: What if it had actually fallen? It would be like losing the Twin Towers in New York all over again.

And yet … Continue reading “When the Earth Moves”