Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What WON'T These People Believe?

"Invest with us - we believe in the same god you do - your money is safe with us..."

So, the market is dropping, folks are scared of losing their nest eggs, and predators see an opportunity.  These scammers market a scheme to those scared people, wrap it in religion, and sucker them in big time.  Original article here.

I think Chuck (comment #5 in the first link) said it best:  "God guaranteed the investment. I suggest they take it up with him in person."

Of course, these people believe that a bearded white haired being created the universe...

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I've played video games since the time of Pong.  To say that has been a few years would be an understatement.  As many games as I have played, though, until recently the number of games I have played to the very end could be counted on the hands of somebody wearing mittens... and that's not counting thumbs.... or groups of fingers....  I believe the number I am looking for is Zero.

And then I played Portal.  Portal is a rather neat game where the player is given a gun that opens (are you ready for this?) portals - you go in one, and pop out the other.  The neat part is that momentum is preserved, so if you jump down 20 feet into a portal on the floor, and you have the other portal on a wall, you come shooting out.  Or, as is described in the game - "speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out."  I think I stuck with Portal because of the puzzle-solving part of the game.  The object is not to kill many beasts (as fun as that can be in some games), but to figure out how to go from point A to point Z.

Imagine my surprise when, at the completion of the game, I was serenaded by the AI I'd been fighting.

Portal "Still Alive"   (or if you prefer your songs sung by lovely skilled geek actresses)

So what do I find in my RSS feed today?  A parody of Still Alive called Still a Lie (page down once)Here's a slightly better version...

Enjoy this brief musical interlude!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Welcome (I think)

Courtesy of PZ Myers and Pharyngula...

One of the first things a parent does to a child in a "good christian family" is to baptize the kid.  The underpinnings of that act are amazing...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can You Hear Me... Now

I grew up with lots of older brothers and sisters.  One of the side benefits of older siblings, besides the fact that I always knew my babysitters, was that I was exposed to a lot of older music.  For somebody who grew up in the middle of the disco era in the 70's, exposure to good music (aka - golden oldies and classic rock) was a good thing.  Although I can appreciate some BeeGees and "I Will Survive", all I can say about polyester, coke, and mirror balls is that they assisted in the creation of some truly awful music.

So as I am sitting here playing poker online, I am listening to some concept albums (not all are oldies - Green Day's "American Idiot" fits in very nicely with some Pink Floyd, Beatles, and The Who).  The Who's "Tommy" is playing, and I hear a song that has always bugged the crap out of me.  That song is "Christmas."  I like the music, but some of the words have bothered me since my pre-teen days.  ("Tommy" per Wikipedia)

"Christmas" has Tommy's "family" singing about the wonders of xmas and how excited children get about it.  But then they start singing about the poor kid who cannot be "saved" since he is unaware of his surroundings and everything around him, including the fact that "Tommy doesn't know what day it is... He doesn't know who jesus was or what praying is... How can he be saved, from the eternal grave?"

The pre-teen in me thought that was tremendously unfair to the poor kid.  I mean, he's never had a chance, he cannot even conceive of a god, and he will be damned for it?  That was totally unfair!

Now, though, that song takes on a different meaning to me - and still bugs the crap out of me.  Here is a group of adults who have gotten together purportedly to enjoy a holiday with each other and all their kids, and rather than doing whatever they can to make this poor kid's holiday as enjoyable as possible, they obsess about the impossibility of brainwashing this kid into worshiping some imaginary being.  During the adults' cries about their tribulations of "saving" a kid who can't even hear them, they effectively accept as fact the kid is sub-human ("Only if he's cured will his spirit future level ever heighten.").  Sadly, that pretty much reflects fundamentalists view of the world...

I suppose I should not obsess myself about this.  After all, the Tommy character does ultimately get to experience the classic religious experiences:
 - In "Do You Think It's Alright" and "Fiddle About", Tommy gets to live the Catholic Alter Boy experience, as Uncle Ernie "fiddles about" with him ("down with the bedclothes, up with your nightshirt.... fiddle about, fiddle about... You won't shout as I fiddle about...")
 - In "Cousin Kevin" he gets to experience an all powerful being who abuses and plays with him for sport.  Tommy's cousin Kevin is a sadistic, twisted torturer who plays with weaker beings for fun, abusing as he sees fit.  If that is not a godlike character straight out of the old testament, I don't know what is.
 - Tommy even gets to experience the delusion of knowing all the answers, and twisting other people into doing what he says just because he thinks that it what is needed to reach spiritual fulfillment.  Tommy tells his followers "If you want to follow me, you've got to play pinball.  Put in your earplugs, put on your eye shades, you know where to put the cork."   He even has his pederast Uncle Ernie act as a spiritual guide for the unsuspecting minions...

All is not lost though, as in the end there is a happy ending:  He is forsaken by his follows, who have wizened up to the fallacy of Tommy's religion.

"god's plans" - Children of Rape, and Sharon Angle

Sharon Angle, currently running for Senate in Nevada, has this to say to women, including young teens, who are pregnant due to being raped or from incest (I swear I am not making this up):  No abortion - your rape/incest and your pregnancy are all part of god's plan... if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. 

She has also implied, though later denied that implication, that armed revolution might be the next step if the right does not win this election.

So, Ms. Angle seriously believes that "(g)od has been in this from the beginning", and that her god's plan to improve this country is to have her elected U.S. Senator from Nevada.

I mean, the plans of Old Man Smithers and the other Scooby Doo villains make more sense than the "plan" above.

For more Angle craziness, check out

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ten... Number Ten... Number Ten...

I recently read a post online about a survey done to determine how many Britons knew the ten commandments.  For some reason, that just struck me as one of those "who the hell cares?" situations.  What effect on society does the knowledge (or lack thereof) of those things have?  So, I just had to put in my two cents' worth...

{original blog link}

"I have to confess – I couldn’t tell you all 10 commandments either. Granted, I also am unable to tell you the major tenets of Islam, or Buddhism, Taoism, or even Satanism (if they exist).

But, quite frankly, I am fine with that. If somebody wishes to memorize the tenets of their religion, then by all means they should try to do so. And if they are successful, more power to them!

However, to decry that only a small portion of the people around you can’t recite YOUR religion’s tenets is simply ridiculous. I mean, it would be like worrying that the average person cannot tell you the syntax rules for .NET, or can’t explain the detailed rules of soccer (as handy as those might be now that the World Cup is in progress), or can’t count to 100 in Hindi. Those folks who wish to know those things should learn them. But to proclaim that a societal problem exists because the folks around you can’t count to 100 in Hindi is as much of a waste as declaring a societal problem exists because they don’t know a list of ten things specific to one particular sect."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tree Lobsters - Some are Smarter than You'd Think

Or, as Frank Zappa once said, "Let go of my pickle."

I once posted one of these comics on a Facebook account.  A catholic gentleman I've known for years, whom I both like and respect, felt the need to respond:  "I've always been partial to Marmaduke, myself."