25 December 2016

Link round-up for 25 December 2016

"Browser", the library cat of White Settlement, Texas, has now outlasted the city council member who tried to get rid of him.

Bailey's Buddy presents everything you need to know about penguins.  Plus, cute baby elephants.

Fed up with Easter?  Try Wester -- it has a squirrel!

If there's Christmas Eve, there must be Christmas Adam.

I guess this is the Republican Santa Claus? Here's the reality.

This looks like a pretty cool book for kids.

Do you want to build a snowman?

If you're bored with ordinary Christmas-tree ornaments, maybe this ancient Roman amulet will inspire.  Or you could just put Christmas lights on your palm tree.

Did you know these famous actresses were also scientists?  Read up on Hedy Lamarr -- you'll be surprised.

People need to keep this stuff straight.

This could be a metaphor for trying to reform the Republican party.

Check out the photography of Laura Zalenga (link from Shaw Kenawe).

Rogue One blows away the alt-right's pitiful boycott attempt, to the tune of $290 million.

Take this short test to find out how evil you are (found via Clarissa) -- I scored rather low, somewhat to my surprise. But with some people the evil is just right out there.

Here's an interesting post on religion, philosophy, and arrogance -- I particularly liked this comment which it cites.

A libertarian wrote this -- and they wonder why people recoil from their ideology (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

Badtux reports eloquently from the wasteland of the American dream.

Through the Republican party, the US is now dominated by its most failed region.

Ignore the tornadoes, nothing to see here.

Remember, and do not forgive.

Screw the voters, a $5 minimum wage is too high, apparently.

Obama has extended religious-freedom protections to atheists (link from Marc McKenzie).

Republicans aren't racist, honestly.

"The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order....."

A couple of recent TV series are exposing Scientology.

With Trump as their leader, wingnuts are wingnuttier than ever.

Jack Cluth has been on a roll this week, calling out the hypocrisy of fundie Trumpanzees, observing Muslims winning hearts and minds in Arizona, checking Republican math, and nailing Bill O'Reilly's all-too-revealing rhetoric.

Here's how the Republicans plan to attack gay marriage.

North Carolina is now a failed democracy.

PM Carpenter makes the case that the Democrats should not go populist on trade policy.

Facing terminal decline, Christianity in Britain demands new official privileges.

"Dark underside"?  WTF?  And what's up with Google?

This new reality show sounds a bit too real.

I visited Karak in 1979.  It was peaceful then.

Where are the most atheistic places in the world?

What Asad and Russia most fear isn't jihadism, it's the genuine struggle for freedom.

Betsy DeVos may not value American teachers, but the Chinese do.

Scientists must resist global-warming denialism. Bill Gates plans to direct $170 billion to green-energy development, and Las Vegas is the latest big city to run entirely on renewable energy.

Facing an inaugural devoid of stars, Trump turns to the Radio City Rockettes, who can be made to perform by their parent company -- but even they are protesting so vociferously that they too may escape him.

Blogger Max's Dad continues his look at Trump's cabinet, finishing up here.  Here's some more info on the same topic.  And here's one example of Obama's picks vs. Trump's.

How the hell can these people be so surprised?  Weren't they paying attention?

Trump's witch-hunt of climate scientists may have been thwarted, but he has another target.  No wonder so many federal employees are getting ready to leave.

Don't be fooled -- the Republicans are still in desperate straits (found via Mock Paper Scissors).  Here's why some of them will help us stop Trump.

No mere airing of grievances, Keith Olberman delivers a barn-burner of a call to resistance.  Young people are ready to resist, but there are things they need to watch out for.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"On this day, long ago, a child was born who, by the age of 30, would transform the world.

Happy Birthday, Isaac Newton, Born December 25, 1642." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson

25 December, 2016 12:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks for the reminder. he was one of those most vital to the achievements of the modern world.

26 December, 2016 05:55  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Re the piece on Scientology, a couple of members of that "church" have the dubious distinction of being the only religious nutters I've ever personally encountered who haven't been fundamentalist Christians. I remember running into one way back in the early '90s, when I saw some individual on a busy street trying to get passersby to do a survey. Most people (wisely as it turned out) were giving him the cold shoulder, but silly, soft-hearted old me, feeling sorry for him, went up to him and asked him what his survey was about. He informed me it had something to do with the Co$, which he was a member of, and asked me if I'd be able to give him a few minutes of my time. Foolishly, I said yes (at the time, I still didn't know what seriously bad news the Co$ was), did his survey (I don't remember what it asked me), and then accepted his invitation to accompany him back to the local Scientology "temple", which was located nearby, to do the Scientologists' infamous personality tests (I recall there were two of them). Anyway, these tests revealed me to be seriously screwed up (big surprise), whereupon my new friend gave me the "good news" that Dianetics could fix everything that was wrong with me. It was actually quite funny - for every "flaw" the personality tests I'd done had supposedly uncovered about me, he announced, "Dianetics will help you with that", in a tone of voice so robotic I found it hard not to start laughing.

Thankfully, naive as I was, the thought of blowing what little money I had at the time (I was a poor, struggling university student) on Scientology courses didn't really appeal to me, so I made up some suitably polite, bullshit excuse about why I couldn't buy what he was trying to sell me. Obviously, he wasn't going to let me wriggle away that easily, so he called over a fellow cultist to help him put the hard sell on me. For the next few minutes, the pair of them subjected me to a high pressure sales pitch which, not surprisingly, ended up making me very uncomfortable (rather ironically, they both claimed that my biggest problem - a problem that would surely only get worse if I didn't use Dianetics to nip it in the bud - was that I let other people push me around too much!). Anyway, I somehow managed to get away after buying a copy of L Ron Hubbard's Dianetics (with money I could ill afford to spend on rubbish like that at the time - I ended up chucking the thing away, unread, a year or two later anyway), giving them a fake name, and declining to give them my address for reasons of "privacy" or something like that (thankfully, they bought that excuse!). Looking back on it, I'm sure I had a very lucky escape - from something I heard an escapee from the cult here once say, if you are silly enough to sign up for one of their courses, a couple of members of the cult will basically march you to the nearest ATM to withdraw the funds for it (and probably look over your shoulder while you're keying in your PIN too!), before you have a chance to change your mind!

Anyway, the documentaries mentioned in that link look as if they'd be very interesting - I only hope I get a chance to watch them here some day. Some years ago, one of our own current affairs programs, Four Corners, did an expose on Scientology, which was very revealing (not to mention scary!). It truly astounds me, sometimes, that the Co$ hasn't been classified as an organized crime syndicate (because that's basically all it is), and has been allowed to get away with all its bullshit for so many decades now. I believe some countries have had the good sense to ban it - why not the rest of the world?

27 December, 2016 05:39  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It sounds like the kind of thing Donald Trump would come up with if he started a religion (but let's not give him ideas).

28 December, 2016 02:37  

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