19 October 2014

Link round-up for 19 October 2014

Pwned, pwned, pwned!  Read the harrowing tale of a plan to make money with a bitcoin ATM.

Teddy bear?  Plush toy doggie?  Bah.  Here's a really cuddly plush toy.

Alexander Gerst takes more interesting selfies than you do.

If Jupiter were as close to Earth as the Moon is, here's what it would look like.

This would serve them right.

What if Star Wars had been set in an eighties high school?

Yes, this explains a lot, though the photo is actually from South Africa (found via Squatlo Rant).

These people exist.

Here's the stupidest conspiracy theory I've heard of yet -- a supposed plot to blow up the planet Saturn.

Artist of the week:  Shawn Thornton (found via F169).

Santorum speaks a truth.

Most fundie films seem doomed to flop because they have to appeal to a core audience so different from the mainstream (found via Republic of Gilead).

Progressive Eruptions has a round-up on the lunacy of the US right wing's response to Ebola.  Green Eagle has more and worse, and here's another example.  The head of the NIH says we might well have an Ebola vaccine already if not for the spending-cut mania of the last few years, driven by having idiots like this in charge of things.  A tough new ad drives the point home.

Re-blog this everywhere.

Well, yeah, but I don't hear God objecting (found via Squatlo Rant).

A pundit openly advocates false conviction of the innocent to create a reign of terror.

To construct a major bridge, the California Department of Transportation hired a Chinese company that had never built a bridge before.  Here are the results.

Hey, Obama really has gotten some things done.

Is there a "void" in humans that makes us yearn for religion?  (Personally I've never felt even a trace of such a thing.)

Here's a pretty good overview of why the economy is stagnant.

A California atheist wins $2,000,000 in a lawsuit over a flagrant First-Amendment violation.

Is the US right wing trending fascist?  Let's look at what fascism really means.

Following Huckabee, Evangelical Christians warn the Republican party not to tone down its homophobia (found via Republic of Gilead).

Here's a fatal shooting in California that the anti-gun blogs won't be talking about, and another in Florida.

Lady Atheist dissects the "atheism is just as irrational as religion" stance which has grown fashionable in a few quarters.

A top Vatican Cardinal rebukes those who fail to ostracize gay family members. Update: The Cardinal has been demoted by the Vatican (sent by Shaw Kenawe).  Let's hope this leads to a real split in the Church.

The European Union launches a crackdown on illegal aliens.

Relics of World War I emerge in the Alps.

These quotes show what kind of man Columbus really was.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are getting training help from the UK as well as from Iran.

Kurds from Turkey join the fight against ISIS/Islamic State, but the Kurdish leadership is hesitant to share its people's enthusiasm.

Kaveh Mousavi looks at the intellectual dishonesty of defenders of Islam.

Ebola-besieged west Africans turn to religion, which may actually help spread the disease.

This September was the warmest September on record (found via Progressive Eruptions, which has more links).


Blogger Ahab said...

I was wondering when the Giant Microbes website would start selling Ebola plushies. I bought an adorable heartworm plushie for a friend a few years ago.

The Guardian article on Ebola and religious communities was interesting. Churches and mosques are feeling the impact of the disease, and it sounds like some are adjusting their practices, as Amos Teah explained.

As for the gun issue, I'm surprised this story isn't getting national attention. A few days ago, a Pennsylvania state representative exchanged gunfire with robbers just a few blocks from the capitol building in Harrisburg.


19 October, 2014 08:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The meme of treating Ebola as cute and lovable seems to be spreading. I have a posting about it in mind to put up at some point.

The Harrisburg story won't get much coverage on our side of the blogosphere at least, because a case of law-abiding people using guns to ward off crime doesn't fit the narrative the anti-gun crowd is pushing.

19 October, 2014 08:59  
Anonymous Ahab said...

I can see why people jokingly treat Ebola as something cuddly. The spread of Ebola has terrified many people, and by transforming Ebola into something cute and snuggly, it's easier for people to manage their fear.

19 October, 2014 09:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I have a somewhat different take on it. I'll probably post about it in a few days.

19 October, 2014 10:04  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Young Catholics overwhelmingly accept homosexuality as part of being human.

The old white guys in lace and scarlet dresses who moved child predators from parish to parish instead of reporting them to the police, are seeing the end of their hypocritical power. The world is learning that homosexuality, though a minority sexual orientation, is fully human.

Couldn't happen to a seamier club of clueless men.

19 October, 2014 15:15  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

Regarding the stagnant economy - Robert Reich had been known to state for some time now that Corporate America has been laying off their own customers. No surprise there.

19 October, 2014 18:36  
Blogger Blurber said...

On the Jupiter Earth Moon picture, I guess the Earth would be a moon of Jupiter if it were that close.

20 October, 2014 11:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: In other words, most young Catholics are Catholic in name only. Let's hope they finally cast off the last traces of that vile cult and leave the bigoted dinosaurs of the Vatican fuming impotently as they insist that their personal prejudices are "natural law".

Robert: That's pretty much the fact of it.

Blurber: It certainly would, since Jupiter is more than 300 times as massive as the Earth, Oddly enough, life might not be all that different, assuming that the Earth's period of revolution around Jupiter (which would determine the length of the day, since Earth would be "tidally locked" with one face always toward Jupiter) were short enough. But the Jupiter-facing side of the world would experience long solar eclipses every day, and with such a huge object dominating the sky, i dread to think how entrenched astrology would become.

20 October, 2014 12:52  
Blogger Scott McGreal said...

I found the Saturn conspiracy link rather amusing, as one of the most outlandish conspiracy theories I've come across. The article also did a nice job of explaining the science involved clearly. I noticed that this particularly conspiracy theory has a remarkable resemblance to the plot of Arthur C. Clarke's "2010: Space Odyssey 2", so I thought the people promoting this theory probably got the idea from the book or the Kubrick films. However, they appear to be way ahead of me, as I have just discovered today that conspiracy theorists are also claiming that Stanley Kubrick knew all about the Saturn conspiracy and provided clues to this in many of his films! I can't help wonder if this is some sort of complicated joke, but some of these people go to a great deal of trouble to promote this silliness. I am amazed at the sort of things some people will actually believe.

20 October, 2014 18:17  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

That Jupiter pic was certainly impressive. I can't help wondering, though, if having that planet so close to us would cause huge problems in the form of greatly increased tidal forces (I've heard that the reason the Jovian moon of Io is the most geologically active body in the solar system is that it's close enough to Jupiter for that planet's massive gravity to be constantly distorting it) and radiation (some of the innermost of Jupiter's satellites are apparently bathed in lethal quantities of the stuff).

That reimagining of Star Wars was very clever. I'll definitely be sending a link to it to a few people I know!

21 October, 2014 05:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Scott: Trust me, there's no idea so crazy that you can't find a few people who really believe it. I've seen too many examples to ever doubt that.

Zosimus: Good point. I'd been thinking the Earth's magnetic field would protect it from Jupiter's radiation the same way it protects us from the Sun's, but I'm certainly no expert.

21 October, 2014 07:08  

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