09 November 2014

Link round-up for 9 November 2014

Check out these very cool scale models of cities.

Here's your horoscope -- guaranteed accurate!

Microscope photography shows us the alien world of the very small.

OK, movie-makers, you got me -- President Sarah Palin visiting the inside of the Hollow Earth and being greeted by Hitler riding a tyrannosaurus (actual trailer) is something we haven't seen before.

What does a homophobic pastor obsess over?  Gay sperm in his coffee, apparently.

No, marijuana doesn't reduce intelligence, though alcohol does.

A Christian father sets out to convert his atheist son, but ends up renouncing religion himself (found via Lady Atheist).

Here's how a biology instructor gives his students "The Talk".

Katha Pollitt is trying to de-stigmatize abortion (found via GoodShit).

"Please proceed, Senator McConnell."

One bit of good news from the election -- "personhood" initiatives continued their unbroken losing streak.

Sometimes the big money wins -- Oregon's GMO-labeling initiative narrowly fails.

Two-thirds of Texans didn't vote.  The one-third who did probably included this bunch.

A former salesperson has some concrete suggestions for connecting with voters.  Essential advice: "The stock market and the GDP do not reflect the real economy. It's not a selling point. Just stop it."

Written before the election, Stonekettle Station assesses the next two years under a Republican Congress.

Obama offers some encouraging words.

Black voters, one of the most solid Democratic constituencies, have some concerns about the party, notably that it isn't doing enough to fight the new Jim Crow laws.

Milt Shook's election post-mortem pulls no punches, but it's a must-read.

Bizarrely, some Republicans won by running on left-wing issues (found via Progressive Eruptions).  But that doesn't mean they're really open to compromise.

"Now there could well be as many as 10 or 20 Bachmanns coming to Washington."  Here's a look at some of the craziest new Republicans in Congress.  Oklahoma's new Senator plans to use the Bible to fight the national debt, and Colorado has elected a virulent homophobe who believes Obama is possessed by demons to its state legislature.  Ed Brayton singles out another wingnut to watchProgressive Eruptions has more.  Teabaggerdom is already warning newly-elected Republicans against any deviations toward sanity.

In Britain, the majority of people believe religion does more harm than good.  56% self-identify as Christian, 2.5% as Muslim, and 1% as Jewish, but 60% say they are "not religious at all" -- showing that religious self-definition doesn't tell the real story.

British police arrest four Islamists who were plotting to assassinate the Queen.

A British businessman carried out one of the most disgusting scams ever, contributing to hundreds of deaths.

The Irish Atheist remembers Belfast, a city poisoned by religious hatred and hypocrisy.

Sign a petition here against a coal-industry project that would wreck part of the Great Barrier Reef.

On this date 25 years ago, people power began the destruction of the Berlin wall, ultimately leading to the fall of the USSR.

New left-wing parties rise in several European countries, as old-line socialists discredit themselves by collaborating with austerity.

As Putin continues his aggression against Ukraine, the ruble is collapsing under the weight of Western sanctions and the regime's incompetence.

Kaveh Mousavi looks at what this week's Republican win could mean for US-Iran relations.

In Pakistan, a Christian couple is beaten and burned to death by a mob, while a Shiite accused of blasphemy is hacked to death by an axe-wielding police officer.

India tries religious art as a tool against public urination.

In West Africa, fear of Ebola inflames superstition and faith healing.

The genome of a European who lived 36,000 years ago gives us a wealth of clues to recent human evolution.  Our gut microbes testify to much earlier developments.

Not all mammals during the age of dinosaurs were tiny (found via GoodShit).

These researchers hypothesize that quantum effects might be the result of parallel universes interacting with our own on the subatomic level (found via Fair and Unbalanced).  I can sort of imagine how that might work, but I really want to hear what Stephen Hawking thinks of the idea.


Blogger mendip said...

A great selection of links - thanks for posting! Particularly enjoyed the article about miniature city models - really amazing!

09 November, 2014 13:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It's remarkable the work that goes into such things. I've heard that in Rome there's a scale model of Rome in Classical times -- something I definitely want to see someday.

09 November, 2014 15:04  
Blogger Unknown said...

When I taught astronomy, I used to recreate an old experiment, giving students three personality profiles: one from their birth date, one from a random date, and a general personality description intended to sound accurate and specific to everyone. With few exceptions, everyone picked the third one.

But I wouldn't say the position of the stars and planets don't effect my life. They might cause a meteor to land on my head!

I do have a question: did the people who made the image mean to flip Capricorn and Taurus? As I recall, the sun is not in Capricorn in January, anyway. But all the signs are still in the same order. Yes, I'm over-thinking it.

09 November, 2014 17:53  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Okay, Sarah in the Hollow Earth with a dinosaur-riding Hitler and gay sperm in coffee. In a week that turned everything upside down, those two actually made sense to me. In a drug-induced way.

10 November, 2014 07:37  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: I've heard of experiments like that. People always fall for the generic horoscope and think it's specific to themselves. Cold-reader "psychics" use the same techniques.

Shaw: In a world where Joni Ernst can become a Senator, a guy who thinks Obama is possessed by demons can become a state legislator, and a "news" website can't tell one Loretta Lynch from another, filmmakers have to go to real extremes if they want to be more bizarre than reality!

10 November, 2014 19:02  

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