- The 15 Weirdest Science Stories of 2009
- The 35 Worst Straight-to-DVD Sequels Of The 2000s
- The 30 Most Unnecessarily Hyped Things Of The Decade
- Top 10 Failures of 2009
- The 10 Best Archaeology Finds of 2009
- Top 20 Internet Lists of 2009
- The 50 Best Films of the Decade
- The 25 Worst Album Covers of the Decade
- New Scientist’s Best Books of 2009
- The 50 Funniest Headlines of 2009
- Phil Plait’s Top 10 Astronomy Pictures of 2009
- The 30 Most Memorable Mugshots of 2009
- Wonkette’s 100 Best Moments of the Decade
- Crazy Preacher’s Top 10 False “Prophecies” of 2009
- WaPo’s 11 (?) Worst Ideas of the Decade
- Fark’s 11 Weirdest Stories of 2009
- Top 10 Consumer Scams of 2009
- The 50 Hottest Dead People of ht eDecade
- Wired wraps on the decade on music, video games, and television
- 10 Freakiest Ads of 2009
- Top 10 Top 10 Lists
Archive for December, 2009
- Two car thieves steal a cop car to get away from the police. (link)
- Escaped prison inmate taunts police on Facebook. (link)
- Another reason to not trust handicapped people (link)
- Wal-Mart, always low prices, always illegally videotaping customers and employees in the bathroom (link)
- Thief calls 911 after stolen truck breaks down (link)
- Rejected man threatens woman with witchcraft (link)
- Burglars steal 700 pound safe filled with gold found in church despite Mark 10:24-5 (link)
So last week Michael Shermer was on Larry King Live with, amongst others, multimillionaire purveyor of all things soft-brained Deepak Chopra. They discussed “life after death,” a phrase I’ve never quite understood, but apparently it has something to do with humans somehow having a soul which survives physical death and then exists in some other hypothetical realm of existence and then haunts theme parks.
Chopra is basically a stoned 14 year old who’s surrounded by hordes of yes-men in business suits who insulate him from any criticism and reinforce his delusions of grandeur. When he’s not lying and inventing straw men about his critics, he’s vomiting out empty platitudes with a confidence and certainty which is just unseemly considering the lack of coherence involved.
Now I admit it’s easy for someone like me to not understand what a professional whatever-Chopra-happens-to-be is saying. I’m right now reading a book dealing largely with the spectrum of light and have to constantly re-read paragraphs to make sure that I fully understand what’s being said. So it might be that he’s just way too deep for me to even understand, dude.
For example, this is from his Twitter just 49 minutes ago (Twitter is so Zen, man):
“I will get in touch with the field of pure potentiality by taking time each day to be silent, to just Be.”
The problem with that possibility is that actual scientists come to the same conclusion about Chopra’s incoherence – even the guy who wrote the aforementioned book I’m reading. So it’s not just me that’s criticizing him for not being able to explain his views, it’s also other people who really know what Chopra proclaims to talk about.
So anyway, after Shermer embarrassed Chopra on Larry King Live, which for some reason was neither live nor with Larry King, Chopra wrote a whiny blog entry on the deplorable Huffington Post, a regular purveyor of dangerous pseudoscience and outright stupidity. And at the end of his whining, he challenged Shermer to a debate. In a response, after outlining some of the same problems I’ve mentioned with Chopra, Shermer accepted the challenge.
It wasn’t made clear what the actual topic of the debate is supposed to be. That’s one problem. Creationists often challenge guys like Shermer to debates, propose a topic, and then change it at literally the last minute. If it isn’t a continuation of the Larry King discussion, this one will probably be some kind of overarching general ‘battle of worldviews’ where Chopra will be free to throw as much shit to the wall as possible, hoping that enough will stick for him to ‘win’ without having to actually answer a legitimate question or defend a real position.
This is a mistake on Shermer’s part. He needs to nail this guy down to a specific position to either advocate or oppose because rambling nonsense in random directions so that his audience can claim to understand him and feel superior to skeptics and materialists is what he does for a living. And if he tries to do that once the debate has already begun, Chopra’s just going to condemn him for staying on-topic and trying to confine his free spirit or some other such nonsense. Anyway, it’ll still be fun times for everyone, so get the popcorn ready.
- Julia Galef: Provably Nonsense
- 6 Badass Skills You Can Learn in Under a Week
- Weed Delivery Guy Saves Christmas
- Quantum Santa
- The Beer Cure
- Fred Phelps vs. Lady Gaga
- The 13,000 Year Old Self-Cloning Tree
- Indian governor resigns over something he should feature in his re-election campaign
- What a RC Plane Sees When You Try to Kill It With Fireworks
At least he is if you look at this completely compelling photographic evidence:
He doesn’t even seem to have a top of a head, either. And his eyes are all out of whack.
This can’t be Jesus. It must be Jesus’ twin brother with fetal alcohol syndrome. But it’s probably Al Jourgensen from Ministry:
Does this mean that Al Jourgensen is Jesus’ brother with fetal alcohol syndrome? Or that Jesus really did build his hotrod? The questions never end.
Really though, if an all-powerful deity’s going to communicate with us through images on fruit, couldn’t it do better than an unconvincing outline? Couldn’t it use more than one color? Why pussyfoot around with these vaguely humanish face-like splotches in curtains and fruit? What, bringing someone back from the dead 2000 years ago was no problem, but now it can’t even seem to provide better evidence than could be made by some pimply-faced kid at Kinko’s? I’m just saying, if this God thing has been slacking off this badly, maybe you people should reconsider this whole worshipping it concept in the first place. It’s clearly losing its touch for miracles.
Today’s quote is a very timely one, and it comes from the 27th chapter of Matthew, verses 46-53:
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
It has been a good one this year. We’ve seen fights by crazy people, fights by sane people, some old faces, and some surprising new ones. In the end I think the forces of crazy will always triumph, at least within the media since being reasonable doesn’t have the same “news value” as being batshit insane does. Here is how it went down this year
War on Christmas 2009:
- Donald Wildmon pwns the Gap
- Nordstrom dares to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Jesus
- Festive coalition of ninjas decorate house south of Chicago
- USPS enables children’s belief in Santa
- Best Buy’s blasphemous blow-out sale
- Arkansas Society of Freethinkers vs. Little Rock
- Fake Santa vs. Crying Children
- Austria purifies itself of inferior Coca Cola conspiracy
- Fake Elf vs. Mall (w/Venn diagram!)
- Obama vs. Charlie Brown
- Focus on the Family vs. Everyone
- Satanic Arsonists vs. Glory of Christ church
- Heretical CHRIST-mas Tree
- Three Wise Men vs. Loch Ness Monster
- Jesus shoots Santa with a shotgun
- Priest tells congregation to shoplift
So here is the Christmas Truce letter describing an interesting event during WW I, interspersed with inappropriate videos and pictures. Enjoy.
“This will be the most memorable Christmas I’ve ever spent or likely to spend: since about tea time yesterday I don’t think theres been a shot fired on either side up to now. Last night turned a very clear frost moonlight night, so soon after dusk we had some decent fires going and had a few carols and songs. The Germans commenced by placing lights all along the edge of their trenches and coming over to us – wishing us a Happy Christmas etc. They also gave us a few songs etc. so we had quite a social party. Several of them can speak English very well so we had a few conversations. Some of our chaps went to over to their lines. I think theyve all come back bar one from ‘E’ Co. They no doubt kept him as a souvenir. In spite of our fires etc. it was terribly cold and a job to sleep between look out duties, which are two hours in every six.
First thing this morning it was very foggy. So we stood to arms a little longer than usual. A few of us that were lucky could go to Holy Communion early this morning. It was celebrated in a ruined farm about 500 yds behind us. I unfortunately couldnt go. There must be something in the spirit of Christmas as to day we are all on top of our trenches running about. Whereas other days we have to keep our heads well down. We had breakfast about 8.0 which went down alright especially some cocoa we made. We also had some of the post this morning. I had a parcel from B. G’s Lace Dept containing a sweater, smokes, under clothes etc. We also had a card from the Queen, which I am sending back to you to look after please. After breakfast we had a game of football at the back of our trenches! We’ve had a few Germans over to see us this morning. They also sent a party over to bury a sniper we shot in the week. He was about a 100 yds from our trench. A few of our fellows went out and helped to bury him.
About 10.30 we had a short church parade the morning service etc. held in the trench. How we did sing. –
‘O come all ye faithful. And While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ were the hymns we had. At present we are cooking our Christmas Dinner! so will finish this letter later.
Dinner is over! and well we enjoyed it. Our dinner party started off with fried bacon and dip-bread: followed by hot Xmas Pudding. I had a mascot in my piece. Next item on the menu was muscatels and almonds, oranges, bananas, chocolate etc followed by cocoa and smokes. You can guess we thought of the dinners at home.
Just before dinner I had the pleasure of shaking hands with several Germans: a party of them came 1/2way over to us so several of us went out to them. I exchanged one of my balaclavas for a hat. I’ve also got a button off one of their tunics. We also exchanged smokes etc. and had a decent chat. They say they won’t fire tomorrow if we don’t so I suppose we shall get a bit of a holiday – perhaps. After exchanging autographs and them wishing us a Happy New Year we departed and came back and had our dinner.
We can hardly believe that we’ve been firing at them for the last week or two – it all seems so strange. At present its freezing hard and everything is covered with ice…”.
Near the end of the letter the writer tells his mother, “As I can’t explain to everyone how I spent my 25th – you might hand this round please”.
The letter ends: “There are plenty of huge shell holes in front of our trenches, also pieces of shrapnel to be found. I never expected to shake hands with Germans between the firing lines on Christmas Day and I don’t suppose you thought of us doing so. So after a fashion we’ve enjoyed? our Christmas.
Hoping you spend a happy time also George Boy as well. How we thought of England during the day.
Kind regards to all the neighbours.
I forgot to mention that today was Festivus. So Happy Festivus.
- Drunk 4 year old steals Christmas presents from neighbors (link)
- Fugitive doctor tries to avoid capture by performing impromtu surgery on own neck (link)
- Al Qaeda blasts away its ‘glass ceiling’ by officially clearing women to become suicide bombers (link)
- Australian guy gets a new high score for BAC (link)
- DC cop draws gun on a snowball fight because a snowball messed up his tutu and his purse (link)
- Santa robs bank to “pay his elves” (link)
- Best analysis of Glenn Beck ever
- The Onion presents a special message from Santa
- A-To-Z History of Erotic Asphyxiation
- Carl Zimmer on glass duck vaginas and explosive duck penises
- Religion cards
- Feeling grumpy is good for you
- Santa: the fascist years
- Medical fun with Christmas carols
- Another foreigner steals names from popular media
- Australian antivax organization under investigation
- Cenk Uygur: What the media and Obama never understood about the public option
- Are there undiscovered people?
Anglican Priest Tim Jones advised his congregation to shoplift rather than resort to robbery or prostitution.
I don’t think what the preacher is saying is all that absurd really. Absolute morality is a pretty stupid idea, and the idea that stealing is always completely immoral is just not practical. What’s strange is that this preacher is the one who is rejecting absolute morality and advocating the lesser evil, while the relatively more secular state is just outraged over it:
‘I cannot condone inciting anyone to commit a criminal offence. Shoplifting is a crime against the whole local community and society.’
Anne McIntosh, MP (Tory)
Jones’ diocese is kind of backing him up, saying that he is “raising important issues,” but stopping short of full support by saying that shoplifting is not the right way to go.