Don’t Forget the Face in the Tortilla

Right, that does it – a post I’ve just read at Pharyngula has goaded me into doing the post I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of days.

It’s time for a look at credulity and superstition and general soft-headedness in the Mass Media and popular culture.

Here is the Pharyngula post. About a story on MSNBC (hey if it’s partly owned by Microsoft shouldn’t it be all full of rationalist geeky types who would throw heavy rocks at anyone who suggested such a story? No? Why not?) about a ‘legendary Roman stone’ that gets soggy when a pope is about to snuff it that is currently dry therefore the stone ‘says pope will live.’

My item is yesterday’s Front Row, in which Kirstie Lang talks to a sculptor about a ‘curse’ on Carlisle which his sculpture is supposed by some Carlisle councillors to have re-activated. She says something to the effect that one has to be sympathetic, or one sees why they’re worried, or some such. Carlisle has had terrible luck lately, she says earnestly and with her usual irritating over-emphasis; rain, floods. So what? said the sculptor impatiently, you could say the same about the southwest; Devon’s had rain – Yes said Lang but they don’t have that curse.


Jesus H Christ almighty, I remarked pleasantly as I threw a chair through the window. Is that the sort of reasoning skill they teach you at BBC school?

But then to end on a cheerier note. I found this refreshing. (Man, how we clutch at straws in these woolly days.) On CSI, Grissom said about the horrible supervisor guy Eckley, ‘Eckley doesn’t have a scientific bone in his body. He decides what answers he wants and then he asks the questions to get them.’

Yeah! That’s telling ’em. The higher authorities should put Grissom in charge of the BBC and MSNBC.

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