Archive for July 2011

Asking Dawkins to observe the evidence *

Jul 28th, 2011 | Filed by

The culture of subtle sexism can be altered when people have their attention drawn to it. … Read the rest

Norway: the dead and missing *

Jul 28th, 2011 | Filed by

76 people.… Read the rest

New Statesman asks atheists to say why *

Jul 28th, 2011 | Filed by

Maryam Namzie, Kenan Malik, Polly Toynbee, Susan Blackmore, A C Grayling, Ben Goldacre, Victor Stenger, P Z Myers, Andrew Copson, more.… Read the rest

Jailed in Singapore for writing a book *

Jul 28th, 2011 | Filed by

Alan Sheldrake was convicted of “scandalising the judiciary” – writing a critical book that could undermine public faith in Singapore’s judicial system.… Read the rest


Jul 27th, 2011 5:08 pm | By

The church in Australia is also saying how sorry it is. Sorry sorry sorry. Oh dear, so sorry. It doesn’t know what came over it. It was a moment of carelessness that lasted for decades. It’s terribly sorry, unless anyone can think of a way it can dodge culpability of course, in which case it isn’t.

It is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken
against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the 1950s and 1970s.

Think about that for a minute. A period of thirty years, in which the church yanked away the babies of 150,000 women.

But hey, the church is sorry. Maybe.… Read the rest

Oh look, an escape hatch

Jul 27th, 2011 4:47 pm | By

The Vatican feels really really really really bad about what its priests did in Ireland. Really it does. It’s so so so so so sorry. It’s wounded to the core; it’s devastated; it’s super-upset; it’s crying into its pillow every night; it can hardly eat.


What if it can say that what Catholic priests do is nothing to do with it?

Ah. Well in that case, it feels perfectly fine, because after all, it didn’t do anything. Yay!

Victims of sexual abuse by priests will no longer be able to sue the Catholic church for damages if a landmark judgment rules that priests should not be considered as employees.

In a little publicised case heard this month at

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Johann Hari in more and worse trouble *

Jul 27th, 2011 | Filed by

The Telegraph accuses him of inventing an atrocity in the story that won him the Orwell Prize. … Read the rest

Johann Hari stripped of Orwell Prize *

Jul 27th, 2011 | Filed by

The organizers of the prize announced that they had reached a “clear and unanimous decision” on Monday.… Read the rest

Church says “sorry” about “forced adoptions” *

Jul 27th, 2011 | Filed by

That is, taking women’s babies against their will, aka kidnapping. Australian Catholic church took at least 150,000 from 1950s to 70s.… Read the rest

Church claims it is not liable for priests *

Jul 27th, 2011 | Filed by

Nothing to do with us, says compassionate Catholic church. It was the priests wot did it, not us.… Read the rest

Leaving Religion and Living without Religion in Nigeria

Jul 26th, 2011 | By Leo Igwe

Nigeria is often described as a deeply religious society where most – if not all – persons profess religious beliefs without qualification. Nigeria is often portrayed as a country where the religious demography is static – everybody is religious, everybody belongs to one faith or the other. Everybody professes religion, nobody renounces religion. Nobody is critical or skeptical about religious dogmas. Non-religious and freethinking Nigerians are purportedly so insignificant. For me this is a misrepresentation of the religious demography and dynamics in the country, and the time has come for us to rectify this misrepresentation.

No doubt, most Nigerians profess belief in God and identify themselves with one of the three main faiths – Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam. There … Read the rest

Cross at the crosswalk

Jul 26th, 2011 4:05 pm | By

Transportation for America has Raquel Nelson on the Today show yesterday. It’s very hard to watch, but worth watching. She’s impressive, and obviously not just some giddy irresponsible parent dragging her children into traffic because she can’t be bothered to walk down the block to the intersection.

It also has a guy called Ken Edelstein of Green Building Chronicle in Atlanta showing us the bus stop, the street, how far away the intersection with traffic lights is, how obvious it is that the bus stop is there for the apartment complex, how people who live there never go to the intersection to cross, how like a highway the street is, how heavy the traffic is and how fast it goes, … Read the rest

Raquel Nelson tells her story on Today *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

And Ken Edelstein of Green Building Chronicle shows just what a death-trap Austell Road is.… Read the rest

Vatican whisks nuncio to safety *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

The Vatican did not say when he would return. Things are a bit hot for him in Ireland right now.… Read the rest

Trying to survive in Bachmann’s district

Jul 26th, 2011 12:17 pm | By

How ugly.

Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish.

Teachers and counselors in the district, as well as civil rights

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The teen suicide epidemic in Bachmann’s District *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

Why critics blame the congresswoman’s anti-gay allies for contributing to a mental health crisis.… Read the rest

Buddhist monks walk away from sex-abuse cases *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

Chicago Tribune review of sexual abuse cases involving several Theravada Buddhist temples found minimal accountability and lax oversight of monks.… Read the rest

Judge offers Nelson a new trial *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

The judge’s unusual decision was announced at a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Cobb County State Court.… Read the rest

No jail time for Raquel Nelson *

Jul 26th, 2011 | Filed by

More than 135,000 people signed an online petition calling for leniency.… Read the rest

Fun with names

Jul 25th, 2011 12:28 pm | By

How to get more traffic on your blog…write about elevator guy. Ha! That’s a good one. That’s a real thigh-slapper.

Steve Caldwell makes a different suggestion.

Apparently, the secret for a successful website (aka “blog”) is misspelling a person’s last name so the misspelled name includes a slang term for female genitalia.

That will get one over 1240 comments …

Quite, with the addendum that as of this moment the count is 1283. What fun all this would have been if Watson had had a couple of confederates, Rachel Unt and Rosalind Ussy. But then again what if the confederates had been named Rachel Igger and Rosalind Pade? Would the count have been higher, or lower, … Read the rest