Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

A Bit of Bragging and a Selfish Request

If this kind of thing annoys you then please ignore, but I’m very excited because my blog had more than 20,000 hits in January:

So I just want to say thanks for reading and thanks so much for your comments everyone!

I also want to point out that at the bottom of every post (at least when I remember to do it) there are buttons for a number of social networking sites:

add to del.icio.us Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It!

If you have an account at one of these sites I would love it if you would click those buttons at the bottom of a post that you like to submit it to the social networking site of your preference. Out of the buttons I have, I only belong to Reddit, which I found out about when someone was poking fun at my deconversion due to Religulous story, so even if you think something I said is idiotic I think you should submit me ;)

Okay I get very uncomfortable promoting myself, so now I’m going to promote someone who deserves it:

Dr. Rachael Dunlop is an awesome advocate for evidence-based medicine, as well as a skeptical blogger and podcaster. She’s up against a quack in Twitter’s Shorty Awards, so if you have a Twitter account click here to vote for her!

Enlightning Bolts – 01.28.2010

Dr. Rachael Dunlop of the Skeptic Zone podcast is up for a Shorty Award (a Twitter contest), in the category of health. She’s up against some alternative medicine pushers, so if you have a Twitter account vote!

If you’re in favour of English Libel Law reform (keeping libel laws out of science), check out this website and sign the petition if you agree:

Freedom to criticise and question, in strong terms and without malice, is the cornerstone of argument and debate, whether in scholarly journals, on websites, in newspapers or elsewhere. Our current libel laws inhibit debate and stifle free expression. They discourage writers from tackling important subjects and thereby deny us the right to read about them.

Here‘s an account of PZ’s recent visit to Winnipeg by another local blogger who took notes. Smart!

Canada AM once again provides a platform to a kook: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spouts nonsense, including the ridiculous idea that “even a molecule of mercury could destroy brain cells and cause deformities in children.” What the what? Fail! It’s a morning show, so I don’t expect any hard-hitting journalism, but he was saying some horrible and blatantly wrong things, and there was almost no voice of skepticism. This piece even seemed to be propping him up as some kind of hero. Awful.

Steve over at Skeptic North has kindly responded to this, check it out here. Thanks Steve!

And last, but definitely not least, Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who started the whole vaccines cause autism myth, was investigated by the General Medical Council. They found that he “acted ‘dishonestly and irresponsibly’ in his research and with ‘callous disregard’ for the children that were the subject of his research.”

I predicted on Twitter that the anti-vax response to this would be something like: “Wakefield being found guilty will prove that the courts are IN TEH POCKET of Big Pharma!!!111″ It turns out I wasn’t even that far off.

Enlightning Bolts – January 14, 2010

I always end up with a bunch of items that I want to blog about but run out of time, so rather than just letting them fall to the wayside I’m going to start posting them all with my brief comments on a semi-regular basis.

I’m dubbing them Enlightning Bolts…Cheese-tastic!

Pat Robertson blames the Haitians for the tragic earthquake on TV, but the weird part is that the woman standing next to him doesn’t slap him for his despicable remarks. The Haitian ambassador responds perfectly. Why he should have to handle such thoughtless and hurtful remarks during such a hard time disgusts me. Shame on you, Pat Robertson.

The newest Bigfoot “evidence”: a dark figure appears in an IMAX film, nobody knows what it is, therefore Bigfoot.

Wyatt Cenac totally pwns some anti-gay marriage protesters in New Jersey: “It was just as our forefathers had envisioned. That one day, people who had been descriminated against for their religion or the colour of their skin, could come together to discriminate against people for their sexual orientation, without the slightest sense of irony.” (Canadians can watch here, sorry if you’re in the US, you’ll have to go to Comedy Central and look for the January 12th episode).

If you’re on Twitter, you should be following @lowflyingrocks, it’s fun with a tiny bit of terrifying! Yesterday, Astroid AL30 missed us by 135,000kms…that’s closer to us than the moon!

Phil Plait posted some jaw-dropping pictures of Mars (above right).

This website talks about why God is Imaginary. I like proofs 17 (Think About Leprechauns) and 48 (Compare prayer to a lucky horseshoe) best. (Thanks to misunderstoodranter for the link!) If you like that, you’ll love this. I like 50, 123, 376, bah they’re all good!

[If you have any items you'd like me to put in the next Enlightning Bolts, send them to me through the contact form or via Twitter @EnlightningLinZ]

The Manhattan Declaration

I don’t get on Twitter very often, but today I decided to check it out today, and thanks to Dave the Happy Singer‘s tweets, found out about this disgusting document called the Manhattan Declaration.

The subtitle of this document is “A Call of Christian Conscience”. If this document is any indication of the Christian conscience, well…I’m speechless.

Here are some exerpts from the declaration, but I suggest you read it yourself to get a glimpse into the mind of some of these people who are opposing gay marriage and womens’ rights to abortions, as well as trying to insert their religious beliefs into America’s secular government:

[...]the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Allowing gay marriage does not compel any person of faith to do anything. It’s as if they think that providing this right to someone else is tantamount to forcing them to marry someone of the same sex. Nobody is asking you to be gay! You don’t even have to like gay people, just let them have their rights and keep your nose out of their business.

For example, human embryo-destructive research and its public funding are promoted in the name of science and in the cause of developing treatments and cures for diseases and injuries.

Hmm, are they taking about stem-cell research? Honestly…if you’re going to oppose something, at least makes sure you understand what it is. Stem-cells used for research aren’t, and will never be, babies. And using them to develop treatments and cures, they say that like it’s a bad thing! I thought they were pro-life, yet they don’t want to allow for potentially life-saving research?

Oh dear FSM…they go on to equate stem-cell research with assisted suicide:

Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”) were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of “liberty,” “autonomy,” and “choice.”

Wow, there are some parts of this document that I won’t even copy over to my blog, it’s gross.

Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society.

Does all persons include women? Because maybe they didn’t read about the possible lifting of the ban on spousal rape in the Bahamas, or maybe they missed the Islamic guide to beating your wife without leaving marks? The document talks about how we need to stop the spread of AIDS, do they think marriage does this? I guess they haven’t heard about unfaithful husbands in Africa bringing spreading AIDS to their wives. But I suppose they would say these people aren’t Christians…well the document quotes Ephesians 5:32-33. Did they happen to notice Ephesians 5:22-23? The part where it says that womens should submit to their husbands? I suppose that’s for their welfare. (barf).

At least they admit that they aren’t doing so well when it comes to marriages:

We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.

Maybe they’ll be able to model the true meaning of marriage by focusing on their own damn families, and by not worrying about what gay people are doing.

No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.

 #$&*%^$@#%$@%%#$*!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no more words. I want to believe that most of the purported 333,642 people who have signed so far just got bored after the first paragraph and signed not realizing what it actually said, but give the United States’ record on gay rights, I doubt it.

[Note: Hopefully this hasn't been too incoherent...I've been listening to anti-atheist podcasts all day and now this, my brain is turning to mush]

Why You Shouldn’t Buy “Your Shape” by Ubisoft

Ubisoft has a new game for the Wii, and it looks fun! I would actually probably have bought it (since I got a Wii for Christmas) if it weren’t for one very unfortunate detail…Jenny McCarthy is their spokesperson.

This should be a problem for anyone who cares about children, because Jenny McCarthy promotes dangerous anti-vaccine lunacy that kills children.

Among McCarthy’s many weird ideas about health, is her theory that her son’s autism was caused by vaccines. In spite of the fact that this idea has been repeatedly and very thoroughly proven wrong, McCarthy continues to spread her lies.

Please click on and read the links in this post, and decide for yourself whether you want to purchase a product that supports someone who has taken what is probably the single greatest medical advance in history, and turned it into something that scares parents into not immunizing their children.

Here is a post about why you shouldn’t buy any Ubisoft products, and here is one about Jenny McCarthy’s involvement with the game, and who you can contact to complain about this poor choice of spokesperson.

Help spread the word on your blog, or on Twitter (follow me while you’re there @EnlightningLinZ) and send an email to Ubisoft.

As of January 3, 2010

Ear Candling with Jessica Simpson

One of the first exposures I had to skepticism was through the Skeptic Zone podcast, in particular the episode about ear candling. It struck a cord with me because ear candles had been recommended to me by a couple of people, but I found out in the episode that it’s actually illegal to sell them in Canada because they’re so dangerous (not to mention completely useless).

Today I was looking at Perez Hilton’s blog to see what the scoop is on poor Brittany Murphy when I saw this video that was tweeted by Jessica Simpson today of her using an ear candle.

It’s actually the first time I’ve ever seen ear candles in action and…wow…I mean it just looks ridiculous, and she’s screaming the whole way through! Seriously you have a candle right over top of your hair, it’s not even relaxing! Even if they did work I would just stick to Q-Tips.

Ear candles are hollow candles that you place over your ear…you light them and the premise is that the heat creates a vacuum that sucks the wax up out of your ears. Here’s what Dr. Rachie has to say about that:

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that good science from proper scientists and doctors has been wasted testing these things. The seminal study on the safety and efficacy of ear candles was published in the journal Laryngoscope in 1996. The authors were particularly interested in the claim that the candles create a vacuum so they used a pressure device to measure changes in pressure for the duration of the burn. In 20 trials with 2 different candle types, they detected no negative pressure at any point during the trial.

In a clinical trial also conducted as part of this study, 4 people (2 with ear wax and 2 without), the authors reported the candles did not remove ear wax as proposed and in fact, in some cases candle wax was actually deposited in patient’s ears (2).

The authors also conducted a survey of 122 ear nose and throat specialists and found 21 cases of serious injury caused by ear candling. In 6 of these cases, patients temporarily lost their hearing. Other problems reported among the group included, 13 cases of burns, 7 cases where the wax from the candle had blocked the ear canal and 1 case of a punctured ear drum (2).

You can read more about ear candling in Dr. Rachael Dunlop’s blog post on the topic here.

I’m optimistic that this video of Jessica Simpson using ear candles will make people scared of them…but then again, people are silly.

[follow me on Twitter @EnlightningLinZ]

Do All Beliefs Deserve Respect?

I recently had a Twitter exchange while following the #iq2atheism hashtag during this debate (I know, I know, I still have to write my follow-up post). It went as follows:

My tweets will be in Red, and @ohfuckitsdonnie’s will be in Green…festive!:

#iq2atheism You fuckers are just as bad as the religious. You claim to know the truth when in reality you are just as clueless as they are.

@ohfuckitsdonnie #iq2atheism atheists don’t claim to have the truth… They say “I don’t know, let’s look at the evidence”

@EnlightningLinZ That’s ridiculous, you claim you know there is NO God. The concept of God is something that cannot be proved or disproved.

@EnlightningLinZ …to clarify, I do not believe in God and am more or less an Atheist.

Oh and by the way, an Atheist claims they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no god. Which means they are stating they KNOW.

@ohfuckitsdonnie no I don’t claim there’s no God, but I see no reason to think there is one. There’s no evidence.

@ohfuckitsdonnie I can’t know that there’s no god like I can’t know that there’s no Santa or fairies or leprechauns

@EnlightningLinZ Fair enough. I do not believe in any deity, but I believe bleeding heart atheist are just as obnoxious as the religious.

@ohfuckitsdonnie did u see the #iq2atheism debate? I don’t c how u could think the atheists were obnoxious at all compared to the believers

@EnlightningLinZ Because you guys are so quick to disrespect the religious, you go out of your way to tell people their beliefs are stupid.

@ohfuckitsdonnie some beliefs don’t deserve respect, where did this idea that religious beliefs shouldn’t be criticized come from?

@EnlightningLinZ Some beliefs don’t deserve respect? You are a typical, full of your own bullshit breed atheist that…

…give the rest of us a bad name. 1 yaself.

My response to that last tweet was this:

@ohfuckitsdonnie what, you think that all beliefs deserve respect? How about racist or sexist or homophobic beliefs? They have your respect?

@ohfuckitsdonnie many beliefs don’t deserve respect. People should be respected, but not their bogus ideas.

But I think this video (posted @ Skepchick) would have been a better response:

AD: You can’t just describe things as rubbish, you have to treat everybody’s views, whatever they believe, with equal respect.

GIRL: Even idiots?

DAD: Well . . .

Girl: Even people who want to stab you in the eye with a pencil?

DAD: Wuh . . .

GIRL: Even people who want to blow up . . .

MOM: Come on now, you should be in bed.

[Follow me on Twitter! @EnlightningLinZ]

Debate: Atheism is the New Fundamentalism

I just finished watching this debate live online, and it was a lot of fun!

I had a bit of a hard time following the actual debate because I was also reading the #iq2atheism Twitter feed at the same time, but I’m going to post my brief take on the debate now, and when the recording of the debate is posted I’ll try to go into more detail. (follow me on Twitter @EnlightningLinZ)

The motion was “Atheism is the New Fundamentalism”.

Arguing for the motion: Richard Harries (former bishop of Oxford), and Charles Moore (former editor of the Daily Telegraph)

Arguing against: Professors Richard Dawkins and A C Grayling

The arguments for the motion were pathetic. They didn’t even argue for the motion. They didn’t define fundamentalism, nor did they provide examples to show why they think atheists are fundamentalists. Instead, it was just a run of ad hom attacks against Dawkins and atheists in general, as well as several uses of Godwin’s Law.

Grayling was a teddy bear, whose main point was that he was also a-pixie and a-father Christmas, but only needs to speak on his a-theism because of the influence of religion in the world. How is that fundamentalist?

Dawkins was, unless I missed it, the only one to actually define “fundamentalism”, and with his definition alone destroyed the motion. I can’t remember exactly what the definition he used was at this point (should have taken notes!), but I’ll be sure to talk about that in my follow-up post on the debate.

Dawkins made his case very effectively, but there were a couple of moments that stood out in the twitter feed.

One was his quoting of Vic Stenger: “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.”

The second was his response to the question “Are you saying that there may be a God?”…

Dawkins: “There may be a leprechaun.” Which prompted me to do this…

CreoZerg! PZ Myers and 285 Atheists Visit Creation Museum

Today PZ Myers and a whole lot of godless folks made a trek to Ken Ham’s Creation “Museum” in Kentucky and provided my entertainment for the day.

By following te #CreoZerg tag on Twitter those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be there in person got live updates…and the results were both hilarious and disturbing.

Dank Finke over at Camels With Hammers did a nice job of summarizing the best tweets and twitpics throughout the day, so I’ll just point you there.

The best part of today by far, though, was when PZ himself got atop the famous saddle-wearing triceratops (wearing his crockoduck tie and with squid in hand). I’ve made my own version of a “motivational poster” with the picture, in honour of the day:

Atheist Motivational Poster Creozerg PZ Myers


ETA: I’ve also posted some more in-depth thoughts here, and here‘s PZ Myers’s blog post about the day

Going to the Moon, 40 Years Later

Here’s something cool…

On July 20th, 1969, humans first set foot on the moon. Now you can follow what happened leading up to the mission via Twitter as if it were happening today.

Go to: https://twitter.com/ApolloPlus40

NeilArmstrong

[Follow me on Twitter @EnlightningLinZ]


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