Monday, December 31, 2007

If you fly you should read this

The Airport Security Follies

And let me just add that when we fly (here in Europe) with our almost 2 year old daughter the liquid rules do not apply.
Last April we had a 2 liter bottle of water and a 50cl bottle of Coca Cola with us and passed 3 checks without problems, and a feeding bottle with white milk powder, just the line "it's for the baby" was enough to pass.  Only on the last leg of our flight I had to take a drink from the water bottle.

This is just so true:

The three-ounce container rule is silly enough — after all, what's to stop somebody from carrying several small bottles each full of the same substance — but consider for a moment the hypocrisy of T.S.A.'s confiscation policy. At every concourse checkpoint you'll see a bin or barrel brimming with contraband containers taken from passengers for having exceeded the volume limit. Now, the assumption has to be that the materials in those containers are potentially hazardous. If not, why were they seized in the first place? But if so, why are they dumped unceremoniously into the trash? They are not quarantined or handed over to the bomb squad; they are simply thrown away. The agency seems to be saying that it knows these things are harmless. But it's going to steal them anyway, and either you accept it or you don't fly.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The New Atheist Movement

How shameful, notice when Voss speaks about the 80-85% of theists that they show only people doing charity (no high rolling evangelical TV minister or molesting priests).
Also, that professional Christian Turner guy says that his belief is rational and can withstand questions but apparently the answer to losing their flock in college is not showing that rational belief to these college students, no no, they want the indoctrination to start younger.
Oh, and the fact that the judeo-christian society is tolerant to atheism and to different faiths is because of the Enlightenment and that people saw that letting religion make the rules is VERY dangerous.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cosmic Zoom

Morgan Freeman's voice is just perfect.
The clip has a real Carl Sagan feel.

If you really think that what is at or beyond that "unknown" border has any influence on us or our planet or even our solar system then I say you're truly deluded.

The whole film (Cosmic Voyage 36min) can be seen here:

Monday, December 24, 2007

People are always saying

That it's difficult to buy me things because (they think) I have everything.

This site has plenty of excellent suggestions:

And I have surprisingly little of what is shown.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In onze maatschappij

hoort dit niet

God niet thuis in apotheek

Die man zijn apotheker licentie moet afgenomen worden, we moeten daar nu als maatschappij een punt van maken.
Als dat nu getolereerd word dan vrees ik dat het hier erg gaat worden wanneer de moslim dokters/apothekers eraan komen, als die dan gaan zeggen dat ze geen ongesluierde (of zelfs helemaal geen) vrouwen willen bedienen dan zou het pas hypocriet zijn van te zeggen dat ze daarvoor ook niet kunnen doorverwijzen.

In onze maatschappij moeten sommige beroepen seculier van aard zijn en buiten de levensbeschouwing van degene die ze beoefend staan, indien iemand daar niet mee kan leven dan moet hij een ander beroep kiezen.

I can only hope for the same

It's the 1 year anniversary of the essay.

All I can say is what a wonderful child, do read the comments on the original post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wanna see a movie?

An award winning movie that certain religious organizations do not want you to see ...

Here's part 1

Heart of the Beholder

All parts have been arranged in small clips and are legally free to watch over the internet.
Here's the intro that explains it all:

HOTB-BTS-00 Web Theater Introduction - Click here for the most popular videos

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gonna have fun with this :-)

This really puts the right frame around YouTube clips ;-)

The truth about the catholic church

Pope Ratzi...Bennie...whatever

When he feels the need to speak he should really physically put his foot in it!
I've hinted about his latest ramblings but it's too much for me to write at length about it, and others have done so much better.
These posts (and comments) convey my thoughts pretty well (and I like the cartoon in the first :-) ):

That's right. We can't guarantee it as centuries of atrocities have shown. We are on our own and it is up to us to make the world a better place. If we succeed, the power that will "cease to dominate the world" will be morally bankrupt frauds like Joe Ratzinger.

But, because I don't believe, and because the Pope and many of his fans are apparently incapable of the same sort of reciprocal empathy, when the guy tries to turn to moral philosophy and contest with the reality of atheism, the result is a childish mess of logical fallacy and clumsy slander.

Another post on why poopie Ratzi is just plain wrong and imho even consciously lying:

I personally believe that our morals come from our personal emotions, our parents, our society, and our experiences - but I don't have to justify that right now. All I am saying is that you are just as arbitrary in choosing your system of beliefs as an atheist. Stop pretending otherwise.

(There. Now I can just link to this post each time I hear this stupid, stupid argument.)

PS. the pope can name himself anything he wants but he started out as Ratzinger and that is just too good a name to use, nobody (outside of Poland) remembers JP's real name (Karol Józef Wojtyla) 'cause he did have at least some good qualities and as a person has earned at least that bit of respect (had he not been indoctrinated I personally believe that he could have been a truly great person) but Ratzi has done absolutely nothing right and is rightly going to go down in history as Ratzi.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shooting investigation

Security guard who stopped shooter credits God

The police inspector would like witnesses who might have seen this God to come forward.

The shooter appears to have been killed by Jeanne Assam, a church security guard with law enforcement experience.
Other testimony by Assam where she states that she fired her own weapon at the invader and stopped his attack, a version of events that currently seems to be backed up by all available evidence, contradicts her statements that God did it or had anything to do with shooting the assailant.

When questioned for a description and whereabouts of God, Assam said that everybody knew him and that he was everywhere but consistent physical descriptions seemed impossible.  Apparently his main residence is the church but a quick search of the premises turned up nothing.

Also the exact involvement of (Mr.?) God is very conflicting, according to witnesses he seems to have been at multiple places at the same time and was involved in changing certain events in completely undetectable and natural ways, among other actions he supposedly changing bullet trajectory to exactly how the bullet would have traveled without God's intervention or providing cover for people who were already out of the gunman's sight.  The main activity of this God character however seems to have been emotional support into accepting events as they unfolded, police are thinking about maybe somebody with experience as a motivational speaker.

In further investigation it has come to the attention of the police that the shooter may have also credited God with some part in his actions, this together with the apparent fact that God seems to have witnessed almost all of the action first hand it should be obvious that it is imperative for this God to come forward and give his version of the events.  Some witnesses also mention a Mr. Spirit Holy but it seems that he was teacher who taught people how to deal with these kinds of situation and was not actually physically there.
Police say that God can give anonymous testimony should he so wish but still urge him to come forward.

update: God's guidance not so accurate

satire end

My condolences to the friends and family of the victims and even to the friends and family of the gunman who will face a lot of hardship and isolation over something for which they had little or no control.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I was not expecting that

And I'm such a genius that I would have removed the dumb spam in the embed code when you get your blog tested even if I was not warned about it :)

(it seems like a reverse kinda scale, the "way above my level" Pharyngula blog is Junior level?!!??)

Wouldn't want to experience that!

Interesting video, I've done my share of flying, obviously I never saw anything like that. Never saw that St-Elmo's fire the pilots talked about either, would be interesting to see.
Anyway, not going to spoil the ending but at the beginning it also shows another reason why smoking on a plane is just plain wrong and the decision to make it illegal was correct.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Could I do it better

I was just thinking, suppose there was a way to be pope for a day or even better to control/direct the current pope, would it be possible to make a positive impact?

I would start by declaring certain things are to be reviewed, that some things are not as sure as I thought they were in the past.  I would go on to state that anything supposedly said or revealed to me or my predecessors by god probably were just fantasy, all miracles probably were either natural phenomenons or again fantasy ( if it were real I could dress it up a little not saying fantasy but brain processes and explaining scientifically tested processes which can occur naturally by which people can have such experiences, but I wanna move along )
Anything said that was not supported by the scientific community or stacks of real evidences would have to regarded as just opinion of another normal human being.
Heaven and hell most likely do not exist. ( I wanna say do not exist but if the pope said that no one (except the atheists) would listen anymore so my stance would have to be softened a little)
Positions on or actions taken for god or actions by god or commands of god were in effect just the conclusions of this normal human based on the writings and conclusions of other human beings.  In that respect I would also declare the bible as just another book, it should in no way be seen as a rulebook, it contains contradictory, inhuman and cruel passages and could not in anyway be written or inspired by god, it should also not be regarded as a history book, it is literary, old literary but nothing more.
Morals are an evolutionary byproduct not fully understood by science yet but understood enough to know that they do not come from a supernatural source, animals show moral behavior very similar to humans, moral change with society and should be evaluated from time to time, non religious morals are perfectly possible and are generally a lot better than dogmatic morals especially those that come from old books that were written in very different societies.
I would apologize for ALL the bad (inhuman things) done in my and my religion's name, including but not limited to pedophile priests, anti homosexual stance, anti birth control stance (condom and other birth control), anti abortion stance, any wrong decisions made during WWII, anti science stance, child indoctrination and I would start a process by which funds and resources would be directed towards causes that actively help those that are affected by those bad decisions.
I would applaud and encourage those that do good in the name of the catholic religion but remind them that it is them as humans that are doing the work and that they should remember that they are helping other humans not souls, those humans can be saved without the need to add religious baggage to that aid.
I would convert the vatican into a (free!) "museum of the catholic religion" where all the aspects are clearly exposed.

I would declare all churches as free venues for lectures or as refuge for the downtrodden, catholic schools would have to scrap catholic education and instead teach religious education where all religions and secular ways of life are discussed, this would not be a class with exams but a compulsory class where open discussion would be welcome and encouraged.

At that point the Swiss guard probably kicks in the doors to the office and cuts the transmission after which I am not seen again only as a CGI animation where I denounce everything and appoint the next pope.

Obviously it would not completely remove catholicism, a large part of them are so far into it that nothing could change their mind, but a lot of people would see that a different non religious or at least non dogmatic path is possible where they did not see it before and certain things could not be removed, I think such a move by the pope would make the world a little better, a little more tolerant.

Interesting site

(It is available in 3 languages, look on the right side)

It's not as fun as the commentary on the Skeptic's annotated bible which also has the quoran and the book of mormon
But it's a fast site and gives an interface for a good comparison of the 2 books.
It is interesting when searching for the common words, the bible has a lot more to say about:
sex, murder, kill(ing), slaves, sleeping with (sleep with) ...
ok, the same goes for
generous, love, kindness, laugh, family
(though the differences are less pronounced, like 138 vs 18 for kindness and 1115 vs 10 for kill for example)

Anyway, like I said interesting site, the more people know about the actual details of their faith the better (I think, they can't all be raving lunatics ;-) )

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christians join the War on Christmas

Yup they're serious!

Poopie Bennie spreekt

Poopie Bennie heeft weer gesproken eerst de geschiedenis ontkennen en alles afschuiven op atheisten.
Pffft, we weten al lang dat liegen makkelijk is voor iemand die ineens weet dat limbo niet bestaat en de letterlijke hel wel.

Maar dit heeft meer invloed op mij:
Katholieke school moet katholieker

In België zijn een groot deel van de scholen katholiek, meer dan er gemeenschaps scholen zijn en soms is het zelfs gewoon niet mogelijk om je kind naar een vrije school in de buurt te sturen.  Ik vind het nogal hypocriet van die scholen katholiek te blijven noemen want er word in sommige ook moslim leg gegeven en die scholen krijgen evenveel of meer subsidie van de staat dan gemeenschaps scholen maar het systeem werkt redelijk iedereen is welkom en behalve een onnozel godsdienstlesje zijn ze hetzelfde (geen kreationistische zever of zo)
Dus hoewel ik zelf steeds zou ijveren om naar een niet katholieke school te gaan (zelfs al is het minder praktisch) gaat mijn dochter waarschijnlijk naar een katholieke school beginnen gaan tot ze zelf kan beslissen om thuis de vrede met mijn katholieke vrouw wat te bewaren ;-)

MAAR als ze ook maar een beetje veranderen hoop ik dat alle subsidie onmiddellijk ingetrokken word en hoop ik dat ik mijn vrouw zal kunnen overtuigen om onze dochter niet naar zo een school te sturen of zal ik actief de schade die zo een school aanricht moeten rechtzetten en dat zou niet bevorderlijk zijn voor de huiselijke situatie.

Op het eerste zicht lijkt het wel zo dat die pauselijke teksten in België stilletjes onder de mat geschoven worden (hypocrisie is natuurlijk ook makkelijk voor katholieken)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

If ever NASA needed money

Testing sex in space

They could release those video's I'm sure they'd bring in tons of cash ;-)