Please take a moment to acknowledge the incredible Apollo 11 mission and all the work and effort and thought and cooperation that went into possibly the greatest achievement of humankind.
1) Having a title track on a self-titled album. It leads to sentences like the following: “My favorite song off God Help the Girl’s God Help the Girl is ‘God Help the Girl.’”
It’s a great song, it’s a fine album, but it’s a terrible idea.
Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859 on what would eventually be my birthday. Darwin died in 1882. That means that no matter how you slice it, On the Origin of Species is now in the public domain. I think our copyright laws are absurdly corporate-loving and restrictive, but at the moment I can’t help but wish things stayed out of the public domain a bit longer.
Young-Earth creationists Kirk Cameron (”star” of the Left Behind films) and Ray Comfort, both of Living Waters Publications, have released an abridged version of Darwin’s work. They don’t specify what’s been taken out, besides “On the” from the title; their version is called Origin of Species. There’s actually no hint of their involvement on the book itself, it’s simply called the “150th Anniversary Edition.”
In addition to the abridged Origin, the book apparently contains the Gospels and a 50-page introduction that, in their own words, “reveals the dangerous fruit of evolution, Hitler’s undeniable connections to the theory, Darwin’s racism, and his disdain for women.” I’m not sure what Hitler’s undeniable connections are; Adolf was born thirty years after Origin was published and seven years after Darwin died. Whatever their argument turns out to be, it’s pretty impossible to blame Hitler for evolutionary theory, no matter how hard Ben Stein tried.
Was Darwin a racist and misogynist? Maybe, I’m not sure (though he did make a donation to a Cambridge school for women in science). If so, it would have no effect on the truth or falsehood of his theories, of course. James Watson has made racist and misogynist comments, has admitted to discriminating against the overweight and obese and was described by biologist E. O. Wilson as “the most unpleasant human being I had ever met,” but none of that has changed the fact that DNA has a double-helix structure.
Living Waters also says the book “counters the claim that creationists are ‘anti-science’ by citing numerous scientists who believed that God created the universe—scientists such as Einstein, Newton, Copernicus, Bacon, Faraday, Pasteur, and Kepler.” This returns us to the fundamental idiocy of most creationist arguments, that it is somehow impossible to both believe that God created the universe and accept evolution. The idiocy persists despite the fact that the number of people who do accept both outnumbers the number of young-Earth creationists; it is, for instance, the stated belief of the Catholic Church.
They bring the idiocy up even further by citing the specific scientists they cite. Of the seven named, four were dead before Origin was published. Faraday was 68 when it was published, died less than eight years later and was involved in physics and electrochemistry, not biology. Pasteur was actually quoted as having said “nature, in her evolution down the ages (an evolution which, as we now know, has been going on for millions, nay, hundreds of millions of years)…” which would imply he thought the Earth to be much older than 6000 years. Einstein (of all people to quote!) was a physicist, not a biologist. Oh, and he said, “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” There’s a ringing endorsement of Living Waters’ beliefs.
Their goal, apparently, is “to get one million copies into the hands of students and professors in colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Let’s see if they try to ban Darwin’s Origin of Species. That would be interesting.” To do so, they’re selling the book at 99 cents per copy. I doubt anybody will try to ban Darwin’s Origin, though if you count “not buying” as “banning,” Cameron and Comfort’s Origin may not be so lucky.
As a funny footnote, the only quote they have on the page comes from biologist and noted anti-creationist PZ Myers, who says, “It’s like a book with multiple personality disorder — two parts that absolutely hate each other; an intro that is the inane product of one of the most stupid minds of our century, and a science text that is the product of one of the greatest minds of the author’s century.” Hear, hear.
They insist on referring to themselves as “pro-life.”
They object viciously to even the insinuation that they, or those who think like them, could be “right-wing extremists,” let alone “domestic terrorists.”
This morning, one of them assassinated Dr. George Tiller inside his church for the crime of performing legal abortions.
But, remember, they’re “pro-life,” not “domestic terrorists.” Not even when they perform acts of domestic terror.
BuzzFree Prom is an organization in Texas that promotes substance-free high school proms through posters, stickers, buttons and that old standby, getting students to sign pledges. Because pledges worked so well in preventing teen sex, of course, why not try them with alcohol?
I’d like to say up front that I obviously don’t approve of irresponsible underage drinking or of drinking and driving. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to convince people not to do so. BuzzFree has created a poster that is very much the wrong way:
I know it’s not particularly easy to read, but the slogan says, “Go from prom king to queen in three shots or less.” On the left, a man’s prom suit; on the right, a Dallas County inmate’s jumpsuit with an assortment of pink flowers where the lapels would be.
First of all, the poster makes light of prison rape — from “king” to “queen,” get it?! — and seems to consider it a humorously inevitable outcome of committing a crime. If you go to prison, someone’ll make you his bitch! And that will be not just acceptable to us, but something to laugh about, because you obviously deserve it, being a criminal and all. It’s not like there’s any other way for you to see the errors of your past.
Second of all, “queen” is a pejorative term, particularly for straight people to be using, particularly in this circumstance. You don’t want to be turned into a queen, do you? It’s also pretty damn sexist in context: the prom queen is being equated with the prison bitch and thereby placed in the “dominated” role. Misogynistic and homophobic in five letters, impressive!
Third, the implication is that being a victim of male-on-male rape will feminize you (why? does male-on-female rape feminize its victims?) and turn you into a homosexual. From prom king, manly, proud, strong and desirable, to queen, effeminate, ashamed and victimized. Remember, it doesn’t matter how little you want it to happen or even if it’s rape, man-on-man sexual contact automatically makes you gay, no takebacks, might as well brand your forehead with a G. Those guys who get raped in prison? They’re just fags, man. Probably wanted it! Nobody could rape me, after all!
Fourth, obviously, is the unspoken sentiment that being gay is something to be avoided at all costs. Don’t drink at the prom, or it’ll increase your risk of homosexuality! Imagine what people will think if you were raped and became gay! Do you really want to chance it?
Keep in mind this campaign is targeted at high school kids, people who should be taught not to think like this, not to think prison rape is funny, not to be sexist or homophobic. This is an impressive way to fail in your responsibility to your children, Texas. I’d offer you a gold star, but, you know, they’re kind of shiny and glittery and we wouldn’t want anybody getting the wrong idea.
I first learned of Nick Swisher through Moneyball, one of my favorite baseball books, and really, there’s nothing not to like about him. As a baseball player, he hits for good power, takes a ton of walks, sees a lot of pitches and is pretty good defensively. He’s also versatile, with at least 100 games played at all three outfield spots and first base. As a Moneyball character, he was that rare player whose skills were touted by both scouts and statisticians. As a human being, he’s just fun.
When the Yankees traded for Swisher, they praised his versatility, but I don’t believe they realized how far it would go. Because on Monday night, for the first time, he became a Major League pitcher.
(AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
The game did not go well for the Yankees; they lost 15-5 and Swisher, who came in to save the other relievers from overwork, was the only pitcher to not give up a run. In a game like that, it doesn’t hurt to have a laugh or two, if for nothing else for the sake of preserving your sanity. Swisher delivered. He shook off a sign from catcher Jose Molina, who wasn’t offering any signs. He experimented with a three-quarter and a sidearm delivery, the latter of which almost took out Pat Burrell’s ankles. Without topping 80mph, he somehow struck out ex-retiree Gabe Kapler, then asked for the ball and rolled it to the dugout as a souvenir.
It was one game in a season of 162. Eventually, you’re going to have a game you lose by 10, and usually all you can do is learn from it and come back stronger the next day. Swisher did his best to make sure there was at least one thing to smile about as well.
Some video of Swisher’s pitching can be found at mlb.com.
To whom it may concern,
I was profoundly disappointed to learn today that Amazon has been stripping LGBTQ-friendly literature from its listed sales rankings. Apparently, it was done under the pretense of “exclud[ing] ‘adult’ material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists;” as Playboy’s Complete Centerfolds and a work entitled Hot Cougar Sex: Steamy Encounters With Younger Men kept their ranks, it is unclear what, exactly, is meant by “adult.” However, perusing the lists of books that had their sales ranks removed (and, perhaps more tellingly, those books that did not) indicates a clear and disquieting bias toward the LGBTQ community.
Lisa Iannucci’s (non-explicit) biography of Ellen DeGeneres had its rank pulled, while the autobiography of Traci Lords and the (explicit) autobiography of Ron Jeremy have not been affected. Heather Has Two Mommies is not merely “non-explicit,” it is a children’s book, but it was removed from the sales rankings nonetheless. Lesbian pregnancy is apparently “adult” material by its very nature, as every related book has been affected by the policy, while somehow A Parent’s Guide To Preventing Homosexuality and Can Homosexuality Be Healed? have kept their ranks.
And it seems absurd to have to say this, but Kate Bornstein’s Hello Cruel World, a book intended to give at-risk teenagers alternatives to suicide, had its sales rank stripped, either because Kate Bornstein is transsexual or because some of those teenagers may not be heterosexual.
Regardless of the stated reason for this, it is at the very best a biased and improperly-applied standard; at worst, it is censorship. I do not intend to purchase from Amazon until this matter is resolved.
Last night, Nick Adenhart made his 2009 debut by pitching the game Angels fans were hoping to see from him. The Angels fell to the As 6-4, but Adenhart allowed no runs on seven hits over six innings and struck out five.
It was a good start for the rookie John Sickels ranked as the Angels’ fourth-best prospect coming into the season. MLB.com also listed Adenhart as the thirty-fifth-best prospect in all of baseball. With a resume like that, you’d hope to see the player in the Angels’ rotation for a long time to come.
However, just a couple of hours after the game ended, Nick Adenhart and two others in his car were killed in a hit-and-run in Fullerton.
Adenhart was 22. Rest in peace.
This puts a little smile on my face. From Wednesday, the top albums on iTunes:
And just in case you thought that might be a fluke, here’s another screenshot I took just now:
It’s good to see such a great band increasing in popularity, and the album is well worthy of success as well.
…of these “Pepsi Max: diet cola for men” commercials?
Speaking as a man, I’ve been perfectly happy with plain old Diet Pepsi for a good, long while now. Does that make me a woman or just, say, gay in Pepsi’s eyes? Likewise, do women who enjoy Pepsi Max have to come to terms with being lesbians or just bisexual? What’s the sexual calculus here?