Sunday, January 30, 2011

Honest Movie Posters

The British website theshiznit has edited the posters for the Best Picture Nominees making them more accurate. Check out their website for the other nine, plus a couple honorable mentions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is a New Atheist?

From Pharyngula:
I've told people this many times. The Gnu Atheism is a positive movement that emphasizes the truth of a claim as paramount; it is our number one value. This is why you're finding so many scientists who consider themselves in this movement — it's because that's how we're trained to think about hypotheses. Also, because there are many scientists and philosophers behind this idea, I should also emphasize that we're also well aware that "truth" is not some magic absolute, but something we can only approach by trial and error, and that truth is something you have to work towards, not simply accept dogmatically as given by some unquestionable source…which is another difference between us and religion. A scientific truth is more complex than a colloquial truth, it's requirements being that it is free of contradiction with logic and reality and supported by reason and evidence.

Kids Nowadays

The other day, I was in the deli buying milk and detergent for K. As I got to the front of the line, a little kid about eight or nine elbowed past me. He placed his candy bar on the counter and started asking for something else. Annoyed, I said, "Hey Kid, why don't you try waiting in line. You know, try a little courtesy."

He replied, "Why don't you go fuck yourself."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lesson of the Day: Do Not Park Next to Puddles When It's Freezing Out

With steam pipes, electrical doodads, and whatever else might be underground, some streets have warm spots that melt any snow. If one of these warm spots happens to be at a pot hole, really big puddles can form. If, in your travels, you come across one of these puddles, do not park your car next to it. The results can be catastrophic.

A tow truck can't get this unstuck without doing some serious damage. The forecast calls for above freezing temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, but then another week of freezing weather. This unfortunate driver may be stuck for quite awhile. Bummer.

America Vs Europe

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm Having a Lousy Day

Well, the last couple of days, actually.

Yesterday I showed up at the garage and was pleased when the dispatcher gave me a brand new cab. So new, that I was to take it out on its shift. Always a rare treat to drive such a new cab. It's clean, has the new car smell, tips are higher, and most importantly, the suspension is golden. New York is called Pot Hole City for a reason. The streets are truly dismal, and the suspension is always the first thing to go in cabs.

But, it was not to be; the meter was broken. The damned thing wouldn't let me log in. The mechanics couldn't fix it quickly, so the dispatcher gave me a standby vehicle. One with 80,000 miles, a sour smell, and a broken cup holder. But, the meter worked. So it goes.

Today, I get to the garage, and the dispatcher gave me a different brand new cab. I wasn't too pleased today, because snow is in the forecast for tonight, and I don't want to be the guy to put the first dent in a new cab. But, whatever, I would be careful as always.

I was kind of annoyed to find that this new beauty needed a bit of a cleaning. One of the mechanics left the remains of his McDonald's breakfast on the floor. And, it also needed gas. Rush hour is the most important part of the day for a night, and I didn't want to lose fifteen minutes doing someone else's job. But, whatever.

On the way to get gas, the meter started flickering and beeping, a sign that something was wrong. So, I took it back to the garage, and I waited as the mechanic fixed it. It was a quick repair, so I didn't get a standby this time.

I got into the city and picked up my first passenger, a lady going to the Upper West Side. Halfway there she asked why the meter was so high. I checked and was shocked to see that it was $18.50, a good five bucks higher than it should have been. The damn thing was running fast. I explained the problem to my fare and told her to pay what she thought was fair.

After dropping her, I had no choice but go off duty and return to the garage. My garage is in Brooklyn, and it is a good 45 minute trip from the Upper West Side during rush hour.

The dispatcher gave me another standby vehicle, this one with 93,000 miles.

My day is shot, and I'll be lucky to make $75 today.

But, at least I don't have to worry about putting a dent in a new cab during a snowstorm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ooooh, Look! Sarah Palin Has an Anthem, Too

Looks to me as if both these singers are eligible for Social Security and gov'mint sponsored health care. But, I'm sure that these two are patriotic, god-lovin' teabaggers and that they refuse such welfare.

via Barefoot & Progressive

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The It Gets Better Project Now Has an Anthem

I've mentioned Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project a few times before (here, here, and here), and now the project has am anthem. Rebecca Drysdale wrote this song and made a video with about fifty friends. When I first heard it on Dan's podcast, I reminded me of Lady Gaga, though Ms Drysdale is not quite as couturishly challenged as Gaga. The song is available on iTunes, and I suspect it's going to become a big hit in the gay dance clubs.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Insurrection Timeline

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has posted an "Insurrection Timeline" on their website which "...catalogues incidents of insurrectionist violence (or the promotion of such violence) that have occurred..." It is a chilling read. And, a very long read. It will take awhile to read through all of the incidences of hate, violence and fear-mongering that our nation has seen in the past few years. But, read it. It's important.

Question from Michael Moore

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Total Psycho Nutjob Kills Six People Attempting to Assassinate a United States Congresswoman and the New York Daily News Has THIS on Their Front Page?

Keith Olbermann Says It Best

Some context for Olbermann's remarks. First, Palin's notorious target ad earlier this year. Notice how one of the twenty targets is aimed at Rep. Gifford.

Palin's famous "Reload" tweet:

And, this is an event announcement for Jesse Kelly, Rep. Gifford's challenger in the past election. Sounds kinda bloodthirsty, no?

Glenn Beck in just a sample of his daily rants:

The jackass Senator from Kentucky gave a speech at a 2nd Amendment rally last year. The people hosting the rally are scary as hell.

Of course, the teabaggers, knowing that blame is deserved, were quick to politicize the shooting by demanding that liberals not politicize it.

The right wingnuts are tripping over themselves claiming that the shooter was a liberal based on a series of tweets from a former classmate of his.

But, she saw him last in 2007, when Bush was President. I suspect that the man was more anti-government than either liberal or conservative. He was plain nuts, and was just waiting for a spark to set him off.

I suspect that the violent rhetoric from the far right was the spark that helped push him over the edge.

Hat tips to: Pharyngula, Joe.My.God., Barefoot & Progressive, WorldNutsDaily Tuscon Weekly,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

God's Cure for Loneliness

The verses referred to say (New International Version)
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
via irReligion

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Would Jesus Not Do?

GoodlessGirl has a post of her top eleven atheist and skeptic YouTubers. Many I have watched before, but a few were new for me.  My favorite:

Boy, 13, Arrested for Fondling Girl, 12

But, the kicker is that the groping was consensual. The boy was arrested because the girl is too young to consent, but isn't the boy also? A quick googling shows that the age of consent in Pennsylvania to be 16. If the girl cannot consent to being groped, how can the boy consent to groping?

This is an example of the horrible and disgusting double standard that exists in America. The view is that the boys are the predators, and the girls must be protected from them. Despite the view of some, not all men are predators. I will even go so far as to claim with absolutely no research whatsoever that the vast majority of men are not predators.

Children, like adults, are sexual beings. And, that includes girls. Parents, and society, may feel uncomfortable with this fact, but it is undeniable.  Puberty is the long, often painful process of turning children into adults, and a big part of that process is the awakening of sexual desires. Both girls and boys have these desires, and wanting to act on these desires is normal and natural.

In some ways, children should feel free to act on these desires, such as masturbation. Other acts should wait until the child is older, perhaps college age, perhaps married, according to some. But, kids do not always wait, and some start fooling around rather young. Criminalizing such play is not helpful, necessary, or right. And, arresting only the boy is frightfully sexist.

Before I am accused of denying my male privilege, let me state that I am well aware of the differences in social pressures on girls and boys. With slut-shaming, sexual harassment, abstinence only education, gender role expectations, and general stereotyping, pressures are tough on middle school kids. Sexism is still alive and well in our society.

Arresting this boy, though, will not help matters. It only reinforces our current problems.

[via Savage Love]

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In Case You Have Nine Minutes to Spare

I frequently see Tim Minchin clips in various atheist blogs, and I never watched them before.  I am not a big music fan, and I often find it difficult to pay attention to the lyrics, so I've never bothered.  But today, Dan Savage posted a clip in his response to The Letter of the Day, and I played it.  Funny stuff.

So, I headed over to YouTube, and checked out Mr. Minchin's channel. This is my favorite, which actually isn't posted in his channel.  His video is audio only for some reason.  Perhaps he was having a bad hair day.  But, somebody posted a live clip elsewhere, with Polish subtitles, which is good in case I have any Polish readers.