Tuesday, May 20, 2008

UK Teen Cited For Calling Scientology a "Cult"

From Slashdot:
"A 15-year-old in the UK is facing prosecution for using the word 'cult' to describe the Church of Scientology at an anti-Scientology demonstration in London earlier this month. According to the City of London police at the scene, the teen was violating the Public Order Act, which 'prohibits signs which have representations or words which are threatening, abusive or insulting.' There's a video of the teen receiving the summons from the City of London police at the demonstration (starting about 1 munite in), and now he's asking for advice on how to handle the court case."

(full post)
What's wrong with this picture?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Starbucks' mermaid's makeover draws a response

Starbucks Corp. has a new more revealing logo of its trademark mermaid. The logo — which offers a more revealing look at the coffee chain's mermaid symbol and goes with brown instead of green as its color — is getting mixed reviews from marketing and public relations experts.

The logo features a bare-chested mermaid with her tail fin split in half. The previous green logo showed less of the mermaid.

The new logo is actually a nod to the coffee giant's past. When the Seattle-based coffee company was founded in 1971, its logo was of similar design. Since 1971, the logo has been gone through various alterations.

A Christian group in San Diego called The Resistance is offended by the new logo and wants consumers to boycott or complain to the Seattle-based coffee chain

(read full article)

Seriously - These self-appointed guardians of some twisted idea of morality need to just shut up. Can't they think of anything more important to do? Perhaps performing some public services that would have an actual benefit somewhere?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Einstein letter dismissing 'childish' religion sells for 200,000 pounds

From AP via HaAretz.com:

A letter in which Albert Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as "pretty childish" has sold at auction for more than 200,000 pounds ($400,000).

This extraordinary letter seemed to strike a chord, and it gave a deep personal insight one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, Powell said.

The letter was written to philosopher Eric Gutkind in January 1954, a year before Einstein's death. In it, the Einstein said that "the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

Einstein also said he saw nothing "chosen" about the Jews, and that they were no better than other peoples "although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power."

(full article)
Ummm. yup.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reality Check: Science has worked so well that superstition now reigns supreme

From SteverRobbins.com:

I grew up in the era of the Apollo moon launches. One of my earliest memories is traveling to Cape Canaveral and watching from the beach as one of the missions was launched towards the moon. It was pretty incredible.

Despite frequent moves and attending six schools between elementary school and college, science was in the air. I got a firm grounding in how to think critically, how to use data, and how to observe the physical world around me in pursuit of Doing Great Things. Whether my school was in a failing Pennsylvania steel town or in a full-on major city, science was present.

Science has given us great things. And therein lies the problem.

(full article)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sex, Drugs, and the Pope

From The Associated Press via CNN.COM:
Pope: Sex can become 'like a drug'

-- Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged Saturday that the Vatican's teaching against birth control was difficult as he praised a 1968 Church document that condemned contraception.

In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the document, Benedict reiterated the Church's ban against artificial birth control as well as more recent teaching against using artificial procreation methods.

(full story)

This from a man who has, ostensibly at least, never experienced sex, or presumably recreational drugs. Hmmm. What's wrong with this picture?