Don’t feed the trolls

Hey everyone, this is just a friendly reminder to not feed trolls in the comments.

I’m “privileged” to now be trolled by the infamous DM/Dennis Markuze/David Mabus/nostradamus/etc, a literally insane Canadian that is fond of leaving crazed rambling and death threats on atheist blogs. Between my honors thesis, classes, and clubs, I don’t have time to fiddle with a new comment moderation. So until I’m able to do that, please ignore him and I’ll continue to delete his comments. I don’t want threads getting derailed because you guys want to respond to him.

In other news…I dunno, consider this an open thread.

Don't feed the trolls

Hey everyone, this is just a friendly reminder to not feed trolls in the comments.

I’m “privileged” to now be trolled by the infamous DM/Dennis Markuze/David Mabus/nostradamus/etc, a literally insane Canadian that is fond of leaving crazed rambling and death threats on atheist blogs. Between my honors thesis, classes, and clubs, I don’t have time to fiddle with a new comment moderation. So until I’m able to do that, please ignore him and I’ll continue to delete his comments. I don’t want threads getting derailed because you guys want to respond to him.

In other news…I dunno, consider this an open thread.

Event at Purdue: Kicking the Christian Strawman

If you’re in the West Lafayette area, you may be interested in an event we’re holding next week!

Kicking the Christian Strawman: What Christians are really like
Talk and Q&A w/ Rev. Jon Weyer
Wed, March 31
6:00 pm in PHYS 223
Free, Open to public

Atheists spend so much time trying to get religious people to understand them, so now it’s time for us to learn a little more about Christianity. Jon has a lot of experience cooperating with atheist groups, so hopefully his talk will:
- Help us understand how Christians view the world
- Help us understand American Christianity
- Debunk stereotypes about Christianity & Christians

Rev. Jonathan Weyer is a campus minister with the CCO at The Ohio State University and an ordanied minister with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. At Ohio State, he started a group called “The Thomas Society” that seeks to honestly discuss questions about God, the nature of reality, and how people ought to live their lives. He has worked extensively with the Students for Freethought and SSA board member Ashley Paramore to create an atmosphere of cooperation and dialogue between Christians and Atheists at Ohio State. As a part of this work, they are taking service project trips to New Orleans over spring break, hosting joint group discussions, and events that including bringing Hemant Mehta to campus. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and three kids. To relax, he likes to write novels that scare people, sometimes intentionally. Jonathan also writes the blog for the Thomas Society

Sponsored by the Society of Non-Theists

I met Jon at the Secular Student Alliance conference last summer, and he is a wonderful guy who’s sure to give an interesting talk. And don’t worry, this isn’t some secret way for him to convert us all. At least, I don’t think so…hmmm

Popped my Star Wars cherry

I have a very important announcement to make.

I just watched Star Wars: A New Hope for the very first time. That’s right, ever. Previously I had only seen very small clips, though I knew the whole plot thanks to being surrounded by nerds. I also have never seen Episodes 5 and 6.

The worst part? I’ve seen the new trilogy.

Though the oddest part was that it was just sort of alright. I mean, some parts were funny, some parts were dated, and some parts were just terrible. I guess it’s different watching it without the childhood memories and attachment. Luke has effectively no reaction to seeing the horrifically charred bodies of the two people who raised him for eighteen years, but the spooky disintegration of Obi Wan leaves him screaming and upset? What the hell, Luke? You’ve known him for only a couple hours, and all he did was give you super vague advice about the Force!

Ok, I’m going to shut up now before I make you guys want to stone me even more. Will watch the other Episodes later!

Homeopathy: Now for vaginas too!

Phil over at Skeptic Money is always keeping his eye out for silly homeopathic scams. Now he’s “found one just for the ladies“:

There is now a “treatment” for a yeast infection. It is called Yeast Gard. It has no side effects. Actually, it has no effects. Here are the “active” ingredients: Candida albicans 28x, Candida parapsilosis 28x, Pulsatilla 28x. Since I had no idea what these things are – I had to look them up. You’re gonna love this…. (From Wikipedia)

Candida albicans is a diploid fungus (a form of yeast) and a causal agent of opportunistic oral and genital infections in humans.

Candida parapsilosis is a fungal species of the yeast family that has become a significant cause of sepsis and of wound and tissue infections in immuno-compromised patients.

The genus Pulsatilla includes about 30 species, many of which are valued for their finely-dissected leaves, solitary bell-shaped flowers, and plumed seed heads. The anthers are bright yellow and the purple bell consists of sepals.

Ah, that’s lovely. Add a bunch of gel with the “memory” of yeast (aka, a bunch of gel with nothing in it) to your vagina, and your yeast infection should clear up in a couple of days! Even though your yeast infection probably would have cleared up in a couple of days if you did nothing. Ah, scams, aren’t they lovely?

Though the thing I find most amusing is that whenever someone recommends a post or article to me (like this one), 90% of the time it’s about vaginas/penises/boobies/sex. Well, there’s usually some sort of skeptical bent to it, or it’s inane enough to need my commentary or debunking. You guys know me too well (I mean, look, I already had a “vagina” tag). Kind of love it that sex makes you think of me!

Interdisciplinary research (comic)

I love PHD Comics. Because even though I say I read it to prepare me for grad school, it’s already so much like my life. For example:Let’s see…

I work in the Ecological Genetics Laboratory but get paid by Genetics (and previously Howard Hughes). My Advisor is in Forestry and Natural Resources but my other Advisor is in Ecology. Officially, I’m part of Biology in Lilly Hall…even though my office* is in Pfendler Hall. Most of my classes are on molecular & cell biology, yet technically my degree is in Genetics and Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology. So basically, I belong in the Biology Borg Collective.

Okay, I guess that’s not too insane. But seriously, I’ve taken two advanced genetics classes and a tiny seminar class, and that’s good enough for a degree in Genetics. That’s kind of terrifying. Less microbiology, more genetics!

*Office = lab bench space that I have guarded dearly for three years and damnit who keeps moving my pipettemen and tiny tubes and tube opener?! *hoard hoard hoard*

I need your help!

At tomorrow’s biweekly club meeting we’re playing Creationist Bingo. It should be hilarious fun. Does anyone have suggestions for hilarious creationist youtube videos we can show of actual creationists parroting the same idiotic tripe over and over? Real creationists, not people spoofing them. I’m sure it’s not hard to find, but I’m busy with school right now. Go check out the Creationist Bingo card to get an idea of what we’re looking for (it shouldn’t be hard, though).

Dating tips for the 1938 woman

This is too good not to share. PBH3 has found an 1938 Dating Guide for single women, and it’s a goldmine of unintentional hilarity. Here’s an example of one of the tips:
Pssshhh, who cares about women’s interests! All they do is talk about clothes anyway!

Go check it out. If it doesn’t make you laugh, it’ll at least make you thankful for how far we’ve come. If I had to live up to 1938 dating standards, I think I would end up being a lonely cat lady. I mean, how do they expect women do get through the night without passing out from drinking too much?!?

James Randi = Dumbledore

The atheist blogosphere is overflowing with coverage about the news that James Randi has come out as gay. Like everyone else, I want to congratulate him on being brave enough to make this public. It’s a bit sad that he had to wait until he was 81 to do so, but I think that really shows the progress that’s being made for LGBT people.

But that’s all been said before. I have something much more important to say.

James Randi totally is Dumbledore1. Both are known for their awesome magic skills
2. Kickass white beards. ‘Nuff said
3. Wise, old men that many people respect
4. In charge of movements against stupidity/lies/evil
5. Excessive amount of middle names: “Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore” and “Randall James Hamilton Zwinge”
6. Both have a younger brother and younger sister
7. Gay

If only I knew if Randi had a fondness for sweets or enjoyed a good pair of socks…

My Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa stories

This is a question from formspring.me. Go ask me something!

OK so we are covered on the god side, but when/how did you figure out the more realistic things like Santa™ and the tooth fairy? And sorry of we are taking away FF time. This is kind of entertaining though.

Even though I’m a life-long atheist, I did believe in Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny. But since my dad instilled a good sense of skepticism in me, those beliefs didn’t last very long.

I loved the Easter bunny when I was little. I’m half Greek, so we usually celebrated two Easters – one for the American side of the family, and the other for the Greek side. They were usually a week or two apart, which meant I got double the Easter bunny action. There’s nothing better than looking for eggs and eating a ton of chocolate.

And when I was very little, I sincerely believed in him. I remember once when I was probably six or so, I was playing upstairs in my room while all the grown ups talked downstairs. The doorbell rang, but I ignored it since I wasn’t allowed to answer the door. Then about ten minutes later someone came up to told me the Easter bunny came, but I missed him since I was playing.

I was pissed. Why wouldn’t they tell me?! Why wouldn’t they ask him to wait?!? Could we see if he was visiting any of the houses nearby?!?! Of course I got a lot of BS answers about how little kids weren’t supposed to see him, how I shouldn’t worry about that and just go look for the eggs… But that started the seed of doubt in my mind. By the next year I was convinced one of my family members had rang the doorbell, and it was all an act. But since I still received lots of chocolate, I didn’t really care all that much.

Everything else started to seem suspicious after that. Wasn’t it interesting how the tooth fairy only knew I had lost a tooth if I told my parents about it? That one I didn’t ask about, since I liked receiving money under my pillow (I was skeptical, not stupid). Santa was the same way. How could he get to all the houses in the world in one night? Or more importantly, why was his handwriting on the presents the same as my mom’s?

My mom’s reply? “Do you want presents or not?”

She’s not exactly the best encourager of skeptical thinking, but I did want presents. We kept up the act for a while, eventually with me thanking “Santa” while winking at my mom.

My experiences are one of the reasons I think it’s important for atheist families to keep perpetuating the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny myths. By learning to work through those myths, your kids will gain a set of skeptical thinking tools that they can apply to other parts of their life. By the time someone was telling me about Jesus rising from the dead, it was so ludicrous that I couldn’t believe anyone actually believed it. Thank you, Santa!

PS: And no, you’re not taking away from Final Fantasy time. I’m just doing this inbetween grinding. Much…get…ultimate weapons…