Alien vs. Wizards, directed by my subconscious

I feel lucky that I frequently have very vivid, detailed dreams, sometimes to the point that I can lucid dream. The other night I had a particularly amazing one:

I was trying to survive an alien invasion, darting from place to place to find a safe spot to hunker down. During that process, I was somehow able to arm myself. In my left hand I wielded a plasma pistol from X-Com, and in the right I had a Harry Potter wand. As I shot aliens with my left, I cast spells with my right. And yes, I mean Dream Jen was actually casting legitimate Harry Potter spells. Most of the time I was screaming Protego to create a barrier to reflect incoming laser beams, and when I had a chance to go on the offense I used Incendio to set the aliens on fire. Mostly because Dream Jen couldn’t remember any other spells (in retrospect, it’s amazing I remembered any in a freaking dream). When I shouted to Dream Boyfriend (who was also shooting plasma at aliens) to help me remember other spell names, he reminded me he wasn’t a Harry Potter fanatic like me and how the hell should he know any names. When things started getting hairy, I Avada Kedavra’d as many aliens as I could, while explaining that in this case using the worst Unforgivable Curse was morally justifiable because COME ON ALIEN INVASION.

I then tweeted this dream. Someone chimed in that my brain was pitching an idea for a film. I dubbed it Alien vs. Wizards and declared it should be made.

Twitter delivered. My dream had been retroactively fulfilled: apparently the BBC already has a TV series called Wizards vs. Aliens.

Sometimes the world is a wonderful place. A wonderful place where we wonder what would happen if wizards had to fight off alien invasions.

I’ve figured out why the Vatican hoards its wealth!

St. Peter’s Basilica is not actually named that because of its architecture, but for the Basilisk living beneath it! Lore tells of Basilisks converting various substances into gold, which explains the Vatican’s enormous wealth!! It also explains why they’re so reluctant to give the wealth away, because the evil Basilisk will turn the Pope into stone as revenge!!!! Quick, we need to find a wizard and a goblin forged blade!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait. I think I’m crossing my mythologies. Catholics don’t believe in silly things like Basilisks or goblins. They believe in crackers that magically turn into flesh and people rising from the dead. My bad, it’s all so confusing. I blame the NyQuil.

Nazis, genetically modified babies, Mothman, and Jesus

I didn’t think those topics could be combined, but I’ve been proven wrong. No, it’s not the next hit superhero movie. One of the “perks” of being an atheist blogger is that I get signed up to all sorts of wacky mailing lists for creationists, woo peddlers, and conspiracy theorists. I suspect they think this annoys me, when really it usually goes straight to my spam folder to die with all the penis enlargement ads. But sometimes things slip through to my inbox, and sometimes their insanity is hilarious.

I present for your entertainment, “V Blast: THE BEAST REVEALS THEY CREATED GENETICALLY MODIFIED BABIES”

Those who are aware that conspiratorial practices have already wildly exceeded even the most fantastic speculations were not surprised to hear that scientists have now admitted that genetically modified babies have already been born. Although the mainstream, or the so called “ethical” medical community is now publicly acknowledging they’ve mixed genes from multiple parties to produce designer babies all the way back to the late 1990’s, the reality is genetically engineered babies were probably born as far back the 1940’s in one of Joseph Mengele’s Nazi laboratories.
Generally speaking, secretive “black” science significantly precedes the allegedly legitimate version, in which the mainstream commonly lags behind by decades. In fact, the recent mainstream media exposure in the Daily Mail periodical, reignited interest in a subject which was actually covered, albeit rather quietly, years earlier.
It turns out that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinics have been using a technique now for years that “rejuvenates” the eggs of women who are having trouble conceiving, by injecting components of another woman’s egg. This component is called cytoplasm, and it contains the mitochondrial DNA from the donor – thus making the resultant baby the product of 3 parents – the father, and two mothers.
It turns out this has been publicly known since 2001 and, by tracing the research (and the scientist who developed the technique), we learn that babies with more than 2 parents were born at least as far back as 1997. Once again, once such things go public, it virtually always means it’s been going on for quite a bit longer, and has gone much further than is generally acknowledged.
Time for a science break! It’s actually true that scientists are trying to develop methods that use a third individual’s mitochondria during IVF, but it’s not to make abominations or super babies. It’s to cure diseases caused by malfunctioning mitochondria. Mitochondria are the “powerhouse” of the cell, making lots of energy so your cells can actually function.
They also have their own genomes because they were once a separate organism! They were engulfed by another type of cell and the two formed a symbiotic relationship, and now every eukaryote (anything that’s not bacteria or archaea) has mitochondria. Mitochondria are passed from mother to child, not father to child. This is because egg cells have the room to store mitochondria, but sperm don’t.
So if you have a disease that’s caused by a mutation in the mitochondrial genome, you could technically suck out all the “defective” mitochondria and replace them with “healthy” mitochondria from another person. And people are going nuts at the ethics around this, because yes, technically you’d have a third genetic “parent.” If you want to learn more, read this great article in The Guardian.
For instance, there is nothing to indicate these maniacs have stopped at 3 parents, as they could have, theoretically, added the cytoplasm of a dozen women – each selected for what are perceived as desirable characteristics – i.e. blue eyes from mom #4, physical speed and agility from gymnast mom #5, a very high IQ from mom #6, and so forth.
Yeah, theoretically you could add all sorts of mitochondria. But mitochondrial genomes are tiny and don’t really contribute to any distinguishing traits. Things like eye color would still be determined by nuclear DNA (the ones egg and sperm contribute to).
To put it another way, this is the stuff the Nephilim were made of.
I’m not even going to touch that.
What happens if they try to splice in the mitochondria of another father is anyone’s guess, but such outcomes could look like something out of a horror film. And it gets worse.
Actually, nothing different would happen if you took the mitochondria from a man. The only reason mitochondria are transfered maternally is because eggs have the room to do so. There are rare examples of mitochondria being transmitted paternally, with no real consequences.
Now we’ve learned the key research embryologist who pioneered this technique left the fertility clinic work he was doing, and was hired by a US military medical institution. This chilling fact begs the question, is there anyone who seriously doubts the military establishment will seek to engineer a super-soldier, and will not be deterred by any of those messy moral or ethical considerations?
Christian Media, the ministry which fields the V Channel output such as the V Blast Internet letter, the Eclipse printed periodical, and the Exotica TV and radio show, has previously produced material on the efforts to create robo-soldier. In what looks like a Marvel Comics fiction, hardly anyone knows military scientists have already succeeded in growing (with spider DNA) a dense, Kevlar like compound, directly into the skin of solders, so they can withstand a bullet wound (see the Exotica TV episode on the subject).
Military scientists are talking about using spider silk to make structures that are stronger than Kevlar…but they can hardly hardly make enough with the current technology, and they definitely haven’t started breeding genetically modified soldiers. We don’t have that technology. We hardly understand how spider silk production works.
With such efforts, one can only wonder if these madmen will eventually produce a modern version of the mothman, replete with wings that can quietly transport the organic killing machine behind enemy lines. Furthermore, it is certain the Biblical prophets described just what is occurring.
Oddly this was probably the paragraph that offended my brain cells the most. Mothman? Not…you know, Spiderman? I…I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t go with the obvious if they were going to invoke genetically modified superheroes.
For instance, the prophet Joel described military men that were unstoppable in very scary terms:
 “a great people and a strong: there hath not been ever the like…A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth…and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses [centaurs]; and as horsemen, so shall they run. “They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; they shall march every one on his way, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded” (Joel 2:2-8)
For those unfamiliar with the prophetic texts, the manipulation of genetics is a primary theme found in the numerous descriptions of the end of the age. Jesus Christ said the last generation would be “…as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26)
The primary description of the days of Noah was focused on what is sometimes called the “first incursion,” wherein the fallen angels tampered with the genetics of men and women, and the offspring became “mighty men” – a population which was quickly catapulted into leadership within the old world order.
The book of Genesis tells us the whole world was “corrupt” and the LORD saw nothing but “violence” everywhere, so He purposed to destroy the world (Genesis Chapter 6). This is what Jesus used as a template for the last generation – a time of massive destruction, preceded by violence and genetic manipulation.
When coupled with the descriptions of world war, famine, and pestilence, to say nothing of the massive fraud of the so called pre-tribulation “rapture” in which millions of deceived believers “know not” that they are about to be “taken away” to the grave in a violent judgment (Matthew 24:39),  this tribulational devastation could occur at any moment.
– James Lloyd
Jesus blah blah blah.

The only other thing worth highlighting is their unique instruction on how to remove yourself from their mailing list:

Of course, if you have been convinced Christians should never send an Email to someone without permission (Did the Disciples of Jesus ask people for permission to tell them the Good News?), then we will cheerfully delete your name from our database.

Woah, gettin’ a little defensive there. Of course I want to stay subscribed! I love getting a good laugh at conspiracy theorists with no solid grasp of science.

The parade of misogynistic twits is live now!

I love waking up to a slew of comments about how repulsive I am. It always means some MRA has linked to me so he and his buddies can pat themselves on the back, and that’s exactly what happened. The author of the post I eviscerated yesterday tweeted this this morning:

The link comes here, which features this profile picture (for the weak of stomach, avert your eyes!).

And boy, I guess I’m just so hideous that I make misogynistic eyes bleed or something:

Because, you know, my life revolves around attracting and pleasing clueless misogynistic fuckwits. Oh wait, it doesn’t.

Some of his supporters have decided to dive into the comments to offer wisdom that just can’t be constrained to 140 characters. Like AnonJon:

You do realize that only Men can determine what is sexy to them?

No matter of projecting from females on to males of what females think men SHOULD find sexy will have any impact.

The biggest problem of feminism has been this very notion.  That females try to decide for men what they should find arousing.

it just doesn’t work that way

You do realize my sole purpose in life isn’t to worry about what men find sexy, and that many men don’t agree with you that educated women are repulsive, right?

Here’s Zorro to the rescue with more stupidity:

Female college professors all stink like yeast and tuna. Everybody knows that!

This dumb broad should learn how to make a sandwich and STFU.

To be fair, S. cerevisiae culturing can smell kind of weird. But I have a feeling that’s not what he’s talking about.

Herdasperser:

Attractive and happy women have no use for feminism.

And because he says so, it’s true. Or something.

Karl:

Your overall level of physical attractiveness (negative 10, if your photo is anything to go by) is enough to keep self-respecting, non-totally-desperate men away from you. Misogynistic or not. Your level of education has nothing to do with it.

I know it’s useless to say it to a feminist, but… get real.

I’m just so hideous, I am a negative 10. Not a zero. I’ve broken the scale. Damn. Do I get a gold medal for that? Is there an Olympic Sport for Repulsing Assholes?

I really don’t get why these people think I care. I would never date anyone who thought women must spend all their time and effort on being “attractive” to men. I put “attractive” in scare quotes because these guys fail to realize that not all men agree with them on what’s sexy, which was kind of the point of my last post. I dress and look how I want to dress and look, and I only date people who are okay with that. But apparently this makes my boyfriend a “latent homosexual” because he doesn’t follow their ideals of what’s sexy.

Now, one more point:

I know when I point out trollish behavior I’m receiving, a lot of people like to run to the rescue and say how attractive they find me. One, if you think what you’re going to say might come off as creepy, then just don’t say it:

I feel immature sharing this information, but given the context I hope you find it amusing rather than creepy.  I developed a mild erection while reading your list of “masculine” traits and thinking about your potential as a girlfriend.  What can I say?  I like nerdy, laid-back, slightly chubby women.  (I am aware you are taken and live far away, but it’s a mostly involuntary response.)

I think this is the definition of TMI.

Two, the point of these posts aren’t for people to swoop in and heal my bruised ego by telling me how hot I am. My ego isn’t bruised – I love laughing at these nitwits. But the point is my attractiveness shouldn’t matter. Even if I was a negative 10, my appearance has nothing to do with the content of my arguments. But notice these guys never actually addressed what I wrote. When you don’t have an argument to make, you have to resort to pot shots about appearance as a desperate attempt to take someone down. Too bad they just make me giggle instead.

Those boner-killing educated women

I’ve never been more glad that I’m getting my PhD. Apparently it’s a great way to keep away misogynistic idiots who think educated women decrease men’s happiness because they aren’t sexy. Because you know, fuck becoming educated and pursuing a career you’re passionate about – you should be acting sexy for some guy! Sorry lesbians and bisexuals, you don’t count. I know it sounds like nonsense, but he has a GRAPH!

Can’t argue with something made in Excel! How did he come up with this highly scientific, objective measurement of femininity and education?

A good test to see if a girl is over-educated is to add the word “sexy” before her job title. If the resulting phrase ignites arousing images in your head, then she’ll most likely have what it takes to satisfy you.

Sexy Waitress? Unf. Sexy Professor? Get the barf bag. I guess this explains why you never hear about Sexy Librarians or Sexy Nurses, and why nerdy girls universally repulse guys on the internet. …Wait.

Anything beyond a bachelors at a public university is a near guarantee she’ll possess a large basket of masculine traits that will prevent boners.

I’m getting nervous at this point. Why, I’m pursuing something beyond a bachelor’s! Though at least I’ve never attended a private, elitist, feminazi university. What terrible masculine traits have I been subjecting my boyfriend to?

1. They’re fat. (This guy probably thinks so)

2. They’re constantly glued to their phone. (Only men are allowed to do this)

5. They think being funny and witty is a quality that men love. (We all know women can’t be funny, right?!)

8. They wear flip-flops even when they’re not at the beach, pool, or in their house. (Comfort be damned, you should constantly be subjected to only the highest of heels!)

9. They have condoms in their drawers because they expect to have random sex with strange men. (I’m such a slut, using condoms)

10. They cannot dance. They also do not know how to sing or play basic musical instruments. (Doing the “shopping cart” counts as a dance move, right?)

12. They acquire pets instead of putting effort into landing a quality man. (I do have more photos of Pixel on my phone than my boyfriend…)

18. Their idea of travel is going to the beach or France. (Paris was awesome!)

24. They make lame excuses for not putting effort into their appearance. (Like “I look fine without makeup and don’t care enough to put forth the time or effort.” LAME!)

25. They obsess about the environment above what is reasonable, even though they pollute more than 90% of people in the world. (#1 pollutant is apparently the rays of masculinity I’m exuding)

33. They insist on eating pizza or otherwise fattening food after a night of binge drinking. (I guess only guys are allowed to fulfill their late night munchies with some nice biscuits and gravy or a Seattle Dog (hot dog with cream cheese and sautéed onions, mmmm))

35. They care more about maintaining their career than a good home. (Pay no attention to the mounds of dirty dishes and laundry)

36. They rarely wear high heels. (Because I don’t own any)

40. They like Ikea furniture. (But it’s like adult Legos! It’s a furniture amusement park! LINGONBERRY SAUCE!)

Pixel enjoying my Ikea furnishings

42. They go on and on about the stupidest shit. (Well, I am a blogger)

That’s only 15 out of 42, which is probably around the Average Masculinity Unit for 3rd year graduate students. By the time I’ve graduated, I’ll probably have picked up a few more terrible traits, like getting acne and watching too much tv.

But this is the money quote for me:

Unless you’re a latent homosexual, you won’t get many benefits from a relationship with a woman on the right side of the chart.

Wow, I never knew my current boyfriend and all of my exes were secretly latent homosexuals! Apparently it’s easy to confuse “latent homosexuality” with “not being an idiotic misogynistic jackass.”

(Via Man Boobz)

Bible fanfiction?

Found this on r/atheism and it gave me a good chuckle:

I’m not really chuckling at the blasphemy…more at the fact that it sounds eeriely like the fanfiction I wasted most of high school reading. Though come on, if we’re going to write Bible slash fiction, Jesus and his apostles OTP.

Feel free to write your own Bible fanfiction in the comments.

EDIT: I just read the usernames of the people who were posting in that image, and…oh boy. Bad sex puns, homophobic slurs, and pokemon names all in one place. Good job, internet *facepalm*

This is post 38 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

What should we call grad school?

I wanted to share one of my recent favorite things with you, especially since I know I have a surprising number of readers who are either in grad school or have been in it. I present to you the tumblr “What should we call grad school?” Here are some of my favorites:

“How I feel when I answer all the questions during my presentation”

“When I realize the talk is on computational biology”

“My audience when I tell them my data is trending on significance”

“When someone tells me they want to go into industry”

“Trying to pass my dead end project to someone else”

If you don’t get any of the jokes…well, then you’re probably not a grad student.

This is post 30 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Jesus is a drug

That’s obviously what this Christian ad campaign means, right? Jesus is an upper?

Dear random Church: Making a pun out of a phrase that’s meant to be offensive doesn’t automatically make you hip and clever. Especially when 7Up beat you to it 13 years ago.

(Via The Museum of Idolatry)

This is post 12 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Blag Hag Hipsters, rejoice!

If you’re one of those people I’ve caught saying “I read Blag Hag before boobquake,” then have I got news for you. An old friend is back: Pastor Tom Estes of the blog Hard Truth.

If you’ve forgotten Pastor T. Estes, don’t worry – I had to dig through the archives to remember why the name was familiar. Nearly three years ago, which is eons ago in the blogosphere, I poked fun at a dumb post he made about how atheists are taking over the internet. He made remarks about looking forward to personally finding me and meeting me when he found out I was going to the Creation Museum. I mentioned it was kinda creepy, he responded with threats of suing me for defamation of character, and I spent my Creation Museum trip slightly on edge. He referred to my blog as “Helga’s Battle Axe” because he thought it was clever. We continued to vaguely giggle in the direction of his blog until he packed up his toys and went home.

I honestly shouldn’t care that this random small town pastor decided to come back to blogging, but his first post was too hilariously bad to resist commenting on. What was one thing that encouraged him to return to blogging? He looked at Pharyngula’s traffic and saw that it has recently plummeted, presumably because Christians are awesome and winning. But of course he didn’t figure out that the traffic drop was because Pharyngula moved to Freethought Blogs, despite the giant box at the top of old Pharyngula informing him.

Pastor Tom did figure one thing out – if you want to be a Christian echo chamber without anyone to challenge your beliefs, turn off your comments. How predictable.