The ACE Cartoon Characters Re-Imagined in the Most Delightful Way

I’ll be you never looked at those utterly awful cartoons from the ACE PACEs and thought something wonderful could come of them, did you? I mean, honestly. They’re painful.

Image is a three-panel cartoon strip, showing two boys talking. Reginald is waving his arms in the air with his back to our view, saying, "Pudge, did I ever tell you about the time I came face to face with a lion?" Pudge: "No. What happened?" In the next panel, we can see Reginald and Pudge's faces. Reg says, "There I stood, without a gun. The lion growled and crept closer... closer... closer..." Pudge, imagining a lion in the grass, says, "Really? What did you do?" Next panel shows Reg imagining a lion in a cage, as he says, "I moved to the next cage! Ha-ha." Pudge, almost off-panel, says, "Oh, Reginald."

Cartoon from page (twenty-four) 24. No, I don’t know what it has to do with earth science, either.

But I’ve had the great good fortune to be introduced to an incredible group of ACE survivors, one of whom is putting a splendid new spin on these awful cartoons. Say hello to the adventures of Totally Hetero Pudge and Ronny by FeezlFuzzl. Here is an excerpt sure to change your entire way of thinking about pious Pudge McMercy and bad boy Ronny Vain. [Read more…]

The Winds of Change Blow Dawk Right Outta the NECSS Conference

So here’s a bit of news that gives me an iota of hope for organized atheism and skepticism:

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video.

We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations.

Allow me to find a collection of gifs that properly express my reaction: [Read more…]

Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

You know, I laugh, I do, when I’m reading these creationist textbooks, and I see the ridiculous religious bullshit being passed off as important facts about earth science. And then I recall the important fact that children are actually being taught that this shit is Genuine Science™, and my laughter dies.

And ACE is pretty much the worst. This section of ACE PACE 1087 demonstrates why. [Read more…]

An Open Letter to the Center for Inquiry

Dear CFI:

I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

We’ve had a long and rocky history. On the one hand, you gave us things like the Women in Secularism conferences. On the other… let’s see, there was Ron Lindsay, and Ron Lindsay again, and Ben Radford. So let’s just say you’ve been sending mixed signals on whether you really wanted women in the movement or not.

Well, now you’ve gone and removed all doubt. [Read more…]

Creationists and Their Tricksy Ways

So, I was going to write you a post about, I dunno, something. It would have been awesome, possibly even stunning or life-changing. But I stopped by Libby Anne’s whilst I was taking a break, and any ideas I had for a post went right out of my head, because you really need to read her post right now.

In it, she describes her evangelical creationist mother sending her granddaughter some books. And one of them was a “science” book for kids. You want to know how creationists manage to come across as credible to folks? You’re about to get an inside look: [Read more…]

Your Cascadia 1700 Post is Here!

316 years ago today, the Cascadia Subduction Zone ripped along its entire length. The megathrust earthquake destroyed native villages along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America, and inspired generations of stories of the devastation. Across an ocean, people in Japan suddenly found their towns flooded and their homes washed away by a tsunami that came out of nowhere. Here is the story of Thunderbird and the Orphan Tsunami.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do enough research and craft a proper fictional piece about it. But I now have enough resources to do that for next year. So for the next anniversary, we shall have a nice fantasy tale –  probably novella length, even. And once I get my Patreon set up at last, my wonderful patrons will have the first look as I write it!

Mystery Flora/Cryptopod Double-Header: Dragonfly Flowers

We’ve not had a mystery about here for some time! Let’s remedy that with a double-header. I’ve been busily editing photos from the summer whilst I watch Jessica Jones, and I have some lovelies for you.

Image shows some water flowers from above. They are long, thin clusters of tiny, pale pink flowers, with long, narrow green leaves.

Mystery Flora I

As you can see, these tiny buds were barely opening. But the bees were already busy with them.

Image shows a few stems of the flowers standing vertically. A bee is wrapped around one of them.

Mystery Flora II

These lovely flowers filled the wetlands around Juanita Bay last July. They definitely seem to like to keep their feet wet. [Read more…]

Books on Atheism for Children?

I’ve got entire lists filled with excellent books about atheism for adults, but the list for children is still rather thin on the ground. I’d like to remedy that ASAP. If you know of any good books for children and teens that explain atheism, help children become skeptical thinkers, and explain religion from a comparative or anthropological viewpoint, let me know about them! I’ll compile a handy list we can keep around for birthdays and holidays.

Thank you, my darlings!

Image shows a kitten lying in front of an open book, looking at the pages. Caption says, "Bok, y u no has kittehs?"

Sunday Songs: Highly Irregular!

Everyone seemed to enjoy our last music post quite a lot, so I figured we’ll start making this a regular feature and see what happens. Like last time, I’ll give you a theme, you give me a song (or a couple), and I’ll make a playlist from our results.

Most of us have a particular genre or general style we love most. For me, it’s symphonic, black and death metal with a bit of old-school power metal on the side. I was that person running around in high school wearing the ripped-up jeans and studded jackets. I adore corpse paint and death grunts accompanying ethereal sopranos. That’s the stuff!

I’m not much of an alternative music fan, really. And I wasn’t much in to the alt music scene of the 90s. Most of that stuff leaves me shuddering and reaching for Emperor or Epica. But every once in a while, the right song will hit at the right time in just the right way, and I’ll end up adoring something you’d never expect to hear in my rotation.

That’s what happened with 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?”. This is so not my type of song. And yet, when it came up in Sense8 and worked so perfectly, I fell deeply and forever in love with it. Now it makes me happy right down to my toes whenever I hear it.

You can see the scene it was in here.

Image shows Kala, a young Indian woman, sitting on top of a building at night, with a city skyline behind her. She's singing into the sky, where a semi-transparent image of Riley, a blonde Icelander, is singing back to her.

Kala (right) and Riley (left) from Sense8. Image created from screenshots from the episode where they’re all singing together.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: what’s one of your favorite songs that’s completely out of character for you?

A Magnificent Acapella Version of Hotel California

January 2016 continued its wholesale slaughter of famous musicians and actors by claiming the Eagles’ Glen Frey. January 2016, what are you doing? January 2016, stahp.

Anyway. One of my friends posted this absolutely incredible video of a group called Cubanos Acapella singing Hotel California. And if you haven’t heard this, you need to set aside some time and a quiet space and listen. I was impressed when Jimmy and the Wazoo Peach Pitters managed to do Helter Skelter acapella,* but damn.

Took me a while to collect my jaw from the floor after that.

I have a particular fondness for this song. I have memories of my dad trying to explain it to me. I was probably about 9 or 10, and he was introducing me to his generation’s music, and we were discovering we had a mutual fondness for much of it. But of course, I was super-young, and had no idea what the 70s even were, much less what young adults had done with them, so most of this song went wooshing right over my head despite his patient explanations. And I never asked him to clear up some of the lingering mysteries for me: I had no idea why ghosts had anything to do with wine, or why a spirit might have left the hotel in 1969, never to return. Dad did a reasonable job trying to explain what “of our own device” meant, but it was still a pretty vague concept. I am only just now finding out he fibbed when he said colitas was a type of flower (buds, Dad, very funny). But we both had fun singing it together, and ultimately that was the only thing that mattered. [Read more…]