Inge Lehmann: “A Small Solid Core in the Innermost Part of the Earth”

At the age of 105, Inge Lehmann (1888-1993) looked back on a long, productive life with satisfaction. During her career in seismology, she had made two major discoveries and made other significant contributions. She’d won multiple prestigious awards, become a fellow of the Royal Society, and had honorary doctorates bestowed by Columbia University and the University of Copenhagan.She was an immensely talented seismologist. [Read more…]

One of the Most Important Articles on Abortion You’ll Ever Read

Here are stories from abortion doctors who have been doing abortions since before they were legal. They’ve seen what society is like with and without access to safe, legal abortion. They’ve seen how bad things were, how good they got, and how we’re backsliding toward a time when desperate women were willing to risk death to terminate their pregnancies. These are stories all of us need to listen to. Especially those who are uncomfortable with or opposed to abortion. Make sure you send this to every friend, acquaintance, and relation who is anti-abortion or who thinks that abortion is a necessary evil rather than a medical right. Send it to everyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but tightly restricted. Force them to confront this reality.

Make them deal with statistics like this: [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 10!


A Singsong to Appease the Narcissistic Tyrant

(Exodus 15)

The Israelites, as you may well imagine, are a bit giddy after having walked through a sea while it drowned the army behind them. And they seem to know that if they want to survive, they’re going to have to reassure their narcissistic tyrant of a god that he’s really, really glorious, and they definitely know he’s the LORD.

So Moses leads them in a little singsong.

The first verse assures God that he sure is glorious and triumphant, drowning all those cavalry dudes and their horses like he did. Inoffensive, meek little ants may sing similar songs to us when we poison the army ants’ nest in the garden, but leave theirs unmolested. I’m afraid it won’t help them when we get round to spading up the spot they’re living in. (Ex. 15:1)

The second verse assures God that he’s all that plus their salvation, and they’ll build him a nice house, and exalt him like dear old Dad did. This can be a good thing to tell a bully if you decide you’d rather become a sycophant than get punched in the face again. (Ex. 15:2)

The third verse is rather matter-of-fact, pointing out that “the LORD is a man of war” and “the LORD is his name.” It sounds like they’d like to make damned sure the LORD knows it’s not necessary to issue them any painful or fatal reminders of either fact. (Ex. 15:3)

The fourth and fifth verses return to dwell on Pharaoh’s fate, and how all his chariots and army men and captains were all “drowned in the Red Sea,” and they’ve all sunk like a stone. The Israelites know their god’s quite proud of his smiting prowess, and wish to reassure him they noticed, so that he won’t feel tempted to demonstrate it on them. (Ex. 15:4-5)

Image is a watercolor showing Pharaoh's army drowning in the waters of the Red Sea.

The Egyptians Are Destroyed, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

The sixth verse is where they wax eloquently over the glorious power and strength of God’s right hand. They quickly add that it’s the right hand that dashed the enemy to pieces. It’s good they added that bit: it was starting to sound like they were commenting on the LORD’s masturbatory prowess. (Ex. 15:6)

The seventh verse dwells lovingly on how in “the greatness” of the LORD’s “excellency” he totally kicked the Egyptians’ asses, and lavishes praise upon his mighty wrath wot consumed them. One must assure God he’s a macho-mighty god, lest he begin to feel inadequate and get an itchy smiting finger again. (Ex. 15:7)

The eighth verse informs us where the mighty east wind that parted the sea came from: God’s incredible nostrils. It rather sounds like he sneezed, but they try to make it sound as epic as possible. (Ex. 15:8)

The ninth verse speculates as to the enemy’s state of mind. They seem to have no idea that the Egyptians weren’t pursuing them from their own lust, greed, or anger, but because their very own God mindfucked them into it so he could show off his army smashing prowess. (Ex. 15:9)

The tenth verse reassures God that they absolutely did notice how he drowned the Egyptians. Please don’t hit us, LORD. (Ex. 15:10)

The eleventh verse tells God there’s no other god like him, nosiree. You’re the bestest, most holiest, most amazing magician of all. We love you, please don’t kill us. (Ex. 15:11)

The twelfth verse tells God they absolutely positively without doubt did notice what he did to the Egyptians. Only they screw up and say the earth swallowed Pharaoh’s army, without mentioning the drowning part. Whoops! Hope God doesn’t notice! (Ex. 15:12)

The thirteenth verse quickly covers for that blunder by telling God how merciful he is to the Israelites, and how strong he’s been, guiding them to his holy house. Which they haven’t built yet. Totally will, though. Remember, O LORD, you’re merciful. Mer-ci-ful. (Ex. 15:13)

The fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth verses crow over how shit-scared all the people in Palestine are going to be when they hear about God. The royalty and “mighty men” and the very inhabitants shall be amazed, start shaking, and just melt away – or freeze like a rock – they’ll be so terrified of God, and they’ll stay that way until his people pass. Hopefully. If God doesn’t forget, or end up in a snit and let their enemies have their way with them. (Ex. 15:14-16)

The seventeenth verse reminds God that he promised them a place to live at the end of all this. They’ll even let him take credit for building the sanctuary which they, actually, are gonna build. It’s best to give Dear Leader the credit for everything so he doesn’t get cranky. (Ex. 15:17)

The eighteenth verse assures God he’ll reign forever and ever. Not like those other gods who were popular for a while, but their fifteen minutes of fame are so over. (Ex. 15:18)

And the nineteenth verse lets the LORD know, one more time, that they definitely did see what he did with the Egyptians, and my, how clever, doing all that drowning while we got to walk on nice dry land in the middle of the sea. Boy, that sure was awesome – wasn’t it awesome, everybody? Tell God it was awesome before he gets pissy. (Ex. 15:19)

Aaron’s sister Miriam then has all the women come out dancing with timbrels to let the LORD know he sure did gloriously show those Egyptians he killed, indeed, and their little horses, too. (Ex. 15:20)

Image shows several women with blue robes, red sashes, and white cloaks dancing in a line and beating on timbrels in a palm grove.

The Songs of Joy, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

This is apparently enough singing the LORD’s praises for now, and they get on with their journey. Unfortunately, God is shit is finding ways through the desert that include water. They go without any for three days. When they finally do find some, it’s bitter, and they can’t drink it. You’d think that after all that vigorous stroking of his ego they did, God would’ve at the very least provided them with clean drinking water. But no, he can’t do anything nice until people are suffering and begging. It’s only after the people complain to Moses, and Moses cries to God, that God has him thrown in a magic tree to make the water sweet. (Ex. 15:21-25)

God decides this is a great time to lay down some rules. He tells them, “If you listen carefully to me, and to what I think is right (no matter how asinine it is), and listen to my commandments, and follow all my orders, I won’t infect you with all the diseases like I did the Egyptians, cuz I’m the god that heals you. Capisce?” (Ex. 15:25-26)

I dunno about you, but I’m of the opinion that when your God starts to sound like a Mafia don, it’s probably time to flee and look for one that isn’t as likely to abuse the shit out of you, then pretend it’s love.

Image is the cover for Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus. The painting is Charles Sprague Pearce's Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt, showing an Egyptian man and woman weeping over the coffin of their infant.

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Coming Soon!

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. I: Genesis is now available at Amazon! Worldwide, even! Pick up your copy today.

Drop Everything and Watch This Orangutan Bottle-Feed Tiger Cubs

Look, you deserve a break. You deserve terminal cuteness. You deserve to watch this orangutan foster baby tigers.

This is apparently a regular thing for the Myrtle Beach Safari orangutans. You can see a longer video here.

Parenting instincts transcend species boundaries. This certainly isn’t the first example, but it’s among the cutest. When that primate started feeding that cub from a bottle, I about melted in a puddle of squee.

Alas, when the cubs’ predatory instincts begin kicking in, they’ll probably have to be separated, but for now, bliss.

Here. It’s going to be a long week, I’m sure. Have some more animal adorableness. Like a cat caring for ducklings: [Read more…]

Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail

Beth Presswood came across the most asinine anti-abortion article I’ve ever seen. Go and read her post. I’ll have a little something to say about it when you return. It won’t be nice, it contains quite a bit of foul language, and I’m not shielding anyone from my anger, but if you’re a secular forced-birther, you’d better damned sure show me you read, comprehended, and thought carefully about what I said before you dare to open your mouth in my presence. [Read more…]

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Bunches of Beautiful Birbs

You’re in for a treat, my darlings! Ken Gibson has given us the keys to his birding kingdom, and I have selected several delights for your identifying pleasure. I’ve linked each photo to the maclargehuge original for ye.

First up, a birb that’s just screaming for a caption: [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XIX: Wherein We Learn Christianists Make Lousy Sci-Fi Writers

Buckle in, kiddos. Earth Science 4th Edition’s unit on geology is roughly the size of the entirety of Science of the Physical Creation. And you know it’s going to be a rough ride, because it starts with a blurb from Andrew Snelling. Yes, Dr. Andrew “I’m Happy to do Conventional Geology with Billions of Years and No Goddidit so I Can Get Published in Legitimate Journals, Then Use Those Creds to Shit All Over Geology” Snelling. Yes, Dr. Andrew “Lying About Radiometric Dating for Jesus” Snelling. When you quote a lying fraud right up front as a legit scientist, I tend to suspect that the rest of what you’ve got may not, in fact, be legitimate science.

Let’s find out.

[Read more…]

Brilliant Fall Colors at Icicle Gorge – Come Enjoy!

It’s fall! I hate this season. Yeah, I know, everybody else seems to love it, but I get all maudlin about the dying year. I hate the days getting shorter, the return of endless rain, all the deciduous trees and plants becoming skeletons, the endless pumpkin nonsense… yeah, killjoy, I know. I didn’t even like it in Arizona, when it basically meant the Peaks would be dusted with snow and it would finally drop below blast furnace temps in Phoenix. I’m just not a fall person.

But I do like the brilliant colors of the turning leaves. And I bloody adore Halloween. So there’s that.

Anyway. I’m trying to take advantage of every rare good day we get, and B and I lucked out tremendously. We hadn’t had a chance to actually go out and do anything since his new job started, but this time, he happened to have a day off on one of our few remaining spectacular days, and I was also free, so we hopped in the car and headed over the Cascades to Leavenworth. Just outside of Leavenworth, Icicle Creek plunges through a spectacular gorge cut into the Chiwaukum Schist. There’s a lovely loop trail that winds around and into the gorge, crosses two bridges, and presents a lot of interesting variety along the way. You get creek views, mountain views, forests, bogs, and all sorts of things! There’s even maclargehuge Ponderosa pines, which makes this former Flagstaff, AZ girl happy. [Read more…]

Would You Really Love Those 70 Million Babies, Pro-Lifers?

Two old white men whine about abortion. (Well, they also lie extravagantly, but I just want to address this more commonly-spouted bit):

“’It’s a pile of babies almost 70 million babies tall, mountains and mountains and mountains of babies,’ Jim Bakker said.”

Okay, Jim “Convicted Felon” Bakker. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about abolishing abortion so all those precious “babies” lived. [Read more…]

Mystery Geology Revealed!

As promised, I have the answer to our mystery geology.

RQ got the spot right: it’s Hohllay!

Image shows a large sandstone cave from inside. At the right, there is an arched opening looking out toward a jumbled pile of boulders and some trees. At the center and left, there is a large oval opening, with a narrow pillar down the middle. The ceiling overhead is marked with scrapes and grooves, and has many rounded hollows.

Hohllay (“hollow rock”) in Berdorf, Luxembourg. © Dietmar Rabich,, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Alas, twasn’t Chthulu or water that hollowed the cave and left the marks. The whole thing was made by humans: [Read more…]