A public service to koalas and skeptics

An image has been circulating recently throughout the intertubes depicting a wet koala looking absolutely terrifying with its hideous fangs:

Turns out that’s a fake.

The real image shows grumpiness, but not viciousness. Some wags apparently ‘shopped in a wolf jaw or something. Mind, koalas aren’t very sociable even if they’re not befanged. Don’t pet them. They have long claws.

Funny how many people got suckered in by that meme.

Petition to Chick-Fil-A: Stop serving cocks who like cock!

No, not cannibal chickens. This petition demands that Chick-Fil-A stop serving GAY chickens.

Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting anti-gay organizations. Now their Chief Operating Officer (and founder’s son) Dan Cathy has said, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

But the harsh fact that Chick-fil-A ignores is that, as early as 1764, male chickens have been observed sexually mounting other cocks. How can Chick-fil-A claim to be truly committed to their selective and hateful misreading of the Biblical definition of marriage when the nearly 300 million sandwiches they sell yearly contain chickens, some or all of which might be gay?

Tell Chick-fil-A to put their money where their mouth is and only sell animals that are 100% heterosexual. (That rules out beef, too. Raccoon? Oops! There are homosexual raccoons, too. Er… maybe they can eat crow?)

Bagemihl, Bruce. “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity.” St. Martin’s Press: New York City, 1999. (p. 83)

Neill, James. “The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations In Human Societies.” McFarland & Company: Jefferson, NC 2009. (p. 13)

So if you’re interested in reminding those folks of the ubiquity of homosexuality in the natural world, signing this petition is a good way to do it.

Rigid gender roles hurt men in the workplace

Surprise surprise.

A report by the Families and Work Institute has clued into the fact that men are still pressured by society’s rigid gender roles to be the primary breadwinner even while being primary caregiver.

Even though many women work and contribute to the family income, the report says that “men have retained the ‘traditional Male Mystique’–the pressure to be the primary financial providers for their families.” At the same time, they don’t want to be the distant dads of the 1950s.

“Men today view the ‘ideal’ man as someone who is not only successful as a financial provider, but is also involved as a father, husband-partner and son. Yet flat earnings, long hours, increasing job demands, blurred boundaries between work and home life and declining job security all contribute to the pressures men face to succeed at work and at home and thus to work-family conflict,” said the report.

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RCimT: Dispatches from the Misogyny Wars

I’ve had quite a week, and the well’s pretty close to dry as far as spare resources with which to blog. Thankfully, it’s not like the rest of the blogosphere runs on my specific contributions! Therefore, have a link roundup of things that people have written that are worth reading. The theme for this Random Crap in my Tabs round-up should be relatively obvious, given the current all-encompassing conflagration surrounding our attempt to evolve the atheist and skeptical movements into some sense of pluralism and humanitarianism.
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Did Chick-Fil-A bear false witness not once but twice?

“Lying for Jesus” is not a new tactic, but it’s certainly a hypocritical one, if you’ve decided that it is more important to follow the rules set out in the Bible than to trust your basic human empathy to guide you in dealing with other human beings. It’s fascinating to me that someone can square a dogmatic need to force everyone to adhere to one lesser set of guidelines in the Bible involving where you’re allowed to put your penis, while completely failing to follow one major rule set forth as a Commandment: thou shalt not bear false witness. Bearing false witness means, in no uncertain terms, lying — the rule, therefore, means “do not lie”.

And yet, Chick-Fil-A has possibly lied twice in their recent PR campaign to weather a crisis caused by their anti-gay COO Dan Cathy.
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CONvergence: Costume squee

There were a few major OMFSM moments for me with regard to costuming at CONvergence.

There was someone dressed as the true Commander Shepard from Mass Effect (e.g., not DickShep) — and they were even Renegade, with the heavy visible scarring. To top things off, they had the original N7 armor, with a damn good M-77 Paladin replica to boot. I’d share the pic I got, but I’d need to track down the con-goer and request permission.

There was also a male Aperture Science “volunteer” running around with a LEGO ASHPD (portal gun), which I also got a pic of, but I found a better demonstration here:

There was a contingent of objectified male superheroes that you should definitely see.

I also encountered about a dozen different folks cosplaying Homestuck characters. No overlap in characters, far as I could tell. At the Gender Differences panel, I even sat next to someone who’d used a 3D printer to fabricate Rose’s belt buckle and combat knitting needles. If there’s ever been a reason to buy a 3D printer, it’s to create props for cosplay.

I’ve never mentioned Homestuck before on this blog, have I? A few months ago, I discovered what I thought would be a silly little faux-adventure-game webcomic on a site called MS Paint Adventures. I thought it would be a funny little diversion that might take a day to get through the archives, but I was so very, very wrong. Not only was it not a faux-adventure at all, the “actions” at the bottom of each comic were (for the first few acts at least) all submitted on the site’s forums. An animated, user-driven “webcomic” whose plot intermingles philosophy, social dynamics, and games of all flavors and types. It begins like an adventure game, gains Sims-like overtones, and evolves rapidly into a reality-bending RPG.

Seeing so many people cosplaying characters from a comic that I’d only just discovered, and fallen in love with, was a major squee moment for me.

I have a scant few pictures that I definitely can share, that I need to post to the blog as soon as I’m able. That’s, unfortunately, not right now.

A song by Josh about the skeptical sexism wars

Josh of the Many Spokesgay-Related Titles has written us all a song that I think merits re-blogging. Because reasons! Also, because it is way better than those other songs featured at prominent skeptical conventions that have to elide half of Elevatorgate, and all the fallout and trolling thereafter, just to get a laugh.

Josh’s song is a ballad to the poor oppressed Dood, who’s really getting short shrift as we fight across the blogosphere about the degree to which bitches are shit. Sing it to the tune of Total Eclipse of the Heart. If I could sing, I’d totally do a Youtube video of this.
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Petition the US government to free Alexander Aan

CFI has held two rallies now to raise awareness about Alexander Aan, an Indonesian civil servant who was beaten by a crowd then convicted of spreading religious hatred because he denied the existence of God and posted a cartoon of Mohammed on Facebook. He is presently serving a 30-month jail sentence for his high crimes. To add insult to injury, he has to pay one hundred million rupiah — a high fine in Indonesia for mere blasphemy, though it translates to about $10,000 USD.

There’s now a petition on the US We the People website asking the Obama administration to call for Aan’s release.
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William Tapley writes Mitt Romney’s new campaign jingle

You might know him as the Third Eagle of the Apocalypse, the Co-Prophet of the End Times, and/or an absolutely unhinged religious conspiracy theorist. And now you’ll all know him as the bard behind Mitt Romney’s new campaign jingle. Just as soon as Romney picks it up and splashes it across his commercials.

A hero in Tapley’s mind. Well, that tells us everything we need to know about Romney’s chances.

Thoughts on yet another gun massacre

It’s been a few days since the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre, where a neuroscience dropout killed at least a dozen people at a showing of Dark Knight Rises. The blogosphere has been churning away in the meantime, doing what it does best: collating, aggregating, live-blogging and synthesizing the information that the media has been producing; sorting reactions and likewise reacting; and teasing out details that the media missed or glossed over.

The gunman, James Holmes, carried four weapons — two .40 Glocks, a Remington 870 12-gauge single-barrel pump action shotgun, and a Smith & Wesson AR-15 semi-auto rifle for which he apparently had a drum clip that held 100 rounds. All told, he had over six thousand rounds of ammo for his various weapons. He was well armored, with ballistic helmet and gas mask, tactical gloves, and vest, with groin and neck protection. He began his assault by breaking through the theater’s back door during the first action sequence, tossing two gas grenades (unknown what kind of gas — possibly tear gas), then opening fire. All of his armaments were obtained legally.
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