Sunday Facepalm: Our God is Bigger!

A Troup ISD student wears religious shirt (Facebook)

A Troup ISD student wears religious shirt (Facebook)

Troup ISD parents are upset after a letter was sent to the school district asking that a bible verse be taken down from its website.

The letter was sent out by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Brittany Taylor has two kids at Troup ISD.  She, along with other upset parents, are fighting a battle she says the schools can’t.

[…]

Parents at Troup are in the process of ordering shirts for their students that say, “Our God is bigger.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) said that’s not the point.

[…]

The bible verse that was on the website read  “As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.” It comes from the Old Testament.

The FFRF said the verse promotes Christianity.

“I’m hoping that we get to put it back up because everybody should have freedom of religion,” said Jesse Calley, 7th grader.

Even if the quote never goes back on the website, parents said they’re planning to send pictures of the students wearing the shirts to the foundation in hopes of getting a message across.

“It will be in our children’s hearts and they will not stop praising God because a group told them to,” said Taylor.

Full Story Here.

Our God Is Bigger. That sentiment has a whole lot to answer for, mostly in the form of one war after another, with corpses strewn across the landscape. It’s simplistic, and terrifying. How about “Our God Doesn’t Require A Quote.”?

Gov. Phil Bryant Strikes Again

The stupid. The bigotry. The Pretend Persecution. It never ends. I think this story can be safely tucked into The Persecution Files.

A gun and a Bible (Shutterstock)

A gun and a Bible (Shutterstock)

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a gun rights bill on Friday allowing churches to create security programs designating members to carry firearms to defend worshipers against violence.

The legislation, called the “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” also makes it easier for residents in other settings to carry concealed weapons, drawing criticism from national gun control advocates.

Full Story Here.

Women of the Navajo Calendar Reject Trans Woman

Transphobia strikes everywhere. In long ago tradition, most Indigenous nations recognized that gender was much more than binary, however, it seems that much has been lost in the colonial zeal to rip people from their roots.

Sharnell Paul.

Sharnell Paul.

Lake Powell Life covered this story, and Terese Mailhot at ICTMN has a column about this story.

From ICTMN:

Had Women of the Navajo calendar founders included Paul, they would have been working against historical erasure, reclaiming the stories within their own inclusive cultural roots. Their discriminatory acts speak of lateral violence within our own communities. Oppression works laterally and vertically. Their acts against Paul are acts against cultural reclamation and Indigenous sovereignty. It’s time to give our people voice. Our bodies and our stories have the right to acceptance and recognition. Women of the Navajo had the opportunity to empower culture, identity, and acts of reclamation. Granted, it would have been late to the game, but it’s better to be late than never arrive at a political occasion that is inevitable. All Indigenous bodies are sovereign, deserving of protection, respect, and recognition. What are they scared of? Whatever phobia they invite, it is no doubt the product of boarding schools, assimilation, and other genocidal acts put upon us.

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The stories where I’m from are gone. There is no pre-contact narrative of people who identified as anything beyond the gender binary. There are only a few stories of sexuality and gender, let alone any that speak of gender roles. Our ceremonies and stories were forbidden. Only within the past few generations have people been able to stand and bear witness. There is something from the past that still resonates: that our stories can be erased, and our bodies forbidden. If we do not claim our people, and their identities, and their stories, and their struggles, they will be erased from the continuum, just like everything that has been stripped from us. Their beautiful faces and struggles will not thrive if we don’t lift them up now, to praise their clarity and power.

Stan & Olli & Juan & Carlos

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Penguins get more recognition and acceptance than people. Why am I not surprised?

Two male king penguins, Stan and Olli didn’t quite reach the expectations of zookeepers in Berlin. Both penguins were placed under the European Conservation Program (EEP) to reproduce with a female in order to ensure a strong future for the existence of the species. It turns out the penguins weren’t interested in the females, but rather, each other.

“They’re gay, as far as we know,” said Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Christiane Reiss. “They never bred. And when it came to courtship, they only mated with one another.”

According to The Local, both penguins have been transferred to a zoo in Hamburg where they will be a part of an exclusive male community that’s also home to another gay penguin couple, Juan and Carlos.

[…]

In a country where same-sex marriage is not legal and gay couples have limited adoption rights, it’s nice to see penguins at the forefront of LGBT rights in Germany.

Article.

Birch Bark Biting

Birch Bark Biting poem by Denise Lajimodiere from her book of poems “Dragonfly Dance." (Mary Annette Pember)

Birch Bark Biting poem by Denise Lajimodiere from her book of poems “Dragonfly Dance.” (Mary Annette Pember)

“I see the design through my eye teeth,” said Denise Lajimodiere, Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe.

“I keep my eyes closed when I work because I see the design in the darkness,” said Lajimodiere of her work in birch bark biting or mazinibakajige, which means “marks upon the bark.” […]

Birch bark biting was a pre-contact method of creating designs for beading or quillwork according to Lajimodiere. “Mazinibakajige died out in my tribe until I began doing it about eight years ago,” she said. […]

Lajimodiere was recently selected for a six-month Minnesota Historical Society Native Artist-in-Residence. With the award funds she plans on visiting the National Museum of the American Indian NMAI’s Archive Center in Suitland, Maryland to see the ancient mazinibakajige held there.

Full Story Here.

Algae-Based Water Bottle Biodegrades When It’s Empty.

Very cool, this. More people need to work on the plastic problem. It seems as much as I try to eliminate plastic products from my life, I end up surrounded anyway.

Photo credit: Ari Jónsson

Photo credit: Ari Jónsson

Plastic bottles can lay around in landfill sites or the ocean for centuries. While our planet struggles to cope with our ever-increasing appetite for plastic, an Icelandic product design student was inspired to create a little something to address the issue.

Ari Jónsson, from the Iceland Academy of the Arts, has harnessed the properties of red algae to create a biodegradable bottle for drinking water. He unveiled his invention at Reykjavik design festival DesignMarch last month. The bottles are made out of agar powder, which derives from the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae. If this is added to water and allowed to cool, it will eventually set and mould into a jelly-like substance.

The bottle retains its shape when it’s full of fluid but will start to decompose as soon as it’s empty it.

Full Story at IFLSCIENCE!

Bullet go smash

 

Bulletproof technology has certainly come a long way since Marty McFly bluffed his way through that Wild West shootout, as evidenced by this incredible video of a bullet getting a taste of its own medicine courtesy of the next big thing in body armor.

Designed by Afsaneh Rabiei of North Carolina State University, the projectile-smashing material on show consists primarily of a super-strong yet ultra-light composite metal foam (CMF), made of hollow steel spheres – each measuring 2 millimeters in diameter – embedded in a stainless steel matrix. While you’d probably expect a bullet to make mincemeat of such a squishy substance, the foam actually absorbs the kinetic energy of the moving ammunition.

Full Story at IFLSCIENCE!

Raturday: Paaaint!

I had an almost empty tube of black acrylic, so I gave it to Grace and crew. Oh, and for obsessive asses at certain corners of the ‘net, why yes, that is a Hobby Lobby label! That paint was purchased years ago, prior to imposing a self-ban on buying there. Have fun insisting I’m lying!

GracePaint1

GracePaint2

GracePaint3

Photos © C. Ford.