Everything Is Upside Down, Down Under

When life gives you lemons, the old-timers warn,
And everything starts to look sour,
Just make lemonade! This is no time to mourn,
But a time to start “Church Happy Hour”!
From ten to eleven, on Saturday night,
Half off blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Come knock off a chalice of red or of white,
While the sacrament’s reasonably priced!
There are pretzels and chips at the pew, in a dish,
For the church-going Happy Hour snacker,
Or the Flesh Of Our Savior, if that is your wish,
For the folks who want more than a cracker
It’s the hippest of hippest, the best place I know
Where believers can mingle or meet–
But this weekend, I’m thinking It’s safer to go
To the topless church, just down the street!

The news from Australia: More crimes committed in churches than in strip clubs.

A breakdown of the figures showed that 85 people were assaulted in places of worship, compared to 66 at an adult entertainment premises.

According to the report, places of worship include churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, convents, cathedrals and chapels.

Premises listed under adult entertainment included strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, massage parlours, homosexual clubs, gaming houses as well as gambling clubs.

Places of worship were also ahead on sexual offences (16), theft from motor vehicles (33), resisting arrest (seven) and liquor offences (10).

Harassment and threatening behaviour at places of worship (30) was more than double that of adult entertainment (13).

Cuttlecap tip to PZ

Creationists? What Creationists?

The NSF found a solution
To a culture that shuns evolution:
We think it is best
That the national test
Make a critical, small substitution—

Since creationists find it offensive
We are more than a bit apprehensive—
So we think, if you please,
It is best to appease
(Besides, lawsuits get rather expensive!)

Sure, it may be the coward’s way out
But religion, it carries some clout—
Just one thing we will hide,
Because national pride
Is what testing is really about!

So our scores will be where they belong
And it looks like our science is strong.
And besides, we’re not fools—
The creationist schools
Are aware that their teaching is wrong!

Though uncomfortable truths make us squirm,
We do not need a test to confirm
Half the country will choose
To most willingly lose
On exams at the end of the term!

It’s their faith that we put to the test
When we ask them which answer is best
If they really do well
Then they’re going to Hell—
If they flunk, then they’re heavenly blessed!

We could gather their scores, with a blush,
And confirm that their thinking is mush,
Or do this: with a shrug,
Sweep it under the rug:
Don’t address it, but keep it hush-hush.

Cuttlecap tip to PZ

You Are What You Eat

Bacteria are living, by the trillions, in your gut;
There’s an ecosystem hidden in your skin
It’s a case of symbiosis, if an icky one, somewhat,
Where both human and bacteria can win.

They help us with digestion (as they mostly help themselves)
Through their enzymatic breakdown of our food.
For the source of these bacteria, some current research delves,
And they’re finding it in seaweed (raw, not stewed).

It’s a horizontal transfer, from bacteria on seaweed
To bacteria already in your “zoo”,
Of the genes that code for enzymes-so the scientists said “Gee, we’d
Like to see if it’s in other people, too!”

But on close examination of a sample from Missouri
Not a single one had enzymes such as these!
Still the study will examine many further groups–don’t worry–
From societies with diets from the seas.

And this fascinating finding shows us how to take a look
At some questions that are really really neat:
We may change ourselves, depending on the food we choose to cook,
And we are (through enzyme transfer) what we eat!

BBC story here, and Ed Yong’s (far more interesting) one here.

Hmmm… on second reading of my verse, it sounds as if I am saying that *all* of these bacteria must come from seaweed. I think I need another verse…

Easter At Beaverdale Park

It’s the Easter egg hunt down at Beaverdale Park
With activities scheduled from dawn until dark–
Would you like to join in on the fun? On your mark,
Set, and go!
To and fro!
And explosion of children cascades on the lawn
They are searching for eggs, hither, thither, and yon;
The older kids soon reach the forest, and on
Down below!
There they go!

The sun’s shining brightly, the sky is so blue
A beautiful day, not a cloud is in view
The flowers are blooming, the birds are in song
And nothing at all could go wrong…

And it’s all so idyllic, it feels like a dream
But things aren’t exactly the way that they seem–
From down near the river, a teenager’s scream
Full of dread
Fills your head
While searching along on the leaf-covered ground
It wasn’t an egg, but a body they found
It was still, it was cold, and it made not a sound
He was dead
Cold and dead


The police quickly came, and they saw on inspection
This Easter would not bring a new resurrection–
They roped off the park, for the families’ protection
“Don’t go
Down below”
The excitement the day held, it quickly had flagged
As the victim’s remains were collected and bagged
And were brought to the morgue, with his toe duly tagged
With “John Doe”
They don’t know


Easter is better with blue skies and sun
With chocolates and eggs, and a whole lot of fun,
Not the death of a man, who was somebody’s son
Who will cry
Asking “why?”
Easter’s important, but this is the thing–
Not for death on a cross, but the coming of Spring
So the flowers can bloom, and the birds can all sing
In the sky
As they fly


From KCCI in Des Moines, the story of an Easter-egg hunt with an unexpected find. Personally, I think Easter is a much better holiday when it has nothing to do with anyone’s death. (video at link, and some rather tasteless commentary on the story, unless the editors remove it.)

For some reason, I am reminded of this beautiful song:

Pity The Pedophile Priests, Pleads Pope.

The Pope pleaded “pity the pedophile priests;
Protect the poor padres, please pray”
They’ve sinned, but since Eden, we’re nothing but beasts
These men–why, they’re victims, I say

It’s Satan, or sickness, not something they choose
When they lust after children, God knows
They’re clearly as blameless as Holocaust Jews
(As the rhetoric reaches new lows)

With your staff and your ring, with your mitre and cape,
And with millions that heed your command
This is not just P.R.; this is forcible rape–
What’s the part that you don’t understand?

The fact that your coverup now comes to light
Has you pacing the Vatican floors–
And the grim realization must fill you with fright:
These sins are not Adam’s; they’re yours