I don’t think I want to live anymore

I have no idea whether this sentence is actually in the book or not, but I don’t care — I read it and if I ever had a soul, it just curled up and disintegrated.

Found on Facebook

Found on Facebook

The imagery doesn’t even go together with the situation! And if ever a lover “mewled” at me, I’d have to throw them out of bed and be sick on the sheets.

Why do the hamster pups only have three legs? When do hamsters smirk?

The right wing responds to Baltimore


If you want to get the temper of the right on the Baltimore situation, all you have to do is open up the pages of the National Review, that money-losing magazine founded by a racist, for racists, and propped up by a constant stream of money from far right liars, like the Heritage Foundation. I did. I was unsurprised.

Whenever this kind of unforgivable idiocy occurs, some chin-stroking media wise man assures us that rioting is an expression of anger from oppressed communities, a cry for justice from those who feel every other avenue of protest has been unfairly blocked, blah blah blah.

It’s all nonsense. The last “riot” that achieved anything useful was the Boston Tea Party. If everyone in the United States swore a pledge declaring, “I will never riot,” there would be less injustice in this world, not more.

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It’s that time of year


Stress levels are high. In our classes we’re winding down the teaching part (the fun part!) and focusing on the assessment part (the miserable boring side). I guess sometimes people — students and/or professors — snap. Professor Irwin Horwitz just gave up, failed an entire course, and stopped teaching. He explains why:

“Since teaching this course, I have caught and seen cheating, been told to ‘chill out,’ ‘get out of my space,’ ‘go back and teach,’ [been] called a ‘fucking moron’ to my face, [had] one student cheat by signing in for another, one student not showing up but claiming they did, listened to many hurtful and untrue rumors about myself and others, been caught between fights between students…. None of you, in my opinion, given the behavior in this class, deserve to pass, or graduate to become an Aggie, as you do not in any way embody the honor that the university holds graduates should have within their personal character. It is thus for these reasons why I am officially walking away from this course. I am frankly and completely disgusted. You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level…. I will no longer be teaching the course, and all are being awarded a failing grade.”

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Excellent! We’re done with Europe!


We can also write off Africa and Asia. After all, the Americas and Australia were colonized by all those Old World people, so there’s hardly anybody left behind, and we in the New World are now the future of humanity.

That’s how it works, right? Human beings are like locusts: we strip our homes to bedrock, then take wing and flit off to the next environment to exploit. At least, that’s the impression I get from Stephen Hawking, all-around smart guy and obsolete resident of the dead old homelands.

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We need a name for this fallacy


Tony Perkins plays the “Evolution Proves Homosexuality Is Wrong” game.

Perkins agreed with the caller’s take on evolution, stating that the evidence is overwhelming that evolution doesn’t occur. However, since Obama and Clinton believe that we are constantly in this state of evolution, Perkins said, then they should oppose gay rights.

If you logically game this out, the idea that somehow same-sex marriage or same-sex attraction, homosexuality, could be the advancement of evolution, he said, well, it would be the end of the road. It is a dead-end street. You’re certainly not going to reproduce.

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Hurtling towards a clickbaity singularity


Oh, how I despise Salon. I was an early adopter — I was an avid reader from the day they first opened their doors. A news site with a politically progressive slant? Yes, please. And then they turned evil. It was the same with the Huffington Post, although I think they were evil from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, people still send me links to their crappy crap. The latest is this abomination: 9 “scientific” facts about breasts. At least they had the kindness to slap scare quotes around the word “scientific”.

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Maher did it again

It’s a fascinating example of motivated reasoning. Bill Maher has been raked over the coals on his irrational, anti-scientific attitude towards vaccines; his own guests have scorned his views on his own show; he’s been confronted repeatedly with the evidence and the rebuttals. He’s got to know by now that there is no rational justification for claiming that vaccines or thimerosal cause autism, or that the drug companies are profiting hugely by including poisons in their vaccines (which makes no sense, even if you do believe in greedy pharmaceutical mega-corporations).

So what does he do? He invites anti-vax crank extraordinaire, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to sit around and commiserate with one another about how they’re called cranks and liars for merely denying the scientific consensus.

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Nematodes are not designed, they evolved


The latest fatuous obsession by Paul Nelson, Philosopher of Biology at the Discovery Institute, is a real corker. He has decided that nematodes could not possibly have evolved, because scientists (real ones, not creationist pseudoscientists) have produced an extremely detailed literature documenting their development; because Brenner, Horvitz, and Sulston (no creationists among them) won the Nobel Prize for their work describing the cell lineages to produce the worm; and because he doesn’t understand developmental biology at all. I’ve got palm impressions in my forehead from smacking myself so many times while watching this terrible little video.

This is why Paul Nelson is laughed at by developmental biologists. He cannot be taken seriously. I figured, though, that if you’re not already familiar with concepts and details of development, you might find him credible — he’s so pompously earnest! — so I thought I’d explain all the ways he goes wrong.

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