A troubling trend

Now we’ve got unconfirmed rumors that Steve Irwin was born again shortly before he died. You may recall that Charles Darwin was also tarred with claims of a deathbed conversion, too.

The message is clear. Don’t convert, or you’ll die.

The only question is whether it’s Jesus that does the execution, or whether wandering evangelicals are actually serial killers. And since I don’t believe in Jesus…

Physics made entertaining

Let’s say you don’t want to actually read James Kakalios’s Physics of Superheroes(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll)—it doesn’t have enough pictures, and the text isn’t in word balloons, or maybe the word “physics” causes an acute case of the heebie-jeebies—well, now you’re in luck. Some of his lectures are on the web via the magic of YouTube, so now you can find out about the Death of Gwen Stacy, or what’s up with Electro & Magneto, or what silly bloopers were made by Superman or The Atom.

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Webology and communication

The Next Hurrah discusses how information (and misinformation) is spread over the web, determined by tracking how a story about PETA and gay sheep circulated. A couple of interesting points are that he emphasizes that the way to persuade is to get out and make comments on other blogs—having a popular blog is not enough, I presume since the readers will typically be of a similar mindset, and you need to break through to people who might not be of like minds—and that MySpace and LiveJournal are important.

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Poor picked-upon Pope

I’ve already done my fair share of pope-bashing, so I won’t kick him any more over this latest episode. Instead, I’ll just tell everyone to go read my homies in the science community, Revere and Sean (who is particularly telling on that jarringly bogus “Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul” claim), and my fellow Minnesotan, Norwegianity, and while you’re plumbing the Minnesota mentality, you might as well take in Tild’s deconversion tale and regular Spong blogging…if there’s some human heart beating under the religious vestments, it ain’t Ratzinger’s, and Spong is a better substitute.

Inverting the blogosphere into a kind of anti-beauty contest gives me hope

How about them boobies? I was traveling yesterday, and missed most of the astonishing uproar over being photographed while bearing breasts—so I won’t add much to the thrashing except to point out the bright side.

You see, the real resentment is over the fact that Jessica happens to be young and attractive, a couple of fortuitous and irrelevant features that don’t matter to the assessment of her writing. There are a lot of people like that in the blogosphere, like Amanda and Lindsay, and it’s not just the ladies—look at Ezra and Chris. They’re the competition. If we old and homely people can take them out by impeaching them on the basis of their looks and simultaneously elevating our raddled, decrepit appearance into a sign of gravitas and wisdom, we win! We need to constantly reinforce that pleasing “he/she-sure-didn’t-get-there-on-looks-and-sunny-disposition” source of false credibility, and divide the world into crotchety sourpusses you must obey and young kids with taut connective tissue you can ignore.

I suspect Ann Althouse must be cleverly thinking the very same thing.