Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! One Day Only!

Here’s a Sunday special for FreeThinkers, because I’m especially busy this Sunday: Do you have a website/blog whatever? If so list the url in the comments below and I’ll be sure and bookmark it for future links and throw a blurb to it up here on the front page, above the fold, over the next few weeks and maybe sooner. This offer is extended to all sites including religious and/or conservative sites — although you may not like the commenters that show up on your religious and/or conservative site if it gets linked anywhere on FTB — with the exception of real whackos like Klan or terrorist sites and the like. Cute Billy Joel meets World of Warcraft video made by some friends of mine below the fold. [Read more…]

Cosmology is the new mythology … really?

The Hubble Deep Field View courtesy of NASA/JPL

As someone who has picked a lousy title on many occasions, I sympathize with the author of this piece at IFPpress. Nevertheless, I can think of a great many differences between the most profound mysteries in cosmology and supernatural cosmogonies the world over. The first mythology-cosmology item given in the article looks somewhat defensible:

String theory, the most promising theory of physics of the past thirty years, since it was meant to explain everything, cannot be tested or proven.

False. String theory, like any scientific theory, makes testable predictions. The primary obstacle is those tests cannot be performed at the energies our current technology cannot produce. The author continues: [Read more…]

The hard-work lottery and the myth of success

There’s a myth in the US, fanned by agents of the super wealthy, that if you just work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, you’ll be rewarded with riches. It’s an easy sell all the way around. Regular people want to believe it, and it fluffs the tender feelings of those who are rich. Work hard and you’ll succeed, everyone wins! Good luck, you’ll need it. There are more powerball lottery winners in the US than people who started in the middle class and became billionaires. But even for more moderate winners it’s just not true. I know this for a fact, I’m one of the moderate winners. [Read more…]

Black Friday & pepper spray

I’ve always loved Black Friday. Back in my broker days it was the best day of the year to go to work. An old depression era rule decrees the stock market cannot be closed more than three days in a row, the only time it’s been broken was in the darkest days right after 9-11. So the NYSE and NASDAQ dutifully open for three or four hours, junior floor specialists and a handful of market-makers man the exchanges. In hundreds of broker-dealer offices around the country, like the one I worked in for years, a few sales assistants and maybe a standing compliance officer come to work, the sweet odor of margaritas and egg nog have been known to waft delicately through the empty hallways and offices.
But Black Friday for retail is a whole different story. It’s hustle and bustle, the official start of the Christmas shopping season. Later last night at a Walmart in California one neurotic shopper took that way, way too far. And where do you suppose she got this crowd control idea?

(LAtimes) — Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.” Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.

Dino for you and dino for me

A turkey relative eating one of our own ancestors 80 million years ago. Makes you think!

Behold the roast turkey jammed with stuffing, or better yet deep-fried in one big sleek pot fired up and humming like a jet turbine on full afterburner. Smoked is good too! And it’s a great choice for a feast, the turkey has an illustrious history. In fact, Ben Franklin felt one humble member of genus Meleagris deserved wider recognition:

For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

[Read more…]

Sharia Turkeys destroying thanksgiving!

Really, you just have to read the baby-cooking crazy shit these clowns believe. This is relayed via TPM from a nutjob site:

In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a torturous method: Islamic slaughter,” Geller writes. She continues that if you like freedom and hate sharia, you should boycott Butterball and ask them to stop selling these nefarious birds.

Other warnings have been issued by several wingnut activists and serial grifters, including the claim reportedly made by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association that ‘every turkey sold by Butterball has been sacrificed to Allah first!” What if the Sharia Turkeys join forces with the atheist Otters from Go God Go and begin cracking Christan skulls on their tummies?! Oh nooooo! Thanksgiving is dooomed!

Thanksgiving atheist theology

Maybe theology isn’t the best word for it. Well OK, no maybe about it, theology is a terrible word. But whatever you want to call it, this piece by Jennifer Oullette has it and makes a great read the day before Turkey Day for all my godless and atheist curious friends:

(SciAm) — If one embraces an atheist worldview, it necessarily requires embracing, even celebrating, one’s insignificance. It’s a tall order, I know, when one is accustomed to being the center of attention. The universe existed in all its vastness before I was born, and it will exist and continue to evolve after I am gone. But knowing that doesn’t make me feel bleak or hopeless. I find it strangely comforting.

Newt goes there

Newt Gingrich is being roundly criticized or praised this morning for purportedly showing a heart on immigration. One never knows with Newt, a pretty face or a stack of cash is all it takes for him to break every vow he’s ever made. But there are advantages and disadvantages in what he seems to be proposing on one of the Teaparty’s hot-button issues: [Read more…]