belief

Goddidit

I have to be really careful what I say this week; not because I’ve offended someone and I suddenly feel all guilty about it (as if). No, the reason I should put on my comfy slippers and tread softly, rather than donning my beloved heavy-as-fuck New Rocks and stomp (as usual) through the subject with the kind of psychotic vigour that the hammer-happy god Thor would be flushed with when playing “Whack-A-Mole”, is that the book I’ve been reading and mini-reviewing chapter by chapter on Twitter over the last few days was written by someone who had previously sued, for libel, the author of a scathing review (and general comment on the book’s author) that had been posted on Amazon. Since I’d ideally like to avoid sharing that particular experience, I will be taking great pains to distinguish clearly between the things I state as opinion, and those I state as fact. With that consideration, and the first eight chapters of “The Attempted Murder Of God: Hidden Science You Really Need To Know” by Scrooby, freshly in mind, I’d like this week to talk in a light-hearted satirical fashion about scientific ignorance, specifically the kind that only ever seems to come from religious drivel-mongers [opinion]. Read more “Goddidit”

New Model No. 15

I don’t know about you, but when I heard the news this week that the twin bills SOPA (Screwing Over Proper Artists) and PIPA (Positively Invading People’s Anuses) had suffered a humiliating defeat/climbdown when pretty much the entire world told the entertainment industry to go fuck itself and stop trying to ruin the internet, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, wiped the self-satisfied “Ha ha, we did it!” grin off my face, and then started to wonder just what kind of monstrous form the bills will take on once Hollywood and the record companies had re-grouped and returned to begin the next leg of their “Stealing Freedom Tour 1996 – 2047”. For reasons I can only imagine have something to do with my brain feeling particularly charitable (knowing that I had a blog post to write and no ideas), these thoughts began colliding with ones about the nature of religion versus science and how, as it is with content producers versus the internet, the battle is about nothing more than destroying the competition in order to protect an obsolete business model. Read more “New Model No. 15”

Sign Here

Do you want to hear something really spooky? This post is my thirty-eighth on this site and it comes in the week when I celebrate my thirty-eighth birthday! Isn’t that weird? What do you think it might mean? Hold on, don’t answer, because it gets better! I share my birthday with Dave Grohl, Faye Dunaway, and Richard Briers, which is amazing because, get this, I really like the Foo Fighters, “The Towering Inferno” is one of my favourite films, and I thought Margot was the funniest character in “The Good Life”! Isn’t that incredible? The connections are just so far beyond explanation, it’s almost as if there was some kind of cosmic plan, a purpose to it all … don’t you think? No? Really? Well thank fuck for that because that means you’re not a cloud-brained dipshit who infers a meaning behind every coincidence – I can’t stand you people. If you were too busy drooling out of one side of your mouth when your parents explained the concept of probability to you by way of throwing dice, wake up, wipe your chin, and pay attention – it’s time to learn something. Read more “Sign Here”

Bring it

So, as I was saying last week before I became hopelessly sidetracked into ranting about Jeremy Clarkson (it’s easily done, I know, what with him being in possession of a face that would look infinitely better if a fist was ploughing through it faster than a Bugatti Veyron with a rocket up its arse), I have recently been involved in a Twitter-based scientific argument with a user by the name of @Adam4004. His name, which consists of a reference to both the bible’s first man and the year (BCE) literalists claim is when the earth was created, was my first clue to his being a young earth creationist (or “moron” for short). The second was that he offered not a single scrap of evidence for any of his frequently asinine claims, choosing instead simply to assert the truth of his statements whilst ignoring all requests to provide references and citations for the many studies and peer-reviewed papers that undoubtedly support them. The reason we had to go through such a frustrating dance is that evidence to a theist is like a backbone to Nick Clegg; they can’t show any, because they ain’t got any. Read more “Bring it”

Acts of Sod

We have a thing in Britain called Sod’s Law; it’s a simple axiom that states, “anything that can go wrong, will”, and is often exemplified by the frustrating way that dropped toast always lands butter side down. Some people know it as Murphy’s Law, particularly outside the UK where the word “sod” is not as commonly used; regardless of how you refer to it, it’s still a good way of describing those situations where you can’t for the life of you shake the feeling that the universe is royally taking the piss out of you. I got a little taste of that this week when I was rudely awoken on Monday morning as the torrential rain we were enjoying stubbornly refused to stay out of my bedroom. Sadly, while I was out, first at work then at a friend’s funeral, the situation worsened, and I returned home to find a small paddling pool with a headboard where I normally keep my bed. On the plus side, I am at least able to claim for the damage on my insurance by taking advantage of a clause which points the finger of blame squarely at a non-existent sky pixie. Read more “Acts of Sod”

404 Mage Not Found

My first thought upon hearing the news this week that Apple CEO, and co-founder, Steve Jobs had died was not that the world had lost an inspirational thinker and visionary who fundamentally changed our relationship with technology (that thought was in there – it just wasn’t my first); I didn’t even leap, as I ordinarily would, straight to the cynical and anti-corporate, “Oh no, who’s going to come up with ideas for what Chinese children should build next?” (although that was in there too). No, my first thought was, given Jobs’ extraordinarily high-profile as CEO of the biggest tech company on earth, how long would it be before the Westboro Baptist Church crawled out of the festering gutter they lurk in to announce that they were going to protest his funeral? As it turned out “less than a day” was the correct answer and, when their infamous tweet came rather ironically via an iPhone (prompting a torrent of amused derision), I started to wonder why on earth theists ever bother to go anywhere near the internet when they so regularly, and completely, get their arses handed to them every time they do. Read more “404 Mage Not Found”

* Terms and conditions apply

On Wednesday night, the state of Georgia committed murder in front of millions of witnesses. As if that weren’t terrible enough in and of itself, it was made all the more shocking by the fact that there’s every possibility that the victim was entirely innocent. In its usual, myopic pursuit to dispense “justice”, the United States executed Troy Davis for the killing of police officer Mark McPhail, despite the failure to recover a murder weapon, the recanted testimonies of witnesses (some of which made allegations of police coercion), and no other real, tangible physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter whether Davis was guilty or not; he was still a victim of state-sanctioned execution in what we’re frequently told is a civilised country, and the decision to end his life, as well as a good deal of the support for doing so, came from people for whom “thou shalt not kill” is supposed to be immutable. Read more “* Terms and conditions apply”