Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blogging on Theocractic Impulses

Turned into a busy weekend, but I wanted to get some time for theocracy.

Obviously, not here to praise it, but hoping to see it buried.

Still, in talking about it, for too many the view is that it is something to do with the Middle East. Yet it has been a struggle to resist this here in the United States.

Since the those earliest colonist there has often been a drive to cement religious law and religious doctrine, and enforce it on all within reach. It is part of the reason the colony of Rhode Island came into existence. Official religions were abound in the colonies. Attitudes in the start were focused on building and enforcing religious communities, and those not following the path, had to be righted, or outed. And it was hard work to shift these attitudes, but there were good leaders and speakers who helped make progress. They could only go so far. It fell on future generations to be active in continuing the work. And slowly progress has continued. But here we are now, with legislatures in a panic to try and ban fanciful religious threats, while trying to place in granite other religious tenets in the law books and in front of the courthouses.

Still in some parts of the US, blue laws persist. These laws prevent businesses and customers from coming together for some commerce on the sabbath. In Texas hostility towards the nonreligious is clear, with atheist being barred from office (and in 6 other states). And there and in other states acting as a homosexual is sanctioned harshly. And this extends to attitudes towards women (from reproductive freedom to right buy sexual aids).

All down to religious, theocratic, dictates.

As sad it is to see in legislature, some courts, and some officials, it is terrifying to see in one's armed forces. Evangelicals are seen to have a good deal of power in the military. Higher ups have been seen to bring pressure on recruits to conform, even religiously. It is wholly unacceptable and a distinct threat to the security to this country.

The struggle with theocracy, sadly, must continue. There is so much yet to be addressed. And the issues fall in all branches of government, and even the armed forces. But change is coming slowly. There are those willing and able to speak out. More are being made aware. It still falls on all of us to try and make more aware, more concerned, and more active against the threat of theocracy.

Are you active?

Here are some groups at work in this area:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blogging against Theocracy

Almost let the distractions all around allow me to forget this is the time to blog about the concerns with theocracy....i.e. blogging against theocracy.

Welcome to Blog Against Theocracy 2011

It is not a blogswarm against religion. Bloggers who believe in religion, and those who don't, are equally welcome here. What we share is a common commitment to the First Amendment to the Constitution and its guarantee of church-state separation. 
This year, we are using the hashtag #AgainstTheocracy on twitter to link and promote our posts. 

Now I just have to think of something to focus attention on. It will continue on through Sunday.

Get involved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring - April 15th, 2011

A look at a fine Spring day in the Midwest United States. Shots from the sunny side.

And after opening the car window and taking a shot that happens to be into the wind.

And I thought the rain the day before was cold.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't know what it says.

It seems odd, on Twitter, that I seem to draw in more followers when I am off of it and to busy to tweet or retweet.

Don't know what that says about me...

Let's just call it being so interesting that my absence draws people in all the more...yeah...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Loving my Horror Hosts

Yeah, I do love my horror host, and their shows. I have been happy to get into finding, watching, and supporting some of the hosts active these days. You should look there are many, and they are all over the country, on many different mediums.

To get a look at some a quick way to go is via, Horror Host Graveyard, which list current happenings this different shows and hosts. Also different events going on, and how to access some shows. Plus it uses plenty of YouTube vids of the shows that are out there.

And one DVD that is out, looking at the history of these shows in American Scary. Had to grab it up after I learned about it and saw some parts of it on YouTube. Here are some bits.

A Trailer

First 10 Minutes

Clip from behind the scenes with Neil Gaiman and Malena Teves.

Superheroes are for girls

And in that same vein. A new site on Tumblr, there to remind us all that, despite what society, execs, and some writers and fans claim, women AND girls want and do read comics...and love those superheroes.


Awwww. Live the dream.

Little girls do kick butt, and join the Dark Side

How can you not be impressed, and charmed.

Little kid goes to Mouse Country, meets Darth Vader and jumps at the chance to join the Dark Side and get the power she's been craving. You go after it!

Live the dream.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Ending the world prematurely.

Mental Floss gives us a list of the many declaration of end times.

Yup. There have been plenty of them. And in many cases they were taken damn seriously. People have given up property, all their worldly goods, even cut themselves off from loved ones. And others have died for their beliefs in this regard. So it is always worth being aware of the sheer number of times the final calls were announced for this world.

The Quick 10: The End is Near! Wait, No, It’s Not. 

1. 1284. When the Pope decrees something, people tend to listen. And they did, in 1213, when Pope Innocent III wrote that “the end of this beast is approaching, whose number, according to the Revelation of Saint John, will end in 666 years, of which already nearly 600 have passed.”
6. 1910, with the appearance of Halley’s Comet. French astronomer Camille Flammarion predicted that a seven-tailed comet was coming to Earth, and gas from the comet’s tail would “impregnate” the Earth’s atmosphere, setting it and all of its inhabitants ablaze in a fiery explosion.
9. September 11, 12 or 13, 1988. Edgar Whisenant, a former NASA engineer, was so sure about his calculated date that he wrote a book called 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988 and boldly stated, “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong.” When he was, in fact, wrong, he published The final shout: Rapture Report 1989, followed by the less-certain 23 reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture looks like it will occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993 and And now the earth’s destruction by fire, nuclear bomb fire.

And as a reminder we are all still here.

Addendum: Forgot link at top.

Superhero Movie Physics

Cocktail Party Physics has a fun look at science in Hollywood. Worth a read through.

But this video from the U of M in the Twin Cities shows Prof. Kakalios, and his work in superhero physics. Including some of his attempts to help Hollywood.

I would suggest checking out his great book on superhero physics, if you haven't already.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The right kind of movie poster.

In the variations of posters produced to promote The King's Speech was one I found quite nice. It is one I am sure even Hitchens could like, though I know he has been critical of the history in the film.

Can't ALL movies do posters that note how shit gods are?

Saturday, April 02, 2011



Well, you will have to click and open it to see the animation I am afraid.

More Moyers?

There is talk of the possibility of Bill Moyers returning to PBS with a show he is currently working on.

Could it be? Is it possible?

Maybe he has something more to share and discuss with America?

Wait and see.

Personally, I wish Moyers would be asked to head up the FCC, or some similar agency. He would be great at cleaning up the mess in any of them.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fools Day


...and why it can be a pain in the ass.

Best explanation of the Rebecca Black haters.

Charlie Brooker, a wonderful humorist and scathing media critic, has, what I think is the best look at the story of Rebecca Black.

To understand, this 13 year old's parents paid to make a video that would allow their daughter take a stab at music making. They picked an annoying pop song to use called Fridays. But it's a pop song. Make a list of all the pop songs in existence, pick one at random, odds are it will annoy you. That is the cost of you not being one of those dastardly tweens (god, I've used that word).

So parents lavished an expensive gift on there daughter I don't care. (Now there are shows like My Super Sweet 16 were teens get lavish gifts and act like asses. Not even that here.) In fact I was oblivious to all of this until a feminist twitter entity made note of all the shit she was getting, in comparison to the attention that people like Charlie Sheen get. Thought it was a good point. So I looked at the video, thought it was a little annoying, but I am an old grumpy fart (Hello! Jaded!). So after watching all I could think, why should I or anyone care? Well apparently a lot of sad online users did. Enough to mock a kid, ridicule her and try an tear down any positive self-image she had. Pathetic.

But before going on, it should be noted that this is quite sadly not a unheard of tale. No. Girls and women are constantly sought out online to be ridiculed, have their sexuality, body, etc ridiculed for...just having an opinion they dare share (Let alone women who build and run sites.). It can be sick and vicious. And sometimes people go to the point of stalking women online, finding other id's and sites they work or visit, and attack them there. It even gets to the point of physical threats, sometimes finding out information on where they live.

I was just going to just point to this scathingly funny clip, but it is important of remind people how nasty, continual, and pernicious these activities are. And people need to be aware and acting to right things.

From the British series 10 O'Clock Live:

Eating Brains at Work

Here is a video that takes John Coulton's great song to another level.

And if you do like Coulton's music, you can easily find more in iTunes, among other spots. It is all geeky fun.