Monthly Archives: November 2009

God’s Beliefs Mirror Ours

Found on Reddit:

Religious people tend to use their own beliefs as a guide in thinking about what God believes, but are less constrained when reasoning about other people’s beliefs, according to a new study. Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, led the research, which included a series of survey and neuroimaging studies to examine the extent to which people’s own beliefs guide their predictions about God’s beliefs. The researchers note that people often set their moral compasses according to what they presume to be God’s standards. “The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing,” they conclude. “This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.”


Michael Moore to President Obama RE: Afghanistan

From HuffPo

If you go to West Point tomorrow night and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president…. It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government… Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding.

via Michael Moore: An Open Letter To President Obama On Afghanistan.

Key Indicators of Talentlessness

From a Jezzie thread about Jesus Luz:

“Becoming a DJ” and “Launching a celebrity fashion line” and “Shopping a reality show” and “Writing a tell-all book” are all euphamisms for “This Person Doesn’t Have Any Real Talent.

via Jezebel

LHC Sets Proton Energy Record: 1.18 TeV

Go science go:

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has today become the world’s highest energy particle accelerator, having accelerated its twin beams of protons to an energy of 1.18 TeV in the early hours of the morning. This exceeds the previous world record of 0.98 TeV, which had been held by the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Tevatron collider since 2001. It marks another important milestone on the road to first physics at the LHC in 2010.

via CERN Press Release.

1 in 8 Americans on Food Stamps, 1 in 4 Children

They obviously aren’t working hard enough to find the jobs they weren’t trained for that don’t exist:

It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys. More than 36 million people use inconspicuous plastic cards for staples like milk, bread and cheese, swiping them at counters in blighted cities and in suburbs pocked with foreclosure signs.Virtually all have incomes near or below the federal poverty line, but their eclectic ranks testify to the range of people struggling with basic needs. They include single mothers and married couples, the newly jobless and the chronically poor, longtime recipients of welfare checks and workers whose reduced hours or slender wages leave pantries bare.

via Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades

Cancer-Proof Rats Live for 30 Years

Introducing the naked mole rat:

About 1,500 naked mole rats live in clear tanks connected by long tubes at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where researcher Rochelle Buffenstein nurtures the largest colony in the U.S. At least a half-dozen other universities also have colonies. Nearly blind and hairless, the rodents resemble wrinkled spring rolls with tiny legs and buck teeth. They normally live in underground tunnels with a social structure comparable to bees.

via Rat pack: Scientists warming up to African rodent

Gay Argentine Couple’s Wedding Plans Divide an Entire Continent

The Observer:

“This marriage is bigger than José María and I,” Freyre told the Observer. “It is a victory for all who face prejudice and discrimination across Latin America and the Caribbean. It is proof that at last the grip of the Catholic church is slipping across Latin America, the system that has kept gay communities silent and fearful is crumbling. What is happening on Tuesday is a strike against those attitudes that have repressed sexual rights across this continent for too long.” The most controversial marriage in Argentina’s history became possible when a city court judge ruled that it was unconstitutional for civil law to stipulate that a marriage can exist only between a man and a woman. The marriage licence was granted on 16 November.

via Gay Argentine couple’s wedding plans divide an entire continent | World news

Fake Populism

From Newsweek:

Today’s faux populists also feast on emotions—anxiety, anger, resentment—that intensify in hard times. But they are more accurately described as plain old reactionaries, a wonderfully precise word that has gone out of common usage. They’re reacting against the pace of change and feeding right-wing nostalgia for a bygone era when a liberal black man wouldn’t dare run for president.  And that’s what will likely save us. That instead of wanting to be president, [one] just wants her own talk show, [another] (whose ratings were in steep decline before he left CNN) merely hopes to boost his speaking fees, and [still another] aspires to nothing more than dethroning [still one more other]. The Foxulists all know that actually running for office is a lot harder than signing books and mouthing off about Obama…. But even the most artful use of new technology won’t likely make a populist president. That’s because the country is conservative in a deeper sense. Populism—reactionary or progressive—is disruptive of the social order at a time when most people crave some sense of control over fast-moving events. Sure we want someone to give voice to our frustrations. But from the heart and head, not the spleen.

via Jonathan Alter

Swedes Incinerate Bunnies to Heat Homes

Hot crosss bun-buns!

Last year the eradication squad killed 6,000 of the furry critters, which are not native to Sweden. When the city started killing the rabbits in 2006, officials realized they would have to dispose of their carcasses. At around the same time, the European Union passed a law that makes it illegal to dispose of raw meat or carcasses in landfills. Solution: use the bunnies as fuel to heat Swedish homes.

via Energizer Bunnies: Turning Rabbits into Green Fuel – TIME.