10, 4 Billion, 40,000

November 13, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.     

Once upon a time, a little probe called Rosetta chased a comet for 10 years, and then sent a little box with legs called Philae to land on it, and the world went nuts with delight. 

Here's Rosetta's official Flickr account so you can see Comet 67P in all its rocky glory. xkcd live-comic'd the whole event. ("I'm okay and I'm on a comet.")

A federal judge rules South Carolina's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional (BAM!), the Supreme Court clears the way for Kansas same-sex marriages to go ahead (SHABAM!), but then the people of Miami-Dade, Florida come out in force in favor of discrimination against transgender folks (BOOOOOOO).

President Obama scores a deal with China's President Xi Jinping on carbon emissions. 

Christian and Jewish holidays are removed from a Maryland public school's calendar after Muslim community leaders requested representation of their holidays as well.  

Dr. Oz takes to Twitter to solicit health questions, and, well, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Here's a good one:

I just read that my new detox regimen might be toxic. Can you recommend a detoxification to detoxify my toxins? 

Ben Radford reports on the horrifying story of a mother who kills her autistic son in order to "protect" him from being tortured by his dad, and claims she could communicate with him through the Ouija-like "Facilitated Communication." 

Ben also talks to IndieWire about that weird thing where people applaud at movies even though no one who made the movie is there. 

Oh and here's a place I never thought I'd see CFI mentioned: KPopStarz, your source for news on Korean pop music. But there it is. 

New research suggests that expressions of scientific certainty ("such and such is a fact") make people less likely to accept it, as opposed to statements that hedge ("results appeared to indicate..."). 

The mayor of New Albany, Indiana is promoting a prayer breakfast on the taxpayer dime.

OMG did Jesus have a wife???? Meh.

Oh hey, my wife is making her theatrical directorial debut with a show put on by students at the University of New England, and a local theatre blog gives it a positive review. Yay Jessica!

Quote of the Day

Tech writer John Gruber on Rosetta/Philae:

10-year mission. 4 billion miles. Landing on a comet traveling 40,000 miles per hour. Science.

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Comments:

#1 Randy on Thursday November 13, 2014 at 8:21pm

“Landing on a comet traveling 40,000 miles per hour.”

They all say things like this.  Relative to what?  Houston?  The center of the Earth?  The sun?

#2 Randy on Thursday November 13, 2014 at 8:26pm

“people applaud at movies even though no one who made the movie is there.”

Well, sometimes they ARE there (e.g. festivals).  And at the very least, their proxies are there, in the form of theatre staff.

A movie that generates applause is not only value-for-money, but is building an emotional relationships between the people in the audience, and the theatre that gave them that experience.  If the theatre plays things right, these customers will more likely come back even at higher prices.

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