Obviously Something Awful

May 27, 2016

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

My friend Ryan Koronowski at ThinkProgress takes a terrifying look the potential energy and climate policy of a climate-change-denying President Donald Trump

President Obama visits Hiroshima. One atomic bomb survivor, Mikiso Iwasa, brings up Trump to NYT's Motoko Rich, saying, "I think Obama is struggling and fighting in a society that is losing its rational mind."

Some fuel has been added to the fire of the alleged cellphone-cancer link. WSJ reports:

The multiyear, peer-reviewed study, by the National Toxicology Program, found “low incidences” of two types of tumors in male rats that were exposed to the type of radio frequencies that are commonly emitted by cellphones. ... “Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health,” according to a report of partial findings from the study, which was released late Thursday.

But... 

Earlier in the week, the NIH said, “It is important to note that previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cellphone use.”

Either way, it's WAY too late for me. 

CFI's Nick Little is a guest on the radio program Science for the People, talking about the law as it regards the recent death of a baby boy with meningitis, whose parents refused to provide medical treatment.

Joe Nickell in Skeptical Inquirer explains the Yowie, a kind of Australian version of Bigfoot. One easy explanation for its sightings:

The kangaroo and its cousins the wallaby and the wallaroo are also good suspects. When, in 1954, three Queensland youths reported an encounter with a six-foot-tall creature covered with hair, possessing a long tail, and having an “apron” draped from its waist, the latter detail was an obvious clue pointing to a marsupial pouch.  

Ghost hunters claim to have captured footage of an entity in an old English castle, and Ben Radford weighs in to settle down the conclusion-jumping. 

A New Jersey court rules that the state's funding of an Orthodox yeshiva and the Princeton Theological Seminary violates the state constitution

Greek archaeologist Konstantinos Sismanidis claims to have possibly discovered the tomb of Aristotle

Rep. Rick Allen berates his Republican colleagues in the House who supported an anti-discrimination measure, accusing them of sinning and "defying Christian tenets." Said one of his colleagues, "It was  f---ing ridiculous."

Emily McFarlan Miller visits an Oregon UFO festival, and finds the connections between alien-enthusiasm and religious belief. 

Three members of a religious minority in Indonesia, Gerakan Fajar Nusantara, are arrested on blasphemy charges for, um, think just being in a minority religion?

“We seized documents and holy books. They fused Al-Quran, [Christian] Bible and Jewish [doctrine] into a new teaching. They combine it all,” [Brig. Gen.] Agus told reporters in Jakarta. 

Whole Foods faces big protests -- not over the sale of alt-med quack remedies, but maybe someday -- over the CEO's relationship to former rabbi and current new age guru Marc Gafni, accused of the sexual abuse of young women and girls. 

This sounds nuts: Sharona Coutts at Rewire reports on anti-abortion groups using "sophisticated mobile surveillance techniques" to target women who visit clinics.

When ISIS claims responsibility for some of the death-by-hacking attacks in Bangladesh, the country's authorities say, 'nuh-uh, it's domestic terrorists,' which doesn't seem like something you'd want to be the case.  

Hundreds of Muslim men in Egypt catch wind of rumors that a Christian had had an affair with a Muslim woman, and proceed to ransack the man's house, torch the place, and drag out the man's 70-year-old mother and strip her naked in the street.

Well now here's something: In Brighton, a guy confesses murdering his housemate to a tarot card reader, who then keeps him talking long enough for police to arrive:

She said: "The devil card means obviously something awful."

"He broke down and I said to him: 'Look I can see here that this is not good, you need to tell me everything, let's talk'.

"He said: 'It's terrible, I killed him'. He told me that he killed him but he did not mean to and it was awful."

Miss Braiden said she calmly told the murderer that she would have to tell police and asked him if he would mind, before stepping out of her shop to call 999 at 3.42pm. 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, now in the midst of a divorce, won't be coming to the Reason Rally. We'll be fine. 

Quote of the Day:

Siri lets us down easy

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday May 27, 2016 at 9:48am

“We will remember you”

Cautionary tale, right?

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday May 27, 2016 at 10:38am

“I think Obama ... is losing [his] rational mind”

Fixed it.  Why would he go to a foreign country and speak about “souls”?  Is he pastor in chief?  Can you imagine if he was Scientologist and started quoting LRH?  “Atomic blasts ballooned from the craters of Loa, Vesuvius, Shasta, Washington, __Fujiyama__, Etna, and many, many others. Arching higher and higher, up and outwards, towering clouds mushroomed, shot through with flashes of flame, waste and fission.”

Frankly, Obama’s open promotion of religiosity, and in particular Christianity and Islam, has contributed greatly to the problem, at a time when we really really need it to be going the other way.

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