Quote of the Day

New Rule: Just because the Constitution doesn't have a religious test for office, doesn't mean I can't. This past Monday was Constitution Day in the U.S. And while I was going over the Constitution with my two adopted kids--Zack Ono and Mogadishu--I'm home schooling them--I was struck again by Article 6, Section 3. It says, "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office." And I agree. No one should ever be disqualified for their religion. Even the funny ones. Like all of them.

But, the problem is that there is a religious test in this country. According to a recent poll, seven in ten say it's important to have a president with strong religious beliefs. The other three couldn't take the poll because it was Friday night and Yahweh wouldn't let them answer the phone.

But, fair is fair. So, for myself and the other 15-20% of American who the majority call "non-believers," but who I call "rationalists," here is our religious test for office: if you believe in Judgment Day, I have to seriously question your judgment.

If you believe you're in a long-term relationship with an all-powerful space-daddy--who will, after you die, party with your ghost forever--you can't have my vote, even for Miss Hawaiian Tropic.

I can't trust you at the levers of government because there's an electrical fire going on in your head.

Maybe a president who didn't believe our soldiers were going to Heaven might be a little less willing to get them killed.

Candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, believes in spiritually-blessed underwear that can protect him. He seemed like a nice man, and so do his sons, Wally and the Beav. But, I'm sorry, their religion is bat-shit. It's like Scientology without the celebrities. And he has every right to run for president while believing in magic underwear, and believing that Jesus survived his own death and will return during an Osmonds' concert in Branson. And I have every right to take that into consideration in the voting booth.

And at the end of the day, is magic underwear really that much crazier than giant arks or virgin births or talking bushes? You're either a rationalist or you're not. And the good news is, a recent poll found 20% of adults under 30 say they are rationalists and have figured out that Santa Claus and Jesus are really the same guy.

Now, 20% is hardly a majority, but it's a bigger minority than blacks, Jews, homosexuals, NRA members, teachers or seniors. And it's certainly enough to stop being shy about expressing the opinion that WE'RE NOT THE CRAZY ONES!

Just because the vote is 4-to-1, it doesn't mean the minority is wrong. People who were against this war from the start were a minority. The majority used to believe the world was flat. But if you believe that today, you'd either be packed off to Bellevue or asked to co-host "The View."

- Bill Maher


Picture of the Day

....Too many jokes....brain....locking....up.....


Intel Dump!

First up, something for all my pals who have spent way too many hours watching 'Highlander'. You know who you are.

Damn that was sweet eh?

What could top Lindsay Lohan as Highlander you ask? How about Pulp Fiction with the cast of Star Wars?!

Quote of the Day:

This comes from the comments section of an economics blog called 'Marginal Revolutions';

"As libertarians like to remind us, you can't make an omelet without tossing some people out of helicopters. - Kieran "

Indeed. As you can tell already I'm going to be all over the map with this post, so buckle up sunshine, this post is going places.

Wired magazine lets you review different debate points by both Francis Collins and Richard Dawkins - and VOTE ON THEM. Needless to say, Dawkins is simply crushing Collins.

Speaking of Dawkins, here he is reviewing Christopher Hitchens!

In a related note, atheist compatriot Daniel Dennet has a new work in neuro-psychology, and you can read a review of it here. Sigh, ok, that's it for my favourite atheists.

In a less academic vein, after a prolonged hiatus, Bill Maher has returned to smash our funny bones with a hammer! The subject is also a bit topical for me;

"And finally, New Rule - and I never thought I'd be the one to say this, but: Don't show me your tits. Last week, the world's first "Nurse In" was held to protest the case of a woman who was breast-feeding in public, and asked by an Appleby's manager not to leave, but just to cover up a little bit. Because the wait staff got tired of hearing, "I'll have what that kid's having."

Look, I'm not trying to be insensitive here. I know your baby needs to eat, but so do I, and this is Appleby's, so I'm already nauseous.

Breast-feeding a baby is an intimate act, and I don't want to watch strangers performing intimate acts. At least not for free. It cheapens it. But breast-feeding activists - yes, breast-feeding activists, called "lactivists" - say this is a human right and appropriate everywhere, because it's natural. Well, so is masturbating, but I generally don't do that at Appleby's. Not in the main dining area, anyway."

My wife (who is breastfeeding) will likely kill me if she read that. Fortunately (!), she is one of the countless billions who don't usually read my blog.

Lurching myself (and any readers still left) in a new direction, here is Camille Paglia (my favourite butch lesbian intellectual who admits to carrying a knife) reviewing three new works of social science gender studies - only in these three cases the object of attention isn't the poor downtrodden forgotten woman, but rather, men. There is a lot of talk about sperm, and she isn't swallowing any of it. I know, terrible pun, but it was right there on the surface. Mea Culpa.

For those of you left in perpetual agony by Monty Python for raising the question, here is how to calculate the airspeed of an unladen swallow. (Hat tip to AJ)

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, how about the hilarity that comes from misadventures in diplomacy? Consider these mistaken translations;

"I am not here to play laughing homosexuals with you"

"Australia and China are enjoying simultaneous orgasms in their relationship".


One of my favourite movies is '12 Monkeys', and one of my favourite lines in the movie belongs to Brad Pitt who hectors the hapless Bruce Willis that the first thing he must do is 'Know your drugs'. So, how well do you think you know yours? Can you match the warning label to the prescription?

Combining a love for books with a love for architecture, here is a compendium of beautiful libraries!

In the same spirit, here is the new chair I desperately want/crave/must have;

And yes, that is a FREAKING WHEEL on the chair. So AWESOME.

Switching gears again, here is a selection of wicked electron microscope pictures!

Yup chess AND electron microscopes. We have a winner!

I have plans to go see 'Eastern Promises' tonight so I'll have to cut this Intel Dump a little short, but I will leave you with this 'piece de resistance', a high note to go out on.

A Compendium of Belly Dancers and Harem Girls (not exactly work safe, but close)

Oh. Yeah.


Picture of the Day

Exhibit #167 that I am punching way above my weight class.


Maps for US

Miss Teen South Carolina gets all of this madness started off, and if you haven't seen it yet, you really should;

Heeding her plea for more maps for US Americans, an organization lept to the challenge and resolved to collect maps from all over to help educate them and such.

You'd think this joke would get old pretty fast, but the maps that poured in are a hodge podge of fantasy, absurd and kitsch.

Here are my top five;

5. The Flight path of Voyager

4. The Map of Avengers Mansion

3. The Neo-Copernican Map of Chronological Cosmology (The map from 'Time Bandits')

2. The distribution of generic names for 'Soft Drink' across the US

1.The Map that freaks out the West Wing

MapsforUS.org for more!