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Month: November 2012

Jesus Wept, oh wait… bad plumbing

When water started trickling down a statue of Jesus Christ at a Catholic church in Mumbai earlier this year, locals were quick to declare a miracle. So when Sanal Edamaruku arrived and established that this was not holy water so much as holey plumbing, the backlash was severe. The renowned rationalist was accused of blasphemy, charged with offenses that carry a three-year prison sentence and eventually, after receiving death threats, had to seek exile in Finland. Now he is calling for European governments to press Delhi into dropping the case. And on the first leg of a tour around EU capitals on Friday, he warned that India was sacrificing freedom of expression for outdated, colonial-era rules about blasphemy....

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Black Friday

It is that time of the year again where Americans rabidly throw themselves upon each other in an unbelievable chaotic race to put themselves further into debt for imaginary deals on outdated merchandise.  Disgusting.   A few random videos from this year:   Black Eye Friday, Galleria Mall in Roseville.   Arrest caught on camera at Florida Walmart.   Man Threatens to Stab People in Line  (at about 0:35)   Victoria Secrets at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.     Random Stories Man Pulls Gun on Line Cutting Shopper Man ‘allegedly’ left toddler in car while shopping for flat screen TV Couple Hit By Suspected Drunk Driver in Walmart Parking Lot Teens in Custody after Mall Fight 14 Year old Boy Robbed Outside Mall Slideshow: The Faces of Black Friday   Compilation video from previous years  ...

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Tycho Brahe’s Death Not Mercury Poisoning

In 2010, Tycho Brahe was exhumed from his grave in Prague, an event which received extensive international media coverage. Since then, a Danish-Czech team of researchers has been working to elucidate the cause of Tycho Brahe’s death. The results of this intensive work now make it possible to rule out mercury poisoning as a cause of death. Also from the article: In addition to his beard, another central element of the Tycho Brahe myth has been subjected to quantitative analysis: his famous artificial nose. Tycho Brahe lost part of his nose in a duel in 1566. According to tradition, the prosthetic nose he wore for the rest of his life was made of silver and gold. [via Science Codex] I’m reminded of this segment on Tycho from Carl Sagan’s...

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IRS Sued to Enforce Church Electioneering Ban

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is taking the IRS to court over their failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and other religious organizations. The IRS has previously admitted to suspending tax audits for churches and some claim that the IRS has been turning a blind eye to the situation since 2009. Over 1,500 clergy violated the electioneering restrictions on Sunday, October 7th, 2012 according to the legal complaint.  The news release also includes other recent complaint examples: Green Bay Bishop David L. Ricken, who wrote an article on diocesan letterhead inserted in all parish bulletins about voting and choosing the president and other offices. Ricken warned that if Catholics vote for a party or candidate who supports abortion rights or marriage equality, “you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.” (Read full FFRF letter to IRS.) Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, who, in an April homily, sharply criticized President Obama, referencing the 2012 presidential election, saying Obama was “following a similar path” as Hitler and Stalin. Jenky said “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences. . .” (Read full FFRF letter to IRS.) Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., who wrote a Nov. 1 article, “Official guidelines for forming a Catholic conscience in the Diocese of Madison,” published in the Catholic Herald,...

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