David Attenborough Interview

Interview with David Attenborough by Nature in the lead up to his BBC show this Sunday.

Hospital Ghosts

Sometimes I hear a story and want to pull my hair out. Such as the hospital that's calling in a priest to exorcise a ghost. Obviously getting a man who talks to something that isn't there is the best plan to remove something that isn't there is the best way to use NHS time. Or perhaps they should all grow up.


Obama the UFO Magnet

Seems to be lots of UFO stuff around at the moment. Apparently Barack Obama is quite a magnet for them - perhaps they have discovered the 'leader of the free world' isn't quite as stupid as he used to be. David Cameron also seems to be wading in - I'm all for opening the 'UFO archives' but I think those who believe they've seen UFOs, and many who don't, will be disappointed when they do.

Tim Minchin 'Storm' YouTube

Pure genius.


(Yet) More on the Atheist Bus Campaign

Apparently the Advertising Standards Authority has received a few complaints about the atheist bus adverts. I kind of expected the Christian right to have a bit of a fit, but was not prepared for this:

"Stephen Green said: "It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules.

"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world."

Green comes from the organisation Christian Voice, who are about as extreme as mainstream Christianity gets in this country.

Hopefully the ASA will do the right thing. Next time I see a Christian advert anywhere though I am going to change a few words around and send it to the ASA, and I encourage you to do the same!

The BBc also covered the launch of the campaign, and has a video here.

Athiest Quote of The Day

Following on from some earlier controversy Ariane Sherine has read the first atheist thought for the day on Radio 4. Good move BBC!

More on Octopus UFO

Well my last post on the mysterious Octopus UFO drew in record numbers of visitors, but no new comments or followers. Could it really be true that they were all UFO nuts?

Anyway, it seems to have hit the news big time. Apparently 'tentacled UFO's' were spotted days before, the debris has been sent to German forensic officers, it could any of these or, as a UFO expert, told The Sun: "There may be something they don't want people to see."

A UFO expert - sounds like a synonym of nutter to me. An expert is someone who has a good knowledge of the evidence and can draw meaningful conclusions from it. Perhaps sadly, there is no evidence.

I have also seen somewhere, but can't find the link, that it may have been a military test aircraft.


Glastonbury Nuts

The article I have reproduced and commented below comes from Fox News.

"Ever since the town's free municipal wireless broadband network went online in May, people have been complaining of, as an online petition puts it, "headaches, dizziness, nausea, severe tiredness, brain fog, disorientation and loss of appetite, loss of balance, inability to concentrate, loss of creativity" — all ailments an examining physician would find it difficult to prove or disprove."

I think these people are looking for problems that don't exist. I have none of these problems when in Central London, where I am constantly buffeted by radio waves, TV broadcasts, radiation to and from mobile phones, radiation from the sun, local background radiation, and more besides.

"This place is not appropriate for a Wi-Fi trial," resident Linda Taylor tells the local Fosse Way magazine. "People are complaining of headaches, tingling skin among other symptoms. This makes me wonder what is it doing to the children."

Is it not as suitable a place as any where people have the desire and means to make use of WiFI?

"I don't want my son exposed to risk 24 hours a day, including at his primary school, which is within the Wi-Fi zone," yoga teacher Natalie Fee tells London's Telegraph. "I would be failing in my duty as a parent if I did."

Natalie Fee is clearly a bit over the top. I wonder if she wraps her son up in a Faraday cage to protect him from the electromagnetic fields associated with the wiring in her house?

One man has even begun making orgone generators, which use crystals, semi-precious stones and gold to purportedly put out positive energy to combat the negative vibes flooding the town from the Wi-Fi base stations.

"I have given a number of generators to shops in the High Street and hidden others in bushes in the immediate vicinity of the antennae. That way you can bring back the balance," Matt Todd told the Telegraph. "The science hasn't really got into the mainstream because the government won't make decisions which will affect big business, even if it concerns everyone's health."

Finally, someone who is not horrendously uninformed, but genuinely misinformed. How can anybody think that creating an over priced ornament and hiding it in a bush would do anything?

Todd says the Wi-Fi network is weakening the ley lines, supposed invisible webs of energy running through the landscape that the Druids and other ancient Britons are said to have been well aware of.

Oh dear. People still actually believe in this stuff?

Others Glastonburians say their levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and is seen as a wonder drug by natural-health types, have been all out of whack since the Wi-Fi network went on.

"The pulsed microwaves feed the pineal gland with false information," local Jacqui Roberts tells the Western Daily Press. "Melatonin fights the free radicals and cancer-producing cells."

I suppose these Glastonburians have a lab set up and the background knowledge required to accurately measure their melatonin levels. Oh, wait...

The Telegraph tracked down a physicist who says the health fears are, well, what might be called natural fertilizer.

"All the studies which have so far concluded show there is no evidence of a connection between exposure to Wi-Fi and ill health," states Dr. Eric de Silva of Imperial College London.

At least they spoke to a scientist as well as the loons.

Arguments aside, Glastonbury's Wi-Fi experiment may end due to simple economics.

At a raucous town council meeting in late November, one official had to admit that in the six months since the network, which costs about $15,000 per year to operate, had gone on, only 422 people had used it.

Glastonburians! Get out and use your WiFi otherwise the feeble-minded may claim victory.

More Atheist Busses?

The atheist bus phenomenon seems to be growing, with the Catalan Atheists setting up a campaign in Spain.

The (religious) authorities however seem to be putting pressure on the (civil) authorities to prevent the campaign from running. So much for freedom of speech.

Also the Catholic church is subsidised by the Spanish government, a linking or church and state that makes me feel a little queasy.

Octopus UFO?

The Telegraph reports wind turbine damage. So is it an octopus shaped UFO or ice? I hope you know what side I'd take.

I have no issues believing that UFOs may exist (unlike ghosts, etc), although I am still sceptical that anybody has seen one

Atheist Busses

Video from the Telegraph:

Richard Dawkins comes across well, unlike the Christian guy. I really don't get how what he said related to the advertising campaign.


God vs Satan

Dwindling in Unbelief seems to be on a bit of a roll - good work. This graph, explained in more detail here, just about sums it up. The being they invent to be evil is actually comparatively benign.


Athiest "Thought For The Day"?

I get particularly annoyed when religious people claim a monopoly on morality. The fact that atheists can be as moral, or more moral, than believers doesn't really need to be justified any longer.

So why does BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day remain only for the faithful? At least some people are taking a stand.


Some good news from Texas

It seems that the Texan state curriculum for science will define it in a way that excludes creationism (including intelligent design).

Well done Texas!


Dwindling In Unbelief: The Best Book in the Bible (revisited again)

Over at Dwindling In Unbelief Steve Wells has some interesting graphics showing the relative 'goodness' of books of the Bible. Only three books have net good!