Archive for September 20th, 2006|Daily archive page

Cinemagraphic Evidence of Evolution

Updated (Link fixed)

In the Rough

Select your movie size, grab some popcorn and enjoy.

Could I please borrow Eugenie Scott, PZ Meyers and Co?

Note: Most links are to German articles. 

Yesterday’s Speigel-Online had an article about creationism. Not creationism in the US, creationism in Germany. Yes, the little vermin are alive and breeding in Old Europe with the article citing 1.3 million in Germany alone.

I apparently missed the brouhaha last September, when Thuringia’s governor (Ministerpräsident) Dieter Althaus scheduled a ‘debate’ between an evolutionary biologist Ulrich Kutschera and the German creationist Siegfried Schere. The event was cancelled after Kutschera refused to debate, perhaps realising the futility of the mission. 

Last night, on arte (sort of a French/German PBS), they had an entire evening focused on Christian fundamentalism. (AND I MISSED IT! Grrrr!) The first film ‘Of Gods and Designers’ by Peter Moers and Frank Papenbroock was probably the most interesting. It showed the largest European creationist publishing house in England, interviewed both scientists and the ID-iots and, perhaps most disturbingly, presented a private and a public school in Germany where creationist propaganda is being presented as biology. The Spiegel article explains

Biology class at the August Hermann Franke School in Giessen, pupils in the eighth grade finish a fill in the blanks text. Completed the exercise reads “{Continental drift} started only after the Noachian flood. God sent the {flood} to the earth because the {people} were evil but Noah found {grace} in the sight of the Lord.” Further down in the text on the page, the world after the flood is described “Humans started eating meat; there were natural catastrophes and climate problems; people stopped getting as old”.

According to the article the August Hermann Franke School is an accredited but private Christian school. But that’s not where it ends. A public school is also – um – implicated.

In addition, at the public Liebig High School in Giessen there are public supporters of the biblical teachings. Biology teacher Wolfgang Meyer calls himself a ‘supporter of creationist theories.’ He feels it is important to teach pupils the background so they can learn that ‘the statements, to be found in school books, can definitely be questioned.’ [my emphisis]

The Spiegel article is nicely critical of the whole thing, no ‘two sides to every story’ here. And I can report one highlight. The links Spiegel has at the end of the article point to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the NSCE.

Now where’s Eugenie Scott when you need her? Oh, yeah. I remember, I put her up on a pedestal.

UPDATE: Spelled Ms Scotts name right and put up German warning.

Who needs liposuction…

… if you’ve got the right camera.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am slightly obsessed with my weight. I was a pretty pudgy  kid and the feeling of not fitting in because I didn’t fit in the right clothes has always been a problem for me. Fortunately, I managed to lose a lot of weight during college and, 20 years later, still fit into jeans I couldn’t have worn at 16. (Living in Germany helped because people are generally thinner here, less fatty food, more walking – seriously. Not having stepped into a McDonalds or a Burger King in about 5 years might also have something to do with it.)

Nevertheless, I would never, ever, ever think poorly about someone for their weight. Most people have the body they were born with. Period. Sure changing nutrition, more movement, and less sugar would help. Perhaps if the food industry would stop putting corn syrup in everything? And I do mean everything.

I also won’t fight the fact that some people have a major problem with their weight. They know that. I feel sorry for them, not judgemental.

Finally I look at the current ‘body styled’ youth and can’t help but think ‘Poor dear. Could someone get her a meal, she looks starved.’

So, when I look at this HP ad, I think sick bastards. The woman on the left looks FINE! Scum.

Perhaps it’s good to know that the spies HP uses are as deceptive as their cameras.

Hat Tip: No_Nym/Bitch PhD

Update: Of course the camera might be designed not for people, but for pets.

Girls Just Wanna Sing Hate Songs (updated)

[Update: News as of June 2007 can be found here. (Hi Sweden ;-)]

Remember the Girl Band Racist Hate Singers Prussian Blue? This would be Lamb and Lynx Gaede who enjoy playing white supremacist meetings. Well they’re baaaaack in the news.

According the Great Falls Tribune, they moved from Bakersfield, California to Kalispell,

The arrival of a white nationalist family, including 14-year-old twins who perform music as the group Prussian Blue, has prompted neighbors to distribute fliers that say, “No hate here.”

Lamb and Lynx Gaede, their mother April and stepfather Mark Harrington moved to Kalispell from Bakersfield, Calif., which was “not white enough,” April Gaede told ABC’s “Primetime” in a show that aired last fall.

For some reason, the residents of Kalispell didn’t find this form of ‘nice place to live’ marketing particularly amusing. Equally oddly the Gaedes were surprised by the reaction, the distribution of fliers, felt harassed and (as good new neighbors would) complained to the police. The police simply informed the Gaedes that this was well within freedom of speech rights and they’ll have to live with it. (A little like the hate songs the girls sing but we won’t go into that.)

Not mentioned in the article or any other blog entries I’ve read about this bunch is the connection between the name Prussian Blue and holocaust denial. Holocaust deniers claim that there couldn’t have been any gas chambers in Auschwitz because the walls of the chambers aren’t colored blue. Why should they be blue? A standard reaction between cyanide and iron (in the bricks used to build the chamber) is usually called Prussian blue. Holocaust deniers have been saying for years, “No blue brick, ho holocaust.” Of course this claim is silly because
a) the interiors of the gas chambers were painted and the cyanide couldn’t reach the bricks well and
b) because the gas concentrations used in the gas chambers were far too low to have the kinds of effects the deniers would like to see.
c) any marginal blue coloring would have long since weathered away because the gas chambers were blown up shortly before the end of the war.

But a real girl band doesn’t allow trivial things like facts or taste stand in the way of a skyrocketing career. Now if they could only find somewhere to live. Might I recommend under a rock? On the moon?

Hat tip: David Schraub/Moderate Voice and Eugene Volokh