RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/October 2009

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[edit] October 2009

6Halloween Alert: According to some Crazy Fundamentalist People, "most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches." Were the witches working on-site at the factory, or were there point-of-sale covens? And were they unionized? Here's some thoughts on the logistics.
11A 112 year old man weds a 17 year old girl in Somalia. Not only does he have a birth certificate, but it's written on goat skin!
6Police in Utah cite teens for disorderly conduct for rapping their order at a McDonald's drive-thru. The employees thought their safety was at risk.
0Not content with crushing the retail stores on Main Street, Wal-Mart and Costco set their sights on local funeral homes.
4Let's see how Republicans try to spin this.... (They will, obviously, have a little help from economists, who point out that the expansion is a bubble caused by the stimulus package.)
3Over a half-century after the Comics Code Authority drove them out of existence, crime comics make a comeback.
14Former South Carolina Republican State Rep (and until now Assistant District Attorney) caught with stripper. And Viagra. And a bag of sex toys. In a cemetery. When asked by the cop about it, his response was that he was "on his lunch break".
0Florida teenager stabbed fifteen times in the chest. With a kitchen knife. By his brother. Because the volume on the computer was too loud.
5United Nations security infiltrated by legendary international superspy, Colonel Sanders. The U.N., being unable to take a joke, announces intent to sue.
9Help help, he's being repressed! In a stunning show of anti-religious bigotry, an employee of Home Depot was fired for his "One Nation Under God" Pin. Do us a favor and ignore the complete corporate ban on personal decorations and the company approved "United We Stand" pin he was offered.
2Ten-country survey reveals some support for "teach the controversy" as opposed to teaching the truth.
11Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a bill and in a complete coincidence, tells his Democratic opponent to fuck himself.
8For years, Detroit claimed that American car buyers really wanted big, gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks (which just happen to be their most profitable vehicles). Now a former General Motors economist admits "We fudged the facts" to sell more guzzlers.
8My sister and her husband were too liberal, they were raising their children wrong, and they didn't invite me over for Christmas. So I murdered them because I wanted to adopt their children and raise them as good conservatives.
3With the opt-out public option in place, Olympia Snowe turns tail back to the crazies as the Democrats scramble for votes. To make matters worse, Joe Lieberman promises to go along with the Republican filibuster.
6Irony: The Houston City Council is being sued for having opening prayers at their meetings. Singled out in the lawsuit is the "overly Christian" Lord's Prayer recited by a woman named Clutterbuck.
3After months of repairs and modifications, the LHC fires up one more time.
6I am 63 years old, I am a former President of the United States, and I live in a van down by the river!
15Cult convicted of fraud, but only in France.
10The Daily Mail gets caught out faking evidence to make it seem like the BBC was engineering Nick Griffins spanking on Question Time. Of course, The Mail aren't known for having fantastic photoshop skills but this one does take the biscuit.
6Got raped? Don't expect medical insurance because of your "pre-existing condition".
6Disney isn't admitting that its Baby Einstein video series is just a bunch of woo based on pseudoscience. But it is offering refunds.
0Judith Warner performs a Schlafly Reversal on the research indicating that women were happier in 1972: More equality has made women feel less equal. We'll be happy when we're equal. We have a gender-segregated workforce and education system. Oh, and the year is 1909.
18Hate Crimes Act passes (aka Matthew Shepard Act)
10Rich people demand higher taxes for themselves. Yes, you did read that right, but don't get too excited, it's only in Germany.
8BNP leader Nick Griffin manages to wangle a spot on Question Time, and is then surprised to be verbally torn apart by the panel and audience
11The Church of Sweden votes to start performing gay marriages.
-3 Sarah Palin joins Oprah's Book Club. Still wouldn't you think her family is better suited to be on Dr. Phil.
2UK government responds negatively to the suggestion that collective acts of worship should be removed from non-faith state schools.
6Armed robber finds God during hold-up... then does the robbery anyway.
0Attention Anglicans are you tired of gay priests, female bishops, or being allowed to use birth control? If so, we're here to help.
3In the backwoods of India, craziness and hypocrisy rear their ugly heads: a village beats and tortures 5 rich widows so as to nick their property for "being witches."
5Secret Service stretched thin due to increasing number of death threats against the President and having to protect well over 30 people along with other duties.
4More evidence of global warming from Canada.
0Smaller Coke cans are coming, but is this just a way of increasing demand for the "real" 12 ounce thing?
1Homeopathy, Chiropractic and CAM get some serious air time in the UK House of Commons.
3UK border police used anti-terrorist legislation to prevent a British climate change activist from crossing over into mainland Europe.
3Kerpow! Oof! Artist Robert Crumb releases a cartoon version of Genesis "complete with biblical rumpy-pumpy and 'gratuitous' violence".
1The Lenski affair, one year on: more details about the ongoing experiment are published. Even more astonishing is a decent discussion about it on Slashdot.
4Various political pressure groups are teed off that >gasp!< Obama is setting priorities, hence not showing a fanatical devotion to their pet causes.
2A new TV commercial against Maine's anti-gay marriage ballot measure features a Catholic mother, her son, his partner and their son. Some guy from a website called CatholicVoteAction.org is in a snit over the ad.
0The ugly side (is there another?) of reality TV - boy-in-the-balloon a hoax. Here's some do's and don't's for future wannabees.
5Sweden attempted to solve the bunny problem in an environmental way.
8The Liberal Democrats take the first step towards making the UK officially secular.
12One of the coldest places in the known universe is a 27km tunnel under the Franco-Swiss border. The LHC is being prepared to run (again)
-1The Minoan Labyrinth has just been located. Creationists, meanwhile, have not been able to turn up the ruins of Noah's Ark.
8No, really. Being a Christian does make you more moral than any atheist. Just don't expect the boys raped by a vicar to agree with you.
7The U.S. Army's Junior Recruit Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is currently offered to high schoolers (15 to 18 year olds). The Army wants to offer it to middle schoolers (11 to 14 year olds) because -- and you can't fabricate a quote like this -- "We want to reach students at that age before they make decisions that put them at risk."
3The next time you receive a credit card offer in the mail, carefully read the fine print. Otherwise, you may find out the hard way that you've signed up for a 79.9 percent annual interest rate.
19Partying like it's 1909- Interracial couple denied marriage license.
6If insurance companies are prohibited from canceling policies of high-need individuals, there is only one thing to do. Cancel all such policies. (Read this while you can. The Washington Times is to the right of Rush Limbaugh. The editors were no doubt drunk and/or high when they published this, so this may disappear at any time.)
0Can salmon evolve to survive among fish-killing dams? (Note: The original headline in the print edition was "Are salmon evolving to conquer dams?" No doubt they got complaints about a headline that seems to imply that evolution is possible.)
2Reports from hHell suggest there may be a cold spell approaching.
11KJV worship takes a further turn for the bizarre - a Baptist church in North Carolina is planning a good old-fashion book burning for Halloween!
7Further insights into the mind of an American fundamentalist Christian politician. House Minority Leader John Boehner is against extending hate crimes protections to gays because he believes that one's religious beliefs (which have hate crimes protection) are immutable, while one's sexual orientation is not. In other words, being gay is a choice, but your religious beliefs aren't.
4The Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum is opening a new $20.7 million (that is $7 million less than Ken Ham's disinformation centre) Hall of Human Origin's in March 2010.
5Birther leader Orly Taitz gets pimp smacked by a federal judge for using the the federal courts "as a platform for political rhetoric and insults"
1The group making a bid to buy the Saint Louis Rams drops Limbaugh because he is a "complication".
3 An exciting new psychological theory: "Teenagers are capable of being far more mature and productive than we think." Hint, fellows: you don't need a shrink to tell you that, just a history book.
-2 You know it's romantic when there are about 45,000 other people getting married along with you.
12Oh noes! Latest fossil discovery means that even more gaps in the record now need to be filled in.
3Senate committee approves the health care bill. Expect the Republicans to lose their collective shit any second now.
13Making abortions illegal does not reduce the number of abortions; better access to contraception is more effective.
-2Higgs boson travels back in time to sabotage the LHC. Or maybe >gasp!< the physicists were wrong when they hypothesized the existence of such a particle...
0Chicago Cubs declare bankruptcy. Insert joke about baseball player salaries here.
4The Guardian is gagged and prevented from reporting on British Parliamentary proceedings despite the UK's 1688 Bill of Rights. Luckily, the Bloggers are on the case. UPDATE The lawyers caved already.
13HEADLINE: "2012 is not the end of the world, Mayan elder insists."
5Michael Moore's radicalism derives from a (not-so-) unexpected source.
1Are slime molds Christian? We all know that "Darwinists" don't know what altruism is: only Christians do. how come that for amoebas (well slime molds) altruism's a winnner?
2Dawkins gives Bill O'Reilly a good ol' fashioned spanking.
1Servers need to be kept cool. It's expensive to keep them cool. It's naturally cool in Iceland. The obvious solution is...
0New York Times: The Nobel Prize people gave Obama the Peace Prize to Make a Point about how they disliked the Bush administration. Meanwhile, left-wingers are outraged that the prize was given to a wartime president (never mind that he did not levy the wars) and right-wingers are outraged that Obama has sold out the U.S. by >gasp!< talking to people instead of fighting.
-15A woman, paranoid due to psychological issues and medication withdrawal, gets a little scared when her husband visits the house in the company of the police. Consequently her husband is slapped with a restraining order as this apparently constitutes "psychological abuse."
21God is not the Creator, claims academic
9British tax protester hasn't paid British taxes since emigrating in 1973.
-3Come on, Hugo; just because you're not as good at it as Fidel Castro doesn't mean that golf is a "bourgeois" sport. (Maybe now people will finally start realizing just what those people meant when they said "democratically elected.")
4Spiritual woo can be detrimental to your well-being.
9Barack Obama wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples"
4Swiss officials allow posters criticizing the building of minarets. It says something that this is newsworthy in a country that is supposed to have freedom of the press.
0Levi Johnston, after appearing in a strange commercial that talks about sex but seems to be selling nuts will be appearing in Playgirl Magazine. Proving that the secret to fame is knocking up the daughter of a controversial pro-family values politician. (Has anybody told him that an estimated 30-50 percent of Playgirl's readership possess a Y chromosome?)
1Gun-toting soccer mom & husband found shot dead in apparent murder-suicide. No comment.
0Europeans whine about Europeans being too "Eurocentric" in picking winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature. What actual non-Europeans have to say on the topic does not appear to be relevant.
-1On 6 October, the US$ price of gold hit an all-time high. This was due to a rumor rumour that is (uh-oh!) now being denied. BTW, can anyone name the last person who threatened to implement this particular rumored rumoured policy? (Memo to fellow Yanks: The way things are going, we'd better start practicing now. It's "rumour," not "rumor." Remember, it's "rumour.")
4If Rush Limbaugh really does buy the Saint Louis Rams, would the Rams ever again sign an African-American quarterback? Would he require the training and medical staffs to stock extra OxyContin? Or Viagra? Will the Rams training camp be moved to the Dominican Republic?
3We are getting ever closer to finding Earthlike planets.
12The end times are starting! A Texas judge has declared that the gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.
4Why do vaccines arouse such passions?
3Skeptics galvanize themselves against bullshit.
6In a demonstration of experimental replication, a scientist reproduces the Shroud of Turin.
0Another story illustrating why free market capitalism is never really free. Just remember, 44 tons of rotting meat isn't a health hazard. It just stinks.
1 One out of ten babies born world wide are premature, makes you wonder what lifers are doing about that (sorry forgot they don't matter since they're out of the womb).
8Adopt a liberal!
6Placebos "are getting stronger."
10Another link in human evolution unveiled.
16Suffer not the witch to live! JK Rowling allegedly didn't get an honour in the US for some interesting reasons.
27The power of one!
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