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

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April 2009[edit]

3Turns out Swine Flu isn't nearly the deadly, end of the world universal plague it was originally thought to be. Guess everyone can go back to worrying about SARS Bird Flu West Nile whatever comes next.
5The GOP truly loves the word "hoax". They can apply it to anything and to them it instantly means the thing in question isn't true. Global warming? Hoax! Republican chicanery in the elections of 2000 and 2004? Hoax! The hate crime murder of Matthew Shepard? Hoax!
5Well, we're out. Soon there'll only be the mercenaries and the Taleban.
2Kenya: Hit them where it hurts.
11Egypt's parliament proposes a dramatic response to the swine-flu epidemic: KILL ALL THE PIGS! This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that said pigs are being raised by the Christian minority there in Egypt since Muslims think them unclean.
11The prevalence of atheism increases in every state in the United States. Since 1990, the percentage of Americans identifying as Christian decreased from 86% to 77%. Atheists are now 15% of the population. Vermont gained 21% points more atheists, and even Mississippi gained 3% points.[1]
9The most distant part of the Universe ever observed which of course mean nothing for creationists considering the Earth was created inside a time dilation field anyway.
11Arlen Specter becoming a democrat?
1IBM computer to compete in a game of Jeopardy, possibly against Ken Jennings himself
2Episcopalian minister defrocked ... for being a muslim!
7Don't like your religion? Change it! More than half of surveyed Americans have switched religions in their lifetimes.
5Teh gays are marrying in Iowa. Reports of corn-eating locusts on the move from Mississippi are unconfirmed at this point.
0UK: Backing down from an organised database, the government still want to "record all internet contacts between people"
3You know something is deeply wrong with the Universe when the Republicans start suggesting that we should imitate France.
7Fill another gap with an otterseal
9Republicans vs. Science in Global Warming debate: "It doesn't exist because WE SAID SO!"
3"Severe disruption"... but a hella funny "severe disruption".
6One more village in Texas is missing its idiot.
5Republicans less popular than Venezuela.
5University of Wisconsin researchers create a brain interface that allows "locked-in" people (can't move, can't speak) to Twitter.
10Gliese 581 has planet 1.9 times Earth's Mass. It is also a potential candidate for a water world.
4This story has to become a movie or TV mini-series: Jeff Alan is a right-wing activist who has fought for years to purge Oregon voter rolls of people using fake identities. So, would it surprise you to learn that his real name is Jeff Alan Brent? Or that he abandoned his wife and kids in 1986? Or that he unofficially dropped his last name and got fake Social Security numbers to avoid being tracked down? (BTW, it worked. His wife had him declared dead in 1993.) Since then, he has worked executive positions (including news director) at several TV stations, taught journalism at the University of Pittsburgh, been a media consultant for CNN and MSNBC, and has published two books (including one titled Responsible Journalism.) And, when he was a teen, he witnessed Sirhan Sirhan assassinate Bobby Kennedy. Told in three installments: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. (Almost forgot the best part: Alan also operates several BDSM websites.)
4Accused serial killer Philip Markoff is -- drum roll, please -- a College Republican. (Ted Bundy was, too.)
3Full-scale replica of Noah's Ark being built in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it's landlocked. And it only has 67 pairs of animals. And they're fiberglass.
5A blast from the past, 1999: "Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another's businesses." Just in case you were wondering at how the current economic disaster got started.
2The ends justify the means for Dick Cheney.
3Once upon a time, when workers were permanently dismissed from a job, they were "fired." "Laid off" meant workers would be re-hired when business picked up again. Now that "laid off" means the same as "fired," workers are being "furloughed" rather than "laid off. (George Orwell would be impressed.)
5Miss California USA thinks she lost the Miss USA crown because of her anti-gay-marriage statements. (Probably true.) Oh, and she's already deluded herself into believing that she is actually the winner.
5The British National Party is full of "liars, oddballs and troublemakers" - according to its own internal election manual.
4To protest being driven into a bottomless pit of debt, 1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India. But since America's corporate media still prefers Thomas Friedman's "flat" worldview, Americans will probably only hear this story from the alternate media.
6In a move that will cause many head-explosions in the GOP, Obama seeks a fresh diplomatic beginning with Cuba.
9Don't screw with dolphins.
4Even the King Kong defense couldn't save The Pirate Bay, as the four co-founders of the torrent-tracking site have all been sentenced to a year in jail and a total of $3.6 million in fines. The courts successfully rape the Internet once again.
4Can't take a bit of criticism on pretty much the silliest and most lighthearted soap on British TV? Whine to Ofcom!
3In the name of countering terrorism - delete your bus station photographs!
2Cops - Meh, Jedi - Better, Jedi Cops - Best
3Good News/Bad News. Obama releases torture memos. Nobody to be held responsible.
5Snakes on a Plane! No, seriously!
15Things you may not know about the Italian prosecution of Amanda Knox: The prosecutor is under indictment for misconduct; he has based many of his cases -- including this one -- on the rantings of a conspiracy theorist blogger; the blogger and the prosecutor claim that the murder of Meredith Kercher was a typical Halloween satanic ritual; and, most importantly, somebody else has already been convicted of the crime. If you watch the 45-minute video, take note of the crucifixes hanging in the courtroom.
3Bill O'Reilly issued a list of what he considers the media hall of shame which includes the left-leaning Chicago Sun-Times. For that, Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert verbally jabbed a downturned thumb in O'Reilly's eye. In response, Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times -- owned by the right-leaning Chicago Tribune -- issued this snarky proxy response on behalf of its Windy City boardroom. (Note how Goldstein subtly differentiates the Sun-Times from "respectable publications.")
4Anti-tax "tea parties" give a shining example of the Republican mindset: one rife with logical fallacies and determined to reference important historical events in the worst ways possible.
3A new vaccine has been proven to help the body fight off prostate cancer.
3An interesting evolutionary quirk; the all female ant colony.
3Look out, New Yorkers: the gays might be getting married in your state! OOGA BOOGA BOOGA!!!
3Alaska's previous attorney general, appointed by Sarah Palin, lost his job because he told her husband and others that they weren't required to answer legislative subpoenas. And her new appointee? Evidence shows that he is a racist homophobe who argues in favor of a husband's "right" to rape his wife.
6It took five months too long and a lot of lawyers' fees, but Al Franken is FINALLY the Senator from Minnesota. Norm Coleman is planning to appeal, again.
4Sunday school teacher arrested for murdering her 8-year-old neighbor.
6The dark side of Dubai.
11Obama says "The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." while in Turkey, quoting that noted Islamofascist sympathizer, George Washington.
7PETA back in the news, being a pain in the ass as usual.
20Washington Post headline: "Faith Groups Increasingly Lose Gay Rights Fight." HELLFIRE WARNING!!!: The poll number on this "What is going on in the world?" entry bears the mark of the beast!!! Click the green arrow at your own peril!!! (I.e., this is poll entry number 666.)
9Rosa Brooks, a departing L.A. Times columnist, has a bright idea for maintaining a healthy body of investigative journalists chomping at the bit to expose government corruption: Have the government license those investigative journalists and pay their salaries. We can only hope the woman is joking.
4Scary gays want to tell us we can't choose to discriminate. This is so full of lies, I can't even watch it twice. UPDATE: Whoops, did we accidentally put the audition tapes for this video on the internet, only to have them preserved by Human Rights Watch? What, did you think they were really outraged people in the NOM video? UPDATE #2: NOM, claiming copyright infringement, had the above audition videos removed from YouTube. But, you can still view one of them here. (At least until NOM finds out.)
4Fox TV's idea of an uplifting reality series during a downturned economy -- employees at a real-life cash-strapped business get to vote a coworker off the island into unemployment.
4Why waste time saying your daily prayers when a computer can pray for you? (For a monthly fee, of course.)
4James Bond, where are you? UK's #1 anti terrorist cop bops a drollock by waving seekrits about in view of photographers.
2If you're going to do this, at least hit the bloody hippies rather than the innocent public.
9A victory for homosexuals and a punch in the face for Vermont's Gov. Jim Douglas as the state becomes the fourth to legalize gay marriage with a legislative vote. No more chatter about "activist judges" overriding the "will of the people" on that front!
4In Ghana, foreign goldmining companies are making local communities poorer
3Good news for girls or a face saver for men?
3Overuse of tranquilisers on teenage girls at a Church of England "care" home resulted in birth defects for their children.
6(Italy, a few weeks ago) Scientist:An earthquake is imminent in l'Aquila! Government: Take that information off your website! Oh, and we've reported you to the police for "speading alarm"
2The tradition of the month of shootings continues with a man using the largely defensive weapon of gun to kill 3 police officers, who were called in for of all things, dog pee
3Caribou Barbie's former future son-in-law will tell all on the 6 April episode of the Tyra Banks show. An example: While she was seein' Russia from her porch, he's certain that she knew he was seein' a little bit of heaven in Bristol's boudoir.
2A man distraught because his wife was leaving him for another man uses the largely defensive weapon of gun to kill their five children and himself.
5 K.K.K. supporter gets scared of hell, renounces racism. He should read Jonathan Edwards's sermon about stinkers who only "find God" because they have done something nasty and want to escape the Eternal Barbecue.
1 Nice to see someone keeping BIG BUSINESS honest. (I've seen the retracions myself - full page, broadsheet, BIG, RED & BLACK.)
4Sarah Palin for 2012? Them odds just keep on getting longer.
5The largely defensive weapon of gun struck in Binghamton, New York, killing 13 people, and causing a hostage crisis at a building providing services to new immigrants. Defensive.gif
9Out with California, in with Iowa as the state becomes the third to legalize gay marriage.
2I reckon he got off lightly! (Warning: Really depressing.)
2There's no subtle way of wording this, so let's just get it over with: Lenin has a MASSIVE fart!!!