RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/September 2010

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September 2010[edit]

4No pressure, just don't fucking lose
14 An assistant attorney general should always act in a manner becoming a government official. Apparently, stalking an openly gay student council president and cyberbullying him is perfectly acceptable, as he hasn't been fired yet.
2 Cycling superstar Alberto Contador tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
7Goodbye Tony Curtis, your life was indeed a very "Sweet Smell of Success."
-16Some Europeans are still hanging onto the gravy train for dear life, even though it's about to crash into a mountainside.
14A Goldilocks planet is found only 20 light years away.
16James O'Keefe, the amateur journalist annoying twerp who made the ACORN videos apparently wanted to trick a CNN reporter into making something resembling a sex tape.
10No, it's not an article from The Onion, India is actually employing monkeys to help out at the Commonwealth Games.
10Sir Tim Berners-Lee is worried about the swathe of new restrictive Internet laws.
3Time magazine is appalled at the result of an "economic literacy test" among high-schoolers: "only one in six understood that over the long run stocks should generate higher returns than savings bonds." Now if we can just undelude this sixth, we'll be sitting pretty.
-2ANC MP & SA Communist Party GenSec, Blade Nzimande: “[there is] a huge liberal offensive against our democracy. The print media is the biggest perpetrator of this liberal thinking.” Perhaps liberals will now face up to the fact that communists are not their friends.
6Think that the little guy having too much say over "democracy?" Never fear, SuperPACs are here!
11John Sweeney is heading back to the US for a BBC Panorama special on the 'Secrets of Scientology' - three years after his infamous "exploding tomato" outburst.
22Who knows the most about religion - we Atheists do!
5The campaign against blasphemy mutually disrespecful offensiveness continues in the U.K.: Six Britons arrested on suspicion of burning the Qur'an. PZ Myers is not happy.
12One for the irony department: Man who made millions on bringing the Segway to the UK dies after... er... driving one of them over a cliff.
15Scary times. The first computer worm that specifically targets secure infrastructure, and may well have been sponsored by a nation state, rather than a bunch of script-kiddies. (More geeky information at Wired.)
9Cloudy days sweeping the sun away.
11While obese children tend to have a hard time with friends and schoolmates, many receive harsher treatment at home.
15US executes "borderline disabled" grandmother. Think the death penalty is a good idea? So do DR Congo, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China - the only countries to execute more of their citizens than the US.
23Least accurate use of the word "most" ever: Barking lunatic, conspiracy theorist, and President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells UN Assembly "most people" believe the US was behind the 9/11 attacks.
6Joaquin Phoenix has given up acting to be a hip hop singer in order to act in a documentary about him pretending top be a hip-hop singer.
12The problem with school text books in Texas - pro-Islam bias
8A computer glitch delays your salary for a little while, it's an issue we'll all face at some point. Yet when it happens to people who earn more in a month than most people earn in a year, sympathy isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
7You still don't have the right to bear arms, eh.
8Here's all the words Google Instant doesn't like you searching for... just in case you're wondering. NSFW!
8And just in case you thought Catholic priests are getting a bum rap Part 2: Episcopalian bishop asked to step down over allegations he covered up abuse.
7"Catholic Church should allow priests to marry," say three Belgian priests involved in a sex scandal.
4Clothes in a Can! Coming soon to a store near you!
11How cool is Terry Pratchett? So cool he made his own sword out of meteorite iron after he was knighted.
5New Claim! Human error sank the Titanic! Whole world goes, "Duh!"
8Rest in peace one more of the unspoken 'colonials' who risked everything to fight facism
10One more homophobe goeth gay Hat tip Update: Surprise, surprise, he's fighting the allegations.
11The LHC seems to have seen something "unusual" - Guido Tonelli explains "We claim only that we have seen something unusual and we want the scientific community to criticise us, to understand if we did things correctly or if we did something wrong."
9The parting of the Red Sea may really have happened. How? Strong winds. Makes a change from hot air.
11Treating dementia will cost a world-wide total of £388bn for 2010. And could increase by 85% by 2030.
102010 is the officially the deadliest year in the Afghan war. Well, for NATO troops anyway. Who cares about the locals.
12Just in case you thought Catholic priests are getting a bum rap, Lutherans are doing it too.
4Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy still having at it.
-11A dark day for perverts everywhere.
5Some neurological evidence suggests that "people who think too much about whether they're right" may have differences in their brains. (As reported in Science [1][2])
2610,000 Brits give the Pope the welcome he deserves.
12Public school reform claims another childhood memory.
29Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold rallies in Washington on October 30th.
16Best. Real life. Hack. Ever.
12Who let him out? It's not like this guy doesn't have a history. Phillip strikes again.
34The pope compares extremist atheists to Nazis. No, really.
13This year saw some of the most rapid ice melting in the artic and 2010 is on track to be the warmest year on record - <sarcasm>but 2007 saw a smaller summer ice sheet, so that means global warming is still a hoax, right?</sarcasm>
9Cardinal Walter Kasper calls the UK a "third world country". 9 out of 10 Daily Mail readers (see "best rated" comments) agree.
13Science continues vital work for the progress of mankind.
12Worried about negative sentiment against the Pope in the United Kingdom, the Vatican goes on a charm offensive.
5The IUCN Red list can get stuffed, it's endangered languages that are important!
10A.S.A. spoilsports
11High-fructose corn syrup has a bad reputation. We'd like to change the name to "corn sugar" so people will stop blaming us start taking responsibility for their obesity and diabetes.
-34Obama to schoolchildren: "Nobody can write your destiny but you." He apparently forgot to read up on the laws of physics; particularly how brains follow them rather than write them.
12 The San Luis police department apparently takes Rule 71 of the Internet seriously, which violates Rule 20: nothing is to be taken seriously. UPDATE: They totally knew it was a joke... they were just trying to raise awareness!
20It seems the population of Britain isn't hugely keen on hearing superstitious drivel from a bigot in a pointy hat.
11Between August 2009 and August 2010, the U.S. budget deficit declined by about 13 percent. And if there really is a liberal media, why is the Voice of America -- which is designed to broadcast American news to foreign countries -- the only American media outlet that is currently carrying this story?
3New European police report: Right-wing terrorism runs a distant fourth to separatist, Islamist, and left-wing terrorism.
3Behold, The Origin of Specious Nonsense, to be launched by Ireland's Minister of... Science! Update: Not any more, thankfully.
14Scottish homeopaths are offering homeopathic vaccines. Countdown to epidemic in...
13Just another day in Saudi Arabia: diplomat fired and needs to leave the country for committing the horrendous crime of being gay! To top it off, he's friends with an evil Jewish Woman! SCANDAL!!
21In Oklahoma City, where about 80% of the residents are Christian, atheists have installed a billboard that has elicited the expected wailing and gnashing of teeth.
19 While the debate rages on in New York, a mosque-community center complex is going up in Memphis. And until they're done building it, a pastor in Cordova is letting them pray at his church.
10A minister in the Pakistani government would like for Barack Obama to become the new Caliph. Here's hoping Obama will accept, make bin Laden stop blowing people up, and make Iran stop stoning adulterous women.
5Either WorldNetDaily's red-blooded American-ness is showing in their ignorance of British English, or they have deliberately used an ethnic slur in a headline. Joe Farah, keeping it classy.
16The Log Cabin Republicans sued to have don't ask, don't tell declared unconstitutional. A district court judge who was appointed by the guy who created "don't ask, don't tell", has ruled in their favor. The right wing scream machine will kick into gear in 5... 4... 3...
19Koran BBQ is off Update: Or not
9Remember when Microsoft patented ones & zeros?. Well, now Facebook wants to trademark the word "face."
3Timothy Ferris: Religion is inherently conservative. One wonders precisely which cloud he has his head stuck in.
10Better late than never: Jeffrey Goldberg reports that Fidel Castro, after half a century, has admitted that a command economy doesn't work.
9Makes you wonder what Microsoft would have done if he lived in Gay Head, Massachusetts.
13It seems that Koran burning is not the first disturbing act of Pastor Terry Jones (definitely not the Python). From the 1980s until 2009, he ran a church in Germany that made him seem more like Jim Jones.
9The feather duster that could bite back. Well okay, not actually that feathery but you think of a funny headline revolving around Concavenator corcovatus.
8The Scottish Episcopal Church announces that God is neither male nor female. He She It is "beyond human gender."
10New study: Among the urban childless, women now outearn men in the 22-to-30 age bracket, being better educated. The usual suspects promptly move the goalposts.
7Turns out that Charlie Chan was real, a real bad ass.
9Bad Timing
14General Petraeus: Koran Burning will probably hurt our troops. Pastor Jones; Light 'em up anyway!
10Church protest strippers; strippers protest church.
11A teabagging group is starting a pyramid scheme.
14With no sense of irony, the door-knocking, proselytizing Jehova's Witnesses are worried that the "new atheists are not content to keep their views to themselves." h/t Pharyngula
10As if surviving Saddam, sanctions, the US invasion, and insurgent bombs wasn't enough, now Iraqi celebrities have to deal with a reality show that plants fake bombs in their cars' boots.
13Budget crises have forced American cities and counties to revert paved roads to gravel, turn off streetlights, and forgo maintenance of public facilities. Now comes another method for making ends meet: Some police and fire departments are now billing people for responding to emergencies.
3077% of Britons say that the government should not fund the Pope's visit. Surprise: Catholic Archbishop begs to differ.
18In 1972, the Nixon Administration made the first claims that pot is a gateway drug. A newly published University of New Hampshire study refutes this claim. Instead, stress factors like unemployment are causal factors for illicit-drug use. This new study backs up this 12-year study published in 2006 by the University of Pittsburgh.
29Stephen Hawking drops gOD from his new book: "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
15An armed man entered the Discovery Communications HQ building and took hostages, demanding his nutty ideas about population control and immigration to be broadcast. He was shot by the police. The Discovery Institute creamed their pants, blaming the incident on "Darwinism", while the main-stream media in the US seem to be aiming for the "environmentalists are nuts" angle...
10If you ride Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited between Chicago and New York or Boston, don't be surprised if a U.S. Border Patrol agent says to you, "Zeigen Sie mir Ihre Papiere, bitte." In English, of course. Further discussion in an editorial, here.
18Glenn Beck claims he held Washington's handwritten copy of his first Inaugural Address. The National Archives politely disagrees.
16The strange tale of Darwin's Eden
3Perhaps for some of us this is exactly how we like to think of Princess Diana
7Seven years after Bush said, "Mission accomplished," Obama declares the war in Iraq "over."
11Och aye, Jimmy, how aboot a wee dram then?
6Playing golf causes wildfires!
7In Texas, not only is gay marriage illegal, so is gay divorce. What about heterosexual divorce, you ask? Don't be silly! Of course that's still legal!