Weekly Link Roundup

• Witchcraft is now a recognized profession in Romania, subjecting its practitioners to income tax. Witches who are unhappy about this are responding pretty much like you’d expect.

• A female activist in Israel faces prison time for praying at the Wailing Wall. The telling quote:

“The religious world in Israel has become more and more extreme,” Mrs Hoffman said. “Much like in Islam, religiosity is now measured by the distances at which women are kept from society.”

• A 10-year-old girl in Canada becomes the youngest amateur astronomer ever to discover a supernova. (If you want to help, did you know that astronomers are enlisting citizen volunteers to classify photos of galaxies?)

• Swami Nithyananda, a popular Hindu guru, admits that he paid a blackmailer 1.4 million pounds to not release a sex tape of him and an Indian actress.

• High-ranking ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis is writing a tell-all book.

• The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Milwaukee files for chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result of settlements for victims of pedophile priests. Too bad the whole organization isn’t being liquidated and sold off to pay its creditors.

• The British Medical Journal concludes that Andrew Wakefield’s paper linking vaccination to autism, which single-handedly gave rise to the anti-vaccination movement, was “an elaborate fraud” based on falsified data.

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://technologeekery.blogspot.com/ Hendy

    Re. the archdiocese of Milwaukee filing for bankruptcy… the NY Times link is requesting a log in, at least for me. Assuming the content is the same, HERE is a link to the story as presented in their local newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinal.

    On a related note, the Times gave me a first ever log in request just the other day. A link which worked at one point started redirecting to a log in page later on. I just share this as a cautionary note for others trying to share info via the Times. Is this just an issue with me or are others having the same problem?

    Re. Wakefield, I also saw this. Does anyone have a link to concrete details about the investigation? The article I saw mentioned things like him “ignoring developmental issues” already present. What were these? Anti-social behavior? Below-average reading/speaking/color-recognition abilities? I’d love to see what, exactly, the test group displayed compared to what, exactly, he reported about them.

  • Alex Weaver

    [Optimism]Andrew Wakefield has announced “it’s just…good business.”[/Optimism]