Links Du Jour (While Darth Vader Plays Star Wars Themes On Bagpipes Riding A Unicycle)

It’s “One Of Those Days Where Darth Vader With Bagpipes On A Unicycle Seems A Sensible Way To Deal With The World“. So, have some reading or else.

Something cheery first:

Global Atheist Convention Gold Passes and Gala Dinner are sold out. You can, however, get Sunday passes and general seating. But I don’t know how long they’ll last either!

On the heels of the interview I did which mentioned the forthcoming documentary “Jabbed” – CNN: Vaccine court finds no link to autism.

Washington (CNN) – A federal court ruled Friday that the evidence supporting an alleged causal link between autism and a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines is unpersuasive, and that the families of children diagnosed with autism are not entitled to compensation.

Personally, I’m rather sympathetic to the bewildered and misguided people who still think there’s a link and I hope that there’s good science-based support groups out there to help them out.

I’m currently writing for non-blogging/podcast purposes and I found these particularly inspiring when I was stuck for ideas today:

UK government will oppose wearing of cross at work, newspaper says (MSNBC):

The British government will argue in court that Christians don’t have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Rush Limbaugh, Being a Dick, and Skepticism - Ben Radford on the CFI Website:

Many skeptics joined the chorus of outrage at Limbaugh’s comments, yet have been conspicuously silent about similar (albeit not as extreme) behavior within the skeptical community. Each to his or her own. But the next time we express dismay at legitimate discussions that quickly devolve into bitter flame wars; or the next time we shake our heads at negative, political advertising that ignores the real issues in favor of fearmongering and mud-slinging; or the next time we wonder why the social and political environments have become so toxic, vitriolic, and polarizing, we can see how these seeds are sown. For some of us, the cause will be the people around us; for others the cause will be in the mirror. 

The God Wars in the New Statesman by Bryan Appleyard:

Religion is not going to go away. It is a natural and legitimate response to the human condition, to human consciousness and to human ignorance. One of the most striking things revealed by the progress of science has been the revelation of how little we know and how easily what we do know can be overthrown. Furthermore, as Hitchens in effect acknowledged and as the neo-atheists demonstrate by their ideological rigidity and savagery, absence of religion does not guarantee that the demonic side of our natures will be eliminated. People should have learned this from the catastrophic failed atheist project of communism, but too many didn’t.


Have Option For Online Comments; Have Maroons Who Then Screw Comment Section Up (aka Have online comment sections become ‘a joke’? on CNN):

In the early days of the Internet, there was hope that the unprecedented tool for global communication would lead to thoughtful sharing and discussion on its most popular sites.

A decade and a half later, the very idea is laughable, says Gawker Media founder Nick Denton.

Finally: Why Interacting With a Woman Can Leave Men “Cognitively Impaired” in the Scientific American.

Researchers have begun to explore the cognitive impairment that men experience before and after interacting with women. A 2009 study demonstrated that after a short interaction with an attractive woman, men experienced a decline in mental performance. A more recent study suggests that this cognitive impairment takes hold even w hen men simply anticipate interacting with a woman who they know very little about.

Which naturally leads to – here you go:

Of course, guys do this all the time around me, I have no idea why…

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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