You’ll need a written excuse from your vet

You’ll need a written excuse from your vet February 4, 2015

Satanic baby-killers are worse than Hitler.

There’s a kind of Newton’s Third Law of Sanctimony at work in such sermons: Every sanctimonious condemnation entails an equal and opposite assertion of self-righteousness.

UPS plans to begin adding a surcharge for residential delivery. On the one hand, this seems like adding injury to insult — UPS has always been terrible at residential delivery and charging extra for a job you do poorly doesn’t make much sense. The company has never had a credible residential delivery service — not for packages, anyway, although they’ll happily deliver their $@%# yellow stickers three days in a row without ever even knocking to see if anyone is there.

On the other hand, maybe this surcharge means that UPS is planning to actually begin providing the residential service it’s been avoiding all these years. Maybe this means their drivers will actually bring the package to the front door and take the time to knock before slapping on those stickers. Maybe. Based on their history, though, I doubt it.

Image via (click for the full rant).

• Today is February 4. Amadou Diallo was unarmed when he was killed by police on February 4, 1999.

Phil Plait has no patience for snake-oil salesmen promoting anti-vaxxer nonsense, but he does have patience for their victims.

• “God is a God of surprises,” says Jayne Ozanne, “one of the Church of England’s leading evangelical campaigners,” who came out this week as a lesbian. I don’t know the UK evangelical scene well enough to gauge how accurate that “leading evangelical” description is or how much of a big deal this will be for Ozanne’s fellow evangelicals in the C of E, but it seems like encouraging news.

In any case, regardless of what it means for the larger evangelical community there or here, this is good news for Jayne Ozanne.

Herbal supplements have been failing their DNA tests. Supplements are largely unregulated — they’re neither a food nor a drug, so they can get away with a lot. You can make all sorts of dubious claims about the healthful properties of ginseng or echinacea in order to sell the stuff.

But when you sell the stuff, what you’re selling still has to be the stuff you say it is. The DNA tests show that a lot of what’s in those bottles is not the stuff claimed on the label. And often the supplement touted on the label isn’t present in the bottle at all.

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