Archive | June 24, 2013

Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’

via The Daily Beast spanking

What do you call it when a husband beats his wife with a paddle for disobeying him? Some would say domestic abuse. These people say he’s doing God’s work. 

On a pain scale of one to 10, Chelsea ranks the epidural-free birth of her child as a six. Her husband’s spankings? Those are an eight.

First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.

But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.

Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice “Christian Domestic Discipline,” a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ethan Hawke Dreams of Being an Eco-Terrorist

purge_ver2_xlg__spanVia Earth First! Newswire:

In a recent interview about his role in the new sci-fi horror film The Purge, in which violent crime is decriminalized for 12 hours every year by the U.S. government in order to release social tensions, actor Ethan Hawke discussed what crimes he secretly fantasizes about, free of legal repercussions.

Ethan Hawke dreams of being an eco-terrorist.

“If I was in a situation where I could get away with anything terrible that I wanted to get away with? Well, I have a secret fantasy of being an environmental terrorist — like when I see these oil spills and all these dead fish and the chopping down of forests, I’d love to slip just a little dynamite in somewhere. That would be where my inner demon lurks.”

Keep reading.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ken Wilber: Death, Rebirth and Meditation

Grey-Dying500A classic Ken Wilber essay, covering what the great traditions have said about the process of death and reincarnation.

This information page gives an overview of Kenneth Smith, links to many resources, and posts scans of his classic run of TCJ columns. The scans contain his most essential writing, but there is a Tumblr blog and a Gaim library that provide quotes from longer pieces. Here are some choice fragments.

via Integral Life:

Some type of reincarnation doctrine is found in virtually every mystical religious tradition the world over. Even Christianity accepted it until around the fourth century CE, when, for largely political reasons, it was made anathema. Many Christian mystics today now accept the idea. As the Christian theologian John Hick pointed out in his important work Death and Eternal Life, the consensus of the world religions, including Christianity, is that some sort of reincarnation occurs.

Of course, the fact that many people believe something does not rank it true.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

RIP Richard Matheson

220px-Richard_MathesonRichard Matheson has died.

Via suvudu.com:

Legendary author of science fiction and horror Richard Matheson died today. He was 87 years-old. Matheson leaves behind an incredible legacy of short stories and novels, many of which became the basis of television programs of movies. I am Legend, What Dreams May Come, The Shrinking Man, Hell House and A Stir of Echoes are just a handful of movies that were based on Matheson’s work.

Keep reading.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Origin of the Bigfoot Legend

wood_whistler

Wood Whistler

via Today I Found Out

Stories of a giant, hairy creature that appears half man and half ape have existed in various parts of the world for many centuries. In fact, the only continent not to have stories of “wild men” is Antarctica. In the Himalayas, it’s the Yeti. In Canada, it’s the Sasquatch. And in the northwest United States, it’s Bigfoot. Bigfoot is described by believers as being between six and eight feet tall with a large forehead and pronounced brow, like a cave man’s, and a rounded, crested head like a gorilla’s. He is covered in brown or red hair and has enormous feet that are his namesake, with the biggest estimation at a whopping two feet long by eight inches wide. Some “witnesses” claim that the five-toed Bigfoot prints they saw on the ground were accompanied by claw marks (not unlike a five-toed, clawed paw print of a bear—but rational explanations aren’t as fun).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Russ Tice Reveals the Truth About NSA Spying on the Corbett Report

Via Corbett Report:

NSA whistleblower Russ Tice joins us for an eye Russ_Tice_2009opening hour-long interview on the real extent of the NSA spying scandal. Beyond PRISM and beyond metadata, we explore the facts of NSA spying: that every electronic communication is being copied and stored by the US government. We talk about the political implications of this information, including the almost limitless power for blackmailing that this power gives those in charge of the wiretapping. Tice also names names on who has been targeted by these wiretaps. Please also see the recent BoilingFrogsPost interview with Tice on this same subject.

Listen to the podcast at CorbettReport.com

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Plants Do Math

Grand-Reng JPG05Who knew that plants could perform calculations that many humans might struggle with. From Reuters:
Plants do complex arithmetic calculations to make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, new research published in journal eLife shows. Scientists at Britain's John Innes Centre said plants adjust their rate of starch consumption to prevent starvation during the night when they are unable to feed themselves with energy from the sun. They can even compensate for an unexpected early night. "This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation," mathematical modeler Martin Howard of John Innes Centre (JIC) said. During the night, mechanisms inside the leaf measure the size of the starch store and estimate the length of time until dawn...
Continue Reading

Lost Mayan City Discovered Within Mexican Jungle

Your plans for where to go on summer vacation have officially been made:

Archeologists have discovered an ancient Maya city which they’ve named “Chactun”, meaning “Red Rock,” in Campeche in Mexico. For centuries, Chactun remained hidden in the jungle north of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

Archeologists have found a number of pyramids and palatial buildings were found, including two ball game courts, plazas, and sculptured monuments. The tallest pyramid measures 75 feet in height.

The city’s timeline is thought to go as far back as the Pre-classic period, around 300 to 240 A.D. But its golden age was [likely] in the Classic period around 250 to 900 A.D

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Natural History of the Incorporeal Garage Dragon

dragonSkeptics, believers. Lay down your shotguns and knives. Take a moment to bandage and reload, and I will explain to you why an incorporeal garage dragon means that you should not be fighting. As much.

This strange beast, and its fantastical properties, are described in The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan.

“A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage,” he begins, “…Surely you’d want to check it out, see for yourself.”

You do, but you can’t. The dragon is invisible. You could spread flour on the floor to capture its footprints, but, alas, it also floats. You offer to fetch your infrared camera, but, sadly, its fire is heatless. Perhaps a can of spray paint, then, to make the dragon visible? Oh, right. Incorporeal.

You see where he’s going: “Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless,” he writes, “the only sensible approach is to tentatively reject the dragon hypothesis, [but] to be open to future data…”

The garage dragon is a straightforward parable about the scientific value of a non-falsifiable hypothesis, but it contains an important nuance.… Read the rest

Continue Reading