Archive | March 18, 2014

Queer Christian Response to News About Fred Phelps Sr’s Health

How should the LGBT community respond to the (eventual) death of Fred Phelps?

PIC: WBC (PD)

PIC: WBC (PD)

William S. Burnett writes:

We’ll leave aside the question of the relationship between God and the “fags.” Using people’s funerals is a horrible way to communicate your beliefs to a wider audience. I don’t personally think that’s what was meant by “freedom of speech” or “freedom of assembly” in our Constitution. But I’m neither a Constitutional lawyer nor a judge, so I’ll leave that alone. I’ll just say that the expression of their hate knew no boundaries! In the Catholic community, we would call that “pastoral insensitivity” at the least; but I think “pastoral insensitivity” is a big understatement!

Over the years, I had been incredibly incensed by Fred Phelps, Sr. and his clan, both as a queer and as a Christian. As a queer, I was incensed because I was the primary target of their vehemence; and, because in their hate, they were trying to project an ugly, evil image of me that was far removed from who I was.

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Do You Know Whether This Was Written by a Human?

Pic: Racco (CC)

Pic: Racco (CC)


I guess we should probably include journalists among those soon to be replaced by robots

Via AlphaGalileo:

A recent study investigates how readers perceive computer-generated news articles.

The advent of new technologies has always spurred questions about changes in journalism – how it is produced and consumed. A recent development which has come to the fore in the digital world is software-generated content. A paper recently published in Journalism Practice investigates how readers perceive automatically produced news articles vs. articles which have been written by a journalist.

The study, undertaken by Christer Clerwall of Karlstad University in Sweden, was conducted by presenting readers with different articles written by either journalists or computers. The readers were then asked to answer questions about how they perceived each article – e.g. the overall quality, credibility, objectivity.

The results suggest that the journalist-authored content was observed to be coherent, well-written and pleasant to read.

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The Hypocrisy Is Unbearable: Iraq vs. Crimea, Can You Spot the Difference?

via chycho

Iraq_Ukraine_Locator_crop

Since the hypocrisy of the United States calling for international law to be observed is only lost to the mainstream media, the uber rich, and the bought and paid for low-lives of this society with the attention span of a worm, here is a quickie about Iraq vs. Crimea.

I. Iraq Invasion Was Illegal

The war in Iraq did not end when the United States was kicked out, not by a long shot (2). The violence in Iraq is on the rise and for decades to come we will have to deal with what the United States and its allies have unleashed.

It’s anyone’s guess if those responsible for this war of aggression (crime against peace) will ever be held accountable for their crimes, what we do know, however, is that the decision to invade Iraq has transformed the global political landscape because according to the UN charter, the invasion was illegal:

“Kofi Annan, declared explicitly… that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.

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“They” Don’t Want You To Know About Author Kevin Trudeau Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

TrudeauKevin Trudeau, the author of bestselling but highly dubious books like Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About  has been sentenced to ten years in prison reports CNN:
Kevin Trudeau, the television pitchman and author who amassed a fortune telling consumers his secrets about how to get free money, how to lose weight and how to cure a number of illnesses the natural way, is headed to federal prison. Trudeau, 51, was sentenced to 10 years on Monday for criminal contempt for violating a 2004 federal court order that prohibited him from making misleading infomercials and misrepresenting his weight-loss books. During Monday's sentencing hearing he also got a tongue-lashing from U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago...
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Listen to Rare Recording of Aldous Huxley MIT Lecture on Visionary Experiences

huxley_visionaryThe fine folks at Open Culture have unearthed another treasure: A 1962 recording of Aldous Huxley lecturing on visionary experiences. I’m guessing albums like these were the TED talks of their day. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to embed it, but you can listen to it here

Via Open Culture:

Having transplanted himself from his native England to California in 1937, he eventually achieved great regard among the region’s self-styled intellectuals and spiritual seekers, giving talks at such mystically high-in-the-zeitgeist places as Hollywood and Santa Barbara’s Vedanta temples and even Big Sur’s famous Esalen Institute. But the prolific speech-giver also went farther afield, to far squarer venues such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, in 1962, he recorded the album Visionary Experience: A Series Of Talks On The Human Situation:

 

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Global Warming Will Cause Widespread Conflict, Displace Millions and Devastate Global Economy

Alicante(30-09-1997)Coming soon! The Independent reveals the latest findings of the UN’s IPCC in advance of its next report, and it is depressing reading indeed:

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

The second of three publications by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.

Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 per cent per decade for the rest of the century – at a time of rapidly growing demand for food.

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‘Not On My Watch’: Crime Stoppers Chief Eats Document Instead of Handing it Over to Judge

Concerned that a document demanded by a Judge would compromise a tipster’s identity that led to a drug arrest, Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Executive Director Richard Masten ate it instead of handing it over to a judge.

Via NBC Miami:

The executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is facing up to two weeks in jail on a contempt of court charge for stuffing an anonymous tip in his mouth instead of handing it over to a judge Friday.

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YouTuber Raps About the Illusion of Free Will As Commentary to Call of Duty Video Game

YouTuber CamperKillerCommentary has released a video in which he raps about scientific experiments that cast doubt on the existence of free will over footage of him – I assume it’s him – playing the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty. And no, I haven’t the foggiest clue how all of this fits together. Apparently it’s the 26th in a series.

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