News Famine Free Fire Zone

There’s a ghastly absence of news we can blog about. We have no intention of posting about the Pope and global warming — and that’s been way over half the stories our scans have found this week. Nor are we interested in some strange conflict over yoga and religion that seems to be getting a lot of attention.

Ol’ Hambo is boring. So are the Discoveroids. There’s been no word for weeks about David McConaghie. His trial for bathroom voyeurism should have come and gone by now, but it’s starting to look like we’ll never know the outcome.

Therefore, we are declaring this to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. Talk about whatever you think is interesting — science, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

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19 responses to “News Famine Free Fire Zone

  1. “We have no intention of posting about the Pope and global warming.
    May the Great Hand from Above bless you, my dear SC. As I’m not a catholic, accept science and hence accepted manmade global warning since at least a decade I could not care less what the pope has to say about it.

    So I glanced at some Dutch creacrap sites. This header attracted my attention:

    “A Bomb under the Big Bang?”
    That’s classy. Unfortunately the author never explains what that bomb is supposed to be like. The follow up consists of some lengthy quotes from John Boslough’s Master of Time (if I have translated the title back to English correctly). Then the comment is:

    “As long as we have a stick to beat the belief in a Creator ….. Soon the entire Christian world has gradually accepted the Big Bang + Evolution accepted as being God’s Act of Creation, while the scientific world finally turns away from it because it can’t be maintained any longer.”
    That’s pretty good. But wait – here Stephen Hawking gets excellently insulted:

    “Sommige van deze mensen trekken bijzonder veel aandacht en publiciteit, zoals Hawkings, vanwege zijn handicap.”

    “Some of these people get extraordinarily much attention and publicity, like Hawkings (sic), because of his handicap.”
    I wonder if Ol’ Hambo or Klinghitler ever sank that low?

  2. From;
    The Week

    “In a speech at his granddaughter’s high school graduation Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”

  3. Yeah, I know this wonderful blog doesn’t get embroiled in the global warming issue, but Rick Santorum’s comments are just too juicily ironic to let pass. Since this is a FFZ, let me bring up this quote from an article in last Monday’s USA Today:

    Catholic Rick Santorum concerning the Pope’s encyclical — “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists.”

    As our dear Curmudgeon is fond of saying, “Bwahahahaha!” First off, Pope Francis IS a scientist — Master’s Degree in chemistry. To be fair, Rick Santorum also has a degree in science, sort of — if you count “Political Science” as a science. But the greatest irony is that Santorum has been arguing against the scientists on this issue (as well as evolution) since Day One.

    Yes, Mr. Santorum, we should leave science to the scientists — and not the politicians.

  4. @retiredsciguy
    I don’t know what strikes me more:
    That a politician has such shameless nerve as to make such a statement.
    Or that the public can accept it.

  5. @Anonymous
    I was expecting someone to bring that up.

    If someone were to say that an average house in the USA is worth at least $5,000 or so.

  6. Richard Bond


    It appears that the widespread reports in the Catholic press that Francis has an Master’s degree in chemistry are false. No such degree was available in Argentina at the relevant time. His science qualifications amount to a high school certificate that qualified him to get a job as a chemistry technician. For reasons best known to himself, Francis has never felt the need to tell the truth about this.

  7. @mnbo: In all fairness, for a creationist, intelligence is a handicap.

  8. Probably not the sort of story you meant when looking for an end to a ‘news famine: Protests in China over hygiene of dog meat.

    A traditional festival is beginning in the town in the Guanxi province, which is marked by eating dog meat.

    Demonstrators say the conditions in which dog meat is prepared are unhygienic.

  9. Richard Bond, speaking of Pope Francis:
    “His science qualifications amount to a high school certificate that qualified him to get a job as a chemistry technician. “

    Still more qualified than Santorum, IMHO. At any rate, it’s ironic that Santorum is now saying we should listen to the scientists concerning global warming.

  10. Richard Bond


    Agreed about Santorum: a complete idiot who will say whatever suits some irrational and transient viewpoint.

  11. longshadow

    SCOTUS sides with raisin farmers on mandatory crop “takings” by Government”


  12. Longie, you’re back!

  13. longshadow

    I lurk; therefore I am.

  14. Longie, your link was to a Hillary scandal, not SCOTUS/raisin farmers. Got a good link?

  15. longshadow

    Oops; post in haste; repent in leisure.

    Try this:

    That’s the text of the court’s ruling.

    Here’s some analysis and commentary:

  16. I’m reading a novel called “Evolution” by Stephen Baxter. I think it’s pretty good.

  17. I just read a favorable review of a book which treats of how religion played a role in shaping the USA in early times. I mention this because fairly frequently we hear of fundamentalists speaking of the religion of the founding fathers.

    Sam Haselby
    The Origins of American Religious Nationalism
    Oxford University Press

    I mention the price because you’re probably going to wait for your local library to get a copy: $74.00 – for 336 pages.

  18. Many in Nation Tired of Explaining Things to Idiots
    The New Yorker: Borowitz Report, by Andy Borowitz, June 23, 2015

  19. We have no intention of posting about the Pope and global warming.

    Either a person supports science…or they don’t.
    It’s not a buffet where you get to pick and choose the science that appeals to you personally but evade some other topic with an overwhelming scientific consensus because of…(shrug)…whatever.
    NASA is not lying to anybody. Nor is any other scientific community on the planet. Really.
    The NCSE does Herculean work educating people about Evolution and defending science education in schools across America. They face exactly the same battle and for exactly the same reasons with Climate Change. The time for hemming and hawing is long over.
    Deal with it.

    “Welcome to the National Center for Science Education’s climate change education initiative. Long respected for its work in defending and supporting the teaching of evolution in the public schools, in 2012 NCSE launched this new initiative to defend and support the teaching of climate change. This section of the website includes the four main sections of the climate change education resources here….”