Americans unlikely to vote for atheists

According to a Pew Research Center poll, being an atheist is one of the worst things a candidate for political office can do in terms of getting people to vote for them.

(The trend of them preferring state governors for President, which we've discussed previously (2008 being quite the oddity), seems to be strengthening. If the Democrats are dumb enough to put H. Clinton up against a GOP governor -- including, gods help us, a potential J. Bush run -- look for a trouncing.)

For 2016 Hopefuls, Washington Experience Could Do More Harm than Good (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press)

Just over half (53%) say they would be less likely to vote for someone who does not believe in God, while only 5% say this would make them more likely to support a candidate.

Pocari Sweat on the moon

SMH. Another reason why Bill Hicks's advice on marketing is so important.

We're Now Putting Ads on the Moon (The Atlantic)

...Which I mention because, very soon, the pock-marked lunar surface will host even more of the detritus of human dreams: in this case, a small, metal canister of energy drink. The can will be composed of titanium. Its contents will be powdered. It will also be, as The Verge puts it, "the first commercial product delivered to another world for marketing purposes."

In other words, the march of human progress has come to an inevitable point in its evolution: we're about to use our celestial neighbor as an enormous billboard. With the product in question being a powdered sports drink....

...Otsuka is planning to put some Pocari Sweat in the Falcon 9 rocket meant to make the trip—and then to have the firm Astrobotic Technology (a company that, ironically, specializes in the clearing of space trash) deposit the canister on the moon.

why Google must be stopped

I've previously discussed how advertising is black magic. If this bullshit does come to pass, I suggest spraypaint and sledgehammers to remove the memetic pollution.

Ads on Your Fridge? Google Says it Could Happen - NBC News (NBC News)

Google can see a future where it sends ads just about everywhere, including car dashboards, watches and even refrigerators.

In a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed on Tuesday, Google painted a picture of a connected world filled with ads:

more PC madness: "trigger warnings" in college classes

The latest round of "political correctness" insanity. Sure, letting people know in advance that a film has disturbing footage or that a book has explicit photos of violence is a fine thing. But the whole "we need to put a trigger warning on everything" trend is an example of why modern academic feminism is often seen to lack intellectual rigor: when you act as if some texts are so dangerous that they must have warning labels, the subtext is that your own ideas are too weak to stand up to them.

Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm

Should students about to read “The Great Gatsby” be forewarned about “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence,” as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism — like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “Things Fall Apart” — have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label?

HOVERBIKES!

Seriously. Hoverbikes. If your heart didn't just skip a beat, you have no soul.

Aero-X Hoverbike To Go on Sale in 2017 - IEEE Spectrum

When Aerofex showed off its "hoverbike" almost two years ago, the California firm received a flood of emails from people asking when they could buy one of their own. Now Aerofex has unveiled plans to begin selling a commercial model in 2017 for about US $85 000—but anyone eager for a head start on living the "Star Wars" dream can put down a preorder deposit of $5000 toward the final price.

Marge: And who do you love now?
Bart and Lisa: Hoverbikes!
Marge: Close enough.
[The kids jump onto the hoverbikes, but they come crashing to the ground.]
Marge: [laughs] Sorry, kids! There's the no such thing as hoverbikes! They're just a couple of Huffys on a fishing line!

-- The Simpsons, The Joy of Sect

Well, there is now, Marge!

Bmore cops slay teen with taser

The taser is a potentially lethal weapon. It's overuse by poorly trained cops is criminal negligence. Seriously, five rent-a-cops and two real cops and you can't handle the situation without an electrical torture device? Yes, the taser has a place on the use-of-force continuum, but it's a hell of a lot further down the line than most forces are bringing it in now.

Teen dies after Taser shock at Baltimore hospital (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore police said Thursday they are investigating the death of a 19-year-old hospital patient who went into a coma after being struck with an officer's Taser during a struggle with police and security staff at Good Samaritan Hospital last week.

...

The next day about 5:30 p.m., police said, officers were called to the hospital in the 5600 block of Loch Raven Blvd. for a report that the teen was "experiencing an emotional crisis and was combative with staff," said Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, a police spokesman.

He said two officers responded and saw the teen struggling with five security guards, and one of the officers struck the teen with a Taser.

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Sandy Hook "truther" tells victim’s mother her daugther never existed

Have some firearms prohibitionists used Sandy Hook to push for laws that would have done nothing to stop that massacre? Yes. Does that mean it was a "false flag" attack? Dude, consult your brain care specialist, because your meds need adjusting.

Sandy Hook truther steals memorial sign, tells victim’s mother her child never existed

A vinyl peace sign installed at a playground in Mystic, Connecticut, dedicated to a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting was stolen last week by a man claiming that the Newtown massacre never happened.

After stealing the 50-pound sign from the Grace McDonnell playground, the man called McDonnell’s mother...

According to the mother, Lynn McDonnell, the man told her that her daughter “never existed.”

black mass at Harvard cancelled

Because knowledge is dangerous, and we certainly wouldn't want college students learning stuff and having ideas challenged.

Harvard Black Mass Cancelled Amid Controversy (Boston Magazine)

After intense scrutiny from top religious leaders, Harvard administrators, and their fellow classmates—not to mention lack of a proper venue—the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club backed down from hosting a controversial reenactment and demonstration of a Satanic “Black Mass.”

...

The group had originally decided to move the ritual off campus, away from Harvard’s Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall, due to increasing complaints coming in from every corner of the community...

At no point did administrators tell students to call off the ritual, citing the club’s rights to free speech and assembly, however, Faust did call the plan “abhorrent” and “deeply regrettable.”

...

But a less-public version of the Black Mass was still reportedly held at the Hong Kong bar just steps away from Harvard’s main campus area, according to group members from the Satanic Cult.

killing people is psychologically corrosive

If killing a human being is not disruptive to someone's mental and spiritual well-being, that person should probably not be walking around free.

The Executioner's Lament (NPR.org)

"This is not normal behavior for right-minded humans to engage in," says Steve Martin, who participated in several executions in Texas in the 1980s. His job was to man the phones in case of a reprieve. He says the whole process is emotionally crippling.

...

"People don't realize," he says, "you just killed somebody, and you've been a part of it, and it affects all of us."

Carroll Pickett was the chaplain at 95 executions in Texas through the mid-1990s. He remembers one time when prison staff spent 40 minutes trying to find a vein until the inmate sat up and helped them. "Some of them would go outside and throw up," he says.

Over time, Pickett says, the staff unraveled. "And these were some good, good men. Basically, they all left. Every one of them," he says.

will Barnes & Noble stores survive the year?

Will the death of the Big Bookstore mean the end of bookstores? Or will it re-open the market for small stores with more curated offerings?

Barnes & Noble: Gone By New Year’s | Focus Magazine of SWFL

This may be the last year that Barnes & Noble bookstores remain open.

It’s bad news for people who love books. It’s worse news for the next generation of readers, who may never experience buying a book in a bookstore.

...

...Serendipity — the sweet surprise of happening upon an unexpected book — is an experience that can happen only in a bookstore.

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