Open thread

Irony means nothing to these people.  “Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and this is one of those cases. In Montgomery County, Texas, a parent is trying to get Ray Bradbury’s book [Fahrenheit 451] removed from his daughter’s class. What makes this situation so ironic is the fact that this book is about the suppression of books in a future society. The title itself is taken from the temperature at which paper burns because books are being burned by ‘firemen.'”  Although the parent hasn’t even read the book, he says it’s filled with “all kinds of filth” and is offensive to Christians.  That he’s using his religious faith to ban a book that is itself about the banning of books doesn’t seem to matter, and he’s not interested in simply protesting against his daughter reading it; he wants it banned for everyone.  The parent claims the book is full of “discussion of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, ‘dirty talk,’ references to the Bible and using God’s name in vain” and other evils, but he’s apparently completely unaware that all of these things and more are found in the Bible.  Might as well ban that one too.

Today’s Earth Science Picture of the Day is a stunning photo of virga (rain that doesn’t reach the ground).  Caught in the waning light of sunset, the precipitation looks pink as it streams down from the clouds and disappears (evaporates) before it reaches the surface.

While we’re talking about photos, take a look at today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.  It’s another photo from Mars taken from orbit.  It’s one of the recently released photos of the Opportunity rover sitting on the edge of a crater.  You can see its tracks around the crater and even the shadow cast on the ground from its camera mast.

Remember, there’s no scientific evidence to show marijuana has medicinal uses, so you can ignore this study even though it has identified “a previously unknown molecular mechanism in which the active ingredient in marijuana may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease…”  Remember, the FDA contradicted their own studies and said plainly it’s nothing more than a recreational drug, so you can ignore all the evidence that’s been released since then, not to mention their own previous studies, that contradict that assertion.

As if I needed more reason to hate Bill Frist.  Not only is the good doctor willing to diagnose patients he’s never examined (hell, he’d never been in the same state as Terri Schiavo, but he still felt confident he knew more than her own doctors and every other expert on the planet).  Not only is he a sham of a physician.  And not only is he a spiteful and hate-filled little man who wallows in his own bigotry, intolerance, and hypocrisy.  Now I’ve learned he illegally obtained, experimented on, and killed cats during his college days.  “By his own account, Frist improperly obtained these cats from Boston animal shelters, falsely telling shelter staff he was adopting the cats as pets.”  Once in his possession, he experimented on them and eventually caused all of them to die.  Oh, his actions were, as far as I can tell, completely illegal.  But guess what?  He’s a Republican, so no charges were filed even though he admitted to the crime.  I don’t know the statute of limitations on it and perhaps that’s why, but it seems the “values party” is once again sweeping under the rug the evil their own members do, and in this case against innocent creatures obtained through deception for intentional infliction of harm and death.  Asshole.  [via Michael at Gay Orbit]

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