Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let's play 'Kill Hypatia'

Christian group resists local occult movement

Owners of the 'Mystic Eye' in Tupelo, Mississippi, are feeling that special flavor of Xtian love:

...members of the Knights of Columbus...a Catholic fraternal benefit and service society, discovered a Tupelo store that deals in occult books and magic supplies. Dave Palladino, one of the men, said the group felt compelled to act..."We want to let people know it's there, and it's dangerous," he said. "It's just so easy to turn our backs on certain things. I see that apathy as such a danger...."

Seems the bible-thumpers called in some special preacher to hold a seminar on the evils of Paganism and turning away from the scriptures.

Thanx to Witchvox for the tip. MoonBaby, from Mississippi, one of the posters over at Witchvox made some good comments:

...I live 20 minutes north of where the Mystic Eye is located. Unfortunately this mentality is what we have to deal with here. It is not easy trying to raise healthy pagan kids when what you teach is being counteracted even our public schools. I feel this issue is important for all pagans, and I also appreciate the support you all have shown to the Mystic Eye and our area...Please everyone keep the letters coming and please keep writing the author of the Tupelo Daily Journal...the only way we are going to be able to change anything is by showing a united front!...

What a great idea! Here's the usual suspects:

Managing Editor:

Editorial Page Editor:

Religion Editor (the one who wrote the piece):

And here's a msg from the Owners of the Mystic Eye:

There is a small group gathering at the store Monday 26, who plan to "visit" this nice catholic group during their "meeting". We know how much you love our store, but more so, how much you all love the right to worship and believe as YOU see fit- NOT AS THOSE IN POWER WOULD HAVE YOU TO BELIEVE. So please, come show your support! Let's stand up for our religious (or non-religious) rites. We DO have rights. But if we don't stand up for them... they will not do us any good, and we'll all have to go into hiding again - RIGHT WHERE THEY WANT YOU TO BE....

I'll UPDATE soon...

A keg is tapped in SummerIsle

Alan D. Eames, 59, Scholar of Beers Around the World, Dies

...Alan D. Eames, who cultivated his reputation as “the Indiana Jones of beer” by crawling into Egyptian tombs to read hieroglyphics about beer and voyaging along the Amazon in search of a mysterious lost black brew, died on Feb. 10 at his home in Dummerston, Vt. He was 59...

Eames was a textbook of beer information, fashioning himself as a "beer anthropologist". He claimed the discovery of what he called the first beer advertisement, a 6000 year old stone tablet with the picture of a large breasted, headless woman, holding two goblets of beer in each hand, which states “Drink Elba, the beer with the heart of a lion.” One of his most important claims was that beer in the ancient past was considered a feminine drink, almost always being considered the gift of 'The Goddess' (and not 'The God'). The last article he wrote was about beer and Witchcraft.

The pic above is Ninkasi, the ancient Sumerian Goddess of Brewing. For an interesting account of modern brewers trying to duplicate the ancient beverage dictated by the 'Hymn to Ninkasi', which is basically a recipe, check out Anchor Steams attempt:

...From this moment, we began to feel a thrilling link with brewers of ages past. There was a sense of awe as we began to use the ancient words of the Goddess Ninkasi familiarly. After many thousands of years, bappir, munu, lal, gestin and sim were discussed again in a brewhouse...

I'm sure Ninkasi welcomes Alan to SummerIsle with open arms.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Burning Times--Good or Bad

Introducing "Conservapedia"--Battling Wikipedia's War on Christians, Patriots

The entire community seems to be rejoicing at the arrival of Conservatedia. And who can blame us? Rarely has such a rich assemblage of mind-numbingly stupidity been so self righteously displayed. The good folks at Scienceblogs have performed a superior job in documenting it (For example 1,2,3,4,5,6,7). My suggestion is to check out this wiki quickly, before it crashes and burns.

Over at Huffington Post, Shelly Lewis's (who has an excellent book, Naked Republicans: A full frontal Exposure of Rightwing Hypocrisy and Greed , ) does an excellent job summing it all up:

..As for the liberal biases of Wikipedia, Conservapedia has a whole page of examples, including:

"On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D."

I especially liked the lively Conservapedia debate over whether there should be an entry for the word "homosphere," a term which sounded both too unproven-sciencey and also gay. (Note-The discussion is gone, but the word is still there. Yay!) There are also excellent debate topics, like "Crusades--Good or Bad."

Kewl! How'bout "Inquisition--Good or Bad"?

...Also, don't miss the unbiased definitions like this one for Stem Cell Research:

"Embryonic stem cell research is the manipulation and destruction of human life shortly after conception in order to divide in a laboratory culture and produce specialized cells supposedly to treat disease.

I love Conservepedia's entry for Pagan, "A pagan is someone who believes in false gods. The First Commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Most pagans are ancient, like the Greeks and Romans, but there are also modern pagans like witches and Muslims, who do not believe in Jesus." Wow! I bet all you Atheists out there did not know you were also Pagans! Welcome to the club. :) But Shelly goes on, touching on the 'it's all a new age religion' charge, which seems to get leveled against anyone with a logical thought in his or her head:

...I had not heard of this particular form of wingnutty goodness until one of Texas' finest state legislators, Warren Chisum, sent around a memo urging his colleagues to ban the teaching of evolution....The memo suggested checking out fixedearth.com, a website that says it's the "non-moving earth and anti-evolution web page of the Fair Education Foundation, Inc." There, you can learn all about the Kabbalist Albert Einstein, the Kabbalist Carl Sagan....

Wow! Most of us joked that one day, these loonies were going to be pushing 'equal time' in the classroom for a geocentric Aristotelain or 'flat earth' theory. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would come true! You have to hand it to these people, they seem to be committing ritual suicide--right before our eyes--for their Dominionist cause.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Scientific Method: Let's make a Witch Bottle!

Witch's bottle spellbinds expert

A great article from the BBC:

"...The Bellamine Witch Bottle, believed to be the first of its kind to be found unopened, is thought to contain urine, human hair and metal pins..."

The article states that the bottles once were used to repel the curses of Witches, or even kill them. The bottles were intended to reflect back negative energy, wherever it was coming from. If a person was trying to harm you, the more they tried, the more the bad energy returned to the sender--and in fact could increase in intensity. Today, the use of Witch Bottles has evolved, encompassing broader and more pleasant functions, similar to "curse catchers" or "dream catchers". For an excellent discussion of the care and feeding of Witch Bottles, check out BOTTLE SPELLS and SPELL BOTTLES, by Catherine Yronwode. Getting back to the BBC article:

"...Dr Massey, a retired chemist, who studies the bottles as a hobby, said he was very excited by the discovery..."The seal not having been broken will give us a sample of body fluid, urine probably, that's maybe 340 years old - it's an exciting thing to look at...the stopper doesn't appear to have been pierced. There's definitely liquid in it one can feel it when you gently shake it...."

Thanx to Wren's Nest @ Witchvox for the links. The comments at Wrens Nest News tends to be good, this one being no exception.

OK, let's be scientists about this! Time to make our own Witch Bottles.

1) A jar.
2) Pins.
3) Urine

First you need a bottle or jar. Nothing fancy--a spent jelly, mayonnaise, or condiment jar will do. Clean and rinse it well. Next dump in a handful of pins. Again, any type or amount you can spare will do. You can also use nails, broken glass, or other sharp objects. Now here's the fun part: PEE IN IT! Try to fill it up. If you are a wimp and can't manage to fill it, don't feel bad. In Wicca--it's the intention that counts! Heh! (More on that "intention" thing in a bit)

(You might be asking, "Am I suppose to be doing magic with plain old junk I have laying around?" You bet! Witches of yore learned to rely on standard or innocuous household items for their craft. For example, think of the two most cliché items we associate with Witches: the broomstick and cauldron. These were common items found in any home, not something someone could be persecuted for owning. In fact, a cauldron was a prized and cherished cooking utensil. On the other hand, a little doll (or poppet), with human hair and pins stuck in it just might be construed as something diabolical, as some of the innocent victims of the Salem Witch trials were to find out.)

For extra credit:
The more effort you put in, the more satisfying the process becomes, and the more powerful will be your creation. While assembling your jar, visualize what you are making it for. If it's for household protection, think of yourself safe and secure in your house, with the one's you love. Like all works of magic, the best time to be doing this is during the waxing or full Moon.

WARNING: Kids, don't try this at home:
There's other fluids that can go into jars, such as blood or semen. Menstrual blood is very powerful! WooWhooo! But I would advise against this: we are trying to make a Witch Bottle for Protection, not a Weapon of Mass Destruction! Heh!

Once the fluid is in, screw the cap on the bottle or jar. You might want to seal the rim with wax or tape. Now bring the jar outside and bury it under the front entrance of your home. If logistics prevent this, just bury it nearby. Raymond Buckland recommends burying the bottle at least 12 inches, if there's a danger of frost. He recommends checking on it every so often and replacing it if broken. If you absolutely can't bury it, be inventive--intent counts the most. Maybe keep it in a dark drawer or box, preferably near the front door. On the other hand, a Witch Bottle is traditionally believed to maintain it's power and connection to you--your urine symbolizing a spiritual link--even if you choose to bury the bottle far from home.

Congratulations! You just performed an act of magic combining hundreds of years of Pagan history and the modern flare of Wicca. Even if you don't buy the magic elements, just think of yourself as a participant observer in a anthropological research project! ;)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thanx, Commander Sulu

George Takei responds to homophobic remarks, in hysterical fashion.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Anti Sagan Blog-a-thon

Hedonistic Left and Global Warming

Now where the hell was this article for the Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon? What a pleasantly twisted surprise to find my favorite Carl Sagan quote--the one that inspired my blog--vilified over at Human Events!

...Note also that the elitists who make the most noise about the "purity" of nature never apply that concern to human nature: they have made careers out of corrupting it. The self-appointed prophets of an environmental apocalypse from Hollywood and New York are the forces most responsible for engineering a secularist culture which is remarkable in the history of all cultures for its moral obviousness and its utter indifference to the future, much less the moral welfare of children...

Damn, and I thought we had everyone fooled when we shed crocodile tears over Polar bears drowning in the mud:

...Their faith in global warming is so strong they find themselves demanding the sorts of duties and sacrifices they discount in any other area of life. The pushy and judgmental piety of relativists on environmental issues is bottomless, amounting to a quasi-pantheism. It appears that what pop scientist Carl Sagan once said is coming to pass: "A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge..."

So that's what Carl Sagan was, a "pop scientist"! I suppose that means he got mail-order degrees from paper institutions, just like the charlatans who run Creationist and Intelligent Design "institutes". You gotta hand it to the author--he manages to demonize all the loony right's favorite targets: environmentalists, investigative journalists, concerned politicians, the majority of the world's scientists, plus intelligent and tolerant people the world over. It comes as no surprise he thinks we are the ones hell-bent on destroying the world as-he-knows-it, with our Hollywood-hyped Greenhouse propaganda! It's such a shame we were found out! We were all having such a good time laughing all the way to the Rapture, while enacting the real Apocalypse inducing threats to our planet: decadent lifestyles, abortion, secular humanism, and that final civilization leveling ace up Satan's farting hole--gay marriage!

I can't help noticing how much the Global warming deniers, Intelligent Design advocates, and other Dominionsts keep claiming the growing mountains of evidence of evolution, and increasing record breaking temperatures, is not proof of anything--but just some sort of New Age religion. I'm pretty sure everyone who follows such stories (and believe me, you have my sympathies for the patience to wade through such muck) has seen an up-tick in this technique. Most times I feel pieces like this are just hysterically funny, but it's frightening so many people actually believe such brain-dead crap. I suppose we can find comfort in the fact that the writer is so terribly wrong about everything. It's nice to be on the opposite side of the fence from such twisted people.

Let's also take comfort in the fact there are many heroic people, giving their all, helping this planet and its inhabitants. Yet we must keep in mind how others love nothing more than to demonize such people. It reminds me once again of the great comment in Margot Adler's Neo-Pagan masterpiece, Drawing Down the Moon:

"Life celebration is always a threat to those bent on destruction".

Monday, February 19, 2007

Army minister get's kicked out of Iraq

For Gods and Country: The Army Chaplain Who Wanted to Switch to Wicca? Transfer Denied.

Amazing chunk of MSM coverage in the Washington Post! What a story:

"...I realized so many innocent people are dying again in the name of God," Larsen says..."When you think back over the Catholic-Protestant conflict, how the Jews have suffered, how some Christians justified slavery, the Crusades, and now the fighting between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, I just decided I'm done...I will not be part of any church that unleashes its clergy to preach that particular individuals or faith groups are damned...". He decided the religion that best matched his universalist vision was Wicca, a blend of witchcraft, feminism and nature worship that has ancient pagan roots...

Of course, the Army does everything it can to screw the guy once it was found out he was becoming Wiccan (there would have been no problem if all he did was switch to some other Xtian sect):

...On July 6, he applied to become the first Wiccan chaplain in the U.S. armed forces, setting off an extraordinary chain of events. By year's end, his superiors not only denied his request but also withdrew him from Iraq and removed him from the chaplain corps, despite an unblemished service record...

As pointed out in the piece, some of this dovetails with the entire Patrick Stewart affair. I love Larsen's comment here, as it speaks to the heart of Wicca and Neo Paganism:

"...You can't intellectually talk about witchcraft. You gotta show up," he says. "What Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and a lot of us universalists think is, people need the magical side, the mythological side, of religion..."

I've stated as much before in a recent post. It's great to see such an incident getting mainstream media coverage. Please read the entire article, it's very informative.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Maat-Ka-Ra: Truth is the Genius of the Sun God

Guarding Egypt's past

As I've blogged before, it looks like the mummy of Hatshepsut, the princess who rose to queen, took on manly garb to become a Pharaoh (Son of Ra...), finally becoming a God/Goddess, has been found. Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, has been coy about the announcement, milking it for all it's worth (frankly, who can blame him):

...Hawass prepares to unveil a number of new discoveries that are sure to shine a bright light on the darkest reaches of history going back 5,000 years...He'll announce that Egyptologists have found the long-lost mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled from 1473 B.C. and is among just a few women to assume the powerful role of pharaoh. He's reluctant to discuss details of the search, which has gone on for decades, other than to say that last year he ordered an examination of six unidentified female mummies in Cairo's renowned Egyptian Museum...Seems she's been right under his nose the whole time.

Dr. Hawass has a good website, including his research into Hatshepsut.

Tour Egypt also has a good article:

...Hatshepsut carried five royal names, three of which were never granted to any other queen, neither before or afterwards. These were the "Horus Name", "Golden Horus Name" and the "Two Ladies" (Upper and Lower Egypt). The name of "King of Upper and Lower Egypt," was used by other queens. "Son of Ra Known as Hatshepsut" or "Maat-Ka-Ra" (Truth is the genius of the Sun God), was bestowed upon her by Amon himself. Some princesses of the 17th dynasty have previously been named so. Both "Maat-Ka-Ra" and "Hatshepsut" were depicted inside a cartouche...

Sometimes depictions of the starry night graced the inside of coffin lids of royalty, so that in death, you would stare into the Cosmos. From Maatkara, here is the prayer to Nut (Goddess of the Sky) inside Hetshepsut's sarcophagus:

Oh my mother Nut, stretch thyself over me, that thou mayest place me among the imperishable stars which are in thee, and that I may not die.

Yes, Hetshepsut--you little androgynous mover and shaker--in many ways, you have not died. Your great monuments and works were not lost during the proscription (destruction and erasure of history instituted by Thutmose III). Your smashed statues were found and reassembled, your works properly credited. For many years, scholars thought those who would erase you had committed the final sacrilege, destroying your body. But now it seems your priests were loyal. Your journey through time continues.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Xtains gone wild

Christian pediatrician denies child service because parents are tattooed

Can there be a bigger jackass than Dr. Gary Merrill? :

...A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look...The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients...Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination...Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos...

Just one more reason why I'll never will go to Texas.

The pic above is from Sacred Ink. Check them out for a great discussion of tattoos and how they relate to the Xtain bible.

Wiccans Win in Court

Court upholds Ruling: Superior Court says store discriminated when it canceled pagan classes

...A Dover Superior Court judge has upheld a religious discrimination finding that requires Boscov's to pay a $5,000 fine and $21,000 to two Christians, two Wiccans and a pagan...the state Human Relations Commission found that the Reading, Pa.-based department store chain caved in to pressure from church people and illegally dropped classes the complainants planned to teach in October 2005 at the Campus of Classes at the Dover store...

The courses were on candle magic, talismans, tarot cards, and the pentagram. The department store argued that they canceled the classes because they lacked diversity! Heh, the court found this argument as funny as most readers of this blog do.

Here's the real sweet spot:

...Donna Jackson, a spiritualist who lives in the Camden-Wyoming area, was hard-pressed to contain herself..."I'm so excited about this," she said. "I think it's awesome. This is a big thing because we're in a conservative state..."

It seems that lots of good things are happening in Dover. Witches and scientists have reason to celebrate.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finding your Goddess and God

Quest for Deity

One fascinating element of Wicca is selection of your own personal deities. Over at Witchvox, there is a great essay by Nicole Gilbert called Quest for Deity. Nicole outlines a process to help you find your Goddess and God. The first is a somewhat academic approach:

...A good place to start is to ask yourself some questions. Are you drawn to any particular time periods or cultures? Ancient Egypt, perhaps, Classical Greece, or maybe pre-Roman Britain? How about Ireland? Most people seem to feel some affinity with an older culture or two and that is a good place to start. Studying the mythologies of the times and places you feel drawn to is an excellent idea...

That academic approach works for some. On the other hand, for other Wiccans, it's the other way around--it's you gets selected! Nicole draws on her own process:

...I have had the experience of being chosen by a goddess... I was feeling overwhelmed and trying to narrow it down between Egyptian or Celtic pantheons but also being strangely drawn to the Greek underworld goddess, Hecate...I was napping when I had a very vivid dream. I was standing on a hill, looking up into the sky at a tiny speck way up high, spiraling down, closer and closer. All my attention was focused on the speck, though I did notice a bit of a chilly breeze. Down and down the speck spiraled, growing larger the closer it got. Finally it got close enough for me to see that it was a large white owl...

What a refreshing illustration of how differently the spirituality of Wiccans and Pagans is from mainstream monotheistic religion. It begs the question Joseph Campbell, Jung, Alan Watts, Diane Osbon and others have asked, "Could God exist if nobody else did?" Of course not. That's why Gods and Goddesses need us to believe in them. I like entomologist Alan Watts' answer for this, "If you believe in God, I don't. If you don't , I do". As Osbon states, "There are as many Gods as people thinking about God". For many ancient cultures, all we have left of what they knew and felt about the Cosmos are their conceptions of Deities. The Deities our history has created are really the mirror images of ourselves. Deity is actually the work of human kind, projected in beings we call Goddess or God.

Considering how rotten we have been to the Earth lately, it's really nice of Goddess and God to still believe in us.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Twilight of the IDiots

The Collapse of Discovery's ID Frame

An important post over at Red State Rabble about the collapse of the ID/Creationist movement. I don't know if I'd be that optimistic. I think there's still some fight in these rascals yet, but some very good points are made:

...In an attempt to keep their "evolution is incompatible with Christianity" frame alive, Evolution News and Views was reduced to hyping a letter to The Yale Daily News urging churches not to participate in Evolution Sunday by Moonie Jonathan Wells.

That the Discovery Institute was forced to rely on a member of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church -- who believes that that Jesus was not put on earth to die, and that the "Lord of the Second Coming" must be a man born in Korea -- to counter the message sent to people of faith by Evolution Sunday, may also help to account for the increasingly frantic tone there...

Evolution Sunday/Darwin Day was a big success, in spite of much-hyped countermeasures by ID proponents.

Piss-off a Creationist: Grow a Living Fossil

I'm a bio-geek. I love bizarre animals and plants. Now we can own and grow truly unique plant: The Wollemi Pine. This plant was discovered by David Noble, a sharp-eyed park ranger, who repelled into an isolated gorge in the Blue Mountains of Wollemi National Park (about 120 miles west of Sydney, Australia). The only representatives of this family of trees were from the fossil record. Trees like this thrived 200 million years ago, having gone completely extinct about 2 million years ago. The plant was named Wollemia nobilis, in honor of the discoverer and the plants location. The exact locality was kept secret (to discourage poaching), and cuttings were taken in attempts at propagation. Fortunately, those efforts have payed-off. Now, thanks to dedicated botanists and the National Geographic Society, you can now purchase a small rooted plant:

...You can assist in the conservation effort and enjoy the unique opportunity to ensure the continued survival of this rare species by giving the tree as a gift or growing your own. Suitable for indoor container gardening or as a landscape tree in certain areas of the U.S. Comes with a care manual with the full story about the discovery and fascinating history of the Wollemi pine. Tree will be approximately 10''H when shipped. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these plants will fund ongoing conservation research...

The plants cost about $US100. The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in NYC also distributes them. So, for only a hundred dollars, you can support conservation efforts and rub a Creationist's nose in 'it' (in this case, a coprolite). As soon as it gets a bit warmer, I'm ordering one. It will make my trilobites jealous!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blasphemous Trinity

Josh Rosenau's Thoughts from Kansas is a fine blog. Josh is a graduate student at the University of Kansas in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He knows how to take-on the various breeds of anti-evolutionists--yet avoid the atheistic snark of some of the other posters over at Scienceblogs. I want to thank him (heh!) for this pic of Shrub, that was posted on Scott Paeth's Semi Daily Blog, which happens to be an intelligent blog by a pro-science theologian. Scott's quote for the pic is precious:

...Further testimony to the appalling proposition that a fool who prays before doing foolish things is somehow miraculously rendered wise...

Keep an eye on Josh. He's a damn good science writer.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Evolution Sunday

Michael Zimmerman's site The Clergy Letter Project has gathered over 10,000 signatures from clergy in support of science and the teaching of evolution:

...For too long, the misperception that science and religion are inevitably in conflict has created unnecessary division and confusion, especially concerning the teaching of evolution. I wanted to let the public know that numerous clergy from most denominations have tremendous respect for evolutionary theory and have embraced it as a core component of human knowledge, fully harmonious with religious faith.

So true. This is one of the many things that troubles me about the more strident atheists like Dawkins, Harris, or PZ Myers: their reduction to absurdity argument that equates any form of spirituality with worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That's some pretty poor scholarship, but getting back to Zimmerman's excellent project:

...I worked with clergy throughout Wisconsin to prepare a statement in support of teaching evolution. We were called to action by a series of anti-evolution policies passed by the school board in Grantsburg, WI. The response was overwhelming... In a few weeks, nearly 200 clergy signed the statement...groups of educators and scientists sent letters to the Grantsburg School Board and to the Superintendent of Schools protesting these policies. In response to all of this attention, as well as the efforts of others, the Grantsburg School Board retracted their policies.

So, what's wrong with that outcome? Many tolerant religious and spiritual people have been battling the Dominionists for years. Dawkins, Harris, et al seem hell-bent on alienating or demonizing people who's only crime is that believe differently than they do.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The real Romeo and Juliet

Prehistoric lovers found locked in eternal embrace

Wow! How beautiful and romantic:

...Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua...The site is just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of "Romeo and Juliet".

Said a scientist working on the dig:

"The find...does highlight how the relationship people have with each other and with death has not changed much from the period in which humanity first settled in villages, learning to farm the land and tame animals...The Neolithic is a very formative period for our society...It was when the roots of our religious sentiment were formed."

What an amazing discovery for Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Slaves of Hatshepsut

Sista Serpentine: Hatshepsut

Sista Serpentine said:

...Last night I had a dream that I was in a museum...When we came to this particular statue/throne/alter/whatever it was, I threw myself onto the floor, crying and prostrating myself in front of this thing... In love, fear, reverence...Suddenly the room went black, everyone disappeared and the statue suddenly stood up and revealed herself to me... It was Hatshepsut... She was telling me that I was her only servant and that I would always have her protection...

Hatshepsut--you BITCH! Those are the same lines you told me! I was suppose to be your only servant. I was to have your protection forever. I can't believe I fell for such lame pic-up lines. I feel so cheap and used. I'm sure all the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt now think I'm 'easy'! What next, my phone number chiseled in a burial chamber, "For a good time call..."?

Hatshepsut, who is this interloper, Sista Serpentine? Did she leave offerings at your feet in the museum like I did. Did she prostrate herself before you, showering your cold marble feet with kisses? Did she get kicked out of the museum by security, again again, and again?

Well, I suppose us mortals are always the last ones to find out. I guess all we can aspire to is being galley slaves in your solar barque:

Antiquity News from Egypt Magazine - February/March 2007

...Pottery dating to the early 18th Dynasty was found with the oars and they may have been used on ships of the Queen Hatshepsut's famous expedition to Punt, which is described in bas-relief inscriptions in her temple at Deir el-Bahri...

3,500 years after the her expedition to Punt, Hatshepsut's adventure is still making news. Myrrh, which Hatshepsut loved, was a major goal of the trip. There's a rumor going around that the mummy of "The Queen who became a God" has been identified. It seems there will soon be news about that.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Mothra of All Heroes Stars in Japanese-themed Insect Fear Film Festival

SciFi movies about insects teach us good family values:

...What most attracts University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum to Japanese culture, however, is its cinematic insects. Berenbaum, the head of the entomology department at the Urbana campus, will showcase Japanese insect movies at the 24th annual Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 24...

Many of the films feature insects in a good light, like the "The Ultimate Teacher", where the main character is a human-cockroach hybrid, who fends off bullies in a tough highschool. In the film "Mothra", although she is destructive, the giant lepidopteran's intent is to rescue twin fairy priestesses, and return to their native island. On the other hand, some insects (or entomologists) are caste in an evil light:

...And there are occasional evil entomologists in Japanese anime. In “Read or Die,” the late 19th century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre is reconstituted from his DNA and recruited into an evil scheme. He commands the insects to do his bidding...

Heh, I read somewhere that Fabre was a Creationist. How ironic! This sounds like a great film series.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Weather.com VS Rush Limbaugh

Once again, that Vicoden-hopped, Viagra quaffing bully Rush Limbaugh makes a complete ass of himself :

Global Warming is a Religion

It makes for some hysterical reading. Most of the reasoning (heh) about what science is and does is borrowed from Creationist mumbo-jumbo. It's funny to read, but this gem is priceless:

...remember last year's hurricane season? Starting on June 1st, the Drive-Bys had their cameras out there on the beaches of Florida and in New Orleans waiting for the next Katrina to come along and wipe us all out. The apocalypse. They said because of global warming it's going to get worse and worse and worse. We had no hurricanes to speak of in the United States last year...

That nonsense comes from his Feb 2 show. So, on Feb 3r and 4th from The Weather Channel we have:

Fla. Faces Daunting Recovery From Storms

...President Bush designated four central Florida counties as disaster areas, releasing millions of dollars in aid as residents began recovering from tornados that ripped through the region, leaving at least 20 people dead...

When Dominionists like Rush Limbaugh spout their disinformantion, and it gets proved so terribly wrong, who pays the price? Does he lose listeners? You'd think so, but evidently not. We and this planet are the ones paying the price.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sad news: Astronomer David Levy suffers a stroke

Astronomer David Levy had a stroke last week. MSM coverage has been spotty. Here's a link to a msg.

He is the co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that slammed into Jupiter. Along with the late Eugene Shoemaker, Levy compelled a "heads up!" re-evaluation of the importance of comets, asteroids, and meteors. We owe a debt of gratitude to these two men. Let's all wish Levy a speedy recovery.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Old Ways are Best

Culture: Ye Gods!

Excellent opinion piece, with good links, by by Alexander G. Rubio:

...G.K. Chesterton said that, "when people stop believing in God, it's not that they believe in nothing, but that they start believing in everything." The pioneers of the Enlightenment thought that when educated in the new sciences and subjected to the new models of the universe that needed no god to keep the mechanism going, the vast majority of people in the developed world would renounce belief in the supernatural within a century. As we all know, religious faith has proven a tad more resilient than that...The need to believe seems hard wired into most of us. And it is a need that political ideologies and other secular belief systems are ill equipped to fulfil. So it should come as no surprise that, as the Christian churches have lost their monopoly on faith in the Western world, even the old pagan gods are staging a comeback...

Ellinais continues to have a positive and growing impact. It's fun to see how pissed-off the Xtian orthodox high priests are! I have a feeling they will not have any luck suppressing this movement, like they did when they strangled science and empirical observation.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Brigid speed-dials Boudica: Send Lawyers, guns, and money!

Judge rejects government motion, allows Wiccan lawsuit to proceed

...A federal lawsuit filed by Wiccans against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will proceed despite a request by the VA that it be put on hold for perhaps as much as a year...The VA argued in a motion filed Jan. 19 with the U.S. District Court in Madison that the lawsuit should be put on hold until after the department finalized its new rules...The Wiccans' attorney objected, arguing that nothing commits the VA to finalize its rules within that time frame, or take up the Wiccan request at all...U.S. District Judge John Shabaz issued a one-line order on Jan. 26 allowing the case to proceed...

This is a great sign! The Judge clearly is fed-up with the VA's stalling tactics. Maybe someone in the VA does not take Wicca seriously. I mean, it's not like other serious religions that try to ban Earth-shattering texts like the Harry Potter series from school libraries, undermine science by teaching the fantasy of 'intelligent design' in classrooms, take choice away from women, and demolish the separation of church & state. Then there's the argument of no centralized institution or governing body behind Wicca. Well, that did not stop Atheism and Buddhism from getting their grave symbols in a heart-beat.

My feeling is that one person is behind all this: that person is the one in charge at the VA. He is sabotaging the approval of the pentacle because of his religious convictions, which happen to be wrong in regards to Wicca. He is letting his religion interfere with the execution of his duty. I wish the VA was not acting like this, as now it seems only a lawsuit will get them to do the right thing. It's really sad that the VA is putting war widows through this.