Something must be done

This is actually how the law is made, right?

Love and Garbage - some commonplace musings

A government spokesman today confirmed plans to press ahead with the Something Must be Done Bill. She said,

“During the year we saw things happen which were very serious – and while each of these serious things was dealt with by the police under existing laws, we have decided that if we appear to do nothing about these things that will be worse for us than doing something (or appearing to do something while actually doing nothing) because people will expect us to do something after we appeared on the television saying that something had to be done. Therefore after careful consideration we have identified a thing to do. And because this thing to do is something we have therefore concluded that this something must be done, even though it is – in effect – little more than what can be done at the moment. However. in order to disguise the fact that…

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What Do Creationists Teach? A guest post by Jonny Scaramanga

A summary of Creationism from an educational perpective

Jesus Without Baggage

Today’s guestpost is by Jonny Scaramanga who blogs at Leaving Fundamentalism. One of Jonny’s areas of expertise is the teaching of creationists and he is perhaps the leading authority on the problems of ACE home school curriculum and learning systems, which teach creationism. On his blog, he also deals with other aspects of Fundamentalist Christianity. Be sure to visit there; it is one of my favorites.

Asking what Creationists teach is a bit like asking what Christians teach. It encompasses a lot of different doctrines. Broadly speaking, a Creationist is anyone who believes that God made the universe, which could include people who accept the theory of evolution, but think God started the process.

Dinosaurs with Humans

In the popular mind, though, “Creationist” almost always means “Christian Young-Earth Creationist“. These people believe that the book of Genesis is literally true. God initially made only two people, Adam and Eve, and everyone…

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Museum of London

I have a mixed relationship with London. It’s crowded by people who seem to think that I want to be hit repeatedly by their back pack. It’s full of stunningly breath-taking architecture, cathedrals to the gods of shopping, privelege, commerce and religion and breath-taking ugliness celebrating public service and poverty. It exploits a crass consumerist culture, pimping bawdy trinkets and cheap plastic goods to sheeple who want whatever branded product is on offer and sprinkled with some of the finest examples of artisan crafts from bakeries to silversmiths, from suits to homewares. It packs thousands of people into a small space and boasts large open spaces full of greenery and beautiful bodies of water. It celebrates fame and privilege in some of the most opulent surroundings, and traps the poorest in society in some of the drabbest estates.

I was expecting – hoping – to see these conflicts and contrasts reflected in the displays at the Museum of London. And to an extent, the museum does touch on these juxtapositions, but perhaps not in the ways one might expect.

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The Sorrow of Silence

Iain (M) Banks has died. If you’ve never read Culture (with the M) or his other fiction (without) you’ve missed out on one of Scotland’s finest writers.

Culture is a hybrid, liberal in the far future, in a world where humanity (in the loosest sense of the term) has exceeded it’s biological limitations. As with all scifi, he uses Culture to explore contemporary issues, but also to explore possibilities. He uses – used – a range of forms, and perspectives to explore his speculative realities in ways which surprise, delight and engross you, the reader. He transported me, a scifi veteran, to worlds I hadn’t imagined by ships which have personalities I fear may not be far off mine. When you identify with a ship, you know the author is something special.

If you want to read him, start with Consider Phlebas.

I shall leave by recalling the names of Culture ships; not only because they are in every sense his biggest creations, but because, I suspect, they were the deepest reflections of his character.

  • Prosthetic Conscience
  • Irregular Apocalypse
  • Screw Loose
  • Just Read The Instructions
  • Cargo Cult
  • Kiss My Ass
  • Very Little Gravitas
  • Size Isn’t Everything
  • I Thought He Was With You
  • Grey Area (aka Meatfucker)
  • Zero Gravitas
  • Resistance Is Character-Forming
  • We Haven’t Met, But You’re A Great Fan Of Mine
  • Pride Comes Before A Fall
  • Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall
  • It’s My Party And I’ll Sing If I Want To
  • Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill
  • Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints
  • Questionable Ethics
  • Refreshingly Unconcerned With the Vulgar Exigencies of Veracity
  • Displacement Activity

He named the following ships when another culture criticised the lack of gravitas when ships named themselves:

  • Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
  • Gravitas, What Gravitas?
  • Gravitas… Gravitas… No, Don’t Help Me, I’ll Get It In A Moment…
  • Gravitas Free Zone
  • Low Gravitas Warning Signal
  • Absolutely No You-Know-What

Not Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud

This is probably the best summary of arguments against equal marriage I’ve read for a while.

The Dixie Flatline

[This could quite well be my shortest ever post.]

The amazingly inane Tory backbenchers' straw-clutching objection to same-sex marriage:

But it'll mean bigots might not be able to act out their bigotry any more!

This is a downside?

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