Posted by: Kevin | January 9, 2010

So While I Was Shaking Off My New Year’s Hangover…

Lot’s of stuff happened.  Most of it you already heard or read about it so I won’t waste time writing about the obvious stuff.  Instead I’ll point out a couple of interesting tidbits that caught my eye.

The Death Penalty can no longer be defended intellectually.  At least that’s how I read this article in the New York Times.

Last fall, the American Law Institute, which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it.

This doesn’t mean that the death penalty stops.  That would either take something from Congress or the Supreme Court.  What it means, is that the only defense left for the death penalty is something along the lines of “they need kill’en”.  Sadly there are plenty of people in this country who think that defense is more than adequate.  In case you’re curious, this story in the New Yorker is what forever put me in the anti-death penalty camp.

Fundy assholes from America have been directly linked to the barbaric anti-homosexuality bill being considered in Uganda.

Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.

The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.

So three assholes:  Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer, give a series of talks about “the evil gay agenda” and how gay men often sodomize teenage boys.  Now they are shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that the Ugandan government has decided to take their message to its logical conclusion.  So I’m going to take this information to its own logical conclusion and say that fundy assholes are objectively in favor of genocide.

And now for something completely different.  The Hubble Telescope captured its deepest image yet, a view of galaxies 13.2 billion light years away.  There is some cool science going on there and it calls to mind 2 things not strictly scientific.  The first is the short story “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov.  Note the date on this story; Asimov was seriously ahead of his time.  The second is this video below, Carl Sagan’s speech about the pale blue dot.  A healthy reminder for the new year that we’re all sharing a tiny ball of rock and iron in a great big universe, so we might as well try to get along.

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Last, and probably least, is this 7 part review of Star Wars, The Phantom Menace.  Sure the movie is over a decade old but the review is worth a look.  Not only is it more entertaining than the actual movie (although a couple of jokes struck a sour note), it’s a great exploration into how a lavishly funded creative effort can go so catastrophically wrong.

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