There’s a blog that has each day’s Marmaduke along with an explanation of what’s going on in the strip.
The BBC offers an excerpt from the forthcoming book by Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:
Both scriptural routes, if followed through religiously (the adverb is used in its metaphoric sense but with an eye to its origin), encourage a system of morals which any civilized modern person, whether religious or not, would find – I can put it no more gently – obnoxious.
To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries. This may explain some of the sheer strangeness of the Bible. But unfortunately it is this same weird volume that religious zealots hold up to us as the inerrant source of our morals and rules for living. Those who wish to base their morality literally on the Bible have either not read it or not understood it, as Bishop John Shelby Spong, in The Sins of Scripture, rightly observed.
Here’s a long interview with Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous. Apparently, he had a hard time for several years after his last album. He’s got a new album coming out next week. I’m glad he didn’t quit music. Hey, maybe this means he won’t take another 5 years to make his next album.
Trail of Dead has a new album coming out.
“So Divided” is the follow-up to 2005s “Worlds Apart,” which has sold less than half of “Source Tags.” “I put everything I had into that record, and recording it was a miserable ordeal,” group member Conrad Keely told Billboard.com in July. “After its reception I was pretty much ready to retire from music and find another career, convinced that I wanted nothing more to do with making music for anyone.
Sorry, Conrad. I still liked it though. I will say this: the Worlds Apart tour rocked harder than anything ever.
I want to blockquote this entire article about the air sex championship in Japan. Air sex is like air guitar. Air sex can be dangerous. I repeat, air sex can be dangerous.
“On the day that I reached the top, the day I became world champion, I was thinking of my girlfriend. No, my ex-girlfriend. Shed just dumped me two days before the contest,” Cobra tells Weekly Playboy. “The air sex display I put on that day was, in my mind at least, supposed to be the farewell fling I really wanted to have with my girlfriend. It was the best possible condition I could have been in going into the competition.”
Bush’s approval has been on the rise all summer (coming back from a long slide), and in August, it started rising more quickly. I’m not quite clear on why, but I have a new theory about it. At first, I thought that Bush’s lame duck status was actually working for him — that some republican-leaners on the cusp of approval/disapproval maybe don’t care as much at this point and are falling back to their default assessment. This is assuming that there are more republican-leaners disapproving of Bush than democrat-leaners that approve, and I think that’s prudent. But I’m not sure the lame duck/apathy theory explains the more sudden rising in mid-August. So now I think it must have something to do with the oncoming election. I think that Bush’s general unpopularity in the second term has had a lot to do with republicans no longer feeling like they have to support Bush in order to keep a democrat out of the White House. A lot of people supported Bush long enough to defeat Kerry, and once there was no liberal threat, their love for the President waned.
So maybe now there’s another liberal threat? Perhaps with imminent elections, republicans are re-republicanizing? Of course, one problem with this theory is that Bush is actually more popular than the congressional republicans who are actually the ones up for election. Maybe Bush just looks better to republicans as they compare him to the senators and congressmen they’re ready to vote against?
Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio is the most geometrically interesting man in indie rock.
Ten frauds of science, including the infamous peppered moths – the faked ur-example of natural selection. Here’s my favorite:
In the early 18th century Dr. Johann Beringer of the University of Würzburg devoted his research to the discovery of fossils that seemed to indicate prehistoric life. Beringer, however, believed that these fossils were “capricious fabrications of God,” used to test man’s faith. His belief seemed confirmed when at one site he discovered fossils of birds, beetles, moons, and stars. Little did he know that two mean-spirited colleagues had planted the fake fossils. Perhaps trying to get caught, they even planted tablets inscribed with the Hebrew and Arabic words for God. Beringer published a book, Lithographia Wirceburgensis, in 1726 describing his findings and his theory. But then he made another discovery: a similar buried tablet inscribed with his own name. He immediately began trying to buy back all the available copies of his book, but it was too late. Because of the hoax, his book became a bestseller.