My Darkest Dystopian Paranoia

March 20, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

More reactions to the New York Times‘ awful smartwatches-and-phones-cause-cancer piece, with Daniel Engber at Slate calling it, “So weird, and so bad, and so weirdly bad.” Dave Pell concedes the point, but tries to strike a middle ground about the general cloud of unknown that surrounds the larger impact of these devices:

Should I be at least a little concerned? I would think so. But I’m even more concerned by the fact that I probably wouldn’t move either device out of reach even if science confirms my darkest dystopian paranoia. And even if our physical health is in no danger, there is absolutely no doubt that our psychological and social worlds are in a state of chaos that is of our doing, but not fully in our control. And that scares us. 

The Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan says yeah, maybe it should have been vetted a bit more, and reveals that no one involved in science at the paper ever saw the article before it was published. Says it all, doesn’t it? 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Carrie Poppy reports on some hopeful research on schizophrenia, which afflicts 3 million people in the U.S. alone.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco says it feels awful about the drenching-homeless-people thing, explaining the original purpose:

St. Mary’s former rector decided to place the sprinklers in the alcoves two years ago after the doorways and a path that adjoins a neighboring school became littered with crack pipes, hypodermic needles, condoms and human waste…

Fun times.  

The Telegraph consults Prof. David Colquhoun to address the crap “cures” peddled by homeopaths in Gambia, which includes absurd claims about curing HIV and burns. 

France’s lower house of Parliament passes a right-to-die bill, which would allow patients nearing the end to end treatment and go into a “deep sleep.” 

Deutsche Welle has a radio profile of Turkey’s Atheism Association, a much-beleaguered organization and the first of its kind in Turkey.  

Human rights workers at the UN are reportedly threatened by Bahrain’s Human Rights Committee chair.

At a meeting in Mecca, Islamic scholars gather to promote the idea of the imposition of Sharia as the solution to religious extremism. Meanwhile, the fast food industry is proposing the mandatory binge-eating of fast food as the solution to obesity. SEE WHAT I DID THERE

Baptist church in Knoxville has a sign that reads “Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” Uh. 

Get ready for the solar eclipse! Hemant Mehta knows what it means: “God hates Santa Claus.” 

Anti-quote of the DayGOP New Hampshire State Rep. Warren Groen is perhaps the most heartless person on Earth. When fourth graders come to the state capitol to see a bill they proposed to name the Red Tail Hawk as New Hampshire’s “State Raptor,” Rep. Groen takes to the floor, in front of the children, and says:

It grasps [its prey] with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb. And I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.

Wow, you’re terrible.  

Quote of the Day:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, being interviewed about the books in her life at NYT, is asked what books she has might surprise us:

Dr. Seuss, “Make Way for Ducklings.” 

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