Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Former CFIer Julia Burke is in the news today for the best reason possible: Going out of her way to help people. Julia’s eschewed the NYC marathon before it was cancelled, and opted instead to run to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Her astounding awesomeness is covered in The Buffalo News, Friendly Atheist, and Skepchicks.
Joe Nickell tells the tale of a racoon, a raft, and a “Viking funeral” in Skeptical Briefs.
DC in Detroit has a hyper-exhaustive write-up of her experiences (and award-winning costume of a blood-weeping Virgin Mary) at CSICon.
Get ready to celebrate Carl Sagan Day on November 9.
Letter to the editor in the Albany Times-Union thinks Sagan’s wisdom is badly needed in this political climate.
Campers in Utah snag footage of a big brown lump in the forest! I mean Bigfoot!
But that’s amateur work. A professor at Idaho State University is going to look for Bigfoot with a blimp.
Edwina Rogers explains the Secular Coalition’s candidate scorecard at WaPo.
Leo Malloy at PolicyMic is none too thrilled about the atheist’s choices for president, but feels it’s pretty clear who’s more acceptable.
Mother Jones has a handy chart of most of the big Obama conspiracy theories (such as “is a lizard”), but oddly omits “is the Anti-Christ”.
Indian Express reports: Arfa Iftikhar, the teacher at the center of the outrage in Pakistan over allegedly-blasphemous homework used as a pretense to destroy a girls’ school, is now in hiding. Meanwhile, the father of Malala Yousufzai has won a job in London that will help keep the family out of danger in Pakistan.
The 77-year-old headmaster of the school in Pakistan is in custody and being denied bail, according to AFP.
Austin American-Statesman: Church-state separation contention ainescapable in Texas.
NBCNews.com: IRS is sidestepping the issue of pastors endorsing candidates from the pulpit.
London Review of Books takes on the new book The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe by Michael Gordin:
If pseudosciences are not scientific, neither are they anti-scientific. They flatter science by elaborate rituals of imitation, rejecting many of the facts, theories and presumptions of orthodoxy while embracing what are celebrated as the essential characteristics of science.
Houston Atheists reach out to LGBT nonbelievers.
Mancave Daily on how to super-charge your psychic powers in the manliest ways possible.
Quote of the Day
UK UFO enthusiasts are beginning to think, well, never mind about that whole “aliens” thing. But one guy still has an neat idea:
[The Northern Anomalies Research Organisation’s] current president Lionel Fanthorpe has claimed in its journal that King Arthur was an alien who came to Earth to save humans from invading extraterrestrials.
Is that better than strange women lying in ponds distributing swords as a basis for a system of government? I mean, as we all know, supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Or, in this case, a mandate from Jupiter or something.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
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