Five Fascinating Facts about Mark Twain

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

Fun Mark Twain facts, including his inventions, unusual lecture topics, and numerous pen names

1. Mark Twain wrote a pornographic story set during Elizabethan times. Titled ‘1601’, this bawdy tale – known as a ‘squib’ – was written in 1876 and purports to be the excerpt from a diary written by Queen Elizabeth I’s cup-bearer. Elizabeth has conversations with numerous notable persons of the age, including William Shakespeare and Sir Walter Raleigh. When somebody breaks wind, Elizabeth tries to find out who did it. (Spoiler alert: Raleigh did it.) As John Bird notes, ‘one of Twain’s points’ was ‘that the figures we now hold in such high regard habitually used extremely coarse language’.

It is surprising to reflect that neither of the books which are now considered canonical and quintessential Twain – Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – was Twain’s bestselling book during his lifetime:

View original 518 more words

What the devil?

In the latest bout of absurdity from the world of pious prats, Iran has banned spiky and other unorthodox hairstyles for men.

Apparently the self-appointed terrestrial regulators of the celestial overlords have decided to condemn trendy hairstyles as “devil worshipping,” and pronounced them in contravention of Islamic regulations. The head of Iran’s Barber’s Union Mostafa Govahi, is quite pleased with this ruling because the prosecution of his fashionable but unregistered competitors, would send business to unionised barbers who toe the religious line.

Currently, those ghastly bushy beards (which for some inexplicable reason is propitious to the celestial overlords) are not compulsory for Iranian men, but who knows how long these men will be allowed to keep good clean faces, what with the theological tyrants constantly looking for new ways to heap misery upon mankind.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before Iran’s Underwear Union declares anything but Bridgette Jones type undergarments to be religiously legal. Maybe the Mormons can get a piece of that action.

And The Winner Is!

lennymaysay:

Can’t really say I can promise the same…

Originally posted on nerd on the bridge:

Dear religious blogger,

I apologize for all my blogposts that offended your beliefs. I am truly sorry.

What you choose to believe is entirely up to you.

If you wish to home-school your children in order to instil your beliefs without opposition is entirely up to you. If you wish to discriminate against certain sections of society – women, gays, black Jesus, dogs, pigs, fornicators, atheists – as the bedrock of your belief is entirely up to you. If you choose divinity over science is entirely up to you.

It is disrespectful of me to point out the countless times throughout history that religion has been wrong about everything from biology to astronomy to meteorology to zoology and anthropology; it’s disrespectful of me to question absurd assumptions if they make total sense to you.

I am tired of the conflict, the turmoil and heartache my opposition, scepticism and resistance to the gospels, conversion therapies…

View original 138 more words

Respect faith? Hell no!

religionrespect

Lizzylo, a recent addition to my long list of detractors commenters seems to think the reason I write this blog is because I yearn for respect.

Well, Lizzylo, let me make this quite clear. I DON’T.

I don’t really care whether you respect me or not. I have never cared whether anyone respects me, even outside of this blog. I don’t demand respect, nor do I give it easily. In my job, I tend to piss off a lot of colleagues because I demand competency and productivity. But in the process, I make a whole lot more people happy, including my customers.

I don’t sulk when my colleagues are angry at me for being demanding. I live with it. It’s a trade-off. Similarly, when people respond negatively to my blog posts, I don’t let it affect me. The fact that I tick people off, is actually quite revealing. It puts a smile on my face, just like those positive comments do.

scienceandfaith

Another thing I get quite often is quotes from the bible or some other religious text about faith. People seem to think that these texts are authoritative and that I’m supposed to be moved or threatened into submission by them.

Let me make this quite clear. I give ZERO fucks for faith or your holy quotes about it.

I don’t believe your quotes, nor do they scare me or move me in any way whatsoever. I also think faith is a dreadful disease that needs to be eradicated. I’d really like to bash your skull in, but not through violence. All I have to throw at you is words.

So there, I hope that was painful.

Pastor Crafty Dollar wants a new jet

A pastor wants his flock to buy him a $65 million dollar private jet. A state of the art Gulfstream G650 to be exact. It’s not the sort of thing your average millionaire thinks about splashing out on – this is serious billionaire territory.

But Creflo Dollar, the preacher with the pornographic surname (his wife is Taffi Dollar; I kid you not) is no billionaire. He’s your average multi-millionaire evangelist who’s made his loot screwing credulous sods who either don’t know any better, or don’t care to.

The following clip of his plea for donations on YouTube is no blue movie; it’s far worse. It promises to not only fuck you over thoroughly and leave you with a false sense of satisfaction, it will leave you much poorer and none the wiser too.

I have no doubt that Creflo will get the money which will ensure he becomes the flashiest flying preacher-man out there. I know this because there is an endless supply gullible people out there.

Apatheism

lennymaysay:

Not quite an apatheist, but there are times when the world appears to have gone ape-shit bat-shit crazy, I feel like one.

Originally posted on colemining:

I learned a new word recently. That doesn’t happen all that often- although it is occurring more frequently since I moved into a job significantly outside my regular wheelhouse of history, literature, religion, myth, story, music and etc.

I was watching a TEDTalk (have I mentioned how I’m hooked on these things? No wait. That discussion is in a post that is still languishing in the drafts folder. I need to stop being so easily distracted…) by Dr. Ben Goldacre.

This TEDTalk here:

I was watching it for a couple of reasons- I am working in the healthcare industry at the moment, so the subject matter is relevant to my day-to-day involvement in scientific, evidence-based research and the public policies that are informed by this research.

Mainly, though, I decided to check it out because there has been a whole lot of irresponsible let’s call it ‘journalism’, for lack of…

View original 1,467 more words

Killing in the name of…

Another bloody weekend because ISIS…

The reports state that Egypt is in shock after the senseless and brutal beheading of 21 captured nationals by ISIS fundamentalists some time over the weekend, but the truth is that every sane person in the world shares in that trauma.

I have read several arguments about what makes a person resort to such base inhumanity and I still can’t make my mind up over which is believable or acceptable. Not that any reason would be acceptable. Some say it has nothing to do with religion, others believe it is entirely the fault of religion. I can understand with reservations, a person behaving in this savage manner to protect family or friends from harm, but what draws men (and women) from around the world to join an organization that viciously murders their fellow-men, women and children? This is not rational behaviour by any means.

It has to be a virus known as ideology. These people are not natural psychopaths.

Ideology – religious, political or otherwise can so taint the mind, that a human can succumb to such savagery. History is replete with acts of utter barbarity due to ideological influences.

I believe that most people just want to get on with their lives, building a family and home and becoming successful to some degree or the other. They couldn’t be bothered with things like patriotism and religious affiliation… unless sufficiently indoctrinated to buy into some ridiculous cause. As it is, the Universe and Mother Nature are hell-bent on eradicating all life; it just makes no sense that human beings feel the need to help these bitches along.

I wish the closing words of the Rage Against The Machine song Killing In The Name becomes a mantra everyone lives by, when confronted by religious, social, political and other bullshit ideological influences.

Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!

Massacre of Valentine’s Day

condomheart

I take it that there is general acknowledgement that the modern observance of Valentine’s Day is as commercialized as Christmas. Notwithstanding, most people still indulge in this celebration of love as a necessary distraction from the hum-drum of daily life.

But there are those who wish to tarnish and discredit this old tradition.

Anwar Abbas, head of education (yeah right!) at the Indonesian Council of Muslim Scholars thinks that Valentine’s Day is “incompatible with his nation’s culture and religious tenets.” This self-appointed moral policeman expressed his indignation after discovering that retailers were selling Valentine’s Day chocolate gift packs that included condoms which he claims “glorified promiscuity.”

What an idiot? The provision of free condoms is a public service. Religion should never be allowed to come between consenting sex organs. (Yes, I’m referring to the multitude of sexual partnerships, not just heterosexuality). This is the 21st century for Odin’s sake. People love to bonk because it gives them pleasure. There is nothing immoral in sexual pleasure.

It used to be that Abbas’s irrational and irresponsible adjudication was the forte of the Catholic Church. And he’s not alone. Abbas has cohorts in every religion under Sol. It is now apparent that it is endemic in religious ideology in general. Ideologues have for time immemorial been using morality as a pretext to impose their narrow-mindedness on the uncritical masses. It has nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with religious bigotry and the power that having a priestly position entails.

Fuck all religious naysayers. No wait, don’t, not in that way. Ignore all fundamentalist religious idiots and have a banging Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but for Odin’s sake use a fucking condom.

Arabian blights

magiclamp

Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2030 Olympic Games jointly with Bahrain, an island kingdom off the East Coast, has been rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and rightly so.

Seems the misogynistic Saudi’s had the audacity to suggest that the male and female events be held separately. They proposed that women competitors be shipped off to Bahrain, no doubt to keep the mainland sacrosanct for “god-fearing” men only.

Saudi Arabia’s previous successes in Olympic Games participation consists of a grand total of three medals – two bronzes and one silver. Ramzy Al Duhami Abdullah Al Saud Kamal Bahamdan Abdullah Sharbatly who won bronze in the 2012 London Olympics has such a ponderous name, he should surely have been given a sympathetic gold, just for being saddled with it. And spare a thought for the poor sports commentator…

A country that bans women from driving, imprisons and lashes civil rights activists, beheads it’s citizens after “holy” prayer services on Fridays for apostasy and generally imposes stupid archaic laws based on the ambiguous ramblings in religious scripture, should not be allowed to host the pleasurable pastimes of the civilized world. Well done IOC.

How did we get from the Islamic Golden Age of scientific and cultural enlightenment of the Abbasid Caliphate which gave us among other things, One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), to such a repressive era which glorifies the atrocious ideology of Sharia Law? I think you’ll find the answer in the insane interpretations and teaching of scripture by the clerics.