Man Finds 500 Million Year Old Fossil on Trip to Creation Museum

Well we all know that god placed that fossil there to test our faith. What I didn’t know was that the Creation Museum was built on one of the richest fossil beds in the world.

The Creation Museum, to those of you who might be blissfully unaware, depicts the biblical creation story as literal truth. Did you know the universe is about 6,000 years old? Created in six days you say! Dinosaurs drinking from the rivers of Eden? Tell me more—over a burger at the Noah’s cafe, of course.

In a delicious bit of irony, the Creation Museum is built on top of one of the richest fossil beds in the world and near the birthplace of vertebrate paleontology. Want to find an at least 500-million-year-old fossil? Head over to the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.

Dawkins’ Turkish publisher faces jail over ‘atheist manifesto’

From The Independent:

Richard Dawkins’ best-selling atheist manifesto The God Delusion was at the centre of a growing row over religious tolerance yesterday after the Turkish publishers of his book were threatened with legal action by prosecutors who accuse it of ‘insulting believers’.

Erol Karaaslan, the founder of the small publishing house Kuzey Publications, could face between six months and a year in jail for “inciting hatred and enmity” if Istanbul prosecutors decide to press charges over the book, which has sold 6000 copies in Turkey since it was published this summer.

“A reader complained, saying that he wanted the book banned and the publishers punished”, said Mr Karaaslan after talks with the Istanbul state prosecutor. Mr Karaaslan, whose company specialises in self-help books and children’s literature, has been given a few days to prepare a written statement of defence.

This is not the first time Dawkins has come up against the wrath of the Turkish authorities. Published here in the mid-1990s, his less confrontational book The Selfish Gene also faced problems, with the Islamist government then in power trying to get it banned from bookshops. The God Delusion, the fourth of Dawkins’ books to be published in Turkish, sparked controversy with its damning approach to religion and unashamed avowal of atheism. While some appreciated his frankness, many questioned the book’s relevance to Turkish readers.

“It aims to explain atheism from the perspective of Christianity”, one amateur reviewer wrote, “and I don’t think that’s of much use in a Muslim country, because Muslims are already aware of the contradictions and oddities of Christianity as it is.” Another writing on a popular blogging website was more direct: “If I were God, I’d give Dawkins a good smacking” they wrote.

Smoking Gun on the 2 Girls, 1 Cup Vid

From The Smoking Gun:

NOVEMBER 30–Been wondering about the identity of the auteur behind the “2 Girls, 1 Cup” video that has been making millions of Internet users gag? Well, the repulsive video–which has become such an online sensation that it has been knocked off by John Mayer, Perez Hilton, and has launched tons of hilarious “reaction” videos–can be blamed on Marco Fiorito, a Brazilian man who describes himself as a “compulsive fetishist” and “an artist in the art of movie making.” The 36-year-old Sao Paulo resident became interested in cinema in 1994 and, two years later, began a fetish film business with his wife. “When we started, the only films that we made were about feet fetishes,” Firotio recalled in a court declaration, a copy of which you’ll find below. Fiorito would move on to more revolting fare, with his videos often involving excrement (as the “2 Girls, 1 Cup” video shows). That film was produced by MFX-Video, one of several Fiorito firms that included his initials in their name (an exception, of course, was the firm Vomit Brazil). While Fiorito contends that his revolting films are not illegal in Brazil, some of his works have been branded obscene by U.S. prosecutors and led last year to the indictment of Danilo Croce, a Brazilian lawyer who lived in Florida and was listed on corporate documents as an officer of a company distributing Fiorito’s films.

And someone on Flickr came up with a design for a 2 Girls 1 Cup T shirt which should be coming to you on a CafePress account in 3..2..1…

Operation Cat Drop

In lieu of Friday Cat Blogging:

In the early 1950’s, the Dayak people of Borneo suffered a malarial outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had a solution: to spray large amounts of DDT to kill the mosquitoes that carried the malaria. The mosquitoes died; the malaria declined; so far so good. But there were unexpected side effects. Amongst the first was that the roofs of the people’s houses began to fall down on their heads. It seemed that the DDT had also killed a parasitic wasp which had previously controlled thatch-eating caterpillars. Worse, the DDT-poisoned insects were eaten by geckoes, which were eaten by cats. The cats started to die, the rats flourished, and the people were threatened by outbreaks of typhus and plague. To cope with these problems, which it had itself created, the WHO was obliged to parachute 14 000 live cats into Borneo. Operation Cat Drop, now almost forgotten at the WHO, is a graphic illustration of the interconnectedness of life, and of the fact that the root of problems often stems from their purported solutions.

It seems that the actual number of cats dropped may have been exaggerated slightly:

I should note here that there was an error in a previous version of this article. Accounts of this story across the internet cite the number of cats dropped as 14,000(!), a number that boggles the mind when you consider the logistics involved in pulling off such a maneuver. Even the New York Times, in a 1969 story, cited incorrect numbers. In fact, it appears that the number was in fact on the order of 10’s of cats. Specifically a British Royal Air Force Operations Record Book from March 13, 1960 lists an RAF flight out of Changi, Singapore that parachute-dropped various stores (seeds, stout for a chieftain) and “over 20 cats to wage war on rats that were threatening crops.”

(via Reddit)