Video of Flickr User Getting Hit By Lightning

From here.

Because you insisted, here’s the unedited screaming version. I also added video from a minute before the lightning struck so you can get an idea of how hard it was raining. From what i understand, it went through my left hand holding the camera, crossed my back and exited out of my right hand holding onto the metal railing. No entry or exit wounds, just a really good zap!

(via Waxy)

The Bloody Eucharist

In my days at catholic school, which turned me into an atheist faster than any secular school probably would have, we had a nun in the fifth grade who told us that if you bit into the Eucharist, blood would squirt out into your mouth. She meant to scare us into not biting the wafer of course but it had the adverse effect and just made us more curious about the circulatory system of the communion wafer. Several of us made a pact that at the next Mass, we would bite into the body of Christ and see if he would indeed bleed. We were not sure exactly what would happen since we were taught that lying is a sin and surely Sister Mary Margaret, a bride of Christ, would never think about blackening her soul with even a venial sin. But the idea of blood squirting out of a wafer seemed laughable and having recently learned the Scientific Method we set out to find out for ourselves.

I remember receiving the Eucharist from the priest the only way I ever did which was to have him deposit it in my left hand. (I never was comfortable with the priest feeding me. I can do that for myself thank you) The wafer was light in my hand and cold. Surely not a member of any warm-blooded species I thought as I put it gently in my mouth trying not to let any saliva touch it which would make it too difficult to bite. I got back to the row where we were to kneel into communion was over. The nuns would pace back and forth down the aisle looking for any procedural infractions that we had done or were about to do. Put a pair of sunglasses on them and they’d be practically identical to the prison guards in Cool Hand Luke. “Grabbing a hymn book boss?” “Grab a hymn book there Chris.”

There I was, kneeling, with a Eucharist in my mouth ready to crunch down and feel the body of Christ bleed out into my mouth. It would be like being demoted from cannibal to vampire. Or is that a promotion? Or did it matter? The priest was already taking large gulps from the blood of Christ at the altar. The thing that really did matter to me was that we were really hoping for the Eucharist to bleed. It would have been some evidence that there really was some supernatural power in the religion. By the fifth grade, we had already found out that Santa Claus was a sham. Ditto for the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. We had already started changing how we processed information. The idea of magic as being part of the world was rapidly fading and science and logic was taking its place. If the wafer actually squirted blood as the nun said it would, it would be some type of empirical evidence to us that god did indeed exist. There was a lot riding on that sliver of unleavened bread.

While I was philosophically dissecting the problem (or more accurately, scared shitless of tasting blood), my friend Jeff turned around from the row in front of us and opened his mouth to show the masticated remains of our Savior’s body. Bloodless. One by one, our whole row started to bite down on our wafers. We were an entire row of prepubescent Catholics munching away on the Eucharist all trying to get it to bleed.

We learned a lot that day besides the fact that little wafers don’t contain a circulatory system. We learned that someone who had devoted her life to a religion would break a commandment to instill fear amongst children to make them obedient. That wasn’t enough to turn anyone into an atheist of course. But it was enough to start planting the seeds of doubt. And the most important lesson we learned that day was whether you chewed the eucharist or let it slowly dissolve in your mouth it still tasted like shit.

Catholic League vs. Pharyngula

It looks like the Catholic League didn’t take too kindly to Dr. Myers threatening to desecrate a cracker yesterday and gathering firewood for his Inquisition.

And for the record, I very much disagree with Dr. Myers dismissing the Eucharist as simply a cracker. Crackers are quite tasty and can be crumbled and used for stuffing while communion wafers taste like cardboard which melts into a vile film that cements itself to roof of your mouth. If you’re going to pretend that your cannibalistic ritual includes eating the flesh of your deity, you can do much better than a paper wafer. I suggest chunks of chicken that the priest can rip off a carcass and deposit into your waiting hand or mouth while announcing “the body of Christ”. Now that’s a host I can believe in.

Word of the Day

Mamihlapinatapai:

Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It describes a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start.

(via del.icio.us/jennyfeer)