Off For the Week

I’m headed out on a statistical analysis field trip deep in the heart of the Mojave desert to a small town called “The Meadows”. I forget what it’s called in spanish. I’m taking a vacation from blogging so there won’t be any updates here (although I’ll probably be on twitter until Mrs. C takes my cellphone away from me) but if you need your fix of new links I recommend:

Idleworm (The best blog without an rss feed)

Gerry Canavan

Friendly Atheist

Rantings of an Arab Chick


And the rest of the blogs on my blogroll. See you in a week.

Cash4Gold Offers Cash4NotTalkingAboutThem

From Cockeyed:

People approach me all the time looking for ways to promote keywords, but this was the first time someone else was trying to buy me out of their Google search results. This was just like in the movies, right? Guy writes an article exposing underhanded business practices, business leader arranges a meeting to kill the story.

It was fun to fantasize about how much they might pay, and how much editing they would want to contribute for their investment. It was a genuine real-life business dillema! But I wouldn’t ever actually take them up on an offer like that. I’m just not like that. I didn’t do anything.

Two weeks later, he sent a follow up.

I work with Cash4Gold on the reputation management. Your article is ranking #3 on their brand term. They would really like to make it worth your while to take it down or make it more positive. They did something similar by joining (OTHER CONSUMER AFFAIRS WEBSITE)’s advocacy program. Is it worth a few thousand to take it down? If not, maybe a donation to your favorite charity is more to your liking?

Feel free to call me anytime to discuss further.

Joe Laratro
Tandem Interactive – Trendy Online Marketing Solutions
Hollywood, FL 33020

Student Accuse of “Hexing” a Teacher

From the ACLU:

TULSA, OK–In a case reminiscent of the Salem Witch trials, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma today filed a federal lawsuit charging that school officials violated 15-year-old Brandi Blackbear’s rights when they accused her of casting a hex that resulted in a teacher’s illness.

“These outlandish accusations have made Brandi Blackbear’s life at school unbearable,” said Joann Bell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “I for one would like to see the so-called evidence this school has that a 15-year-old girl made a grown man sick by casting a magic spell.”

While the ACLU has defended students’ religious beliefs in Wicca and other minority religions, Bell said the Oklahoma lawsuit is believed to be the first in the country involving actual accusations of witchcraft.

In its legal complaint filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, the ACLU said that school officials not only suspended Blackbear for 15 days in December 1999 for allegedly casting spells, but also violated her religious freedom when they told her that she could not wear or draw in school any symbols related to the Wicca religion.

(via Pharyngula)


Exclusive video of the Oklahoma school officials meeting where the accusations were made: