The Last Meal on the Titanic

From Cooking Monster:

96 years ago, the Titanic was preparing for its maiden voyage. It was on April 14th, 1912, when the last meal was served in the first-class dining room. As we all know, later that night, the ship collided with an iceberg and sank, with the loss of over 1500 lives. Here’s a detailed look at what was on the menu for the first-class passengers.

Atheists to Blame for Christian Fundamentalists


They can’t be real Christians. They must be part of an atheist cabal.

Their goal? To undermine churches. To give religion a black eye. To plant in the minds of the young a twisted and evil view of Christianity.

How else to explain the perverse tactics of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose members travel the country to picket soldiers’ funerals with a message of hate?

I would explain it by saying that when you have mentally unstable people who really believe that unabashedly hateful writings such as Leviticus is divinely inspired all leads to people protesting funerals, cutting off their own hands to microwave, or flying planes into buildings.

(via Pharyngula)

Question of the Day

It’s been a slow link day so I guess it’s a perfect time for a question.

Are you related to anybody famous?

The only famous person that I know I’m related to is FDR and my relation to him is through the Delano family, not the Roosevelts. Wikipedia has an entry on the Delano family that adds a little more insight to their roots:

The progenitor of the Delano family in the Americas was Philippe de la Noye [1]whose family name was anglicized to Delano and who became the first Huguenot to land in the New World. [1] The 19-year-old Pilgrim of descent from French-speaking Flanders, arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts on November 9, 1621 on the second Pilgrim ship, Fortune. His descendants include Philip Delano Jr. Frederic Adrian Delano, Jonathan Delano and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Robert Redford, Captain Paul Delano, and Alan B. Shepard.

I never thought about using Wikipedia as a genealogy resource but genealogy doesn’t really interest me. I don’t really care too much about where I came from but put more stock in where I am going. Which is nowhere at the moment.

How blind children learn the verb ‘see’


See is one of the most common words in English. For instance, while time, the most common English noun, gets 3,550,000,000 Google hits, see gets a very respectable 2,980,000,000. This compares well with talk (711,000,000) and eat (253,000,000). This means that blind children can’t really avoid the verb altogether. In fact, look and see are among the very first verbs that blind children learn, just like sighted children.

So what do they think it means?

I probably can’t answer the question completely, but here are some relevant research results:

When a sighted 3-year-old is asked to “look up,” he will tilt their heads upwards, even if they are blindfolded. A blind 3-year-old raises her hands instead.

If told “You can touch that table, but don’t look at it,” the blind 3-year-old will lightly touch the table. If you later tell her she cal look at the table, she may explore all the surfaces of the table with her hands.

Daily Dose of Ingersoll


I want you to know that according to this creed the men who
founded this great and splendid Government are in hell to-night.
Most of the men who fought in the Revolutionary war, and wrested
from the clutch of Great Britain this continent, have been rewarded
by the eternal wrath of God. Thousands of the old Revolutionary
soldiers are in torment tonight. Let the preachers have the courage
to say so. The men who fought in 1812, and gave to the United
States the freedom of the seas, have nearly all been damned.
Thousands of heroes who served our country in the Civil war,
hundreds who starved in prisons, are now in the dungeons of God,
compared with which, Andersonville was Paradise. The greatest of
heroes are there; the greatest of poets, the greatest scientists,
the men who have made the world beautiful — they are all among the
damned if this creed is true.

Humboldt, who shed light, and who added to the intellectual
wealth of mankind; Goethe, and Schiller, and Lessing, who almost
created the German language — all gone — all suffering the wrath
of God tonight, and every time an angel thinks of one of those men
he gives his harp an extra twang. Laplace, who read the heavens
like an open book — he is there. Robert Burns, the poet of human
love — he is there. He wrote the “Prayer of Holy Willie.” He
fastened on the cross the Presbyterian creed, and there it is, a
lingering crucifixion. Robert Burns increased the tenderness of the
human heart. Dickens put a shield of pity before the flesh of
childhood — God is getting even with him. Our own Ralph Waldo
Emerson, although he had a thousand opportunities to hear Methodist
clergymen, scorned the means of grace, lived to his highest ideal,
gave to his fellow-men his best and truest thought, and yet his
spirit is the sport and prey of fiends to-night.

Longfellow, who has refined thousands of homes, did not
believe in the miraculous origin of the Savior, doubted the report
of Gabriel, loved his fellow-men, did what he could to free the
slaves, to increase the happiness of man, yet God was waiting for
his soul — waiting to cast him out and down forever. Thomas Paine,
author of the “Rights of Man;” offering his life in both
hemispheres for the freedom of the human race; one of the founders
of this Republic, is now among the damned; and yet it seems to me
that if he could only get God’s attention long enough to point him
to the American flag he would let him out. Auguste Comte, author of
the “Positive Philosophy,” who loved his fellow-men to that degree
that he made of humanity a god, who wrote his great work in
poverty, with his face covered with tears — they are getting their
revenge on him now.

Voltaire, who abolished torture in France; who did more for
human liberty than any other man, living or dead; who was the
assassin of superstition, and whose dagger still rusts in the heart
of Catholicism — he is with the rest. All the priests who have
been translated have had their happiness increased by looking at

Giordano Bruno, the first star of the morning after the long
night; Benedict Spinoza, the pantheist, the metaphysician, the pure
and generous man; Diderot, the encyclopedist, who endeavored to get
all knowledge in a small compass, so that he could put the peasant
on an equality intellectually with the prince; Diderot, who wished
to sow all over the world the seed of knowledge, and loved to labor
for mankind, while the priests wanted to burn; did all he could to
put out the fires — he was lost, long, long ago. His cry for water
has become so common that his voice is now recognized through all
the realms of heaven, and the angels laughing, say to one another,
“That is Diderot.”

David Hume, the Scotch philosopher, is there, with his inquiry
about the “Human Understanding” and his argument against miracles.
Beethoven, master of music, and Wagner, the Shakespeare of harmony,
who made the air of this world rich forever, they are there; and
to-night they have better music in hell than in heaven!

Shelley, whose soul, like his own “Skylark,” was a winged joy,
has been damned for many, many years; and Shakespeare, the greatest
of the human race, who did more to elevate mankind than all the
priests who ever lived and died, he is there; but founders of
inquisitions, builders of dungeons, makers of chains, inventors of
instruments of torture, tearers, and burners, and branders of human
flesh, stealers of babes, and sellers of husbands and wives and
children, and they who kept the horizon lurid with the fagot’s
flame for a thousand years — are in heaven to-night. I wish heaven

That is the doctrine with which we are polluting the souls of
children. That is the doctrine that puts a fiend by the dying bed
and a prophecy of hell over every cradle. That is “glad tidings of
great joy.” Only a little while ago, when the great flood came upon
the Ohio, sent by him who is ruling the world and paying particular
attention to the affairs of nations, just in the gray of the
morning they saw a house floating down and on its top a human
being. A few men went out to the rescue. They found there a woman,
a mother, and they wished to save her life. She said: “No, I am
going to stay where I am. In this house I have three dead babes; I
will not desert them.” Think of a love so limitless — stronger and
deeper than despair and death! And yet, the Christian religion
says, that if that woman, that mother, did not happen to believe in
their creed God would send her soul to eternal fire! If there is
another world, and if in heaven they wear hats, when such a woman
climbs the opposite bank of the Jordan, Christ should lift his to

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Orthodoxy”(1884)