George Carlin has died

George Carlin

The comedian George Carlin has died at age 71 of heart failure. It doesn’t seem so old. He was courageous in tackling taboo subjects and words. Here’s a last word from him:

Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man — living in the sky — who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of those ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time… But He loves you!

—copied from Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion

Here’s an expanded version:

“Religion convinced the world that there’s an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there’s 10 things he doesn’t want you to do or else you’ll to to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! …And he needs money! He’s all-powerful, but he can’t handle money! […]
I’ve begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate. […]
Religion is sort of like a lift in your shoes. If it makes you feel better, fine. Just don’t ask me to wear your shoes. And let’s not nail the lift to the natives’ feet.”


  • Bill Dauphin says,

Yah, today it’s especially true that “the forecast for tonight is dark”… but we shouldn’t forget the near certainty of “scattered light in the morning.”

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“Superhumans” at Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel has a program about people with special abilities.


  • a woman who tastes sounds
  • a man with an extraordinary ability to withstand cold
  • a man who can draw in persepective although he’s been blind since birth
  • a man who can calculate do rapid mathematical computations
  • Ray Kurzweil’s plan to live forever.
  • a geneticist who has created cross-species chimeras

The show makes it sound as if we’re directing our own evolution (we’re not). And it’s conflating a bunch of diverse conditions, such as synaesthesia, with evolution rather than neurological cross-wiring. But it is interesting. Follow this link to read these people’s profiles.

Typhoon Fengshen hits the Philippine Islands

Typhoon Fengshen has struck the Philippines, leaving 200 dead and many more missing with the loss of a ferry, the Princess of the Stars.

Typhoon Fengshen 2008

Evolution 2008 conference in Minnesota

The Evolution 2008 conference is sponsored by the Minnesota Citizens for Science Education. There are still two more days so if you’re in the neighborhood, drop in! It’s of particular interest to teachers.

Kid soup?

Imagine seeing these beautiful felines in your backyard!


more cat pictures

LotStreetWiz once caught a glimpse of what appeared to be two cougars walking in a greenbelt in Ottawa. Of course he couldn’t be sure…

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