Criticism of Islam


(FreeThinker) – Maryam Namazie:

East London Mosque has filed a formal complaint regarding the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s presence in Pride in London and stated that our placards, including ‘East London mosque incites murder of LGBT’ were ‘inciting hatred against Muslims’  and that the mosque had a ‘track record for challenging homophobia in East London’.

In fact, though, the very reason CEMB was at Pride was to combat hate and to highlight the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men (14 if we include Daesh-held territories). We included placards on the East London mosque to bring attention to the fact that there are mosques here in Britain that promote the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy. …

freethinker 2017/07/15 muslim-bigotry

Maryam Namazie at London Pride

Romeo and Juliet: One Page Summary


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

In case you haven’t been paying attention for the past however many months, here’s basically what happens in Romeo and Juliet

goodticklebrain romeo-and-juliet summary

Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: One Page Summary

Ancient and Modern Miracles


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

Jean Meslier:

If our Christ-worshipers assert that their saints had the power of raising the dead, and that they had Divine revelations, the Pagans had said before them that Athalide, son of Mercury, had obtained from his father the gift of living, dying, and coming to life whenever he wished, and that he had also the knowledge of all that transpired in this world as well as in the other; and that Esculapius, son of Apollo, had raised the dead, and, among others, he brought to life Hyppolites, son of Theseus, by Diana’s request; and that Hercules, also, raised from the dead Alceste, wife of Admetus, King of Thessalia, to return her to her husband. …

If our Christ-worshipers pretend that Jesus Christ was seen by His apostles ascending to Heaven, and that several of their pretended saints were transported to Heaven by angels, the Roman Pagans had said before them, that Romulus, their founder, was seen after his death; that Ganymede, son of Troas, king of Troy, was transported to Heaven by Jupiter to serve him as cup-bearer that the hair of Berenice, being consecrated to the temple of Venus, was afterward carried to Heaven; they say the same thing of Cassiope and Andromedes, and even of the ass of Silenus. …

It does seem that the gods and demigods have a limited bag of tricks. Limited, perhaps, by the human imagination. …

stderr 2017/07/17 miracles

Photoshop helps miracles

Mind is Matter


(Guardian Neuroscience) – Tim Adams:

Henry Marsh, the celebrated neurosurgeon and writer talks about 40 years inside our skulls, what’s wrong with the NHS – and the Zen of woodwork. …

theguardian 2017/jul/16 henry-marsh

Henry Marsh

The End of Iran’s Democracy


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

The deep suspicion with which the West is viewed in the Middle East can be traced way back to the way that the west, especially the British in the early days, exploited that region’s oil reserves. This culminated in the 1953 coup that was organized by the CIA (and backed by the British) to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran Mohammad Mossadeq and replace him with their puppet Reza Pahlavi who was known as the Shah of Iran. His autocratic rule, his secret police that tortured and killed so many, and the lavish lifestyle of his family, laid the ground work for the rebellion led by Ayatollah Khomeini and the subsequent dominance of the Muslim clergy in running the country.

Now we have the release of more documents covering the period 1951 through 1954 that “includes not only embassy communications but also the minutes of the meetings of the National Security Council and the CIA on discussions of Iran.” …

singham 2017/07/16 irans-democracy

1953 Iranian coup d'état supporters

The Great. Red. Spot.


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

On July 11, 2017, at 00:55 UTC, the armored tank of a space probe Juno reached perijove, the closest point in its orbit over the mighty planet Jupiter. Screaming above the cloud tops at over 200,000 kilometers per hour — fast enough to cross the continental Unites States in a minute and a half — it took eleven minutes and 33 seconds to reach the Great Red Spot. …

syfy great-red-spot

Great Red Spot on 2017-07-11, by Juno

Janeane Garofalo


(Guardian Film) – Bim Adewunmi:

One of my favourite romantic comedies was released all the way back in 1996, and while it rarely makes it on to the best-of lists, trust me, The Truth About Cats & Dogs is up there with the greatest. It’s a very loose play on Cyrano De Bergerac, except in this version a man falls in love with the face and body of one woman and the voice of another. That “other woman” is Janeane Garofalo. …

theguardian 2017/jul/15 janeane-garofalo

Janeane Garofalo

Bastille Day


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

The French Revolution, which turned into The Terror, is the best known of about 9 revolutions that took place in France – some more, some less successful. [stderr] [stderr] It was a tumultuous time, to put it mildly. And it was a long time – 1645 to 1848 or thereabouts. …

stderr 2017/07/14 bastille-day

Jean-Pierre Houël: Storming of The Bastille

Dublin For Brexit Relocation


(Guardian::Banking) – Lisa O’Carroll:

Its shared language and links with London have made the Irish capital first choice for banks seeking new bases from which to trade in Europe. …

theguardian 2017/jul/15 dublin

Famine sculpture at the International Financial Services Centre Dublin

Romeo and Juliet: Death & Marriage Totals


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Let’s take a look at how many people died and how many people got married, so we can scientifically determine if this is a tragedy or a comedy. …

goodticklebrain romeo-and-juliet-totals

Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: Death & Marriage Totals