“It’s like yoga, but for Christians!”

Why this is necessary may not be clear to you, but fortunately she lays it out for us:

Your yoga teacher may bow to her class saying, “Namaste” (“I bow to the divine in you.”). Postures have names such as Savasana (the Corpse Pose) and Bhujangasana (the Cobra or Snake Pose). References are made to chakras or “power centers” in the body, such as the “third eye.” The relaxation and visualization session at the end of yoga classes is skillfully designed to “empty the mind” and can open one up to unwholesome spiritual influences. As Christians, we are instructed to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Yoga’s breathing techniques (pranayama) may seem stress-relieving, yet they can be an open door to psychic influences, as is the customary relaxation period at the end of a yoga session. Before becoming a Christian, I remember numerous instances of “traveling outside my body” during yoga relaxation periods. I wonder who – or what – checked in when I checked out? (Note: While Christians cannot be “possessed” since the Holy Spirit resides in your re-created human spirit, one may be “oppressed” by demonic influences.)

Um, right.

Of course, this isn’t just quasireligious frippery; it’s quasireligious frippery from someone with an agenda. The author is the founder of PraiseMoves, and will happily sell you books, tapes, etc., so you can free yourself from the spiritual dangers of Yoga. And put money in her pocket.

Dept. of Shit We Couldn’t Make Up

Classy move:

WASHINGTON, March 28 – The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a conservative direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups. New York Times, 3/29/05

NYT link; standard “we’re idiots who just don’t get it” disclaimer applies in re: their rotting links. Use nogators/nogators for access until then.

How to Suppress Free Speech, by George W. Bush

A rumpus afoot in Colorado; Kos has the scoop, and there’s also AP coverage.

So to emphasize — the White House uses taxpayer dollars to finance these propaganda events. THEN, in order to keep out anyone who might be critical, they “outsource” ticketing and security. That way they can label the events “private” and kick out anyone they want in violation of the First Amendment.

“We are all children in the arms of Chivas”

Laura K. Pahl is a plagarist.

Foolish Lewis University student randomly IMs someone on AOL seeking to buy a short paper on Hinduism. Said someone decides to fuck with Ms Pahl. Madcap hilarity — and almost certain dismissal for academic misconduct — ensue. This is virtually certain to become the meme du jour; enjoy. And do NOT miss the paper itself; sample graf follows:

The highest class is the Brahmans, the priestly class. Their dharma is to study and understand the Vedas, Hindu’s holy texts, and bring this knowledge to others. The second class is the Kshatriya, the warrior class, who acted as the protectors of the peace. I made a doody. Vaishya, the producing class, work as business people providing economic stability to the society. The Shudahelupta class, are servants to the higher three classes.

Emphasis added, obviously.

Fafblog on Florida

We were going to cover the latest news from Florida in all its ignorant fuckwit glory, but why bother when Fafblog does the job for us?

Freedom from Reality
Freedom is ever-marching, and its latest target for emancipation is none other than the Gulag Academia, where millions of students are held hostage by totalitarian educators whose cruel practice of teaching them things they don’t already believe could soon be put to an end. Florida Republicans are considering passing an “Academic Freedom Bill of Rights” which will give college students the power to sue “dictator professors” who offend their beliefs by teaching material which contradicts them. The Medium Lobster hails this as a measure long overdue. For far too long, higher education has been concerned with “education” and “instruction,” mere euphemisms for harsh indoctrination into the totalitarian ideology of Fact. But now students will be given the tools to fight back, to free themselves of their oppressive enslavement to a world in which life evolved over millions of years through natural selection, dinosaurs weren’t wiped out six thousand years ago by the flood of Noah, and the evil Xemu was not responsible for the existence of body thetans. Fafblog

Dept. of Truth-Telling, or Why Your PC Sucks

This BBC bit is, well, set in the UK, but in my experience his summary on the state of PC support is spot on here as well (though a good chunk of the failures he finds are at their root problems of what should be viewed as criminally poor design, the germ is still true):

It seems incredible, but millions of families and thousands of businesses have no-one to turn to but a bunch of unqualified amateurs to fix the most complicated pieces of equipment that have probably ever existed. It’s a scary thought.

There is no standard, no Bar Association, no AMA, no APA. There is no way for my clients to know that my experience actually qualifies me to do what I say I can do, or that J. Jackass Fucktard with a 15-year-old CNE knows precisely nada of modern use.

Why we LOVE the Scientific American

We’re not certain this is real — we got it here — but we hope it is:

from their editorial
Okay, We Give Up There’s no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don’t mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there’s no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong. In retrospect, this magazine’s coverage of socalled evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it. Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence. Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that’s a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That’s what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn’t get bogged down in details. Good journalism values balance above all else. We owe it to our readers to present everybody’s ideas equally and not to ignore or discredit theories simply because they lack scientifically credible arguments or facts. Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if politicians or special-interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong. In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions. Get ready for a new Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can’t work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars and imperil national security, you won’t hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration’s antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that’s not our concern. No more discussions of how policies affect science either — so what if the budget for the National Science Foundation is slashed? This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science. And it will start on April Fools’ Day. Okay, We Give Up MATT COLLINS
THE EDITORS editors@sciam.com

In which we do the math

In response to, well, no demand at all, we’ve prepared a little automatically-updated analysis magic; yes, that’s right, now you can gaze at the wonder that is the Heathen Census, updated nightly! Total posts! Averages per year, month, and day! Breakdowns by calendar year and month! All a single click away via the CENSUS link over on the right! Now how much would you pay?

Yeah, we know. Whatever. It was fun to do.

Something else we’re unclear about

Why should we give a shit whether or not millionaires playing a game for a living take steroids? More on point, why the fuck is Congress wasting time worrying about this “crisis” instead of spending that time on the economy; Iraq; the ongoing failure to capture or kill OBL; scary developments in North Korea; etc.?

Dept. of Stuff We Don’t Understand

This time, we don’t mean just us here at Heathen; there’s plenty of shit WE don’t get — Serbo-Croation; matrix algebra; how alternating current actually works; Finnegan’s Wake; why a slim majority of this country voted for a manifestly incompetant boob; how to get Mason to play nice with Apache 2.0; what airspeed of an unladen swallow is; etc. That’s nothing special, and nobody wants to read about it.

No, we mean stuff NOBODY actually understands. That’s interesting. And the folks at New Scientist have a fine list of thirteen such phenomena for your perusal.

“The Sleep Inns have sucky bathrooms.”

The rest of the piece on perpetual business travel isn’t nearly as good, but this segment is grand:

Next, hotels; If you have any say in the matter, try to stay in Marriott affiliated hotels. The Wingate Inn and Quality Inn are both alright, but the Choice hotels (Comfort Suites, Sleep inn, etc) would be great, if they could somehow merge them all into one. As it is, Comfort suites have great bathrooms, but the chairs are awful, and most of them won’t let you smoke in them, and you have to light up your joint in the rental car, then you get all paranoid about taking it back to the rental place and having them smell it, so you just spray the hell out of it with air freshener; then you think that the guys at the rental place do this all the time, so they know what it means when a car comes in reeking of fake banana air freshener, so they’ll get onto you about it, and charge your company for you smoking in their car, then your boss calls you up and asks what this was all about, because he knows you don’t smoke cigarettes, so you have to make up some story about picking up a hooker, and she lit up in the car, but your boss turns out to be a pentecostal preacher and insists that you don’t do that in the future, or at least have her smoke in the hotel room where they charge you less, but you can’t do that because the whole hotel will know you’re smoking the funk because you got that hydro from your cousin, and you can smell that stuff two states over, so now you’re just fucked. The Sleep Inns have sucky bathrooms.

The Whine of Spammers

Looks like the guy responsible for spamming my blog earlier doesn’t being called a spammer:

Hi – Sorry for the appearance of spam, but that wasn’t the case. I post everything manually, and only to blog entries that are relevant. There is a great revolution in media happening, and I am working hard to make it happen faster. Replay Radio is a great way to get the TiVo experience for radio, and I think everyone agrees that TiVo is cool. Podcasting is cool, too, and we will have a free Podcasting client soming soon as well. Again, please accept my apologies for the appearance of spam — that is simple not the case. Best Regards, Bill Dettering Applian Technologies Inc.

In other words “it’s not spam, because I say it’s not spam! Stop calling me a spammer!”

Presumably, he thinks this because he has some other definition of “spam.” Well, we think different. The formal acronym for spam is UCE, or unsolicited commercial email. The comment was an unsolicited attempt to sell his product, so as far as I’m concerned that qualifies. Q.E.D.

Go away, Bill, and stop spamming my blog.

Dept. of Decisions

We here at Heathen Central are getting married; this is not news. Also not news, if you’ve seen us lately, is the fact that we need to lose a bit of weight before we take wedding pix. To that end, we’re getting back on the old exercise train.

Great. There is almost nothing as boring as exercise. Well, exercise qua exercise is boring; exercise that happens when you’re doing something fun is different — but also takes longer, making it less practical for very busy people during the week. Enter the iPod!

You can gets lots to listen to on an iPod, but what I really want is NPR. Of course, NPR is radio, not MP3, and the shows we like come on at times inconvenient to working out, so we have a bit of an issue.

Fortunately, the invisible hand of the market has produced TWO solutions to this quandry. If we want to listen to NPR on our own terms and not be bound by the tyranny of broadcast schedules, we can:

  1. Buy a Griffin RadioShark, which is sort of like a Tivo for radio.
    • One-time cost ($69);
    • Can record anything on the radio (ATC, ME, TAL, WWDTM, etc.).
    • Must remember to set and use;
    • Will still have to listen to the gawdawful local inserts during the morning and evening news shows. NPR’s programming we like; however, we invariably change channels when the local idiots start jabbering.
  2. Get subscriptions to the desired programs over at Audible so that we can download what we want when we want it.
    • Pick and choose, with no need to set a device or futz with reception issues;
    • Presumably better audio quality;
    • NO LOCAL INTERRUPTIONS — just a pure network feed, which is frankly all we want from any network. Local == crap.
    • Ongoing fees to the tune of $12-20 a month;
    • Potential DRM issues with the files;
    • Limited to programs that deal with Audible.

Looking at it this way, it sorta appears that spare computer + Radioshark + cron job to push ’em to the server (for consistent access from wherever we want) is probably the answer.

Adere Est Porkcere

IM, just now:

KittyKitty: hey man
UberChet: bacontarian.com
KittyKitty: uhhmm, puerco
KittyKitty: are these meat eaters friends of your or 
KittyKitty: do you troll for all things prok
UberChet: I have a blog. People send me things.
UberChet: But I really need to go to spain/portugal, as I believe 
UberChet: them to be Porkvana.
KittyKitty: I have been to both. I have eaten pork in both
UberChet: Am I right?
KittyKitty: I think Ireland is prok heaven
UberChet: heh.
KittyKitty: pork that is
UberChet: porn:pr0n::pork:pr0k
KittyKitty: In England I achieved pork perfection
KittyKitty: English bacon on a buttered bagguette. 
KittyKitty: Simple, elegent and bacony
KittyKitty: uuhhhhm
UberChet: stop it, you're making me hard.
KittyKitty: I hpoe you mean lard
KittyKitty: hence the Ozzie termed "cracked a fat"
UberChet: heh
UberChet: ozzie or cockney rhyme?
KittyKitty: ozzie
KittyKitty: I have often wondered who would win in a bacon off
KittyKitty: Good ol' US streaky
UberChet: on that note,I made a hell of a carbonara over last weekend.
KittyKitty: versus Euro hame llike products
UberChet: Mmm, pasta, bacon, and eggs.
KittyKitty: heh
KittyKitty: go to an Irish pub and order a Bacon Butty
KittyKitty: yum
KittyKitty: ever wanna go to the salad bar and just get the bacon bits...
KittyKitty: oh stop you know have
UberChet: I'm so ashamed.
KittyKitty: we are only men
KittyKitty: and it is bacon
KittyKitty: crack for fat white guys
KittyKitty: if you could snort it we'd all have a greasy upper lip
KittyKitty: obviously I am very bored today
KittyKitty: send me more links
KittyKitty: please....just 1 more
UberChet: I'm totally putting this conversation on my blog.
KittyKitty: heh
KittyKitty: "keep a slick upper lip" the bacon snorters motto
KittyKitty: "Adere Est Porkcere"
KittyKitty: "To dare is to eat prok"