05 August 2010

Count me out

This is a great website dedicated to teaching how to leave the catholic church.
Check it out at http://www.countmeout.ie/
I'll be updated the progress of my own "Declaration of Defection".
Just because we call ourselves atheists, the church are still counting you as one of their number.

Get Well Soon

One of the stormtroopers of atheism, indeed one of the four horsemen of atheism, Christopher Hitchens is undergoing treatment for cancer of the oesophagus. We wish you well Hitch.
Zero Albedo
Aug 2010

18 May 2010

Are we that lazy?

Ask 10 people to name the Iclandic volcano that's disrupting aviation across Europe and you'll be lucky to find one person that says Eyjafjallajokull. Are people refusing to learn how to pronounce it?
It is tough but it's not that tough. eye-a-fall-a-yokel? It's harder than Krakatoa but it's probably the most famous volcano in the world right now but no-one dare speak it's name.
Zero Albedo
18 May 2010

23 April 2010

Still too young

It's confirmation season at this time of year in Ireland, where the baptised members of the catholic sect are "confirmed". I still don't know what it actually means as Catholics believe you are a full member at baptism. For believers it strengthens the bond between the child and the church.
The recipients are normally 12 or 13 years of age.
If I was in charge, no church would be allowed to "claim" a member unless that person was at least 21.
Let them try to convince a grown adult of the mumbo jumbo of transubstantiation, ascension, resurrection and all the other magic tricks enjoyed by the believers.

26 February 2010

Zero Albedo Tweets

I've decided to embrace this new media and open a Zero Albedo Twitter account. I'm not sure if the blog is to promote the twitter or the twitter is to promote the blog. But here goes.
Check it out at ZeroAlbedo.
I'll use it to promote the posts here and I've already found and followed Ben Goldacre, Richard Wiseman, Richard Dawkins etc. It looks pretty easy...

Zero Albedo
26 Feb 2010

25 February 2010

Where less is more

It's being reported the Irish media that a parish in Galway are offering a "quickie mass". By ditching all but the essentials, the congretation are in and out in 15 minutes. Apparantly attendance has increased tenfold.
Now why am I reminded of Richard Dawkins take on atheism? He asks the christian believer if they believe in Thor. Answer is no. Zeus? No. Egyptian god Ra? No. He then explains that the christian is a Thor atheist, a Zeus atheist and a Ra atheist, while he, Dawkins, just goes one god further.
If the believers of Galway really like their churchgoing short and sweet, why not just reduce it by 15 more minutes?

Zero Albedo
25 Feb 2010

16 February 2010

Examiner far from sceptical

Yesterday was the anniversary of the first reported “moving statue” in Ireland. This occurred in Asdee, Co. Kerry in 1985 and so began a summer of vibrating Marys up and down the country.

The Irish Examiner chose to mark the occasion with a piece by journalist Conor Keane who described his involvement in reporting on the phenomenon at the time as well as his recent visit to the village.

While he describes his initial reaction as sceptical and explains that the locals are reluctant to discuss the moving statues themselves, he doesn’t take the opportunity to explain to the reader the most probable reason for the mass visions. i.e. eidetic imagery. He didn’t explain that most of the visions of movement came at twilight, after the viewer had been staring at the same spot for a long period. He didn’t explain that this was all an optical illusion.

In a time when thousands gather at Knock, and stare at the sun looking for predicted magic phenomena, permanently damaging their retina in the process, wouldn’t it be more journalistically valid to explain to the readership what actually happened in 1985 ( i.e. the facts), rather than wallow in some nostalgia for a simpler time?

Zero Albedo
16 Feb 2010

10 February 2010

Irish news website drops the ball

This morning, the Irish news website www.breakingnews.ie ran a story claiming that Michael Jackson has sent messages of apology to his ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley.
Now we all know that this kind claptrap sells papers and attracts hits to websites. The fact that it's the entertainment section also means we take it with a pinch of salt.
But I'm dissapointed with the matter of fact way it was phrased. While the headline had the phrase 'contacts ex-wife through psychic' in inverted commas, the first line of the article read: "Michael Jackson has apologised to Lisa Marie Presley from beyond the grave." (the quotation marks are mine)

How can a serious news source spout such rubbish and expect to be taken seriously?

As an aside, how come he didn't explain the circumstances of his death while he was in contact? That would have cleared up a few things, instead of impossible to refute claims of contrition.

Zero Albedo
10 Feb 2010

08 February 2010

Long time coming

It's been while since my last post. Evidence of serious procrastination. I've built up a backlog of Irish subjets about which to blog ( Knock visions, Dublin perpetual motion machines, more on the blasphemy laws) but didn't feel "prepared" enough to write something.
Already January is gone and I haven't posted, so today I determined to post and forget about over-preparation.
I came across a funny cartoon which sums up the attitudes of climate change deniers, so here it is. I hope to be back much more frequently with off-the-cuff posts and unprepared opinions...

Zero Albedo
08 Feb 2010