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Why are conservatives afraid of Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 22:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


“You’re a scientist, and a black one, who’s smarter than [conservatives] are,” Maher quipped.

The line got laughs, but it’s worth remembering that Tyson served the George W. Bush administration as a member of the Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond in 2004. Conservatives have no problem harnessing Tyson’s intellect.

No, the danger Tyson brings to the political structure, as he gains an increasingly large foothold in the popular culture, is the threat of an informed populace.

“When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you,” Tyson wrote in 2011. “It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.”

That may not sound radical, but the promise of a large, nerdy, young voting block that subscribes to Tyson’s sentiment is a threat to the political status quo — certainly Republicans, but Democrats as well.

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  1. By that logic, the Americans would never have gone to the moon.

    There was an article recently about Republicans understanding climate science (and knowing global warming to be true) but not accepting it because it didn’t fit with their religious/political beliefs. Cognitive dissonance, head in the sand.

    Have you read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? (Caution: huge fanfic that’s not yet finished.) I wish J.K. R. had written that story and gotten the same popularity with it… then we’d have oodles of kids excited about science and rational thinking.

  2. Yes, I’m on the notification list for new episodes…

  3. @Desiato: Yes, it’s irrational. US conservatives are not actually conservative at all. You know the ideology of keeping government small and out of our faces? What will happen during climate diasters? Governments will get more power.

Boeing CEO sorry for ‘cowering’ workers remark

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:58 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Boeing CEO Jim McNerney has apologized for saying the aerospace giant’s employees were “cowering” during his tenure, a comment one union official called “a new low” in the company’s relationship with workers.

McNerney made the remark during a Wednesday call with analysts, when he was asked if he is thinking about retiring after he turns 65 next month. McNerney said he won’t retire because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering,” The Seattle Times reported.

In an apology sent companywide on Friday, McNerney said the comment made during a call about the company’s quarterly results was a “joke gone bad.”

More like honesty gone bad, I think. Unsuccessful sociopaths end in prison. Successful sociopaths end up as CEOs.

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  1. Um…perhaps it was meant seriously but listening to the recording, it sounded more like an ironic remark. Poor taste, but the “analysts” are notorious for encouraging abuse.

Russia wants Apple, SAP to cooperate against foreign spying

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:56 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Russia has proposed that Apple Inc and SAP hand the government access to their source code to make sure their widely used products are not tools for spying on state institutions.


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Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 21:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.

Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.

“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”

Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.

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“This is why white people are so healthy”

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 17:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


Deforestation, child labour, underpaid farmers: in the countries where it’s grown, cocoa isn’t really synonymous with social well-being. Whilst chocolate giants such as Mars, Mondelez or Nestle have never been doing so well, the cocoa industry is failing both socially and environmentally. The food multinationals are trying to react by announcing a shift towards ‘responsible’ cocoa, with a number of fair trade certifiers offering them customised labels. But for Mars and others, these moves are primarily a way to secure and optimize their supply chain.

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Unconfirmed Reports of Video of the Iraq Mass Executions by ISIS

Posted on July 30th, 2014 at 14:32 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Pastafarian News


According to the video description, the place of the incident was “Tikrit” in Iraq, according to a video description, and describe themselves as Rafidis, which include Shiites, Iranians, Alawites ….. an imprecise term.

According to a Twitter Video Description the largest massacre of Shiites in Tikrit.

It is not known if it this video relates to the first massacre in Tikrit ago more than a month, or if they have committed more massacres.

The full length video of 36 minutes can be seen here, with the executions in the last 5 minutes.

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