Time for another list of interesting articles and posts from my RSS feed. Since I’ve been busy for well over a week, I have nearly 700 entries to go through in my reader! Here’s a few number of highlights:
Several flower shops refused to deliver flowers to Jessica Ahlquistwho recently won a lawsuit against her high school over prayer banners in school. The flower shop who ended up making the delivery, Glimpse of Gaia, stated that they “fully supports our First Amendment and will not be bullied by those who do not. Here’s to you, Jessica Ahlquist!”
- Rhode Island florists refuse to deliver FFRF’s flowers to Jessica Ahlquist – Freedom From Religion Foundation
LGBT – Gay Marriage
In LGBT news: “A number of large-city mayors in the US have formed a coalition with the hope to achieve same-sex marriage equality.”
- Seventy mayors to press Obama on gay marriage – Pink News
- Maryland introduces equal marriage bill – Pink News
An artificial brain has learned how to count without counting, much like our brain does. It is actually quite fun to test with your own brain-thingy. Try to look at a number of objects and guess how many there are without counting them. Usually humans can manage up to five. For more objects you group them into groups of five or less and add them up.
- Neural network gets an idea of number without counting – NewScientist
Fundies say the darnedest things
And so for sex-ed: Conservative and New Humanist Bad Faith Award winner Nadine Dorries seems to have come to her senses.
- Nadine Dorries withdraws her bill proposing abstinence-based sex education for girls – New Humanist Blog
In the US Bible-belt, the state of Kentucky has decided to cut funding for education while maintaining funding for a theme park dedicated to promote mythology and pseudo-science. Nice way to “brain” up the place. After spending a week in the US Bible-belt, it is safe to say that education would be a better priority.
- Kentucky Gov. Cuts Education Funding While Preserving Tax Breaks For Biblically-Themed Amusement Park – Think Progress (via Blag Hag)
- Kentucky has nothing to complain about – PZ Myers (Pharyngula)
Also the state of Indiana has trouble separating science from pseudo-science.
- Indiana fails – PZ Myers (Pharyngula)
- In Indiana, it’s not just the lawmakers who are idiots — it’s the media, too! – PZ Myers (Pharyngula)
Since I’m currently in the US, I was “lucky” enough to catch the presidential debate for the Republicans in South Carolina last weekend. I specifically noted – and facepalmed over – the oxymoron that is “pro-life”. Here’s an interesting blogpost about “pro-life” and feminism and one clearing up some misconceptions:
- Let’s cut to the chase: why pro-life is anti-feminist – blue milk
- Abortion: Myths and Misconceptions – That Weird Atheist Girl
And some good news: “Despite months of fierce lobbying by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Obama administration announced today that it would not exempt Catholic hospitals from the Affordable Care Act requirement for insurance plans to cover employees’ birth control.”
Finally, a bit about gaming and how many games portray female characters.
- Female Gaming Characters – Why I Won’t Be Playing League of Legends – Reddy For This