Super Powers in The Bible

BiblePowersIt has always been interesting to me how people often seem to put a lot of stock in the most absurd of stories. We tend to believe in hidden weapons of mass destruction that no one seems to be able to find.  We think everyone’s out to get us (just leave your front door unlocked for a single night, and who knows what evil might get in).  And phrases like “Evil-doers” are now part of our standard language.

Of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find any fiction that’s more outrageously unbelievable as The Bible (with special commendations to the Old Testament).  Even highly-selective excerpts and numerous revised translations can’t hide the absurdity of a talking snake (which, incidentally, was involved in the downfall of humanity).  Many of the myths focused around nature, or “borrowed” heavily from other religions.  While there’s almost no chance that any of this stuff is true, it’s still entertaining.

And on the topic of entertainment, I highlight recommend Cracked.com’s 5 Superpowers From the Bible That Put Marvel and DC to Shame   Cracked.com.  You learn about zombies, snakes, and magical powers that can be used to control the flow of water.  It’s great stuff that even Superman might envy.  Check it out, but I recommend you stay away from the original source material.

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The Name Voyager

What’s in a name?  A sequence of characters that seemed pleasing to one’s parents shortly before your birth?  Have you ever wondered about the popularity of certain names over time.  For example, does anyone still name their daughter Gertrude, Ethel, or Josephine?  And why are there so many Jennifers and (ugh!) Dakotas?  OK, even if you’ve never searched for answers to those questions, please read on…

The Baby Name Wizard’s NameVoyager web site is a great combination of technology and usability.  It provides you with a method of visualizing the popularity of certain names over time.  The data comes from official United States records and spans a range from 1880 to the present.  It’s really easy to search for a name and to view a chart of the results (and variations on the name).  If you’re really looking for a baby name (seriously), see Nymbler.

I’m definitely interested in hearing some interesting results from readers.  For example, the name “Delbert” was quite popular in the distant past but is almost never assigned today.  Similarly, “Dakota” is a relatively new phenomenon.  What am I missing?

Saturday Morning Satan

One of the big issues that I have with religion is that most people have never taken the time to even consider their beliefs (let alone less research atheism or other religions).  From very early in childhood, Western religions teach children that they were created by a kind, just God that love them.  Incidentally, this same creator has promised to torture them from all eternity in the pits of Hell.  Of course, you can always choose whether or not you want to believe.  Regardless of the fact that there’s no evidence for the existence of a Supreme Being, more than 90% of Americans claim that they believe in God.

People need to be scared into believe in religion, since it can’t stand on its own merits.  Along the lines of starting early, here’s a particularly creepy cartoon describing Satan: Banned Childrens’ Cartoon about Satan.  There are several more stop-motion animation films (search YouTube’s recommendations for a list).  

I can only hope that most adults will find this to be humorous and also outrageous (and not in a good way).  Richard Dawkins has described teaching children about Hell as tantamount to child abuse.  I certainly agree with that.  Hopefully someday children will be able to make their own informed decisions about what to believe without the shadow of fear.

A Guy Walks into a Bar…

These jokes are always entertaining, often because of their simplicity.  Here’s a list of classic jokes at The Anatomy of Humor 6: “A guy walks into a bar…”  A few of my favorites:

An amnesiac walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Do I come here often?”

A penguin walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Has my father been in here?” The bartender says, “I don’t know. What does he look like?”

A kangaroo walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, “That’ll be $10. You know, we don’t get many kangaroos coming in here.” The kangaroo says, “At $10 a beer, it’s not hard to understand.”

A baby seal walks into a bar. “What can I get you?” asks the bartender. “Anything but a Canadian Club,” replies the seal.

A polar bear, a giraffe and a penguin walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”

Good stuff, indeed!

The Simpsons: Star Wars Intro

Here’s a really well-made spoof of the intro to the The Simpsons, but done in the style of Star Wars: The Simpsons Star Wars (YouTube).  There are numerous related videos from “official” episodes that include Star Wars-related references.

History According to Fox News

The Kontraband site provides a humorous view of how Fox News might have reported historical events.  Some of the great coverage includes the Titanic incident, slavery, civil rights, and religious persecution.  Even the little news tickers have some hilarious observations.  On the few occasions when I have watched the news, the brief sound bites and text clips have been either offensive or just plain ridiculous.  It wouldn’t be hard to create a new set of clips based on recent Fox News coverage.  But, would we be laughing or crying?

Bananas About God

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see ridiculous religious propaganda.  Sometimes, these things stand out in such a way that it’s hard to ignore.  Case in point: Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron on Bananas.  It starts off with quite a claim about the banana:

Behold, the atheist’s nightmare.

Believe it or not, the clip gets even better from there.  Apparently, God created the banana almost perfectly for human consumption.  Apparently, God didn’t want us to eat pineapples or other less-perfect fruits.  If you can stomach it, try watching some of the other interviews and video clips of Kirk Cameron and the gang.  Their arguments don’t stand up to even the most basic objections.  And, don’t get me started on the objectivity of reporters from stations such as Fox News. 

Public Service Announcement: Beware of Pornography!

As early as the 1960’s, our trusted officials have recognized the serious threat that pornography poses.  Our “Judeo-Christian” heritage is being challenged by bizarre sexual situations.  See the Anti-Porn Public Service Announcement for the shocking truth!  Some amazing facts (paraphrased for readability):

Very few blind people join nudist colonies.

The majority of pornography ends up in the hands of our nation’s youth.

Scientists believe that the prolonged exposure [to pornography] … will pervert.

Won’t you do your part to stop this horrible plague before it claims its next victim?  If so, you might also benefit from the shocking revelations in another important announcement: Reefer Madness.  If you thought terrorists were bad, wait until you see what can happen when people use marijuana!

Homer’s Odd, You See?

It’s clear that The Simpsons has had a profound impact on the world. The show’s official site has all kinds of information about the jaundiced characters of Springfield. The show recently completed it’s 18th season (and celebrated it’s 400th episode) – an amazing achievement for any show. Check out the 400 Episodes Index for a complete guide to each one.

Also, check out The Simpsons Quotes web site. At the time of this writing, there are 19 pages of quotes. Visitors to the site can vote on their favorites. Here are some sample one-liners:

“Oh, so they have Internet on computers now!”

“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”

Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.

And don’t forget about The Simpsons Movie (releasing on 07/27/2007).

Play the Flash games and create your own Avatar to waste time until opening day!

Video: Deconstructing Dubya

realtime-bush While I generally respect the field of psychology, every once in a while, an amateur seems to get it right.  Such is the case, the this video clip: Bill Maher Psychologically Analyzes President Bush.  The video breaks down some of the evidence that shows the Madness of King George.  For example:

“…He needs to stop taking money from the pharmaceutical companies and start taking samples.”

Clearly, one could make a case for his paranoid schizophrenia, and his challenges with organizing words into coherent sentences.  If only there were a cure for this malady…

Dumb and Hummer

The characteristics of advertisements may vary slightly, but honesty is rarely a component.  That’s why I was particularly happy to find some Ads for the Dummer line of automobiles.  Here’s one of the ads (visit the site for legible text):

dummer

These vehicles really appeal to the sensibilities of the modern American consumer.  They’re Texas-sized, with the intelligence level to match.  Isn’t it time you upgraded your two-year old clunker for something like this?

Video: What We Call the News

Here’s an entertaining and well-produced video from JibJab.com: What We Call The News.  Strangely, this was created even before the Paris Hilton fiasco.  The list of fluff stories that have dominated the airwaves for weeks or months at a time is a long one.  A few other names that come to mind include (links are to Wikipedia articles, for those that missed out):

It easy to argue that the entire world would be better off if these people had just faded into obscurity.  But, it seems that the people want to know…