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Links With Your Coffee - Monday


  • No More Jesus Rifles
    Trijicon, the gunsight maker that has imprinted Bible verse numbers on its scopes, has announced that it will no longer imprint the verses on the sides of scopes intended for the U.S. military, and will also provide clients with the kits to remove the Bible verse numbers from existing scopes.
  • Between God and a Hard Place
    We should expect nothing less from the man who blamed legal abortion for Hurricane Katrina. But even when intentions are the opposite of Mr. Robertson’s, and in a completely secular context, theological language has a way of hanging around earthquakes. In his speech after the catastrophe, President Obama movingly invoked “our common humanity,” and said that “we stand in solidarity with our neighbors to the south, knowing that but for the grace of God, there we go.” And there was God once again. Awkwardly, the literal meaning of Mr. Obama’s phrase is not so far from Pat Robertson’s hatefulness. Who, after all, would want to worship the kind of God whose “grace” protects Americans from Haitian horrors?

    The president was merely uttering an idiomatic version of the kind of thing you hear from survivors whenever a disaster strikes: “God must have been watching out for me; it’s a miracle I survived,” whereby those who died were presumably not being “watched out for.” That President Obama did not really mean this — he clearly did not — is telling, insofar as it suggests how the theological language of punishment and mercy lives on unconsciously, well after the actual theology has been discarded.

    Or has it? If the president simply meant that most of us have been — so far — luckier than Haitians, why didn’t he say that? Perhaps because, as a Christian, he does not want to believe that he subscribes to such a nonprovidential category as luck, or to the turn of fate’s wheel, which is really a pagan notion. Besides, to talk of luck, or fortune, in the face of a disaster seems flippant, and belittling to those who have been savaged by such bad luck. A toothache is bad luck; an earthquake is somehow theological.

  • Really, Flashing Lights
    Mr McCormick told The Times that his device was being criticised because of its crude appearance.

    He added: “We have been dealing with doubters for ten years. One of the problems we have is that the machine does look a little primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.”

    A police source said: “We are satisfied the bomb detectors don’t work.”

  • 117 Russians in Hospital After Drinking Holy Water (tip to David)

  • Sleeping with John Updike by Julian Barnes
    On the first anniversary of the American novelist's death, a new short story by Julian Barnes



the bomb detector/dowser/thingy/obvious fraud has got to be one of the weirdest news stories of 2009. i can't believe it took this long to arrest the guy. i can't believe the "device" was sold to anyone, much less the iraqis who need bomb detection technology more than anyone. and i also can't believe that no one is making the obvious connection- that the only country in the world using these things has more "private" bombs going off all the time than anyone! there must be some kind of conspiracy here...

Yea, Jonathan, the age-old conspiracy of "let's rip off the gullible and desperate".

sounds good, where do i sign up? :)

Found a wiki page on these bomb detection devices:

I really REALLY can't believe that the Iraqi security guys didn't TEST THESE THINGS before spending millions on them.

I mean, even the logic if 'to make it work, you need to shuffle your feet first, cuz it doesn't have batteries'.. really? you trust you life to that.. really?

Oddly enough, I saw some dowsing rod demonstrations that seemed very convincing to my doubting mind, so let's pretend that this does 'work' in some mysterious way... that technique requires 'skilled people' for it to work, and then is FAR from reliable in any possible way.

I love this quote from wiki: According to Husam Muhammad, an Iraqi police officer and user of the ADE 651, using the device properly is more of an art than a science: "If we are tense, the device doesn't work correctly. I start slow, and relax my body, and I try to clear my mind."

Oh.. GOOOOOOOD... so to detect things that can blow you up in a war zone, you need to relax first.

W T F ?

so, i was wrong, the iraqi's aren't the only ones using this thing.

The police in the Belgian municipal region of Geel-Laakdal-Meerhout use the device to detect drugs.

i'm on my way. :)

Belgium eh?

I did say "Gullible and desperate"!


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