Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Daily Blend: Tuesday, July 06, 2010

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Map of Earth’s gravity field
Map of Earth’s gravity field
  • Sunday Sacrilege: PZ talks about the fundamental role of science in human development and its place in the slow demise of religion.

  • British Medical Association declares that gay conversion therapy is discredited, harmful, and should be banned. Includes beautiful badass quote: “I also sincerely hope that any vulnerable gay person who is unhappy about their sexuality takes notice of this motion and realizes that it is the world that needs to change, not them.” Preach it, doctor.
    (via Pharyngula)

  • Apparently, in Texas, it’s perfectly legal for a homeowners association to foreclose on a $300,000+ home over dues totaling less than $1,000 – while the husband is off on military tour in Iraq and the wife is at home with clinical depression. Look, it really doesn’t matter that the wife failed to make the payments to the HOA and that it was all apparently legal. The legality of an act does not affect whether it’s moral or not. The problem is that their house – of a deployed National Guard captain, to boot – was sold off for a tiny fraction of its worth right from under them without a decent warning or chance to fix the problem. It’s a moral issue, not a legal one, and the HOA is definitely coming across as major league assholes with what they did.
    (via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

  • Are we breeding the nutrients out of common crops?
    (via The Agitator)

  • Man fired from dream job over an 11-year-old drug charge – that had previously been dismissed for lack of evidence.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Gladiators: possibly not just for men.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Mapping the Earth’s gravitational field [pictured] for the first time. Or, why you’d weigh slightly less in southernmost India.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Does money bring happiness? Short answer: Not necessarily, but it sure tends to help with your life satisfaction.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Giant otters are people, too. Or, at least, they care.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Only in Norway do they have a prison with private apartments, barless windows, flat-screen TVs, fenceless landscapes, horseback riding, barbecues and wintertime ski courses. (See slideshow, here.) Coincidentally, they also have the world’s lowest imprisonment and recidivism rates. Think they might be doing something right by focusing on rehabilitation and reform rather than mere punishment?
    (via @jennifurret)

  • Wonderful(ly refreshing) piece by Monica Hesse in the Washington Post about how US atheists celebrate the 4th of July, one of the very few non-religious holidays. Even better is that even the comments section seems to be ruled by decent people for once and not the usual riffraff of mentally deformed hicks.
    (via Friendly Atheist)

  • Because every country’s the best at something. Seems to have me pinned just right.
    (via @anushayadev)

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.