Tim Minchin's "Pope Song"

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Published in

The wonderful Tim Minchin just released a nice tribute to everyone's least favorite pope, Benedict XVI. Yeah, the guy who thinks he is the only pope. Everybody sing along!

Tip of the papal mitre to Attempts at Rational Behavior, Pharyngula, Skepchick and basically every other skeptical blog on the web. Yeah, I'm late, as usual.

The Never Ending Memeplex

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Published in

As I've mentioned before, Discordianism is an unwieldy concept to try to explain to someone. Just like any other religion/school of philosophy it can't be summed up in fifty words or less. What we can do though is treat it like a massive memeplex with many subcategories beneath it. Sort of deconstruct it by connecting all of the smaller memes that it touches. I don't expect this to ever be a complete list; that would be impossible. However, I do plan to update it as needed and I'm definitely asking for suggestions since I know that I have not come in contact with all the different forms of Discordianism that is out there and there are a lot of things I know I will have forgotten. Expect this post to change several times.

Original Snub
Golden apple
Greek mythology
Hot dog buns
Erisian calendar

Conspiracy theories
JFK/Oswald/Kerry Thornley
Law of Fives
Pineal gland

Black Iron Prison
Militant Subjectivism
Iron bars
Think for Yourself, Schmuck!
Eristic/Aneristic Illusions/Principles
Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos

Taoism in a clown suit
Zen koans
Sacred Chao
Five tons of flax
Nonsense as salvation
Everyone is Jesus in Discordia
Starbuck's Pebbles
Hung Mung

Chaos Magick
Turkey curse
Curse of Greyface
Bugs Bunny
Operation Mindfuck
Fake mustaches

Fear the Boobquake

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, April 26, 2010 | Published in


Ok, now that I have your attention... Hopefully you've been following the craziness over at Jen McCreight's Blag Hag. If not, here is a quick rundown. Last week a crazed Iranian cleric made the mistake of making a supernatural claim that could be tested. He said, "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes." That's right, cleavage causes earthquakes. Well, he didn't mean the cleavage that occurs between rock formations but the cleavage in a woman's bossom. (Sidenote: The term penetrative cleavage proves that all geologists are massive pervs). Jen, being the science minded person that she is, decided to put it to the test:
Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically. You all remember the homeopathy overdose?

Time for a Boobquake.

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that's your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it'll be one involving plate tectonics.

So, who's with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you'll be joining me on twitter, use the tag #boobquake! Or join the facebook event!

Since then tremors have passed through the internet. Going through my Google Reader I see that it has been mentioned by Skepchick, Pharyngula, Unreasonable Faith, Friendly Atheist, and ERV. She's already been covered by Rev. Barry Lynn, CNN, Mashable, the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, and even the New Zealand Herald. On top of that she has a completely full schedule of interviews set up during the event tomorrow (including every single Indiana based news station).

Jen has managed to set forth a skeptical quake that has reached around the globe several times over. How the hell did she do it? No one really knows. Hemant over at Friendly Atheist has several ideas as to why (pithy name, good time line, humor, youth, BOOBS!) but in the long run no one really knows why these things happen. The media is so fickle that you never know what pick up its attention. As skeptics we have to just keep hammering away until something clicks. And when your name is called all you can do is ride that dragon out until the bitter end.

And showing a bit of cleavage along the way probably doesn't hurt either.

(Make sure to follow Jen on Twitter and watch the hashtag #boobquake for updates during the day)

Motivate Your Fallacies #2

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Published in

Since my last motivation poster was such a huge success (... or not) I've decided to give it another try. This one is about a logical fallacy that is near and dear to the heart of Creationists everywhere, the argument from ignorance.

Too harsh? Sure. Do I care? Not really. My personal tolerance for willful ignorance is all used up. I'm tired of seeing people worship at the altar of the God of the Gaps. Time to get off your knees and learn some SCIENCE, bucko.

(Also, sorry that the picture quality sucks. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a good picture of Ray Comfort with just the right facial expression.)

Discordian Hymnal #028

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Published in

Let us all rise and open our Discordian Hymnal to Page #028 "Supertheory of Supereverything" by Gogol Bordello.

Reiki Therapy: Also Crap

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Friday, April 16, 2010 | Published in

As I mentioned, this has been World Homeopathy Awareness Week. Somebody forgot to tell the Indianapolis Star though because they completely skipped over it in their Health section this week. Or maybe this is one of those homeopathic things where the less reporting you do the more effective it becomes. At any rate, instead of discussing homeopathy they decided to report on something as worthless as homeopathy (but not quite as dangerous), Reiki therapy. In quick SAT analogy form:

Reiki : Massage :: Homeopathy : Medicine

Reiki is a not-so-ancient Japanese version of therapeutic touch therapy. As the Indy Star put it:

In Reiki, a light-touch healing treatment, the practitioner gently places his or her hands in specific positions on a person's body. The therapy, which originated in Japan more than 100 years ago, draws on the belief that our bodies have a universal energy source around them. Reiki practitioners harness that energy and transmit it to their clients.
Translation for those that don't speak woo: a therapist waves their hands around your body and this somehow makes you feel better. They say that they are rearranging your "Chi" but they never feel explain what exactly they mean by "chi" and "energy" nor do they tell us how we might be able to detect these things. The entire concept relies very heavily on animism, the belief in an innate soul/energy that resides in all living creatures. They also never explain how moving your hands very slowly over someones body can rearrange that energy. I'm guessing that you have to concentrate really hard, breathe slowly and hold your tongue just right.

I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you...
(Photo via the Indy Star)

The weird thing is that reiki does work... kinda. Sorta. People report that it makes them feel more relaxed and can help alleviate pain. The obvious answer isn't that reiki aligns your energy but that it is tapping into the placebo effect. You are forced to lie completely still for about an hour while someone does an elaborate (and useless) ritual around you. Of course you are going to start feeling relaxed. The article even mentions that people occasionally fall asleep during the procedure (probably from boredom). There doesn't seem to many scientific studies on reiki yet but I would love to see how it stacks up against things real massage therapy, hypnosis, or simply having the patient to rest in a darkened room while listening to soothing music. I'm guessing that they would fare roughly equal to one another.

As a side note that is sorta buried in the original story, reiki therapy is being used by nurses at St. Francis Hospital which is very obviously a Catholic hospital. That really surprised because I was under the impression that Catholic bishops were banning the use of reiki. Either they've softened lately or they haven't gotten around to Indiana yet.

Betting on Infinity

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Published in

Qualia Soup has produced yet another great video so I am obligated to post it here. This time it is a collaboration with Theramin Trees about a piece of theology that has always bugged me: Pascal's Wager. For those not up on 17th century philosophy, Pascal said that it is better to wager that God exists and receive an eternal reward rather disbelief and lose everything. I know, you've already thought of at least three reasons why that makes no sense. The video does a great job of tackling all of those and many more. Plus it has a pretty sweet soundtrack, so feel free to dance around with your glow sticks while watching.

World Homeopathy Awareness Week

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, April 12, 2010 | Published in

For some very odd reason this week is World Homeopathy Awareness Week. I don't know who gets to decide these things but there it is. To raise your awareness on what homeopathy is and how it works. Homeopathy is a form of "alternative medicine" that dilutes preparations beyond the point of usefulness while shaking the bejesus out of them. As for how it works, well It doesn't fucking work. It's based on the absurd idea that water has some magical property called "memory" and that its memory of whatever poisonous substance that was diluted to less than one molecule per liter will cure what is ailing you. Trust me, water doesn't remember shit which is probably a good thing.

Thankfully homeopathy is almost strictly a British phenomenon. I'm not entirely sure why. However, there are some homeopathic medicines sold in popular US drug stores. More often then not they are things that are alleged to treat the common cold, headaches, allergies, ear aches, or menopause. Or they are homeopathic sleep aids that contain caffeine, which the Amazing Randi made infamous.

Long story short: homeopathy is nothing but wishful thinking that relies completely on sympathetic magic married to the placebo effect. There has never been any scientific evidence to prove that it works and every proposed mechanism to explain how it works is beyond laughable. The fact that anyone would think that it works boggles my mind.

P.S. Hi, Redditors!

Intermittens #9: Phobia

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Published in

Looks like I've spaced out because I completely missed the ninth issue of Intermittens being published a week and a half ago. This issue, which was edited by Peleus/Yatto, may be the scariest ever since it focuses on Phobia. It is to be avoided if you have an irrational fear of spiders, mittens, jabberwockies, Z҉A҉L҉G҉O̚̕̚ , and free thinking. There's some great stuff in this one from Professor Cramulus, the Late Great Reverend Roger, and Guy Incognito.

As always, it is available on Scribd. For some reason it hasn't been posted on the Intermittens site yet. I'm sure that will be fixed shortly.

Intermittens Nine

More Form Spring Me

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Published in

Oh hey, I just remembered that I have a Formspring.me account. Yes, again. C'mon, it's not my fault that I keep forgetting about it. I only get one question every 2 weeks so I've been saving them. Let's dive in and see what is in my bag:



2) do you prefer eddie izzard with or without makeup? (via an anonymous coward)

Great question. I'm a huge fan of Eddie Izzard, a British comedian who used to do his comedy act as an "executive transvestite". Seriously, if you haven't watched his stand up special "Dress to Kill" then why are you still alive? It's easily in my top 5 comedy performances ever along with Mitch Hedberg's "Mitch All Together", Lewis Black's "Rules of Enragement", Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and Kathleen Madigan's "In Other Words" (don't judge me!).

Back to the question though, yes Eddie Izzard was obviously better with the makeup. He's not as funny without it. It's almost as if the heel gave him the funny, like Samson's dreadlocks. I can think of only one time where he was funny without the dress, make-up and high heels on and that was twelve years ago in Mystery Men when he played Tony P. And then you have to admit that his outfit was pretty flamboyant.

It feels like in recent years he has been drawn to more serious roles, like "The Riches" and is actively trying to run away from comedy, which is a big mistake. As a serious actor he is extremely average. Almost forgettable. For instance, his Twitter feed is nothing but where he is currently at and what his jogging schedule is. There are much better uses of Twitter, my friend. However, as a comedian he is one of the best of all time.

So, yes. Eddie needs to put the heels back on and make with the funny.

3) is the cake a lie? (via Missy Grace)

The cake is in a constant quantum flux between the truth and a lie. Pie, on the other hand, is as honest as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln combined.

Ok, so there you go. Got more questions for me then drop by FormSpring.me and ask away. I'll try not to forget this time.

Discordian Hymnal #027

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Published in

Let us all rise and open our Discordian Hymnal to Page #027 "Whistling in the Dark" by They Might Be Giants.

Discordian Erister Sunrise Service

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Sunday, April 4, 2010 | Published in


Rev. Reinard: Thank you all very much for joining me for the first (of hopefully many) Erister sunrise services. Most of you we had to drag out of bed, kicking and screaming. And from the looks of it some of you didn't even bother going to sleep last night.

Please, LMNO, I understand that you are still in the partying mood but this is a residential area and there are people trying to sleep. Could you put the noisemakers away?

As I was saying, we are here to celebrate the beginning of a new...

Oh, Chloe, I say! Can you help keep Cramulus up? Ok, just sit him up again. Lean against him and he can lean against you. There, perfect.

Ok then. We are to celebrate the beginning of a new season. A season of hope and...

Nurse Mayhem, NO! What did I tell you? Dok Howl is not allowed to have any Death Coffee until after the service. I don't care. I am not chasing him into the woods again. I learned my lesson the last time.

Now, we are to celebrate the beginning of a new season. A season of hope and light. A chance for nature to renew itself just as the sun rises every morning.

What's that, Enki? Yes, I realize that the sun doesn't actually physically rise in the sky. I'm well aware of the general layout and physics of the solar system. It's called a metaphor. There's no need to be so pedantic about it... I say, there's no need to drag Galileo's ghost into this discussion. I fully understand the trouble he got into with that other pope guy but now is not the time...

You know what, screw all of this. I am going to Starbucks. You are all invited to follow if you promise to behave.

No, I don't think that they sell pebbles there.

New Fool's Day

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Published in

Yes, today is the silliest of all holidays, April Fools Day. Most Discordians view this day much like alcoholics view New Year's Eve: it's a day for the amateurs to come out of the woodwork and fail miserably at something we spend 365 perfecting. However, I'm an old softy and still have a laugh at their attempts whether it's Google changing their name to Topeka, Greta Christina's itinerary for the next big atheist convention, the Blag Hag pretending to have a crisis of faith or even Ricky Martin pretending to come out of the closet.

However I won't insult your intelligence by putting up some lame attempt at a practical joke or satire. That's what Facebook and Twitter are for. I would like to brag that I got eight different people (including a fictional character) to wish me happy birthday on Facebook and countless people to click on the new George Hrab sex tape on Twitter. Yes, these are cheap thrills but I must not let my followers/friends down. But you, my blog friends are prank connoisseur. That's why you get something from the vault, aged like a fine wine. Here's the classic segment originally aired by the BBC way back in 1957 about the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

If you get anybody good with an April Fool's prank leave a little something in the comment section.