Top 25 Creationist Arguments

From Michael Sherlock: Top 25 Creationist Arguments.

I like number 20:

Ken Ham has poor eyesight, therefore God created the universe.

Colosseum by Night

One of the other things we did our our recent visit to Rome was to visit the Colosseum. We booked a tour with Dark Rome; we used them last time we were in Rome and they were excellent. As they’ve expanded, the company now calls itself City Wonders and Dark Rome is just a brand under the City Wonders umbrella. We also used them in Venice; so we’ve enjoyed six outings with them. I can happily recommend them, if you are going to somewhere they operate.

We tried to book one of the extended tours, but these were all full as we left it rather late. So we ended up with the Colosseum Night Tour. This turned out to be a good thing as Rome was “enjoying” temperatures of 33–34°C during the day, which had moderated somewhat by the start of the tour at 19:00.

Here’s a selection of pictures.

You can see a few additional pictures in this album.

UPS and Stupid Processes

UPS move a shitload of stuff around the world. Obviously, every once in a while something will go amiss, but they don’t seem to have very good processes in place when it does. I ordered an item from Amazon. The cost was £90.50 with free delivery since I’m an Amazon Prime customer. Presumably, this value triggered despatch via UPS rather than another courier.

Delivery was scheduled for Monday. We were out and, as it happens, so were our neighbours who I’ve listed as an alternate delivery point. When I checked delivery status, the package was listed as “Delivered: mailbox”. The thing is, I live in an apartment block where entry is protected by a videophone, and there is no communal external mailbox. So unless a package is pushed through the letterbox of our apartment and appears on our doormat, “mailbox” means nothing. But the manual, no doubt, says that a delivery location must be specified… tick!

I called UPS. The agent said she would pass the query to the depot. Someone would call me back “within an hour”. Within the specified hour Alan called me. He had no information because he hadn’t spoken to his driver. He would call back, though he didn’t say it, “within the hour” was implied. Another tick: called the customer within the required time despite having no useful info.

Another hour later, Lee called. He said he was the driver, but that his partner had actually delivered the package, so he didn’t know where it was left. He would speak to his partner and call me back. At that point communication ceased. Lee could tick off that he’d called me, but was, I assume, not required to log the need for an additional call. So the records will show that the process was followed, but probably not show that the customer still hadn’t got his package.

I called UPS again this morning. I was told to that I now had to contact Amazon—obviously, that’s the next step in the process. Camille from Amazon listened to my story, put me on hold for a while as she checked with UPS, and then promised to send me a replacement to be delivered tomorrow by UPS. Chances are that we will be out again…


Borghese Gallery: Bits of Sculpture

Gia and I spent a few days in Rome recently. One of the excursions we took was a visit to the Borghese Gallery. Our guide was keen to show us some of the exquisite sculptures of Bernini—in his view, a much superior sculptor than Michelangelo. As is usually the case in these situations, it’s hard to get a view with too many people (like us), signs and barriers and often not very good lighting. I contented myself with taking some “detail shots”.


Truth Unveiled by Time
The Rape of Proserpina
Apollo and Daphne
Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix
Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius

Photographic Notes

I decided to convert the photos to B&W as this gives a more consistent look and feel to the selection. As I am trialling Topaz Labs’ photo processing suite, I used their modules for B&W conversion and noise reduction. I was quite impressed with the results for noise reduction, just using some of the standard presets.

9 horrible things the Christian right does because “God” said it was OK

A huge part of the antagonism that even moderate Christians face from outsiders is due to the fact that too many devout believers claim a righteous mandate to say and do things that are truly horrible.

Let me spell it out.

via 9 horrible things the Christian right does because “God” said it was OK –

We Are All Atheists! Some Of Us Are More Consistent Than Others

Christian, you are already an atheist, a narrow atheist, who rejects all of the same religions I do for the same reasons I do, except for yours. I simply reject them all, as a wide atheist, for the same reasons you reject all of them but yours.

via Debunking Christianity: We Are All Atheists! Some Of Us Are More Consistent Than Others.

A short post and to the point.


The EU strategy towards Greece may be blatant and crass, but it is not new. The EU has a long history of refusing to accept referendum results, imposing technocratic governments and bypassing democratic wishes.

And then they wonder why populist ant-EU parties are on the rise.

via AS WE APPROACH THE ENDGAME | Pandaemonium.

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ ISIS

Why Evolution Is True

In today’s Jesus and Mo, Mo tries to exculpate his religion as being responsible for ISIS. And the inspiration for the strip was sent by the author in his/her email:

Tom Holland’s article in the New Statesman is the inspiration for today’s strip.

2015-07-08In truth, I’m not sure the videos have damaged ISIS’s cause. Perhaps their barbarity have in fact inspired youths to join the movement in hopes of killing infidels. Who knows? At any rate, what can’t be denied—at least by those who aren’t osculating the rump of faith—is the Islamic inspiration for much of ISIS’s actions and agendas. That’s the subject of Holland’s article, which you should read. One excerpt:

Salafism today is probably the fastest-growing Islamic movement in the world. The interpretation that Isis applies to Muslim scripture may be exceptional for its savagery – but not for its literalism. Islamic State, in its conceit that…

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