July 28th, 2008

pygmy marmoset

beyond belief

The BBC is reporting that at least 47 female typhoid patients were locked up for life in a Surrey mental hospital. The patients were admitted between 1907 and the hospital closing in 1992. Read it for yourselves. Words fail me.
  • Current Music
    porcupine tree
Honey Badger

more on the mayonnaise kiss

You might recall a little while ago I mentioned that Heinz had withdrawn an advert for its Deli Mayo range which featured a chap giving another chap a peck on the cheek. I now understand that a key player in the affair was a Christian group calling themselves the American Family Association, who heard about the offending item even though it had never aired in the US. The Guardian reports that the AFA emailed its three and a half million members about the ad, saying in part that this was the `kind of ad we can expect to see in California as they prepare to vote on homosexual marriage.'
The email also said, `I thought you might be interested in seeing the Heinz ad featuring a homosexual family and two homosexuals kissing. We suggest you forward this to all your family and friends letting them know of the push for homosexual marriage by Heinz. This ad is currently running in England, but no doubt can be expected in the US soon.'
The email included a form email letter of complaint and phone numbers for Heinz's corporate HQ in the US.
While the ad was actually pulled in Britain before the AFA got involved, an email campaign by the group seems to have influenced a strong statement from Heinz distancing the company from the ad.
Whether it did or not, I find the AFA's email infinitely more offensive than I found the ad. You'll all know that I'm a godless sod and an atheist of the worst stripe, but I have dipped into the Bible on occasion, and perhaps I'm missing some kind of subtext here, but didn't Jesus preach a certain amount of tolerance? Wasn't there something about being without sin if you want to throw stones? I find myself becoming increasingly annoyed by these people as I get older. They're not Christians the way I understand Christianity, and their God is not the stern, wise, understanding, tolerant God I was brought up with and then decided not to believe in.
I googled the AFA, and their website is a bit of an eyeopener. They have a section titled `Homosexual Agenda,' in which you can find an article titled `Sodom's Solemn Warning.' It begins, `For “gay” and lesbian activists intent on molding American culture in their own image, the church is seen as the most stalwart opponent resisting the triumph of homosexual philosophy.' (My italics)
No, these are not Christians as I understand the term. I don't know what they are, but they scare me.
  • Current Music
    porcupine tree

if it's monday night, it must be...


This is one of a group of Beluga whales at an aquarium in Japan which have learned to blow bubble-rings. Apparently they take a breath of air from the regulators of divers in the tank with them, and then blow it out. Here's another pic.

Apparently there are 100,000 Beluga whales still alive in the wild. That's not nearly enough, for my money.
Some more pics here.
I feel a sig coming on.
  • Current Music
    porcupine tree