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Archive for August, 2008

Only a breath divides belief from doubt,
‘Tis muttered breath that makes a man devout,
Yea, death from life only a breath divides–
O haste to drink before that breath is out.

~The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Richard Le Gallienne Translation

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As with most mornings, I woke myself up via my ever growing, frighteningly large RSS feed via Google Reader. Normally I end up skimming and stopping when something catches my eye. Well today something did. Mr. Carl Zimmer, author of the blog The Loom, currently hosted by the Overmind of Discover Magazine, posted a poinient follow up to a post he had made in April.

The Loom Excerpt:
In April, a reader named Abigail sent in this tattoo, with the following description:
My first year of college, I wanted to be an English major, and I took Intro Chemistry to fill the science requirement. The brief unit on thermodynamics made me fall totally in love. Entropy made sense to me – scientifically, philosophically. I became a Chemistry major and love every second of it. I got the tattoo to mark my rite of passage – Entropy going both ways, with its symble delta-S in the middle, all supported in the roots of Yggdrasil, the world-tree of Norse mythology (harking back to my English-lit days).
Today, Abigail’s mother sent in this sad note:

Abigail is my daughter. I was with her when she got this tattoo last March, several months after she turned 18, while she was attending Reed College in Portland. It was an adventure for both of us. She came home for the summer in May, and four days later was in a fatal car accident.
I will be getting this same tattoo next week – Abigail’s personal design – from the same artist. It will memorialize both my daughter and her intellect and passion for science and philosophy.
The world has lost an incredible mind. Thank you Mr. Zimmer for displaying this artwork and sharing it with visitors to this site.

 

The passing of this young woman is very, very sad. I would have been honored to know someone whose love of knowledge allowed them to combine their love of chemistry and the beautiful Norse Mythos. I can only hope that her great passion will influence those who come after her and those who met her.

This is the world we live in, where the lives of passionate smart young women are snuffed out by tragic accidents, while the demons run among us. All we can do is hold onto our dreams and fight the back those who would have us succumb to ignorance. Abigail Garcia is an inspiration.

May she feast forever in the Halls of Valhalla.

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When I first started this blog, one of the early posts concerned a Mr. Webster Cook, accused Eucharist thief. In the aftermath of what has colloquially known as Crackergate or Wafergate, there were calls from many catholics for Mr. Cook’s expulsion from the University of Central Florida. Thankfully, cool heads prevailed and a panel made up of both students and administrators unanimously determined that there was no clear evidence that either Mr. Cook or Ben Collard (his companion during the cited incident) had done anything which merited suspension or expulsion.

This is wonderful news people! I would love to see Donahue’s face when he reads about this. But aside from my vindictive streak, I think this is an excellent decision on the part of the school. Sadly the student government is not quite so reasonable and has scheduled an impeachment hearing to determine his fitness as a student senator on August 28th. Send him your support people!

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I found this absolutely beautiful story written by the late Arturo Vivante which was just published in the latest edition of Freethought Today. (Thanks to the Hemant the Friendly Atheist for the heads up.)

It’s a beautiful piece about a situation almost all of us have been in. A Christian comes up to you in the street and asks if you have been saved. I only wish that I could match the beauty and articulation of the Arturo’s responses in this story. Without further ado:

An Atheist Meets A Theist On The Street (more…)

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It is time… for a change. I say to you today, my fiends that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day warlocks atheists will rise up and cast off the shackles of oppression.

I have a dream that one day we will no longer be judged upon how different we are from you.

I have a dream that one day, we will be looked at and labeled simply, as ‘friend’.

I have a dream that one day, when this all occurs, that we take advantage of surprise and slaughter as many of you as possible. I have a dream that one day there will be no structure left standing, no man or woman left un-decapitated and no babies left un-devoured. I have a dream that none of you are spared from the horrors of our rule.

FREE AT LAST! YOU’RE ALL DEAD, BUT WE ARE FREE AT LAST!

(more…)

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I just found this via the blog SoulofStarTrek and thought it was absolutely hilarious. It is Neil Gaiman’s (Author of Stardust and American Gods) riff on David Tennant’s Doctor (Doctor Who for those not in the know) as Hamlet:

“To be, or not to be, that is the question. Weeelll…. More of A question really. Not THE question. Because, well, I mean, there are billions and billions of questions out there, and well, when I say billions, I mean, when you add in the answers, not just the questions, weeelll, you’re looking at numbers that are positively astronomical and… for that matter the other question is what you lot are doing on this planet in the first place, and er, did anyone try just pushing this little red button?”

It’s spot on for Tennant’s Doctor character and he does deserve a little teasing because he’s going from Doctor Who to playing Hamlet with Patrick Stewart.

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