Jewish date: 21 ’Elul 5769.
Today’s holiday: Thursday of the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time.
Today’s quasi-holiday: Swap Ideas Day.
Worthy causes of the day: “Take Action: Defend America's Arctic and all of its precious wildlife”, “Stop the trophy hunting of polar bears”, “Stop the race baiting”, and “No punitive fines in health care bill”.
Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
- “FDA panel approves Gardasil HPV vaccine for males, and competing Cervarix might hit shelves soon”: This is not an article on religion. It is an article on a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) specifically for males. I mention it here to preempt an objection which was made by serious Christians when the female version of the vaccine came out, namely that HPV vaccines promote promiscuity, something which is frowned upon by many religions. A vaccine against HPV reduces the incidence of cancer and genital warts, but it does nothing to reduce the incidence other any other sexually transmitted diseases. HPV vaccine does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancy either. Considering that humans have engaged in illicit sexual intercourse for thousands of years (at least), long before there were vaccines against any disease or any scientific medicine at all, it is unlikely that anyone has needed any artificial encouragement to do so. And even for someone who is sure that he/she will never commit any sexual indiscretions, HPV vaccination may be worth it. Unless one knows for certain that one’s current and future sexual partners are not carrying HPV—and few of us really have such a luxury—getting vaccinated as a means of self-dense may well be worthwhile.
- “France: Muslim woman presses panel for burqa ban”: France again is being pressed from within to restrict Islamic women’s clothing, specifically the burqa and other highly covering garments. Without a question, this runs into trouble with the concept of freedom of religion, including the fact that (strange as it may sound) women may actually chose to wear the burqa. Considering what those for banning the burqa are really complaining about, i.e., use of the burqa as a form of oppression, perhaps instead of focusing on externalities, perhaps they should be focusing on the oppression itself. How about penalizing anyone forcing a woman to wear a burqa and thus violating her freedom of religion? How about doing something to protect anyone who freely chooses to leave Islam?
- See today’s weird thing below.
- “Pigeon transfers data faster than South Africa's Telkom”
- “Create a font from your own handwriting - fontcapture.com”: Not news or commentary, but something which may prove useful.
- “The Singularity and the Fixed Point”
- “Robot Teacher”
- “Success: Facebook Recognizes Israeli Golan Residents”
This is the first time I have seen them make a joke on a religious order for Ceiling Cat. Enjoy and share the weirdness.