Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Democrats and Gun Control.

Imagine an election race of Pat Robertson versus James Dobson, each of them appearing at organic grocery stores and Starbucks throughout Massachusetts, with each candidate insisting that he alone deserves the vote of gay-marriage advocates. An equally silly spectacle is taking place these days in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama compete for the pro-gun vote.

The Power of Wishful Thinking.

Greg Ross over at Futility Closet has this wonderful post today.

In 1610, thinking he had discovered two moons orbiting Saturn, Galileo composed a message:
ALTISSIMUM PLANETAM TERGEMINUM OBSERVAVI ("I have observed the most distant planet to have a triple form")


… and sent it to Kepler as an anagram:
SMAISMRMILMEPOETALEUMIBUNENUGTTAUIRAS


Remarkably, Kepler managed to "solve" this as a message about Mars, not Saturn:
SALVE UMBISTENEUM GEMINATUM MARTIA PROLES ("Hail, twin companionship, children of Mars")


The German astronomer had predicted that the Red Planet had two moons, and imagined that Galileo was confirming his belief.

There's a message in this, somewhere.

Greg is on hiatus at the moment so he won't be updating his site for a while. Still, it is one of the neatest collections of weird and interesting facts I've ever come across. Definitely worth your time.

Contract killers were 'short-changed'.

If there's one group of people you really don't want to shortchange, it's contract killers.

Pro-Choice Lawmakers to Receive Communion

WASHINGTON (AP) - Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park Thursday for a Mass celebrated by a pope who has said such lawmakers should not receive Communion.

Leading these lawmakers, some of whom have repeatedly complained about remarks by Pope Benedict XVI and a few bishops on the subject, will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the government's highest-ranking Catholic and a supporter of abortion rights. Nowhere in her remarks or her actions this week has she referred to strains with the new pontiff.

It would nice if he took the opportunity to give them a stern talking to.

As an aside, the author refers to Nancy Pelosi as "the government's highest-ranking Catholic". No doubt this will come as a surprise to Chief Justice Roberts (a devout Catholic) who had been led to believe that the three branch's of government are co-equal.

When Irony Becomes Farce.

David Bernstein reminds us of how much Janet Reno has to answer for.