Episode 7

The coveted Episode 7!  I heard on a podcast somewhere that around 70% of all new podcasts are over by the seventh episode.  Hah! you’re stuck with us, bitches!

News Items:

Darth Cheney has final human organ replaced

WASHINGTON – Former vice president Dick Cheney, a 71-year-old with a long history of cardiovascular problems, had a heart transplant Saturday and is recovering at a Virginia hospital. Not even Cheney knows the donor’s identity.

We crack wise about our former VP, and scoff a bit at the knee-jerk assumption that he got his heart due to preferential treatment.

Paedo Priest Surprise; Pleads Guilty in Philly

A defrocked Catholic priest about to begin trial on molestation charges in Philadelphia abruptly changed his plea to “guilty” on Friday. As part of his confession, Father Edward Avery declared that his diocese had been aware of his crimes, but had allowed him to keep his job. Continue reading


Episode 6

We both felt good about this one after we finished.  Good topics, some good discussion, and a few chuckles.  We really need a new game, though.  Please send suggestions, we’re just not that creative!

News Items:

Genetic Engineering for Climate and Profit!

We just touch on this, mainly relating it to the story from last week’s episode about another paper related to bioethics.

Anthropogenic climate change is arguably one of the biggest problems that confront us today. There is ample evidence that climate change is likely to affect adversely many aspects of life for all people around the world, and that existing solutions such as geoengineering might be too risky and ordinary behavioural and market solutions might not be sufficient to mitigate climate change. In this paper, we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves biomedical modifications of humans so that they can mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. We argue that human engineering is potentially less risky than geoengineering and that it could help behavioural and market solutions succeed in mitigating climate change. We also consider some possible ethical concerns regarding human engineering such as its safety, the implications of human engineering for our children and for the society, and we argue that these concerns can be addressed. Our upshot is that human engineering
deserves further consideration in the debate about climate change.

Ender’s Game the Porno! and other missing details

Evolution of a Complaint, in reverse order:

A middle school teacher who read to his students from Ender’s Game is on “administrative leave” because a parent complained to the school that Orson Scott Card’s classic novel is “pornographic.” The parent also went to the local police, who have not yet pressed criminal charges against the teacher, according to the Aiken, SC Standard. Continue reading


Brian recommends the 2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate-generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work-bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery.

This year’s Asimov debate will pit some of the experimentalists who claim to have discovered faster-than-light neutrinos against their strongest critics, as well as other teams who are racing to test relativity with unprecedented precision. Continue reading

Episode 5

Smooth as silk!  New mixer, new recorder, better mics, no utter disasters… all in all, a pretty good episode, I think.  We go a bit long, but are actually fairly on point for a change.  The Items of Interest are salvaged from last week’s aborted attempt at a show, and I’m in the process of cutting up the rest of it to share on YouTube.

News Items:

The firestorm over the position paper “After Birth Abortion”

Whoever brought this paper to the attention of the fundamentalist Christians was demonstrating, in Brian’s words, ‘graduate level trolling.’

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

A blog post from the editor of the publication in defense of the paper: http://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2012/02/28/liberals-are-disgusting-in-defence-of-the-publication-of-after-birth-abortion/

Oh?! No Oxnard parents show up to protest teacher’s alleged porn past

“Parents were invited to a school board meeting Wednesday evening to express their concerns after an Oxnard middle school teacher was placed on paid leave for allegedly dabbling in hardcore pornography.

However, not one parent with a student at Haydock Intermediate School attended, according to CBS2’s Suraya Fadel.”


Some follow up – she was eventually outed by name: http://www.nationalconfidential.com/20120307/stacie-halas-middle-school-teacher-allegedly-worked-as-pornstar-tiffany-six/


ID Promoter sues JPL for Discrimination

Trial begins this week in a lawsuit over whether NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) unlawfully discriminated against an employee for discussing the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) at work, according to the Discovery Institute.

Defendant’s trial brief: http://ncse.com/webfm_send/1746
Plaintiff’s trial brief: http://ncse.com/webfm_send/1685

Iconic Church Sold to Church, Church Relocates

The Crystal Cathedral, where modest services at a drive-in movie theater morphed into the Hour of Power at a fabulous glass-paned home to a global televangelical empire, will relocate and the Orange County megachurch will get a new name, the Associated Press reports today. The financially-struggling church sold its iconic glass-paned home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange last month to emerge from federal bankruptcy protection. Continue reading


Sorry, no episode this week

Hello everyone.  I am sorry to report that for a variety of reasons, we are choosing not to release Episode 5 this week.  We recorded on Tuesday morning as usual, using the new equipment, but we were uneasy with the content from the beginning.  Brian wasn’t feeling well, and felt that he did not perform at his best during a rather involved discussion we had about sex education, birth control, and religion.  Neither of us felt we had done Brians topic of interest (a blog about airsoft combat) justice due to a complete lack of knowledge and research.  Since this blog belongs to a friend of the show and early supporter, this wouldn’t stand.  We recorded a skype interview with our listener, but had a very poor skype connection, and therefore some fairly bad audio quality on his voice.  We will re-record that, or clean it up and include it next week.  Last but not least, we had a good discussion, including a short rant by Matt about the effing media, and due to a complete brain fart on Matt’s part, we recorded this part with the beginning of the episode mixed in evenly with our live vocals.  Unlistenable, I assure you.  Add this all up with the fact that it is now Saturday evening, the episode is already four days late, needs a bit more editing, then the process of converting, tagging, uploading, and linking… we’re just going to have to scrap it.  Sorry folks, Episode 5 will be out on Wednesday.  It will also be quality content, not junk.  We will be including evergreen portions, like my Topic of Interest, the Voyager site.  We’ll keep the listener feedback as well, and go over any new feedback we get.  We will be recording an all new news section, but we’re going to include the topic that had the technical glitch, because we both felt it was important – not because of the article itself, mind you – but because of the reaction to it.  The game, of course will be new.  We will probably cut some of the better sections from what is left and put them on YouTube as short clips.

Again, we’re sorry for the skipped week, but we just didn’t bring the quality, and didn’t bring it on time.  We hope you’ll stick around a few more days for Episode 5, and bear with us during our growing pains here.