Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 18

We had some family stuff come up and didn’t record the podcast until Thursday night, as opposed to our usual Tuesday.  So now it’s Saturday morning, and I’m hammering away in the office while my wife and 3 1/2 year old are watching Mickey in the living room.  That may sound like some martyr crap, but I assure you, I’ve seen more than enough Mickey Mouse Playhouse to last a lifetime!  We do a segment of news this week for the first time, and keep pretty close to an hour.

News Items:

How a Bill becomes a Vagina Monologue

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker who says she was barred from speaking in the Michigan House because Republicans objected to her saying “vagina” during debate over anti-abortion legislation performed “The Vagina Monologues” on the Statehouse steps — with a hand from the author.

Eve Ensler, whose groundbreaking play about women’s sexuality still packs theaters 16 years after it debuted, oversaw Monday night’s performance by Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown, 10 other lawmakers and several actresses.

We really didn’t see eye to eye on this one.  To Matt, she’s standing up and pointing out the ridiculous and male-dominated nature of her silencing.  To Brian, she’s not showing her position the respect it deserves.  We totally throw blows.

Not just anybody can be an exorcist, can they?

St. Petersburg, Florida — A teacher at a neighborhood family center was arrested after police say she burned and cut teens during a bizarre ritual to remove their demons.

Authorities say Danielle Harkins brought the group of teens to an area near the St. Pete Pier Saturday before dusk. They gathered around a small fire and that’s when she told them to cut their skin to let the evil spirits out. After they cut their skin, she said they would need to burn the wounds to ensure they would not return.

Brian points out that she is more crazy crazy than religious crazy, and I agree.  She’s a nut.  I still wonder if what these people would come up with without the silly religious imagery floating around their subconscious minds would be better or worse for themselves and their victims.

News from around the Islamic World

The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt’s presidential election, which would be the first victory of an Islamist as head of state in the stunning wave of protests demanding democracy that swept the Middle East the past year. But the military handed itself the lion’s share power over the new president, sharpening the possibility of confrontation.

In case you’re not familiar with the Muslim Brotherhood…

The Brotherhood’s credo was and is, “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.” The Brotherhood’s English language website describes the “principles of the Muslim Brotherhood” as including firstly the introduction of the Islamic Shari`ah as “the basis controlling the affairs of state and society;” and secondly work to unify “Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, and liberating them from foreign imperialism”.

Really?!  Arab Spring my ass.  These guys are such assholes, Brian and I can’t figure out if we’re happy the military is holding on to all the real power despite the election results.

Muslim anti-vaccers?

A cleric in Pakistan’s Punjab province has warned that a jihad would be launched against polio vaccination teams at a time when the World Health Organisation has expressed concern at the emergence of new cases of the disease across the country.

Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti of Muzaffargarh district declared the anti-polio campaign as “un-Islamic” and announced at the local mosque that jihad (holy war) should be carried out against the polio vaccination team.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?  Are you kidding me?  You want kids getting Polio.  Yes, you are a fantastic human being.

Saudi man executed for witchcraft and adultery

Saudi Arabia executed a man for practising witchcraft and committing adultery, the state news agency said on Tuesday citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.

“Mareeh bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri (Saudi national) practised witchcraft and sorcery, and was in possession of books and talismans from which he learnt to harm God’s worshippers and admitted adultery with two women,” said the statement.

Oh, well if he had talismans… I thought this was going to be some BS, but apparently, this guy had books and talismans.  Clearly, he needed his head removed.  At least this was in nutty, fringe-of-the-Arab-world Saudi, not some supposedly-mainstream, friend-to-the-US country like Iran.  Oh, wait…

Items of interest:

Brian – Planetary Resources Kickstarter

Planetary Resources points out that they could build out their probes, and rent out camera/telescope time to the general public; something that’s never been done before. If you had access to this level of equipment, what would you photograph? They discuss beginning a kickstarter and setting pledge levels before the program begins.

Matt – Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

Follow Up:
Seth Shostak, the SETI Institute’s Senior Astronomer, tells io9 the discovery could certainly speed up the search for ET as there are simply more targets out there. “The message we’ve been getting from the planet hunting community is loud and clear,” said Shostak, “and that message is that all stars have planets.” And not only that, he added — “Most of them might have small planets, too, and not just gas giants.”
“This observation suggests that terrestrial planets may be widespread in the disk of the Galaxy, with no special requirement of enhanced metallicity for their formation.”

And, just in case I forgot to mention them earlier, our iTunes reviews from Aprild1228 and CWebb619


1 thought on “Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 18

  1. Keep up the good work guys. Wanted to make one comment up the Imam and his anti-polio vaccination rant. Ironically, it was Arab Turkish scientist that first used inoculation and it was against smallpox’s. The latest skeptoid episode looks at the fall of the Arab influence on science, which was once the top of the scientific community and is now a laughing stock….

    I appreciate the love from you guys and hopefully I can be on your podcast soon. I just finished a recording with the Invisible Sky Monster podcast with Dumbass from and Jesse Dybka from the Why You’re Wrong Podcast. It was fun and I look forward to speaking with you two.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.