Daily Archives: April 19, 2012

Beware the False Profits. As it were.

This week, we’re joined by Robert FitzPatrick, founder of Pyramid Scheme Alert, and co-author of False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes. He’ll discuss the promises and pitfalls of schemes, and how to tell legitimate direct selling from multi-level marketing scams. And on the podcast, we’ll speak to Paul Piff, researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, about his research on the relationship between social class and unethical behavior.

We record live with Robert FitzPatrick on Sunday, April 22 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, April 27.

Details and links here!

What questions do you want to ask John Hawks on Sunday?

John Hawks is one of the nation’s leading palaeoanthropologists, and has lately been working with ancient DNA, recent and earlier Human Evolution, and an interesting project that is a sort of casting call for extinct humans and their relatives.

Most of you know John from his famous Internet site called “John Hawks Weblog: Paleoanthropology, Genetics and Evolution.” John is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which is one of the better known and respected for this sort of research.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that there are many interesting and exciting things going on in human origins research these days, and on Sunday Morning, on Atheist Talk Radio, John and I will cover as many of them as we can. Were the Clovis people Solutreans? How many hominids were there in recent prehistory? And, what do both ancient and modern DNA studies tell us about the Neanderthal side of the human family?

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

Please feel free to indicate specific questions or topics you might have for John in the comments!

Good Bye Glaciers

Most of the world’s mountain glaciers are either totally melted or reduced significantly in size. For every one of these glaciers, there’s somebody who will tell you that that particular glacier has disappeared or is disappearing for some reason that has nothing to do with anthropogenic global warming. Once, some guy tried to convince me that one of the world’s major tropical glaciers was melting away as a result of global cooling.

It used to be that I thought of people like that as poorly informed. Then, I changed my mind when I realized that you can’t be THAT poorly informed, and that you must be either some sort of idiot or a person with very questionable motivations and a strong dishonest streak to support such ideas. But those times have gone by as well. Even people who for a log time denied the reality of anthropogenic global warming, and in particular the significance of the startling fact that the world’s mountain glaciers are all either reduced or gone (with one single exception that I know of), have stopped saying that. The only people left are the crazy ones. You have to be absolutely nuts to think that global warming is not real, human caused, and responsible for the melting of all that ice.

I’m reminded of all this by the following photograph that NASA just sent me:
Continue reading Good Bye Glaciers

John Hawks on Atheist Talk Radio Sunday

If you have questions you’d like John to address, put them in the comments and do my best to get to them!

John Hawks is one of the nation’s leading palaeoanthropologists, and has lately been working with ancient DNA, recent and earlier Human Evolution, and an interesting project that is a sort of casting call for extinct humans and their relatives.

Most of you know John from his famous Internet site called “John Hawks Weblog: Paleoanthropology, Genetics and Evolution.” John is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which is one of the better known and respected for this sort of research.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that there are many interesting and exciting things going on in human origins research these days, and on Sunday Morning, on Atheist Talk Radio, John and I will cover as many of them as we can. Were the Clovis people Solutreans? How many hominids were there in recent prehistory? And, what do both ancient and modern DNA studies tell us about the Neanderthal side of the human family?

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

Levon Helm Called Up his Big Mamma and He'll be Rollin' In

One of my favorite musicians ever died today at the age of 71. I happen to play two songs with him singing and playing today. I do that most days because they are on my gym tape.1

Levon was a member of The Band, but he was also in The Hawks (with Ronnie Hawkins) and worked on his own. The early proto-band was Dylan’s backing band. Levon is not the first member of The Band to die.

Here’s a couple of items to remember him by:

Continue reading Levon Helm Called Up his Big Mamma and He'll be Rollin' In

Bishop who Looks Like PZ Myers Compares Barack Obama to Hitler

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Biologist and Blogger PZ MYers, is smiling now, but not for long.

Which is funny, because he might have just Godwined his own tax return.

Americans United is calling for an IRS investigation of the Peoria Catholic Diocese after Biship Jenky gave a homily in mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in which he said:

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

Pharyngula's PZ Myers, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peioria, is smiling because he just finished doing his taxes and did not violate any IRS laws.
PZ Myers, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peioria, is smiling because he just finished doing his taxes and did not violate any IRS laws.

Well, it’s nice to know a) Hitler and Stalin had better moments (I did not know that) and b) American United attends churches looking out for this sort of violation.

The AU complaint states:

“Bishop Jenky compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin and accused him of pursuing policies that will close Catholic institutions. Moments later, he exhorted members of his flock not to vote for candidates who fail to uphold Catholic values. It is impossible to interpret this as anything but a command to vote against Obama.”

The full press release from American United is here.