First, a serious one. If you live in the UK, follow this link and do what the nice people say? I'v efootnoted some reasons at the bottom[1] but here's a summary. Abolish Blasphemy Laws Now:
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has long campaigned for the blasphemy laws to be abolished, and an opportunity for this to happen has now come with an amendment to be tabled this week by Evan Harris MP.

We need as many people as possible to get in touch with their MP to show the support there is for abolishing this antiquated law.
That's Dr Evan Harris MP, not met him yet, think I might like to. Cross party support would be good on this one *cough*[livejournal.com profile] bagrec, it's not really political, more a general interest story, right?*cough* Even if you're a believer, I've yet to see any coherent defense of the blasphem laws, wouldn't it be better to let people make their case so you can try to rebut them or persuade people otherwise?

OK, on to fun stuff. A bunch of researchers in San Diego attended 66 different student parties and breathalysed a representative sample of attendees. They found that while men drink more at normal parties, women drink more at fancy dress parties, and drink much more at sexually themed parties. Quoth the guy in charge:
Dr Clapp admitted that "as his team was unable to explain the surprise finding it would be necessary to carry out further field work", concluding: "Given that some theme parties can be highly sexualised, future investigation of the mechanisms that may explain this effect is warranted." ®
Yes, that's right, you want to go to a bunch of student sex themed parties in the name of research. Gotta admire his commitment to science, right?

Now, more sillyness. The guy who runs asciimation, home of The death of Jar Jar is also a bit of a loon when not on his computer, and a Futurama fan.  Hence The Bender Brewer Project, in which he makes a life size Bender and puts a brewing barrel in its chest.  If you just want to see the complted work, half way down page three you can find him pictured playing on a TARDIS arcade console (via [livejournal.com profile] slashdot). How cool is that? Cue Jennie saying I want one to the TARDIS thing in 5, 4, 3...
Reasons to abolish the blasphemy laws courtesy of the BHA )
Following up from yesterday, this morning's best radio show award goes to Stewart Lee proclaiming the Devil gets the best tunes. Lee of course is co-creator of Jerry Springer: The Opera, and the show, available on Listen Again, has interviews with Andy Hamilton about [livejournal.com profile] oldharrysgame and a bit about the Faustian elements of the Charlie Daniels Band song Devil Went Down To Georgia (which is one of the most played MP3s on my phone). I commend it to you all as a damn good listen.

Unfortunately, Media Watch Watch is less positive about yesterdays court decision:
As it stands, the two judges concluded that the play could not be considered blasphemous “in context”, and as a whole was not and could not reasonably be regarded as aimed at, or an attack on, Christianity or what Christians held sacred. This leaves open the possibility that if some other work could be considered as being - in context - an attack on “Christianity or what Christians held sacred”, then its creators might still be prosecuted under this stupid law.
and Green's bunch of extremist lunatics are going to appeal--here's hoping the Lords really quashes this silly outdated law and tells Green to go get a life. Money quote from the loon himself?
I’m really sympathetic to the freedom of speech argument. But blasphemy is not a matter of free speech, it’s people going out of their way to offend almighty God.
I'm in favour of free speech, except when it's not convenient to me. Mr Green? That's not the point.

Ah well, in more lighthearted news, this map of the world's transit sytems is absolutely brilliant (via).
There are some days, y'know, when the British legal system does us all proud. Two different stories today. Stripogram copper walks on offensive weapon rap | The Register:
Kennedy was dragged before the beak at Aberdeen sheriff court on the offensive weapons rap. However, Sheriff Kenneth Stewart ruled he had no case to answer.
Because arresting a strippogram for 'impersonating a police officer', being forced to drop those charges then chasing him for something else is a really good use of resources. But, much more importantly. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Springer opera court fight fails:
two senior judges at the High Court said the 1968 Theatres Act prevented any prosecution for blasphemy in relation to public performances of plays - and the 1990 Broadcasting Act prevented any prosecution in relation to broadcasts.

They said it was reasonable to conclude Jerry Springer - The Opera "in context" could not be considered as blasphemous, as it was not aimed at Christianity, but was a parody of the chat show genre.
That's right, the courts have told "Christian" Voice director Stephen Green to go fuck himself--and this has to be a good thing, his extremist nonsense gives sensible people of faith a really bad name. More context on him and his censorship campaign at an old post of mine.
Sainsbury's and Woolworths have withdrawn the Jerry Springer DVD from sale after pressure from "Christian Voice", the lunatic fringe fundamentalists that want to deny you the opportunity to make your own mind up. I've ranted about it (a lot) on the blog, but this infuriates me so much I'm reposting the lot here under a cut. My MP is writing to the two company's, as are a few others, ask yours to, details on how in there.

Regardless of whether you like the show, censorship is not the answer, and I really fear the slippery slope on this one. The full blog entry, including links, information, data and contact details )
Until they change their policy on this, I'll not be going into a Woolworths or Sainsburys except to complain. I urge you to do the same.



Full entry here.

In other news, another reason to dislike Wikipedia. It's not like it's ever going to be fixed the way they're going with it. Read more... )

Arsehole neighbour had a party last night, kept me awake till 4am, so my normal nocturnal activity is now curtailed, I've typed up what I felt the need to and assuaged my anger, now, to bed. Not sure whether to read Prince Caspian, Looking for Jake, Northern Lights or Anansi Boys. All are sat there in the "get on with it and finish me already" pile.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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