Sunday, 25 May 2014

08:48 – Obviously, I had to read this one: Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

The article focuses on North Carolina, which they apparently consider to be part of the Bible Belt. I never thought of it that way. Sure, we have a lot of Southern Baptists around here, but we’re nothing like the Deep South, not to mention Texas, Oklahoma, and other states where religion is much more dominant in daily life. And apparently many atheist North Carolinians hide their atheism from friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I’ve never done that. Since I moved to North Carolina almost 35 years ago, I’ve been completely upfront about my beliefs (or lack thereof). I think every one of my friends, neighbors, and co-workers that whole time has been aware that I’m not just an atheist but a rabid atheist. Not just non-theist but anti-theist. I don’t care what they believe, and as far as I’m aware nearly all of them don’t care what I don’t believe.

And I spotted another very strange article on CNN: Don’t machine wash your denim, says Levi’s CEO

I actually read something similar to this a year or two ago, about a new fad for never washing jeans. That article recommended putting them in the freezer instead, claiming that freezing killed bacteria. Obviously, no one bothered to tell those teeming masses of bacteria that are happily living atop Mount Everest or in Antarctica about that. Or, for that matter, those foolish scientists who routinely preserve living bacteria by lyophilizing (freeze-drying) them. Freezing jeans doesn’t sterilize them. Not even close. If you really don’t want to wash your jeans, I recommend autoclaving them. Stick them in a pressure cooker at 15 PSI for 30 minutes. They won’t come out clean, but they will come out sterile.


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29 Responses to Sunday, 25 May 2014

  1. CowboySlim says:

    No matter, I don’t wear Levis.

    OK, back with more later….don’t want to be late for church.

  2. MrAtoz says:

    Please tell me you wear *some* kind of pants to church Mr. Slim.

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    I’m told that Bavarian guys don’t, or at least aren’t supposed to wash their lederhosen. They must get kinda high after a while… 🙂

  4. Miles_Teg says:

    If Slim has some Scottish ancestry (likely, given his last name) he may well wear a kilt with no undies… 🙂

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Greg may appreciate this…

    The other night, Barbara and I started watching a new-to-us series called Outrageous Fortune. At first, I thought from the accents that it was an Australian series, but within a couple of minutes I realized that these people talked funny for Aussies (which is really saying something…). It turns out that it’s a New Zealand series, and apparently N-zedders don’t possess a short “e”. Or nearly so, anyway. I did hear an occasional short “e” pronounced as I’d expect, but about 90% of what should have been short e’s were pronounced as long e’s. I mean, they pronounce “best” as I’d pronounce “beast”. And they pronounce some short e’s as short i’s. The family name in the series is West, which they pronounce as Wist. And there I was expecting them to pronounce it as Weest.

  6. CowboySlim says:

    Well, I had to check another forum….added a comment and now I’m too late for church. Guess I’ll put my Wranglers on over my undies and take the dogs for a walk.

    Having but only 5 letters, my name is quite rare; yes, I have met a few with the same and they are all of Scottish heritage. Have a gent nearby with same who encountered my wife in a parking lot years ago and offered a remittance to transfer the personalized license plate on her car. Have a couple of CDs made by the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra…converted to MP3 and are in the changer in my Jeep.

    I wonder if 5 letter Smith, 7892348124, meeting Smith, 986346837, would generate the same genre of conversation?

  7. CowboySlim says:

    One thing about unwashed Levis, one doesn’t have to worry about starch buildup as I don’t imagine Detroit City guys starch them.

    I also missed church last Sunday. Just about to leave and I realized that I had forgotten a monthly service due the day before on my Jeep: I needed to change its windshield washer fluid, rain●x.

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    Poor Kiwis… We laugh when we hear their pronunciation.

    Whereas we like fish and chips, they prefer fush and chups. I could go on, but there’s no point in making them feel *that* inferior.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, but at least the Kiwis prefer women to sheep, or so they claim.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    You obviously haven’t read the Kiwi versions of Mills and Boon.

  11. Miles_Teg says:

    Here’s an excerpt from a Kiwi Mills and Boon romance. Because of the salacious nature it is only available in NZ, western and north-central NC and eastern TN…

    We met in a secluded field, the sun nearly kissing the evening horizon. The warm breeze was full of that earthy, musky scent that only those fortunate enough to live outside the urban rat race know, and a quiet whispering of leaves in the weeping willow overhead added the final touch to the most romantic scene. We lay there, both naked. I knew I had to have her, and have her now. Without a word being spoken, I moved to position of dominance. I could feel instantly that this was what she was waiting for as she frantically thrust her pelvis at my approaching organ. I moved slowly at first, inch by inch, until I was fully inside her. Then as the tension rose, we threw caution to the wind and abandoned ourselves to the moment Although inexperienced, she approached every change of position with enthusiasm. She moaned with despair each time I withdrew to prevent myself ending it all too soon. As the sexual tension heightened towards the inevitable mind blowing climax, it was all I could do to hold out any longer. Finally, the moment we had been building up to was upon us, and passed all too quickly.
    Breathlessly we rolled together in the now damp grass. As the last deep orange glow of the long setting sun melted into the darkness of approaching night, we lay there still entwined in an amorous embrace.
    I kissed her long and lovingly, and whispered reassuringly how good she had been.

    She tenderly and sensuously licked my inner ear then whispered, “Baaaa” and rejoined the flock.

  12. CowboySlim says:

    One thing I forgot to mention in the previous discussion about public schools is what I read last week about cost per child per year in WDC: $30K!!! More than double elsewhere, including LA unified, 2nd largest in the country, at $14,xxx.

    So, my grandfather emigrated from Scotland, settled in Mpls. and married a girl from rural Wisconsin. She used to tell me about her childhood and going to a 1 room country school. Now she could read and write in full English sentences (none of the: “Hey, Dude….whazzup……..) with nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs quite fluently. She was also proficient in everyday arithmetic. Adjusted for inflation, that education was accomplished on less than the equivalent of $240K in eight years in the 1 room schoolhouse. Too bad our tax and spend politicians can’t turn the public education clock back 150 years.

  13. SteveF says:

    My daughter goes to a parochial school.* Last year they charged parents about $4200. Add books and uniforms and chipping in for various fund-raising and it’s still comfortably under $4500.

    The public school system I pay taxes to spends something over $12K per pupil. Other districts in the area spend a bit less, on average, but about the same.

    The most recent “school choice” bill in New York (most recent that I’m aware of, anyway) would have given parents vouchers for half the amount their school district spent. The district would have collected the other half, and had no responsibility beyond, maybe, busing. A couple staff and parents I talked to at a couple parochial schools all agreed they’d have been delighted to get that much because it was a big boost over what they could charge parents, plus they’d likely have greatly increased enrollment because a lot of families would have liked to send their kids there but couldn’t afford it. (The one non-parochial school administrator I talked to about the voucher issue also wished the bill would pass because they could increase their fees and hence their profit, while not decreasing the parent’s payment by very much. I think this was to maintain exclusivity but I’m not sure. Take the single datum for what it’s worth.)

    Regardless of any parent’s or non-public-school teacher’s desires, the voucher bill was shot down in flames. It might be spiteful, but it’s certainly accurate, to note that the teachers’ union lobbied, advertised, and contributed heavily against it.

    * Yes, a parochial school. Yes, I’m an atheist. No, I’m not terribly happy about her going there. However, I’m less happy about the public school and the way they take her “diagnosis” of having Autism Spectrum Disorder — diagnosed at age 2, by a “social worker” who refused to show any credentials or even a photo ID** — to slot her into a kindergarten class of “special” students, some of whom had severe disorders. And the school administrators seemed uninterested in removing her from a class which was causing her behavior to worsen and her academic skills to, at best, languish. Anyway, I don’t want her in the public school system for at least a couple more years, if ever, and can barely afford the parochial school. There’s no way I could pay tuition for a non-parochial private school.

    ** My wife had arranged the evaluation for some reason she never adequately explained, without bothering to tell me in advance. I came home from work and found the government parasite in my living room. She was not forthcoming when I asked what her qualifications were, and in fact she seemed disinclined to treat me as anything but a visitor who had no right to hear anything she had to say about my daughter. She also was not happy when I chucked her out — not physically, but with implied violence if the unidentified intruder did not vacate immediately. (Son#2 witnessed this interaction and told me later he wished he’d filmed it for use as instructional material.)

  14. OFD says:

    Yeah, the attitude among so many of the educationist types and social workers seems to be that our children and their lives belong to them exclusively and we as parents were only there to bring them into the world initially and then provide all the financial support for the whole enchilada. Thus, the gummint parasites effectively become part of our families.

    “Too bad our tax and spend politicians can’t turn the public education clock back 150 years.”

    Oh, perish the thought! Those were the years of rampant racism, sexism and the patriarchal oppression writ large! We are only now seeing the first signs of progress on this front (note the militaristic/war language they like to use so much while never having served anywhere themselves) but we still have a LONG way to go and if only the current generation of antique fossils and fascists would quietly die off.

    Gorgeous here today at the lake; blue skies, green grass, scads of dandelions and lilacs, and a record common carp at 46 pounds caught the other day via compound bow fitted with some kinda fishing reel gear.

  15. OFD says:

    “They won’t come out clean, but they will come out sterile.”

    There seem to be several fads out there lately for being dirty and unwashed and grubby; to wit, the years of witnessing imbeciles with dreadlocks, which are simply filthy with grease and dust and countless bacteria, no doubt; the unwashed jeans thing, as if any of us would care to swan around in dirty pants; and now I hear that today’s young hipsters think it’s environmentally correct to eschew showers, or at least to cut down on them drastically. I know I would certainly be digging the current dating scene if I was forty years younger and my opposite numbers were in dreadlocks, filthy dungarees and hadn’t showered in a week. And yes, I’m aware that our forefathers and foremothers in colonial and earlier times were unwashed rabble; we’ve come a long way, baby!

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I bathe at least once a year, whether I need it or not.

  17. SteveF says:

    re not showering, I recently heard on a science podcast (probably from the BBC, but it might have been Science Friday or one of the others I regularly catch) that someone’s experimenting with a bacterial spray that you spritz on yourself in lieu of bathing. The reporter tried it, then didn’t shower for (I think) four weeks. She said she got a little funky, but not nearly as bad as expected. When she was done with the experiment, the sprayed-on bacteria were washed away within three showers with soap.

  18. MrAtoz says:

    More VA buffoonery for Memorial Day:

    CBS2/KCAL9 pressed the L.A. County Coroner’s Office Thursday to find out why the bodies had not yet received a proper burial after a source indicated there may have been as many as 60 veterans at the morgue for the past year and a half.

    Blame Bush! Kneel before Zodbama! We need more investigation into this. Delay until 2016.

    Obummer is hiding out in Afghanistan thinking the troops love him. Some libturd hack on TV saying “the troops appreciate CinC coming to visit them. How caring he is. Got their back.” Wait till they get out or retire. Then they are Vets and get the wonderful, best, medical care in the world. The VA. Remember the libturd hacks touting the VA as what Obummercare will be like.

  19. SteveF says:

    I’m sure the fighting soldiers appreciate Obama’s presence just as much as they enjoyed photo ops with Hillary Bitch Clinton.

  20. OFD says:

    “Wait till they get out or retire.”

    No chit. They love us while we’re still warm active bodies who can tote a rifle. After that, we’re dog poop. This has been true in this country since Queen Anne’s War, the War of Independence, etc., etc. Maybe a couple of medals and some parades and then that’s it. Probably true going back to the hoplites; when there is no longer an imminent threat to the homeland or village, how easily they forget the last time. What sucks in this country is that we’ve had a war in nearly every single generation since it started up; and by the standards of Holy Mother Church, not one of them meets the ‘just war’ criteria, not one.

    I don’t expect endless adulation, worship and freebies; just for fuck’s sake take care of the people you send over to these things when they come back all messed up, and give them a decent burial when their time comes. That said, we need to get out of the business of Moloch once and for all; it destroys nations, empires and life itself. The militaristic overreaching imperialism of the Romans and British is what ended their fun rides over centuries; and the same is about to happen to us.

    “War is the health of the state,” said the very late Randolph Bourne, but at some point the financing of it becomes unsustainable. And the state crumbles to the dust. Personally I can’t wait to see Mordor go that way, a phony classical urban architecture squatting on a fetid swamp, amid swarms of skeeters and water moccasins. And that’s just the Congress.

  21. ech says:

    That article recommended putting them in the freezer instead, claiming that freezing killed bacteria.

    I’ve seen Dr. Oz, who is into all kinds of alternative therapies, suggest killing the bacteria in your lipstick by putting it in the freezer. Idiot.

    As for Texas being “more” Bible beltish than NC. I don’t think so. At least not in urban areas. Certainly many politicians wear their faith on their sleeves, but it’s not that big a deal in day-to-day life.

  22. CowboySlim says:

    There is one overwhelming reason for war: Resolving excess population via retroactive birth control.

  23. SteveF says:

    The problem with that is, historically birth rates have risen during and after war, so there’s a net population increase. Furthermore, the young, fit, non-defective men tend to be killed off, leaving the infirm, the simpletons, the cowards, and the elderly as the fathers of the next generation. Ref England following two world wars.

    Now, if you’re talking about genocide as part of the war, that might work. Far be it for me to suggest that the US should invade foreign lands, kill their people, and steal their natural resources, but you gotta admit it would have certain benefits.

  24. OFD says:

    We already do that, but cui bono?

  25. J Kamp says:

    “Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide”

    Perhaps the guide should have included a reference to this:

    news.yahoo.com/religious-people-are-less-intelligent-than-atheists–study-finds–113350723.html#upCr476

  26. SteveF says:

    Far be it for me to suggest that the US should invade foreign lands, kill their people, and steal their natural resources, but you gotta admit it would have certain benefits.

    We already do that, but cui bono?

    Eh? Since when? From where I sit, the US seems to invade other countries for reasons good, bad, or unfathomable, then sink buckets of money into building their infrastructure, education, establishing democracy, attempting to establish rule of law and cut down on killings, and so on. (With varying degrees of success, but that’s the stated intent.) If we get oil or other resources, we pay, usually above market price.

    If the US is invading other nations to kill their people and steal their resources, we are monumentally inept at it.

  27. OFD says:

    Agreed. We mainly kill people or get them killed; we betray our friends and we reward our enemies. One of the supposed justifications for our series of Sandbox wars was that we’d then get the benefit of all that cheap or even free oil; yeah? Where is it? And I for one am getting pretty tired, leaving aside the actual human KIA costs, of having our tax dollars spent on first demolishing a country’s infrastructure and then rebuilding it. Ditto us attempting to establish a political system which we don’t even have here and which the peoples of those regions have zero clue about and never will.

    We’re gonna set up “democracy” or “rule of law” (that last a real hoot in this country now) and stop killings in a place that is barely out of the Stone Age? With zillions of people in the one case, who want nothing more than to return to the slavery-death cult barbarism of circa 700-AD Islam, and in another case either the return of Comrade Stalin or all the way back to the Tsars, where they especially revere Ivan the Terrible.

    As for conducting anything of the sort on the African continent, I would stipulate first that we recognize it as absolutely hopeless. And the Red Chinese are beating us to it there anyway.

  28. brad says:

    There was never any chance of “nation building” in Afghanistan or Iraq. That was either incompetent dreaming by naive idiots, or else fodder for the masses. Neither country had the necessary culture or educational level to support democracy to start with; even less so after the US went in and destroyed what little they had.

    Cheap oil? Some people speculated that the US would go in and pump for its own benefit, but I don’t think anyone from the government ever said such a thing.

    In the meantime, the US now has troops deployed in about half of Africa, most recently in Nigeria because of the kidnapped girls. Oh frabjous joy, that will go well…

    @SteveF: Private schools, I hear you. Even here, in the land of milk and honey chocolate and coffee, one of my sons has never fit into school. We’ve had him in private schools from the beginning – one more year to go. He had a miserable time of it, but it would have been a lot more miserable in public schools. We will be very glad when the expenses are at an end…

  29. Chad says:

    The article focuses on North Carolina, which they apparently consider to be part of the Bible Belt. I never thought of it that way

    I guess I’ve always considered North Carolina to be in the Bible Belt. Mostly because I’ve always considered the Bible Belt and Dixie to share the same geography. I lived in Tulsa for a time and I still love to give my friends there crap about being one of the buckles of the Bible Belt. Anytime they have to make a decision I make some remark like, “Are you sure? If you want to call your pastor and make sure it’s okay I’ll wait. While you have him on the phone ask him who you should vote for this November.” Granted, this is a completely unfair stereotype, but the South has always been synonymous to us Yankees with evangelical zealotry, obesity, poverty, and low rated public school systems.

    I actually read something similar to this a year or two ago, about a new fad for never washing jeans. That article recommended putting them in the freezer instead, claiming that freezing killed bacteria.

    Well, I suppose it depends on how you’re looking at it. If you’re trying to sanitize jeans then the freezer won’t work, but if you’re just trying to keep them from stinking will it? The goal may not be to kill off all bacteria, but to kill of enough of the odor causing ones to make the jeans acceptable. Heck, you can get your deceased pets freeze dried. This is probably geared toward fashionistas who buy $150 jeans, only wear them for a couple of hours at a time, and would never do anything to get them especially dirty (no yard mowing, car maintenance, cooking, etc.). They don’t want to fade, shrink, or otherwise degrade their jeans. It might take them a couple of years to put as much soil on their jeans as some of us might in a single day.

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