Posted in Agnosticism, Art, Atheism, Blasphemy, Everyday life, Family, Human Rights, Humor, Morality, Movies, Music, Neuroscience, Politics, Religion, Science, The Conscious Disbeliever

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Moyers and Company

Caught the first of three parts over at the Why Is Evolution True blog. I enjoyed this series of interviews very much, so I decided to post all three.

Cannot wait for the new Cosmos to air!

Oh! And if you care to watch, this is the link for live streaming of today’s Bill Nye vs Ken Ham Debate, it starts at 7 PM ET (1 AM CET). Go Science Guy!

See you next time.

Posted in Agnosticism, Art, Atheism, Blasphemy, Coffee, Everyday life, Family, Human Rights, Humor, Morality, Movies, Music, Politics, Religion, The Conscious Disbeliever

Thanks and Seasons Greetings

To all of  you who allow my soliloquies to sometimes turn into monologues and in even rarer occasions permit them to become conversations, my most heartfelt thanks. Thank you for sharing your most precious resource with my rants; time. I hope that in some way you have shared my feelings and enjoyed some of the ideas expressed in my posts.

Fleeting Beauty

We are at that time of year when many people across the globe get time off to celebrate a diversity of different holidays. Preparations are made for travel to get to a friend’s or relative’s home to share in this special time or sometimes just to get things ready to do this at one’s home.

Whether you celebrated Hanukkah or are getting ready to celebrate Christmas, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Winter Solstice, Festivus, HumanLight or nothing at all, I wish you all the best.

And may we all put some Hygge into our life, as is a custom of the Danes.

In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking – preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life.

 http://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/culture/art-danish-hygge

Hygge
Hygge (Photo credit: dlebech)
Posted in Agnosticism, Art, Atheism, Blasphemy, Coffee, Everyday life, Family, Human Rights, Humor, Morality, Movies, Music, Religion, The Conscious Disbeliever

Monty Python Live Reunion ;)

Group shot of the Monty Python crew in 1969
Group shot of the Monty Python crew in 1969 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all you Monty Python fans out there, the famous troupe has announced a live reunion show, scheduled for  July the 1st 2014. So cheer up.

Meanwhile, enjoy a few Python scenes and songs.

This last sketch has a special place in my heart. I wonder why?

Here is a clip of the press conference for the Monty Python Live Reunion.

Sadly  I don’t think I can be in London to see them.

See you next time.

Posted in Agnosticism, Atheism, Blasphemy, Everyday life, Family, Humor, Neuroscience, Science, The Conscious Disbeliever

Gesundheit

Fred Ott's Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson)
Fred Ott’s Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When somebody sneezes, most people respond in an automatic fashion with a “Bless You”, “Gesundheit” or something along those lines. The person who sneezes does not say anything immediately  after sneezing.

As a noisy bodily function you could expect the person who sneezes to say “excuse me” as when one burps, but no.

We have made this response to a sneeze a part of everyday etiquette and do not pause to ask ourselves why we do it.

Where does this come from?

The response to sternutation has its origins in superstition. Long before germ theory, it was thought that our life was intimately connected to our breath, so when one sneezed, there was an increased risk of death. In other stories it was believed that the act of sneezing expelled a demon from the person’s body and the phrase “bless you” was said in an attempt to avoid the demon from reentering the person who had just exorcised himself through the power of the sternutation. Some believed that heart stopped when sneezing or that your eyes could pop out. Pope Gregory the Great during the 6th century ordered prayer for those suffering from the plague and a “God Bless You” for those that sneezed as a wish that they would not fall to the plague. And from this we acquired the custom.

This habit is so ingrained in society, that even though we know it serves no purpose and is rooted in ancient superstition, I find myself saying Gesundheit or an equivalent. Well, sometimes I can fight it back and remain silent.

All over the world there are responses to sneezing that relate to blessings or to health.

I think that the person who sneezes should excuse themselves, just as they do after a burp.

Sneezing is a bodily function that most times serves the purpose of expelling a foreign particle that irritates the nasal mucosa, other times it can be the manifestation of  an infection such as the flu or  cases like photic sneezing (“sun sneezing”), just the expression of a higher sensitivity to visual stimuli or rarer situations like snatiation or even sneezing due to sexual ideation or orgasm (take a look at this great post by Dr. Mark Griffiths called “Sneezy does it: Sex, sneezing, and sneezing fetishes”).

What one should really do  is face away from other people and sneeze into a handkerchief o tissue paper, if this is not available then into the pit of your elbow to avoid possible transmission of disease.

And in my profession sometimes I have to sneeze into a mask causing worry as what should be done. It is said that I should just sneeze into the mask facing the wound. And in light of this article, it seems the proper thing to do.

Some will think that wanting to change this bit of everyday etiquette is of no use and is an intrusion into other people’s customs. But this custom has no use, no reason to be. I don’t see many people throwing spilt salt over their left shoulder anymore and like that custom, saying bless you or Gesundheit to a person who sneezes is just acting upon superstition.

See you next time.

Posted in Agnosticism, Art, Atheism, Blasphemy, Coffee, Everyday life, Humor, Movies, Religion, Science, The Conscious Disbeliever

Yo, fucknuts! It’s probing time.

Just saw Paul the 2011 movie… Yeah, yeah, I know it’s yesterdays news, but I laughed my head off watching this and if you have not seen it, well…give it a shot.

Paul (film)
Paul (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul is not your run of the mill alien, he is outspoken, rude, knows a cuss word or two and has a good grasp on evolution.

Get ready for a different kind of Close Encounter.

I bet you have heard this line  before…

I know it’s no Oscar material, but I enjoyed the whole 104 minutes of irreverent humor.

See you next time.